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Friday Talking Points [465] -- And The Horse You Rode In On!

[ Posted Friday, December 15th, 2017 – 18:45 PST ]

Democrats -- and not a few Republicans as well -- spent most of this week metaphorically dancing on Roy Moore's political grave. To the very end, Moore proved to be a rather cartoonish villain, riding up to the polls on a horse he couldn't even control (named -- you just can't make this stuff up -- "Sassy"). This led to much ribaldry at his expense, after he lost the election Tuesday night, most of which ended with the refrain: "...and the horse you rode in on!"

Doug Jones pulled off a spectacular upset in Alabama's special Senate election, one that will be long remembered by both parties (indeed, even as Scott Brown winning Ted Kennedy's old seat is now remembered... but more on that in a bit). In doing so, Jones placed Donald Trump in the category of "three-time loser," since the last three big races Trump inserted himself into all led to crushing defeats for his chosen candidates (Virginia governor, Alabama's GOP primary, and then Tuesday's general election). Say it loud, say it proud: "President LOSER! Sad!"

Republicans are quick to claim that Moore was a special case and that either he (or Steve Bannon, for some) are responsible for such an embarrassing loss, but in reality while the Alabama race was unusual in the extreme, it also continued a voting trend that has been building all year. Republicans are beginning to lose the suburbs, and that could signal very big changes to come in next year's midterms. The Washington Post had a very nice roundup of the data points which make this case:

In Alabama, Sen.-elect Doug Jones (D) flipped or came close on Tuesday in suburban counties that Trump had won around Birmingham and Montgomery.

His victory offers the latest data points for a trendline that stretches back to April, when a special election in Kansas to replace Mike Pompeo -- who gave up his House seat to become CIA director -- was unexpectedly close because of Democratic strength and high turnout in the Wichita suburbs, specifically Sedgwick County.

In Virginia last month, Chesterfield County -- which includes the suburbs around Richmond -- backed a Democratic gubernatorial candidate for the first time since 1961. Several GOP state legislators unexpectedly went down in suburban districts that were not thought to be in play. Gov.-elect Ralph Northam (D) won the district held by Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) in the D.C. suburbs by 13 points. Four years before, Terry McAuliffe got 60 percent in Fairfax County. Northam pulled 68 percent.

The same night, Democrats flipped two county executive races in the New York suburbs of Westchester and Nassau. They also picked up GOP-held state legislative in the suburbs of Seattle, Tulsa and Atlanta.

These shifts alarm Republicans because many of their most vulnerable House incumbents represent suburban districts around places like Minneapolis and Philadelphia. Many college-educated white women who voted for Trump are swinging away, and traditional Democrats are highly motivated while Republicans are fractured.

"Throughout 2017, there has been a storm brewing in these suburbs, but on Tuesday night it got upgraded to a Category 5," said Democratic strategist Jesse Ferguson, who cut his teeth in Virginia politics and worked on Hillary Clinton's campaign last year.

"There have been more than 70 special elections for state and federal legislative seats in 2017 so far.... Democrats have outperformed the partisan lean in 74 percent of these races," Harry Enten tabulates on FiveThirtyEight.

Look to Lee County in Alabama, which is named for Robert E. Lee. "No Democratic presidential candidate has earned more than 45 percent of the vote there since the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Trump carried the county by 24 points. And yet on Tuesday, Lee County voted for Jones by 17 points -- a whopping 41 point swing toward Democrats," Matthew Chapman writes on Shareblue.

This should all be a very clear lesson for Democrats heading into the midterms: look to the 'burbs for new voters, especially suburban women disgusted with Trump's continuing antics. Already, many voters have been bailing on the Republican Party, making for a very favorable landscape for Democrats heading into the midterms.

By week's end, Moore was still refusing to concede the race, leading Democrat David Axelrod to tweet: "Moore doesn't get it. He just got banned from another mall. This one:" with a photo of the Capitol and National Mall in front of it. Funniest tweet we saw all week, personally. Second place would have to be from Josh Holmes, a former chief of staff to Mitch McConnell, who tweeted: "I'd just like to thank Steve Bannon for showing us how to lose the reddest state in the union."

Speaking of child molesters, Dennis Hastert was back in the news, as a federal judge imposed new restrictions on his period of supervised release from prison. Hastert is barred from being alone with minors, possessing pornography, and using "sex-related telephone numbers." Probably all good ideas, knowing Hastert's history.

Which leads us to what has become a regular weekly feature: a rundown of the continuing #MeToo fallout in Washington and in the world of journalism (once again, we aren't even noting the fallout in the sports or entertainment worlds any more, because there are just too damn many to keep up with). So, very quickly:

Republican Representative Blake Farenthold announced he is not going to step down but will also not run for re-election next year. He's not only been accused of sexual harassment (by both men and women on his congressional staff), you might also remember him from that infamous ducky pajama party photo. Also revealed: Farenthold once owned the internet domain "Blow-me.org." Nothing like good old-fashioned Republican values, eh?

On the Democratic side, a second woman accused Representative Ruben Kihuen of sexual misconduct. More on him in the awards section, though.

Judge Alex Kozinski from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is being investigated after six women (all former staffers) alleged sexual contact or inappropriate comments.

Ironically, a top official at the Office of Congressional Ethics -- you know, the watchdogs for congressional misbehavior -- has been accused of both sexual harassment and physical assault, the latter stemming from a barroom brawl he engaged in on Valentine's Day two years ago. The fight was reportedly started by him harassing and physically assaulting three women at the bar who were not his girlfriend -- during their Valentine's Day date, no less.

In the journalistic world, Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker was fired this week, for "improper sexual conduct." Later in the week, PBS cut all ties with Tavis Smiley for similar allegations.

Tragically, Republican Representative Dan Johnson, after being accused of molesting (if not criminally raping) an underage girl in the basement of his own church, committed suicide this week. This is the first such suicide in the sexual misconduct fallout, but it may not wind up being the last.

All of this has also refocused the spotlight on Donald Trump's accusers, who held a press conference this week to remind America that their president is also under the same cloud as all the others. This time, maybe people will pay a little more attention. Trump, of course, continues to insist that they're all liars. He even went as far as claiming he "didn't know" or "never met" all of these women, despite photographic evidence and despite the fact that one of them was a contestant on The Apprentice. So it's pretty easy to see who is lying.

Speaking of Trump lies, using a very strict definition, the New York Times decided to compare Trump's blatant and knowing lies to Obama's lies while in office. They counted 103 lies by Trump in his first ten months in office (far fewer than the 1,600-plus the Washington Post continues to tally). During Obama's entire eight-year term the Times only found 18 times he had intentionally lied. So much for false equivalence, eh?

Let's see, what else is going on? Republican Chuck Grassley had apparently had enough of Trump's judicial nominees who are either blatantly unqualified or downright repulsive. One nominee became an internet sensation this week when he couldn't even answer basic questions -- from a Republican questioner, no less -- about the duties of a federal judge. The discovery of an online post supporting "the original K.K.K." and other odious writings and quotes also led to two of Trump's judicial nominees essentially being rejected by the Senate.

After pretty much every economist under the sun -- left, right, and center -- concluded that the GOP tax plan is going to cost a whopping amount of money, it was left to the Treasury Department to come up with their own study showing how the magic of tax cuts paying for themselves would work. They essentially admitted defeat this week, releasing a one-page fantasy document which basically just said: "Tax cuts will pay for themselves, period. Now stop bugging us about it." This contradicts the conclusion of (to name but a few) the Tax Policy Center, the Tax Foundation, the Penn-Wharton Budget Model, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Goldman Sachs, and the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation (and the Congressional Budget Office, for good measure) -- all of which predict trillion-dollar holes being blown in the deficit and debt.

Paul Ryan is considering stepping down from Congress some time next year, Politico reports, although Ryan has publicly denied the reports. But if a Democratic wave is coming, it might behoove him to seek refuge before it hits, so the move would certainly make sense. Some are saying that passing tax cuts might be Ryan's "Boehner meets the Pope" moment, for the wonks among us who remember how the last GOP speaker left.

The Democratic National Committee is now seriously considering decreasing the number of superdelegates for their next national convention in 2020. This has been a year-long fight, led by the Bernie Sanders faction, so it'll be interesting to see if any changes are actually adopted by the D.N.C. Also under consideration are changing rules for both caucuses and primaries.

The Federal Communications Commission announced it's going to kill net neutrality, which has already led to a huge backlash. Just another part of the Republican agenda which is wildly unpopular with the voters. A full 83 percent of the public -- including 75 percent of Republicans -- want to see net neutrality continue. So of course the Trump administration is going to chuck the rule out the window.

And speaking of monumental stupidity and online backlash, we have to close on a holiday note. Sean Spicer (remember him?) posted on social media this week a photo of what he called "FDRs book of Christmas Carols." Except what the photo actually showed was Roosevelt's personal copy of A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. You may have heard of it -- Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, Ebenezer Scrooge? Any of that ring a bell, Spicey?

Sheesh.

 

Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

Not surprisingly, Senator-Elect Doug Jones of Alabama is unquestioningly our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week. We've been writing about the implications of his victory all week long, in fact. It was a stunning and impressive victory in a state nobody thought Democrats would win, even two months ago. But more than celebrating the victory itself, Democrats have been enthused about what could happen next.

Here is some rather delicious food for Democratic thought. In 2008, Barack Obama was elected in a landslide. On December 8, 2009 -- less than a year after he had taken office -- Democrats lost a special election to replace Ted Kennedy in the Senate, to Republican Scott Brown. This was shocking, and the very next November Democrats got what Obama called "a shellacking" in the midterm elections, losing six Senate seats to Republicans as well as a whopping 63 House seats. This gave control of the House to the Republicans, and they've kept it ever since (Democrats did manage to hang onto control of the Senate in 2010, but only by a 51-49 margin).

Fast-forward to today. Donald Trump was narrowly elected in 2016. His average job approval rating with the public has never been 50 percent or higher since the day he took office. He actually hit new polling lows this week, bringing his average down to a worst-ever 37 percent as individual polls put him as low as 32 percent. At this point in his own term, Barack Obama had just fallen below 50 percent average job approval for the first time ever -- but still, Obama was 12 points better than where Trump finds himself now.

Trump has now matched Obama in losing a Senate seat that his party really never should have lost. The open question now is whether history will repeat itself and deliver a "shellacking" to Trump in the 2018 midterms. This time next year, we could again be looking forward to seeing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi once again.

Winning back the House is nowhere near a longshot anymore. Democrats need to pick up fewer than 25 seats to do so. The truly startling thing is that control of the Senate is now within reach for the Democrats, too. Republicans will be reduced to a razor-thin 51-49 majority starting next year, meaning a net pickup of two seats would also bring us Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. This is still in the realm of longest of longshots for now, but that's better than being absolutely out of the question (where it basically was before this Tuesday).

