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Friday Talking Points [362] -- Beyond The Debate Stage

[ Posted Friday, September 18th, 2015 – 17:27 PDT ]

This was one of those weeks when one event overshadowed pretty much everything else that was going on in the political world. The event, of course, was the second round of Republican presidential debates, which lasted for a grueling five-plus hours.

I've already written two columns on the debates, one composed of my snap reactions just after the conclusion and the second one pointing out how far the discussion of marijuana legal reform has come, since an actual serious discussion of marijuana policy broke out late in the second debate between Rand Paul, Jeb! Bush, and Chris Christie. Or you can always find fact-checking articles pointing out some of the hogwash being touted as fact during the debates. If you really have a lot of time on your hands, you can even read the full transcript of what was said. But for the most part, we're going to focus here on stuff that happened outside the debate hall (known to Republicans as "The Shrine of Saint Ronald of Reagan's Magic Airplane").

Something sneaking up on everyone in the political world is the surprising amount of GOP candidates who are open to ending a massive tax break for hedge fund managers. President Obama has noticed, and is pointing it out. This won't happen overnight, but it cuts to the core of Republican orthodoxy ("no tax hikes ever on anyone for any reason"), so it certainly is an interesting political shift to watch.

In non-debate Republican presidential campaign news, Bobby Jindal wrote an extraordinary opinion piece for CNN, which begins:

President Trump today announced that the first season of "The Apprentice: White House Edition" will air on CBS this fall. Contestants, including Gary Busey, Ted Cruz and Kanye West, will vie for Cabinet positions. The announcement came as the newly renamed "Hair Force One" touched down in South Dakota for the unveiling of President Trump's face on Mount Rushmore. Meanwhile, first lady Melania had reason to celebrate as her White House-branded perfume, Trump, by Trump, hit Macy's shelves...

No, this is not a story from The Onion. It's a vision of our future. The only people who would enjoy a Trump presidency are Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert. The jokes write themselves.

But this is no laughing matter. Our country is slipping away. The liberalism and incompetence of the Obama administration have pushed us to the edge of a socialist abyss.

Oh no! Not the dreaded socialist abyss! Ahhhh! Jindal's tone is either apoplectic or apocalyptic (take your choice) throughout the entire piece. He minces no words when it comes to the threat of The Donald, warning darkly:

Meanwhile, Ted Cruz is clinging to Trump like a limpet to an oil tanker, hoping to suck up his votes when Trump eventually sinks.

Conservatives need to say what we are thinking: Donald Trump is a madman who must be stopped. Failure to speak out against Trump is an endorsement of Clinton.

C'mon, Bobby, tell us what you really think! Jindal's getting pretty desperate these days, and in normal times we'd be speculating about when he'll be exiting the race. However, these are not exactly normal times, so maybe he'll stick around to be the Trump attack dog for a while longer. "A madman who must be stopped" -- wonder what Jindal will do if Trump gets the nomination. Think he'll stick to that R.N.C. pledge to support the eventual nominee?

Speaking of people possibly about to exit the race, Scott Walker has just pulled all his forces back to Iowa. He can't afford to concentrate on any other states, and his donors are reportedly getting pretty nervous. He's banking on a big win in Iowa, which doesn't appear very likely to happen, so he may become the second Republican to exit the race (leaving us with "only" 15 candidates).

Bad news for Carly Fiorina (if anybody actually notices, that is): Hewlett-Packard is about to lay off another 30,000 employees. It's bad for Carly because it reminds people of that time that she was in charge and also laid off 30,000 people. Which might just appear in some ads, if Fiorina climbs in the polls after her first "big table" debate. The ironic thing is that while Carly isn't leading HP anymore (after being fired, of course), the woman who is currently leading it was also trounced in the same California election that Carly lost: Meg Whitman.

But the weirdest news of the week was the breaking story (watch for this video on tonight's news!) of a Marco Rubio top aide sucker-punching a Rand Paul top aide in the face in a barroom. Seriously, no matter how much Democrats squabble, at least they're not engaging in fisticuffs in public.

Speaking of Democrats squabbling, it seems that with his recent rise in the polling, Bernie Sanders is starting to appear to be a threat to the Hillary coronation process. This week alone, Sanders was the target of a hit piece in the New York Times and a bizarre throwback to the days of "red-baiting" from a Hillary Clinton political action committee (more on this last one in the awards section). The Washington Post ran a pretty good rebuttal of the Times piece, which points out the gaping flaws in the story, for anyone truly interested.

Meanwhile, Bernie gave a speech this week to the ultra-conservative Liberty University. The speech was praised by many for opening a dialog with people progressives normally don't even bother talking to. Bernie's argument was a moral one, pointing out that while the audience might disagree with him on hot-button issues like abortion, "family values" should also have an economic component to it. The Bible actually has plenty to say about how we should treat the poor and less fortunate than ourselves, which the Pope is also about to remind America of, in his upcoming visit.

Hillary's team is swearing that they're sticking to her original campaign plan, which is rather unbelievable since this was the first week of dramatic changes in her campaign style. I guess we're supposed to believe that she planned this all along, or something. Hillary's been everywhere this week, on Ellen's show, on the Tonight Show, and this Sunday she'll do her first sit-down interview of her entire campaign on a Sunday-morning political show (Face The Nation on CBS). Hillary is making herself much more accessible to the press of late, and trying to show a more human side as well. We personally don't watch daytime television (although we heard Clinton danced on Ellen's show), but we do think that Hillary was pretty funny and relaxed on her appearance on Jimmy Fallon's show. Hillary Clinton could never have a second career as a stand-up comic (we still cringe when we recall how she blew the "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night" line, the last time she ran), but she is indeed making a concerted effort to appear much more human and much less scripted these days -- which is a welcome change and should be encouraged.

Let's see, what else is going on? Dee Snider reminded us all of the farce that was the "P.M.R.C." -- which happened 30 years ago and still stands out as one of the stupidest wastes of time Congress has ever been involved in (right up there with the 50's demonization of comic books). I wrote about this many years ago, and included Frank Zappa's entire written condemnation of the proceedings, but Dee Snider also testified next to Zappa, so his take is also an excellent one to read. Remember, without eternal vigilance, senators' wives get up to all sorts of nonsense!

Speaking of poking government noses where they don't belong, the F.B.I. abruptly yanked a "wax-like, life-size figure of J. Edgar Hoover" from a historical display. It seems the agency is finally realizing that Hoover is not a figure worth looking up to. From the article:

Current FBI Director James B. Comey has invoked Hoover's toxic legacy to warn new agents about the exercise of their powers.

In a speech at Georgetown University in February, Comey said he makes new agents and analysts study the F.B.I.'s relationship with [Martin Luther] King and visit his memorial so they can ponder the mistakes of the past. Comey also said that he keeps a letter on his desk from then-Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy approving Hoover's baseless request to wiretap King's telephone calls.

"The reason I do those things is to ensure that we remember our mistakes and that we learn from them," Comey said. "So we must talk about our history. It is a hard truth that lives on."

F.B.I. officials said that sending the Hoover figure to New York seemed to be a harmless idea at first. The figure -- a jowly, stern-faced Hoover dressed in a dark suit -- was originally on display in Washington at the F.B.I. headquarters building, which is named after Hoover, but the figure had been in storage for years.

To completely end the legacy, that last bit needs addressing as well -- the part about the headquarters "named after Hoover." When the building is renamed, we'll believe the F.B.I. is serious about disavowing Hoover's legacy.

In marijuana news, Colorado heard the actual discussion about federal marijuana policy during the Republican debate, and immediately declared a one-day "tax holiday" on marijuana sales. Well, no, that's not really how it happened (the truth is far more mundane), but it sure would have been amusing if it had been a celebration of Rand Paul speaking sense to millions of Republican voters.

And a warning is necessary to introduce our final introductory paragraph, because it contains some unseemly language. If that sort of thing offends you, then just quickly skip to the awards section. Fair warning. A man in New York was just vindicated on First Amendment grounds for insulting a town. He got a speeding ticket, and while attempting to pay the ticket by mail, wrote his own political opinion of the town on it, thus exercising his right to free political speech. He crossed out the town's name (ironically enough, "Liberty, New York") and wrote in "Tyranny" instead. Then he went free-form, expressing the opinion: "Fuck your shitty town bitches" on the form, before mailing it in with his guilty plea and payment. The town then refused his payment and forced him to appear before a judge, where he was promptly arrested for "aggravated harassment." A federal judge just agreed with his case that his First Amendment rights were violated, leaving us all free to express whatever opinion we wish -- no matter how profane -- on any speeding tickets we get in the future. Another win for free speech!

