Friday, October 03, 2008

Vatican: U.S. democrats "party of death."

bull chips
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Senator Joe Biden with Catholic priest Zhang Depu near Beijing, 10 Aug 2001/poolVatican officials seldom single out political leaders who differ with the Church on issues like abortion rights or embryonic stem cell research. But now that the Vatican’s highest court is led by an American, the former St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke, we can expect things to get more explicit in Vatican City — at least when when it comes to U.S. politics.

Nancy Pelosi kisses Pope Benedict’s ring during his U.S. visit, 16 April 2008/Larry DowningPelosi drew U.S. bishops’ scorn for saying in a television interview last month that the Church itself had long debated when human life begins. Biden is a practicing Catholic who also supports abortion rights and analysts have said he could help woo wavering Catholics into Obama’s fold. Both argue that they cannot impose their religious views on others.

Pope Benedict has been encouraging Catholic bishops to speak out more openly on public policy issues to make the Church’s voice heard. Any bets on when we’ll hear from Burke next?

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Epicurus Quote on God

excellent quote. damn those ancient greeks really DID know it all
Epicurus (Greek Έπίκουρος) (341 BCE, Samos – 270 BCE, Athens) was an ancient Greek philosopher and the founder of the school of philosophy called Epicureanism. For Epicurus, the purpose of philosophy was to attain the happy, tranquil life, characterized by aponia, the absence of pain and fear, and by living a self-sufficient life surrounded by friends.
Epicurus is famous for his simple four line philosophical argument against the existence of God or gods, The Problem of Evil:

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"
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Thursday, October 02, 2008

The VP Debate: The Strangest I've Ever Seen

That's exactly what I thought. I mean, are we so dumb in this country to take Palin seriously for this job?

Exactly an hour into the debate, Joe Biden began an answer by saying, "Facts matter, Gwen."

To him, maybe. To Sarah Palin, maybe not. The pattern, so far, has been one of Biden presenting facts and Palin countering with… saying stuff. Sometimes she throws in a fact, but mostly she seems to be offering a string of approximate policy positions, encomiums to the American spirit, disputed interpretations of Barack Obama's record and anecdotes from Alaska.

She has a certain charm, but I wonder how viewers are reacting to the way she just declines to answer the question at hand and pivots to more solid ground. I had forgotten how effective Biden can be in these debates. So far, he hasn't been patronizing or insulting. In terms of working-class street cred, Palin is in a league – or a universe – of her own. (Don't ya think?) But Biden holds his own.

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McCain just a Good Ole Boy

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“This is a final verdict on eight years of failed economic policies promoted by George Bush, supported by Senator McCain, a theory that basically says that we can shred regulations and consumer protections and give more and more to (those who have) the most and somehow prosperity will trickle down,” the Democratic presidential candidate said.

A recession—and a deep one, many economists now say—is all but certain to grip the U.S. economy and reverberate worldwide. It is to begin (if it hasn’t already) after a period in which household incomes among middle-class Americans never struggled back to the level they’d reached in 2000, before the last recession. With inflation factored in, median household income among working-age families (those headed by someone under 65) fell by $324 between 2000 and 2007, according to Census Bureau data analyzed by the Economic Policy Institute.

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Homer Simpson votes for Obama, McCain

Homer Simpson voting in Ohio...again.
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In this apparently leaked clip from the slated Nov. 2 episode of “The Simpsons,” the original “Joe Sixpack,” Homer Simpson, tangles with a voting machine as he attempts to cast his vote for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. Who will prevail?

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Lou Dobbs on Ohio voting debacle

Here we go again. You got to laugh at this nation's democracy building overseas while our own election system has plenty of flaws. See the movie "Recount" on HBO, The story of the nightmare in Florida in 2004. There may also be a reference to Ohio, which has had problems before!
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LOU DOBBS: A presidential election now 35 days away. Election fraud still posing a dangerous threat to this democracy. Perhaps even worsening. Early voting began today in Ohio. After the State Supreme Court there ruled that absentee voters could register and cast their ballots on the same day. As Kitty Pilgrim now reports, that new law could lead to massive election fraud in that critical swing state.
PILGRIM: No photo ID is required. New Ohio voters have only to write down the last four digits of their Social Security number or write down their driver's license number.
DOBBS: Has everybody lost their minds? There's no way for these volunteers to check that. I mean it's an absurdity.
PILGRIM: Yeah, the officials we spoke to today say the county boards are just overwhelmed with the volume that they have to do at this point. It's such a big election.
DOBBS: Well, it is a big election, important election, but apparently no one cares about that. Kitty, thank you very much. Kitty Pilgrim.
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How Randomness Rules Our World and Why We Cannot See It

