January 2, 2006

2006 PREDICTIONS:

If anyone can manage to remember we had the contest and figure out a winner, we'll give away tons of fabulous prizes:


(1) Which of the following Axis of Evil regimes will fall in '06?

Syria

Iran

The PRC

Castro

Robert Mugabe

Paul Martin

Hugo Chavez

Kim Jong-il


(2) The Senate is currently split 55-GOP, 44-DEM, 1-IND--what will the split be after the '06 midterm?


GOP under 50

GOP 60 or Over

GOP keeps majority plus a handful

GOP keeps majority minus a handful


(3) The House split was 234-200-1 after the '04 election. After the '06 will it be:

GOP under 218

GOP over 260 (or whatever 60% is)

GOP keeps majority plus a handful

GOP keeps majority minus a handful


(4) Which will be the biggest Senate upset(s) of '06, assuming Santorum is toast (see all races here):

PA (because Santorum holds on)

WV

MA

NJ

MD

HI

NE

WA

WI

NM

ND


(5) The current frontrunners for the '08 nomination are John McCain and Hillary Clinton. At the end of the year will it be:

the same

McCain but not Clinton

Clinton but not McCain

Neither


(6) The Dow finished the year at 10,717.50. Where will it end '06:

Over 12,000

Over 11, 000, under 12

Between 11 and 10 again

Under 10, over 9

Under 9


(7) Alan Greenspan has boosted the Fed funds rate to 4.5%. At the end of '06 will it be:

over 5%

under 4%

between 4 & 5%


(8) Who will win the 2006 World Series:

The White Sox

The Red Sox

The Yankees

The Mets

The Blue Jays

The Angels

The Indians

other

(9) After the '06 election who will be the emerging star in each party:

GOP:

Bobby Jindal

Joe Lieberman

Ken Blackwell

Michael Steele

Bob Casey Jr.

Tom Kean Jr.

DEMOCRATS:

Rahm Emmanuel

Kweisi Mfume

Bernie Sanders


(10) What's your personal prediction for a big story of 2006 that isn't on anyone's radar right now?

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 2, 2006 12:00 AM
Comments

1. Syria
2. GOP keeps majority plus a handful
3. GOP keeps majority plus a handful
4. My head says Maryland, my heart says West Virginia. Call that "Maryland" for contest purposes.
5. McCain but not Clinton. See #9 below.
6. Over 12,000
7. between 4 & 5%
8. other
9. Ken Blackwell & Bernie Sanders
10. The MoveOn/Kos/DU/Chomskybot crowd are taking over the Democratic Party. In 2006, the party elite (Hillary! among them) finally have it driven home to them that they're no longer driving the bus.

Posted by: Mike Morley at December 31, 2005 10:10 AM

1--Syria, Castro, Kim

2--GOP majority plus

3--GOP majority minus

4--WV

5--same

6--over 12

7--under 4

8--Red Sox

9--Jindal & Emmanuel

10--Rising nationalism in demographically declining states, including: violence against minorities, Sarkozy running to the far Right, demands for further self-determination in Spain, etc.

Posted by: oj at December 31, 2005 10:55 AM

1. Syria
2. GOP keep minus
3. GOP keep minus
4. WV
5. same
6. 11 to 12
7. 4 to 5
8. other
9. Blackwell/Emmanuel
10. EU is not working out and politicians will start running against the Euro.

Posted by: JAB at December 31, 2005 10:59 AM

1. None of the above
2. GOP keeps majority minus a handful
3. GOP keeps majority minus a handful
4. West Virginia.
5. the same
6. Between 10 and 11 thousand
7. under 4% - yield curve inverting, forecasting slowdown - Fed will cut rates again
8. BoSox
9. Stephen Laffey & Cindy Sheehan
10. Oil hits $100 per barrel

Posted by: Robert Duquette at December 31, 2005 11:14 AM

1. Syria

2. GOP keeps majority plus a handfull

3. GOP keeps majority plus a handfull

4. PA

5. Neither

6. Between 11 and 10 again

7. Between 4 and 5%

8. Mets

9. Steele/Emmanuel

10. Michael Jackson and Haley Joel Osment tie the knot.

Posted by: jefferson park at December 31, 2005 11:24 AM

1) Paul Martin; (2) GOP keeps majority plus a handful; (3) GOP keeps majority plus a handful; (4) MD; (5) Neither; (6) Over 11, 000, under 12; (7) between 4 & 5%; (8) The Mets; (9) Michael Steele-R / None of the above-D; (10) NYT will be forced to close in disgrace.

Okay, so #10 was a bit of withful thinking.

