Thursday, January 31, 2008
Mike Huckabee is a true fiscal conservative notwithstanding comments from Mitt Romney. Huckabee's financial stewardship in Arkansas was superior to that of Romney in Massachusetts.Huckabee also supports the Fair Tax.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is believed to be in discussions about endorsing John McCain’s presidential bid. In an interview on CNN- just now-however he was rather coy saying "I have nothing to announce today".
Two Georgia Republican senators, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Issacson, have already committed to endorse McCain. If Schwarzenegger were to support McCain- in advance of Super Tuesday-Romney's prospects in California would be seriously diminished.
The sound was barely audible. "Give me a little taste of Mahon. Give me a little taste of Mahon. Not too much, not too much. I love red herrings, red herrings, red herrings. I love hypocrisy, hypocrisy, and hypocrisy".
Green Mouse has now scampered back to its little political hellhole a pale shadow of its former self.
What a sad tale.
John McCain is now the front runner and favourite to win the GOP nomination. A McCain/ Huckabee ticket would appeal to a wide strand of public opinion. Democrats fear McCain more than Romney. Can Romney turn the tables on McCain on Super Tuesday? One thing is certain he will outspend McCain.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Here Bill Clinton links Barack Obama to Jesse Jackson in an ugly smear. Clinton is endeavouring to imprint in white voters minds a belief that Obama represents African Americans only. This may have convinced Edward Kennedy to endorse Obama.
The ten point plan is strong on analysis of the problem but more importantly it is brimful of concrete proposals designed to expedite the roll out of the next generation broadband communications infrastructure delivering high speeds.
Mr Coveney stated that Government broadband policy had failed to deliver in terms of penetration and in particular in terms of bandwidth and download speed. Ireland is 33rd out of 35 OECD countries for average internet speeds, ahead of only Mexico and Turkey.
"According to the latest OECD figures, 15.4% of the Irish population subscribes to broadband, with speeds of little over 3 Mb per second, while the OECD average is 13.7 Mb per second...
In Denmark, the Netherlands and Switzerland, over 30% have broadband access."
Many of Ireland’s developed economy competitors have long since seen the importance of investment in Next Generation Access.
Korea is recognised as the world leader in such investment. Through its “Korea Information Infrastructure Project” (KII), launched in March 1995, the government invested US$800 million in putting a government-owned fibre-optic backbone network in the ground.
Successive investments by both private and public sectors have seen the country remain close to the top of global league tables for both penetration and average speeds ever since. It now enjoys average download speeds of 43.3Mbps.
Japan is another country in which the government recognised at an early stage the importance of investment in high-speed internet infrastructure, and the country now enjoys average speeds of 93.6Mbps
"Fine Gael's document 'Creating a Fibre Nation' mandates the Department of Communications to undertake a comprehensive audit of all ducting capable of accommodating fibre optic cable, both in public and private ownership. Following this audit, we are calling on the Government to tender out to the private sector a ducting roll out programme that will facilitate and encourage the investment in fibre optic cable that is required for next generation broadband access.
"What is particularly important is the need to upgrade the existing copper wire infrastructure to fibre optic cable.
"Essentially what the State needs to do is invest in expensive ducting infrastructure as well as coordinating existing infrastructure to create a broadband fibre network with adequate back haul in the ownership of the private and public sector.
"There is also an urgent need for legislation to be passed to require ducting for broadband to be installed in all new housing and apartment developments as well as being part of all new road-building.
"Fine Gael also calls on the Government to review and upgrade its National Broadband Scheme to provide for high-speed internet access to rural areas of the country. Otherwise Government policy will be adding to an already existing urban-rural divide.
"For any country competing in the global economy, next generation broadband access is essential, but for Ireland, shortcomings in this area are a serious impediment to our plans to create an economy based on technology, innovation, research and development".
The full FG broadband policy document can be viewed at Fine Gael
After a pilgrimage to the Marian shrine at San Damiano, near Piacenza in northern Italy, Solo returned to the Catholic faith of his youth and continued in the music business for a short time. He had a solo hit with "San Damiano (Heart And Soul)" which reached number fifteen in the UK Singles Chart, and went to Number 1 in Poland, and a minor hit with "Music and You."
Monday, January 28, 2008
“It is time again for a new generation of leadership,” Mr. Kennedy said.. “It is time now for Barack Obama.”................ “With Barack Obama, there is a new national leader who has given America a different kind of campaign — not just about himself, but about all of us,” Mr. Kennedy said. “A campaign about the country we will become, if we can rise above the old politics that parses us into separate groups and puts us at odds with one another.” This is a slashing attack on Hillary Clinton and is calculated to inflict the maximum damage on her campaign in the run in to Super Tuesday or Tsunami Tuesday. It is probable that the ugly campaign tactics used by the Clintons may have been the final straw for Kennedy.
In addition John Kerry has already endorsed Obama. His endorsement is also significant. In an email to three million supporters of his 2004 presidential campaign he stated. "We must stop the swiftboating, stop the push-polling, stop the front groups, and stop the email chain smears". Here he was attacking the Clinton campaign.
The support of Kennedy and Kerry should ensure that the race for the Democratic party nomination will tighten. Nevertheless Clinton is still the marginal favourite. Can the endorsements of Kennedy and Kerry overpower the Clinton machine?
