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Obama deserves a second term


Off-Topic Discussions

351 to 400 of 810 << first < prev | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | next > last >>

A Man In Black wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Yeah, and who smashed busing? Yup, Democrats.

She ran on abolishing busing, against other Democrats. This wasn't a "lesser of two evils" thing, the people who voted for her wanted busing gone. In fact, in her runs for office higher than city council, both times she was defeated by a Democrat to her left.

What's your point? What does this have to do with presidential politics?

It's just fun hate the Democrats (and in particular the Boston Democrats--I live in New England, in case you didn't know) stuff. And, by the way, she may have been defeated in the election, but her grass-roots group, ROAR, smashed busing in the streets.

I wonder if Pixie Palladino or Jim Kelly have wikipedia pages...no, I guess not.


thejeff wrote:

The other issue when comparing presidents in different eras is to compare the times themselves. Nixon lived in a vastly more liberal era than Clinton and he fought, largely unsuccessfully, to shift the country to the right.

Clinton came in after the conservative backlash, after Reagan's all out attack on government. He had to govern in that atmosphere. He couldn't even suggest the kinds of policies that Nixon opposed, without massive criticism. He stemmed or at least slowed the country's shift to the right.
I'm not at all fond of Clinton, for many reasons, but examining these kinds of policies in isolation without considering the state of the country just isn't helpful.

Yup.

"Clearly, this wasn’t because the infamously corrupt Nixon was such a good guy compared to Clinton. It’s because the political climate and the balance of class forces was different, largely due to the huge strug­gles taking place in Nixon’s day against the Vietnam War and for civil rights. Clinton’s presi­dency, immediately following the fall of the USSR, occurred during one of the all-time low points of social struggle."

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
All your stuff about the Reform Party of billionaires and bigots is interesting and shiznit, but the article is not talking about third-parties in the abstract, they are talking about building a left, "anti-corporate" party. I doubt that Ross Perot and Pat Buchanan are going to be much of a model in that regard.

Pat Buchanan is an excellent model in that regard. Christian conservatives, and, more recently, Teapublicans have used and are using exactly the methods I'm describing to pull the Republican Party to the right. Likewise, almost all of the post-Carter Democratic successes have been by gorging themselves on the support of overall conservative people who don't like the increasingly radicalized Republican Party. Stomping your feet and fuming over the Democratic Party being the party of New York conservatives and midwestern moderates isn't going to accomplish anything, and neither is complaining about the people who support the Democrats because they like the party as it is. (The AFL-CIO up until very recently, for example.) If you want change, look to emulating the tactics of the people who have accomplished change in your lifetime.


A Man In Black wrote:
Stomping your feet and fuming over the Democratic Party being the party of New York conservatives and midwestern moderates isn't going to accomplish anything, and neither is complaining about the people who support the Democrats because they like the party as it is. (The AFL-CIO up until very recently, for example.)

And neither is voting for that same party when it's racing to position itself as the party for plutocrats who aren't idiots.

Occupy showed that there are thousands of people in this country who are sick of the Twin Parties of Capitalism.

The struggle against Walker failed because it took the militancy of the rank-and-file and channelled it back into the electoral process and votes for the Dems (and lost). The West Coast port shutdowns. The Chicago teachers strike (anything to say about the Down with Emanuel! article?). These, in my opinion, are worth more than an Obama reelection.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:


I think you're kind of missing what the article is saying.

What it is saying is that it DOESN'T matter at all who is president if there is a massive class struggle movement on the streets.

All your stuff about the Reform Party of billionaires and bigots is interesting and shiznit, but the article is not talking about third-parties in the abstract, they are talking about building a left, "anti-corporate" party. I doubt that Ross Perot and Pat Buchanan are going to be much of a model in that regard.

Of course it matters. Consider the different reactions of Hoover and FDR to the massive class struggle movement at the start of the Depression.

You need the massive class struggle movement on the streets. I'm not arguing that at all. It's necessary to get anywhere. But at some point you're going to need people in politics who feel they have to respond to those demands rather than resist them. For the foreseeable future, that's only going to be Democrats.

I see these things as parallel. We need a movement, but we don't really have one. That movement doesn't have to be and maybe shouldn't be a political party of its own. If it gets sidetracked into what passes for politics these days, it would lose legitimacy, not gain it. Running campaign, fund raising, compromising on legislation, all the dirty little details of politics.
It just has to kick up enough fuss that it has to be reckoned with. That's best done as a movement.

