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Topics - mspart

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The Open Mat / Logo
« on: June 30, 2009, 03:40:57 PM »
Hey V

What happened to the old logo.  This one looks like a throwing dummy!!


Off-Topic / 2112
« on: June 25, 2009, 04:55:46 PM »
I really like it alot.  Especially on the live Album All the World's a Stage.


Off-Topic / Frank Marino at his best
« on: June 10, 2009, 08:51:14 AM »
Here is a great video of Frank Marino.  I really like his style, take no prisoners as it were.  I hope you enjoy this bit of the blues.


The Open Mat / Hey V - Pictures
« on: May 15, 2009, 01:06:39 PM »
I think on the other site we could upload pictures.  Can we do that here and if so, how?  I had a great picture of AC without his light saber but couldn't get it to the post.  From what I can see, it has to be a picture from the web.


The Open Mat / Hey V - What's with the logo?
« on: May 14, 2009, 07:21:28 PM »
I don't know it doesn't look right.  Shouldn't their backs be facing the same way?  Otherwise, no issues.


The Open Mat /
« on: May 06, 2009, 07:06:36 PM »
For the new forum.  I'm really excited but I can't post anymore today.  Have fun and I hope to see y'all tomorrow!!!

Manana Uds, mis amigos y todos los demas.  Ha sido un placer, y espero continuar manana.



Off-Topic /
« on: May 01, 2009, 02:13:04 PM »
This was very interesting I thought.  What do you think?

<a href='' target='_blank'>[/url]



George Will / Syndicated columnist

"Reconciliation" doesn't mean harmony
Under "reconciliation," debate on a Senate bill can be limited to 20 hours, enabling passage by a simple majority rather than requiring 60 votes to terminate debate and vote on final passage. The president and Senate Democrats have decided to use reconciliation by Oct. 15, unless Republicans negotiate compliantly regarding health care. But the threat of reconciliation mocks negotiations.

By George Will

Syndicated columnist

Reconciliation: The action of bringing to agreement, concord, or harmony.

— Oxford English Dictionary

WASHINGTON — But under Senate rules, "reconciliation" can be a means for coping with disharmony by deepening it. The tactic truncates Senate debate and curtails minority rights. The threat to use it to speed enactment of health-care reform has coincided with talk about possible prosecutions relating to the previous administration's interrogation policies. Harmony is becoming more elusive.

Under "reconciliation," debate on a bill can be limited to 20 hours, enabling passage by a simple majority (51 senators, or 50 with the vice president breaking a tie) rather than requiring 60 votes to terminate debate and vote on final passage. The president and Senate Democrats have decided to use reconciliation by Oct. 15, unless Republicans negotiate compliantly regarding health care. But the threat of reconciliation mocks negotiations.

The reconciliation process was created in 1974 to facilitate adjustments of existing spending programs. Former Sen. John Sununu, a New Hampshire Republican, writing in The Wall Street Journal, says using reconciliation to ram through health-care reform would "circumvent the normal and customary workings of American democracy." But those workings have changed markedly.

The most important alteration of the legislative process in recent decades has been the increasingly promiscuous use of filibusters to impose a de facto supermajority requirement for important legislation. And "important" has become a very elastic term.

It should be difficult for government to act precipitously. "Great innovations," said Jefferson, "should not be forced on slender majorities." Revamping health care — 17 percent of the economy — qualifies as a great innovation. This is especially so because the administration and its allies, without being candid about what is afoot, are trying to put the nation on a glide path to a "single-payer" — entirely government-run — system. They would do this by creating a government health-insurance plan to compete with private insurers. It would be able to — indeed, would be intended to — push private insurers out of business.

But when Republicans ran the Senate, they, too, occasionally made dubious use of reconciliation. And Republicans' merely situational commitment to legislative due process was displayed in 2003 when they held open a House vote for three hours until they could pressure enough reluctant Republicans to pass the prescription drug entitlement.

As Washington becomes increasingly opaque to normal Americans, its quarrels come to seem increasingly trivial, even when they are momentous. The reconciliation tactic is unknown to most Americans and so, too, is the institution at the center of the controversy about torture — the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel. From it came the so-called "torture memos" arguing the legality of certain "enhanced interrogation" techniques.