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

Before we get to the main prize, we've got two Honorable Mentions to hand out. The first goes to Hillary Clinton. For months now, we've seen a tightly-controlled campaign from a tightly-wound candidate. Press access to her was severely restricted, and she seemed to be reinforcing the image of an over-calculating, over-cautious campaigner. This week, the floodgates were opened. Hillary's now appearing on television, giving serious sit-down interviews, and working hard to put the email questions to rest. She's also attempting to get outside her own comfort zone and show off her human side better. Her appearance on Jimmy Fallon's show was pretty well done all around (it appeared the night of the debate, so it wasn't noticed by everyone), and it should boost her confidence for making these sorts of appearances in the future. She'll be appearing on CBS Sunday morning, which was another noticeable hole in her campaign strategy (she hasn't done any Sunday morning shows yet). For attempting to steer her campaign in a new and better direction, Clinton gets some credit.

Our second Honorable Mention goes this week to Senator Elizabeth Warren. Warren just introduced a bill to ban prospective employers from performing credit checks on job applicants for most jobs. There is no evidence that having something bad on your credit history (oftentimes, erroneously) has anything to do with job performance at all. Having such a bad mark is like a modern-day scarlet letter, because it perpetuates a vicious cycle (can't pay your bills, but can't get a good job so that you can pay your bills). The bill probably won't pass right away, but this is precisely the reason so many progressives love Warren -- for identifying issues that need fixing, and then pushing changes to fix the problems.

But our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week is Senator Bernie Sanders. Sanders introduced a bill of his own this week, already fulfilling a campaign promise, which would ban private prisons. The private prison industry has completely skewed the way governments view incarceration, and it is rather sickening to think about people making millions of dollars off of keeping people locked up. This was all the fallout of the Republican-led "privatization" frenzy, decades ago, and it's great to see Sanders attacking the root of the problem.

But this would have earned him no more than an Honorable Mention (the bill hasn't been passed or anything, in other words). Instead, this week Bernie gets his twelfth MIDOTW (passing up Hillary Clinton's 11) for immediately raising over a million dollars off the Clinton camp's pathetic red-baiting attack. Bernie correctly pointed out that it "was the kind of onslaught I expected to see from the Koch Brothers or Sheldon Adelson."

But we've covered all that below in the next section, so we'll just move right along to explain what happened.

[Congratulate Senator Bernie Sanders on his Senate contact page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

We're not going to give the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award to Hillary Clinton, tempting though it may be. Instead, we're awarding it to the "Correct The Record" super PAC, which is supporting Clinton's campaign. This hair-splitting is necessary to preserve the fiction that PACs never "coordinate" with the campaigns, meaning the entire mess can't directly be laid at Hillary's door.

Huffington Post broke the story, when Correct The Record sent them an email which they tried to place "off the record" (in other words, filed under "anonymous rumors to report on"). The reporter hadn't agreed to this, so the email's contents were reported on.

The case is downright bizarre, because it is such a flimsy and ham-fisted attempt at politically smearing Bernie Sanders. This is a case study in innuendo and red-baiting (and what might be called terrorism-baiting). Here's the tortured logic of Correct The Record:

Jeremy Corbyn just became Britain's new Labour Party leader. Corbyn is a socialist (and not just the way the word is tossed around here across the pond -- he's the real thing). Sanders and Corbyn have said nice things about each other. Corbyn has also made some "extreme comments" about Osama Bin Laden, Hezbollah, NATO, Russia, and Hugo Chavez. Therefore, Bernie Sanders loves terrorists and communist leaders. Ergo, Sanders is probably a commie himself.

Think that's an exaggeration? Read the whole story for yourself and decide.

Sanders immediately used this smear attempt in fundraising, stating not only that this was reminiscent of the Koch brothers but also that Team Hillary "suggested I'd be friendly with Middle East terrorist organizations, and even tried to link me to a dead communist dictator." He's raised $1.2 million so far, which might just give Correct The Record a few second thoughts about trying such mudslinging again -- or at the very least, perhaps try to come up with a smear that's even remotely believable and doesn't involve such transparent attempts of calling Bernie a commie.

For bringing us all back to the red-baiting era, for trying to push a downright laughable "six degrees from Kevin Bacon" linkage, and for all-around incompetence, Correct The Record is indeed our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week.

The most amusing thing in this whole sorry episode is that Bernie faced smear attempts from the mainstream media this week as well as from Team Hillary. Sounds like some folks are getting just a wee bit worried about the success of Bernie's campaign, doesn't it?

[Correct The Record is part of a political campaign (whether they admit it to the I.R.S. or not), and we have a blanket policy of not linking to such sites, so you'll have to do your own web search to let them know what you think of their actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 362 (9/18/15)

We have some debate-themed talking points this week, and some from the rest of the political world. There's actually only one about Donald Trump this week, and it even comes from a Republican. As always, these talking points are provided for Democrats to use everywhere, from the Sunday morning chatfests to talking with coworkers around the water cooler.

 

1
   More good Obamacare data is in

Democrats need to point out every single time good stats like these come in.

"Once again, I see new figures are out showing the success of the Affordable Care Act in getting more and more Americans insured. Last year alone, nine million more people had health insurance coverage than in 2013. The percentage of people uninsured dropped from 13.3 percent to 10.4 percent. Over and over again, the numbers prove that the sky has not fallen and Obamacare is doing precisely what it was intended to do. The naysayers don't want to even talk about Obamacare at all anymore -- I barely even heard it mentioned in the debates -- because all their horror stories simply have not come true. As the data show, over and over again."

 

2
   Republicans coming to their senses on weed

A big tectonic shift just happened in the Republican Party. So point it out!

"I was fascinated to hear Republicans debate reforming federal laws on marijuana the other night. Things Republicans used to fight hard against are now actually being bragged about, as positive accomplishments! Republicans fought hard against the idea of drug courts -- and now they all seem to agree that the "tough on crime" and "mandatory minimums" policies they all pushed back in the 1980s have been proven to be disastrous. Drug courts are now something Republicans not only support but brag about! Likewise, the concept of medical marijuana was denounced by just about all Republicans just a few short years ago, and now even Chris Christie -- who promises to crack down on legal recreational use -- touts New Jersey's acceptance of medical marijuana as a political plus. After pushing policies that don't work ever since Nancy Reagan's time, Republicans are finally beginning to see the light on marijuana reform. It's about time, and I look forward to hearing what the Democratic candidates have to say on the issue as well."

 

3
   Pope actually reads all of the Bible

The Pope's coming to town, and many Republicans are getting nervous.

"Pope Francis will be coming to America soon, and it seems that some Republicans are running away from the Pope in fear of what he'll say. It seems they want to use religious leaders' statements when politically convenient, but then ignore statements that they don't want to hear. Sounds like a pretty thin grasp of Christianity, to me. Unlike many of these religiously-choosy Republicans, the Pope has actually read all the Bible -- even those parts about being a good shepherd of the Earth and helping the poor whenever possible. There are in fact many things in the Bible that many politicians just conveniently omit, and the Pope's about to remind them of a few. Should be interesting!"

 

4
   Shutdown ahead!

There isn't just one issue, there are actually many ways a shutdown could happen soon.

"Once again, America faces the consequences of John Boehner's absolute lack of the ability to lead or control his own party. Although Republicans control both houses of Congress, they have not done what they promised they would do -- pass a budget on time, the way it is supposed to happen. Because of this, we need a short-term extension while they do the job they should have been doing all year long. Everyone knows how this will end -- Republicans and Democrats will have to strike some sort of spending deal, since a bill can't pass the Senate without Democratic support. But over in the House, Boehner can't even manage to pass a bill with a clear majority of Republicans because the Tea Partiers want to throw another conniption fit and shut down the federal government. This shutdown will not gain them anything, and a deal will inevitably be struck in the end. But due to Boehner's weakness as a leader, we may see the shutdown happen anyway. As Ronald Reagan might have said, 'there they go again...'."

 

5
   That leaves 47 percent, doesn't it?

Jeb! Bush wants to cut taxes on rich folks. Surprise, surprise!

"I see Jeb Bush released his tax plan this week. It calls for lots of tax cuts, but the proportions are guaranteed to increase income inequality in America. This is because a whopping 53 percent of these tax cuts would go to the top one percent of earners. That's Bush's idea of 'middle-class tax cuts,' I guess. What I found amusing is that if you do the math, that means the other 99 percent of workers would get 47 percent of the Bush tax cuts. Now where have I heard the figure '47 percent' on the campaign trail before? Hmmm...."

 

6
   Republican-on-Republican violence

Don't even need to come up with a Trump talking point this week. Bobby Jindal already did a fine job of doing so!