Posted by: erp at December 31, 2005 12:00 PM
  1. None
  2. Same
  3. c
  4. MD
  5. Clinton
  6. 11,000 … 12,000
  7. ≥ 5%
  8. Da Bears!
  9. Steele / Obama
  10. The beginning of the end of the EU
Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at December 31, 2005 12:13 PM

1. Paul Martin (2nd and equally likely: Syria)
2. GOP keeps majority (no more than +/- 1 seat change)
3. GOP keeps majority plus a handful ( 4. MD. A black Republican in the Senate is going to shake things up.
5. McCain but not Clinton. Hillary is going to tank.
6. Over 11,000, under 12
7. between 4 & 5%
8. other (why, the Cubs of course)
9. Bobby Jindal, Rahm Emmanuel
10. Revolution in North Korea: Kimmie is executed by a junta; the junta promises confederation with the South, free elections, a market economy and dismantling of the nuclear weapons. Hey, I can dream can't I?

Posted by: Steve White at December 31, 2005 12:34 PM

No predictions, but:
1) Where's France on the list?
8) Not too impressed with the NL, eh?

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at December 31, 2005 12:39 PM

1. Syria, Iran
2. GOP keeps majority minus a handful
3. GOP keeps majority minus a handful
4. WV
5. The same
6. Under 9
7. Under 4%
8. Outa my pay grade
9. Blackwell/Emmanuel
10. Debt bubble implodes

Posted by: tgn at December 31, 2005 12:45 PM

bonus predictions:
Haley Barbour starts to get traction as a Republican presidential candidate but opts ultimately to be a kingmaker not to run himself.

Health concerns with Rudy and McCain slow their momentum in Republican primaries.

Hilary, Feingold and Warner are only serious dem contenders at the end of 2006. Hilary is still the leader but Warner is closing fast at year end after a good year of fundraising.

Dow 12K is doable but I'll stick with my prediction.

Martin and Mugabe also exit. Castro dies or is incapacitated, but his regime limps into 2007. I pray Steve's prediction for NK works out.

Blackwell rises to prominence by 'cleaning up' the OH Republican party, holding the governor slot and senate seat and pulling in new voters. This need to stem corruption within the party becomes nationally important after the R's nearly lose both houses due to Abramoff related problems.

Posted by: JAB at December 31, 2005 1:14 PM

1. Syria, Martin, Kim Jong-Il

2. GOP + handful

3. GOP + handful

4. PA (Santorum holds)

5. Same

6. >12000

7. B/W 4-5%

8. Yanks

9. Blackwell + Steele (R's)
None of the above (D's)

10. Jay Rockefeller loses security clearance as well as his position on SSCI


Posted by: Mike at December 31, 2005 1:30 PM

Raoul:

No election until '07, though Day of the Jackal II would do....

Posted by: oj at December 31, 2005 2:07 PM

OJ:

Isn't that storyline you nominated already in the public eye to a certain degree?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at December 31, 2005 2:15 PM

We aren't the public.

Posted by: oj at December 31, 2005 2:20 PM

You're right. We, the people, aren't the public.

Posted by: erp at December 31, 2005 2:50 PM

1. Castro
2. GOP keeps majority minus a handful
3. GOP keeps majority minus a handful
4. ND
5. The same
6. Over 11, 000, under 12
7. over 5%
8. Other
9. GOP Bobby Jindal DEM Rahm Emmanuel
10. Condi or Juliani replaces Cheney

Posted by: RC at December 31, 2005 2:54 PM

1. None.
2. GOP keeps majority plus a (very small) handful
3. GOP keeps majority plus a (very small) handful
4. NJ
5. same
6. Over 11, 000, under 12
7. between 4 & 5%
8. other
9. Steele/Sanders
10. here's a couple: Cheney out. Corruption "scandals" get out of media control and bring down Pelosi and/or Reid.

Posted by: b at December 31, 2005 4:20 PM

1) Syria, Cuba
2) GOP keeps plus handful
3) GOP keeps plus handful
4) PA - Santorum holds on. GOP pickups in MN, MD, and NJ will not be a surprise by fall '06.
5) The same
6) Over 11,000 under 12,000
7) between 4 and 5
8) Cardinals - the National League is due
9) GOP - Steele/Blackwell. Dem - Nobody gets any coverage besides Hillary
10) The disintigration not only of the EU but nation states like Canada and Russia.

Posted by: AWW at December 31, 2005 4:39 PM

1) Cuba - Following Castro's Death the US moves quietly behind the scenes to bolster support for reformist elements within the new government, leading to a phase reminiscent of the Soviet Glasnost/Perestroika of the late 80's.

2) GOP keeps majority plus a handful. The new Senate 56 (R), 43 (D), 1(I).

3) GOP keeps majority plus a handful. The new House split will be 238 (R), 196 (D), 1 (S)

4) Senate upset of '06: FLA, Katherine Harris eeks out a 50-49 win against Ben Nelson. Nelson has a popularity ceiling of 45%, Harris has an unpopularity ceiling of 38%. Harris will suprise her critics by picking up nearly 80% of the undecided voters who decide that they'd rather grit their teeth for her than another 6 years of Ben Nelson.

