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Calling all Libtards - Can Anyone Govern Around Here? (Edited 01/03/13 10:24PM by Eric_)
Hello, Lib-tards. The fiscal cliff deal has been passed, and not surprisingly, it's awful. Everyone is pissed off at everyone, and with good reason. The 113th Congress convened for the first time today. John Boehner barely held on to his Speakership, we now have Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Tammy Baldwin, and Allen West and Joe Walsh are long gone from this swamp. So it's not *all* bad, just mostly.

Please remember that all opinions are welcome, but this poll is geared towards the liberals here. So it can and often gets heated, so if you can't take the heat stay out of the poll. And let's all remember the CoC. Basically, don't be like our politicians, but disagree without being disagreeable.

*bangs gavel*
| Closed on 02/03/13 at 10:00PM
FanIQ Pts? No | Locker Room, Politics | Numeric Input Opinion Poll
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291.4441. Calling all Libtards - Can Anyone Govern Around Here?

 &nbp;
TOP COMMENT * * * * * * * * * * * *
#51 | 629 days ago

(Edited by ohwell_)
I was thinking Realist Room.  Every one knows  realism is a liberal idea.
  
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#1 | 636 days ago

Can I get a witness?!!

Thanks for this.  

After arguing for 4 hours with a friend over the payroll tax changes, his Karl Rove parroting, description of the 47%,
culminated into my posting this nifty little cartoon.   We are no longer speaking.  

scumbag grandpa joe

Forbes has a good breakdown of the payroll tax changes.  http://www.forbes.com/sites/thesba/2013/01/02/4-important-2013-payroll-updates-tax-changes-for-small-business/     
#2 | 636 days ago

I'm still reading through it...some of it is laughable, but they did it...yeah right. I stopped my musings to watch the special on the 100 something women in the House/Senate (it was news worthy due to that's a lot of v****a power). Will continue reading and comment back. Found it interesting that a lot of the outgoing voted for.....apparently no further public service will be done by those folks. ok going now....be warned.....
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#3 | 636 days ago

So, why is the deal mostly garbage? Let's look through it piece by piece (source for this is of course Wonkblog).

Tax rates will permanently rise to Clinton-era levels for families with income above $450,000 and individuals above $400,000. All income below the threshold will permanently be taxed at Bush-era rates.

Remember the $250k threshold? Deader than my dating prospects. This is huge for those making 250-500k, who either don't see a tax increase or a very small one (remember the concept of marginal tax rates). Meanwhile, all the other budget busting tax cuts are now permanent. Good luck changing that anytime soon.

The tax on capital gains and dividends will be permanently set at 20 percent for those with income above the $450,000/$400,000 threshold. It will remain at 15 percent for everyone else. (Clinton-era rates were 20 percent for capital gains and taxed dividends as ordinary income, with a top rate of 39.6 percent.)

Not sure why capital gains are only 20%, but at least it went back to Clinton-era, so OK, fine. Why dividends are that way too is moronic. Who owns individual stocks and receives dividends? Not us little folk.

The estate tax will be set at 40 percent with a $5 million exemption. That threshold will be indexed to inflation, as a concession to Republicans and some Democrats in rural areas like Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mt.).

Whatever. I get the red state Democrats skittishness this due to big farms, except I'm pretty most family farms are going to stay under the exemption. At least there still is an estate tax.

The sequester will be delayed for two months. Half of the delay will be offset by discretionary cuts, split between defense and non-defense. The other half will be offset by revenue raised by the voluntary transfer of traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs, which would tax retirement savings when they’re moved over.

Joy, another chance for Republicans to extract a pound of flesh! The latter thing is pure budget gimmicky, getting revenue now by forgoing it later when the tradition IRAs would've been taxed at withdraw.

The pay freeze on members of Congress, which Obama had lifted earlier this year, will be re-imposed.

This includes federal employees as well. No .5 percent raise for us!

The 2009 expansion of tax breaks for low-income Americans: the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, and the American Opportunity Tax Credit will be extended for five years.

Thumbs up on that.

The Alternative Minimum Tax will be permanently patched to avoid raising taxes on the middle-class.

The AMT is a pain in the ass to learn by the way. That's all I got.

The deal will not address the debt-ceiling, and the payroll tax holiday will be allowed to expire.

*********** ********** ************* ********* ***** ***** ************ ****

In non-profanity terms, the debt ceiling means another fiscal crisis in two months, and the payroll tax holiday ending means that yes, we all got our taxes raised. In the long run, this was probably necessary because I'm still convinced part of the motivation of it was to hurt the future viability of Social Security, but for now it is anti-stimulative and could be a drag. The paycheck I get tomorrow has already taken this into account.

Two limits on tax exemptions and deductions for higher-income Americans will be reimposed: Personal Exemption Phaseout (PEP) and the itemized deduction limitation (Pease) kicks in at will be set at $250,000 for singles and $300,000 for families.

I'll need to look later at exactly what this entails. For now though, a tentative thumbs up.

The full package of temporary business tax breaks — benefiting everything from R&D and wind energy to race-car track owners — will be extended for another year.

Hey, remember when tax reform was the it thing? *Price is Right loser horn*

One plus in this that transit benefits went up to match parking subsidies, which is a big plus for me.

Scheduled cuts to doctors under Medicare would be avoided for a year through spending cuts that haven’t been specified.

Yay, meaningless lack of specificity!

Federal unemployment insurance will be extended for another year, benefiting those unemployed for longer than 26 weeks. This $30 billion provision won’t be offset.

Wooo, an actual piece of stimulus!

A nine-month farm bill fix will be attached to the deal, Sen. Debbie Stabenow told reporters, averting the newly dubbed milk cliff.

The question here is how bad do food stamps get cut in that.

So yes, there are some good parts, but those are minor details. In the big picture, the big plus was that Social Security and Medicare were not touched. Otherwise, Obama caved on the 250k threshold, which he only campaigned on for a year. Even worse, there are now 3 separate things in March that could cause all hell to break lose: the debt ceiling, Sequestration 2, and the expiration of the current CR to fund the government March 27. Professional Villager Moron Chuck Todd already coined it as March Madness, so don't bother.

Does anyone think Obama will actually hold firm with any of these? The Democrats? No, of course not. They specialize in negotiating with themselves, and everyone knows it. Some of them even push for such garbage as raising the Medicare age (*cough* Ed Rendell *cough*). Meanwhile, Republicans aren't going to get less intransigent* or extreme. Mitch McConnell will still filibuster everything (barring real filibuster reform, which is still up in the air), and John Boehner will still have little success controlling his caucus. It's a recipe for disaster. This isn't any way to govern a nation. It's beyond embarrassing, and I don't know about you guys, but it does not make me very confident for 2013. There are signs the economy might have a real recovery this year, but these bozos are gonna blow it. Ugh.

* I actually spelled this word right without looking it up. I need help.

*Also note that the line of asterisks was just my finger on the button, so don't try to match it up with actual profanity.
#4 | 635 days ago

Not being a libtard...let me put in a few cents.....

I don't proclaim to be super proficient in this....but (as Marissa Tomei said in "My Cousin Vinny).."Now I ax ya...."

Why, with an increase in tax on the "income" rich people (people who get a salary for doing what they do) do they think that's gonna stimulate the economy, especially without spending cuts?  What it WILL do is cause those "income" people to tighten their belts...maybe not hire more people for their companies...

Now, let me ax ya....Guys like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates...the Kennedy clan...the "super rich" who may not take salaries..why weren't their taxes raised?  Yeah, you can argue that they will pay more, but with this deal (I believe), Buffett will STILL pay a lower percentage in taxes than his secretary.

Personally, I think that tax cuts are the way to stimulate the economy, and get a change in the way congress does business.  The problem with the tax cuts is the freaking congress who gets extra money from the cuts in taxes (it happened with Kennedy, Reagan and Bush-money to the treasury actually increased, but congress spent it before they had it and then some) and that's where the deficits come in.  If I ran my business the way congress did, I'd be in jail.  Take Hurricane Sandy...I couldn't work for a week, then only sporadically for the 2nd week-no power at the office, people not able to get out of their homes, etc.  I had to cut my spending back for the month of November because I knew that the ins. co money would not be coming in.  I did not keep spending levels the same...I cut back, which Congress seems to be reluctant to do. 

