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2709 Posts
6/06
Posted - Mar 7 2014 : 1:24PM
Paul Ryan's brown bag lunch story wasn't entirely untrue. Just the part that mattered.
by Laura Clawson at DailyKos
Remember how Rep. Paul Ryan about the poor boy who didn't want that nasty free government school lunch, "because he knew a kid with [lunch in] a brown paper bag had someone who cared for him"? Ryan had been told that story by Eloise Anderson, a member of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's cabinet, who supposedly "once met" this boy, who directly from his own mouth told her that story.
Yeah, about that.
about a kid in New York City in the 1980s, and the lunches he was getting for free were not from the government, they were from an ad sales rep who befriended him. And this story, repeated by trustworthy Republican wonk Paul Ryan as told to him by Wisconsin cabinet member Eloise Anderson, is taken just about word for word from . Except for the small detail about who was paying for the lunches:
So the story about a kid saying that lunch in a paper bag means someone cares about you was true. But where and when the kid lived, the person to whom he said those words, and—and this is the really important part—his circumstances and the source of his free lunches and as a result the entire political message available to be drawn from his story even for a committed distortionist like Paul Ryan are all untrue. In fact, the Miss Laura and now-adult Maurice of the story are advocates on child hunger, and let's just say they are not out campaigning against free school lunches. No, they're partnering with on a mission that includes "connect[ing] kids in need to effective nutrition programs like school breakfast and summer meals."
So is that Eloise Anderson heard an interview with Maurice Mazyck in which he told that story, and she decided to repackage it in congressional testimony as something a child had told her. A spokesman for Anderson now says she "misspoke." Yeah, she misspoke a mistruth. Then, Paul Ryan couldn't be bothered to look into the story at all before trotting it out before a national audience, because it was too damn convenient for him. As a little bonus, it even let him refer to "my buddy Scott Walker."
But it's nothing more than the kind of compassion, respect for others' lives, and honesty we've come to expect from Ryan.
 
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Woman of the Decade
13913 Posts
1/08
Posted - Mar 12 2014 : 2:55AM
This has been talked about before...given Moe Green's...I'm sorry...RICK PERRY's possible re-entrance into the presidency race, it's relevant again.

Senior Member

2709 Posts
6/06
Posted - Mar 12 2014 : 10:23AM
 
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Posted - Mar 12 2014 : 10:25AM
Oh snap, hadn't see that!
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Posted - Mar 12 2014 : 10:41AM
Texas did come in 12th in the nation the 2013 U.S. News and World Report on Best High School Rankings. () In the 2013 NAEP Texas got higher than the nation in proficiency in mathematics at 8th grade only (4th & 8th grades tested) and lower than the nation in proficiency reading for both grades (4th & 8th grades tested). ([link inactive:Server error]source) Education Week gave Texas schools a D+ in finance, a C+ in K-12 Achievement, and a C in chance for success in their 2014 Quality Counts assessment. ( )
Their spending may not be the highest however their achievement seems to be standard overall with the nation looking at the data from various sources.
 
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Woman of the Decade
13913 Posts
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Posted - Mar 15 2014 : 1:30PM
That Paul Ryan thing is just so fucking hilarious. Just like religion makes people do and say stupid stuff, so does the Cult of Ayn Rand go to any and all lengths to prove their point. I mean, what grade-school kid would truly say "I want a brown bag lunch so I know my mommy loves me?" I can hardly even type it, that shit sounds so ridiculous.

Senior Member

2709 Posts
6/06
Posted - Mar 15 2014 : 3:29PM

Senior Member

tGrump has no shortage of assholes.
6976 Posts
11/13
Posted - Mar 15 2014 : 3:47PM
But he didn't want the brown bag to somehow make his mom love him--he wanted it to deflect the stigma of standing out and being different from the other kids.
He wasn't saying he didn't want the lunch. He was saying he didn't want it to be obvious that it was a free lunch.
Hence the Republican fix--make the kid sweep the floor.

Senior Member

2709 Posts
6/06
Posted - Mar 15 2014 : 4:02PM
^ "Because when I see kids come to school with their lunch in a paper bag, that means someone cares about them. Miss Laura, can I please have my lunch in a paper bag?"
 