Democrats have Doug Jones to thank for much of that, for winning his race against all odds. A Democrat just won a state that Donald Trump won a year ago by 28 points. That is seriously impressive. Doug Jones is, without question, the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week. At this point, he's even in strong contention (if the award existed, that is) for Most Impressive Democrat Of The Year. So we join millions of others in thanking the voters of Alabama for doing the right thing and electing Doug Jones to the United States Senate. Instead of the accused child molester.

[Senator-Elect Doug Jones does not have an official Senate contact page yet, since he won't be sworn into office until January. So you'll have to wait to congratulate him officially until he is seated, sorry.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

Pressure is mounting on Representative Ruben Kihuen (from Nevada) to step down, after a second woman accused him of sexual misconduct while he was in office. Nancy Pelosi has now called on Kihuen to step down and an Ethics Committee investigation has been opened into the allegations. So far, Kihuen refuses to do so. For better or worse, Democrats have adopted a zero tolerance policy for such situations, and for them to continue to take this moral high road, Kihuen is going to have to go.

The argument can be made (indeed, many made it about Al Franken) that Democrats are being a wee bit self-destructive by their unforgiving stance that any sexual misconduct allegations merit an immediate end to a political career, but that's the stance they have taken and if they're going to be believable then they have to be consistent.

We are reminded of the atmosphere in the 1990s over a far different (and much more benign) series of accusations made against Democrats in office, which followed the revelation that Zoë Baird (who had been nominated by Bill Clinton to be the first female U.S. Attorney General ever) had broken federal law by employing two illegal aliens, as a nanny and a chauffeur. They had failed to pay proper payroll taxes (by paying the workers "under the counter") and it torpedoed her nomination, which was quickly withdrawn.

A second nomination was also withdrawn, for similar reasons, and the Clinton White House had to institute a new rule: "If you ever knowingly hired an illegal alien, that's a killer. If you hired someone who was legal but didn't pay Social Security taxes, you're probably O.K., but only if you come clean and pay the back taxes." This then became a regular box to check for anyone in political office hoping to be named to an executive branch post.

But the whole "Nannygate" frenzy did indeed institute a new standard, one that every politician afterwards had to face. George W. Bush saw a Labor Secretary and Homeland Security Secretary nomination withdrawn after nanny problems surfaced during their vetting process, years later.

We are not equating household employment problems with sexual assault, please note. The two are separate and one is obviously much worse than the other. But we mention Nannygate because of the almost-immediate impact on politicians -- suddenly, there was a new standard that was a deal-breaker. Sexual misconduct of any sort whatsoever is fast becoming the same sort of litmus test. This change, many would say, is long overdue.

This week, for Democrats, Representative Ruben Kihuen is on the hotseat. It's looking less and less likely that he'll survive (especially after the second accuser went public). Which is why he is this week's Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week -- both for the allegations, if true, and for refusing to put party ahead of his own personal political ambitions.

[Contact Representative Ruben Kihuen on his House contact page, to let him know what you think of his actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 465 (12/15/17)

Before we begin, a program note is in order. This will be the last Friday Talking Points column of the year. We will return to regular columns on the fifth of January.

Instead, in this space, we will be running our annual year-end awards columns, for the next two weeks. So there's that to look forward to!

For now, here are our year-end talking points for Democrats to use. We had to limit ourselves this week by not coming up with any of these which directly address the Doug Jones win, because we felt it's easy enough for Democrats to express their sheer glee on this subject on their own and without our help. Instead, we concentrated on Trump's plummeting public approval and the Republicans' Christmas turkey of a tax plan. Enjoy, and we'll see you back here next year!

 

1
   Loser! Loser! Loser!

Say it three times, and Trump's hairpiece will appear in the mirror....

"Donald Trump is finally beginning to lose the support of his base voters. Maybe it was the fact that he's now a three-time loser when it comes to endorsing Republican candidates? Or maybe they're beginning to realize what a monumental bait-and-switch job the GOP tax plan is, running counter to just about everything Trump promised he'd do on the campaign trail? Trump and the Republican Congress haven't done a single thing for Trump voters all year, and they're about to have to compromise with Democrats if they want to go home for their year-end vacations -- the prospect of which already has some burning their 'Make America Great Again' hats in protest. But whatever the reasons may be, Trump's job approval polling is sinking like a stone. Most astonishingly, Trump is even losing significant amounts of support from Fox News viewers -- the very base that elected him. As Trump might say: Sad!"

 

2
   Trump even enrages USA Today

USA Today is, for the most part, a fairly non-partisan newspaper. For instance, it never even endorses presidential candidates. But this week, Trump's slur against Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (that she "would do anything" for donations) was the final straw for USA Today's editorial board. They penned an incredibly scathing editorial in response, which (again) is unusual from a paper that normally tries to remain nonpartisan in outlook.

And as is the case with all of Trump's digital provocations, the president's words were deliberate. He pours the gasoline of sexist language and lights the match gleefully knowing how it will burst into flame in a country reeling from the #MeToo moment. A president who would all but call Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand a whore is not fit to clean the toilets in the Barack Obama Presidential Library or to shine the shoes of George W. Bush.

. . .

If recent history is any guide, the unique awfulness of the Trump era in U.S. politics is only going to get worse. Trump's utter lack of morality, ethics and simple humanity has been underscored during his 11 months in office.

. . .

The nation doesn't seek nor expect perfect presidents, and some have certainly been deeply flawed. But a president who shows such disrespect for the truth, for ethics, for the basic duties of the job and for decency toward others fails at the very essence of what has always made America great.

 

3
   Haste makes stupidity, not waste

The GOP tax bill was written rather hastily. Hastily-written legislation is usually a very bad idea.

"In their rush to pass a gigantic Christmas present to corporations and millionaires, Republicans have managed to make a few glaring errors in drafting their bill. As the Wall Street Journal helpfully pointed out: 'Some high-income business owners could face marginal tax rates exceeding 100 percent under the Senate's tax bill, far beyond the listed rates in the Republican plan. That means a business owner's next $100 in earnings, under certain circumstances, would require paying more than $100 in additional federal and state taxes.' That's not exactly business-friendly, even in a bill that is supposed to be super-friendly to businesses. These are the kind of mistakes that get made when you cobble a bill together in a back room meeting in the dead of night, folks. I wonder what other charming snafus will emerge from the final bill? Of course, none of the Republicans who vote on it will even bother to read it, so we'll just have to see after it passes which provision is the most horrific -- and whether it was intentional, or not. Making businesses pay a tax rate of over 100 percent is a pretty big lump of coal in their stockings, wouldn't you say?"

 

4
   Republican values on full display

Republicans truly believe that voters will actually reward them for this turkey of a bill. They could be in for a very rude surprise. Democrats will be enthusiastically campaigning on the tax bill, pointing out the values it exposes within the Republican Party. They've already largely won the war on how the public initially sees the bill, and if they're smart they'll be reinforcing this all next year. Paul Waldman at the Washington Post has a great example showing how to properly frame this issue:

The first value is the one lying at the heart of all Republican tax policy: The rich are just better than the rest of us. They're more noble, more deserving, more worthy of consideration and help. When Republicans speak of tax "relief," it is the wealthy whose burdens are being lifted. So it is with this cut, which not only has multiple provisions explicitly benefiting the wealthy, like a reduction in the top income tax rate and a doubling of the inheritance tax exemption, but also phases out many of the cuts that benefit those at lower incomes, so that with each passing year its benefits flow more to the top. When you make a choice to eliminate a provision that helps ordinary people so that you can preserve a corporate tax cut, you’re making a statement of values.

 

5
   Need more proof?

The Marco Rubio subplot is instructive, as well.

"Marco Rubio made a tiny splash in the news for threatening to withhold his support for the bill if the child tax credit wasn't boosted more in the final bill. When the House passed their version of the bill, this credit was boosted from $1,000 to $1,600. When the Senate passed their version, it was doubled to $2,000. So what happened in the conference committee? They took the two numbers and decided not to split the difference at all -- because they wanted more money for millionaires. They suggested only $1,100 for poor people. They told Rubio they could not raise the business tax from 20 percent to 21 percent to pay for boosting the child tax credit, because it would somehow kill all the magic growth. Then they turned around and smacked him in the face by deciding to lower the tax rate that millionaires pay by a few percentage points -- and pay for it by raising the business tax from 20 percent to 21 percent. Rubio rebelled, or appeared to. Within a single day, though, he was back on board with only raising the credit to $1,400 for poor people. Republican values could not more starkly be on display. When one of the few crumbs to the poor was up for debate, the Republicans decided to just slash it to the bone. It's like Scrooge McDuck was in charge of the negotiations or something: 'We've got to cut goodies for poor people so we can shovel more money at the wealthiest tax bracket!' The Democratic ads next year are just going to write themselves, folks."

 

6
   Less popular than tax hikes!

The public really, really, really does not like this tax bill. Point this out, and point out why.

"Nancy Pelosi called the Republican tax bill a giant con job and she was right -- the lies they've been telling about it are just laughable when compared to what is actually in the bill. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin tells the biggest whoppers, such as: 'there will be no absolute tax cut for the upper class,' and 'virtually everybody in the middle class will get... a significant tax cut.' Trump lied his face off when he claimed: 'this is going to cost me a fortune,' when in reality he'll likely save tens of millions on his taxes. The American people are not fooled, though. Poll after poll shows the bill with only 35 percent support or worse -- Reuters and Quinnipiac had it down to only 29 percent support. Only 17 percent of people agree that the bill will primarily help the middle class, while overwhelming majorities see it for what it is -- a giant tax break for the wealthiest. In fact, this bill is so unpopular that past bills which have actually raised taxes have had more public support. That's pretty astonishing when you think about it. The American people have not been fooled by the snow job Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have sold Donald Trump on -- they see this bill for exactly what it is, and they do not like it one bit. Republicans who think voting for this monstrosity are going to help them win re-election next year are downright delusional."

 

7
   You're fired!

Oh, the irony....

"Immediately after African-American voters in Alabama absolutely spanked Trump in Tuesday's election, his close friend Omarosa was shown the White House door. So much for Omarosa somehow helping Trump out with African-Americans, eh? Her exit means the White House will now have no black senior advisors on the payroll at all, which I'm sure will do nothing but help Trump's minority outreach situation, right?"

-- Chris Weigant

 

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

 

122 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [465] -- And The Horse You Rode In On!”

  1. [1] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Re TP No.4

    I couldn't say how many Republicans actually believe that The rich (meaning those who earned their wealth) are "just better than the rest of us", but it's pretty hard to deny that they are a helluva lot more productive than are the rest of us!

    But please, don't come back with nonsense responses that 'the poor work harder than do the rich'. It's not how physically hard a person works that determines how much he benefits his fellow men, it's how SMART he works that counts.