"Right after the second debate, Bobby Jindal -- desperate for attention, obviously -- wrote an anti-Trump rant for CNN. It contains all sorts of hilarious bits, including Gary Busey as a Trump cabinet member, Trump's face on Mount Rushmore, and renaming his airplane 'Hair Force One.' Pretty funny stuff, and as Jindal points out, 'the jokes write themselves.' But later on, Jindal became almost unhinged in his Trump-hating, stating 'Donald Trump is a madman who must be stopped.' Think Jindal will be supporting Trump if he wins the GOP nomination? Hope Reince Priebus has Jindal's sworn loyalty oath on file, looks like he might need it!"

 

7
   Still no occupation of Texas

Likely the last time we'll be using this one. One would like to hope, at any rate.

"As Salon just helpfully pointed out, the 'Jade Helm 15' military exercise just wrapped up, and Texas is still somehow not occupied by the American military. Instead of the wild-eyed expectation that troops would be 'marching through your town, implementing Obamacare, pardoning undocumented workers and replacing the Constitution with Sharia law,' absolutely nothing happened instead. I'm still waiting for Texas Governor Greg Abbott to admit he was 'horribly wrong about the whole thing,' but I'm not exactly holding my breath."

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

100 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [362] -- Beyond The Debate Stage”

  1. [1] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    "the farce that was the "P.M.R.C."

    I still have a T-shirt with the "parental advisory explicit lyrics" label on it.

  2. [2] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    "There are in fact many things in the Bible that many politicians just conveniently omit, and the Pope's about to remind them of a few."

    He's a cherry-picker just like every other faither.

  3. [3] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    8 Ethnic cleansing is off the table!

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    Rumors of my demise have been exaggerated...

    But not by much.. :D

    OK, so I had to go to the hospital last weekend. I don't know if it was some sort of bite or something, but my foot swelled up like a balloon...

    Of course, once I get there, the first thing they do is take my blood pressure...

    214 over 140...

    Apparently, this is some kind of big deal, as my lovely wife.... freaked.... out... The nurses got real quiet and real urgent and the next thing I know I am spending several days in ICU and being told to think happy, calming, koom-bye-ya thoughts..

    What am I, a liberal?? :D

    So anyways, I got sprung and here I am! :D

    Did ya'all miss me?? :D

    "Did ya miss me???"
    "With every shot so far.."

    -MARRIED WITH CHILDREN

    :D

    So, let's get to it, shall we??

    (known to Republicans as "The Shrine of Saint Ronald of Reagan's Magic Airplane").

    You mean, as opposed to the Obama-cropolis???

    Ya'all can't ridicule the GOP for their symbolism w/o acknowledging how whacked the Democrat Party is in that area...

    Well, ya'all CAN, of course.. But not without a snarky comment from me.. :D

    Something sneaking up on everyone in the political world is the surprising amount of GOP candidates who are open to ending a massive tax break for hedge fund managers. President Obama has noticed, and is pointing it out. This won't happen overnight, but it cuts to the core of Republican orthodoxy ("no tax hikes ever on anyone for any reason"), so it certainly is an interesting political shift to watch.

    And, of course, everyone here will give the GOP credit for their good idea, right???

    Sheeya right.. When Monkees fly outta my butt!! :D

    Which puts to rest the utter BS about, "Oh, we'll support the GOP if they ever have a good idea!!"

    :D

    Jindal is such a hypocrite.... He talks about civility in the campaign then he pulls this kind of carp....

    He is ALMOST as bad as Hillary in the hypocrisy department...

    Jindal should follow Carson's example..

    In a speech at Georgetown University in February, Comey said he makes new agents and analysts study the F.B.I.'s relationship with [Martin Luther] King and visit his memorial so they can ponder the mistakes of the past. Comey also said that he keeps a letter on his desk from then-Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy approving Hoover's baseless request to wiretap King's telephone calls.

    Whatta PC suck-up.... :^/

    For attempting to steer her campaign in a new and better direction, Clinton gets some credit.

    Yea.. She deserves credit for finally realizing how much trouble her campaign is in and that the STAY THE COURSE strategy was a fool's errand...

    But, many Democrats are saying "Too little, too late.."

    It's all for naught.. Once the next batch of Hillary emails are released (drip, drip, drip) and Hillary starts getting peppered with questions, she'll run and hide again..

    That's a prediction you can take to the bank..

    Preferably mine.. $20s and $50s welcome... :D

    We're not going to give the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award to Hillary Clinton, tempting though it may be. Instead, we're awarding it to the "Correct The Record" super PAC, which is supporting Clinton's campaign. This hair-splitting is necessary to preserve the fiction that PACs never "coordinate" with the campaigns, meaning the entire mess can't directly be laid at Hillary's door.

    Com'on!! This is a REALITY based forum... :D And the REALITY is that Hillary and her Super PAC are arm in arm, two peas in a pod...

    No amount of fiction will change that fact...

    Get to the TPs in a bit..

    Michale

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    More good Obamacare data is in

    And YET....

    And yet, the MAJORITY of Americans STILL don't like it.. STILL don't want it..

    All the cherry picked stats will not change this one simple fact..

    Americans don't LIKE it..

    Americans don't WANT it...

    Republicans coming to their senses on weed

    I have to admit I am at a crossroads on this issue..

    My son was home from Alaska and we were talking and he told me he had smoked pot while on a layover in Seattle... Resisting the urge to bitch-slap him (BARELY) I told him to get out and he was no longer welcome in my house!!!

    Just kidding. :D

    But seriously, I was taken aback and pretty shocked.. Not that he had done it (my son is no saint) but that it was so nonchalantly mentioned...

    One of the OTHER roads to travel is the fact that my oldest grandson (9) has epilepsy and that there are some marijuana based medications that can really help him..

    So, there are many logical and rational reasons to come down off my high horse about marijuana...

    But I have a hard time getting past the whole, There is no such thing as a "former" cop.. thing...

    But my attitude IS changing, I cannot deny that...

    Michale

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Pope Francis will be coming to America soon, and it seems that some Republicans are running away from the Pope in fear of what he'll say. It seems they want to use religious leaders' statements when politically convenient, but then ignore statements that they don't want to hear. Sounds like a pretty thin grasp of Christianity, to me. Unlike many of these religiously-choosy Republicans, the Pope has actually read all the Bible -- even those parts about being a good shepherd of the Earth and helping the poor whenever possible. There are in fact many things in the Bible that many politicians just conveniently omit, and the Pope's about to remind them of a few. Should be interesting!"

    The Left hysterically fawning over the pope is so blatantly hypocritical, it's not even funny...

    The Left has denigrated and attack the pope with gleeful abandon in the past..

    But NOW that this moronic pope is in power, spouting all the Left Wing BS that the Left loves to hear, NOW the pope is the Left's BFF...

    The Left isn't even making an effort to hide the blatant and nauseating hypocrisy..

    As far as the pope's "science" goes???

    Quick Note to the Pope
    By Joe Bastardi · Sep. 18, 2015

    http://patriotpost.us/opinion/37721

    Of course, not to be outdone in the HYPOCRISY department..

    The White House announced that the President will rise above politics during the pope's White House visit...

    THEN turns around and announces that some loony transvestite (I know, I know.. Redundant...), a gay bishop and a Left Wing activist nun would be amongst those to greet and meet the poop...

    Whew!!!

    For a moment I thought Obama was going to use the pope's visit to push an unpopular freedom crushing partisan agenda....

    Glad we dodged THAT bullet, eh?? :^/

    {{/sarcasm}}

    Michale

  7. [7] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Please see the following:

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2015/09/14/debate-prep/#comment-64272

    Glad to hear it wasn't anything serious. :)

    But, someone may be trying desperately to tell you something. So, take it easy ...

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    Awwwww Yer da sweetest... :D

    Yea, it's weird.. I don't FEEL bad at all.. I mean, junk food, copious amounts of beer and 16-20 hour days takes it's toll.. I get that..

    But I really don't feel it, health readings notwithstanding...

    Naw, I don't intend to go quietly into that good night..

    When I die, it's going to be with blood in my mouth, a bullet in my chest and a gun in my hand.... :D

    Glad to hear it wasn't anything serious. :)

    Thanx, Liz... Yer a peach.. :D

    And I do believe that a Happy Birthday wish is the order of the day..

    Hope you have a wonderful day.. :D

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Free your mind and your ass will follow.

  10. [10] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Advice to live by.

  11. [11] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Thanks, Michale and welcome back!

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hillary Clinton bails on hanging out with eager kids from Laconia Boys & Girls Club
    http://www.nh1.com/news/hillary-clinton-bails-on-hanging-out-with-eager-kids-from-laconia-boys-and-girls-club/

    Maybe Hillary had to leave the area because she was afraid a house would fall on her... :^/

    Michale

  13. [13] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M-

    The NSA noticed
    You woint in the pictcha.
    Here's hopin' you squished
    Whatever which bit ya.

