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I think we should merge all the Northeast blue states into a state called New England. That act alone should give Republicans cloture in the Senate.

HELLS NO! I happen to LIKE living in a state that's not infested with ghettoes and hicklands. BTW, NJ won't be a blue state for much longer. The state gets richer, and richer, and richer. For the ghetti citizens of Camden, Newark, Paterson, & Trenton to even have a hope of moving up, they HAVE TO start WORKING. They can't keep wasting their social security checks on bling, Tommy Hilfiger, Fubu, Escalades, 28" rims, platinum teeth, etc, as my mom's students do, while not having the money to afford their school lunchs because they waste all their welfare and unemployment checks on the Bling-Bling. Not EVERY ghetto person can be GHETTO FABULOUS; some of us are just GHETTO, and we have to accept that. My family was able to move up, so why can't other ghetti fams?
NJ's cities keep getting less and less ghetti, with the exception of Camden which is 2X more ghetti than the next most ghetti city in the country, but who cares about them? And NJ's richer areas keep expanding and getting larger and more wealthy. So, NJ is moving closer and closer to red state with EACH NEW ELECTION, as more and more corporate heads move here. Ditto for Manhattan VERY rich, VERY Republican. As the movement spreads into Queens & Bronx, NY will ALSO be a blue state, as it nearly is. Ditto, also for CT its cities are far less ghetti than NJ and its richer areas are only slightly poorer than NJ's, so CT may actually BEAT NJ to red.
NH, Maine, Vermont are also all nearly red states, VT being the Libertarian HQ of the country. I can't really give an accurate representation for MA, since they were obviously biased towards Kerry since they were familiar with him. But he got about 60% of his own state not a HORRIBLE majority, considering it's HIS state. MA will likely be the LAST NE state to go red. But, it'll eventually catch up with the rest of our area, as it has FEW ghetti cities or ghetti people. For real, in Worcester, there's like only white trash, and that's as ghetti as it gets. There are NO racial minorities in Worcest. I don't think in Boston either. As its wealthy areas continue to expand, it'll move slowly towards red.

ALSO, CALI's move to red will likely influence the NE, since Cali is somewhat culturally modern, as the NE generally is. So, basically, by next election, EVERY state could be a red state, especially if Condi runs! She'd have like 100% of the vote! She's such an inspiration to us all!
In all seriousness, I LOVE this idea. This IS where we're headed. But, with terrorists out to nuke us all, ... all loaded ourselves! How come some Saudi, Lesbian, French, Korean billionaires aren't gonna help ME to have a stable future???

This is a parody, right?
Adrian
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I also think we should retroactively get back-paid ALL our old debts for helping to reconstruct nations.

Yeah, especially the ones we bombed the crap out of.

You'll NEVER be able to thank me enough for
rebuilding your garage after I burned it down. I
want the thanks to keep coming and coming, forever.

\\P. Schultz
I also think we should retroactively get back-paid ALL our old debts for helping to reconstruct nations.

Yeah, especially the ones we bombed the crap out of. You'll NEVER be able to thank me enough for rebuilding your garage after I burned it down. I want the thanks to keep coming and coming, forever.

Moving to English usage, what does the panel make of this?

Chat Participant: How much of the money of the Marshall Plan has actually been paid back?
Albert Beveridge: Virtually all of it was paid back

When he gave that answer Mr Beveridge was President of the George C. Marshall Foundation: he must have known that in fact very little Marshall aid was paid back.
So what was he doing? Why would anyone want to mislead a chat room about such a thing?
I can thing of only two plausible explanations.
1) The transcript* was edited by a baboon.
2) Mr Beveridge, an attorney**, was being rather too lawyerly. Heinterpreted the oddly worded question 'How much of the money of the Marshall plan has actually been paid back?' as 'How much of the money - cash loans rather than donated goods - has actually been paid back?' ($11.8 billion was donated to governments as US-bought goods to be sold locally, the proceeds to be put in US-controlled 'counterpart funds'; $1.5 billion was in cash loans.) But, if so, he must have known that his answer would be taken by almost everyone to mean something quite different.
Yet Mr Beveridge didn't explain himself. No. Instead he segued off on a non-sequitur and delivered a lot of flannel about gratitude. Very odd.

Here's his full answer:
Virtually all of it was paid back and interestingly enough, the Germans created a fund with their counterpart funds which I believe is in excess of $80 billion to $100 billion and has helped East Germany integrate itself into the new German republic. In addition, most if not all of the countries of Europe have thanked the United States in one way or another: Great Britain, through the Marshall scholars program that sends about 50 American scholars a year to Europe; Germany, through the German Marshall Fund; other countries, through professorships, scholarships, etc.
Anyway, is such an answer an acceptable use of English, in English usage?
* (It doesn't give a year. Dontcha hate that?)
*Albert Beveridge is not just any old attorney. He's Albert J. Beveridge III**, founding partner of America's pre-eminent environmental law firm (=OwlcroftEng 'anti-environment law firm'). He has practised law in Washington DC for more than forty years. I wonder if he knows our very own 'How's it hanging' Judge Bob.

***Albert J. Beveridge I was a proto-neocon best known for his justification of American imperialism - America 'a greater England with a nobler destiny ... a people perpetually revitalized by the virile, man-producing working-folk of all the earth ... the propagandists and not the misers of liberty. ... Cuba not contiguous! Puerto Rico not contiguous! Hawaii and the Philippines not contiguous! The oceans make them contiguous. And our navy will make them contiguous.' - but he was also a world expert on one of George C. Marshall's distant cousins, US Chief Justice John Marshall. Coincidence? Family business? Heredity?