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Brian Wilson originally intended to sing lead vocal on 'God Only Knows' but in the end he sacrificed the lead vocal to his brother Carl: "Well, I thought I was gonna do it. As the song progressed, I said, 'Hey, I feel kind of natural doing this.' But when we completed creating the song, I said my brother Carl will probably be able to impart the message better than I could, so I sacrificed that one. But he had a good time singing it."
This was in response to a question about Obama. Jackson's name had not been mentioned in the question. He is a controversial figure who is loathed by many Whites.
The introduction of Jackson's name is a calculated strategy by both Hillary and Bill Clinton to stir up racist fears amongst Whites. This will stampede white Democratic voters into the Hillary camp on Super Tuesday and ensure that she secures the nomination.
Many African-Americans had intended to vote for Clinton. The ugly campaign fought by Bill and Hillary Clinton backfired and galvanised them to support Obama. There is evidence that a sizeable minority of white voters in the last days of the campaign recoiled in disgust at the Clintons and voted for Edwards. Obama can legitimately claim that he represents both communities as he secured 25% of the white vote in a three person race.
The Clintons have attempted to inject a racial element into the campaign in a subtle manner. Polarisation of the electorate would ensure that Obama is seen as the African-American candidate and Hillary is seen as the White candidate. The Clinton reasoning is that the White candidate will secure the Democratic nomination. The racial element to the campaign boosted Hillary in New Hampshire. It may yet tilt the race in Hillary's favour. In addition the majority of Latinos will vote for Clinton. Clinton remains the favourite
Saturday, January 26, 2008
It is a more fruitful exercise to compare Red C poll results with the ’07 General Election outcome.
According to Red C, FF support has increased by four points -since the last poll at the end of November -to 36%. Nevertheless the party is down 6% on its General Election result.
Fine Gael is up by one point to 32% on November. It is up 5% on its General Election result.
However the Labour Party is down three points on the November poll to 10%. Labour also secured 10% of the vote in ‘07 General Election.
The Green Party is down two points to 7%- but up 2% on its General Election result.
Sinn Féin stands at 9% -2% higher than its General Election result.
The PDs are unchanged at 2% but down 0.7% on the General Election result
Independents and others drop two points to 4%-down 2.6% on the General Election.
Asked if they believed Bertie Ahern's evidence to the Mahon Tribunal, a clear majority, 54% said they did not, an increase of 12% since last September.
This is a poor poll result for FF as the party secured 42% in the General Election. Much of the soft FF support has moved to Sinn Fein and the Greens. This will in all probability return in the course of any future General Election campaign. It is unlikely that FF would secure anything less than 39% in a General Election. The poll probably understates the real level of FF support. Some FF supporters for obvious reasons are unwilling to indicate their real voting intentions. In the privacy of the ballot box no such inhibitions exist.
The FG performance is impressive as it is up 5% on the ’07 General Election. The party must endeavour to hold this new support with clear-cut policy positions on a wide variety of issues. Fine Gael has been rejuvenated by the influx of ambitious new TDs. It now has a strong front bench, which is more than a match for its FF counterparts. In some polls prior to the 07 General Election FG secured 31% of the vote but fell back to 27% in the actual election. This is soft support. Nevertheless FG appears to be returning to the support levels, which it obtained, in the early 1980s.
The Labour Party is stagnant. It is under pressure from Sinn Fein on the left. It has serious organizational problems in many constituencies. It must wrest working class support from FF if it is to make progress.
Sinn Fein may take some encouragement from the 2% rise in support from the ’07 Election. In all probability it a temporary abode for unhappy FF supporters who will return to their natural party in the course of the next General Election.
Similarly the Greens would be unwise to read too much into the 2% rise in support since ’07 General Election. The Green Party is a temporary rest home for some unhappy FF supporters. The Greens having already sold out on many of their core principles may face retribution from the electorate – a la the PDs.
The PD performance is abysmal. Looks like the good ship PD is heading for the rocks.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
According to the latest Irish Times/ TNS mrbi poll satisfaction with the Government, as a whole, has fallen by 2 points to 35 per cent. The poll was conducted last Monday and Tuesday among a representative sample of 1,000 voters in interviews at 100 sampling points in all constituencies.
The poll shows :
· Fianna Fáil on 34 %
· Fine Gael 31 %.
· Labour 12 %
· Sinn Fein 8 %
· PDs 3 %
· Greens 6 %
· Independents 6 %
The results of the 2007 General Election were as follows:
· Fianna Fáil 41.6%
· Fine Gael 27.3%
· Labour 10.1%
· Sinn Fein 6.9%
· PDs 2.7%
· Greens 4.7%
· Independents 6.6 %
FF is down almost 8% on the 2007 General Election whilst FG has gained almost 4% since the 07 Election.
Labour has gained 2%. Sinn Fein is up 1%. The Greens are up 1.3%. The PDs are becalmed on 3%.
This catastrophic drop in FF support stems from unfavourable publicity for Bertie Ahern at the Mahon Tribunal and the economic downturn which is gaining momentum. The rosy picture painted by FF during the General Election campaign has dissipated. The electorate is not amused. This is a repeat of the scenario which unfolded in the wake of the 2002 General Election. However this poll comes with a health warning. Some FF supporters may have hidden their true intentions and indicated support for other parties. At present it is not considered chic to indicate support for FF. Many of these supporters will return to the FF fold in a General Election situation.