One other thing about Congress that bothers me..."baseline Budgeting".  Say ,for instance that a program in place is scheduled to have a 5% increase for next year, yet the cost of the program is only 1% higher...what happens to that 4%?  Any congressman that says that we should only increase the budget 2% the next year is accused of "cutting" the program, when the $$ actually spent is higher!  Oh well...I could never be a politician...I'm too honest...
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#5 | 635 days ago

In all my years of being politically aware, I have never seen anything like this. Now, I am not going to pretend like I understand it because I don't. It's economics and therefore a foreign language to me. What pisses me off is the g.o.p. hurting this country out of spite! And that's all it came down to.  Then, to not pass the sandy relief bill was criminal.   Shame on them, and I hope Boehner gets whats coming to him, unemployment. 
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#6 | 635 days ago

"...they need to see their work as 'governing' rather than 'giving in.'" - some dude on the money channel who looks kind of like a bird muppet. i thought it was perfectly worded.
#7 | 635 days ago

ms_hippie_queen wrote:
"...they need to see their work as 'governing' rather than 'giving in.'" - some dude on the money channel who looks kind of like a bird muppet. i thought it was perfectly worded.
Did you pass the money channel on your way to hub to watch Animaniacs?
#8 | 635 days ago

(Edited by icfeet)
cubsgirl wrote:
In all my years of being politically aware, I have never seen anything like this. Now, I am not going to pretend like I understand it because I don't. It's economics and therefore a foreign language to me. What pisses me off is the g.o.p. hurting this country out of spite! And that's all it came down to.  Then, to not pass the sandy relief bill was criminal.   Shame on them, and I hope Boehner gets whats coming to him, unemployment. 
As one of the areas that will benefit from Hurricane Sandy Relief, I, too was amazed at some inaction.....but I wm ALSO amazed at some of the PORK that's in the bill...$150 million in fisheries as far away as Alaska...$5.3 billion for Army Corps of Engineers (more than their annual budget) with NO statement of priorities on how to spend the money...things like THAT.  Pulling out my Marissa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny again....Now I ax ya....If you have a bill for hurricane relief, and you vote against it because of the pork....do you think the voters are gonna care from your home district?  Just like when the Mississippi overflowed its banks back in 94....there was flood relief...but also $$ for playgrounds in California...things that had NOTHING to do with the people who were in need...

The area is still a disaster here.  Some homes still have no natural gas or electricity.  Homes have been demolished...it looks like a war zone.  The main road on the barrier island that leads to Seaside Heights (erstwhile home to Snooki and her ilk) was completely demolished.  On Monday, 10 WEEKS after the storm, common folk will be allowed on to the island to look around.  Up until now, you had to either be a contractor, or had to own the home.  They were closing the island at 4 pm every day for those people.  New Year's Eve they celebrated at 1 pm because "It was the New Year in Europe and Asia"
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#9 | 635 days ago

kobe_lova wrote:
Did you pass the money channel on your way to hub to watch Animaniacs?
as if. the money channel stays on all day at my house. i saw a stressed out guy smash a pea with a hammer on monday. so sometimes it's entertaining.
#10 | 635 days ago

ms_hippie_queen wrote:
as if. the money channel stays on all day at my house. i saw a stressed out guy smash a pea with a hammer on monday. so sometimes it's entertaining.
I see.
#11 | 635 days ago

icfeet wrote:
As one of the areas that will benefit from Hurricane Sandy Relief, I, too was amazed at some inaction.....but I wm ALSO amazed at some of the PORK that's in the bill...$150 million in fisheries as far away as Alaska...$5.3 billion for Army Corps of Engineers (more than their annual budget) with NO statement of priorities on how to spend the money...things like THAT.  Pulling out my Marissa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny again....Now I ax ya....If you have a bill for hurricane relief, and you vote against it because of the pork....do you think the voters are gonna care from your home district?  Just like when the Mississippi overflowed its banks back in 94....there was flood relief...but also $$ for playgrounds in California...things that had NOTHING to do with the people who were in need...

The area is still a disaster here.  Some homes still have no natural gas or electricity.  Homes have been demolished...it looks like a war zone.  The main road on the barrier island that leads to Seaside Heights (erstwhile home to Snooki and her ilk) was completely demolished.  On Monday, 10 WEEKS after the storm, common folk will be allowed on to the island to look around.  Up until now, you had to either be a contractor, or had to own the home.  They were closing the island at 4 pm every day for those people.  New Year's Eve they celebrated at 1 pm because "It was the New Year in Europe and Asia"
Ok, I'm a little lost. Why the new years eve at 2 for one thing.    I get the pork I do, but, why did 34 republicans vote no?  Because they are unwilling to work with this President.   They have at every turn, made sure that he faces resistance from them. 
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#12 | 635 days ago

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#13 | 635 days ago

You all realize the debt ceiling is not a cap on spending right?
It just means what we are supposed to be paying back.
#14 | 635 days ago

always find it amusing congress' definition of middle class is $200,000 or less per year and those douchebags earn just under that. also amusing is the pay freeze for congress. I believe (not 100% certain)  the original constitution and bill of rights would have made it illegal for these douchebags to raise their salary without WE THE PEOPLE letting them.  that little gem of law had to be erased by the founding douchebags in order to get it ratified.   who says they didn't have a vision for the future.
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#15 | 635 days ago

icfeet wrote:
As one of the areas that will benefit from Hurricane Sandy Relief, I, too was amazed at some inaction.....but I wm ALSO amazed at some of the PORK that's in the bill...$150 million in fisheries as far away as Alaska...$5.3 billion for Army Corps of Engineers (more than their annual budget) with NO statement of priorities on how to spend the money...things like THAT.  Pulling out my Marissa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny again....Now I ax ya....If you have a bill for hurricane relief, and you vote against it because of the pork....do you think the voters are gonna care from your home district?  Just like when the Mississippi overflowed its banks back in 94....there was flood relief...but also $$ for playgrounds in California...things that had NOTHING to do with the people who were in need...

The area is still a disaster here.  Some homes still have no natural gas or electricity.  Homes have been demolished...it looks like a war zone.  The main road on the barrier island that leads to Seaside Heights (erstwhile home to Snooki and her ilk) was completely demolished.  On Monday, 10 WEEKS after the storm, common folk will be allowed on to the island to look around.  Up until now, you had to either be a contractor, or had to own the home.  They were closing the island at 4 pm every day for those people.  New Year's Eve they celebrated at 1 pm because "It was the New Year in Europe and Asia"
there would be more than ample relief  if the National Hurricane Center had given this storm a Pakistani name.
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#16 | 634 days ago

yeah, taxes go up on the rich... garbage.  Taxes don't go up on the middle class... garbage.  Oh right, the new middle class of 200K a year.  We all would love to make 200K a year.  How about a new definition of welfare... those that are doing well try to be fair.  Sorry, what came over me????  I guess I'm a commie pinko from Kalifornia that hates AK47's and people with elevators to their multi-tier parking garages in their homes.  GO 1%!  You are the real patriots!
#17 | 634 days ago

I don't believe this was designed as a way to stimulate the economy.  Was the first step in tax fairness.  Next redesign the tax code.  And yes, cut spending... but not Medicare... are you kidding me?  Or SS?  People paid into that all their lives.  You can't screw them.  Yeah, build a few less cruise missiles.  Maybe withdraw troops from half the countries around the world.  And stop adding pork to bills; slipping in extra programs that have nothing to do with the original bill.
#18 | 634 days ago

kobe_lova wrote:
I see.
He might have lost the molars
#19 | 634 days ago

They saw the movie THELMA AND LOUISE once too many times... At least they were hot.
#20 | 634 days ago

icfeet wrote:
Not being a libtard...let me put in a few cents.....

I don't proclaim to be super proficient in this....but (as Marissa Tomei said in "My Cousin Vinny).."Now I ax ya...."

Why, with an increase in tax on the "income" rich people (people who get a salary for doing what they do) do they think that's gonna stimulate the economy, especially without spending cuts?  What it WILL do is cause those "income" people to tighten their belts...maybe not hire more people for their companies...