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Woman of the Decade
13913 Posts
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Posted - Mar 28 2014 : 2:21AM
OK, I couldn't find it, but I'm sure Rlankford has probably posted this somewhere, so until I get neeched...
Compare that to this report from August:
 
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"You have sacrificed nothing and no one."
6309 Posts
8/10
Posted - Mar 28 2014 : 9:03AM
Goldstein thinks the GOP pols are confusing their preferred method of receiving "donations" -- i.e. in a brown paper bag -- with their folksy propaganda

Senior Member

2709 Posts
6/06
Posted - Mar 28 2014 : 10:50AM
GOP States Are The Most Dependent On Government
Edited by - rlankford on 3/28/2014 10:51:58 AM

Senior Member

2709 Posts
6/06
Posted - Apr 1 2014 : 1:33PM
The GOP's Amazing Doublespeak On Medicare And Social Security
by Sahil Kapur at TalkingPoiintsMemo.com

Senior Member

2709 Posts
6/06
Posted - Apr 4 2014 : 3:39PM
Here's Even More Evidence Obama Is The World's Worst Socialist
by Mark Gongloff at The Huffington Post
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Posted - Apr 5 2014 : 12:41AM

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Posted - Apr 30 2014 : 8:00PM
/ class="postlinks">Go To Top of page
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Woman of the Decade
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Posted - May 2 2014 : 1:09AM
Moody's has cut Kansas' credit rating, thanks to the aforementioned.
The ratings agency slightly lowered the state’s credit rating because of mounting financial pressure on the Kansas state budget, partly from massive income tax cuts that Republican Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law in 2012 and 2013.


fubar

7535 Posts
12/09
Posted - May 17 2014 : 11:00AM
Canada is willing to pay for most of a downriver Detroit-Windsor bridge, but Obama's budget does not include $250 million for the US customs plaza. Canada paying for a US federal building would be ridiculous.
I have been wondering if a new bridge really is worth the money. The automobile industry needs it, but that would still be dying with a new bridge. New unsold cars are dumped in giant parking lots and airports until they're recycled to make new cars again. The Ambassador Bridge is not rated for hazardous materials, so those are sent by barge. In the long term, Michigan could be healthier if we let industries die, stop being Canada's trash can, and start rebuilding the agricultural economy as soon as possible instead of later by necessity.
 
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"You have sacrificed nothing and no one."
6309 Posts
8/10
Posted - Jun 16 2014 : 11:26AM

A Piketty Protégé’s Theory on Tax Havens
Op-Ed Contributor
By JACQUES LESLIE
JUNE 15, 2014
GABRIEL ZUCMAN is a 27-year-old French economist who decided to solve a puzzle: Why do international balance sheets each year show more liabilities than assets, as if the world is in debt to itself?
Over the last couple of decades, the few international economists who have addressed this question have offered a simple explanation: tax evasion. Money that, say, leaves the United States for an offshore tax shelter is recorded as a liability here, but it is listed nowhere as an asset -- its mission, after all, is disappearance. But until now the economists lacked hard numbers to confirm their suspicions. By analyzing data released in recent years by central banks in Switzerland and Luxembourg on foreigners’ bank holdings, then extrapolating to other tax havens, Mr. Zucman has put creditable numbers on tax evasion, showing that it’s rampant -- and a major driver of wealth inequality.
Mr. Zucman estimates -- conservatively, in his view -- that $7.6 trillion -- 8 percent of the world’s personal financial wealth -- is stashed in tax havens. If all of this illegally hidden money were properly recorded and taxed, global tax revenues would grow by more than $200 billion a year, he believes. And these numbers do not include much larger corporate tax avoidance, which usually follows the letter but hardly the spirit of the law. According to Mr. Zucman’s calculations, 20 percent of all corporate profits in the United States are shifted offshore, and tax avoidance deprives the government of a third of corporate tax revenues. Corporate tax avoidance has become so widespread that from the late 1980s until now, the effective corporate tax rate in the United States has dropped from 30 percent to 15 percent, Mr. Zucman found, even though the tax rate hasn’t changed.

