Just taking a moment to introduce myself. I am a political independent who tends toward the progressive on most issues, but strongly to the conservative on a few. While I am supporting Barack Obama for reelection, I am not tied to the Democrat party in any way - I actually volunteered for the campaign of Brett Schundler (Republican) for governor of my state a few years back. I still like to consider myself mostly libertarian in philosophy, stressing mostly the socially liberal nature of the ideology, but temper all my views with pragmatism. Some consider me a Democrat, but the truth is, I'm more of an 'anti-Republican' with how that party has swung so very far to the right in recent years. Yes, I believe the Tea Party has been the ruination of the Republican party, and if they are not checked, they will be the ruination of America. I'm sorry if that offends some who consider themselves Tea Party Republicans, but that's how I see it. I try to converse civilly with anyone who wants to talk, but I do have a somewhat short patience queue, so if you treat me like crap, I'll tend to dish it back to you pretty quickly. I hope we can have some great intellectual discussions, even if they get occasionally heated.