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Takes courage to be 3rd party candidates - 1860: Abraham Lincoln elected; 1992: Ross Perot; 2008: Bob Barr & Ralph Nader

Abraham Lincoln, Ross Pert, Bob Barr, and Ralph Nader

(quote)

In 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected as a 3rd party US presidential candidate.
When Abraham Lincoln ran for office, the two major parties were the Whigs and the Democrats. As a Republican, Lincoln was elected as a third party candidate - even after being left off the ballot in the 11 states that seceded from the Union.

In 1992, for the last time a 3rd party candidate, Ross Perot, was heard in presidential debates.

In 2008, 3rd party’s voices of Bob Barr & Ralph Nader were excluded from debates though
- 55% of likely voters, both Democrat and Republican, said that they would want to see Bob Barr featured in the debates alongside Obama and McCain.
- 59% of independent voters stated that they want to see the debate commission allow Nader into the debates.
- A very important fact is that younger voters were more likely to favor the inclusion of the two independent candidates into the debates, demonstrating a sort of changing of the guard as younger voters are not as content with the status quo two candidate system.  read more »

US national debt: $10+ tril, increasing $3.99 bil daily. US population: 305 mil; each citizen’s share: $35k

US National Debt has continued to increase an average of $3.99 billion per day since September 28, 2007

Shocking figures about the US National Debt:

(quote)

1.
7 Oct 08 - National Debt passes $10 trillion (Huffington Post)
Bush Administration adds $4 trillion to National Debt (CBS News)

2.
The estimated population of the United States is around 305 million.
So each citizen's share of this debt is close to $35k.

3.
The (National Debt has continued to increase an average of
$3.99 billion per day since Sept. 28, 2007!

(unquote)

Original Source: brillig.com

2008 election for change - leading US out of debt, world out of war? Obama, Biden won: "two wars, worst financial crisis"

Barack Obama, President-elect of the United States

(quote)

"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer," President-elect Barack Obama said after his victory. The first black president-elect cast his election as a defining moment in the country's 232-year history and a rebuke to cynicism, fear and doubt. "Even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime — two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century," he said. "There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and, for us to lead, alliances to repair."

both Obama and McCain’s speeches call for unity

Obama’s victory speech was delivered before a multiracial crowd that city officials estimated at 240,000 people. He said he had received an "extraordinarily gracious" call from his Republican rival John McCain, who he said had "fought long and hard" for this campaign and for his country. "We are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader," he said of the former Vietnam prisoner of war, "and I look forward to working with them to renew this nation's promise in the month's ahead."  read more »

Bailout: Decrease financial digits in stock market? Or decrease quantity of food with increasing prices?


(quote)
Food Prices skyrocketing -
The Weekend Herald finds supermarket food prices for an “average” trolley have gone up 29% in the last year.
Now this is more than the official food price index, which is weighted to what people actually buy, but both the official and the unofficial surveys show that food inflation is strong and growing.

Wealthy nations are reneging on commitments to help feed the world's hungry and may cite the banking crisis as a reason why they cannot do more, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan told an international conference on combating starvation. Annan's address emphasized that 10,000 children in the Third World would die from malnutrition on World Food Day alone - and this should be viewed as great a tragedy as the collapse of a bank. "The financial crisis deserves urgent attention and focus. But so does the question of hunger. Millions (this year) are liable to die. Is that any less urgent?" Annan told journalists at the Fighting Hunger conference attended by 200 foreign-aid experts from Europe, Africa and the United States.

Cap Hope, Greenland: The Big Haul; cousins Abraham and Julian Madsen drag a freshly killed seal toward their house. Seal meat, cooked with rice and onion, is a family favorite  read more »

Trillion? US national debt clock in Times Square runs out of digits for the first time as debt exceeds $10 trillion

National Debt Clock in Times Square in New York has run out of digits

(quote)

The US government's debts have ballooned so badly the National Debt Clock in New York has run out of digits to record the spiraling figure. The digital counter marks the national debt level, but when that passed the $10 trillion point last month, the sign ran out of digits for the first time.

The clock, located in Times Square, shows the amount of money owed by the US government. It was created by the late Manhattan real estate developer Seymour Durst, who put the sign up in 1989 to call attention to what was then a $2.7 trillion debt. The clock's owners say two more zeros will be added, allowing the clock to record a quadrillion dollars of debt.

as a temporary fix, the dollar sign has been switched to a figure - the 1 in $10 trillion

For the time being, the Times Square counter's electronic dollar sign has been replaced with the extra digit required. For its part, the digital dollar symbol has been supplanted by a cheaper version - perhaps a sign of the times for the American economy.

Some economists believe the $700bn bail-out plan for ailing US financial institutions could send the national debt level to $11 trillion.

(unquote)  read more »

Unforeseen consequences - 2002 vote for Iraq War dug $635bil hole in 6 yrs, now another vote $700bil to fill it?

cost of Iraq War

(quote)

Like the momentous 2002 decision authorizing the invasion of Iraq, Congress' vote on a $700 billion financial industry bailout figures to reverberate unpredictably, both for the economy and for the politicians vowing to protect it.

The White House and congressional leaders already have made up their minds. Confronted with the defeat of an earlier measure in the House this week and increasingly urgent warnings of economic hardship, they've begun rounding up votes the old-fashioned way.

They're buying them.

the War in Iraq costs $11 million per hour

A revised bailout bill includes tens of billions of dollars in tax breaks for the middle class, for homeowners who don't itemize their deductions, and for property owners in Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. Add on the $3 billion funding dollop for rural school programs over the next five years. And another $8 billion over the same period in disaster aid, much of it for Midwestern states. And toss in unrelated legislation, far-reaching in its own right, requiring insurance plans to provide better benefits for mental health.

None of these has any direct bearing on the problem afflicting Wall Street and the entire economy. Yet in the currency of Congress, each is rapidly becoming part of the solution.

Yet if the vote on Iraq is any indication, the consequences will be more profound than even the lawmakers understood at the time.  read more »

Independent US presidential candidate Nader & running mate Gonzalez banned from debates, on ballot in 45 states

Independent U.S. presidential candidate Ralph Nader

(quote)

While millions of people around the world watched Barack Obama and fellow U.S. presidential candidate John McCain debate each other, another man running for the high office was ignored. Independent Ralph Nader is not allowed to debate McCain and Obama because officials say he doesn't qualify. However, Nader's influence on the tight election may be greater than he's being given credit for.

Ralph Nader’s vice presidential running mate Matt Gonzalez

Ralph Nader and his running mate Matt Gonzalez are on the ballot in 45 states. In his fifth run for office Nader is polling roughly five percent nationwide. His move to cement a third party system can very well swing the election - each voter Nader gains is a vote McCain or Obama lose. In 2000 Nader received nearly three million votes. Some argue it cost Al Gore from beating George W. Bush. The memory is causing some supporters to abandon him on the election day. “I'm voting for Obama only because I just don't feel Nader can win. Although I like Nader, it's just more, I'd rather not McCain win,” a voter says.

Most opinion polls list him as the third most popular in the race. But you would not think so watching the mainstream U.S. news channels. As Americans are inundated daily with wall to wall coverage of the two major party candidates one may find Ralph Nader giving a press conference inside a university classroom with two television cameras and around ten reporters in attendance.  read more »

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