"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

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Friday, December 16, 2005

Approval Rating of U.S. Senators - Corzine # 80 - Lautenberg #100

All is not lost as Wally Edge writes:

A compilation of approval ratings of all 100 United States Senators in their home states completed by SurveyUSA shows New Jersey's Frank Lautenberg at #100 with a 42%-43% rating in a December 12 poll. Jon Corzine, who leaves office next month to become Governor, was #80 at 50%-40%. The most popular Senators, in the eyes of their constituents: Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both Maine Republicans who have approval ratings of 75% and 74%, respectively.
Of course as everyone knows Wally Edge is a tool of the Republican Noise Machine - so take this story with a grain of salt. (If you haven’t read this conspiracy theory about Politics NJ and Wally Edge before, you might enjoy the post and comments for the entertainment value.)


At 2:29 AM, Blogger Notta Libb said...

Check out a funny site dedicated to the absurdity and satire nature of saying "It's All George Bush's Fault!"


Notta Libb

At 9:19 AM, Blogger terryp said...

Ha! Yeah, seriously. Why would anything be George Bush's fault? It's not like he's the chief executive of the country! It's not like he's got the legislative branch by the balls and 7 of 9 Supreme Court justices nominated by members of his own party! Those who blame him for silly things like trillions in new debt, botched up wars and loss of civil liberties are just being whiney hippies and helping the terrorists win.

At 12:11 PM, Blogger Enlighten said...

Terry, funny we thought Congress appropriated money in our system of government and the Supreme Court was a nonpolitical, independent branch of government. When did that change? As we have all learned, a Supreme Court Judge can be a major disappointment to a President and his party once on the bench.

As to the trillions in government spending – specifically which programs would you like to see actually cut – not a reduction in the amount of increased spending on a program, but total elimination of a program or an actual reduction in the amount spent as compared to the previous year? Perhaps here we might find common ground.

Botched wars? In comparison to which other wars the United States has been involved? We would say more has been accomplished in a shorter period of time in Afghanistan and Iraq then in any major armed conflict in history.

Loss of civil liberties? Which civil liberties did you lose or any other American for that matter, during the Bush Presidency?

At 12:56 PM, Blogger terryp said...

We're reaching half a trillion that has been spent on Iraq. Perhaps if we had spent that going after al Qaeda instead we could have caught bin Laden by now. Perhaps we could use that money to improve teachers' salaries in the United States rather than rebuilding schools that we blow up in Iraq.

I would like to see the billions in tax cuts going to the wealthiest Americans every year cut. I'd like to see less money spent on developing small scale nuclear weapons and easily decoyable anti-ICBM technology. I have friends working on those technologies and they all say it's crap. All of their tests fail horribly.

You may think it's a good idea to spend tax-payer money on a war effort to remove WMD which didn't exist, but I do not. You may still think that Iraqis attacked us on 9/11, but you would be wrong. You may still believe that Saddam somehow was coordinating with al Qaeda, but again, you would be wrong. To him, al Qaeda posed a threat to his secular rule. You may think that all Middle Easterners are the same and should be turned to glass, but that just makes you an ignorant racist. If you can't tell the difference between different countries and different Muslim sects, you have no credibility on the issue whatsoever.

You heard the reports about the government spying on Americans yesterday. That's just one example of civil liberties lost. If that's the kind of country you want, you don't want to live in America.

At 9:34 PM, Blogger Enlighten said...

Terry, from your comments we understand you to mean it’s not the amount of tax dollars being spent by the government or the size of the deficit that troubles you, it’s just how those dollars are spent. So if the total federal budget was the same as it is today but, spent as you would prefer, you’d be okay with it?

We asked for cuts in federal spending you’d like to see, not tax increases you’d enjoy imposing. Tax rates are not congressional spending programs but, rather a factor employed for generating tax revenue. As you may have read in the news, the reductions in various tax rates during the Bush Presidency have spurred the economy and have netted more tax dollars for the government, not less.

Where did you get the idea the United States was blowing up schools in Iraq in order to rebuild new ones? From what we’ve read al Qaeda of Iraq led Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Saddam Hussein dead enders are responsible for blowing up mosques, schools, civilians etc. in Iraq. If al Qaeda of Iraq and Baathists were not running around blowing people up, do you think 135,000 U.S. troops would be needed in Iraq today?

Why you are under the impression the United States is not going after bin Laden and other factions of al Qaeda all over the world? If you remember President Clinton was after bin Laden, are you suggesting Clinton didn’t ask for enough money to catch him?

Do you believe once bin Laden is captured or killed, al Qaeda and terrorism will cease to be a threat to the civilized world, including the United States? If bin Laden had been killed back in October of 2001 would the threat from Islamo terrorists groups to our country have ended?

Why are do you believe there was no need to take out Saddam Hussein and his regime? Why did President Clinton make regime change in Iraq the policy of the United States and why did the Congress support his policy if the Hussein regime posed no threat? We don’t think it was because President Clinton is an ignorant racist who thought all Middle Easterners are the same and should be turned to glass. We’ll bet he had other reasons. Do You?