    Fire ant bite?

    Quick onset of excruciating pain? That would be consistent with a widow spider bite.

    Glad you are back! You might want to cut back on the work hrs a bit....10-12 hr per day, six days a week is plenty.

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    Glad you are back! You might want to cut back on the work hrs a bit....10-12 hr per day, six days a week is plenty.

    Thanx, TS...

    Actually, I do take Mondays off..

    Sit around the house nekkid all day eating bon bons and watching Battlestar Galactica... :D

    Family joke... :D

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M-14

    That was 25% more than I needed to know....uuuuuhhhhh!

    That ol' parent/child marijuana discussion tends to shift the parental attitude from away from theoretical and more towards the practical.

    Did your son actually bank any significant money from his Alaska fishing?

  16. [16] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Full transcript

    That was an eye opener on two levels.

    Text vs video:

    1) Text is much faster to mentally upload and process, even when it's not paginated. Why no pdfs?

    Reading the text emphasized that CNN structured this as a gotcha debate, which is good for ratings but trivializes the political discourse.

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    That was 25% more than I needed to know....uuuuuhhhhh!

    Bad mental picture?? :D

    That ol' parent/child marijuana discussion tends to shift the parental attitude from away from theoretical and more towards the practical.

    Amen to that!! :D

    Did your son actually bank any significant money from his Alaska fishing?

    He makes good money.. Usually around 20K-30K per 3-4 month outing..

    Now, does he BANK it??

    Shirley, you jest! :D heh

    To be fair, the company takes a big chunk for all the things they do (lodging, food, transpo, etc etc)

    But he keeps going back so I guess it works for him...

    Michale

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    That ol' parent/child marijuana discussion tends to shift the parental attitude from away from theoretical and more towards the practical.

    Tenuously connected...

    I remember a George C Scott movie that dealt with the abortion issue... Scott was totally against his daughter (played by Melissa Gilbert, if I recall correctly) getting an abortion, but was encouraging his mistress to get one...

    I mention it because the hypocrisy angle is the same..

    Which is why I am finding it hard to commit to a Pro marijuana position..

    The idea that it is medicine-ized marijuana is small comfort...

    The fact that it is my little bugga-boo is the totality of the deciding factor..

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M-17

    "Shirley, you jest!"

    Figured as much, but I look at it as funded adventure travel for those not yet ready for car or mortgage payments. He'll bank some good memories, get some good connections if he is lucky. Get him a Gopro for Christmas, if he doesn't have one (it's really for you and your wife, but you don't have to tell him that).

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    Get him a Gopro for Christmas, if he doesn't have one (it's really for you and your wife, but you don't have to tell him that).

    That is a completely, totally awesome idea!!!!

    Thanx TS!

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/joe-biden-edges-closer-to-joining-presidential-race-1442617215

    Looks like, with Biden, it's not a matter of IF, but rather WHEN...

    Michale

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oh wait...

    Friday Talking Points [362] -- Beyond The Debate **STAGE**

    I get it now... :D

    heh

    Michale

  23. [23] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey CW

    The Clinton machine seems to be repeating the same mistakes they made eight years ago... and getting comparable results.
    Attacking Bernie instead of selling herself is a repeat of what didn't work against Obama. The fact that they're not attacks on his policies just makes it all the more familiar... just like the initial strategy to just ignore him.

    Since name recognition is still a problem for the Bern, I guess you could argue that the attacks from the PAC and the WSJ may actually be beneficial. They helped put his name in the media, and you may be far from the only one pointing out he is an actual threat and viable alternative.

    I'm not sure your honorable mention for Hill "attempting to steer her campaign in a new and better direction" makes sense given that Bernie's rise isn't due to her weak campaign skills. It is Hillary's Wall Street coddling policies and neoliberal foreign policy that people are sick of, and at best she is only sugarcoating them. Her attempts to appear more personable and less right wing just come across as inauthentic pandering.

    Given that Jindal was my prediction for next to quit the clown car, I hope there hasn't been some lucrative job offer dangled in exchange for his attack dog role. Though highly entertaining, I would have to call shenanigans on this outside interference in our contest.

    A

  24. [24] 
    altohone wrote:

    Micha

    Glad your foot's ok.
    Gotta check those shoes.
    You know what works well for pain too right.

    And, I wouldn't worry too much about that hypocrisy thing. Acceptance of the facts doesn't really fall into that category.

    As for the hedge fund loophole and your "of course, everyone here will give the GOP credit for their good idea, right???" claim, if letting the GOP take the credit for our idea is what it takes to get the shirkers to pay their fair share, you hereby have my promise to falsely praise their wisdom when the loophole is closed.

    A

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    BigA,

    Glad your foot's ok.

    Tanks...... And planes!!!! :D

    heh... that never gets old!! :D

    You know what works well for pain too right.

    Beer, right!!??? :D

    "BEER!! The cause AND solution to all of life's problems!!"
    -Homer Simpson

    And, I wouldn't worry too much about that hypocrisy thing. Acceptance of the facts doesn't really fall into that category.

    Yea, but when one only accepts the facts that supports one's partisan agenda and ignores the facts that don't??

    It's still hypocrisy...

    As for the hedge fund loophole and your "of course, everyone here will give the GOP credit for their good idea, right???" claim, if letting the GOP take the credit for our idea

    I would think that would be a DOUBLE incentive for they Hysterical Left to acknowledge the idea... :D

    is what it takes to get the shirkers to pay their fair share,

    Who decides what's "fair"??

    What's the litmus test??? Ideological purity???

    Oh wait.. I know...

    "All those who believe as I do should get more... Al those who DON'T believe as I do should GIVE more.."

    The problem with sticking it to the rich is that it usually results in one of two things.

    1. The rich become NOT rich and are added to the welfare rolls..

    2. The rich get tired of working their asses off for the lazy so they take their money to another country and give a big and mighty FRAK YOU to America...

    Either way, the well runs dry...

    Then what???

    Michale

  26. [26] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "1. The rich become NOT rich and are added to the welfare rolls..

    2. The rich get tired of working their asses off for the lazy so they take their money to another country and give a big and mighty FRAK YOU to America..."

    1.) Contrary to popular belief, you will NEVER run out of rich people. Too many people will aspire to be rich no matter what. There are also more millionaires now around the world than at any time before in history. Even in a communist country, there are still rich people. Look at the cadre around the "dear leader" in North Korea. Millionaires by any standard, every single one of them.

    2.) Which is precisely why you go after offshore banking accounts in places like the Cayman Islands and Switzerland. It is also why you tax capital gains as well as income. Also, not even the rich can avoid paying things like sales taxes, no matter where they take their money.

  27. [27] 
    TheStig wrote:

    I'm feeling more secure about the "Trump has hit his high water mark" limb I decided to walk onto after the last debate.

    Item: Trump odds of winning the nomination have declined in the prediction markets

    Item:His share of media attention is way down, and actually started to tank in early August.

    Ben Schreckinger noted both the above 4 days ago over at Politico.

    Today: Real Clear Politics published a CNN/ORC poll showing Trump at 24%, and even their (lagging indicator) rolling average shows him trending down.

    Of all the above, I think flagging media ratings are the most important, because Trump is basically an entertainer performing on a political stage. Trump is becoming stale. The media outlets that made him may be turning on him - the old "we built you up, and we will tear you down" story. Any story will do if boosts revenue. Trump can't repeat the old stuff, he is going to have to up the stakes to win back attention and his crowds. That is traditionally when the entertainment franchise enters into shark infested waters and attempts a jump. Wait for it.

  28. [28] 
    TheStig wrote:

    One more thing. Trump recently announced he was willing to spend 1 billion dollars on his campaign. Forbes looked the numbers over and announced it was more like 444 million. :-)

  29. [29] 
    altohone wrote:

    Micha

    "Yea, but when one only accepts the facts that supports one's partisan agenda and ignores the facts that don't??"

    Actually, it was an agenda unsupported by the facts that criminalized pot in the first place, so I don't think anybody will give you a hard time about coming around.

    As for the tax loophole, the rich will stay rich, and a "fair share" would be roughly what everyone else pays... see definition of "fair".

    If a slight increase in taxes causes these shirkers to quit working their offshoring, wage cutting, benefit eliminating, pension raiding, downsizing business model... I think we will adjust quite easily... but unfortunately, I'd bet there will still be plenty of money in it to incentivize them.

    A

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    TS,

    I'm feeling more secure about the "Trump has hit his high water mark" limb I decided to walk onto after the last debate.

    This is... what?? The third?? Fourth "high water mark" for Trump???

    :D

    BigA,

    Actually, it was an agenda unsupported by the facts that criminalized pot in the first place, so I don't think anybody will give you a hard time about coming around.