The OLC provides opinions about what is and is not lawful government behavior. By not quickly quashing talk about prosecutions of the authors of the memos — or, by inference, higher officials who acted on the basis of those memos — the president has compromised the OLC's usefulness: If its judgments can be criminalized by the next administration, OLC can no longer be considered a bulwark of the rule of law.

On the other hand, four things are clear. First, torture is illegal. Second, if an enemy used some of the "enhanced interrogation" techniques against any American, most Americans would call that torture. Third, that does not mean that the memos defending the legality of those techniques were indefensible, let alone criminal, because: Fourth, the president might be mistaken in saying that there is no difficult choice because coercive interrogation techniques are ineffective.

A congressional panel, or one akin to the 9/11 commission, should discover what former CIA Director George Tenet meant when he said: "I know that this program has saved lives. I know we've disrupted plots." And what former National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell meant when he said: "We have people walking around in this country that are alive today because this process happened."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was frequently briefed as a member of the Intelligence Committee, could usefully answer the question: What did you know and when did you know it? She regularly conquered reticence about her disapproval of the Bush administration. Why not about the interrogation methods?

Furthermore, four of the president's 15 Cabinet members are former members of Congress, as are the president, vice president and White House chief of staff. So seven of the administration's 18 most senior figures might usefully answer those questions, and this one: What did you do about what you knew?

George F. Will is a twice-weekly columnist for The Washington Post, writing about foreign and domestic politics and policy. E-mail:

2009, Washington Post Writers Group

Off-Topic /
« on: April 21, 2009, 03:29:47 PM »
How would the presidential election have been different if Romney was the Repub nominee?

What  would be the difference in our current course if he had been elected President?


Off-Topic /
« on: April 18, 2009, 06:00:27 PM »
Ok, I'd like a civilized discussion about this.  Ray Brinzer in another thread posted a graphic that showed the deficits for the last 8 years and the projected deficits for the next 10 years.  The federal debt will double within those 10 years to 20 Trillion dollars.  

Is this information that concerns you?  If so, what is so concerning?  If not, why not?  I would like thoughtful responses.

I'll start.  I'm concerned about the debt we are getting ourselves into.  I was much happier when the budget was in surplus and we were bringing down the debt.  I was never comfortable with the Bush deficits.  The problem as I see it are many fold:

1.  With this kind of spending, the federal government is getting their hands in places that they have no business being in.  That is why the banks are trying to return the money they took.  

2.  I am not at all for the major socialization that is coming our way.  I barely make ends meet as it is.  If anyone believes that we will not have to pay more taxes (at least those 95% of us) then I feel they are as gullible as the guy who bought the Brooklyn Bridge.  With this kind of outlay, we will have to pay it.  Taxes will have to go up.

3. If taxes do not go up for everyone, the only other way to pay for the debt is to print more money.  This will have the effect of destroying the savings of all who have saved for retirement.  When the dollar is worth a small percentage of what it is now, then the savings is gone.  I think that we will head into a situation where the Weimar republic with regard to inflation.  If that happens, then people will clamor for a change, any change.  Any change might not be what we really want.  

4.  All of this spending is based on a budget that no one read before voting for it.  It was passed and signed without anyone really knowing what is in it.  Based on not knowing what they were doing, our legislators and President have set us on the path for the above.  This is a dangerous precedent.  Our legislators are there to debate proposed legislation.  We have allowed this to happen.  Will this continue?  I very much hope not.  

These are my concerns with the current budgetary situation.


International /
« on: April 08, 2009, 01:07:33 PM »
Too bad I can't be there.  Other than trackwrestling for brackets and updates, is there going to be video via flo or anything like that?


Off-Topic /
« on: April 02, 2009, 03:38:23 PM »
Well, it's official.  The state that wants to be at the forefront of the fix for global warming has just officially been victimized by global warming.  

Please see the following graph for the Seattle area.  

As you can see, it has been wetter and colder than normal here in March.  Same in Feb.  I really wish we could get to global cooling so it would warm up here.

Here's the article that the graph is from.

<a href='' target='_blank'>[/url]


Off-Topic /
« on: March 27, 2009, 03:28:26 PM »
Here is a George Will article that pretty much parrots the way I've been feeling lately.