  2. [2] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    C. R. Stucki,
    Why is it true that "The rich (meaning those who earned their wealth)" are "more productive than the rest of us"?
    I would agree that some wealthy people have created wealth through effort and labor. But I can't see that all people who are rich - including those who have benefited through inheritance - have "earned" their wealth.

  3. [3] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: Winning back the House is nowhere near a longshot anymore. Democrats need to pick up fewer than 25 seats to do so.

    I'd say there are 9 seats in New York and 14 seats in California that are ripe for the picking due to the "middle class" tax cut.

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    By week's end, Moore was still refusing to concede the race,

    Do ya'all REALLY want to go on record as slamming Moore's refusal to concede an election??

    REALLY???

    All of this has also refocused the spotlight on Donald Trump's accusers, who held a press conference this week to remind America that their president is also under the same cloud as all the others.

    Exclusive: Prominent lawyer sought donor cash for two Trump accusers
    http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/365068-exclusive-prominent-lawyer-sought-donor-cash-for-two-trump-accusers

    'nuff said on the credibility of Trump's accusers..

    Speaking of Trump lies, using a very strict definition, the New York Times decided to compare Trump's blatant and knowing lies to Obama's lies while in office. They counted 103 lies by Trump in his first ten months in office (far fewer than the 1,600-plus the Washington Post continues to tally). During Obama's entire eight-year term the Times only found 18 times he had intentionally lied. So much for false equivalence, eh?

    The Times?? *THAT* is your credible source??? :D

    Yer kidding, right???

    The Federal Communications Commission announced it's going to kill net neutrality, which has already led to a huge backlash.

    Yea.. Death threats against the lead commissioner and bomb threats against the building..

    Yep, that's our Democrat Party... :^/

    Once again, another abysmal week for the Dumbocrat Party.. :D

    439

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, of course, let's not forget all the hysterical FAKE NEWS that has wrongfully attacked President Trump....

    While Truth Puts On Its Shoes
    The media's reign of error.

    Covering the Trump presidency has not always been the media’s finest hour, but even grading on that curve, the month of December has brought astonishing screwups. Professor and venerable political observer Walter Russell Mead tweeted on December 8, “I remember Watergate pretty well, and I don’t remember anything like this level of journalistic carelessness back then. The constant stream of ‘bombshells’ that turn into duds is doing much more to damage the media than anything Trump could manage.”
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/while-truth-puts-on-its-shoes/article/2010858

    Like I said.. I think it's oh so precocious that ya'all STILL have faith in your Leftist Propaganda machine.. :D

    441

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    Tax cut bill goes public as GOP slashes rates for the wealthy, nixes Obamacare penalty, expands child tax credits, dramatically lowers corporate taxes and opens up new Alaska oil drilling
    Lawmakers released the full text of the Republican leadership-backed tax cut Friday evening
    The Senate is expected to vote Monday and House is expected to vote Tuesday
    Top income tax rate drops to 37 per cent from 39.6
    Corporate tax rate slashed to 21 per cent from 35 per cent
    Estates worth up to $11.2 million shielded from federal taxes
    State and local tax deduction capped at $10,000 as in House bill
    New York and California lawmakers railed against the elimination of SALT
    Latest Senate version came in at cost of $1.5 trillion over 10 years
    Doubling of child tax credit and increase in standard deduction
    White House says bill simplifies 'rigged and burdensome tax code'

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5185023/GOP-tax-cut-bill-slashes-rates-kills-Obamacare-penalty.html

    WOOT!!!! TrainWreckCare is toast!!!! :D

    President Trump! Making America Great Again...

    442

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    Winning back the House is nowhere near a longshot anymore. Democrats need to pick up fewer than 25 seats to do so. The truly startling thing is that control of the Senate is now within reach for the Democrats, too. Republicans will be reduced to a razor-thin 51-49 majority starting next year, meaning a net pickup of two seats would also bring us Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. This is still in the realm of longest of longshots for now, but that's better than being absolutely out of the question (where it basically was before this Tuesday).

    Once again, I must applaud CW for his invention of the Time Machine that has transported us back in time to Sep/Oct of 2016....

    The hysterical exuberance is identical to the hysterical exuberance that ya'all had back then...

    We KNOW what happened back then...

    One would think ya'all would not be so eager to go thru such a massive upheaval of ya'all's fragile egos

    I would just hate for ya'all to have to go thru such another grave disappointment....

    443

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    By week's end, Moore was still refusing to concede the race, leading Democrat David Axelrod to tweet: "Moore doesn't get it. He just got banned from another mall. This one:" with a photo of the Capitol and National Mall in front of it. Funniest tweet we saw all week, personally. Second place would have to be from Josh Holmes, a former chief of staff to Mitch McConnell, who tweeted: "I'd just like to thank Steve Bannon for showing us how to lose the reddest state in the union."

    Speaking of child molesters,

    Well, since we're throwing around bullshit accusations...

    Exclusive: Former Joe Biden Secret Service Agent: We Had to Protect Women From Him, ‘Weinstein Level Stuff’
    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/11/exclusive-former-joe-biden-secret-service-agent-protect-women-weinstein-level-stuff/

    There are also MANY pictures of Joe Biden kissing children on the lips and fondling children...

    So, if ya'all are going to treat bullshit political hit job accusations as fact, then you will do the same for all these Joe Biden accusations, right???

    Of course not.. Rape, sexual assault, child molesting etc etc...

    That's just a problem for ya'all when it's a REPUBLICAN who is accused of it..

    Ya'all will defend those Democrats who are accused of it..

    444

  9. [9] 
    TheStig wrote:

    It should not take four years and/or a constitutional crisis to correct a political mistake.

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    It should not take four years and/or a constitutional crisis to correct a political mistake.

    It took 8 years to correct the last one..

    You see, that is EXACTLY ya'all's problem..

    If things don't go your way, it MUST be a mistake..

    Ya'all simply cannot allow the concept that ya'all MIGHT be wrong...

    445

  11. [11] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    If you ever wondered where the guy with the broom and the garbage can who is sweeping up the shit in the Fractured Fairy Tales cartoons does with the garbage can full of shit you have your answer- he delivers it to CW to use for FTPs.

    "This time next year, we could again be looking forward to seeing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi once again."

    What person in their right mind could want that?

    "...if they're going to be believable then they have to be consistent."

    TAKING BIG MONEY IS NOT BEING CONSISTENT WITH REPRESENTING ORDINARY CITIZENS!

    If the Democrats and/or citizens can demand that candidates be pure in regard to sexual allegations and hiring illegal housekeepers then they can certainly demand small contribution candidates.

    And this inconsistency again makes you CW the Most Disappointing Democrat for looking forward to Pelosi as Speaker and for promoting the Big Money Democrat bullshit.

    Why are the talking points all about how bad Trump and the Republicans are?
    Because that is all the Democrats have.

    It's time to make the Democrats offer better or move on to someone else that will.

    As I pointed out the other day what you see as a pendulum is actually a noose. Why do you continue to stick your head in the noose and encourage others to do the same?

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    What part of President Trump is the freely, fairly and legally elected President Of The United States is unclear to ya'all???

    446

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    "This time next year, we could again be looking forward to seeing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi once again."

    What person in their right mind could want that?

    Ya'all gotta admit, Don raises a good point.

    I mean, have ya'all listened to Pelosi lately???

    In the dictionary under BRAIN DEAD there is a picture of Nancy Pelosi....

    Pelosi oversaw the WORST shellacking the Demcorat Party had received in over a century...

    Yea.. Let's put Pelosi back in a leadership position...

    What could go wrong.. :^/

    447

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    BREAKING: Trump to remove ‘climate change’ as a national security threat
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/12/15/breaking-trump-to-remove-climate-change-as-a-national-security-threat/

    Finally...

    President Trump brings some SANITY back to government..

    448

  15. [15] 
    neilm wrote:

    Hey, can all the Republicans please explain free speech to me, since they are so up on it right now?

    For example, can you tell me why the White House banned the following words from use within the Center for Disease Control (CDC)'s budget:

    “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2017/12/16/here-are-7-words-that-the-trump-administration-is-reportedly-banning-at-cdc/#1eb5417b4c74

  16. [16] 
    neilm wrote:

    "science-based" is banned from the Center of Disease Control ... "science-based"?

    and "evidence-based" - we wouldn't want any of that, would we?

    Heaven help us if they screw up the CDC with ideological nut cases and we get an epidemic.

    Making America Great Again!

  17. [17] 
    neilm wrote:

    Yea.. Let's put Pelosi back in a leadership position...

    Being history's most unpopular President, being so incompetent that he couldn't even overturn Obamacare, let alone propose the better alternative he kept lying about all though 2016, supporting three losers in a row and now cheering for the most unpopular tax cut in history was all part ofhis plan.

    He is going to Make America Great Again by doing everything he can to put Pelosi back in power.

    Don't worry Michale, he is a complete loser, he might screw that up - maybe it will be a new, young, popular Democrat instead of Pelosi.

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    The media are killing themselves with botched anti-Trump reporting

    ‘Our record as journalists in covering this Trump story and the Russian story is pretty good,” legendary reporter Carl Bernstein recently claimed. Pretty good? If there’s a major news story over the past 70 years that the American media have botched more often because of bias and wishful thinking, I’d love to hear about it.

    Four big scoops recently run by major news organizations, written by top reporters and, presumably, churned through layers of scrupulous editing, turned out to be completely wrong.

    Reuters, Bloomberg and others reported that special counsel Robert Mueller’s office had subpoenaed President Trump’s records from Deutsche Bank. Trump’s attorney says it hadn’t.

    ABC reported that candidate Trump had directed Michael Flynn to make contact with Russian officials before the election. He didn’t (as far as we know). The New York Times ran a story claiming that K.T. McFarland, a former member of the Trump transition team, had acknowledged collusion. She hadn’t.

    Then, CNN topped off the week by falsely reporting that the Trump campaign had been offered access to hacked Democratic National Committee e-mails before they were published. It had not.

    Forget your routine bias. These were four bombshells disseminated to millions of Americans by breathless anchors, pundits and analysts, all of whom are feeding frenzied expectations about Trump-Russia collusion that have now been internalized by many as indisputable truths. All four pieces, incidentally, are useless without their central faulty claims. Yet there they sit. And these are only four of dozens of other stories that have fizzled over the year.

    If we are to accept the special pleadings of journalists, we have to believe these were all honest mistakes. They may be. But a person might then ask: Why is it that every one of the dozens of honest mistakes is prejudiced in the very same way? Why hasn’t there been a single major honest mistake that diminishes the Trump-Russia collusion story? Why is there never an honest mistake that indicts Democrats?