    That's what you say.. But those with the facts apparently felt differently..

    Remember, you are talking to a guy who has seen first hand the destruction and suffering that a "safe" drug like marijuana has caused...

    Once again, the difference between reading about something and actually experiencing it...

    As for the tax loophole, the rich will stay rich,

    No matter what???

    So, if we tax the rich at 75%, as some Leftist morons have suggested, the rich is going to stay rich???

    On what planet??

    and a "fair share" would be roughly what everyone else pays... see definition of "fair".

    So, let's say I make 10,000 dollars... I take 80% of that and use it to help other businesses get started and charities that help the poor....

    I have $2000 that I use for my own lifestyle...

    You make 10,000 and you buy all sorts of goodies and gadgets for yourself and take vacations, all for yourself...

    And you are saying that it's "fair" that we both pay the same tax on the same 10,000???

    How, exactly, is that "fair"???

    I use my 10,000 to help other people...

    You use your 10,000 on yourself and that's it...

    You see your dilemma???

    You can't define "fair" because there are so many many MANY possible variables and variations..

    As I have said time and time again, when it comes to economics I am pretty much a knuckle-dragging ground pounder....

    BUT....

    But I do known common sense..

    And common sense dictates that it's utterly rid-donk-ulus to establish "fair" based SOLELY on income with absolutely NO THOUGHT to how that "income" becomes outlay...

    If a slight increase in taxes causes these shirkers to quit working their offshoring, wage cutting, benefit eliminating, pension raiding, downsizing business model...

    If we were talking about a "slight increase" you would have a point..

    But, we're not, so you don't...

    I think we will adjust quite easily.

    "WE"???

    You are pretty free and easy with other people's money..

    Why don't YOU personally subsidize other people who don't want to work...

    You might be a little less free and easy with that "WE", eh?? :D

    but unfortunately, I'd bet there will still be plenty of money in it to incentivize them.

    And when the Leftist morons want to take MORE and MORE??? And you know they will...

    How much is enough???

    Michale

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    TS,

    I'm feeling more secure about the "Trump has hit his high water mark" limb I decided to walk onto after the last debate.

    This is... what?? The third?? Fourth "high water mark" for Trump???

    :D

    Michale

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    BigA,

    Actually, it was an agenda unsupported by the facts that criminalized pot in the first place, so I don't think anybody will give you a hard time about coming around.

    That's what you say.. But those with the facts apparently felt differently..

    Remember, you are talking to a guy who has seen first hand the destruction and suffering that a "safe" drug like marijuana has caused...

    Once again, the difference between reading about something and actually experiencing it...

    As for the tax loophole, the rich will stay rich,

    No matter what???

    So, if we tax the rich at 75%, as some Leftist morons have suggested, the rich is going to stay rich???

    On what planet??

    and a "fair share" would be roughly what everyone else pays... see definition of "fair".

    So, let's say I make 10,000 dollars... I take 80% of that and use it to help other businesses get started and charities that help the poor....

    I have $2000 that I use for my own lifestyle...

    You make 10,000 and you buy all sorts of goodies and gadgets for yourself and take vacations, all for yourself...

    And you are saying that it's "fair" that we both pay the same tax on the same 10,000???

    How, exactly, is that "fair"???

    I use my 10,000 to help other people...

    You use your 10,000 on yourself and that's it...

    You see your dilemma???

    You can't define "fair" because there are so many many MANY possible variables and variations..

    As I have said time and time again, when it comes to economics I am pretty much a knuckle-dragging ground pounder....

    BUT....

    But I do known common sense..

    And common sense dictates that it's utterly rid-donk-ulus to establish "fair" based SOLELY on income with absolutely NO THOUGHT to how that "income" becomes outlay...

    If a slight increase in taxes causes these shirkers to quit working their offshoring, wage cutting, benefit eliminating, pension raiding, downsizing business model...

    If we were talking about a "slight increase" you would have a point..

    But, we're not, so you don't...

    I think we will adjust quite easily.

    "WE"???

    You are pretty free and easy with other people's money..

    Why don't YOU personally subsidize other people who don't want to work...

    You might be a little less free and easy with that "WE", eh?? :D

    but unfortunately, I'd bet there will still be plenty of money in it to incentivize them.

    And when the Leftist morons want to take MORE and MORE??? And you know they will...

    How much is enough???

    Michale

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    BigA,

    Yer gonna have to wait til CW rescues my comment from NNL...

    But, trust me. It's worth waiting for!! :D

    Michale

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let me ask ya'all something..

    Assume the "poor" are lazy good-for-nothing grasshoppers who just leech off the hard work of the ants....

    Given this, why should the ants continue to give and give and give??

    It seems that the Left just wants to take money from those that EARNED it and give it to those who are too lazy to earn it and, in the process make the lazy dependent on the government for a free ride, thereby insuring that the lazy will continue to vote Democrat...

    The Democrat Party was the Party of enslavement...

    Seems to me that the Party just found a different set of chains and whips....

    Of course, what do I know.. I ran a company that made 3.8 million (or was it 2.8 million??) the first year and now own my own computer/TV shop that has a clientele that numbers in the thousands...

    And guess what?? I did all that IN SPITE of the Democrat government..

    Not BECAUSE of it...

    If *I* can do something like that, *ANYONE* can...

    Anyone, that is, not looking for a handout and a free ride...

    Michale

  35. [35] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M-29

    Others have jumped the gun and I may be the next goat. I think a prognosticator should be, no, must be, willing to take a risk and try to beat the pack....and state the reasons for bolting. No risk, no fun. Feel free to razz if and when it comes to it.

  36. [36] 
    dsws wrote:

    Someone on Salon says that if Trump wins the primaries and caucuses, the Establishment faction will have the national convention ignore the votes and nominate someone else regardless. In the comments there, I say hogwash. Another commenter says it's happened in both parties. Anyone know what the actual history says?

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    Others have jumped the gun and I may be the next goat. I think a prognosticator should be, no, must be, willing to take a risk and try to beat the pack....

    I completely agree.. Remember my SCOTUS predictions?? :D

    The way I look at it is, if I am wrong, who cares?? Par for the course..

    But if I am right?? I would be looked upon with awe... :D

    and state the reasons for bolting. No risk, no fun. Feel free to razz if and when it comes to it.

    Awww, I would NEVER do that..... Much... :D

    Michale

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    Someone on Salon says

    Anybody who has been following election trends in recent years knows that the GOP is the political party that specializes in tilting voting rules to try to shape the outcome.

    Whew! Bigot much??? :D

    Interesting article...

    Humans are odd. They think order and chaos are somehow opposites and try to control what won't be. But there is grace in their failings. I think you missed that.
    -Vision, AVENGERS AGE OF ULTRON

    :D

    Michale

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    Pope Francis Is Wrong about Air Conditioning
    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/pope-francis-air-conditioning-climate-change-encyclical

    This is why the pope is as much of a hypocrite as any Left wing zealot...

    ...another study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that labor productivity peaks at 65 degrees fahrenheit and decreases by around 15 percent every time the temperature rises by 10 degrees.

    That explains a LOT....

    Michale

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    Pope Francis Is Wrong about Air Conditioning
    http://tinyurl.com/nhlhj4p

    This is why the pope is as much of a hypocrite as any Left wing zealot...

    ...another study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that labor productivity peaks at 65 degrees fahrenheit and decreases by around 15 percent every time the temperature rises by 10 degrees.

    That explains a LOT....

    Michale

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    More good Obamacare data is in

    Really???

    Bipartisan Effort Fights Health Law Rule That Could Raise Premiums
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/21/us/bipartisan-effort-fights-health-law-rule-that-could-raise-premiums.html?_r=0

    You can cherry pick all the good news you want.. It still won't erase the fact that there is tons more BAD news about TrainWreckCare...

    Sabrina Corlette, a consumer advocate and professor at the Health Policy Institute of Georgetown University, said the new definition might be “more trouble than it’s worth.” The main risk, she said, is that “premium rates for many midsize employers will rise, perhaps significantly.”

    Alissa Fox, a senior vice president of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, said that “about two-thirds of midsize employers can expect substantial rate increases” after the new rules take effect. Congress needs to act soon, she said, because many employers decide in September and October on the coverage they will offer employees in the coming year.

    So, remind me again how The AFFORDABLE Care Act is.. well.. yunno... AFFORDABLE???

    Michale

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    Re-approachment with Cuba??

    Dissidents arrested as Pope Francis celebrates his first Mass in Cuba
    Pope Francis meets with Fidel Castro in Havana, after an outdoor mass attended by tens of thousands of people in the capital's Revolution Square

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/centralamericaandthecaribbean/cuba/11878383/Dissidents-arrested-as-Pope-Francis-celebrates-his-first-Mass-in-Cuba.html

    Yea... GREAT idea.. :^/

    Once again, if the choice for the Left is between principles & integrity and Obama's ego/agenda??