Meanwhile, electoral politics moves on a different track. On the national level, there's little that can be done other than back the lesser evil, but that's important. I bought into the "They're all the same" rhetoric during end of the Clinton years. Voted for Nader in 2000, though I don't know if I would have in a swing state. Bush cured me of that for good. There is a difference.

The real work, the real chance is local. In state campaigns or even House seat campaigns, individuals can make a difference. Whether it's primarying an incumbent from the left or a 3rd party challenger. That's where there's a chance to win. It doesn't have the glamor or publicity of a quixotic presidential run, but by the same token there's a much better chance of actually having an effect.

Meanwhile, build the movement.

Of course, if you really think the only hope is worldwide socialist revolution, then none of this matters.


A Man In Black wrote:
Run for office or support your candidates at lower levels.

I didn't want to have to do this, because I've got a reputation to uphold, but I spent a good chunk of the summer working with this guy.

Whenever he wasn't looking, though, I would tell whoever I was talking to that the only answer was international proletarian socialist revolution.


thejeff wrote:


Of course it matters. Consider the different reactions of Hoover and FDR to the massive class struggle movement at the start of the Depression.

What massive class struggle? Not to be a jerk, but I can't think of anything other than the Bonus Army until the three strikes in '34. After that, the CIO drives.


thejeff wrote:

You need the massive class struggle movement on the streets. I'm not arguing that at all. It's necessary to get anywhere. But at some point you're going to need people in politics who feel they have to respond to those demands rather than resist them. For the foreseeable future, that's only going to be Democrats.

I see these things as parallel. We need a movement, but we don't really have one. That movement doesn't have to be and maybe shouldn't be a political party of its own. If it gets sidetracked into what passes for politics these days, it would lose legitimacy, not gain it. Running campaign, fund raising, compromising on legislation, all the dirty little details of politics.
It just has to kick up enough fuss that it has to be reckoned with. That's best done as a movement.

As far as I'm concerned, Comrade Jeff, we've got a semi-mutual nonaggression pact (although I probably violate it on occasion because the Democrats suck). But if A Stooge in Black is going to come after me for my habit of posting socialist slogans with multiple exclamation points, then I'm not budging an inch.

All power to the working class!!!!


Quadruple post in your face, aSiB!

!

!!!

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
As far as I'm concerned, Comrade Jeff, we've got a semi-mutual nonaggression pact (although I probably violate it on occasion because the Democrats suck). But if A Stooge in Black is going to come after me for my habit of posting socialist slogans with multiple exclamation points, then I'm not budging an inch.

I'm only coming after you for posting poorly-thought-out essays, AB. The posting gimmick is kind of endearing (although the quadposts are not). I just can't get behind violent revolution because, no matter who the revolutionaries are or what the cause it, it's the lower classes getting shot in the face.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
A Man In Black wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
As far as I'm concerned, Comrade Jeff, we've got a semi-mutual nonaggression pact (although I probably violate it on occasion because the Democrats suck). But if A Stooge in Black is going to come after me for my habit of posting socialist slogans with multiple exclamation points, then I'm not budging an inch.
I'm only coming after you for posting poorly-thought-out essays, AB. The posting gimmick is kind of endearing (although the quadposts are not). I just can't get behind violent revolution because, no matter who the revolutionaries are or what the cause it, it's the lower classes getting shot in the face.

More importantly, in my case, from what I've seen of revolutions in history, whatever the initial intentions you're at least as likely to wind up even worse. Authoritarian types tend to rise to the top in military or paramilitary organizations and there's always an excuse not to give up power quite yet. For the good of the revolution, of course.

That and the general nastiness of the slaughter during the revolution and things will have to really bad before I'll concede violent revolution is a good alternative.

The Exchange

We will have NO meaningful change until we have a NO party system.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Andrew R wrote:
We will have NO meaningful change until we have a NO party system.

For example: the complete lack of meaningful change in the 20th century.


A Man In Black wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
We will have NO meaningful change until we have a NO party system.
For example: the complete lack of meaningful change in the 20th century.

Or the 19th for that matter.

Shadow Lodge

Andrew R wrote:
We will have NO meaningful change until we have a NO party system.

And you can't get that in a winner take all system.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
A Man In Black wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
We will have NO meaningful change until we have a NO party system.
For example: the complete lack of meaningful change in the 20th century.
Or the 19th for that matter.

Nothing of signifigance changed in the 18th either.

Hint: The US has always been a two party system.


UPS shorted my check for 4 hours of overtime this week.

For workers revolution to smash incompetent bookkeepers!!!

!


