So the Superbowl is tomorrow, and once again the New Orleans Saints are nowhere near the joint while former players are crawling all over it. I've gotten used to it.

I'll watch the game of course, and I'll pull for the Panthers because Jake Delhomme is not only from my former neck of the woods, but because he's a former Saint who's made better than good and because if they win, that will be two years in a row that the Superbowl champion came from the Saints' division.

I'll also be taking part in's one minute boycott. In case you haven't heard, Moveon wanted to play this commercial during the Superbowl and CBS declined to accept it, stating that they don't run issue ads during the Superbowl. They will be running issue ads for the Bush White House, however.

CBS is certainly within their rights to refuse any ad that they feel will upset their usual audience or their major advertisers. The Superbowl is, after all, a once a year event and I don't blame CBS executives for thinking that they don't want to piss off the people who help them pay the bills every week by running this ad for a one time buyer. But at least they could be honest about why they're refusing the ad buy. It's no secret that CBS owes the Republican congress and the Bush White House for relaxing media ownership requirements. All I'm asking is that CBS be honest about their refusal.

I received an email from Moveon a couple of days ago suggesting we do this.

This Sunday, during the Super Bowl half time show, join us in changing channels on CBS. At 8:10pm and 8:35pm EST, switch over to CNN to watch "Child's Pay" on a channel which doesn't censor its ads. We'd like to keep a tally of the number of people who participate -- you can sign up here.

There is a major disparity in the US tax system, and I'm not talking about income taxes. I'm talking about Giver states versus Taker states. Giver states are those states that receive less in federal funding and programs than they pay in taxes, while Taker states receive more thant hey pay in. To use a crude (and to some, offensive) analogy, some states are the wealthy who pay the majority of the income taxes and some are the welfare mothers who qualify for the Earned Income Credit and get back more than they paid in.

If you believe the hype and rhetoric thrown around by the Republican party in the US, you might think that they were all from Giver states, being leeched by those income redistributing liberals who want a welfare state and want to destroy human motivation and competition in the interests of equality. You would be wrong.

Every year, a non profit research group named the Tax Foundation, studies how much each state receives in federal benefits and compares that to the amount it pays in federal taxes. The article linked above notes

"For example, according to the most recent data, for every dollar the average North Dakotan paid in federal taxes, he received $2.07 in federal benefits. But while someone in Fargo was doubling his money, his counterpart in neighboring Minnesota was being shortchanged. For every dollar Minnesotans sent to Washington, only 77 cents in federal spending flowed back to the state."

In their analysis, 33 states were classified as Takers, while 16 were Givers. Only Indiana manages to find that perfect and serene balance of getting back every dollar they put in.

But how did those states vote in 2000?

"George W. Bush was the candidate of the Taker states. Al Gore was the candidate of the Giver states.


78 percent of Mr. Bush's electoral votes came from Taker states.

76 percent of Mr. Gore's electoral votes came from Giver states.

Of the 33 Taker states, Mr. Bush carried 25.

Of the 16 Giver states, Mr. Gore carried 12."

Have Republicans become the party of the welfare state? It certainly seems so, at least in the realm of federal spending.

Welcome--more coming soon, I promise.

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