Now, let me ax ya....Guys like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates...the Kennedy clan...the "super rich" who may not take salaries..why weren't their taxes raised?  Yeah, you can argue that they will pay more, but with this deal (I believe), Buffett will STILL pay a lower percentage in taxes than his secretary.

Personally, I think that tax cuts are the way to stimulate the economy, and get a change in the way congress does business.  The problem with the tax cuts is the freaking congress who gets extra money from the cuts in taxes (it happened with Kennedy, Reagan and Bush-money to the treasury actually increased, but congress spent it before they had it and then some) and that's where the deficits come in.  If I ran my business the way congress did, I'd be in jail.  Take Hurricane Sandy...I couldn't work for a week, then only sporadically for the 2nd week-no power at the office, people not able to get out of their homes, etc.  I had to cut my spending back for the month of November because I knew that the ins. co money would not be coming in.  I did not keep spending levels the same...I cut back, which Congress seems to be reluctant to do. 

One other thing about Congress that bothers me..."baseline Budgeting".  Say ,for instance that a program in place is scheduled to have a 5% increase for next year, yet the cost of the program is only 1% higher...what happens to that 4%?  Any congressman that says that we should only increase the budget 2% the next year is accused of "cutting" the program, when the $$ actually spent is higher!  Oh well...I could never be a politician...I'm too honest...
Going through this one by one.

Why, with an increase in tax on the "income" rich people (people who get a salary for doing what they do) do they think that's gonna stimulate the economy, especially without spending cuts?  What it WILL do is cause those "income" people to tighten their belts...maybe not hire more people for their companies...

First, nice insinuation that only rich people work. Second, no one think this is a stimulative measure, but if you need revenue to fix the deficit (which nobody actually cares about, but we'll ignore that for now), you need revenue, and that's where the revenue is, since the Bush tax cuts caused both a significant part of the deficit (that plus the wars) and an increase income inequality.

Increasing taxes on high income people is less anti-stimulative because there is no guarantee all that money was being spent, since unlike us regular people (and no, I don't consider you in that group of regular people), they don't have to spend 100% or close to it to live. It's not even that big a tax hike. It affects only 0.7% of taxpayers, and it's only a 4.6% increase on income over 450k. Everything else is the same. Take an example of someone with taxable income of $1,000,000. That's their taxable income *after their above the exemptions *and* their deductions. Only $550,000 of that gets taxed at the highest rate now. Doing the math:

($550,000 x 39.6%) - ($550,000 x 35%) = $25,300

Their real increase is $25,300, 2.53% of their taxable income, and less of their real income. Forgive me for not holding a pledge drive. Also, that's not going to hire much of anyone, certainly not in a job with any sort of future.

Also in terms of hiring, corporations are sitting on *billions* if not trillions of dollars by now, and they are not exactly hiring now, now are they. Why? Demand is still depressed. It's the same primary reason small business aren't hiring according to surveys (I'll need to find that at some point).

Now, let me ax ya....Guys like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates...the Kennedy clan...the "super rich" who may not take salaries..why weren't their taxes raised?  Yeah, you can argue that they will pay more, but with this deal (I believe), Buffett will STILL pay a lower percentage in taxes than his secretary.

Yes, the continuation of such things as carried interest are crap. This deal doesn't do a whole lot, if anything, to help the income inequality problem. The question is do you actually think income inequality is a problem?

(Also, stop with the Marisa Tomei thing. Stop pleading ignorance. You're a doctor and business owner, no one buys it.)

Personally, I think that tax cuts are the way to stimulate the economy, and get a change in the way congress does business.  The problem with the tax cuts is the freaking congress who gets extra money from the cuts in taxes (it happened with Kennedy, Reagan and Bush-money to the treasury actually increased, but congress spent it before they had it and then some) and that's where the deficits come in.

I had mentioned this to you in a previous thread (post 173) which you never responded to, and it looks I'm going to have to do so again. Once again, I present this chart. Let's note some things:
  • Reagan also raised taxes on occasion, and the increase in revenue started in 1983, when the economy picked back up.
  • Clinton famously raised taxes in 1993. Revenues increased every year of his presidency.
  • Under Bush, revenues declined in 2001, 2002, and 2003, the years both tax cuts were enacted and small recession in 2001. From there revenues went back up until 2008, when they dropped again. Why? The economy tanked of course. Rates correlate with revenue, but the economy itself likely correlates more, and higher taxes didn't stop the economy under Clinton.
  • The more important indicator though is receipts as a percentage of GDP. Under Clinton it went from 17.5% to 20.5%. Under Bush, it immediately started going down, going as low as 16.1%. It was 17.6% in 2008. It then dropped another 2% and is in the 15% range. It hasn't been that low since the Truman administration. Why? Because rates are still low and the economy tanked. Less people with jobs means less revenue plus more people using social insurance programs plus the aforementioned wars equals larger deficit.
If I ran my business the way congress did, I'd be in jail.  Take Hurricane Sandy...I couldn't work for a week, then only sporadically for the 2nd week-no power at the office, people not able to get out of their homes, etc.  I had to cut my spending back for the month of November because I knew that the ins. co money would not be coming in.  I did not keep spending levels the same...I cut back, which Congress seems to be reluctant to do.

A government is a much, much different beast than a business or a household. The responsibilities of a government are so much different than a business or a household that the comparison is just flat out wrong. That said, the deficit has been shrinking, both because people are slowly getting back to work, allowing for revenues to increase, and more importantly, because the last two years the conversation in DC has all been about the deficit. Contrary to popular belief, this includes the President. The debt ceiling deal cut spending $1 trillion. That plus the $600 billion in revenue from this deal essentially puts up close to European austerity. How's that working out for them?

In the short term though, this policy is nuts. Unemployment is still persistently high. The economy is growing, but not at a fast enough pace. We can borrow at negative interest rates right now. At this point, no one else in the world is worried about our deficit. If they were, it would show in those interest rates. Thus, why would you start austerity now, when you have the leeway to get the economy back on track before going to medium and long-term deficit reduction? That's basic Keynesian economics. All those deficit scolds basically admitted they believed in that when they freaked out over the fiscal cliff.

Despite that, here we are in a "debate" dominated by the right wing and the Pete Petersons of the world. Thus, instead of sane policy, we get this government by crisis that will probably end up in cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Ugh.
#21 | 634 days ago

Let me throw this in here too. A lot of companies are gearing towards what is called "lean management", I speak from what I have heard. Layoffs are coming, hours will be cut more, and there are certain industries that will kick your $25.00 an hour ass out for someone that will do it for $15. Thus unemployment rates will continue to rise, because you don't want to go to work for less than what you were making, cause...wait..you can collect unemployment while "actively looking" for work in your field. It seems to be a vicious circle....I'm still reading (shaking my head), but I am so disappointed in the folks that are in power.
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#22 | 634 days ago

Congress should have raised the rates on Capital Gains and dividends This is money the rich CEOs collect in place of salary. Since I have railed against CEO compensation for so long, I feel I should make this point here that unless these people (CEOs) are made to pay their fair share on this income, they still hold the world by the short ones.

Business education seemed to evolve in the 80s, and the focus changed from building products to building profits. Business went from companies which you could make a living working for, to companies run to create gains for those at the top. This is the rot in America...it is rotting from the top.   
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#23 | 633 days ago

The tax part of this deal doesn't bother me too much. It isn't good, and Republicans certainly won, but whatever. At least we symbolically made a move to do something right.

What bothers me most, is that we did nothing to address the actual Fiscal Cliff which is uncertainty and income inequality.  There's no reason to think we'll have a funded government that is open come March.  That's not going to get business's spending.  On the other side, as Eric covered, we still have far too depressed demand and that's coming in large part from a lack of a long term robust stimulus program.
#24 | 632 days ago

(Edited by Eric_)
A few thought nuggets;

1.) A former Republican Senator is now unacceptable to the GOP for Secretary of Defense. That's how bad it is now.

2.) A sign liberals completely lost the battle of surveillance and maybe Bush-era practices: CIA Director John Brennan

3.) Has everyone else noticed that while Democratic politicians are supposed to "stand up" to their base, Republican politicians are supposed to kowtow to theirs?