5) The Same

6) The Dow will finish 2006 Between 11, 000 and 12,000

7) Fed funds rate at the end of 2006 will be 4.75%.

8) The Cardinals will win the 2006 World Series.

9) 2006 rising stars: GOP: Michael Steele; DEMOCRATS: Janet Napolitano

10) The big story of 2006: Associate Press endures a serious scandal that get's their reporters' press credentials temporarily revoked by the Pentagon and the AP banned from Iraq, when it comes to light that some members of AP have established working relationships with the insurgent groups and Al Qaeda members in order to get "their side of the story". The evidence against AP will include testimony from captured insurgent and Al Qaeda members, claiming that AP reporters were willing to share information with them in return for access. The scandal itself will not break until U.S. Marines capture an insurgent cell and find an AP reporter and his stringer mixed in with the prisoners.

Posted by: Robert Modean at December 31, 2005 5:00 PM

1. Paul Martin AND Iran (thanks to some Israeli intervention)
2. GOP over 50 (say 54-56)
3. GOP majority minus a handful (say 2-3)
4. WA (Cantwell gets into campaign finance problems, gets painted with the Fraudoire brush)
5. Both (still too early for serious shakeups)
6. Between 10 and 11 (media coverage of the economy won't let it go any higher until a Dem is Pres)
7. Under 4% (see #6)
8. Other (Padres or Astros shock the world)
9. GOP: Ken Blackwell by bringing the conservative base together in OH (certainly won't be Casey--come on!)and Lindsey Graham, who will supplant Chuck Hagel as the next McCain
DEM: Emmanuel because Dems are so desperate for a non-disastrous election that even the slightest triumph will do.
Also Phil Bredesen and Janet Napolitano, who will emerge as dark-hoprses for '08
10. Saddam's trial ends when the defendant "commits suicide" while in custody; France declares national day of mourning. Jimmy Carter replaces Kofi Annan as Secretary General of UN; Amy sent to Iran on peace-keeping mission, leads to #1

Posted by: AC at December 31, 2005 6:12 PM

(1) Several of the the main contenders aren't even listed. How about listing those who have committed war crimes?
(2)GOP keeps majority minus a handful(Assuming the number of labotomies goes down)
(3) Under 3 if there's a god.
(4) If any Republicans are elected.
(5) Both, plus Kerry, but democratically elected Morales or Chavez would probably be better.
(6) Who cares? I'm more interested in the economy and how it relates to the real world, not the fairy tale, which is on par with the "liberal media" which doesn't exist, that the health of the economy is measured by what the stock market does, as if there's supposed to be some correlation between the health of the economy and the health of the people.
(7) Again, the notion is of interest only to the few percentage of people who actually hacve stocks and to which this would matter in the least.
(8) Just about any Japanese team.
(9) No one should be viewed or regarded as a star with the exception of, perhaps, Bono.
(10) That a few from the U.S. government have commited several war crimes regarding Iraq and will be held accountable. Or that those within the U.S. who are currently harboring terrorists(Immanuel Constant, Luis Posada Carriles, the Cuban terrorist seeking asylum ,http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0512/dailyUpdate.html etc...) will be publically acknowldged as terrorists. I mean, after all, "If you harbor terrorists, you're a terrorist." That it will finally be acknowledged that Reagan was found guilty of international terrorism by the World Court. Just why it is that so many folks all over Central and Sounth America keep electing socialists into office even after "benefitting" from western care for so long. And possibly several hundred other such things which the non-existant "liberal media" never report on.KB


Posted by: kb at December 31, 2005 11:22 PM

1.) Syria (and, if we get lucky, Iran)
2.) GOP keeps majority plus a handful
3.) GOP keeps majority minus a handful
4.) Not WV, because it won't be an upset anyway. Try MD and PA.
5.) No idea
6.) Over 11, 000, under 12
7.) Between 4 & 5%
8.) The Yankees
9.) GOP: Michael Steele; Democrats: Kweisi Mfume
10.) Israelis bomb Iranian nuke facilities

Posted by: Matt Murphy at December 31, 2005 11:24 PM

kb:

I categorically guarantee you that nothing listed in your final item will occur in 2006.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at December 31, 2005 11:26 PM

1a) Egypt, Jordan & Turkey send troops into Syria following the violent overthrow of the Assad regime and several months of bloody civil strife in which thousands die. The US assists by staying out of Syria and by keeping the terrorists out as well.

1b) An unsuccessful, but very public attempt on the life of Fidel Castro will mark the beginning of the end of communism in Cuba and of his reign.

2) GOP over 50 seats in the Senate...net gain of 2 seats.

3) GOP plus a handful in the House.

4) I wish the major upset would be a Butler or Bouchard victory over Stabenow, but sadly this isn't likely. As odd as it sounds, Mark Dayton being chicken Little and all, but, Dayton's loss in November will be viewed as a major upset.

5) Neither.

6) Over 11,000 (slightly).