The rise in support for FG is impressive. FG must continue to improve its organisation and develop a clear cut identity. The FG Bill - which gives crime victims rights in law for the first time - is most comprehensive and must not be opposed by the Government.
The Labour Party faces competition from Sinn Fein on its left flank. It must endeavour to siphon off support from FF in working class constituencies.
The PDs are becalmed. Their minuscule organization is crumbling. They are indistinguishable from FF. Noel Grealish TD is a cheer leader for FF whilst Mary Harney will retire at the next General Election.
The Green Party has reneged on most of its core principles. It has become FFs mudguard. In public opinion polls the party is a temporary abode for some unhappy FF supporters.
Similarly some FF supporters will indicate support for Sinn Fein in public opinion polls. In the secrecy of the ballot box they will vote FF.
Tonight on the TV3 Nightly News Vincent Brown programme there was a shallow superficial analysis of the poll. The spin from the panel was that FF performed strongly. This "shamnalysis" bodes ill for the future of the programme.
Journalist Eamonn Delaney spouted nonsense about FFs impressive performance. What planet is he on? A drop in FF support of 8% is impressive??? Is it too much to ask panelists to do a little homework ?
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
If you want to know what Mike Huckabee is all about,please checkout this 4 part youtube video. Mike Huckabee- Hope For America . Mike would make a wonderful President.
Unfortunately the FF party has tended to stymie efforts of opposition parties to introduce worthwhile measures. Often FF will find imaginary deficiencies in bills. On this basis perfectly legitimate proposals from FG and Labour are voted down. The Soldiers of Destiny are generally more concerned with political games designed to ensure that opponents are deprived of political kudos. FF may attempt to obstruct the FG bill by promising that a Government measure is in the pipeline. FF has been in power for eleven years and failed to tilt the balance against the criminal. Immediate action is a sine qua non. Efforts at obstruction -by the Government- should merit retribution at the polls.
The following is the FG press release:
"A new Bill (Victims Rights Bill 2008) published today by Fine Gael will, for the first time ever, enshrine in law specific rights for victims of crime and make provision to have their interests defined and protected, according to Fine Gael Leader, Enda Kenny T.D. He was speaking today (Wednesday) at the announcement of details of a campaign by Fine Gael to prioritise the rights of the victims of crime in Irish law. He was joined at the launch of the campaign by the joint sponsors of the Bill, Fine Gael Spokesman on Children, Alan Shatter T.D., and Party Spokesman on Justice, Charlie Flanagan T.D.
Commenting on the new proposals, the Fine Gael Leader said:
"There is a common perception that criminals have more rights than victims. This Fine Gael Bill will give to victims of crime for the first time comprehensive statutory rights under Irish law and makes statutory provision for a Victims' Rights Charter. As part of our campaign in this area the Party will also be organising a national survey of victims of crime. We will publish the results of that research at a conference on this topic in March. I hope that in the intervening time period that people will share with us their thoughts on this Bill, offer ideas on how it may be improved and eventually I hope that the Government will work with us to pass this important piece of legislation."
Commenting on the new Bill, its author Alan Shatter T.D., said:
"Under this Bill, the State and its agencies will be required to inform victims of crime of the appropriate and necessary services available to them and of the legal remedies they can utilise to obtain personal protection when necessary. Victims will be kept informed of progress made in the investigation of a crime reported by them; of the progress before the courts of any prosecution initiated and of the outcome of any court proceedings relating to an alleged or convicted offender in respect of the offence of which they are a victim. Moreover, following conviction, victims for the first time will be entitled to make representation on convicted offender's applications for parole and release.
"For the first time in Irish law, all victims of crime will be given a voice and the recognition that they deserve. They will also for the first time be entitled to have any violation of their rights investigated and reported upon, introducing greater transparency and accountability into our criminal justice system.
"At present, upon sentencing, courts are only required to have regard to Victim Impact Statements where an offender is convicted of a sexual or a seriously violent crime. The Bill imposes an obligation on the prosecution to make "all reasonable efforts" to ensure that a Victim Impact Statement is available to a court when sentencing any offender and the court when imposing sentence is required to take into account the effect of the offence on the victim or victims (See Sections 12 to 16 of Bill). Where a Victim Impact Statement has been made and the victim wishes to give oral evidence to the court of the effect on the victim of a specific offence, the court is obliged to allow the victim do so where the offence is;
(a) a sexual offence (b) an offence involving violence or the threat of violence (c) an offence relating to child trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children. (This will be extended to the trafficking of adults and their sexual exploitation following the enactment of the Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) Bill 2007 presently before the Dáil.) (d) An offence consisting of attempting or conspiring to commit or aiding, abetting or counselling, procuring or inciting the commission of an offence as referred to in paragraphs (a) to (c). "For the first time, formal statutory provision is made for the surviving family members of a homicide victim to make a Victim Impact Statement. The law in this area to date has been developed by the judiciary and has no statutory foundation. "The Bill addresses the dilemma that arose from the tragic death of Robert Holohan at the hands of Wayne O'Donoghue and also provides a mechanism for protecting victims from offenders. Section 20 of the Bill prescribes particular directions that can be given or conditions imposed by a court concerning the disclosure or distribution of Victim Impact Statements. "Such directions or conditions may be necessary to protect the victim's physical safety, security or emotional welfare or privacy and can be given provided they are not inconsistent with the constitutional rights of an offender (for example, secrecy may be required in relation to a victim's residential address). Moreover, where it is in the interests of justice to protect an offender from unfounded allegations made in a Victim Impact Statement which are extraneous to the offence for which the offender was convicted, the court is empowered to prevent disclosure, dissemination or publication of such allegations. In doing so, the court cannot prevent the disclosure, dissemination and publication of information concerning the impact on the victim or victims of the offence for which an offender is convicted. These provisions are of importance to uphold the integrity of our criminal justice system.