4.) Over the weekend, two professors from, where else, Harvard and Dartmouth, published an op-ed concern trolling over Social Security. They freak out because their numbers say the SS trust fund will run out two years earlier than SS itself projects, only mentions the real solution (lifting the cap) in passing, and says actuaries don't make statistical predictions, even though I'm pretty that's exactly what actuaries do. The Village is all about making the little people suffer, so expect more and more of this BS and our made up fiscal crises bloviate on.

5.) Two things I don't give a crap about: pork/earmarks and Congressional salaries. To me, both aren't even in the top 100 in major problems.
#25 | 631 days ago

Eric_ wrote:
A few thought nuggets;

1.) A former Republican Senator is now unacceptable to the GOP for Secretary of Defense. That's how bad it is now.

2.) A sign liberals completely lost the battle of surveillance and maybe Bush-era practices: CIA Director John Brennan

3.) Has everyone else noticed that while Democratic politicians are supposed to "stand up" to their base, Republican politicians are supposed to kowtow to theirs?

4.) Over the weekend, two professors from, where else, Harvard and Dartmouth, published an op-ed concern trolling over Social Security. They freak out because their numbers say the SS trust fund will run out two years earlier than SS itself projects, only mentions the real solution (lifting the cap) in passing, and says actuaries don't make statistical predictions, even though I'm pretty that's exactly what actuaries do. The Village is all about making the little people suffer, so expect more and more of this BS and our made up fiscal crises bloviate on.

5.) Two things I don't give a crap about: pork/earmarks and Congressional salaries. To me, both aren't even in the top 100 in major problems.
So, how does this President and democrats overcome the g.o.p? How do they stop this corporate party? 
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#26 | 631 days ago

cubsgirl wrote:
So, how does this President and democrats overcome the g.o.p? How do they stop this corporate party? 
GO TAKE A PAGE OUT OF THE FOUNDING FATHER BOOK!
#27 | 631 days ago

luciousj_s wrote:
GO TAKE A PAGE OUT OF THE FOUNDING FATHER BOOK!
No, you do that. And I also suggest you don't yell at me again. 
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#28 | 631 days ago

So I'm assuming if there are Lib-tards...there are Conserv-tards?  And I do object, personally, to the use of "Tard" short for
retarded.. I have friends with special needs kids that are wonderful kids... autism and to call them "retarded" is so old school
a uncaring and unfeeling.  A word that went out with queer and homo and a host of other horrible racist names.  I'm sure they
are still uttered in silence or in the minds of some but can't we back off the TARD thing?

Yeah, now I'm going to be called a tree-hugging commie from Kalifornia LOL... just making a point... something to think about.
Out with the "old" (way of thinking) and in with the "newer" civil discourse.
#29 | 631 days ago

PurrsAlot wrote:
So I'm assuming if there are Lib-tards...there are Conserv-tards?  And I do object, personally, to the use of "Tard" short for
retarded.. I have friends with special needs kids that are wonderful kids... autism and to call them "retarded" is so old school
a uncaring and unfeeling.  A word that went out with queer and homo and a host of other horrible racist names.  I'm sure they
are still uttered in silence or in the minds of some but can't we back off the TARD thing?

Yeah, now I'm going to be called a tree-hugging commie from Kalifornia LOL... just making a point... something to think about.
Out with the "old" (way of thinking) and in with the "newer" civil discourse.
Can I still call them a Re-Re?
#30 | 631 days ago

#31 | 631 days ago

Jason_ wrote:
Can I still call them a Re-Re?
...
#32 | 631 days ago

Jason_ wrote:
Can I still call them a Re-Re?
i can't stop anyone from doing or saying what they want.  That is your personal choice.
#33 | 631 days ago

PurrsAlot wrote:
i can't stop anyone from doing or saying what they want.  That is your personal choice.
Do clones have souls?
#34 | 631 days ago

cubsgirl wrote:
No, you do that. And I also suggest you don't yell at me again. 
oooooopps sorry sweetheart don't mean to make waves
#35 | 631 days ago

cubsgirl wrote:
No, you do that. And I also suggest you don't yell at me again. 
your question was " Can Anyone Govern Around Here?" I simply added the Founding Father of the Declaration of Independants"
#36 | 631 days ago

lmao
#37 | 631 days ago

cubsgirl wrote:
So, how does this President and democrats overcome the g.o.p? How do they stop this corporate party? 
Well, this President is right there with them.
Really, putting a Monsanto exec. in charge of our food supply/FDA????
Pfft.
You see my FB posts.  People need to WTFU and pay attention to what they are eating.
Check out HR137.  Requires small farmers to register their seeds with guvment.

I had some other stuff to say, but now I am all...indecision
#38 | 631 days ago

(Edited by cubsgirl)
PurrsAlot wrote:
So I'm assuming if there are Lib-tards...there are Conserv-tards?  And I do object, personally, to the use of "Tard" short for
retarded.. I have friends with special needs kids that are wonderful kids... autism and to call them "retarded" is so old school
a uncaring and unfeeling.  A word that went out with queer and homo and a host of other horrible racist names.  I'm sure they
are still uttered in silence or in the minds of some but can't we back off the TARD thing?

Yeah, now I'm going to be called a tree-hugging commie from Kalifornia LOL... just making a point... something to think about.
Out with the "old" (way of thinking) and in with the "newer" civil discourse.
No, we call them redumblicans. smiley

And no, we can't back off the libtard thing. I don't remember what poll it was, but, some lady that is no longer here, called us that. And we all cracked the hell up, and, it stuck. So here especially in this poll we are proud libtards. wink


And it has absolutely nothing to do with anyone who has disabilities. I was the one that started this poll, and never once has it been taken as demeaning to anyone. 
6  
#39 | 631 days ago

luciousj_s wrote:
oooooopps sorry sweetheart don't mean to make waves
Actually, I was asking the best way to stop the corporate party. And no problem.   smiley
6  
#40 | 631 days ago

cubsgirl wrote:
No, we call them redumblicans. smiley

And no, we can't back off the libtard thing. I don't remember what poll it was, but, some lady that is no longer here, called us that. And we all cracked the hell up, and, it stuck. So here especially in this poll we are proud libtards. wink


And it has absolutely nothing to do with anyone who has disabilities. I was the one that started this poll, and never once has it been taken as demeaning to anyone. 
thanks for your explanation 
i appreciate your position and no slight intended here

i guess in general people throw that around.  no biggie here
#41 | 631 days ago

PurrsAlot wrote:
So I'm assuming if there are Lib-tards...there are Conserv-tards?  And I do object, personally, to the use of "Tard" short for
retarded.. I have friends with special needs kids that are wonderful kids... autism and to call them "retarded" is so old school
a uncaring and unfeeling.  A word that went out with queer and homo and a host of other horrible racist names.  I'm sure they
are still uttered in silence or in the minds of some but can't we back off the TARD thing?

Yeah, now I'm going to be called a tree-hugging commie from Kalifornia LOL... just making a point... something to think about.
Out with the "old" (way of thinking) and in with the "newer" civil discourse.
The origins came from the original creator of the poll, as explained by her. Personally I'd be for changing, but I don't think there's much momentum for that with the rest of the caucus.
#42 | 631 days ago

Eric_ wrote:
The origins came from the original creator of the poll, as explained by her. Personally I'd be for changing, but I don't think there's much momentum for that with the rest of the caucus.
well I was only just bringing it up as a reminder to folks down the line 
not trying to change everyone... learned all to well that you can't change anyone 
has to be a personal choice
and based on what I have been told it seems to not be coming from any "malice" or "ill-will"

no worries
#43 | 631 days ago

how about Repugnant-cans!  lol
#44 | 631 days ago

next time someone calls you a "tree-hugging" liberal check this tree out LOL

#45 | 631 days ago

cubsgirl wrote:
So, how does this President and democrats overcome the g.o.p? How do they stop this corporate party? 
The question is do they even want to? Obama has in many respect governed as a moderate corporatist. In an interview a few weeks ago, he even compared himself to a moderate Republican. Look at how hard he negotiated for a "Grand Bargain." Look how he keeps trying to negotiate with the leader of feral children. Many of the Congressional Democrats are the same way. At one point do you conclude that entitlement cuts and other undesirable things is what they want?
#46 | 631 days ago