7) Between 4 & 5.

8a) I don't have clarity on which team will win the world series in 2006, I do foresee that it will be a team that wins 105 games during the regular season.

8b) You didn't ask, but I predict that the Detroit Red Wings will win the 2006 Stanley Cup and that the Detroit Pistons will win the 2006 NBA championship. Also, the Tigers will win 84 games in '06. I see more murky bleekness for the Lions next season.

9) Jindal & Blackwell for GOP / Boxer & Pelosi for Demoonbats.

10)The break-up of General Motors.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!!

Posted by: Dave W at January 1, 2006 1:08 AM

1. Paul Martin
2. GOP keeps majority plus handful.
3. GOP keeps majority plus handful.
4. MN. Al Franken will be elected to Senate.
5. Clinton.
6. Between 10 and 11.
7. Over 5%.
8. Yankees.
9. Steele, Emmanuel.
10. Hillary bitch slaps Move-on.org., Atrios and all the other lefties, with one big roundhouse "right" punch.

Posted by: AllenS at January 1, 2006 7:50 AM

1. syria, iran, martin, dear leader

2. gop has 57 in the senate

3. gop has 240+ in the house

4.

5. the same

6. under 10 over 9

7. under 4%

8. go Angels

9. gop michael steele, dem no one

10. a major western political leader will be assisinated by bomb

Posted by: nostratoeus at January 1, 2006 1:54 PM

1) Syria only
2) GOP majority minus a handful
3) GOP majority plus a handful
4) Steele in MD
5) McCain but not Clinton
6) Over 11, under 12
7) under 4%
8) other
9) Tom Kean Jr. (US not quite ready for Jindal) and Rahm Emmanuel
10) Russia forces its way back into the world power scene as a major international player with its nukes and Putin's internal consolidation

Posted by: Matt Cohen at January 1, 2006 9:21 PM

(5) Both, plus Kerry, but democratically elected Morales or Chavez would probably be better.

Chavez lost the last referendum.
Exit polls showed a 30 point difference between themselves and the official polling results, which is rather more than any conceivable margin of error.

(6) Who cares? I'm more interested in the economy and how it relates to the real world, not the fairy tale [...] that the health of the economy is measured by what the stock market does, as if there's supposed to be some correlation between the health of the economy and the health of the people.

The health of the economy isn't directly related to what the stock market does, but what the stock market does IS directly related to the health of the economy, within broad margins.

As to the "correlation between the health of the economy and the health of the people", surely you aren't attempting to assert that peoples who live in poor nations AREN'T in poorer health than those who live in rich nations ?
It's true that the correlation is broad, but it certainly exists.
Compare the peoples of the world's thirty poorest nations with the peoples of the world's thirty richest nations, and it leaps out.

(7) Again, the notion is of interest only to the few percentage of people who actually have stocks...

Or to those who hold adjustable lines of credit, like credit cards or ARMs - which happens to be over 3/4 of the American public.
BTW, the "few percentage of people" who own stocks is over 40% of American households, so you may wish to consult a dictionary regarding the meaning of "few".

(8) Just about any Japanese team.

If that's true, then it's rather odd that many of the best Japanese players end up playing in American MLB, and that some not-quite-good-enough-for-The-Show Americans go on to have stellar careers playing in Japan.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at January 1, 2006 11:55 PM


Matt said:

"kb:I categorically guarantee you that nothing listed in your final item will occur in 2006."

Yes, I'm sure you're exactly correct. Of course it will confirm that there's no "liberal media" as any rational person who's even half awake knows, but who knows, one may slip through.KB
=================================================
(5) Both, plus Kerry, but democratically elected Morales or Chavez would probably be better.

"Chavez lost the last referendum."

Chavez is in power and will stay until killed by some right wing fanatic, or until forced to fail, kind of like Cuba, by a greater power a little further north.KB

"Exit polls showed a 30 point difference between themselves and the official polling results, which is rather more than any conceivable margin of error."

Chavez is in power. He's not going anywhere.KB

(6) Who cares? I'm more interested in the economy and how it relates to the real world..."

"The health of the economy isn't directly related to what the stock market does"

Yes, I know, that's why I said what I said. Often they're completely on opposite ends of the spectrum.KB

"but what the stock market does IS directly related to the health of the economy, within broad margins."

That's what a few economists keep telling us anyway. I mean, just before they throw their dart at the dartboard which proves to be more accurate than their projections. Also, it depend on what you measure and count as health.KB

"As to the "correlation between the health of the economy and the health of the people", surely you aren't attempting to assert that peoples who live in poor nations AREN'T in poorer health than those who live in rich nations?"