If we understand you correctly you would have preferred to leave the Saddam Hussein regime in place and instead used the money to increase teacher salaries. Why do you think we need to improve teacher salaries? It can’t be to alleviate a teacher shortage because as you are probably aware there are more people looking for teaching jobs than there are open positions. Do you think increases are needed because at current salary levels the majority of teachers we are attracting and retaining are unqualified, poor performers? And if we could offer higher salaries we would be able to fire most of the people teaching today and hire better people for more money? It would be interesting to hear the logic behind your spending preference.

You have friends that are working on developing small scale nuclear weapons and easily decoyable anti-ICBM technology and they tell you it’s all crap? Do their tests fail horribly because your friends are incapable of quality work or are they just willing to take tax payer dollars for projects they know to be a complete waste? Some people are willing to do anything for money. You must be able to separate your friendships from your politics and be willing to over look their hypocrisy. We are sure it must not be easy for you. On this we agree with you, spending taxpayer dollars to finance projects employing the friends you mentioned is a waste of money.

Yes, we read about the NSA monitoring communications to and from phone numbers and email addresses found on terrorists' computers, cell phones and personal phone directories seized by the CIA. And, no we don’t have a problem living in a country that snoops on terrorists and their buddies. Why would you suggest we don’t want to live in America because the government has the limited program with safeguards as outlined in the Times article? The program seems to bother you and not us.

Hopefully, you are not communicating with terrorists, especially with your friends working on small scale nuclear weapons. Assuming your circle does not include terrorists, it’s doubtful you need to worry about your civil rights being diminished.

As the Times article explained, a President of the U.S. can legally authorize warrantless wiretaps in national security matters. The Bush administration briefed Congressional leaders from both parties about the program and notified the judge in charge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that deals with national security issues.

Further, we learned at the very least the eavesdropping program helped to uncover a plot by Iyman Faris, a naturalized citizen who pleaded guilty in 2003 to supporting Al Qaeda in a plot to bring down the Brooklyn Bridge and exposied another al Qaeda plot to bomb British pubs and train stations.

Sounds like money well spent to us.

At 10:01 AM, Blogger terryp said...

It has been the law of this nation for 25 years that to spy on Americans, you must get court permission - either before OR after the fact. That permission has only been denied in one instance. You're supporting the actions of a president who knowingly and willingly subverted the rule of law - and admitted to doing so. There is absolutely no point in even debating this issue with you. You're defending the indefensible - violating American's liberties by subverting our carefully crafted system of checks and balances.

At 12:45 PM, Blogger Enlighten said...


Glad to see you have conceded our other points. Now about that “spying on Americans“ by the Bush administration. We don’t have any problem with Bush’s executive order permitting NSA to detect communications to and from phone numbers and email addresses found on terrorists' computers, cell phones and personal phone directories.

We believe we can make a very good case for the government’s use of this program:

1.) The increase in speed the program affords the government to immediately detect communications between terrorists who pose a very real threat to the American people and others around the world, thus giving the government the ability to foil terrorist plots.

2.) The program is used only in cases where one end of the conversation is in a foreign country and only against a small, targeted number of people with known links to terrorists.

3.) Prior to implementation, the program was legally vetted and found to be legal under U.S. law and the Constitution.

4.) The program is reviewed with congressional leaders on a regular basis, audited by the Justice Department and monitored by the courts.

We also don’t have a problem with this:

“If you made a phone call today or sent an e-mail to a friend, there's a good chance what you said or wrote was captured and screened by the country's largest intelligence agency. The top-secret Global Surveillance Network is called Echelon, and it's run by the National Security Agency.”

“The mission is to eavesdrop on enemies of the state: foreign countries, terrorist groups and drug cartels.“

Project Echelon was made possible with an executive order by President Clinton. We believe sufficient checks and balances were put in place for both of these eavesdropping programs under both Presidents.

That’s our case in a nutshell for the program. What’s your case against?

At 1:13 PM, Blogger terryp said...

That's nice. The case against is that it's against the law. If you want to do it, you should change the law. I don't understand the logic of why Clinton violating the law means that Bush can do it, too. In America, the President is not above the law. The Supreme Court ruled in 1978 that what Bush did is illegal. It's not that difficult.

At 2:44 PM, Blogger Enlighten said...

We don’t believe anyone is above the law. Could it be that neither President Clinton nor President Bush violated the law with these eavesdropping programs? From all that we have read, the programs were reviewed by legal authorities prior to implementation and found to be within the law.

Why would either President Clinton or Bush willfully and knowingly break the law with these programs? What possible motive would either man have and what would they possibly have to gain? It is our opinion both men acted in a manner they believed to be within the law and with the best interests of the safety and security of the American people as their sole purpose.

Clearly we don’t know all of facts concerning this latest program, but if it were so blatantly illegal wouldn’t the judges familiar with the specifics, as well as the members of Congress made aware of the program, have demanded it be halted? Apparently a judge did require additional guidelines be put in place before allowing the Bush program to continue. Changes were made and the judge allowed the program to resume.

Perhaps you are a legal scholar, know all the facts and can pass judgment. We are not in that position and so we are willing to give both Presidents the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise.

As you say no one is above the law. You must be just furious with the person (people) who illegally leaked the existence of this classified program to the press. There is no doubt this leaking was a violation of the law. So here we probably have found another issue upon which we can agree.

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