PurrsAlot wrote:
thanks for your explanation 
i appreciate your position and no slight intended here

i guess in general people throw that around.  no biggie here
And I get that. But, thats really not whats intented. It really was funny the day that woman called us that. And trust me, she meant it as a huge insult. smiley
6  
#47 | 631 days ago

Eric_ wrote:
The origins came from the original creator of the poll, as explained by her. Personally I'd be for changing, but I don't think there's much momentum for that with the rest of the caucus.
Eric, this is your poll now. You have taken it way beyond what I ever could have. If giving it a more serious name is what you want to do, then do it.   smiley


We will still call ourselves libtards.  wink
6  
#48 | 630 days ago

cubsgirl wrote:
Eric, this is your poll now. You have taken it way beyond what I ever could have. If giving it a more serious name is what you want to do, then do it.   smiley


We will still call ourselves libtards.  wink
Uh no. That's the name.
#49 | 630 days ago

Some people need to know when to shut up.
367  
#50 | 629 days ago

cubsgirl wrote:
Eric, this is your poll now. You have taken it way beyond what I ever could have. If giving it a more serious name is what you want to do, then do it.   smiley


We will still call ourselves libtards.  wink
I was going gonna go with DFH, aka Dirty F'ing Hippie.
#51 | 629 days ago

(Edited by ohwell_)
I was thinking Realist Room.  Every one knows  realism is a liberal idea.
#52 | 629 days ago

Eric_ wrote:
I was going gonna go with DFH, aka Dirty F'ing Hippie.
um, ok indecision
6  
#53 | 629 days ago

(Edited by Eric_)
My nuggets for the day. I'm thinking I'll do this semi-regularly and see if any of it turns into discussion.

1.) As I said in today's F/E, it was reported that essentially every civilian employee of DoD (*ahem*) will be furloughed for a month if sequester happens. As you might guess, that is a problem for me. I hate it because while I don't want an awful deal, I pretty much have to want *any* deal, because a month of no pay is bad news.

2.) Relatedly, I want to point out that yes, I am still very much for cuts to defense, but not this way and in a way that's as painless to DoD employees as possible. That said, I'm definitely banking on being in small auditing agency will help if the furloughs turn into layoffs.

3.) Speaking of government employment, take a look at figures from all levels of government employment under Obama. Expanded government my ass.

4.) Kudos to Nicholas Confessore of the New York Times for exposing Fix the Debt in the mainstream media for what is, a corporate lobbying group with many former Congresscritters as their bag men. In a related story, I don't think I've ever loathed a so-called Democrat more than I loathe Erskine Bowles.

5.) Mint the coin is a gimmick, but if that's what it takes, do it. The only negative is the GOP will immediately start impeachment proceedings (which frankly I suspect will happen at some point in the second term for some reason to be determined), but default is not an option. Period.

6.) Shocking, the fundamentalist pastor originally selected to do the Inauguration benediction withdrew because it turns out he's given anti-gay sermons. When I first heard of this, I was doubly annoyed. Firstly because I don't see why the inauguration needs such religious ceremonies (I know I'm fighting a losing battle on that one). Second though because why does Obama keep trying to put out an olive branch to these people. The worst part of the first inauguration was Rick Warren. Do you see why I'm starting to wonder if Obama actually believes this crap?

7.) Also shocking, the White House brought up some minor executive orders involving gun control, and the gun nuts lose their minds.

8.) Almost forgot, I'm seeing Paul Krugman later this month! It was a great deal too, $18 for a ticket to his talk *and* a copy of his book.

9.) Also almost forgot, if you haven't been watching the Daily Show this week, go back and watch them. Jon has been killing it this week.
#54 | 629 days ago

The biggest money sucking and over man-powered is Homeland Security.  Check the employment roles on that monster of
a govt program.  It's out of control.  I say we cut congress pensions.  

Homeland security has almost 500,000 employees and they are all eligible for health benefits and full pensions.  
#55 | 628 days ago

California
13  
#56 | 628 days ago

kteacher wrote:
California
great state
#57 | 628 days ago
Nick__ (+)

We're all f**ked!  frown
2013  
#58 | 628 days ago

Nick__ wrote:
We're all f**ked!  frown
literally or figuratively?  lol
#59 | 628 days ago

(Edited by Eric_)
Nick__ wrote:
We're all f**ked!  frown
There's a reason I've been telling you all that for some time now. I'm not sure what straw broke the camel's back for you, but welcome aboard!
#60 | 628 days ago

Eric_ wrote:
There's a reason I've been telling you all that for some time now. I'm not sure what straw broke the camel's back for you, but welcome aboard!
who are you calling a broad?  LOL
#61 | 628 days ago

Today's nuggets:

1.) I'm tabling the Homeland Security until Monday because I don't want to deal with it on the weekend. Prepare to learn exactly what the federal employee retirement system is though.

2.) Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia will not seek reelection in 2014. As you can probably guess, this become a huge pick up opportunity for the GOP. I'll have the full Senate 2014 list at some point.

3.) Louisiana is attempting to scrap their income and corporate taxes. To pay for it, sales taxes would go up. This of course would be a boon to the rich, who don't spend all their money, and awful to the middle class and poor, who basically have to spend all their money. Bobby Jindal apparently wants to turn Louisiana into Texas.

4.) Also in politicians being pieces of *bleep*, Michael Bloomberg is now going to restrict prescription painkillers in emergency rooms. This thread at Eschaton tells us a lot of stories on how most places, asking for painkillers is perceived as you being a druggie, even by doctors. I have not experienced this personally, but it does not surprise me.
#62 | 625 days ago

ohwell_ wrote:
I was thinking Realist Room.  Every one knows  realism is a liberal idea.
I've always been a realist, but I never even realized I was a liberal until my mom started turning her nose up at me. lol
#63 | 625 days ago

PurrsAlot wrote:
The biggest money sucking and over man-powered is Homeland Security.  Check the employment roles on that monster of
a govt program.  It's out of control.  I say we cut congress pensions.  

Homeland security has almost 500,000 employees and they are all eligible for health benefits and full pensions.  
Homeland Security is a department I never felt should have been created to begin with.  And has done nothing but get bigger while not really doing anything other pre 9/11 agencies could have done.

It's one of many Federal Govt agencies that are redundant and ought to vanish.  IMHO.
#64 | 624 days ago
Nick__ (+)

NY Passes Nations First Gun Bill Law since Newtown, CT Shooting!     yes


43-18 was the vote in favor of the new Law!
2013  
#65 | 624 days ago

Nick__ wrote:
NY Passes Nations First Gun Bill Law since Newtown, CT Shooting!     yes


43-18 was the vote in favor of the new Law!
I hope I never meet those 18 that voted against it.  Finally some sanity from somewhere.
#66 | 624 days ago

PurrsAlot wrote:
The biggest money sucking and over man-powered is Homeland Security.  Check the employment roles on that monster of
a govt program.  It's out of control.  I say we cut congress pensions.  

Homeland security has almost 500,000 employees and they are all eligible for health benefits and full pensions.  
While Homeland Security was an unnecessary addition, pretty much all of the agencies under it would exist regardless. It's a mishmash of stuff like ICE/Customs and Border Protection, FEMA, the Secret Service, and the Coast Guard. The biggest boondoggle is probably TSA, but that's a symptom of a larger problem, not the cause. Yes, government employee get health benefits. So?

As for pensions, "full pension" is mostly a misnomer now. The old program, the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), is pretty close. It essentially provides for 85% of the average of one's high 3 yearly salaries per year. CSRS covered employees do not pay Social Security tax, and thus do not receive Social Security. In 1987, that law changed. Anyone entering federal service starting Jan. 1, 1987 is on the new system. As you can guess, those under this systems are rapidly shrinking for the workforce.

The "new" system, Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), is what I'm under. It has three parts to it:

1.) The Defined Benefit Plan - For every year worked, you get 1% of your high 3 every year. After 20 years, they make it 1.1%, as long you retire at or after 62. For example, if I work 30 years and my high 3 is $100,000, I would get a third of that a year (33.3% x 100,000). Note that assumes I'd be at or over 62 after 30 years, which I wouldn't be. It would take me 40 years to get to 62.