<a href='' target='_blank'>[/url]


Political malfeasance and the financial meltdown

By George Will

Syndicated columnist

WASHINGTON — With the braying of 328 yahoos — members of the House of Representatives who voted for retroactive and punitive use of the tax code to confiscate legal earnings of a small unpopular group — still reverberating, the Obama administration Monday invited private-sector investors to become business partners with the capricious and increasingly anti-constitutional government. This latest plan to unfreeze the financial system came almost half a year after Congress shoveled $700 billion into the Troubled Asset Relief Program, $325 billion of which has been spent without purchasing any toxic assets.

TARP funds have, however, semi-purchased, among many other things, two automobile companies (and, last week, some of their parts suppliers), which must amaze Sweden. That unlikely tutor of America regarding capitalist common sense has said, through a Cabinet minister, that the ailing Saab automobile company is on its own: "The Swedish state is not prepared to own car factories."

Another embarrassing auditor of American misgovernment is China, whose premier has rightly noted the unsustainable trajectory of America's high-consumption, low-savings economy. He has also decorously but clearly expressed sensible fears that his country's $1 trillion-plus of dollar-denominated assets might be devalued by America choosing, as banana republics have done, to use inflation for partial repudiation of improvidently incurred debts.

From Mexico, America is receiving needed instruction about fundamental rights and the rule of law. A leading Democrat trying to abolish the right of workers to secret ballots in unionization elections is California's Rep. George Miller who, with 15 other Democrats, in 2001 admonished Mexico: "The secret ballot is absolutely necessary in order to ensure that workers are not intimidated into voting for a union they might not otherwise choose." Last year, Mexico's highest court unanimously affirmed for Mexicans the right that Democrats want to strip from Americans.

Congress, with the approval of a president who has waxed censorious about his predecessor's imperious unilateralism in dealing with other nations, has shredded the North American Free Trade Agreement. Congress used the omnibus spending bill to abolish a program that was created as part of a protracted U.S. stall regarding compliance with its obligation to allow Mexican long-haul trucks on U.S roads.

The program, testing the safety of Mexican trucking, became an embarrassment because it found Mexican trucking at least as safe as U.S. trucking. Mexico has resorted to protectionism — tariffs on many U.S. goods — in retaliation for Democrats' protection of the Teamsters union.

NAFTA, like all treaties, is the "supreme law of the land." So says the Constitution. It is, however, a cobweb constraint on a Congress that, ignoring the document's unambiguous stipulations that the House shall be composed of members chosen "by the people of the several states," is voting to pretend that the District of Columbia is a state. Hence it supposedly can have a Democratic member of the House and, down the descending road, two Democratic senators.

Congress rationalizes this anti-constitutional willfulness by citing the Constitution's language that each house shall be the judge of the "qualifications" of its members and Congress can "exercise exclusive legislation" over the District. What, then, prevents Congress from giving House and Senate seats to Yellowstone National Park, over which Congress exercises exclusive legislation? Only Congress' capacity for embarrassment. So, not much.

The Federal Reserve, by long practice rather than law, has been insulated from politics in performing its fundamental function of preserving the currency as a store of value — preventing inflation. Now, however, by undertaking hitherto uncontemplated functions, it has become an appendage of the executive branch. The coming costs, in political manipulation of the money supply, of this forfeiture of independence could be steep.

Jefferson warned that "great innovations should not be forced on slender majorities." But Democrats, who trace their party's pedigree to Jefferson, are contemplating using "reconciliation" — a legislative maneuver abused by both parties to severely truncate debate and limit the minority's right to resist — to impose vast and controversial changes on the 17 percent of the economy that is health care.

When the Congressional Budget Office announced that the president's budget underestimates by $2.3 trillion the likely deficits over the next decade, his budget director, Peter Orszag, said: All long-range budget forecasts are notoriously unreliable — so rely on ours.

This is but a partial list of recent lawlessness, situational constitutionalism and institutional derangement. Such political malfeasance is pertinent to the financial meltdown as the administration, desperately seeking confidence, tries to stabilize the economy by vastly enlarging government's role in it.

Off-Topic /
« on: March 27, 2009, 10:15:22 AM »

I have only one more week to do my taxes (the time really slipped up on me).  I have to go on a 3 week business and will miss about 2 weeks that I could still do them.  I usually get them done around the middle of March (that's what I tell myself anyway) so I am really under the gun here.  

I work well under pressure but its Friday and I want to relax.  Do you think I can get some sympathy from Mr. Treasury Secretary?


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