    Obama's ego wins every time...

    The Left has absolutely NO MORAL FOUNDATION to preach to others about human rights...

    Michale

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    And in other news...

    Former 'Star Trek: Voyager' actress charged with indecent exposure in Tennessee
    http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2015/09/16/former-star-trek-voyager-actress-charged-with-indecent-exposure-in-tennessee/?intcmp=ob_article_sidebar_video&intcmp=obinsite

    Oh Kes, Kes, Kes... You should have stayed on Ocampa....

    Michale

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oh this is just TOO sweet!! :D

    Hillary and Obama went gaga over a kid in Texas who "built" an alarm clock and took it to school....

    Turns out the kid just disassembled a 1980s Radio Shack clock and put it in a carry case!!!

    hehehehehehehehehehehe

    The Leader and Wanna-bee leader of the free world...

    In all their moronic glory!!!

    You just CAN'T make this stuff up!! :D

    All we needed to make it perfect was for Obama to say, "The cops acted stupidly"

    :D

    Michale

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://denver.cbslocal.com/2015/09/20/smart-colorado-hearing-from-hundreds-hundreds-of-parents-about-pot-use/

    Remind me again how there is no down side to marijuana legalization??

    I seem to have forgotten amongst all the deaths and hospitalizations...

    Michale

  46. [46] 
    altohone wrote:

    Micha

    "Assume the "poor" are lazy good-for-nothing grasshoppers who just leech off the hard work of the ants....
    Given this, why should the ants continue to give and give and give??"

    Someone around here recently said something about assuming... oh yeah, it was you.

    If you start with a false assumption, it leads nowhere.
    Most of the poor, are working poor.
    Most poor people work hard.
    Very hard.

    Few of the professions the working poor hold qualify as easy, and laziness doesn't go over well with any employer.

    Stereotyping all poor people based on the actions of the few is not economics.

    Likewise, the "if I can do it, they can do it" argument isn't the least bit factual.
    An anecdotal example doesn't prove anything.
    Try and back it up with a substantive argument.

    A

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    Walker's out...

    Looks like no one called it.. :D

    heh

    Michale

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    If you start with a false assumption, it leads nowhere.

    It wasn't an assumption. It was a predication... A chance for ya'all to acknowledge that you CAN think logically and rationally instead of emotionally..

    In your case... Epic Fail..

    Most of the poor, are working poor.
    Most poor people work hard.
    Very hard.

    Yea?? Prove it...

    Few of the professions the working poor hold qualify as easy, and laziness doesn't go over well with any employer.

    Which is why the lazy are on welfare..

    Doy.....
    -Vanillope Von Schweetz, WRECK IT RALPH

    :D

    Stereotyping all poor people based on the actions of the few is not economics.

    You mean, like ya'all stereotype anyone who isn't ideologically pure?? :D

    An anecdotal example doesn't prove anything.
    Try and back it up with a substantive argument.

    Been there, done that.. You bailed... :D

    Michale

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    Most of the poor, are working poor.
    Most poor people work hard.

    Fair enough.. For the sake of this discussion, I'll stipulate that...

    What about the ones who aren't?? What about the ones who use their EBT cards to get cash at strip clubs and buy drugs??

    Why won't the Left crack down on them??

    Because the lazy greedy morons vote Democrat...

    THAT'S why...

    Michale

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    Looks like Uncle Joe is going to jump into the race...

    Ya gotta love it..

    The Democrat Party...

    The Party Of Old White People

    Heh

    Michale

  51. [51] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I wish you wouldn't call him "uncle Joe", Michale.

  52. [52] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "What about the ones who aren't?? What about the ones who use their EBT cards to get cash at strip clubs and buy drugs??"

    That's a falsehood perpetuated again by anecdotal evidence. Cite ONE documented example. Drug testing of welfare recipients that has been done found a lesser percentage of them testing positive, than the general non-welfare population.

  53. [53] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "1. The rich become NOT rich and are added to the welfare rolls..

    2. The rich get tired of working their asses off for the lazy so they take their money to another country and give a big and mighty FRAK YOU to America..."

    1.) Contrary to popular belief, we have not run out of rich people, nor will we ever do so. There are more millionaires now worldwide than ever before in history. Enough people will always aspire to be rich, no matter what. Even in communist countries like North Korea, there are the very wealthy, even by American standards. Just look at the very privileged well off class of the cadre that surround the "Dear Leader" Kim Jong-il.

    2.) Which is precisely why you go after and tax offshore accounts like those in the Cayman Islands and Switzerland. Also, even the rich, can't avoid at least paying sales taxes somewhere. After all, what good is all that money if you can't even spend it on lots of useless pretty expensive baubles?

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    I wish you wouldn't call him "uncle Joe", Michale.

    It was actually meant as a term of endearment. But if it bothers you, I will cease...

    Michale

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    JM,

    That's a falsehood perpetuated again by anecdotal evidence. Cite ONE documented example.

    How about 113,000 documented examples??

    https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=EBT+Card+used+for+drugs

    Drug testing of welfare recipients that has been done found a lesser percentage of them testing positive, than the general non-welfare population.

    So?? The non-welfare population is NOT receiving welfare, therefore their drug usage is not relevant to the discussion..

    1.) Contrary to popular belief, we have not run out of rich people, nor will we ever do so.

    Despite all the evidence to the contrary.. How many hundreds or thousands of the wealthy have left this country and taken their money elsewhere??

    The point is, the STICK IT TO THE RICH mentality that permeates the Leftist ideology is nothing more than very thinly disguised class warfare...

    The Left demonizing the rich is no different than the the Right demonizing illegal immigrants

    EVERY ideological movement MUST have a scapegoat...

    For the Left, it's the rich...

    Michale

  56. [56] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    But what do you think of the irony of the Democrat Party being the Party of old white people??

    Pretty ironic, eh? :D

    Michale

  57. [57] 
    Michale wrote:

    EVERY ideological movement MUST have a scapegoat...

    For the Left, it's the rich...

    Which is why I eschew ideological enslavement and am proudly registered as an N.P.A. :D

    Michale

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    Teen prosecuted as adult for having naked images – of himself – on phone
    North Carolina high schooler and his girlfriend face legal proceedings over selfies as both the adult perpetrators and minor victims

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/sep/20/teen-prosecuted-naked-images-himself-phone-selfies

    The first casualty of Zero Tolerance is common sense..

    Michale

  59. [59] 
    Michale wrote:

    Biden insiders feel Clinton stalking
    The VP’s supporters say Brooklyn is subtly warning him not to run.
    http://www.politico.com/story/2015/09/joe-biden-hillary-clinton-2016-213911

    Hillary is scared.... :D

    And with good reason...

    Michale

  60. [60] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M-47

    I did note Walker was in a nose dive about a month ago. Fiorina was where I went really wrong, saved by the kid's table, looks like she is poised to overtake Trump. Trump continues to trend down.

    Jindal, Paul, Graham, why are are they still here? Cruz, Huck, Kasich and Christie still have pulses.

  61. [61] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M-47

    I did note Walker was in a nose dive about a month ago. Fiorina was where I went really wrong, saved by the kid's table, looks like she is poised to overtake Trump. Trump continues to trend down.

    Jindal, Paul, Graham, why are are they still here? Cruz, Huck, Kasich and Christie still have pulses.

  62. [62] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M-47

    I did note Walker was in a nose dive about a month ago. Fiorina was where I went really wrong, saved by the kid's table, looks like she is poised to overtake Trump. Trump continues to trend down.

    Jindal, Paul, Graham, why are are they still here? Cruz, Huck, Kasich and Christie still have pulses.

  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:

    "The record's stuck... The record's stuck... The record's stuck..."

    :D

    However, credit where credit is due.. You did note Walker's terminal nosedive...

    Michale

  64. [64] 
    Michale wrote:

    I also have to concede the "my guy" is out...

    Not sure who I am for now.. Obviously Trump has his good points.. But I kinda lean towards Carson.. He's Trump w/o the arrogance and conceit..

    On the other hand, Rubio is a fellow Floridian.. And his wife is a knock-out... :D

    On the third hand, Fiorina would be a huge, HUGE slap in the fact to the Hysterical (and not so Hysterical) Left.. :D

    So many choices...

    I feel for you Democrats.. All you have are old white people.. :D heh

    Michale

  65. [65] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M-64

    All the indicators I track indicate Carson is in a serious nose dive. Much steeper than Trump's. Carson has lost more than half his value on the Betfair nomination market. He nosed over right after the second debate. His implied probability is near 4% as of this morning, Walker punched out 5% - although I suspect Scotty's financial backers in the rear seats jumped first. I think Carson is finished, but he'll probably zombie around for a while.