Commenting on the proposals, Fine Gael's Justice Spokesman, Charlie Flanagan T.D., said:
"This Bill provides for the establishment of the Commission for the Support of Victims of Crime on a statutory basis and for the publication of a "Victims' Rights Charter. The Commission was originally established by the Minister for Justice on a non statutory basis in March 2005 for a period of 3 years. The Bill provides for the continuing life of the Commission and substantially extends its functions. Under the Bill, the Commission has the following functions:-
1. to promote the interests of victims,
2. to encourage good practice in the treatment of victims,
3. to devise, periodically review and where required, to up-date an appropriate support framework for victims,
4. to disburse funding for victim support and assistance measures,
5. to draft a Victims' Charter for submission to the Minister for Justice and the Houses of the Oireachtas to be ultimately adopted in an unamended or amended form.
6. prior to publishing the draft Charter referred to in (e), to comprehensively review and evaluate any existing such Code of Procedure or Charter in the context of the provisions of the Bill and in so doing, to undertake such consultations with government Departments, state agencies, voluntary groups and individuals as it deems appropriate.
7. to publish an annual report detailing all services provided to victims by the State, State agencies and non-government organisations to whom the Commission has disbursed funds together with an evaluation of the effectiveness of such service and to detail gaps in the services provided that need to be addressed.
8. to keep under review the operation of the Victims' Charter, publish an annual Report on such review and make such recommendations for change as it deems appropriate.
9. to undertake research into the experience of victims in general and to monitor the workings of the Bill and the Victims' Charter. "The current non statutory Victims' Charter published in 1999 is in reality an information and not a rights document and has been rightly criticised as deficient. The Commission set up in 2005 has been undertaking a review of the existing Charter and working to up-date it. The Bill provides a statutory basis for such work and for greater transparency in the adoption of a comprehensive Victims Rights Charter. Moreover, it provides a complaints mechanism for victims whose rights are not respected. "If the rights of a victim of crime are violated, a complaint can be made to the Ombudsman established under Ombudsman's Act 1980, the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission or the Ombudsman for Children. Such body is to investigate in accordance with their statutory provisions any such complaint received that falls within their remit. Any complaints received by the Commission established under the Bill are to be forwarded by it to the appropriate body for investigation. A victim whose rights are violated may also complain to the person who under the Bill is required to accord the victim particular rights. Failure to respect a victim's rights prescribed in the Bill or Charter does not, of itself entitle a victim to claim compensation in any civil action. Existing rights vested in a victim to bring any form of court action as a consequence of any negligence or wrongdoing on the part of the State or any State body or any civil servant or State employee are not affected. Concluding his remarks on the new Bill, Alan Shatter said:
"The legislation prepared has taken into account the approach taken in similar legislation currently in force in a variety of countries in different parties of the world. It also reflects the standards prescribed by the European Union Council Framework Decision of the 15th March 2001 on the standing of victims in criminal proceedings. It is a comprehensive measure that Fine Gael believes makes a constructive contribution to the legislative process. It is our hope that it will be so perceived both by the government and all other opposition parties and that the government will not respond with the usual knee-jerk rejection of this measure simply because it is published by the Opposition. "We are calling on the government, other opposition parties and Independent deputies to support the passage of the Second Stage of this Bill when it is debated in Dáil Eireann. We are happy at Committee Stage to take on board any constructive amendments proposed that will improve the Bill and provide to victims of crime the rights and protection to which they are entitled."
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
This debate clearly illustrates the enmity between Obama and Clinton. The Clinton machine has introduced the race issue into the campaign. There were the ugly robo calls in Nevada. Bill Clinton's disparaging remarks about Obama and Hillary Clinton's faux pas in relation to Martin Luther King Jnr formed the background to this ugly squabble. Billary-oops Hillary-has a hectoring badgering style that the US could well do without.She is a divisive influence and has now split the Democratic Party. Billary will further polarise American society. Clinton and Obama are Socialists who believe in high tax rates. Neither has a properly funded programme. Hopefully future debates will focus on the big government plans of Obama and Clinton. Also much of Billary's funding comes from lobbyists. Will future debates discuss the implications of this?
Monday, January 21, 2008
On the last day of the Democratic Party Nevada campaign a robo-call went out to voters concerning Barack Obama. It repeats his full name, Barack Hussein Obama, and accuses him of lying about his ties to lobbyists. The sound on the video is not perfect, nevertheless it is audible. The repeated use of Hussein was calculated to do him the maximum amount of damage.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
The song contains lovely poetic images.