2.) Social Security - Not exactly feeling great about that one, since I assume Our Galtan Overloads in conjunction with the Very Serious People will steal that long before it's my turn to receive it.

3.) The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) - Just like a regular 401(k), only for feds, with the same risks every other 401(k) or similar plan has. The government kicks it 1% automatically and matches up to 5%.

Keep in mind this could still be tweaked by Congress at any time.

Obviously, I'm well aware this is a more generous retirement package that just about anybody gets, but to call it a "full pension" for most of us is a misnomer. Of course, I'm not really surprised. This is a country full of stupid, selfish, vindictive people. Usually it's "I've got mine, *bleep* you," but the corollary of that is "You have something I don't have, so *bleep* you you can't have it anymore." That's what people think now instead of asking "Where can I get that too?" All that does is create a race to the bottom.
#67 | 623 days ago

"It would take me 40 years to get to 62."


besides that little misnomer (because I may be really bad at math, i'm not that bad)
 yes to everything else
367  
#68 | 623 days ago

JenX63 wrote:
"It would take me 40 years to get to 62."


besides that little misnomer (because I may be really bad at math, i'm not that bad)
 yes to everything else
Sorry. What I meant is I won't be 62, and thus eligible for 1.1% a year instead of 1%, until 40 years of working, not the 30 I put in the example for simplicity, which apparently just made it more complicated. Oops. blush
#69 | 623 days ago

I haven't had the chance yet to go through and see what the President proposes today on gun control (nor have I seen any of the freakout that I know happened, a plus for my blood pressure). However, I'm guessing no matter what it was, something I posted in F/E last month covers it, so I'm reposting it here.

1.) The NRA is a lobbying organization for gun manufacturers. That is their goal. That's why they called for more guns, because then their clients will make more money. That's what it's about. If you joined the NRA and paid dues thinking they were representing your interests, you were duped.

2.) No, more gun control won't make all violent crime and gun violence go away, but note that other countries have strict gun laws and this doesn't happen, or at least when it does, it's very rare (like the massacre in Norway last year).

3.) In that same vein, don't you at least have to try and make it harder for potential mass shooters to get guns? It's so ridiculously easy now that it has to change (see: the gun show loophole).

4.) All I have to say about the "if you ban guns, only criminals will have guns" thing is if you went by that logic, you wouldn't have laws. It's just like saying "if you ban drunk driving, only criminals will drive drunk."

5.) In the end, I suspect for many of these gun nuts, there's a fantasy of being that hero (see: Zimmerman, George) or the guy who saves his family from a burglar (they're called home security systems), which is a problem since that equates hero to killing.

In the end, if we just throw up our hands and say "nothing can be done," then it says something about this country, and what it says isn't good. There are so many ideas out there: assault weapons ban, ban on extended magazines, taxing ammo, requiring liability insurance on guns. Some of those might help, some might not. Maybe there's a better idea I don't know/haven't thought of, but something has to happen, or they'll be another atrocity, and another, and another...

TLDR version? While there is no guarantee any of Obama's proposals get through Congress, or even get a vote, you have to at least try. It won't solve all the problems either, nothing well, but again, you have to at least try. You just have to. Something good can still come out of it.
#70 | 622 days ago

Who knew clones were so political?
#71 | 622 days ago

Presented without comment.
#72 | 622 days ago

Eric_ wrote:
Presented without comment.
Very interesting. Thank you
367  
#73 | 618 days ago

So, that speech, eh? Best place to read about that is almost certainly the incomparable Charlie Pierce.

(Warning: What is about to come is even more self-serving amateur political oratory than usual from me, which is saying something. You should probably stop reading now.)

Because I'm an inevitably selfish person, as most of us all are, my thoughts for today came back to what I was doing four years ago, when I was one of the hundreds of thousand who came to the Mall to see this President inaugurated for the first time. At the time, I'm pretty sure I realized that Obama was not a far-left liberal at all, but rather a pragmatic center-left politician. I think I did anyway; my memory isn't strong enough to fully determine if that is hindsight talking. As these four years have gone by, and I've changed, and Obama has governed in a clear center-right manner if anything, my opinion of the man has certainly changed. I've called him out plenty in this space, as have liberals all over. That's reason one I was not among the throngs this year.

In hindsight, I don't think Obama changed. This is how he's always been, and liberal speech aside today, it's up to him to show that he has changed without the specter of re-election. What did change was me. Four years ago I thought there were some sensible Republicans out there. I thought bipartisanship might have still been possible. I still liked Chuck Todd. Outside of Krugman, I was mostly still consuming "traditional" media. All of that has changed over the last four years. I realized for good how bankrupt conservative ideology truly is, and how craven the GOP really is. I realized how useless the courier press truly is with their false equivalencies and calls for bipartisanship that somehow only implicate Democrats.

Long story short, I became not just a liberal, but a full-throated unabashed liberal. I went from rarely participating in these threads to be selected (thanks Glenda) as its caretaker. Writing long posts like these about politics, especially when it's challenging what I perceive to be BS, is something I've realized I like to do very much, even if no one is reading.

Of course, part of that liberalness is seeing that President Obama is not one, or at least hasn't governed like one. Between the drones, caving to people who want to destroy him, and still acting like he can fix Washington, it's been frustrating. That said, it's still better than the alternative: a Plutocrat's Plutocrat and his assistant the Koch bought Randian disciple. It's a sad commentary on things, but that's how it is. That's why this time it's more a relief that the Obamas still live in the White House instead of jubilation. Maybe this speech is an opening salvo of a different Obama, one ready to fight. We'll see if he can actually do it.

*reads that over* Wow, that was worse than I thought. If you read this whole thing, I'm sorry.
#74 | 617 days ago

(Edited by kobe_lova)
I read the whole thing.... I never thought Obama was a liberal, though. True liberals can't be president. You really need a healthy middle, though there will never be one because america insists* on forcing people one way or the other. 

I don't know what this means: a Plutocrat's Plutocrat and his assistant the Koch bought Randian disciple
#75 | 617 days ago

kobe_lova wrote:
I read the whole thing.... I never thought Obama was a liberal, though. True liberals can't be president. You really need a healthy middle, though there will never be one because america insists* on forcing people one way or the other. 

I don't know what this means: a Plutocrat's Plutocrat and his assistant the Koch bought Randian disciple
I was trying to get one last dig on the Republican ticket. Romney is the Plutocrat's Plutocrat (meaning he's the embodiment of the super rich). Paul Ryan is the Koch bought (meaning Koch brothers) Randian disciple (meanwhile he worships Ayn Rand). Sorry, poor word choices there.

Let's just say I disagree with you strongly on needing a "healthy middle," mostly because how do you determine what the middle is? If it the middle as the pundits define it, then you're essentially talking about the policies of the mainstream Democratic Party, which said pundits don't realize because they are vacuous twits. Remember, it's the Democrats that are always told to move to the middle and "stand up" to their base, while the Republicans 100% cater to their base.
#76 | 617 days ago

You know it was a good Inaugural Address when Republicans are crying about it, as best shown by former Bush lackey Michael Gerson. I'm really tired of this meme that the problem in Washington are Obama's fault because he won't play nice with people who hate him and want to destroy him. Drives me nuts how much the media fixates on Republicans and their hurt fee fees.

Also, if you think losing the elections will keep the GOP from dirty tricks and outright power grabs, think again.
#77 | 617 days ago

Eric_ wrote:
I was trying to get one last dig on the Republican ticket. Romney is the Plutocrat's Plutocrat (meaning he's the embodiment of the super rich). Paul Ryan is the Koch bought (meaning Koch brothers) Randian disciple (meanwhile he worships Ayn Rand). Sorry, poor word choices there.

Let's just say I disagree with you strongly on needing a "healthy middle," mostly because how do you determine what the middle is? If it the middle as the pundits define it, then you're essentially talking about the policies of the mainstream Democratic Party, which said pundits don't realize because they are vacuous twits. Remember, it's the Democrats that are always told to move to the middle and "stand up" to their base, while the Republicans 100% cater to their base.
OH! Thank you.