    Rubio is trending up, he looks a solid second to Bush right now.

  66. [66] 
    Michale wrote:

    It would be interesting to know how BetFair did during the 2008 Primary/Election with Obama.. :D

    Michale

  67. [67] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M-64

    OK, what is the hot key that's causing accidental posts? I think that's the problem....

    Bush has stabilized in a gentle glide near 35% implied p of nomination. Looks a lot like Clinton's glide slope, but at much lower altitude. Clinton's implied p nomination still tends to burble around a bit below 70%, she can coast a good while like that without fatal implications. The negative buzz feedback loop that 538 talks about applies to Bush quite well IMHO.

    Fiorina is reaping the rewards of a good debate performance, and Trump helpfully provided her with nice T-balls to hit out of the park. I don't think she will wear well. Candidates who have never held office don't tend to wear well running for high office. Politics requires a unique skill set. Her success in business is, to put it mildly, open to discussion. When your main defense is a phone call from a famous business dead guy, you have a problem...6th Sense Defense? Still, she looks likely to catch Trump and take over the 3rd spot.

    Still anxiously awaiting two weeks worth of fresh poll data to confirm market trends and snap buzz charts.

  68. [68] 
    Michale wrote:

    It would be interesting to know how BetFair did during

    Awww carp...

    Missed the chance for a perfectly good pun! :(

    Michale

  69. [69] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M-67

    I thought InTrade did a better job and I preferred them at the time, but alas InTrade was shut down.

    I also consult Ladbrokes regularly, but they are a traditional betting shop, not an exchange. Ladbrokes uses fractional odds, which are not as fine grained as decimal odds, and are harder to convert into implied probabilities.

    The main reason I like exchanges and bookies is that odds directly convert to Bayesian probabilities of an event occurring/not occurring.
    Pollsters don't do this, although they could in principle: "Sir or madam, please state how likely Joe Biden is be the next President, with O meaning he has no change, 50 meaning he has an even chance of winning, and 100 means he cannot lose." I don't know why they don't do this, but they don't, or more accurately, I've never encountered it.

  70. [70] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Over at HuffPost, Arianna Huffington has formally announced that Trump has run into his Sarah Palin Moment.

    Arianna thinks Palin's Moment was the Katie Couric Interview, I think it was the Turkey Farm Speech, but anyway, some kind of moment seems have happened and The Donald needs to move on before he looks like a loser and further damages his brand(s).

    Here's how I think he does it. Metaphorically, he takes off the Batman outfit and goes back to being Bruce Wayne at the Manor. He delivers following speech, metaphorically speaking, of course:

    "Shsssh, shssh...Citizens of Gotham City. I have busted a few of the right heads, revived your civic interest and shown you how to retake your own government. I've done it all with my own money. Now it's time for you to control your own destiny. I'll be watching. If you ever need me, use the Bat Signal." The Bat Signal being a searchlight projecting a silhouette of Trump's head and hair on a low hanging cloud or a Trump Tower, yet again, metaphorically.

    Classy. This being a Trump speech it will have to be longer and more rambling, but this is the basic plan.

  71. [71] 
    altohone wrote:

    Micha

    Per comment 48

    First you question what I said about the working poor... and then you admit it???
    Did you backtrack because you researched the facts?

    Then you justify stereotyping with unsupported claims that we all do it too???
    If it's wrong, it's wrong.
    Which means you are wrong to do it.

    You accept that most of the poor are working poor, but then you continue your stereotyping while limiting it to the fraction of the poor on welfare?
    Is that an admission your original stereotyping was unjustified?

    Then you refuse to offer any substantive arguments based on a false claim?
    "Been there, done that. You bailed"
    Uh, no.
    I refuted you arguments, and you just kept repeating them as if I hadn't.

    Going back further to comment 32

    You don't honestly believe you're the only one with experience when it comes to pot do you?
    And I noticed you were a little vague... is that because police statistics show alcohol and hard drugs are waaaaay bigger problems?

    Nobody is suggesting a 75% tax... nobody.
    Straw man arguments are beneath even you.
    A slight increase in income taxes for the rich is the only income tax proposal. The carried interest elimination and parity for capital gains are being discussed, but haven't actually made it into any platform for candidates in either party.

    Bernie is proposing a tiny transactional tax on trades, but you aren't arguing about that anywhere.

    And since we are talking about a slight increase, I do have a point, and you do not have a point.

    And "we", the United States, adjusting to fewer venture funds offshoring our jobs would indeed be an easy adjustment. The taxes generated from their profits don't come close to offsetting the lost taxes from the jobs and companies they ravage.
    None of that was about "other peoples money" as you falsely claim.

    In any case, income and capital gains taxes tax future income and profit, so the rich would indeed stay rich. Your denial of that simple reality is indefensible.

    The only tax on already accumulated wealth is the estate tax, and none of the plans offered on the Left include raising it.

    As for your example about how income is spent, I have never seen such utter nonsense in my life. It's complete bull, start to finish. It is so divorced from reality it makes no sense even as an imagined theoretical argument.

    And, FYI, every comment, every false claim, and all the policies you attack and defend are just oozing with right wing ideology.
    You're not just lying to yourself when you claim otherwise.

  72. [72] 
    Michale wrote:

    Over at HuffPost, Arianna Huffington has formally announced that Trump has run into his Sarah Palin Moment.

    If I had a dollar for every time someone said that Trump has reached his xxxx "moment", I could REALLY retire...

    Ya'all DON'T get it...

    As long as pundits and partisans worry about "moments" and minutiae, people like Trump and Sanders will ALWAYS be popular and strike a cord...

    The disease is politics... Politicians are the carriers...

    And the American people are sick and tired of being sick and tired...

    Michale

  73. [73] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    The disease is politics... Politicians are the carriers...And the American people are sick and tired of being sick and tired...

    And, Vice President Joe Biden could be the antidote or just what the doctor ordered. If he enters the race, that is, which I still believe is not likely.

    You may use "uncle Joe" as a term of endearment but, too many others use it to dismiss and denigrate his career as an honourable politician, public servant and statesman. Use it as you will.

  74. [74] 
    Michale wrote:

    Biga,

    Nobody is suggesting a 75% tax... nobody.

    Yer right. Sanders is saying 90%... :D

    Bernie Sanders Would Tax The Income Of The Wealthiest Americans At 90 Percent
    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2015/05/26/3662773/sanders-90-percent-tax/

    Do you ever get tired of being wrong?? :D

    Michale

  75. [75] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    And, Vice President Joe Biden could be the antidote or just what the doctor ordered. If he enters the race, that is, which I still believe is not likely.

    Not if he continues Obama's legacy of doing what he wants, regardless of what the American people want...

    Every major initiative that Obama has pushed, from TrainWreckCare thru the Trade Deals to The Iran Giveaway, the American people have been completely and unequivocally against..

    If Biden can't remember that, as POTUS he works FOR the American people, he will be as bad as Obama...

    You may use "uncle Joe" as a term of endearment but, too many others use it to dismiss and denigrate his career as an honourable politician, public servant and statesman. Use it as you will.

    Danke.. I'll use it sparingly.. :D

    Michale

  76. [76] 
    Michale wrote:

    Biga,

    Nobody is suggesting a 75% tax... nobody.

    Yer right. Sanders is saying 90%... :D

    Bernie Sanders Would Tax The Income Of The Wealthiest Americans At 90 Percent
    http://tinyurl.com/nsm6546

    Do you ever get tired of being wrong?? :D

    Michale

  77. [77] 
    Michale wrote:

    Biga,

    Nobody is suggesting a 75% tax... nobody.

    Yer right. Sanders is saying 90%... :D

    Bernie Sanders Would Tax The Income Of The Wealthiest Americans At 90 Percent

    Do you ever get tired of being wrong?? :D

    Michale

  78. [78] 
    Michale wrote:

    Biga,

    I was wrong.. It wasn't 75%...

    Sanders is saying 90%... :D

    Do you ever get tired of being wrong?? :D

    Michale

  79. [79] 
    Michale wrote:

    As for your example about how income is spent, I have never seen such utter nonsense in my life. It's complete bull, start to finish. It is so divorced from reality it makes no sense even as an imagined theoretical argument.

    TRANSLATION: I have no rational or logical response to the facts and to the reality...

    :D

    Michale

  80. [80] 
    Michale wrote:

    As for your example about how income is spent, I have never seen such utter nonsense in my life..

    TRANSLATION: I have no rational or logical response to the facts and to the reality...