Why would I assert that? However, given the amount of funds the U.S. has to spend on it's healthcare, but prefers to spend it illegally on WMD, and how many people don't have healthcare, etc...when compared to some place with almost no money, Cuba, for instance, where everyone does have healthcare, and good care at that, though right wing propagandists try to deny it, though not too much, shows that health can, in fact, be good even when the economy sucks by most measures. I guess it depends on the priorities a country decides to have for itself. I mean, that Morales will have the nerve to try and direct his country's fumnds to the country already shows him to be a "communist threat". And Chavez wanting to actually take control of his own country's oil? Geez! What could the criminal be thinking? He just doesn't understand that it's not his position to be doing anything in his country, it's ours. When will these poor thirdworlders ever learn their lesson that what's good for us, is good for them, even if it's not?KB

"It's true that the correlation is broad, but it certainly exists."

I'll agree, to a degree.KB

"Compare the peoples of the world's thirty poorest nations with the peoples of the world's thirty richest nations, and it leaps out."

Well, of course it does. Now ask how most of the 30 richest countries got to be that way and if you know anything at all about the history of imperialism, conquest, murder, pillage, and plunder, slavery, theft, etc...you know, how the U.S. developed, and Britian, and on and on...then it should be hardly surprising.KB

(7) Again, the notion is of interest only to the few percentage of people who actually have stocks...

"Or to those who hold adjustable lines of credit, like credit cards or ARMs - which happens to be over 3/4 of the American public."

Sorry, most people it matters not one iota, nor do they know anything about it, nor do they care.KB

"BTW, the "few percentage of people" who own stocks is over 40% of American households, so you may wish to consult a dictionary regarding the meaning of "few"."

Yeah, I looked it up. It said 40% is few.
http://money.cnn.com/2005/12/16/pf/savings_study/

(8) Just about any Japanese team.

"If that's true, then it's rather odd that many of the best Japanese players end up playing in American MLB"

Why? The amount of money they get paid is far more in the states. We spend a lot more money on such important things than they do in Japan.KB

"and that some not-quite-good-enough-for-The-Show Americans go on to have stellar careers playing"

Yes, just more proof of our magnificance. Must be the reason the U.S. is shopping all over the world for basketball players, too.KB

Posted by: kb at January 2, 2006 7:20 AM

Chavez is in power. He's not going anywhere.KB

Thus do you refute your earlier assertion that Chavez was democratically elected.

...until forced to fail, kind of like Cuba, by a greater power a little further north.KB

Cuba trades with most of the world's nations.
Are you claiming that the dearth of American tourists is solely responsible for Cuba's pathetic economic performance ?

The greatest factor in Cuba's failure is that they still depend on sugar exports for the bulk of their income.
Any nation that depends on agriculture for their livelihood, and commodity ag at that, is going to remain poor.

Why hasn't Castro built a Cuban candy industry, to move the domestically-produced sugar up the economic chain, and reap some added-value profits ?
Because he's an idiot, is mostly why.

...when compared to some place with almost no money, Cuba, for instance, where everyone does have healthcare, and good care at that...

Then why is it, do you suppose, that every year thousands of Cubans risk their lives trying to flee Paradise, and get to the U.S., a nation that according to you can't even provide basic healthcare for her citizens ?

Mass mental illness ?

Bad Cuban Medicine
by Larry Solomon (April 15, 2003)

[All emph. add.] The shelves in the neighbourhood pharmacy, like those in the other neighbourhood pharmacies I had seen in Havana, were half empty and full of dust. [...]

"Do you have Aspirin," I asked, wondering if average Cubans could obtain the world's most familiar pharmaceutical staple. The answer was no. Her pharmacy only stocked drugs manufactured in Cuba and available for purchase in pesos, the currency used by Cuba's poor. "For Aspirin, you must go there," she said, pointing to a nearby hotel that housed a pharmacy for customers able to pay in dollars.

The "dollar pharmacy" did indeed have aspirin, along with other pain killers, cough medicines, syringes, Band-Aids, Alka-Seltzer and all the other common medicinal products familiar to Westerners. Its shelves were piled high - literally to the ceiling - with some 500 items, including tampons, disposable diapers, and other drug store items that were more conveniences than necessities. Pesos - the national currency and all that most poor have access to - bought nothing in this government-run establishment. The dollar pharmacy only welcomed dollars, and those who carried them.

Earlier in the day, a Cuban had stopped me on the street, pulled out his asthmatic child's puffer, and asked for help in getting it refilled. He could not get the drug, he explained, but I, as a tourist, could. Begging for medicines is common in Havana - next to begging for money to feed children, it is the most common plea - because the government won't use its scarce foreign exchange to import basic drugs that the populace needs. [...] Cubans with access to dollars - typically those in the tourist industry who receive tips in dollars - can obtain the drugs they need. Others have relatives in the United States who can ship them. The rest - middle class Cubans included - must resort to begging, the black market or, increasingly, to prostitution.

