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October 15, 2004

Ay carumba! Minimum Wage *is* still $5.15 an hour

Yow. I was just sure this had been increased years ago. Clearly not. Very interesting info on the minimum wage at

Minimum Wage Laws in the States

and

Questions and Answers About the Minimum Wage

and

History of Federal Minimum Wage Rates Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 1938 - 1996

October 13, 2004

Ok, instead of responding out loud

Sigh. These debates make me crazy.

1. What? Plans w/o a method of paying for them? Gee Georgie hasn't done that. How many billions for Iraq, Homeland Security (eww, eww, eww), No Child Left Behind, yesterday's tax breaks in the approp. bill, et al.

1.1. Don't take a flu shot because we have to all work together to deal with that nasty English flu vaccine maker. Um, rationing - socialized health care, anyone? Hey, if it works for flu shots, what the heck?

2. Flu shots not failing to be produced because of lawsuits. The companies themselves have said that lack of production is based on large quantities of left-ver product every season. If everyone actually *got* a flu shot, no problems.

3. What? Ceiling fans from China?

4. What? You pay he spends? What's George on about? Wasn't the question about paying for health care. Hmm...he's actually foaming.

5. Job loss question. Can't concentrate on answer b/c, dude, wipe the foam off the corner of your mouth. Wait, testing? Jobs? Again, what? How does an educated workforce prevent a company from moving work overseas if it's cheaper over there? I mean, wouldn't educated workers cost *more*? So, wouldn't that *worsen* the problem?

6. Kerry highlights Bush's switch away from actual question. Then, does so himself with lame Sopranos similie. Arrrgghh. If you accuse him of a naughty tactic, *don't do it yourself immediately thereafter*. Even the average American isn't that stupid.

7. Jobs 2: ooh, nanosecond...Well, ok, Boeing. I mean I lived in Seattle, know folks who work for Boeing, but c'mon, Boeing was at least as naughty as Airbus.

8. Pell Grants: more of them? Who f*&*ing cares? $1000 when a single year's tuition is $18k? Please.

9. More of my money in my pocket doesn't help me. I make very little money. The whole idea of collective action is that the sum is greater than the parts. Me keeping $50 a year doesn't make it easy for me to get healthcare or even an iPod.

10. Homosexuals: Not that there's anything wrong with that. So, having courts define marriage is bad, but some random Congressperson is so much better? You know, if marriage wasn't a state sanctioned relationship to start with we wouldn't have this problem. Let 'em all be legally civil unions and if someone's religiously inclined, then they can call themselves married. But don't continue to maintain *marriage* as a legal concept.

11. Bush: we should promote a culture of life. Uh-huh. 'Cept for those whores who were so wanton as to get themselves pregnant. Their lives don't count for anything. Adoption laws are not an adequate substitute for abortion. This government doesn't value children and it certainly doesn't value the sluts who give birth to them out of wedlock. If it did, there'd be programs to support women who actually have children. Like, oh I don't know, state-sponsored day care.

12. Look, enough with the frivolous lawsuits. Huh? Infotech? Buggies? Costs? Um, whatever other benefits IT might provide to health care (and there are many), reduced costs aren't among them. The software's always buggy, the hardware twitchy and staff constantly needing training in its use.

13. Bush: I was deeply concerned about seniors having to choose between medicine and food. So, six years after I was elected, I'll have put in motion a plan that helps a few people. In the interim, if you have to choose between suffering and starving, oh well.

14. Huh. So the debate's on CBS. And George has just said, well, I don't think it's appropriate to take major news organizations seriously? Ooohhh, I hope Bob S. nails him on the next question.

15. "Chaired by the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan" What? Isn't that kinda hard, what with Moynihan being dead and all?

16. Kerry uses acronymn "CBO". Bad boy. Listing full name of Congressional Budget Office in next sentence not good enough. Most people have tuned out by then. Like I learned in debate in high school, whatever you have to say that's important *must* appear in the first clause of any sentence.

17. Immigration: Bush: if you can come here and make $5.15 an hour... Wait, isn't minimum wage $6.15? I mean, it's trivial, but that Bush doesn't know what it is, goes a looonnnnggggg way to explain his economic policy.

I thought Bush was in favor in amnesty? I feel better for knowing I no longer share a policy position with Bush. In case anyone's wondering how that could have happened, this country couldn't survive without illegal immigrants from Central America and Mexico (primarily). We shouldn't punish anyone for having the drive and focus and work ethic needed to move to a country where one doesn't speak the language, has to dodge police and has to accept sub-human conditions in order to help their families.

And Americans *always* go by price - if it's cheaper, we choose it. That means there will *always* be a need for illegal immigrants because they're the only ones who can be employed for low enough costs to be sufficiently cheap. We are complicit in illegal immigration and we should be honest enough to admit it.

18. I'm gonna flippin smack Kerry. I can't believe he let Bush's slip on the minimum wage pass by unmocked.

19. Q: minimum wage. Bush answer: testing in school. what?

20. Would you overturn Roe. v. Wade? A: Would I have a litmus test? No. Interesting the gap between questions and answers. To Kerry's credit, he's actually answering the question. this time.

21. hmm...I think I'm losing my energy...

22. Bush *does not* support background checks at gun shows. If he did, then why did the GAO (hey, I'm not debating; look it up) make difficult to obtain a letter from Congress showing that the purchase of guns at gun shows wasn't subject to background checks? The stated purpose was national security, but c'mon, wouldn't imposing background checks be a better option?

23. Affirmative action? What? Wait, you mean everything's not perfect for people of color? Who knew?

24. Arrgghh. Hungry...want to finish making dinner...don't want to miss assured misstep of Bush...arrgghh...soo hungry...

25. What was I thinking? Bush's not going to directly address the question. Dinner it is.

26. Watching debates while checking wonkette.com every few minutes makes it allllllllllllll better.

27. Last question: so about strong women. Bush: love 'em; glad they don't hold me to my promises. Wait; still recovering from the Bush response - what did Kerry say? It appears to have gotten a laugh. Who knew?

October 6, 2004

That's www.factcheck.org, Mr. Cheney

Last night Cheney suggested viewers of the debate check www.factcheck.com (not, by the way, a good idea: www.factcheck.com redirects to www.georgesoros.com, the banner of which says "Why we must not reelect President Bush") for information showing all was right and proper with the Halliburton contracts and his role therein:

"Well, the reason they keep mentioning Halliburton is because they're trying to throw up a smokescreen. They know the charges are false.

They know that if you go, for example, to factcheck.com (sic), an independent Web site sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania, you can get the specific details with respect to Halliburton.

It's an effort that they've made repeatedly to try to confuse the voters and to raise questions, but there's no substance to the charges."
Source: http://www.debates.org/pages/trans2004b.html

In fact, www.factcheck.org isn't quite so supportive of the veep...

"Cheney got our domain name wrong -- calling us "FactCheck.com" -- and wrongly implied that we had rebutted allegations Edwards was making about what Cheney had done as chief executive officer of Halliburton.

In fact, we did post an article pointing out that Cheney hasn't profited personally while in office from Halliburton's Iraq contracts, as falsely implied by a Kerry TV ad. But Edwards was talking about Cheney's responsibility for earlier Halliburton troubles. And in fact, Edwards was mostly right."
Source: http://www.factcheck.org/article.aspx?docID=272