Here Scott successfully cross-fertilises poetry and rock:
"Unicorns and cannonballs
Palaces and piers
Trumpets towers and tenements
Wide oceans full of tears
Flags rags ferryboats
Scimitars and scarves
Every precious dream and vision
Underneath the stars"
John McCain's campaign is now gaining momentum. This must make him favourite to win in Florida. Giuliani's failure to engage seriously in South Carolina and Iowa may cost him dearly. Indeed it is arguable that he will never be acceptable to a large segment of the Republican base-especially the social conservatives. McCain has attempted to mend fences with conservatives. This appears to be be paying rich political dividends. A key factor in the outcome in Florida will be the number of absentee ballots already cast. Romney will pour in huge financial resources into Florida. Mitt Romney spent $4 million in South Carolina. Nevertheless McCain may possibly shade Florida.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Members are now free to support whichever side they wish.
Of the 318 delegates eligible to vote at today's conference, 195, or 63%, voted to support the Treaty, while 117 (27%) were opposed.
This is a stinging rebuke for party leader John Gormley who has failed to carry his party with him. Conversely the donkey and cart wing -ably marshalled by Patricia McKenna -has been reinvigorated. The leadership may argue that it came close to a two thirds majority. Nevertheless its position is more perilous than may appear at first sight. Many of those who voted to support the Treaty -today- have strong reservations but did not wish to embarrass John Gormley. In the privacy of the ballot box a large percentage will vote against the Treaty.
Patricia McKenna has claimed that the vote will strengthen the party leadership in its dealings with FF. She is whistling past the graveyard. Bertie Ahern has skilfully neutered the Green Party. Its input into the Programme for Government is minimal. The leadership has sold out on many of its core principles such as co-location, the use of Shannon by the US military and incineration. The government will continue in power irrespective of whether the Greens remain in government or not. Green Party TDs - in their pronouncements -are increasingly indistinguishable from FF. They have lost their radical edge. It is inevitable that party headquarters will attempt to move against the donkey and cart wing . Patricia McKenna is the bête noire of the Realos and will not be forgiven for today's fiasco.
Interestingly only 318 delegates voted at today's conference. An FF or FG convention -for one constituency-would have more delegates.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Jan. 17 - Democratic candidate for president Sen. Hillary Clinton played flight attendant on board "Hill Force One," providing campaign commentary from the friendly skies.
In this video Hillary Clinton states-"If you look out from the left you will see a strong middle class". She is clearly emphasizing the point that she is a candidate of the Left. She is running for election as a Socialist. There is little difference in political ideology between Clinton Edwards and Obama. All three are Socialists. Clinton has finally dropped the pretence that she is a candidate of the centre. She is a strong supporter of socialised health care. Socialised health care in the US would cripple the middle class.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
The charts at the Tax Foundation links below illustrate the comparison between Huckabee and Romney with respect to tax burden as a percentage of total income during their governorships of Arkansas and Massachusetts .
Arkansas Tax Burden as a Percentage of Income
The Tax Foundation
Taking 1996 and 2007 for Huckabee, the state+local tax burden for Arkansans went from 10.1% of income to 11.3% of income for an increase of 1.2% over 11 years (Mike Huckabee served as governor for 10 and a half of those), or an average of 0.11% per year.
Massachusetts' Tax Burden as a Percentage of Income
The Tax Foundation
Using 2002 and 2006 for Mitt Romney, it is clear that the state+local tax burden for Massachusettsians went from 9.8% to 10.5% over 4 years for an increase of 0.7% over 4 years, or an average increase of 0.175% per year.
Impartial observers can reach only one conclusion: Under Mike Huckabee there was an increase of 0.11% per year. Under Mitt Romney there was an increase of 0.175% per year.
Yet advertising by Romney and the Club for Growth – a body which has spent $750,000 against Governor Huckabee in Iowa, South Carolina and Michigan- misrepresents the FACTS. Huckabee beats Romney on TAXES. In addition Huckabee supports the Fair Tax. Romney does not.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Noel Grealish PD TD for Galway West launched an attack on the Mahon Tribunal on Morning Ireland this morning. Loyal FF supporters were no doubt highly impressed. Noel continues to foster the illusion that the PDs exist as a meaningful party. Meanwhile he engages in negotiations with FF to smooth the path for an eventual return to FF. Noel comes from the FF gene pool so FF is his natural home.
Mary Harney acting PD leader-who will retire at the next General Election- refused to lend support to Grealish's utterances but then sought to divert attention by introducing red herrings about the opposition. The PDs are no longer a meaningful political party. In most constituencies PDs are as scarce as Eskimos in the Sahara.
The Green party in opposition strongly opposed the redrafted EU Constitution. In Government Green Party Ministers will urge a yes vote in the referendum. Will the rank and file members jettison Green Party policy? The Greens have consistently opposed the use of Shannon Airport by the US military. In Government they have acquiesced in its use.
In opposition they opposed incineration. In Government they have accepted that incineration will be a cornerstone of waste disposal.
In Government the Greens have adopted the same policy as FF on the Tribunals. Namely that there should be no rush to judgement until the Tribunals report. In opposition they condemned FF. John Gormley did state that he had full confidence in the Mahon Tribunal.
Up to seven FF Ministers have come out and lambasted the Tribunal. Yet John Gormley and Mary Harney have expressed confidence in the Mahon Tribunal.
FG intends to introduce a motion of confidence-in the Dail- in the Mahon Tribunal
How will Government Ministers square the circle?