And, I guess and I am talking about the middle as the pundits define it, and yes, that's exactly how I know it will never happen. Any ideology coming from the democratic party is met with deathmatch type opposition because of party affiliation. People spend too much time choosing sides. But, I suppose you have to, being that these parties back and fund the candidate they think will win for them. It's a game...football, I think.  It's not like most true independents will ever be the frontrunners in an election. Healthy middle (in my mind, working theory) would only come close to being achieved if no candidate's "party" was ever mentioned. There would be no dem or rep on the ballot, no paid for by this particular group of idiots on the commercials, no little animals at war, just the candidates issues. Of course, I have no idea how the political news media factors, I'm sure they will dissect and tell america which is which so they probably need to go, too. Actual people can lean extreme left on one issue, and extreme right on another, so I'm sure presidential candidates do as well. If a candidate could be honest about that without fear of losing their backing or alienating their party, I think people would be forced to make a more informed decision as opposed to voting straight down a line. Forgive me if this makes no sense. 
#78 | 617 days ago

kobe_lova wrote:
OH! Thank you.

And, I guess and I am talking about the middle as the pundits define it, and yes, that's exactly how I know it will never happen. Any ideology coming from the democratic party is met with deathmatch type opposition because of party affiliation. People spend too much time choosing sides. But, I suppose you have to, being that these parties back and fund the candidate they think will win for them. It's a game...football, I think.  It's not like most true independents will ever be the frontrunners in an election. Healthy middle (in my mind, working theory) would only come close to being achieved if no candidate's "party" was ever mentioned. There would be no dem or rep on the ballot, no paid for by this particular group of idiots on the commercials, no little animals at war, just the candidates issues. Of course, I have no idea how the political news media factors, I'm sure they will dissect and tell america which is which so they probably need to go, too. Actual people can lean extreme left on one issue, and extreme right on another, so I'm sure presidential candidates do as well. If a candidate could be honest about that without fear of losing their backing or alienating their party, I think people would be forced to make a more informed decision as opposed to voting straight down a line. Forgive me if this makes no sense. 
Here's where we differ. I don't think there are that many true independents. It showed in this last election. Romney won independents and still got beaten decisively. I think most people who call themselves independents in reality lean one way or the other and for whatever reason don't want to declare a party (the cynical side of me say it's to feel superior to those with a party affiliation, but whatever). To me, a "true independent" is code for someone who pays no attention at all.

The corollary to that is I don't think most people hold "extreme left" and "extreme right" viewpoints on separate issues. There are some elected Democrats that do have some conservative leanings (they're called the Blue Dogs, and hell, I'd include Obama in this), but in the elected Republican party? Not in the slightest. The so-called moderate Republican is essentially dead. We've given numerous examples showing this over the threads.

A lot of what else you say, it would be nice if that were the case, but it's not and it never will be. Thus, I feel no need to clutch pearls over it. I'd rather buckle down and fight.

Also, I think we can all agree I'm pretty well informed, and I vote essentially straight ticket. I certainly have no desire to vote for a Republican any time in the near future. I know straight ticket can equal sheep mentality, and there are definitely people who treat this like sports with their "team," but no one knows the exact percentage in any case.
#79 | 617 days ago

Eric_ wrote:
Here's where we differ. I don't think there are that many true independents. It showed in this last election. Romney won independents and still got beaten decisively. I think most people who call themselves independents in reality lean one way or the other and for whatever reason don't want to declare a party (the cynical side of me say it's to feel superior to those with a party affiliation, but whatever). To me, a "true independent" is code for someone who pays no attention at all.

The corollary to that is I don't think most people hold "extreme left" and "extreme right" viewpoints on separate issues. There are some elected Democrats that do have some conservative leanings (they're called the Blue Dogs, and hell, I'd include Obama in this), but in the elected Republican party? Not in the slightest. The so-called moderate Republican is essentially dead. We've given numerous examples showing this over the threads.

A lot of what else you say, it would be nice if that were the case, but it's not and it never will be. Thus, I feel no need to clutch pearls over it. I'd rather buckle down and fight.

Also, I think we can all agree I'm pretty well informed, and I vote essentially straight ticket. I certainly have no desire to vote for a Republican any time in the near future. I know straight ticket can equal sheep mentality, and there are definitely people who treat this like sports with their "team," but no one knows the exact percentage in any case.
I think there are plenty of independents that pick a side because there is no point in doing otherwise. Because no other party really matters here. Paying attention to political bs doesn't mean you have to be a dem or rep. They can pay attention and still choose neither side. I said "extreme" for emphasis but people lean, you got the point. I know it will never be the way I said, like I said, but it would be better. Straight ticket does equal sheep and almost everyone I know does it, and most have no idea what they are even voting on. It's ridiculous and it won't change either. I know this.

Also, I pay attention to the issues that matter to me. If I wasn't a flaming liberal, I'd probably be an independent.. which is odd for a poor person but it's the truth. I despise people in general, so I suppose that makes it easier to see the bull on both sides and choose not to completely stand with either.
#80 | 611 days ago

It seems that we've long since petered out here, but damn it, it's my thread and if I want to dig it up to rant like a lunatic, I can!

1.) Last week was the end of the filibuster reform movement, and unfortunately, but probably expectantly, Harry Reid folded like an accordion. There are some minor reforms in the deal he reached with McConnell, but in the end all you need to know is that the 60 vote Senate is preserved. Basically, either Harry Reid is a ball less mf'er, or there weren't 51 Democrats with the stones to get any meaningful change instituted. The frustrating part is the second there are 51 Republicans again, the filibuster is gone. Guarantee it. This paragraph does not begin to convey how pissed I really am.

2.) Also last week, Virginia Republican unveiled their move to change how they allocate their electoral votes, from winner take all to by congressional district. Similar proposals have been introduced in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and possibly Wisconsin, all states Obama carried twice but have GOP legislatures and governors. As you might guess, a congressional district allocation of electoral votes in all these states would have given Romney more EVs in each state than Obama. Remember kids, if you can't win elections with your candidates and ideas, rig the elections! None of these plans have gone through yet (it's not looking like it'll happen in Virginia)

3.) This may or may not tie in to the discussion Ash and I had last week, but I found this article on how language is manipulated in politics fascinating.

4.) In other Senate news, Georgia Republican Saxby Chambliss will not seek reelection. If you want to know how much of a piece of crap he is, look up his 2002 campaign against former Senator and triple amputee Max Cleland. The bad thing about this is Chambliss's replacement will probably be more wingnut than him. The two main contenders right now are Karen "I helped turned Komen into a right win organization" Handel, and Rep. Paul "evolution is from the pit of Hell" Broun. Can we at least get Herman Cain in there for laughs?

5.) On the negative side of Senate retirements, Tom Harkin of Iowa is also retiring. Harkin is an old-school liberal, and actually supported real filibuster reform, something I doubt other Democrats that have been in the Senate a long time did (*cough* Carl Levin *cough*). In a 2014 map that's difficult for Democrats, this just makes it worse. Dems have been fairly successful in Iowa, but it's still the head of the Midwestern subsidiary of Jesusland, so it still makes me nervous. At some point, maybe next thread, I'll post that full Senate map. It's ugly.

6.) I want to note it's been over 3 weeks since I responded to Kurt about taxes, and no response. It almost makes me miss the guy who just insult me and insinuate I was gay. At least then there was a response.
#81 | 611 days ago

(Edited by ML31)
Eric_ wrote:
It seems that we've long since petered out here, but damn it, it's my thread and if I want to dig it up to rant like a lunatic, I can!

1.) Last week was the end of the filibuster reform movement, and unfortunately, but probably expectantly, Harry Reid folded like an accordion. There are some minor reforms in the deal he reached with McConnell, but in the end all you need to know is that the 60 vote Senate is preserved. Basically, either Harry Reid is a ball less mf'er, or there weren't 51 Democrats with the stones to get any meaningful change instituted. The frustrating part is the second there are 51 Republicans again, the filibuster is gone. Guarantee it. This paragraph does not begin to convey how pissed I really am.