    Maybe the problem is that too many people are working backward from a preconception. Maybe newsrooms have too many people who view the world through an identical prism — which is to say they believe he stole the election with the help of Russians.
    https://nypost.com/2017/12/15/the-media-are-killing-themselves-with-botched-anti-trump-reporting/

    Ya'all buy into the Leftist's media BS because it's what you want to hear...

    449

  19. [19] 
    neilm wrote:

    Michale: Is America Great Now?

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    Michale: Is America Great Now?

    We're getting there..

    Odumbo and the Dumbocrats took 8 years to frak the country up beyond all belief....

    It's gonna take President Trump some time to fix it... :D

    Frak, it's cold!!! Where is Global Warming when ya need it!???

    450

  21. [21] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    John M [2]

    My whole POINT in specifying "those who earned their wealth" was the exclusion of the rich who did NOT earn their wealth, from the ranks of the highly productive.

    Obviously, the productivity from those with inherited wealth comes mainly from the productivity of capital, not from work.

    Seemed clear to me, so I can't tell if I'm a poor writer, or you're a poor reader?

  22. [22] 
    neilm wrote:

    My whole POINT in specifying "those who earned their wealth" was the exclusion of the rich who did NOT earn their wealth, from the ranks of the highly productive.

    Any interest in raising Capital Gains Tax to give Income Tax payers a break?

  23. [23] 
    neilm wrote:

    Sadly CRS, after many years on Wall St and the City of London I don't share your confidence that high earners are more productive.

    The top earners I've worked with (people who expect a seven figure bonus) find it very difficult to explain their value to the economy themselves - many agree privately that they are a cost of doing business in the financial markets and charge unconscionable rents. Many are very jaded and just want to "make their number", get out, then do some thing good and productive for society afterwards.

  24. [24] 
    neilm wrote:

    CRS - there is a good book that came out recently that lifts the cover a bit on financial markets called "Black Edge" by Sheelah Kolhatkar.

    I strongly recommend it.

  25. [25] 
    neilm wrote:

    CRS: In case you think I'm myopically focusing on Capital Markets, there is a reason for that. Most of the "earned" wealth in this economy is generated either by working directly in the markets and skimming fees, or from Capital Markets' instruments.

    This article explains why: http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/investment_manager.html

    Basically, even a very well paid doctor (say $400K/year at 35 rising to $1M/year at 65) will struggle to amass any significant amount of money (>$20M) over a working career. (Run the numbers yourself if you want.)

    Real wealth comes from working in the markets where the sums are astronomical (for example there is about $2T/day exchanged in the forex markets alone) and taking a small slice is almost invisible, even when it mounts to billions of dollars. The other way to make large amounts is via stock options and other bonuses that the very top management/owners get to give themselves beyond their salaries.

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    Don't worry Michale, he is a complete loser,

    Yea.. That's what you said in Jun 2015 thru Nov 2016...

    But oooooooOOpppppp What happened next?? :D

    You were wrong then..

    But yer RIGHT now, eh? :D

    451

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    There’s only one American journalist who truly merits a Pulitzer Prize this year: Glenn Greenwald. He’s been on the biggest story of the year from day one. No, I don’t mean Russiagate, the main stage for the media’s preening self-advertisements of its heroic “resistance,” like “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” In fact, the narrative holding that Donald Trump colluded with Russia is the chief piece of evidence that Greenwald has used to nail the year’s real top story—how the American press became a woozy facsimile of Pravda.

    Last week, Greenwald called out the press for its latest blunder: “Friday was one of the most embarrassing days for the U.S. media in quite a long time,” wrote Greenwald. “The humiliation orgy was kicked off by CNN, with MSNBC and CBS close behind, with countless pundits, commentators and operatives joining the party throughout the day. By the end of the day, it was clear that several of the nation’s largest and most influential news outlets had spread an explosive but completely false news story to millions of people while refusing to provide any explanation of how it happened.”

    The question of why everyone got the same big scoop on the same day—only to find that the story was totally wrong—is a thread that leads to some very interesting places. So let’s follow it.
    http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/251387/why-glenn-greenwald-deserves-a-pulitzer-prize

    Yep.. Yep.. Yep...

    But no one on the Left wants to peer TOO closely at the Emperor that is the Leftist media...

    452

  28. [28] 
    TheStig wrote:

    neilm-25

    "significant amount of money (>$20M) over a working career."

    I'm curious about the rational behind that benchmark.

    If I were defining it,it would be something like "the amount of capital required to effectively hedge against a 1 in 200 year economic collapse."

    Small investors like myself can't really hope to do anything that grand. It also greatly matters who is covered in the hedge: yourself and spouse living out your "golden years" in comfort vs your heirs living out their golden years in comfort.

    I know a lot of MDs. I don't think any of the ones I do know, with the possible exception of one, have made the $20M threshold. Most are well short, even though many are considered very successful doctors. It's even worse when I look at my lawyer friends.

    What ultimately determines the quality of your life is the state of your health. Gathering money piles can seriously work against the health factor. Trump being a cautionary tale in that regard. Accumulating Scrooge McDuck money piles typically seems to work against exercise, eating right and stress management. Bill Gates has an uber home gym...but looking at him, I don't think he uses it....I could be wrong, but that's what it seems.

    I agree completely with your Real Wealth assessment.

    Economics has engineered a perverse little rat race.

  29. [29] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    The Republican voting base was already sick of being lied to by the GOP, which is why so many voted for Trump instead of the usual suspects during the primaries! Trump’s “tells it like it is” attribute that so many people named for why they supported him was that he was calling out establishment lies, not that he was considered to be honest in his personal affairs. The voters I know weren’t endorsing Trump as much as they were sending the GOP a message that they were sick of being lied to!

    The GOP didn’t get the message, obviously, as the lies just continue to pour out of Republicans mouths at a furious pace. The voters in Alabama sent a message to the party that their loyalty is to be valued or it will disappear. This tax plan may wind up being the final straw that breaks the GOP’s back!

  30. [30] 
    neilm wrote:

    If I were defining it,it would be something like "the amount of capital required to effectively hedge against a 1 in 200 year economic collapse."

    That is basically the target I'm aiming for - it isn't exact (who knows what a 1-in-200-year crisis looks like - pitchforks, torches, and no more electricity?).

    However there are several variables that you can work with. One is to keep at most five years of spending in bonds - any more and you risk seeing your capital erode too much if we get a bout of high inflation. The rest of your money should be in more inflation proof instruments (e.g. housing, stocks).

    Another risk is the US$, so it is important to diversify into international stock, etc.

    Lastly is your fixed and discretionary spending - much of my fixed spending is property taxes and medical insurance. I can downsize the property but with house inflation that probably won't change my property tax bill.

    My simple plan is to roll five years of spending thru 5 year bond-like instruments and if the stock market is going gangbusters increase that to 7 or 8 years, and if the market is in the toilet run the bonds down to zero before selling stocks at a low point. This gives me a 5-7 year buffer from large moves in the stock market with only inflation risk to cope with by decreasing spending.

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Republican voting base was already sick of being lied to by the GOP, which is why so many voted for Trump instead of the usual suspects during the primaries! Trump’s “tells it like it is” attribute that so many people named for why they supported him was that he was calling out establishment lies, not that he was considered to be honest in his personal affairs. The voters I know weren’t endorsing Trump as much as they were sending the GOP a message that they were sick of being lied to!

    The GOP didn’t get the message, obviously, as the lies just continue to pour out of Republicans mouths at a furious pace. The voters in Alabama sent a message to the party that their loyalty is to be valued or it will disappear. This tax plan may wind up being the final straw that breaks the GOP’s back!

    Yes, by all means.. Your answer to all the Leftist Media lies and bullshit is that the GOP lies..

    Got it...

    Funny how ya'all accuse me of whataboutism but yet, it ONLY comes from ya'all...

    453

  32. [32] 
    neilm wrote:

    Yes, by all means.. Your answer to all the Leftist Media lies and bullshit is that the GOP lies..

    You're defending the GOP rather adamantly for an Independent Michale - anybody would think you were a Republican or something.

    Also, given that your stated worship of 45 was that he wasn't a GOP liar, why have you changed your mind?

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    You're defending the GOP rather adamantly for an Independent

    Where in that do you find ANY defense of the GOP???

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    You ever figure out how gun registration and insurance will prevent or help prevent crowd-based mass shootings??

    455

  35. [35] 
    TheStig wrote:

    neilm

    Your advice is basically what my advisors tell me.

    The biggest hedging problem I see is satisfactorily estimating the correlation matrix between all individual instruments that make up your portfolio. The perfect hedge portfolio has zero overall correlation, no matter what happens, you tend to stay even. As your pitchfork and torches comment implies, there are probably no solutions that keep you whole, or even close to whole, during an economic apocalypse - you just hope to retain enough assets to stay afloat or or grimly holed up in your bunker.

    Simply estimating the multivariate investment correlation of a real portfolio is a challenge: the bigger the matrix, the less likely you can compute unique solutions. (This same problem crops up in presidential election models that incorporate all the individual states).

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    Where in that do you find ANY defense of the GOP???

    That's just like when you found that I admired Sandy Hook, even though it's you who carries a picture of Adam Lanza in yer wallet...

    456

  37. [37] 
    neilm wrote:

    You ever figure out how gun registration and insurance will prevent or help prevent crowd-based mass shootings??

    Simple. The insurance companies will have access to a lot of information about patterns that lead up to expensive (for them) events and will either dramatically raise the premiums, or refuse to insure, high risk individuals.

    Nothing will ever stop a determined madman, but we can put a large dent in their ability to access firearms.

  38. [38] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    For example, can you tell me why the White House banned the following words from use within the Center for Disease Control (CDC)'s budget:

    “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”

    I can tell you why “fetus” is being banned — so that “baby” or “unborn child” would have to be used in its place. The pro-birthers want you to believe that a fully-formed-but-extremely-tiny-baby is what is formed immediately following conception. Fetus is a scientific term that doesn’t play on people’s emotions, and conservatives prefer that you base your judgement on emotions instead of facts.

    Since they cannot use “fetus”, they should use “baby that Republicans won’t give a damn about once it clears the womb!”

    Since they cannot use “evidence-based”, they should use “reality-based” or “ignorance-rejected”.

    Since they cannot use “transgender”, they should use “people who cannot use the restroom in NC until they show Republicans their genitals!”

    Anyone else have suggestions?

  39. [39] 
    neilm wrote:

    Since they cannot use “transgender”, they should use “people who cannot use the restroom in NC until they show Republicans their genitals!”

    LOL

    Can anybody use the bathroom in NC without showing a Republican their genitals?

  40. [40] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Michale,

    Yes, by all means.. Your answer to all the Leftist Media lies and bullshit is that the GOP lies..

    Got it...

    I wasn’t commenting on the media when I posted that. I was stating that the lies being told by the GOP regarding their tax plan may be their downfall with their voting base. But way to try to twist it so that it looked like I was pulling one of your “what-about”isms! Swing and a miss, I’m afraid.