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

OK, this quote is just priceless

source

Romney to George Stephanopolis wrote:


But I think the challenge that I’ll have in the debate is that the president tends to, how shall I say it, to say things that aren’t true,” Romney said, adding, “I’ve looked at prior debates. And in that kind of case, it’s difficult to say, “Well, am I going to spend my time correcting things that aren’t quite accurate? Or am I going to spend my time talking about the things I want to talk about?”

Pot, kettle, all that jazz.


bugleyman wrote:
Maxximilius wrote:
As we see it from our POV, the american republican party is basically the greedy, manipulating, two-faced bastard, capitalistic, tub-thumping uncle lost in time, feeding on the people's fear by turning everyone against each other, still believing to be the major power in the world and getting his votes from people who hope they (or their children) can someday reach the same status than it's most powerful and wealthy members.
That pretty much matches my perception, and I live here. :P

Pretty much sums it up. I live here too.


Brox RedGloves wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

It wouldn't make me angry at all, but when are the flamewars about the Chicago teachers strike and the Libyan killings going to break out?

[Continues to wait patiently]

Did not know you have sock puppet named Urizen...

In the remote chance that Paizo releases an avatar of a blue goblin, I reckon Comrade would have pounced on it.


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Brox RedGloves wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

It wouldn't make me angry at all, but when are the flamewars about the Chicago teachers strike and the Libyan killings going to break out?

[Continues to wait patiently]

Did not know you have sock puppet named Urizen...
Well, he has been spotted yelling "Vive le Galt!" recently...

And "Down With Salt!" It's worse than the alcohol and drug epidemic. What are the presidential candidates doing about this?

Which ever candidate speaks out against the evils of salt will have bought my vote.


Caineach wrote:

OK, this quote is just priceless

source

Romney to George Stephanopolis wrote:


But I think the challenge that I’ll have in the debate is that the president tends to, how shall I say it, to say things that aren’t true,” Romney said, adding, “I’ve looked at prior debates. And in that kind of case, it’s difficult to say, “Well, am I going to spend my time correcting things that aren’t quite accurate? Or am I going to spend my time talking about the things I want to talk about?”
Pot, kettle, all that jazz.

In other words, "I'm going to ignore any questions and repeat my talking points."

Probably his best chance.


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
You think Clinton wanted to veto any of that shiznit? Oh, wait a minute why would he want to: "NAFTA means jobs. American jobs, and good-paying American jobs. If I didn't believe that, I wouldn't support this agreement." And when he "reformed" welfare, wasn't he just fulfilling his campaign promise to "end welfare as we know it."

As the former governor of Arkansas, I can't help but think at times that the Waltons may have put a bug in Willie's ear to push NAFTA forward.

We all know how that turned out.


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
I wonder if Pixie Palladino or Jim Kelly have wikipedia pages...

Jim Kelly? I would TOTALLY vote for him!


No.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Caineach wrote:


That smirk might matter to that undecided 20%, if it even hits a major news station. I've only seen it circling liberal sites like Daily Kos.

Quite frankly to the general populace, it's just a passing blip on the radar. The undecided might pay attention to foreign affairs when Americans are being blown up, but for the bulk of them, they're going to be voting for their wallets, and that's the place where the incumbent has his work cut out for himself.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Mitt Romney in a leaked video from a fundraiser:

Quote:
Look, my job isn't to make everything beautiful. My job isn't to make living life a good time. My job is to keep the majority of the people in this country alive. That's it. If fifty-one percent eat a meal tomorrow and forty-nine percent don't, I've done my job... My job is just to keep things the way they are. Everyone stays the same. I do the job, I keep the money coming.

Spoiler:
Okay, that's a lie. That's the Beast from Transmetropolitan. See if you can tell that from this real quote, though!
Quote:
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it... And they will vote for this president no matter what…my job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
A Man In Black wrote:

Mitt Romney in a leaked video from a fundraiser:

Look, my job isn't to make everything beautiful. My job isn't to make living life a good time. My job is to keep the majority of the people in this country alive. That's it. If fifty-one percent eat a meal tomorrow and forty-nine percent don't, I've done my job... My job is just to keep things the way they are. Everyone stays the same. I do the job, I keep the money coming.

** spoiler omitted **

If you don't understand what his point was, you're less intelligent than I give you credit for.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Actually I think AMIB understands clearly Romney's point. What part of "...my job is not to worry..." about half the country seems unclear to you.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
houstonderek wrote:
If you don't understand what his point was, you're less intelligent than I give you credit for.

I understood his point fine. It's why I won't ever vote for him.