” Embrace the random. Find the pattern. Know the difference."...
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Although our intuitions can be useful in dealing with other people and social relationships (which evolved as common and important for a social primate species such as ours when we were struggling to survive in the harsh environs of the Paleolithic), they are misleading when it comes to such probabilistic problems as gambling.
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Extraordinary events do not always require extraordinary causes. Given enough time, they can happen by chance. Knowing this, Mlodinow says, “we can improve our skill at decision making and tame some of the biases that lead us to make poor judgments and poor choices ... and we can learn to judge decisions by the spectrum of potential outcomes they might have produced rather than by the particular result that actually occurred.” Embrace the random. Find the pattern. Know the difference.
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McCain record on veteran's issues "abysmal"

"He has received failing grades from Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Disabled Veterans of America, and Vietnam Veterans of America." His pro-veteran talk doesn't match his walk.
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If you look at John McCain’s record on veterans issues, it’s a failed one. … Even the Vietnam Veterans of America, those who served with Sen. McCain in Vietnam, have given Sen. McCain a ‘D’ voting record when it comes to voting to improve veterans health care and benefits. … But I think America’s veterans and voters have a right to know before the election that his voting record in the Senate has been a failed one.

“If his voting record had prevailed over the last several years, veterans would have poorer health care and fewer benefits than they have today,”
He has received failing grades from Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Disabled Veterans of America, and Vietnam Veterans of America. McCain has voted against money for VA outpatient care and treatment and against increasing VA funding by $1.5 billion by closing corporate loopholes, to name a few.
25 million veterans
would be shocked and deeply disappointed to find out McCain has a failed voting record on veterans.
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Bush Favors Bankers Over Soldiers

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It was a weird week to be in the United States. On Tuesday, secretary of the treasury Henry Paulson told us that “this is all about the American taxpayer – that’s all we care about.” But when I flipped the page on my morning paper, I came across the latest gloomy statistic which Americans should care more about. “As of Wednesday evening, 4,162 U.S. service members and 11 Defence Department civilians had been identified as having died in the Iraq war.” By grotesque mischance, $700bn – the cost of George Bush’s Wall Street rescue cash – is about the same figure as the same President has squandered on his preposterous war in Iraq, the war we have now apparently “won” thanks to the “surge” – for which, read “escalation” – in Baghdad. The fact that the fall in casualties coincides with the near-completion of the Shia ethnic cleansing of Sunni Muslims is not part of the story.

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Mayor 'just curious' if Obama is the Antichrist

When asked if he believed Obama was the antichrist, Funderburk replied, "I've got absolutely no way of knowing that."
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Mayor 'Just Curious' If Obama is the Antichrist

STUART WATSON / NewsChannel 36: Fort Mill Mayor Danny Funderburk says he was “just curious” when he forwarded a chain e-mail suggesting Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama is the biblical antichrist. “I was just curious if there was any validity to it,” Funderburk said in a telephone interview. “I was trying to get documentation if there was any scripture to back it up.”
Funderburk apparently sent the e-mail from his business account at Gastonia Sheet Metal where he works as a business agent. The e-mail, which has circulated in the last six months since Obama secured the Democratic nomination, claims the biblical book of Revelation says the antichrist will be in his 40s and of Muslim ancestry.
There is no such scripture. And Obama is not a Muslim. But that hasn’t stopped the e-mail. The urban legend Web site first exploded the myth in March. Funderburk forwarded the e-mail this month.
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Jobless claims at 7-year high

How could anyone vote for 4 more years of it? Republican policies get thousands of our soldiers killed, push jobs overseas, devalue US international influence, prevent millions of us from getting medical treatment, devastate our economy - and half our voters limp to the polls to beg for more.
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Jobless claims remain at a seven-year high

Hurricanes Ike, Gustav, slowing economy weigh on labor market

The department reported that initial claims for jobless benefits increased by 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 497,000. That’s significantly above analysts’ estimate of 475,000. The total is the highest since just after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks seven years ago.