  41. [41] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Can anybody use the bathroom in NC without showing a Republican their genitals?

    Not if they have their way, you can’t! I think this all stems from the fact that public restrooms are where male conservative closet cases go for anonymous sex. Can you imagine how frustrating it must be for them to discover that the guy in the stall next to you has a vagina when they are trying to steal a look at his hog?!? What good is being on the “down low” if the guy you are cruising has nothing down low??? It’s just wrong!

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    Simple. The insurance companies will have access to a lot of information about patterns that lead up to expensive (for them) events and will either dramatically raise the premiums, or refuse to insure, high risk individuals.

    So, the ultimate goal is to insure that people can't buy guns..

    A clear cut violation of the 2nd Amendment..

    Nothing will ever stop a determined madman, but we can put a large dent in their ability to access firearms.

    A gun ban will do the same thing.. Which is what you are going for..

    457

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    I wasn’t commenting on the media when I posted that. I was stating that the lies being told by the GOP regarding their tax plan may be their downfall with their voting base. But way to try to twist it so that it looked like I was pulling one of your “what-about”isms! Swing and a miss, I’m afraid.

    But the subject of the comment that you responded to WAS the lies and BS of the Leftist media..

    So, in other words, you ignored the subject of the comment just to rail against the GOP on a totally unrelated subject..

    Textbook 'whataboutism' with a heaping helping of ideological slavery thrown in...

    458

  44. [44] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    LWYH [38] - You make a very good point. The first step toward social domination is to try to control the terms of the debate. Orwellian control, in this instance.

    While 'vulnerable' can be easily avoided with the clunky 'at-risk', it seems a strangely inappropriate one to tell the CDC not to use.

    Democrats will have a lot to fix when we regain control. The CDC should be made an independent agency free from all political interference.

    Presidents should at the time of filing to run, have to present, along with their intent to run for the office, a tax return, all medical and mental health records, arrest records, and financial disclosures, including a plan for separating themselves from any financial ties for the duration of their presidency, which would take effect on the day of their election to the office.

    That too. That's a starter kit.

  45. [45] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Re [44]: that last paragraph really should have had its own post. It was a run-on thought. And I meant Candidates, not Presidents, and all tax returns, not just one. I assume that there's campaign law precedent for all of it, and most could past constitutional muster under the emoluments clause.

  46. [46] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Listen, I'm a little jacked tonight because, being a weekend, I had no good news options, CSPAN was running repeats on all 3 channels, and I ended up watching Jesse Watters smirk and lie on the Fox Innuendo Channel for an hour before abandoning the effort and watching three episodes of Voyager in a row.

    Somehow, the SciFi felt more reality-based.

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    Somehow, the SciFi felt more reality-based.

    It's Star Trek..

    Whaddya expect?? :D

    Which episodes??

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    Goode Trickle

    All capping aside, here is an excellent GIF that shows the progression of Right To Carry amongs the 50 states..

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rtc.gif

    It start in 1986 and goes thru to the present..

    It shows how SHALL issue came to practically engulf the country, although recently, many states have gone from SHALL ISSUE to UNRESTRICTED (Open Carry) in the past few years...

    Face the reality people. The 2nd Amendment is here to stay and it's flourishing... :D

    462

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    BBBWAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    NBC Made Payment To Staffer After Sexual Harassment Claim Against Chris Matthews
    http://dailycaller.com/2017/12/16/nbc-made-payment-to-staffer-after-sexual-harassment-claim-against-chris-matthews/

    What *IS* it with you Left Wingers???

    464

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    For example, can you tell me why the White House banned the following words from use within the Center for Disease Control (CDC)'s budget:

    “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”

    Can you tell me why you never have ANY facts to support any claim you make???

  51. [51] 
    Michale wrote:

    Even if the report is factually accurate, so what??

    The hysterical Left has been shoving politically correct verbiage down our throats for the last 40 years in an effort to control how people talk..

    President Trump tells ONE agency to avoid 5 words and 2 phrases and, all of the sudden, the sky is falling...

    466

  52. [52] 
    neilm wrote:

    Michale [50] - Uh-oh, this is bad - let's claim it isn't real

    Michale [51] - Oops - even Fox News says it is true ... whatabout liberals!!!

    As usual, no attempt to address the question.

  53. [53] 
    neilm wrote:

    So, the ultimate goal is to insure that people can't buy guns..

    No. If you can afford it, there is nothing to stop you. What do you want, socialism?

    Also, if the insurance companies set your rates high, then you can always post a bond and self-insure.

    The 2nd amendment doesn't say anything about the government supplying you with free guns.

  54. [54] 
    neilm wrote:

    Here is some "whataboutism" for you - the disaster from 45-look-alike Maduro in Venezuela has got to the point where people are dying through malnutrition and the Government are suppressing the medical agencies from using words and figures to tell the truth.

    Venezuela -> Maduro -> Can't run Government -> Suppress medical agency
    U.S.A. -> 45 -> Can't run Government -> Suppress medical agency

    MAGA = Let's be like Venezuela!

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    Michale [50] - Uh-oh, this is bad - let's claim it isn't real

    Nope.. Just that let's have some FACTS before we claim it's real..

    Yunno, like ya'all insisted with Odumbo...

    As usual, no attempt to address the question.

    Well, except when I point out that ya'all LOVE politically correct terminology... Except when President Trump does it..

    Here is some "whataboutism" for you - the disaster from 45-look-alike Maduro in Venezuela has got to the point where people are dying through malnutrition and the Government are suppressing the medical agencies from using words and figures to tell the truth.

    Except that Trump =! Maduro...

    But.. Maduro DOES = Democrat

    So......

  56. [56] 
    neilm wrote:

    politically correct terminology

    Yes, you do, frequently, but there are two problems with this:

    1. When the 45 minions chastised against "politically correct terminology" it usually meant that they didn't like it when they weren't allowed to be racist in polite society like in the good old 1950's when they were even allowed to put on blackface and sing minstrel songs on stage and the all white audience laughed.

    2. It was meant as an excuse when 45 used bigoted terms

    There is no doubt that there are extremes on the left who want to impose their morality on everybody, and I find them as hypocritical and pathetic as you do.

    Why can't you admit that there are extremes on the right that are as hypocritical and pathetic in their own way - for example banning the phrase "science-based" from the CDC (a medical science organization)?

    Why, because you are a fanboy and can't admit that anything 45 does might be even slightly wrong, and Making America Silly!

  57. [57] 
    neilm wrote:

    Except that Trump =! Maduro...

    Give 45 time. You insisted we give him time to "Make America Great Again" so you can't begrudge us time for his dictatorship tendencies to play out. You never know, just like Madura did today, you might see 45 telling his medical agency that they are banned from saying certain things ...

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/12/17/world/americas/venezuela-children-starving.html

  58. [58] 
    neilm wrote:

    I don't know if anybody follows the "Cracked" podcast. The latest on is titled "Why Conservative Comedy Is Almost Impossible In Trump Times" and is worth a listen.

    http://www.cracked.com/podcast/why-conservative-comedy-almost-impossible-in-trump-times/

    TLDL: Comedy audiences for budding comedians tend to be in large cities and younger, thus right wing comedians aren't seen as funny so they don't make it through the standard channels.

    Also, as a society comedy that "punches down" is seen as cruel, not funny, any longer. Look at Eddie Murphy's jokes about gays in "Raw" or more recently Chappelle's transgender jokes - perfectly acceptable when they were released, but not aging well. This is the source of a lot of the "Archie Bunker"-like anger at political correctness you hear from Michale.

    There are right wing comedians, but they struggle to find an audience. They places where they are found amusing are places like 4chan. And this is where one of the more interesting arguments in the podcast developed.

    The premise is that Fox News was started as a center-right counterbalance to the center-left bias of the rest of the networks. But it not only attracted a center-right audience, but also the whole spectrum of the right, all the way out to the nut cases who saw it as the only outlet that was "Fair and Balanced". Thus it started catering to this audience and brought in right wing demagogues that got larger audiences and a viscous spiral to the right developed as more nut case audiences delivered bigger viewing numbers to more nut case blowhards, who got into a blowhard war. As Fox News was spinning out of control to the right, the rest of the media pretty much stayed where it was and the contrast grew more and more obvious.

    This same effect works on platforms for right wing comedians - because there are so few channels for them, they find themselves with audiences that are wide spectrum right and the more right wing they get the more starved the audience is, and thus the more enthusiastic when they get a comedian that is willing to tell jokes about the people they want to laugh at. Most of society see this as punching down on gays, transgender, women, etc. but that is where yet another interesting thread develops on the podcast.

    Many on the right feel like Michale that they are victims to a radical agenda from women, gays, etc. who are oppressing them, so they see anti-women or anti-gay jokes as "punching up".

    As I said, and interesting podcast.

  59. [59] 
    Michale wrote:

    Give 45 time.

    Yea, you keep saying that..

    We keep giving him time..

    And you STILL don't have any facts..

    It's like the Russian collision crap..

    "give it time" ya'all say...

    We have.. And you STILL got nuttin..

    With Watergate, we knew within 48 hours that a crime was committed and that the Committee To Re-Elect The President was guilty of it..

    Ya'all have had almost TWO YEARS and ya'all can't even PROVE a crime was even committed!!!! Let alone WHO did anything..

    It's all a frakin' JOKE!!

  60. [60] 
    Michale wrote:

    There is no doubt that there are extremes on the left who want to impose their morality on everybody, and I find them as hypocritical and pathetic as you do.

    Of course, due to Party loyalty, you never point them out.. You just stick to attacking Trump and the Right..

    Why, because you are a fanboy and can't admit that anything 45 does might be even slightly wrong, and Making America Silly!

    Says the guy who never calls the Left into question for anything..

  61. [61] 
    neilm wrote:

    Yea, you keep saying that..

    No, you keep saying that ...

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2017/12/15/ftp465/#comment-112387

  62. [62] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Odumbo and the Dumbocrats took 8 years to frak the country up beyond all belief....

    it was frak'd up when they got there. that began with 8 years of reagan, a brief interlude of sanity with HW and a democratic congress, 8 years of clinton and a mostly republican congress, then 8 more of dubya. obama deserves fair criticism for failing to turn the titanic around, but most of the damage was done in the 28 years prior. as yet there's no sign of donald doing anything better - if anything, his policies so far are even worse for most americans.

    JL

  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:

    as yet there's no sign of donald doing anything better - if anything, his policies so far are even worse for most americans.

    For most Democrats..

    There.. Fixed it for you.. :D

  64. [64] 
    Michale wrote:

    No, you keep saying that ...

    No.. YOU keep saying that...

    "Give 45 time."

    The simple fact is, you got NOTHING on Trump when it comes to Russian Collusion...