The only way you get 47% of people who are "dependent on government" is if you count every single person who isn't paying income taxes. That includes children, students, the retired, the disabled, people in prison, and anyone making less than their deductions (mostly poor people). If Romney's message is that we don't have a responsibility to guarantee health care, food, and housing to everyone—especially these, most vulnerable people—then he can kindly go back to one of his six houses instead of the White House.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Why are 47% of the American public so poor that they don't pay income tax? That seems to be the bigger problem in my mind.

Also how are these people supposed to take "responsibility for their lives", not everyone has a rich father that can get them into a swanky university and give them their first jobs. Some folks have less options then a son of a multimillionaire. People aren't poor because they choose to be poor.


"Okay, that's a lie. That's the Beast from Transmetropolitan."

Down with the Beast!

Down with the Smiler and his brain-dead, grown-in-a-tube veep!

For workers revolution and free health care to get Spider Jerusalem up and running again!


Guy Humual wrote:

Why are 47% of the American public so poor that they don't pay income tax? That seems to be the bigger problem in my mind.

Also how are these people supposed to take "responsibility for their lives", not everyone has a rich father that can get them into a swanky university and give them their first jobs. Some folks have less options then a son of a multimillionaire. People aren't poor because they choose to be poor.

Yes. It's amazing how many people look at that (misleading) number and jump to the wrong conclusion: We need to tax those "lucky duckies" more!

Put them to work. Those of working and able to work at least. Pay them more. Pay them enough to live on.
Then they'll pay taxes.

Of course, we've already raised taxes on them. That 47% number was at the height of the recession and counts the "Making Work Pay" tax credit from the stimulus package that expired at the end of 2010.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
A Man In Black wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
If you don't understand what his point was, you're less intelligent than I give you credit for.

I understood his point fine. It's why I won't ever vote for him.

The only way you get 47% of people who are "dependent on government" is if you count every single person who isn't paying income taxes. That includes children, students, the retired, the disabled, people in prison, and anyone making less than their deductions (mostly poor people).

About half that number are people making 11,600 or less per year. Note that they are still paying payroll, state, and local taxes as well as social security. Others are working poor for whom the Republicans starting with Gerald Ford decided that they would be better served with a tax cut than a raise in the minimum wage. Thus arose things like the Earned Income Credit.

It also includes about 3,000 people who are making more than 2.3 million a year and are paying absolutely no income taxes on that income.


LazarX wrote:
A Man In Black wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
If you don't understand what his point was, you're less intelligent than I give you credit for.

I understood his point fine. It's why I won't ever vote for him.

The only way you get 47% of people who are "dependent on government" is if you count every single person who isn't paying income taxes. That includes children, students, the retired, the disabled, people in prison, and anyone making less than their deductions (mostly poor people).

About half that number are people making 11,600 or less per year. Note that they are still paying payroll, state, and local taxes as well as social security. Others are working poor for whom the Republicans starting with Gerald Ford decided that they would be better served with a tax cut than a raise in the minimum wage. Thus arose things like the Earned Income Credit.

It also includes about 3,000 people who are making more than 2.3 million a year and are paying absolutely no income taxes on that income.

Also count military personnel serving in a combat zone.

All of those are the ones who won't "take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

Though actually a large chunk of those he dismisses are likely to vote for him. Seniors trend largely Republican and vote at higher rates than other demographics.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

What's really interesting is that if...

you make $60,000
you are married with three minor children
you contribute 10% to charitable causes or a church
you pay $3000 in state and property taxes
you spend $1000 in job expenses and tax preparation fees
you have $5000 in child care expenses

...then you'll pay no federal income tax and qualify as a moocher, according to R$ and the rest of the right wing.

This whole Randian view the right has adopted is simplistic, naive, amoral and wrong.


That's fine. End tax refunds.


Kryzbyn wrote:
That's fine. End tax refunds.

Huh?


Kryzbyn wrote:
That's fine. End tax refunds.

*scratches head*

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Kryzbyn wrote:
That's fine. End tax refunds.

This pen is blue.


End tax refunds.
Charge what you charge for income tax, but don't give any of it back.
Then no one has to worry about having to pay on top of that at the end of the year, and the gov't can keep what it's taken through out the year.
I'd lower the tax rate, a bit first, but less work for all involved.
We also wouldn't waste money on folks who have so many deductions they get more back then they have paid in.

Sorry if that came out of left field, but it was in response to Expert's post. The problem isn't that they don't pay taxes, the problem is they might as well not pay taxes if the deductions allow them to get it all back anyway.

The Exchange

Kryzbyn wrote:

End tax refunds.