U.S. stock futures declined on the report. Dow Jones industrial average futures dropped 102 to the 10,785 level, pointing to a lower opening for shares.

The number of people continuing to receive benefits increased to 3.59 million, up 48,000 and higher than analysts’ estimates. That’s the highest total in five years.

Jobless claims are at elevated levels even excluding the hurricanes. Weekly claims have now topped 400,000 for 11 straight weeks, a level economists consider a sign of recession. A year ago, claims stood at 324,000.

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Early Polling Gives VP Debate to Biden

I was surprised to see the rate of conversion from undecided to decided. If 18% were persuaded by Biden and only 10% were by Palin, then Biden did almost twice as good a job as Palin.

On the other hand, Palin seemed contrived and stuck on "perky," like a morning news weather reporter. We'll see how later polling goes.
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Forty-six percent of the uncommitted voters surveyed say Democrat Joe Biden won the debate, compared to 21 percent for Republican Sarah Palin. Thirty-three percent said it was a tie.

Eighteen percent of previously uncommitted percent say they are now committed to the Obama-Biden ticket. Ten percent say they are now committed to McCain-Palin. Seventy-one percent are still uncommitted.

Both candidates improved their overall image tonight. Fifty-three percent of those surveyed say they now have a better impression of Biden. Five percent say they have a worse opinion of the Delaware senator, while 42 percent say they debate did not change their opinion.

Fifty-five percent say they now have a better opinion of Palin. Fourteen percent say they have a worse opinion, while 30 percent say their opinion hasn't changed.
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Don't believe everything you read...especially about Obama

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Barack Obama

Ratings Key

Green bullet = true
Red bullet = false
Multiple status bullet = multiple truth values
Yellow bullet = undetermined

        White bullet = unclassifiable veracity

Select this link for an expanded
definition of our rating system.

Red bullet
Illinois senator Barack Obama is a "radical Muslim" who "will not recite the Pledge of Allegiance."

Red bullet
Barack Obama was sworn into office on the Quran.

Red bullet
Barack Obama's church has a "non-negotiable commitment to Africa" that is covertly Muslim and excludes non-blacks.

Red bullet
Barack Obama has been endorsed for President of the U.S. by the Ku Klux Klan.

Red bullet
Barack Obama urged his supporters to join him in changing "the greatest nation in the history of the world."

Red bullet
Access to Michelle Obama's senior thesis has been restricted until after the 2008 presidential election.

Red bullet
Photograph shows Barack Obama holding a telephone upside down.

Yellow bullet
E-mail lists fifty lies told by Barack Obama.

Green bullet
During the 1960's, Robert F. Kennedy said he believed a black man could become President of the United States within forty years.
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Party tells McCain to Increase Attacks on Obama

Republicans hang on to negativity as a viable means of winning an election. This is truly pathetic.
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Republicans are urging John McCain to adopt more aggressive tactics against Barack Obama amid fears that the White House is slipping away from them.

Although McCain has been pumping out negative ads throughout August and September, Republican state leaders and officials want to see him becoming even more personal, exploiting Obama's links with figures he knew in Chicago. These include: William Ayers, a former member of Weather Underground, a group involved in a 1970s bombing campaign in the US; the Rev Jeremiah Wright, his controversial former pastor; and Tony Rezko, the land developer convicted of fraud and bribery earlier this year who had contributed to his campaign funds.

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McCain sags in FL; Repub leaders meet

Aggregate polls suggest FL trending toward Obama.
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Florida Republicans Hold Secret Meeting

RealClearPolitics’ aggregate polling data show Florida trending Obama’s way.

Florida Republican leaders hastily convened a top secret meeting this week to grapple with Sen. John McCain’s sagging performance in this must-win state.

Their fears were confirmed Wednesday when four new polls showed Sen. Barack Obama leading, a reversal from just a few weeks ago when McCain was opening up an advantage.

The polls come amid a cascade of bad news about the economy, an issue that McCain has struggled with in recent days.

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