    You got NO CRIME.. You got NO PERP....

    ALL you have is an intense and hysterical desire to nullify a free, fair and legal election **SOLELY** because you don't like that YOUR luser of a candidate lost...

    That's it...

    483

  65. [65] 
    neilm wrote:

    You got NO CRIME.. You got NO PERP....

    You're right. I got nothing.

    But Mueller? He obviously has 45 and the minions running scared.

  66. [66] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Re the Republican tax bill

    Dem Senator Cornyn and Dem economist Paul Krugman were invited by Stephanopolis to appear on his Sunday morning show to badmouth the Rep tax bill. Both men made the identical point that it MUST be bad policy to cut corporate taxes because some corporate profits go to overseas stockholders!!

    Neither guy mentioned the fact that we literally BEG foreigners to invest in the U.S economy, either by investing in U.S stocks or by buying U.S. Treasury bonds, because it stimulates the U.S. economy and creates U.S. JOBSs. So how does that work out when those two economic illiterates go on TV and say, we do not want those same foreigners to profit from their investments in the U.S. economy??

    Dem/Lib rampant flagrant economic ignorance on parade again!

  67. [67] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Oops, make that [66] read 'Dem senator Van Hollen', and Dem economist Paul Krugman, not "Cornyn and Krugman".

  68. [68] 
    neilm wrote:

    Paul Krugman was discussing the difference between GDP and GNP. He was pointing to the increased flows of foreign capital and the fact that, while the difference between GNP and GDP is trivial in the U.S., if the tax bill results in greater GDP but not greater GNP because of foreign inflows, then the profits flow to foreigners and doesn't do anybody in the U.S. any good. Do you get this? He is a Nobel Prize winning economist and (unless you are using a different name) you aren't my friend.

    I assume I don't have to explain why this is key to the dialog around the tax bill.

  69. [69] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    All capping aside, here is an excellent GIF that shows the progression of Right To Carry amongs the 50 states..

    Why cap in the first place?

    I did leave one of my snarky comments on the other thread...

    My problem isn't with people owning guns... but it is more with people who should not have guns... having them, which is a position you have wholly advocated. as if we were to be able to take them away...

    A friend of mine, who just happens to be a leading doc for DWB, just happens to be of the same opinion that the second doesn't allow for unmitigated gun ownership. We both recognize that the Second is there to prevent pricks from taking over, but at the same token it also does not allow for Johnny Butthead to run amok with some gun he has no idea how to use...

    Answer in a serious fashion how requiring a person to demonstrate proficiency in the class of weapon they want to own infringes on the second... After-all it is not as if little Jefferson Jr was allowed to figure out how to load and use a musket on his own. Answer seriously what is so wrong about expecting fellow citizens to be able to back me up in a (as you like to acronym it) CBMS in a fashion I can count on?

    Tell me, what is so wrong about advocating for responsibility?

  70. [70] 
    neilm wrote:

    CRS: You claim that foreign investment in U.S. stocks (which we beg for) stimulates the U.S. economy. But if the capital raised by an American company on the NYSE is invested in a plant in China, how exactly does this help the U.S. economy?

    This is where the fungibility of money makes sovereign claims of benefit far less compelling than in the past.

    For example, Apple is a U.S. stock on NASDAQ. It holds its patents in an offshore company that it pays royalties to for tax purposes. If somebody buys Apple stock and Apple invest that in an Indian engineer working in Singapore whose work is patented by a subsidiary based in Ireland that collects royalties from a sale of a new device in an Apple Store in San Francisco on a product that was built in China, where exactly is the gain for the U.S. economy?

    And remember, that is only if the stock is a new issue by Apple so it at least gets incremental investment. If the foreign buyer buys from a U.S. buyer who then reinvests their money in BMW, then Apple sees no part of the transaction.

  71. [71] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    goode trickle [69]

    Great points! I recently was debating gun control on a different site and the conversation turned to gun deaths. My opposing commenter listed all the other objects that are responsible for more or as many deaths as guns and asked why we don’t seek to regulate those items like we want to do with guns. I said the biggest difference was that those other deaths occurred when the items responsible for the deaths were not used properly. The purpose of a gun is to give its owner the ability to kill. That’s what it is designed to do. You can’t drive on a gun to work, you can’t swim in a gun, you can’t cook with a gun.... you do kill with a gun.

    He responded that guns are not just for killing; plenty of people enjoy competitive sport shooting where no death occurs. I asked him if the Founding Fathers had written the Second to guarantee the right to having a hobby? The intent was that gun owners were expected to serve their communities as needed in return for granting them the right.

    You are spot on that people need to show that they know how to properly use the guns they own. We should also require owners to have some way to properly store their guns safely. I remember being at friends homes growing up where they’d have rifles leaning up against the walls where anyone could grab one. If you are home, your gun is either in your hand or it is in the safe/case.

    I do wonder if gun control advocates need to start making unreasonable demands. When one side is extreme and the other is reasonable, finding “middle ground” always winds up located on the extremist’s side. If both sides are extreme in their demands, maybe we could actually come to some reasonable middle ground solutions!

  72. [72] 
    Michale wrote:

    But Mueller? He obviously has 45 and the minions running scared.

    And yet, you cannot point to a SINGLE fact that proves this..

    Why is that??

    Within 48hrs of the Watergate break-in, the American people *KNEW* that there was a crime committed, the American people *KNEW* what that crime was and the American people *KNEW* who committed the crime..

    Here you are almost TWO YEARS later and you have NOTHING...

    NO CRIME COMMITTED

    NO GUILTY PARTY

    How utterly pathetic is that??

  73. [73] 
    Michale wrote:

    GT,

    Why cap in the first place?

    I treat ya how you treat me... :D

    I did leave one of my snarky comments on the other thread...

    I saw that.. I simply responded with a single question.. :D

    My problem isn't with people owning guns... but it is more with people who should not have guns... having them, which is a position you have wholly advocated. as if we were to be able to take them away...

    Agreed.. But the problem you and your fellow Liberals have is that you are concentrating on the TOOL and not on the people who shouldn't have them..

    You want to restrict the TOOL and not the person...

    And, due to the 2nd Amendment, your efforts are doomed to fail...

    Answer in a serious fashion how requiring a person to demonstrate proficiency in the class of weapon they want to own infringes on the second...

    I don't HAVE to answer because it's already done... Most, if not all states that have SHALL ISSUE status require 8 hour classroom course and a 4-8 hour range training..

    But I will answer anyways..

    If demonstrating proficiency is the ONLY "restriction" that was being pushed (even though it's already the law) then there wouldn't be a single issue..

    But ya'all are advocating (either by commission or omission) MUCH MUCH more..

    Ya'all want a gun registration, whose SOLE purpose is to facilitate a gun confiscation..

    Ya'all want to bankrupt gun owners with fees and insurance to make gun ownership too expensive, thereby creating a de-facto gun ban..

    THOSE are the restrictions I am arguing against.. You say you don't support those?? Yet, you remain silent when they are brought up...

    And as ya'all have certainly established, SILENCE GIVES ASSENT....

    With a touch of snark, that is my serious reply to you.. :D

    I breathlessly await yer response to my response to your response to my response. :D

  74. [74] 
    Michale wrote:

    GT,

    I am pretty much against a gun registry,

    Then why don't you speak out against it when others bring it up???

    The problem with a gun registry is that is serves absolutely NO USEFUL PURPOSE in preventing or help preventing gun violence or crowd-based mass shootings..

    The *ONLY* reason to have a national gun registry is to make gun confiscation easier... That's it..

    Now there is one location that has a gun registry.. Do you know where that is??

    US Military Installations. All privately owned firearms must be registered with the base Security Police Chief or the base Provost Marshal office..

    And do you know WHY?? So that in cases of civil unrest, authorities knows where the guns are so that they can be confiscated..

    The *ONLY* reasons to have a gun registry is to 1> solve gun crimes after the fact (which is rendered totally moot by facts and circumstances) and B> facilitate gun confiscation...

    That's it..

    I can see why you would be against a gun registry.. Any rational person w/o a political agenda would be..

    What I don't get is why you don't stand up and be counted when those who DO have the political agenda put forth the idea..

    488

  75. [75] 
    Michale wrote:

    I do wonder if gun control advocates need to start making unreasonable demands.

    Buddy, yer already there! :D

    A gun registry and gun insurance are already unreasonable demands and simply don't fly in the fact of the facts and the 2nd Amendment..

    If you are home, your gun is either in your hand or it is in the safe/case.

    A gun at home in a safe or case is useless.... It's WORSE than useless, it's actually an encouragement for home invasion...

    You can’t drive on a gun to work, you can’t swim in a gun, you can’t cook with a gun.... you do kill with a gun.

    That's a distinction without a difference..

    Do you think the dead or the families of the dead CARE that they or their loved ones were killed by a tool that was DESIGNED to kill or DESIGNED to be a conveyance???

    Honestly, why does it matter what the tool was designed for?? ANY tool can kill... What does it matter that one tool was DESIGNED for that function and one tool was not??

    489

  76. [76] 
    Michale wrote:

    A gun registry and gun insurance are already unreasonable demands and simply don't fly in the fact of the facts and the 2nd Amendment..

    Of course, that SHOULD read:

    A gun registry and gun insurance are already unreasonable demands and simply fly in the fact of the facts and the 2nd Amendment..

    My bust...

    490

  77. [77] 
    Michale wrote:

    Grrrrrr

    That SHOULD read....

    A gun registry and gun insurance are already unreasonable demands and simply fly in the face of the facts and the 2nd Amendment..

    491

  78. [78] 
    Michale wrote:

    Do you think the dead or the families of the dead CARE that they or their loved ones were killed by a tool that was DESIGNED to kill or DESIGNED to be a conveyance???

    Honestly, why does it matter what the tool was designed for?? ANY tool can kill... What does it matter that one tool was DESIGNED for that function and one tool was not??

    This is an important point that warrants expanding on..

    Are the ones killed by cars any less dead than the ones killed by a gun???

    Do the loved ones of those killed by cars feel any less sorrowful than those who are killed by guns??

    Do they say, "Well, I am sure glad my loved one was killed by a car and not a gun. Because, if they were killed by a gun, I would **REALLY** be so much more sad than I am right now.. Whew!! Dodged THAT bullet..." ????

    I mean, come on.. What does the fact that one is designed to kill and one is not have to do with ANYTHING???

    Further, it is undeniable that guns serve a legitimate and very good purpose...

    As I have said, it's VERY easy to prove beyond any doubt that a gun, in and of itself, is NOT the problem..

    492

  79. [79] 
    neilm wrote:

    Here you are almost TWO YEARS later and you have NOTHING...

    The DNC emails were hacked illegally. There is the equivalent of the Watergate break in.

    Our intelligence services tell us that it was either the FSB or the GRC who did it.