Charge what you charge for income tax, but don't give any of it back.
Then no one has to worry about having to pay on top of that at the end of the year, and the gov't can keep what it's taken through out the year.
I'd lower the tax rate, a bit first, but less work for all involved.
We also wouldn't waste money on folks who have so many deductions they get more back then they have paid in.

Not to mention not paying so many people to reprocess everything to do the refunds. i have suggested such for years.


Kryzbyn wrote:

End tax refunds.

Charge what you charge for income tax, but don't give any of it back.
Then no one has to worry about having to pay on top of that at the end of the year, and the gov't can keep what it's taken through out the year.
I'd lower the tax rate, a bit first, but less work for all involved.
We also wouldn't waste money on folks who have so many deductions they get more back then they have paid in.

Sorry if that came out of left field, but it was in response to Expert's post. The problem isn't that they don't pay taxes, the problem is they might as well not pay taxes if the deductions allow them to get it all back anyway.

Are you saying "Don't allow any deductions"? Or allow deductions but just no refunds? In which everyone with any common sense will claim the maximum exemptions just to be sure they don't overpay.

Even without deductions, there will still be cases where you get refunds. At one point I was making good money and taxes were being withheld from my pay at a fairly high rate, then I got laid off halfway through the year and didn't earn anything significant. I got a big refund that year, because I didn't actually earn enough to be in the tax bracket it was being withheld for.

Refunds have little to nothing to do with deductions.

The Exchange

TriOmegaZero wrote:

Basically you'd have to stop withholding money from checks, and have people pay their taxes when they file.

This will reduce the monthly income of the government, and cause many people to fail to pay their taxes, as they will not withhold enough to cover the end of the year bill.

Just continue (probably reduced) deductions to cover taxes and the gov just keeps it.


Guy Humual wrote:
People aren't poor because they choose to be poor.

No, the poor are poor because they're lazy, stupid, and morally deficient. Aren't you paying attention? ;-)


A highly regarded expert wrote:
This whole Randian view the right has adopted is simplistic, naive, amoral and wrong.

Socialist.

By the way, I'm going to need to see your birth certificate...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Andrew R wrote:
Just continue (probably reduced) deductions to cover taxes and the gov just keeps it.

So you want to reduce taxes on them and eliminate refunds? So the government can save money by not having the employ people to process the refunds? I think I get it.

What about those who get too much withheld, like thejeff getting laid off?

The Exchange

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
Just continue (probably reduced) deductions to cover taxes and the gov just keeps it.

So you want to reduce taxes on them and eliminate refunds? So the government can save money by not having the employ people to process the refunds? I think I get it.

What about those who get too much withheld, like the person laid off in thejeff's post?

Your tax is based on weekly there, set up so each check is taxed by the bracket it falls into, a smaller check taxed less and no check not taxed. Our current system is based solely on yearly taxes (estimated per check) while i say it could be easily done per payment.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Everyone is forgetting that we already have a flat tax with no deductions: payroll tax. And, as it turns out, it's hugely regressive. So that's one reason why flat taxes aren't going to fly: they punish poor people. Plus, you can't flat tax the income of children, the disabled, the retired elderly, people in prison, active-duty military, or full-time students because they don't have any income to tax.

A useful description of the situation:

The New York Times wrote:
Mr. Romney’s figure of 47 percent may come from the Tax Policy Center, which found that 46.4 percent of households paid no federal income tax in 2011. But most households did pay payroll taxes. Of the 18.1 percent of households that paid neither income taxes or payroll taxes, the center found that more than half were elderly and more than a third were not elderly but had income under $20,000. Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the center, wrote in a blog post last summer that about half of those were off the rolls because they had low incomes.

Anyway. Back to Romney's idiot tape! It's funny to me that the national press is picking up on his hugely racist statements later in the tape, and I didn't.

Mitt Romney, everyone, wrote:
My dad, as you probably know, was the governor of Michigan and was the head of a car company. But he was born in Mexico ... and, uh, had he been born of, uh, Mexican parents, I'd have a better shot at winning this," Romney said. "But he was unfortunately born to Americans living in Mexico. ... I mean I say that jokingly, but it would be helpful to be Latino."
Quote:
Romney told the contributors that "women are open to supporting me," but that "we are having a much harder time with Hispanic voters, and if the Hispanic voting bloc becomes as committed to the Democrats as the African American voting block has in the past, why, we're in trouble as a party and, I think, as a nation." When one attendee asked how this group could help Romney sell himself to others, he answered, "Frankly, what I need you to do is to raise millions of dollars."


I dunno if that's hugely racist or just casually racist.

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