“I pledge free and fair markets and believe that as a nation we can do better to encourage savings, promote capital investment and increase real wages and jobs here at home. My intermediate tax goals include reduction of corporate and personal marginal rates and elimination of the estate tax—with a long-term goal of passage of the FairTax.”
Governor Huckabee has signed Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform “no tax increase” pledge;
Governor Huckabee is a fiscal conservative who cut taxes 94 times in the state of Arkansas:
- Eliminated the capital gains tax on the sale of a home.
- Reduced the capital gains tax for businesses and individuals.
- Doubled the standard deduction and the child care credit, eliminated the marriage penalty.
- Followed Ronald Reagan’s lead by indexing the income tax to protect people from paying higher taxes because of "bracket creep."
- Cut welfare rolls by almost 50 percent.
When Governor Huckabee left office, the tax rates remained exactly the same as when he began in office 11 years previous: the tax rate was 1 percent for the poorest taxpayers and 7 percent for the richest.
He is the only presidential candidate calling for genuine permanent tax reform through the elimination of the IRS and supporting the “FairTax.”
- A plan that eliminates federal tax penalties on productivity. - Allows American businesses and manufacturers to compete on equal footing with their foreign competitors. - A progressive tax plan that allows Americans to keep their entire paycheck.
When Governor Huckabee left office last January, he had turned the $200 million state budget shortfall left by his Democrat predecessor into an $844 million surplus allowing his successor to follow Governor Huckabee’s lead to begin the elimination of the state sales tax on food.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Bill Clintons remark in New Hampshire - “Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairytale I’ve ever seen”- has continued to dog Hillary’s campaign. He also referred to Barack Obama as a kid. This was an obnoxious put down. Is not Obama a United States senator? Hillary Clinton’s remarks in relation to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr are viewed in some African American circles as bordering on racism. Obama supporters believe that the Clintons have injected racism into the campaign. The majority of African American voters in South Carolina may now swing in behind Obama.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Hymn Lyrics by Barclay James Harvest
Valley's deep and the mountain's so high
If you want to see god you've got to move on the other side
You stand up there with your head in the clouds
Don't try to fly you know you might not come down
Don't try to fly, dear god, you might not come down
Jesus came down from heaven to earth
The people said it was a virgin birth
Jesus came down from heaven to earth
The people said it was a virgin birth
The people said it was a virgin birth
He told great stories of the lord
And said he was the saviour of us all
He told great stories of the lord
And said he was the saviour of us all
And said he was the saviour of us all
For this we killed him, nailed him up high
He rose again as if to ask us why
Then he ascended into the sky
As if to say in god alone we soar
As if to say in god alone we fly.
Valley's deep and the mountain's so high
If you want to see god you've got to move on the other side
You stand up there with your head in the clouds
Don't try to fly you know you might not come down
Don't try to fly, dear god, you might not come down
Friday, January 11, 2008
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
There is some evidence that the Obama campaign had become complacent and assumed that victory was assured. There was residual resistance among some white Democrats to the idea of an African American president. Obama has failed to fully clarify his ideas on change.
Obama will probably defeat Clinton in South Carolina. The race for the Democratic nomination is wide open. Many of John Edwards’s supporters may now desert their favourite. The destination of their support will be important in determining the outcome. African American voters will also play a key role as will Latinos. The majority of Latinos will probably support Clinton.
Clinton has a slight advantage.
Monday, January 7, 2008
"You have changed positions within three years on a range of issues that you put forth when you ran for the Senate and have changed," she said. "You said that records matter." Of course she is correct in her assertions but the problem for Hillary is that she is also a master flip-flopper.
She complained in March 2006 that some Republicans wanted to impose a police state to deal with illegal immigration, arguing instead that illegals should be allowed to earn their U.S. citizenship. However in 2003 Mrs. Clinton argued differently. "I am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants," Clinton said in a Feb. 2003 radio interview. She said that the US should consider introducing a national ID card system.
Her flip flops on the Iraq war are well known:"A lead editorial in the Wall Street Journal chronicles Sen. Hillary Clinton’s move from a "solid, even eloquent hawk” on the Iraq war to a presidential candidate calling for a quick withdrawal of American forces." .........This is taken from NewsMax.com This is a brilliant article documenting Clinton's u-turns on Iraq. Well worth reading.
On the CNN / YouTube Debate in July, Senator Hillary Clinton stopped short of saying she would talk to Third World leaders like Hugo Chavez, explaining in a complex way that she would send diplomatic envoys to do this......... On April 22nd 2007 she said "I think it is a terrible mistake for our president to say he will not talk with bad people. You don't make peace with your friends -- you have to do the hard work of dealing with people you don't agree with," said Clinton. Read the full story here: SBS
Hillary Clinton has called herself an "agnostic" on nuclear power, neither a supporter or opponent.
In 1993, President Clinton appointed his wife to head and be the chairperson of the Task Force on National Health Care Reform. The task force formulated a plan known as the Clinton health care plan a proposal that would mandate employers to provide health coverage to their employees through individual health maintenance organizations. The plan was quickly derided as "Hillarycare" by its opponents, and did not receive enough support for a floor vote in either the House or the Senate, although both chambers were controlled by Democrats. The proposal was abandoned in September of 1994.
According to ..SamGail Before and during her early years in the White House, she supported Palestinian statehood, but she apparently forgot this after successfully running for senator from New York as a Democrat.The rest is history. She obviously had to cater to a new constituency, make the ritual trip to Israel and forget any sympathy she once had for the Palestinians. But is her 180-degree flip-flop on that festering issue a portent of her leadership if she attains the White House?