    They then released them on Wikileaks, which, conveniently had recently moved their servers to Russia.

    So Mueller needs to investigate that. And he is. And he is looking at who helped the Russians. And Manafort lied about money he got from the Russians for consulting work and has been charged.

    And Flynn lied about meetings with Russia - which even 45 had admitted.

    We've got the break in. We've got close associates lying about connections to the guilty parties in the break in.

    This is getting interesting ... unless you really really want to believe that your idol is pure as driven snow.

    Then it is squeak bum time.

    For you.

  80. [80] 
    neilm wrote:

    As I have said, it's VERY easy to prove beyond any doubt that a gun, in and of itself, is NOT the problem..

    Yeah ... guns don't kill people.

    Utter BS. It is their only 2nd Amendment purpose. Not hunting. Not skeet shooting. Not for collecting.

    Own it - if guns are not for killing people then the whole 2nd Amendment falls apart.

    The 2nd Amendment insists that we kill 30,000 people per year. You like that. I don't, and think that we can have the 2nd amendment and not have it cost 30,000 lives.

    But that would cut into the profits of the gun manufacturers.

    And, for some reason, they are more important to you than 30,000 Americans.

    Own it.

  81. [81] 
    Michale wrote:

    The DNC emails were hacked illegally. There is the equivalent of the Watergate break in.

    Yea, that's the claim. But there are facts that support the conclusion that it was the DNC itself who leaked the emails..

    So, no crime..

    Our intelligence services tell us that it was either the FSB or the GRC who did it.

    Yet they have no PROOF of that..

    We've got the break in. We've got close associates lying about connections to the guilty parties in the break in.

    No, you have "maybe there was a break in, maybe there wasn't.."

    This is getting interesting ... unless you really really want to believe that your idol is pure as driven snow.

    I never claimed that..

    But it's going on 2 years and ya'all have NO FACTS that prove anything..

    Mueller has NO FACTS that prove ANYTHING...

    THIS is fact..

    And, for some reason, they are more important to you than 30,000 Americans.

    And the Democrat Party agenda of Social Justice is more important to you than 30,000 American lives.

    OWN IT...

    493

  82. [82] 
    Michale wrote:

    Franken urged to reverse his resignation
    The demands from Democrats that he step down were 'the most hypocritical thing I’ve ever seen done to a human being,' Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) says.

    At least four senators are urging Al Franken to reconsider resigning, including two who issued statements calling for the resignation two weeks ago and said they now feel remorse over what they feel was a rush to judgment.

    Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who urged Franken not to step down to begin with — at least not before he went through an Ethics Committee investigation — said the Minnesota senator was railroaded by fellow Democrats.
    https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/18/manchin-franken-senate-resign-300843

    Al Franken is thinking about reversing his resignation..

    WHO could have POSSIBLY thunked this possible..

    Oh.. wait.. :D

    494

  83. [83] 
    neilm wrote:

    A gun registry and gun insurance are already unreasonable demands and simply fly in the face of the facts and the 2nd Amendment..

    No, they are perfectly legal under the 2nd Amendment.

    You can buy all the guns you can afford. Nowhere in the 2nd Amendment does the term "so we need to have a Socialist country to ensure everybody can afford all the guns they want or they get them for free".

    So there goes the argument against insurance.

    Registration: the 2nd Amendment insists on a "well regulated" militia. What military outfit do you know that doesn't keep track of its weapons?

  84. [84] 
    Michale wrote:

    Democrats’ Bill Clinton problem

    Hours after apologizing for lecturing public-radio reporter Karen DeWitt about sexual harassment, Gov. Cuomo held his birthday fund-raising party — with ex-President Bill Clinton as the star guest.

    Oops. The only act more tone-deaf would’ve been giving a shout-out to Bronx City Councilman Andy King, who’s dealing with misconduct allegations of his own.
    https://nypost.com/2017/12/17/democrats-bill-clinton-problem/

    Democrats will *NEVER* have the moral high ground in issues of sexual harassment and sexual assaults and rapes until such time as they totally, completely and unequivocally kick the Clintons to the curb...

    It's really THAT simple...

    495

  85. [85] 
    neilm wrote:

    Mueller has NO FACTS that prove ANYTHING...

    You don't know what Mueller has.

    At least I'm not claiming to know what he does or doesn't have.

    I can see the mounting fear in the Republican Party about his investigation however.

    It is squeaky bum time all over Capitol Hill.

    Hilarious. Pass the popcorn.

    And you are even more desperate to prove to yourself that Mueller has nothing. I mean, you can't think you are going to change our minds - because we admit we don't know what Mueller has because he is in the middle of an investigation and isn't telling the general public.

    We know about the DNC hack. We know about Manafort and Flynn. We can see that if you can connect the dots it isn't looking good for 45 and his family. We can read Don jr.'s emails.

    The more you insist Mueller has nothing, the more I remind my wife to pick up more popcorn at Safeway.

    pop-pop-pop

  86. [86] 
    neilm wrote:

    Time for the Republicans to hold some hearing and get 45 under oath on all his claims of innocence regarding the 20 or so women who claim he sexually attacked them.

    Nothing like some testimony under oath to generate material for an impeachment.

  87. [87] 
    Michale wrote:

    Mueller has NO FACTS that prove ANYTHING...

    You don't know what Mueller has.

    Everyone knows what Mueller has.. His anti-Trump witch hunt is a leaky sieve..

    At least I'm not claiming to know what he does or doesn't have.

    Sure you are...

    You stated before when I pointed out that there are NO FACTS, "I don't have any facts. But Mueller does" or words to that effect..

    We know about the DNC hack.

    No, you only know what the DNC has told you about the DNC hack. We ALSO know that the DNC refused to let their allegedly hacked servers be forensically analyzed.. The ONLY reason to refuse to allow them to be analyzed is because the analysis would prove that they DNC hack was no hack at all..

    The more you insist Mueller has nothing, the more I remind my wife to pick up more popcorn at Safeway.

    You must be eating a TON of popcorn, considering Mueller has been spinning his wheels for almost 2 years now..

    :D

    496

  88. [88] 
    neilm wrote:

    Everyone knows what Mueller has.. His anti-Trump witch hunt is a leaky sieve..

    Really?

    Is he going to indict Kushner? If so, when?

  89. [89] 
    neilm wrote:

    You must be eating a TON of popcorn, considering Mueller has been spinning his wheels for almost 2 years now..

    I know, seven months seems like 2 years in this horrific Presidency.

    Maybe Santa will bring you a calendar and you can use it to count the number of years between May 17, 2017 and December 18, 2017.

  90. [90] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    neilm

    Yeah, about that Krugman Nobel prize, rumor has it that it was conferred by the same people who awarded their "Peace" prize to a guy who assassinated people on daily basis for two years.

    Real (aka 'classical') economists see their job as advising industry and government as to the most efficient way to operate.

    So-called 'political' economists (of which Krugman is the poster boy) see their calling as the redistribution of income from high-earners to low-earners.

    Of course such an "economist" will invariably be against tax cuts of any description, because when you craft a tax collection system which omits the bottom half of all taxpayers, all tax cuts become "tax-cuts-for-the rich".

  91. [91] 
    Michale wrote:

    Is he going to indict Kushner? If so, when?

    He is not...

    I know, seven months seems like 2 years in this horrific Presidency.

    Apologies.. I meant that the Russia Collusion probe has been spinning it's wheels for almost 2 years now..

    497

  92. [92] 
    Michale wrote:

    No, you only know what the DNC has told you about the DNC hack. We ALSO know that the DNC refused to let their allegedly hacked servers be forensically analyzed.. The ONLY reason to refuse to allow them to be analyzed is because the analysis would prove that they DNC hack was no hack at all..

    YOu must have missed that one.. :D

    498

  93. [93] 
    Michale wrote:

    Of course such an "economist" will invariably be against tax cuts of any description, because when you craft a tax collection system which omits the bottom half of all taxpayers, all tax cuts become "tax-cuts-for-the rich".

    "Simple logic..."
    -Admiral James T Kirk

  94. [94] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    when you craft a tax collection system which omits the bottom half of all taxpayers, all tax cuts become "tax-cuts-for-the rich".

    What nonsense. Tell my 85 year old widowed mother that she doesn't pay any taxes. Tell my step-niece mother of four with two jobs that she doesn't pay any taxes. They would laugh, then get very angry.

  95. [95] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    seven months seems like 2 years in this horrific Presidency

    And the beat goes on. Today we heard about the first ever 14-1 vote against the US in the UN Security Council, over Trump's trolling in the Middle East.

    But Putin sent a very public word of thanks to Trump for sharing CIA intelligence with him. How nice.

  96. [96] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Balthazar

    OK, you win the disingenuous prize for the day. You know gawdam well that we're only talking about fed income taxes in the ongoing argument about the tax cut bill being debated at this time.

    Tell me that your "85 yr-old widowed mother" paid fed income tax last year, and I'll cut you a very little slack on this one, otherwise stop the bullshit.

  97. [97] 
    Michale wrote:

    OK, you win the disingenuous prize for the day. You know gawdam well that we're only talking about fed income taxes in the ongoing argument about the tax cut bill being debated at this time.

    Tell me that your "85 yr-old widowed mother" paid fed income tax last year, and I'll cut you a very little slack on this one, otherwise stop the bullshit.

    "If only... IF only...."
    -Hades, HERCULES

  98. [98] 
    Michale wrote:

    But Putin sent a very public word of thanks to Trump for sharing CIA intelligence with him. How nice.

    "Tell Vlad he has to give me some slack so I can win this election. Once I win, then I can be flexible for him.."
    -Hussein Odumbo

    501

  99. [99] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    There's a difference, Michale, between 'flexible' and 'obesient'.

  100. [100] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    OK, you win the disingenuous prize for the day.

    Thanks, I'll hang it on the wall.

    You know gawdam well that we're only talking about fed income taxes

    And you know 'gawdam well' that lots of those cuts to the federal budget has to be made up for by the States, usually in the form of higher local taxes, so who's being disingenuous?

    And you know 'gawdam well' that many Corporations manage to pay no federal taxes, yet are being gifted by Republicans with more tax breaks they don't need, and don't plan to use for anything more than buying up their own stock. So who's being disingenuous?

  101. [101] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Balthazar

    Sorry, it's still you.

    We're not even discussing "budget cuts", we're discussing TAX cuts, right? You have no idea what effect those could have on state and local taxes.

    How do corporations who owe taxes but "already pay no fed taxes" (if indeed there are such) profit from additional tax cuts? If they already pay no fed taxes, there wont be anything to buy their own stock with, right?

    Again, it's still you being disingenuous.

  102. [102] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    We're not even discussing "budget cuts", we're discussing TAX cuts, right? You have no idea what effect those could have on state and local taxes.