    :D

    Michale

  81. [81] 
    Michale wrote:

    FBI Said to Recover Personal E-Mails From Hillary Clinton Server
    http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-09-22/fbi-said-to-recover-personal-e-mails-from-hillary-clinton-server

    Are ya'all SURE ya'all don't want to concede Hillary's "Toast Factor"?? :D

    Barring any Machiavellian 12-Dimensional Chess games by Hillary (a long-shot) Hillary is going down.. :D

    Michale

  82. [82] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let's forget all the melodrama for a second... Let's also forget all partisan ideology, if that is even possible for ya'all...

    I have a serious question and would like a serious answer..

    I would like ya'all's version of the thought process you believe Hillary used to come to the conclusion that a private insecure bathroom installed email server for a United States Secretary of State to use was a good idea..

    I mean, step outside your Democrat Party chains and look at the issue logically and rationally...

    How could ANYONE in their right mind think that this was a good idea??

    I truly would like to know what ya'all think about that...

    Michale

  83. [83] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, FYI, every comment, every false claim, and all the policies you attack and defend are just oozing with right wing ideology.
    You're not just lying to yourself when you claim otherwise.

    I understand you have to make that claim to save face... And while it's true that I do rail against Democrats more than Republicans it's an established fact that I have slammed the GOP when they made bonehead moves and I have credited Democrats when they done did good...

    With one exception none of ya'all can make the counter-part claim.

    I am a registered NPA... I voted for Obama in 2008 fer christ's sake!

    Do not try and project your ideological enslavement on me.. It won't work...

    My bona fides are too well established for you to question..

    Michale

  84. [84] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let me put it to ya this way, Biga...

    I take the GOP and the Right Wing ideology to task a HELLUVA lot more than ya'all take the Democrat Party and Left Wing ideology to task...

    That bona fide FACT makes me the most non-partisan, un-biased and objective citizen of Weigantia by comparison...

    Without me around, Weigantia would simply be an echo chamber where the only "debates" would be "is the Democrat Party REALLY awesome or just awesome??" and "Is Obama god or just the messenger of god??" :D

    "These are the facts of the case. And they are undisputed."
    -Captain 'Smilin' Jack Ross, A FEW GOOD MEN

    :D

    Michale

  85. [85] 
    Michale wrote:

    I was wrong.. It wasn't 75%...

    Sanders is saying 90%... :D

    Do you ever get tired of being wrong?? :D

    Says the guy who just admitted he was wrong.. :D

    I guess that's the core different between me and and most everyone else...

    I have no problem admitting when I am wrong when the facts clearly show I am....

    Michale

  86. [86] 
    Michale wrote:

    Militia Organizer Threatens to Arrest Stabenow Over Iran Deal
    http://www3.blogs.rollcall.com/hill-blotter/john-ritzheimer-debbie-stabenow-arrest-threat-iran-deal/

    Oh look.. Another zealot wanting to arrest a politician for doing their jobs....

    I have always wondered why the targets don't just let these morons make the arrest??

    And then turn around and prosecute them and sue them until they bleed out of every orifice!!

    This moron is no different than the moron who want to "arrest" Karl Rove or Dick Cheney or Tony Blair..

    Morons.. Ignorant morons...

    Michale

  87. [87] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    F.B.I. officials said that sending the Hoover figure to New York seemed to be a harmless idea at first. The figure -- a jowly, stern-faced Hoover dressed in a dark suit -- was originally on display in Washington at the F.B.I. headquarters building, which is named after Hoover, but the figure had been in storage for years.

    To completely end the legacy, that last bit needs addressing as well -- the part about the headquarters "named after Hoover." When the building is renamed, we'll believe the F.B.I. is serious about disavowing Hoover's legacy.

    Well, if they're sending Hoover to NYC anyway, why not dress him up in lingerie and give him some prime real estate in the West Village?

    JL

  88. [88] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, if they're sending Hoover to NYC anyway, why not dress him up in lingerie and give him some prime real estate in the West Village?

    heh

    Now THAT was funny!! :D

    Michale

  89. [89] 
    Michale wrote:

    Re: Clinton...

    Hillary has gone on and on about how her private insecure bathroom closet email server was "allowed" and "authorized"...

    But she refuses to say **WHO** "allowed" or "authorized" this private insecure bathroom closet email server..

    Because, whoever did should be prosecuted and sent to jail for a long LONG time...

    But we all know the facts.. No one allowed or authorized Hillary's GiveTheFingerToCongressAndTheAmericanPeople email server...

    It was solely and completely her decision...

    And that is why she will implode..

    Do ya'all honestly believe that, if she somehow manages to limp thru the Primary and actually become the candidate, that she will have a snowballs chance in hell of prevailing in the general??

    Her numbers are dive-bombing NOW.. And there is STILL so many more revelations to come....

    Michale

  90. [90] 
    Michale wrote:

    And in other news....

    Iran is demanding that all sanctions be TERMINATED, not suspended, but TERMINATED immediately...

    If the sanctions are not terminated immediately, then Iran will not abide by the JCPOA restrictions..

    WOW... Who would have EVER thought this could happen...

    Oh... wait..... :^/

    Michale

  91. [91] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Oh, Michale ... still believing everything you read? :)

  92. [92] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    Ask yourself 2 questions..

    1. Is it in keeping with what we know about Iran??

    2. Is there any evidence that disputes the claim??

    Michale

  93. [93] 
    Michale wrote:

    WASHINGTON — Pope Francis urged his fellow American bishops to take care of the spiritual needs of priests and to welcome new immigrants into the United States,

    No one in this country has a problem with immigrants..

    At least, not anyone who is worth a damn...

    The problem is, and always will be, ILLEGAL immigrants...

    Criminals...

    gently admonishing them to "flee the temptation of narcissism."

    You just HAVE to know that the pope had his eye on Obama when he said this.. :D

    Michale

  94. [94] 
    Michale wrote:

    Speaking of narcissism...

    http://www.theamericanmirror.com/obama-blocks-conservative-black-middle-schooler-from-following-him-on-twitter/

    Gods, our POTUS can be so frakin' thin-skinned...

    What a whiney little biatch that our President would block a kid on twitter....

    I guess Obama's claim that he is POTUS for *ALL* Americans is proven a lie once again...

    Michale

  95. [95] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale[87]

    I have no time to waste or energy to spend on foolish games like that.

    Please remember, I am following reliable sources of information on this matter. You should start doing the same.

  96. [96] 
    Michale wrote:

    Please remember, I am following reliable sources of information on this matter. You should start doing the same.

    My "reliable source" is the grand terrorist himself, Kahmani with a confirming source of SecState Lurch...

    Doesn't get more "reliable" than that..

    Michale

  97. [97] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    While we cannot and should not discount what Iran's supreme leader says, it is far more important to judge Iran on its actions.

  98. [98] 
    Michale wrote:

    While we cannot and should not discount what Iran's supreme leader says, it is far more important to judge Iran on its actions.

    I completely and unequivocally agree with that..

    So, let's look at Iran's actions..

    World's State Sponsor of terrorism..

    Executes people for being gay...

    Well, my mind is made up.... :D

    Seriously, though. You are right. Lurch and Khameni can spout off till the cows come home.. Politicians or religious zealots... Bunch of hot air..

    BUT...

    Because we ARE dealing with a religious fanatic, the words he speaks MUST be taken seriously because the price of ignoring the words is too high a price to pay..

    Put it in another context.. Richard Nixon scared the shit out of Congress when he said, "I can go to my office, get on the phone and launch a strike that will kill 200,000 people!!"

    Which prompted Congress to take steps to insure that can't happen..

    Words matter... Threats matter even more...

    And, oh yea... Blue Lives Matter :D

    Michale

  99. [99] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.climatedepot.com/2015/09/24/another-climate-prediction-fizzles-dc-climate-rally-for-pope-shrinks-from-expected-200000-to-just-hundreds/

    hehehehehehe

    When is the Hysterical Left going to get the message..

    The myth/con that is Human Caused Global Warming (But There Hasn't Been Any Warming In Decades) has had it's 15 minutes of fame..

    The vast majority of Americans couldn't care less...

    Michale

  100. [100] 
    altohone wrote:

    Oh Micha

    Funny how your claims of facts and truth always come up bass ackwards.

    Not ha ha funny, of course.
    More like the funny taste of milk that is past its prime.

    So, where in Bernie's plan is the 90%?
    You know what I mean right?
    Bernie's actual plan... perhaps a link to a video where he said what you claim... from his website... anything?

    In other words, not what you and others want to believe, but what the candidate has proposed.
    Because, as you may or may not know, there seems to be a rather large discrepancy that un-coincidentally matches your ideology.

    You also seem to be repeating yourself more than usual.

    And are you really just going to ignore all the other comments and questions I asked you?

    I realize that with foot and mouth disease, you may be struggling, but come on.

    A

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