Clinton also made a major u-turn on the question of drivers licences for illegal immigrants. She originally supported New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's attempt to allow illegal immigrants in his state to receive driver's licenses.When Governor Spitzer decided to withdraw the plan Clinton stated "I support Governor Spitzer's decision today to withdraw his proposal." She also said "As president, I will not support driver's licenses for undocumented people and will press for comprehensive immigration reform that deals with all of the issues around illegal immigration including border security and fixing our broken system."
Essentially both Obama and Clinton have major credibility problems. Obama as an excellent communicator has managed to side step major u-turns. Clinton has bluffed and blustered to obfuscate inconsistencies. Change as advocated by Clinton and Obama is a chimera.
Sunday, January 6, 2008
Mitt Romney to Mike Huckabee: “Governor, don’t try to characterize my position.”
Mike Huckabee to Mitt Romney“Which one? Here Huckabee was referring to Mitt Romneys change of stance on various issues.
Romney attacked the McCain-Kennedy Immigration Plan.
McCain retorted :“It’s not amnesty and for you to describe it as you do in the attack ads, my friend, you can spend your whole fortune on these attack ads, but it will won’t be true.”
Mr. Giuliani: You know, Ronald Reagan –
Mr Giuliani: Charlie, if Ronald Reagan were here, who we all invoke, he would grab the microphone, say it’s my microphone, I paid for it. And Ronald Reagan did amnesty. He actually did amnesty.
Mr Giuliani: “I think he would be in one of Mitt’s negative commercials.”
Mr Huckabee: "I think we ought to un-tax innovation, un-tax income. Anything -- any time you penalize productivity, it's counter intuitive to an economy. And one of the reasons that we're dependent is because we have allowed the oil companies to dictate not just prices, but policy. And it's time to say that we're not going to allow dictators, whether it's the Middle East or from Venezuela, to continue to, in essence, enslave the American people, which is exactly what we've done.
Senator McCain is right. We have an issue now where we're paying for both sides of the war on terror. We pay for it with our tax dollars to fund the military, but every time we swipe our credit card in the gas pump, we might as well be sending a check over to the madrassas that are training the terrorists that eventually are going to come back to us. And that's why it's got to be an urgent matter of utmost priority".
Mr Huckabee: "when there is a serious threat to this country, it is not a threat because we happen to be peace-loving people; it's a threat because in the heart of the radical Islamic faith - not all Islam, and that's what's very important. This isn't an Islamic problem; this is a jihadist problem. This is an Islamofascism problem. And if you read the writings of those who most influenced -- and Governor Romney mentioned Said Qutub, executed in Egypt in 1966. He is one of the major philosophers behind this. And the fact is, there is nothing about our attacking them that prompts this. They are prompted by the fact they believe that they must establish a worldwide caliphate that has nothing to do with us other than we live and breathe, and their intention is to destroy us".
Mr Paul:"We run up the deficits. We tax. We borrow. We borrow from the Chinese. We can't borrow enough. Then what do we do? We print the money, and then you wonder where the inflation comes? The value of the dollar goes down and prices go up where the government gets involved in certain things, like housing or medical care or education. Prices are skyrocketing. So you have to deal with the monetary issue to solve the problem of the medical issue".
Mr Thompson:" We've got the best health care in the world. It costs more than it should. We can either go one of two ways. We can let the government take it over, and that'll lower costs, like - like they do in other countries. We will also sacrifice care, which nobody wants to do - we're not going to do in this country. Or we can make the markets work more efficiently."
Mr Romney:"Charlie, when I sat down with my family and had the discussion about whether or not to get into this race, we went around the room, and each one of my five sons and five daughters-in-law expressed their views. And it's because of them and because of my concern about the future of America that I'm in this race. I'm convinced that America is the greatest nation on earth, that we are a good nation and a strong nation. And we are safe and prosperous, in part, because of our greatness and our strength..."
Mr McCain: "I'd also like to give President Bush a little credit as we have this discussion. Right after 9/11, every expert in the world said there would be another attack on the United States of America. There hasn't been...."
Saturday, January 5, 2008
Economists from Boston University and the Centre for European Economic Research analysed the Fair Tax and concluded that the long term effects of the Fair Tax would reward low-income households with 26.3% more purchasing power, middle-income households with 12.4% more purchasing power, and high-income households with 5% more purchasing power.
They state "While our model is highly stylized, it suggests that the Fair Tax offers a real opportunity to improve the U.S. economy's performance and the well-being of the vast majority of Americans. -source[
Simulating the Dynamic Macroeconomic and Micro economic Effects of the Fair Tax ]
Mike Huckabee statement on Fair Tax:
"But I am running to completely eliminate all federal income and payroll taxes. And I do mean all - personal federal, corporate federal, gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare, self-employment. All our hours filling out forms, all our payments for help with those forms, all our shopping bags filled with disorganized receipts, all our headaches and heartburn from tax stress will vanish. Instead we will have the Fair Tax, a simple tax based on wealth.