    The filter ate my first reply. I'll try again:

    Paul Ryan let the cat out of the bag the other day on Ross Kaminsky’s radio show. You can Google it. You didn't expect him to blow a trillion dollar hole in the budget and not back-fill it with huge cuts to federal programs, many, if not most of which subsidize State programs, did you?

    How do corporations who owe taxes but "already pay no fed taxes" (if indeed there are such) profit from additional tax cuts?

    So, by your logic, if the 1.3 Trillion Dollar cost of the tax cuts doesn't come from the lower half, and not from the top half, it must come from the middle. Oops!

  103. [103] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Michale,

    A gun at home in a safe or case is useless.... It's WORSE than useless, it's actually an encouragement for home invasion...

    Might be the dumbest comment you’ve ever said....and that is not an easy title to earn! Tell me how it encourages your home to be robbed? Wouldn’t not having a gun in your home serve as an even bigger encouragement? Why risk possibly getting shot if you know that there are no guns in another home? And how, exactly would a person breaking into your home know that your gun is safely stored and not tucked gently between your cheeks as you sleep?

    Most home invasions aren’t violent and even those that are rarely result in the owner being killed or seriously injured. Please note that I said “rarely” as I know the NRA loves to share the same horror stories over and over, (but then claim that gun control advocates use tragedy victims grief for their own political agendas).

    I know you love to think you’ll go all Chuck Norris on a home invader, but you are just as likely to mistakenly put a bullet in your child sneaking in after breaking curfew.

    A gun registry and gun insurance are already unreasonable demands and simply fly in the face of the facts and the 2nd Amendment..

    Utter bullshit. I have given you legitimate reasons for the registry and your response has been to claim that it won’t stop mass shootings from happening, which you cannot know to be the truth.

    Why aren’t you supporting the suggestion to get rid of the Dickey Amendment so that the CDC and other science agencies could actually study gun violence and make suggestions without the threat of losing all of their funding if the solutions they come up with displease the gun lobby? Probably because you aren’t interested in anything that goes against your own overly inflated opinion?

  104. [104] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    neilm,

    Great comments in both 79 & 80!

    Bravo!

  105. [105] 
    Michale wrote:

    There's a difference, Michale, between 'flexible' and 'obesient'.

    Only to those who are enslaved by Party ideology...

  106. [106] 
    Michale wrote:

    Again, it's still you being disingenuous.

    Welcome to Weigantia...

  107. [107] 
    Michale wrote:

    Might be the dumbest comment you’ve ever said....and that is not an easy title to earn! Tell me how it encourages your home to be robbed?

    Simple.. Word gets around you have guns but have no ready access to them???

    Well, I am sure, as associated with LEO as you are, you can figure out the rest..

    Utter bullshit. I have given you legitimate reasons for the registry and your response has been to claim that it won’t stop mass shootings from happening, which you cannot know to be the truth.

    No, you have not...

    Why aren’t you supporting the suggestion to get rid of the Dickey Amendment so that the CDC

    Center For DISEASE CONTROL to study gun violence??

    It's utterly moronic to even MAKE the suggestion..

  108. [108] 
    Michale wrote:

    Listen,

    Like Neil, you forgot to address something..

    Honestly, why does it matter what the tool was designed for?? ANY tool can kill... What does it matter that one tool was DESIGNED for that function and one tool was not??

    This is an important point that warrants expanding on..

    Are the ones killed by cars any less dead than the ones killed by a gun???

    Do the loved ones of those killed by cars feel any less sorrowful than those who are killed by guns??

    Do they say, "Well, I am sure glad my loved one was killed by a car and not a gun. Because, if they were killed by a gun, I would **REALLY** be so much more sad than I am right now.. Whew!! Dodged THAT bullet..." ????

    I mean, come on.. What does the fact that one is designed to kill and one is not have to do with ANYTHING???

    Just a reminder.. :D

  109. [109] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Yer Welcome"
    -Maui, MOANA

    :D

  110. [110] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Balthazar [102]

    You flunked high school geometry, right?

    For your info, after you eliminate the "top half" and the "bottom half", there ain't nothin' left!! The "top half" and the "bottom half" INCLUDES "the middle", right?

  111. [111] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Is this banter about the halves and half nots really worth halving?

  112. [112] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    C.R. [110] Thanks, C.R. for ignoring the giant hole that I inadvertently left in my argument at [102], and going with pedantic nonsense instead.

    You flunked high school geometry, right?

    You flunked economics, right? Because the middle class has been a 'thing' for awhile now. They're the ones who will have to pony up more for healthcare and college tuition so that hedge fund managers can get an Xmas boost.

  113. [113] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Is this banter about the halves and half nots really worth halving?

    Yes, thank you Don, that's exactly what this is about. The assumption is that "producers" are more important than the rest of us, and that they are deserving of whatever boosts we can provide them. I call it the "Harvey Weinstein Argument".

  114. [114] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    ..and a good turn of phrase, Don.

  115. [115] 
    neilm wrote:

    Listen [104] - thanks mate!

  116. [116] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Michale [108]

    It is such an idiotic statement that I didn’t really think it needed commentary.

    As someone who has lost multiple family members to gun violence, YES, it does matter! I’ve lost good friends and family to car accidents as well, and if driving a car was as much of a free for all that gun ownership is in this country, you’d see people screaming for some regulations to reign it in. We already have those for automobiles. You have to have a drivers license to drive a car. Vehicles have to meet safety standards to be street legal. Your vehicle can be impounded if left someplace it isn’t supposed to be. You have to have insurance to drive legally.

    The car serves multiple purposes and is useful. Deaths occur, but their usefulness far outweighs the possible threat to life when used properly.

    Guns are designed to kill. The Second Amendment clearly states that they are intended for use in state militia’s in the defense of the state. It wasn’t so you could skeet shoot on the weekends, it wasn’t so you can have a phallic substitute for your own “short comings”, it was to kill those that threaten the country.

    Center For DISEASE CONTROL to study gun violence??

    It's utterly moronic to even MAKE the suggestion..

    Then why did the NRA give Dickey their “political prostitute of the year” award for getting the amendment passed? NASA isn’t listed in the Dickey Amendment, nor is the EPA or FDA. So it’s pretty clear that the CDC is who would be tasked to conduct studies on the matter. Gun violence is a health care concern, that’s why the CDC would study it. The ATF is not funded to conduct such studies. You have to really try hard to make such a ridiculous argument!

  117. [117] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Balthazar

    What causes you to conclude I "flunked economics"? I agree totally with your entire [112] post, where you came to that conclusion.

  118. [118] 
    Michale wrote:

    Guns are designed to kill. The Second Amendment clearly states that they are intended for use in state militia’s in the defense of the state. It wasn’t so you could skeet shoot on the weekends, it wasn’t so you can have a phallic substitute for your own “short comings”, it was to kill those that threaten the country.

    SO????

    What does it MATTER that a tool is designed to kill???

    Does that make it inherently evil???

    Then why did the NRA give Dickey their “political prostitute of the year” award for getting the amendment passed?

    What do I care what the NRA does???

    Gun violence is a health care concern,

    Yea, and rain is a national security concern???

    That's why you liberals were thrown out of power. Because you can't be trusted with reality..

    The ATF is not funded to conduct such studies.

    So we fund it to do that study... Duh....

    The CDC is an organization dedicated to fighting disease.. It has as much business studying gun violence as it has studying traffic safety..

    You can argue inanities and yer fantasies until the cows come home, but here are the overriding facts...

    Gun ownership is as much of a constitutional right as free speech is...

    Every law anti gun law that is permissible under the 2nd Amendment has been passed..

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

  119. [119] 
    Michale wrote:

    We already have those for automobiles. You have to have a drivers license to drive a car. Vehicles have to meet safety standards to be street legal. Your vehicle can be impounded if left someplace it isn’t supposed to be. You have to have insurance to drive legally.

    Yes, you have to have insurance to DRIVE your care.. Take it out of your home..

    But you DON'T have to have insurance to OWN a car...

    If your car is safely in a "cabinet" there is no need to insure it..

    if driving a car was as much of a free for all that gun ownership is in this country,

    What's an indication of a "Free For All"??? How about the number of people killed???

    Car deaths outpace gun deaths by far when you exclude suicides...

    So, since the car deaths far surpass gun deaths and you think that gun deaths are in "free for all" status, then you must think that cars are REALLY in "free for all" status...

    And yet, there is no public outcry for more car regulations...

    Ergo, there is a flaw in your argument...

    Would you like me to point it out to you?? :D

    508

  120. [120] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Michale,

    Car deaths outpace gun deaths by far when you exclude suicides...

    So, since the car deaths far surpass gun deaths and you think that gun deaths are in "free for all" status, then you must think that cars are REALLY in "free for all" status...

    And yet, there is no public outcry for more car regulations...

    Ergo, there is a flaw in your argument...

    First, do you think the families of those who take their own lives with a gun feel like they deserve to be excluded? A person shoots another person with a gun and they die. A person shoots themself in the head and they die. Why would you not include them in the number of gun deaths? Do you only count vehicle deaths where the person killed was not the driver? I mean, how can you know that a single car fatality of the driver wasn’t actually a suicide? Oh wow! You cannot!

    Next, even if auto deaths outnumber gun deaths, automobiles are used by far more in everyday life than guns are. People interact with cars exponentially more often than they do with guns, so the likelihood that there would be more occurrences of death is not surprising. The flaw with your argument is that if the number of interactions people had with guns were equal to the number of interactions they had with automobiles, you’d see exponentially more gun deaths occurring.

    Here’s the last thing that you have completely ignored... family members of those killed by automobiles are the reason why laws were passed requiring automakers to add shoulder restraint seat belts to all of their vehicles. They are the reason we have air bags. They are the reason that we have DUI laws on the books. The victim families of auto deaths did speak out for their loved ones. The difference is that Congress didn’t allow the auto industry to determine what the laws governing auto makers should be.

  121. [121] 
    Michale wrote:

    First, do you think the families of those who take their own lives with a gun feel like they deserve to be excluded?

    Do you think the families of those who take their own lives with a gun blame the gun???

    Next, even if auto deaths outnumber gun deaths, automobiles are used by far more in everyday life than guns are.

    A distinction without a difference. Explain why it matters...

    The difference is that Congress didn’t allow the auto industry to determine what the laws governing auto makers should be.

    If you actually believe that, I have some swampland in FL I want to sell you.. :D

    529

  122. [122] 
    Michale wrote:

    Next, even if auto deaths outnumber gun deaths, automobiles are used by far more in everyday life than guns are.

    Further, it's well documented that traffic deaths, at the very least, are on par with gun deaths..

    So, according to you, that trips the "Free For All" alarm..

    Where is the hysterical public outcry for car restrictions that you said would occur???

    Answer: non-existent...

    Ergo, this proves that all of this is nothing but an anti-gun political agenda...

    535

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