Cuba is renowned for having a universal health-care system and, in fact, doctors are plentiful and doctor visits are free. But without access to antibiotics, insulin, heart drugs and other life-saving medicines, doctors cannot perform their duties. Too often, for lack of medicine, doctors have no choice but to amputate limbs, or to put patients through painful therapies without painkillers. In one celebrated case, Dr. Hilda Molina, the founder of Havana's International Center for Neurological Restoration, returned the medals that Fidel Castro had awarded her for her work and resigned in protest, outraged that Cubans were denied critical care in order to treat foreigners. [...]

The tourist hospitals are excellent, the quality of care delivered to a high standard, as high as any you will find in any Western country. The hospital pharmacies provide whatever drugs tourists require.

Care for top government officials and those in the military is also excellent. "They also lack for nothing," Byron, [a Cuban doctor], said. But after providing for the needs of tourists and the top government officials, the health system has little left for the general public. I asked Byron about a man I had seen sitting on the pavement, wrapping raw lesions on his foot with filthy rags. [...]

Byron identified the man's malady - a disease that slaves had brought to Cuba from Africa 400 years ago - as one easily treated, but not with the medicines available in the peso pharmacies.

"The government doesn't [care] about the poor," he stated matter-of-factly. "The poor have no medicines, no painkillers, no nothing."

Before Castro seized power, [...] Cuba had one of the world's best medical systems, its ratio of one physician per 960 patients ranked 10th by the World Health Organization (England, in contrast, had one physician per 1,200 people, Mexico one physician per 2,400 people). Cuba had Latin America's lowest infant mortality rate, comparable to Canada's and better than France's, Japan's and Italy's. Its population was well fed, with a per capita food consumption that was the third highest in Latin America. Today, Cuba ranks last in Latin American per capita food consumption...

This article was written by a Canadian, not an American, so presumably he has no inherent geopolitical bias.

Now ask how most of the 30 richest countries got to be that way and if you know anything at all about the history of imperialism, conquest, murder, pillage, and plunder, slavery, theft, etc...

Japan had her Empire taken away, and they rose from the ashes, sans benefit of slave labor, plunder, conquest, etc., and they now have the world's second-largest economy, even after a decade-long recession.

The world's third largest economy, that of the Germans, has a similar story.

If you were to examine the world's 30 richest nations, you'd see three big factors: Oil deposits and/or industrialization, and for the uber-elite, a strong skill in turning the abstract into reality, such as money management, insurance, advertising, recorded entertainment, scientific R & D, and design, whether it be of fashion, technology, military equipment, or consumer goods.

Neither of the latter two factors has anything to do with your list of sins, although some of the leaders of oil-rich nations gained and maintain power through violence and oppression - including Chavez.

"If that's true, then it's rather odd that many of the best Japanese players end up playing in American MLB"

Why? The amount of money they get paid is far more in the states. We spend a lot more money on such important things than they do in Japan.KB

Thus do you refute your earlier assertion that a Japanese team, much less any random Japanese team, could play for the MLB championship.

If Japanese players made up the majority of the rosters of American teams, then you might have a point.

Must be the reason the U.S. is shopping all over the world for basketball players, too.KB

You're confusing the concept of "global talent pool" with the idea of "lack of American talent".
American professional soccer or ice hockey might be examples of the latter, but in every other American sport, the majority of players are found in America, with a minority cherry-picked from around the globe.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at January 2, 2006 9:27 AM

I had to scroll quickly to the bottom so as not to read any other entries...here goes:

1. Castro (voting with my heart)
2. GOP keeps a majority minus a handful
3. GOP keeps a majority plus a handful
4. NJ
5. The same
6. Over 11 but under 12
7. Under 4%
8. Other
9. GOP - Keane
Dems - Obama (I know it wasn't a choice but...)
10. France replaced on UN Security Council by Japan.

Posted by: Bartman at January 2, 2006 11:04 AM

1. Paul Martin, Syria

2. GOP keeps majority plus handful

3. Ditto

4. WA

5. The Same

6. 11,000-12,000

7. Between 4 & 5

8. Other

9. Blackwell/No One

10. Medium-to-major terror attack in France, Germany or some other easily accessible Western war-opponent.

Posted by: Timothy at January 2, 2006 3:55 PM

kb:

I'm talking about failure of your postulated events to occur, not the failure of Western media to report them.

I'm sure that if top American officials were arrested by the high goblins of the UN for "war crimes," the American media would be all over the story. They would certainly be right to do so, although they would also take ghoulish delight in the proceedings, because in the American sense of political reality they are liberals, despite your blind protestations.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at January 3, 2006 12:04 AM

"Must be the reason the US is shopping all over the world for basketball players, too.KB

You're confusing the concept of "global talent pool" with the idea of "lack of American talent." American professional soccer or ice hockey might be examples of the latter, but in every other American sport, the majority of players are found in America, with a minority cherry-picked from around the globe."


Gee KB, all of those years of schooling and you have the maturity, logic and intellectual capacity of a freshman in high school.

Posted by: andrew at January 3, 2006 8:11 AM

Matt said:

"kb:I'm talking about failure of your postulated events to occur, not the failure of Western media to report them."