When the Fair Tax becomes law, it will be like waving a magic wand releasing us from pain and unfairness. The Fair Tax will replace the Internal Revenue Code with a consumption tax, like the taxes on retail sales forty-five states and the District of Columbia have now. All of us will get a monthly rebate that will reimburse us for taxes on purchases up to the poverty line, so that we're not taxed on necessities. That means people below the poverty line won't be taxed at all. We'll be taxed on what we decide to buy, not what we happen to earn. We won't be taxed on what we choose to save or the interest those savings earn. The tax will apply only to new goods, so we can reduce our taxes further by buying a used car or computer. Our current progressive tax system penalizes us for working harder and becoming more successful. As we climb the ladder, the government lurks on each rung, hungry for a bigger bite out of our earnings. The Fair Tax is also progressive, but it doesn't punish the American dream of success, or the old-fashioned virtues of hard work and thrift, it rewards and encourages them. The Fair Tax isn't intended to raise any more or less money for the federal government to spend - it is revenue neutral. Expert analyses have shown that the Fair Tax lowers the lifetime tax burden of all of us: single or married; working or retired; rich, poor or middle class.
The Fair Tax will instantly make American products 12 to 25% more competitive because the cost of those goods will no longer be inflated by corporate taxes, costs of tax compliance, and Social Security matching payments. When we buy products now, those taxes are built into the cost, so all of us pay corporate taxes indirectly on top of the personal taxes we pay directly. Compliance costs are just make-work with no real added value, yet they consume as much as 3% of our gross domestic product annually. These costs are an especially heavy burden on small businesses, which generate most of our jobs. If you buy a bottle of domestic wine, you're paying the taxes/compliance/matching payments of all the folks who produced the grapes, the wine, the bottle, the cork, the label. If you buy a bottle of French wine, the producers had their Value Added Tax rebated to them when the wine was exported. So French consumers pay those taxes, but you don't. Our current tax system puts our goods at a disadvantage both here and overseas. Other governments give their goods an advantage on the world market, an advantage estimated at 18% compared to American goods. So no matter how hard Americans work, no matter how innovative and creative we are, no matter how superior our products are, we suffer from a built-in competitive disadvantage simply because of our tax system.
A recent study by MIT found that our tax system deprives us of about $1 billion in exports annually. When you export over-priced goods as we have, you inevitably end up exporting jobs and industries as we now are. We are the square peg trying to fit into the round hole of international trade. The rest of the world isn't going to change, it's time that we do. Under the Fair Tax, American companies are far less likely to move overseas and foreign companies are far more likely to come here, hiring Americans to build and work in their new plants.
The Fair Tax encourages growth by promoting investment and capital formation. We have to scrap a 20th century tax system that is holding us back and keeping us down in the 21st century. The Fair Tax is the path to greater prosperity and job security for us and for our children".
Friday, January 4, 2008
Thursday, January 3, 2008
On the Eve of the Iowa Caucus Chuck Norris, Janet Huckabee, David Beasley, and Bob VanderPlaats report in from the road and ask Iowans to turn out tonight to caucus for Mike Huckabee.
For details on how to caucus Click Mike Huckabee
The Celtic Tiger is no more. It has floated on a sea of excessive government spending and private borrowing. It has grown flabby. The government must take the scalpel to public expenditure. The withdrawal symptoms will be severe. The growth rate for the economy will drop to around 2%. Unemployment may rise quite sharply due to the down turn in building and construction. The electorate will now pay for the good times. This is the same scenario as unfolded in 2002 in the immediate aftermath of the general election.
The rise in the value of the euro against the dollar has insulated the economy somewhat against rising international oil prices and served to depress inflation. Nevertheless the governments record on inflation is poor. Inflation currently stands at 5%. Recently on RTE Tom McGurk stated that Brian Cowen left FG flat on the floor in debates on the economy in the run up to the 2006 General Election. Not for the first time McGurk's analysis was fatally flawed.
The next massive rise in government expenditure is anticipated to occur in the run in to the next general election-expected in 2011. After all the electorate has short memories.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Pro abortion group Emily's List is pulling out all the stops to ensure that Hillary Clinton wins the Iowan Democratic caucus. Emily's List’s Political Opportunity Program (POP) helps pro-abortion Democratic women run for state and local office. It also actively recruits and encourages pro-abortion Democratic women to run for election.
This group which backs pro-abortion Democratic women who support partial-birth abortions conducted a web survey in Iowa in October 2007. The purpose of this survey was to ascertain the the level of interest among Democratic women in the caucus process. It found that only 30 percent of those polled were absolutely certain they would participate whilst another 20 percent were highly likely to attend. Emily's List is determined to ensure a very high turn out of pro abortion women to support Clinton. It has a website offering Iowan women of all ages key information on the caucuses. It is estimated that the organization is targeting 60,000 women with direct mail, emails, and phone-banking in the days leading up to the caucus vote.
This group is spending $500,000 in support of Hillary Clinton in Iowa. How can the hypocritical Clinton reconcile her Christianity with support for the destruction of the unborn child in the womb. The Democratic party is the pro abortion party.
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
To win Huckabee must over the next three days
- Emphasize his conservative credentials-he is a fiscal and social conservative.
- Hammer home his support for the Fair Tax.
- Counter misrepresentations of his record as Governor of Arkansas. Here he left a surplus approaching $1 billion and balanced the budget annually. He also modernized motorways and greatly improved education. 100,000 new jobs were created during his tenure as Governor of Arkansas.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let not this blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams; it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.
(Max Ehrmann, 1927)