Mickwick
Yeah, especially the ones we bombed the crap out of. ... I want the thanks to keep coming and coming, forever.

Moving to English usage, what does the panel make of this? Chat Participant: How much of the money of the ... if so, he must have known that his answer would be taken by almost everyone to mean something quite different.

If I understand this correctly, the question was ambiguous and should have been:
"How much of the money loaned has been paid back?"

or
"How much of the cost of the Marshall Plan has been repaid?"

Mr Beveridge chose to answer the first version, and you feel that he should have addressed the second version.
I think that Mr Beveridge should have answered: "Virtually all of the money loaned as part of the Marshall Plan has been paid back."

I don't think he was obligated to elaborate and comment on recouping the amount of money expended or pointed out that loans were not the only money paid out in the Marshall Plan. "Obligated" and "Should have" are two different things, though. They depend on why the questions are posed and what the intent of the dialog is.

I'm not sure, from reading this, that Beveridge should have anticipated that the answer he provided would mislead some listeners. I assume there's more context to the exchange, and that it could have been made clear in other areas that there were loans and there were non-repayable expenditures. I'm also not sure how knowledgable the listeners would be expected to be.
Another acceptable answer on Beveridge's part would be: "Would you please rephrase the question so that it allows me to give you a good answer. I don't know what you are asking."

Tony Cooper
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Moving to English usage, what does the panel make of ... back? Albert Beveridge: Virtually all of it was paid back

If I understand this correctly, the question was ambiguous and should have been: "How much of the money loaned has been paid back?"

I'd say that the question was clumsy and could* have been taken to be ambiguous and *could have been taken to mean that but that to assume that meaning in this context was very odd.
or "How much of the cost of the Marshall Plan has been repaid?" Mr Beveridge chose to answer the first version, and you feel that he should have addressed the second version.

Given the level of the debate, yes, I do.
I think that Mr Beveridge should have answered: "Virtually all of the money loaned as part of the Marshall Plan has been paid back."

If he had already chosen to give an unhelpful answer that would have been a marginally more helpful way of phrasing it. He could have been really helpfully unhelpful by saying: 'Virtually all that was expected to be paid back was paid back but most Marshall aid was always intended as a gift.'
I don't think he was obligated to elaborate and comment on recouping the amount of money expended or pointed out ... two different things, though. They depend on why the questions are posed and what the intent of the dialog is.

Elucidation. It seems to have been a good-natured affair and no particular axes seem to have been presented for sharpening. That's why his answer is so odd. (Unless I'm missing something, that is.)
I'm not sure, from reading this, that Beveridge should have anticipated that the answer he provided would mislead some listeners. ... and that it could have been made clear in other areas that there were loans and there were non-repayable expenditures.

A fair assumption, but wrong. (Unless the baboon edited it out.)
I'm also not sure how knowledgable the listeners would be expected to be.

Not very. It was a CNN-hosted chat (presumably online), not a learned symposium.
Another acceptable answer on Beveridge's part would be: "Would you please rephrase the question so that it allows me to give you a good answer. I don't know what you are asking."

Indeed.
*
Incidentally, I know why a lot of Germans mistakenly claim that Germany was the only country to pay back its Marshall aid in full (Germany paid back a third of its reconstruction aid but this almost certainly corresponded to non-ERP aid) but why do so many Finns make the same claim about Finland? Finland didn't receive Marshall aid. It got a few non-ERP loans but was, by choice, completely outside the ERP.

Actually, I seem to recall that, back when I was an ignorant chauvinist, I made the same claim about Britain. This claim - only we paid back what the US gave us - seems to be a natural way of fabricating pride out of a - to some - ignominious situation.

Mickwick
I'm also not sure how knowledgable the listeners would be expected to be.

Not very. It was a CNN-hosted chat (presumably online), not a learned symposium.

I don't have any interest in condemning or supporting Beveridge, but it's difficult for me to see a case where Beveridge is intentionally misleading. There's so much more one would need to know about the circumstances. It would be important to know if Beveridge had some prior knowledge of what type of questions that would be asked, if Beveridge just generally reviewing the topic or was brought on the program as an "expert" on the Marshall Plan, and even if the Marshall Plan was the main subject of the program.
I can see - and forgive - situations where off-the-cuff answers to questioning in non-anticipated areas are phrased badly. I can see situations where the speaker is so close to the topic that he doesn't stop to think that the audience is not that close and may need more precise answers. Beveridge might have phrased his answers differently had he been aware that the audience wasn't familiar with the topic and that he would be expected to provide answers that assumed unfamiliarity.

Tony Cooper
I don't have any interest in condemning or supporting Beveridge, but it's difficult for me to see a case where ... as an "expert" on the Marshall Plan, and even if the Marshall Plan was the main subject of the program.

Tony, old son, it's not always essential to view source material when discussing it but I can assure you that many of your uncertainties would be cleared by actually reading the transcript.

Mickwick
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I don't have any interest in condemning or supporting Beveridge, ... the Marshall Plan was the main subject of the program.

Tony, old son, it's not always essential to view source material when discussing it but I can assure you that many of your uncertainties would be cleared by actually reading the transcript.

I did. They weren't. I thought you wanted a discussion on the misleading/not misleading question. Evidently, what you wanted was agreement, but I'm not sure on which side.

Tony Cooper
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