Of course they're doomed to failure, the ideas are simply too good. And that the conservative corporate-controlled media won't report them isn't even a question. They rarely report anything regarding leftist positions, though I consider my positions as conservative.KB

"I'm sure that if top American officials were arrested by the high goblins of the UN for "war crimes,""

As they would be if the law were actually applied equally as it is written. This is a non-issue as well, except for the indoctrinated who have internalized the imperialist values that why we do is okay, and what others do isn't, as Kissinger made explicitly clear, him, of course, being one of the major war criminals of the 20th century.KB

"the American media would be all over the story."

Why would they do that given their rdismal record of reporting almost nothing which isn't submissive to state power? The problem with the media is that it's WAY TOO compliant to state power. What's amazing is whereas in the Soviet Union the government reported the propaganda line, as everyone knew,. in the U.S., which has a "free press", they censor themselves just about as well as the Soviet system. And what makes it doubly funny is that they've actually persuaded many of the slower folks, you know, like 98% of Bush followers, as well as a good percentage of the demopublicans, that the media is actually liberal. Actually, this is nothing new, at least to anyone who has studied the media, propaganda, PR industry, and a few other associated fields. The entire notion of there being some sort of "liberal media" is a joke, and it's easy to find out about, too, but one must study something other than right wing blogs who offer nothing but opinions based on opinions based on opinions based on nothing. See "Oh, That Liberal Media" for a good laugh as to what the indoctrinated see, but which doesn't exist. If you're really interested in learning anything, and aren't afraid to read, unlike Andrew the Indoctrinated(His official title)just ask, and I'll give you enough to keep you busy for a year or two. This is probably the minimum alloted time for one to rid themselves of the pseudo-patriotic notuion that there's such thing as a liberal media.KB

"They would certainly be right to do so, although they would also take ghoulish delight in the proceedings, because in the American sense of political reality they are liberals"

Sorry, but the overwhelming evidence is the exact opposite. How about an example. Let's use Chomsky because most of the right wing who know nothing about him hate him, therefore he must be intelligent. Simple and accurate logical deduction, by the way. I'll keep it short. If you want further details ask. In the run up to the congress voting on aid to the Contras Chomsky kept track of all the editorials from the NYT regarding the Sandinistas. There were 85. Of the 85, ALL were anti-Sandinitsta. Where's the "liberal media"? Not only that, when it was discovered that Reagan was shipping them arms illegally and was condemned by the World Court for terrorism, where was the report from the "liberal media". And on and on and on...This goes on all the time. This is just one example of MANY more where the "liberal media" proves itself NOT to be even attempting to be objective at all, much less liberal. When folks from around the world hear the ultra right in the U.S> calling their media liberal they get scared, I mean, after they stop laughing and realize these folks really DO believe this. And it IS scary that there are people, and some with a lot of power, who are this clueless. The right wing in Britian laughs at the notion that the U.S. media is liberal.KB

"despite your blind protestations."

Yes, facts and evidence have a way of blinding one to the fairy tales put forth by the indoctrinated pseudo-patriots. I mean, everyone knows that it's they who see things most "clearly", as can be seen by your very comments. Oh, and by the way, where was the media regarding "The Cuban Five"? This should have been one of the biggest stories a few years back. Remember? Five Cubans got into the states, infiltrated the Cuban terrorist organizations in Florida, collected thousands of pages of evidence of their terror, some even being carried out within the U.S., video taped the criminals making their plans, etc....Then they invited the U.S. FBI to review the materials they has collected so that they'd arrest the criminals. What did the FBI do? They arrested the five Cuban spies for exposing the terrorist actions in Florida. Where was this in the media? This was on for one or two minutes total. Why? Being that "if you support terrorists, you're a terroist", I would have thought that whatever administration who supported the terrorists should have been exposed for their deeds, and the punishment which should have followed. Nothing radical at all. Just applying the law as it is written, and applying the same rules to ourselves that we say others must follow. Where was the "liberal media"?KB
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Andrew said:

"Gee KB, all of those years of schooling and you have the maturity, logic and intellectual capacity of a freshman in high school."

Well, since you've said so, and that's about all you ever do, I guess that makes it so. Did you have proof for anything, or were you just going to speak from your butt as usual? Read any Chomsky lately, Andrew? Ever?KB

Posted by: kb at January 4, 2006 2:12 AM

KB:

You might find more sympathy for at least a few of your ideas if you could find any other authority besides Chomsky to buttress your positions.

If I only quoted Buchanan and Tancredo when speaking of immigration, I'd quickly be shouted down, and rightly so.

If you can't find any other authority that agrees with Chomsky, then perhaps it's not we who are wrong, eh ?

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at January 4, 2006 3:54 AM

Michael said:

"KB: You might find more sympathy for at least a few of your ideas if you could find any other authority besides Chomsky to buttress your positions."