2.) Also last week, Virginia Republican unveiled their move to change how they allocate their electoral votes, from winner take all to by congressional district. Similar proposals have been introduced in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and possibly Wisconsin, all states Obama carried twice but have GOP legislatures and governors. As you might guess, a congressional district allocation of electoral votes in all these states would have given Romney more EVs in each state than Obama. Remember kids, if you can't win elections with your candidates and ideas, rig the elections! None of these plans have gone through yet (it's not looking like it'll happen in Virginia)

3.) This may or may not tie in to the discussion Ash and I had last week, but I found this article on how language is manipulated in politics fascinating.

4.) In other Senate news, Georgia Republican Saxby Chambliss will not seek reelection. If you want to know how much of a piece of crap he is, look up his 2002 campaign against former Senator and triple amputee Max Cleland. The bad thing about this is Chambliss's replacement will probably be more wingnut than him. The two main contenders right now are Karen "I helped turned Komen into a right win organization" Handel, and Rep. Paul "evolution is from the pit of Hell" Broun. Can we at least get Herman Cain in there for laughs?

5.) On the negative side of Senate retirements, Tom Harkin of Iowa is also retiring. Harkin is an old-school liberal, and actually supported real filibuster reform, something I doubt other Democrats that have been in the Senate a long time did (*cough* Carl Levin *cough*). In a 2014 map that's difficult for Democrats, this just makes it worse. Dems have been fairly successful in Iowa, but it's still the head of the Midwestern subsidiary of Jesusland, so it still makes me nervous. At some point, maybe next thread, I'll post that full Senate map. It's ugly.

6.) I want to note it's been over 3 weeks since I responded to Kurt about taxes, and no response. It almost makes me miss the guy who just insult me and insinuate I was gay. At least then there was a response.
If fishing for a response, I'll bite.

it is very doubtful changing the electoral college process will ever go through no matter what party it benefits.  This is merely a knee jerk "poor loser" kind of reaction that (here it comes....) BOTH parties are prone to doing.  Case in point...  The Democrats being sore losers in 2000.  There were some in their ranks who attempted to do away with the electoral college altogether and go only with popular vote.  It didn't go anywhere, just as this version wont either. 

Further, I very much doubt the filibuster will go away should Republicans get 51 Senate seats.  You are concerned over nothing on that front.  Attempting to do away with it is being very short sighted.  The filibuster, like term limits, is a mechanism that's basically designed to keep the other party in check.  A very good thing, IMHO.

Feel free to have the last say if you wish.  As you said, it's your thread.
#82 | 611 days ago

Eric_ wrote:
It seems that we've long since petered out here, but damn it, it's my thread and if I want to dig it up to rant like a lunatic, I can!

1.) Last week was the end of the filibuster reform movement, and unfortunately, but probably expectantly, Harry Reid folded like an accordion. There are some minor reforms in the deal he reached with McConnell, but in the end all you need to know is that the 60 vote Senate is preserved. Basically, either Harry Reid is a ball less mf'er, or there weren't 51 Democrats with the stones to get any meaningful change instituted. The frustrating part is the second there are 51 Republicans again, the filibuster is gone. Guarantee it. This paragraph does not begin to convey how pissed I really am.

2.) Also last week, Virginia Republican unveiled their move to change how they allocate their electoral votes, from winner take all to by congressional district. Similar proposals have been introduced in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and possibly Wisconsin, all states Obama carried twice but have GOP legislatures and governors. As you might guess, a congressional district allocation of electoral votes in all these states would have given Romney more EVs in each state than Obama. Remember kids, if you can't win elections with your candidates and ideas, rig the elections! None of these plans have gone through yet (it's not looking like it'll happen in Virginia)

3.) This may or may not tie in to the discussion Ash and I had last week, but I found this article on how language is manipulated in politics fascinating.

4.) In other Senate news, Georgia Republican Saxby Chambliss will not seek reelection. If you want to know how much of a piece of crap he is, look up his 2002 campaign against former Senator and triple amputee Max Cleland. The bad thing about this is Chambliss's replacement will probably be more wingnut than him. The two main contenders right now are Karen "I helped turned Komen into a right win organization" Handel, and Rep. Paul "evolution is from the pit of Hell" Broun. Can we at least get Herman Cain in there for laughs?

5.) On the negative side of Senate retirements, Tom Harkin of Iowa is also retiring. Harkin is an old-school liberal, and actually supported real filibuster reform, something I doubt other Democrats that have been in the Senate a long time did (*cough* Carl Levin *cough*). In a 2014 map that's difficult for Democrats, this just makes it worse. Dems have been fairly successful in Iowa, but it's still the head of the Midwestern subsidiary of Jesusland, so it still makes me nervous. At some point, maybe next thread, I'll post that full Senate map. It's ugly.

6.) I want to note it's been over 3 weeks since I responded to Kurt about taxes, and no response. It almost makes me miss the guy who just insult me and insinuate I was gay. At least then there was a response.
Uh, don't miss him ever. That was too much. I can randomly call you gay for no reason at all if you'd like. Lemme know...


Good article.
#83 | 611 days ago

ML31 wrote:
If fishing for a response, I'll bite.

it is very doubtful changing the electoral college process will ever go through no matter what party it benefits.  This is merely a knee jerk "poor loser" kind of reaction that (here it comes....) BOTH parties are prone to doing.  Case in point...  The Democrats being sore losers in 2000.  There were some in their ranks who attempted to do away with the electoral college altogether and go only with popular vote.  It didn't go anywhere, just as this version wont either. 

Further, I very much doubt the filibuster will go away should Republicans get 51 Senate seats.  You are concerned over nothing on that front.  Attempting to do away with it is being very short sighted.  The filibuster, like term limits, is a mechanism that's basically designed to keep the other party in check.  A very good thing, IMHO.

Feel free to have the last say if you wish.  As you said, it's your thread.
Do you have proof of that claim? I did a quick Google search and got nothing, at least nothing concrete. If you have actual evidence, I'd love to see it. Otherwise, I'm going to chalk it up as more false equivalency that you apparently use to excuse anything the GOP does.

Also, doing away with the electoral college is something worth looking at anyway, even if it takes a 2000-like situation for anyone to actually do so. The electoral college is antiquated and helps create the messed up situation we have now (see: the outsized attention Ohio receives every 4 year). Also, doing that doesn't give one party an advantage. The GOP's current scheme is designed exactly to give them an advantage, especially after the latest round of gerrymandering in their favor (and yes, gerrymandering is odious regardless of who's doing it, I hate it). The best example is Pennsylvania. Obama won it by 5 points. Sen. Casey won reelection by 9 points, but thanks to gerrymandering, the GOP won 13 of the 18 House seats. Meaning under the GOP scheme, Romney would've won 13 of PA's 20 electoral votes.

As for the filibuster, yeah, I'm being a bit of an alarmist, but I don't see any reason for you to be so sure it won't happen either. Between the GOP's overuse of the filibuster, to their obstructionist bent towards just above everything, to their extremist rhetoric, to their attempts to suppress the vote last election, there's plenty of evidence that the current Republican party are big into power grabs. As such, I don't trust any of them at all about anything. I'm not really sure why you trust them with either these electoral votes schemes or the filibuster. Just saying "oh they'll never do that" isn't good enough.
#84 | 611 days ago

kobe_lova wrote:
Uh, don't miss him ever. That was too much. I can randomly call you gay for no reason at all if you'd like. Lemme know...


Good article.
I said *almost.* I just don't want to always look like I'm just giving a sermon from up on high. wink
#85 | 591 days ago

Surprised no one started up a minimum wage argument after the SotU.
#86 | 590 days ago

kantwistaye wrote:
Surprised no one started up a minimum wage argument after the SotU.
Does that mean State of the Union? When was that?
#87 | 590 days ago

kantwistaye wrote:
Surprised no one started up a minimum wage argument after the SotU.
I don't know about everyone else, but if you remember my Twitter feed that night, I wasn't impressed thanks to the first half hour being deficit kabuki. I just don't trust Obama on these progressive salvos he throws out there, and I certainly don't trust Congress to do anything. So, blah.

They'll be a new thread at some point, either if there's demand or if I get ranty enough. I have a title ready for when I post.

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