Most of my ideas come from other sources. I often refer to the sources where Chomsky got his information in the first place, as well as the multitute of other reliable sources which are out there. The primary reason I use Chomsky is that as of this comment I have yet to meet one "anti-Chomskyite" who knows anything about him at all, but who often talk as if they do. You've seen my jabs at Andrew, yes? Well, he's the perfect example of the typical anti-Chomskyite. He's admittedly never read a book of his, gets most position Chomsky has wrong, and yet talks about him as if he knows something. Actually, that it's Chomsky is almost incidental. It could be about most anyone and the same phenomena happens. Anyway, as you may or may not know, one of the primary reasons I use Chomsky is that I write satires about the idiocy of anti-Chomskyites and where better to get material than from them? In all fairness to Andrew's dumb ass I should say that at least he's not as bad as Horowitz who claims to have actually read some of Chomsky's work and gets things about as wrong as they could be gotten. It's already bad enough for fools who have never studied the subject to try and talk about it as if they have, but it's even worse when they have and they've just completely mis-interpreted about every other word. How embarrassing. Horowitz even thought Chomsky was "anti-American" based on his readings. BUt since you brought it up, why the hell not refer to Chomsky's thesis. As of this comment no one from the right has ever shown any of them to be incorrect. Ever. Zero. I mean, in order to do so one would first have to actually know what his positions are, yes? Well, given that about 98% have never read more than some out of context line provided by a easily proven liar like Horowitz just shows even more that their entire starting point is already flawed. They haven't even taken the first step towards attempting to debate anything. So, personally, I think this idiocy is entertaining, not to mention a good study in belief system de-formations. Have YOU read any Chomsky, Michael? Or do you think you "don't need to" like many of the other indoctrinated?KB

"If I only quoted Buchanan and Tancredo when speaking of immigration"

I don't recall quoting Chomsky at all. Where have I done this? Actually, I've rarely, or never even said that I liked anything he has ever written. For the most part I've simply said that the ideas which the idiot anti-Chomskyites attribute to him aren't his ideas. This has nothing to do with liking or disliking anything. This has to do with saying that they're simply factually incorrect. So, when some illiterate says Chomsky is "anti-Semetic", a "Pol Pot apologist", "anti-American", and "tired old Marxist", they are simply factually wrong, and it has not one damn thing to do with my appreciating his work, which I do, or my opinion, or anything else. They're simply incorrect. If they said he was a black Catholic woman I'd say the same thing, they're wrong. And, YES, the analogy is exactly correct. However, if you think you know something about him, and dare try and challenge something based on your FIRST knowing his actual position, and THEN making an argument, I'd be more than happy to listen.KB

"I'd quickly be shouted down, and rightly so."

Doesn't really apply here, so nothing else need be said. Anyway, when I give dozens of other references, which I usually do, they are ignored as well because they don't quite fit the accepted fairy tale of the right. For instance, I sent Andrew 4 or so links the other day, all of whom were by ex-C.I.A. agents, and all of whom basically confirmed the statements I had made. Chomsky probably used some of them for his infoprmation as well, given that he likes first hand sources. What was Andrew's response, nothing. Zero. Nil. As a matter of fact, I've given him these same links for more than a year now and he has never responded with anything more than some kneejerk Coultarian blather about my links. No comment on the substance. No nothing. Why? He can't. It's the same with Chomsky. If you can't contest the issues and facts it's much easier to try and aviod them by asking folks such as myself why I refer to Chomsky, or advising me not to. I'd actually be happy if I knew who ANY of the right referred to for their information. They rarely give anything but opinion. Of course, after receiving a few of their sources I can understand why they'd hesitate on offering anything. It's like wanting to talk about world politics and thinking that a reference from Coulter should be considered on equal footing as that of Chomsky. They aren't even aware of the absurdity.KB

"If you can't find any other authority that agrees with Chomsky"

Oh, there are hundreds and hundreds. I usually refer to them. As I said, I'm aware of where Chomsky gets his information, as anyone studying any topic or scholars thinking should be. Where have you seen me quoting Chomsky?KB

"then perhaps it's not we who are wrong, eh ?"

No, it's YOU who are wrong. Non-issue. Read any Chomsky leately?(Hint- This isn't a reference. This is a question.) But, if you want other sources because you can't answer anything regarding Chomsky I'll give you even more. Read any E. Herman, R. McChesney, R. Parry, D. Noble, L. Tye, C. Jenkins, Rampton/Stauber, Solomon/Cohen, J. Stockwell, R. McGehee, P. Agee, S. Diamond, W. Blum, E. Fones-Wolf, just to name a very few, lately? Anyway, your qualified avoidance of taking on Chomsky probably does show at least a little intelligence in realizing that you are somewhat aware that you don't know about certain topics and should therefore try and escape as unscathed as possible, unlike Andrew has ever been able to do, even once.KB

Posted by: kb at January 4, 2006 11:36 PM
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