Mr. Zucman, an assistant economics professor at the London School of Economics, is part of a wave of data-focused economists led by his mentor, Thomas Piketty, of the Paris School of Economics. Mr. Zucman’s short book on tax evasion, “The Missing Wealth of Nations,” was a best seller in France last year.
Mr. Zucman’s tax evasion numbers are big enough to upend common assumptions, like the notion that China has become the world’s “owner” while Europe and America have become large debtors. The idea of the rich world’s indebtedness is “an illusion caused by tax havens,” Mr. Zucman wrote in a paper published last year. In fact, if offshore assets were properly measured, Europe would be a net creditor, and American indebtedness would fall from 18 percent of gross domestic product to 9 percent.
Only multinational corporations and people with at least $50 million in financial assets usually have the resources to engage in offshore tax evasion. Since the less wealthy continue paying taxes, the practice deepens wealth inequality. Indeed, newly invigorated efforts in the United States to curb personal tax evasion, codified in the 2010 Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, have armed the Internal Revenue Service with strong sanctions to levy on foreign banks that fail to disclose accounts held by American residents. This has made it “more difficult for moderately wealthy individuals to dodge taxes,” Mr. Zucman says, while the richest account holders still have more elaborate evasive techniques at their disposal.
“There’s a profound shift in attitudes that happened in the 1980s,” Mr. Zucman says. “In the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, taxes were much higher, yet it was not considered normal to try to aggressively minimize your tax bill and even to evade taxes.” He finds it “no coincidence” that the era of widespread tax evasion began in the Reagan era, with the rise of the idea that government is a beast that must be starved.
Because large-scale tax evasion skews key economics statistics, it hampers officials’ ability to manage the economy or make policy, Mr. Zucman says. It erodes respect for the law, preventing the government from carrying out one of its essential tasks. And it discourages job creation, since it rewards people and corporations for keeping money overseas, instead of investing it domestically.
Despite the obstacles that the tax compliance act faces, Mr. Zucman believes its passage marked a global turning point, starting an era of “remarkable progress” in reducing bank secrecy. Even so, only an international approach has a chance of stopping tax evasion, he says. Its most important feature would be a global financial registry, which would track wealth ownership in the same way that Americans routinely record real estate holdings now. “If you can’t measure wealth,” Mr. Zucman says, “it’s almost impossible to tax it.”
A registry would make it impossible for multinationals to falsely attribute profits to tax havens instead of the countries where the profits should be taxed. The United States and Europe could build momentum for a global registry by establishing national registries for their own residents, perhaps incorporating the idea into the free trade agreement that Europe and the United States are now negotiating.
What’s beyond question is that there is no economic, political or moral justification for tax evasion -- it exists only because of the political influence that wealth buys. A society that fails to fight widespread tax evasion proclaims its own corruption.
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martin
new york
Stop whining; pay your tax, raise your sons and daughters to be cannon fodder for my oil company and let me and my senator enjoy our daqiries here on our fact finding mission to Davos.
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Phil D
Virginia
The non- payment of taxes by the wealthy and major corporations is tantamount to “WELFARE for the Wealthy (W2)”. If these wealthy welfare queens cannot be prosecuted for whatever reason, they need to be called out in the media (print, internet, broadcast and social) for what they are: bad citizens who are imperiling the security of the United States. By not acknowledging and paying their fair share of taxes, they are depriving our Government of the means to provide fully for the security of its citizens and interests.
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John
Hartford
Well I'd have said it was fairly obvious that tax evasion increases inequality but the extent of it and the relative impact on capital movement and western indebtedness are very illuminating.
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GrammyofWandA
Maine
The ultra-wealthy, via media propagandists, shifted the dialogue decades ago. They created sets of enemies to deflect America's rage from the tax-cheating 1%.
Are you angry because you have no pension and fear growing old in poverty? Just hate a teacher or state worker who has a pension, and you'll feel better!
Are your taxes sky high because you have to make up for what the 1% duck out of paying? Characterize all desperately poor people who get welfare and social services as frauds and "breeders." Once you've dehumanized them, you can slash all aid without remorse. Maybe your own taxes will go down.
Are you scared because you could be laid off tomorrow for no fault of your own? Then rage at people who have union protection. Demand Right to Work for Less laws, so everyone will share your suffering.
Can't find a job that pays enough to live on? Blame immigrants (not the corporations that import & use them like indentured servants, but the immigrants themselves).
Whatever you do, don't mention the tax tricks that corporations and the 1% use. That would turn you into a Socialist! No need to look up the definition. It has something to do with cooties -- that's all you need to know.
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William O. Beeman
San José, CA
This shows the disingenuous whining of international corporations for what it is: humbug. American corporate representatives and their legislative shills like Eric Cantor and Jeff Hensarling complain about the high US corporate tax rate when most large US corporations don't come close to paying it. Their tax evasion may be "legal" but it has been purchased in the US Congress.
Then there is the illegal tax evasion that is never prosecuted because once again there is not sufficient regulatory firepower or funds to go after the cheats and crooks--again ask Congress why this is so.
Those who cheat the system then turn around and accuse those receiving food stamps, medical assistance, educational subsidies and unemployment benefits of being "moochers" and "takers." The irony is staggering.
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B. Rothman
NYC
Most of us could tell you about the corruption of our government by corporate evasion and influence simply by virtue of our exchanges with the offices of our Congressmen and Senators. Their language is ambiguous and noncommittal. -- always. Their emails talk in such broad strokes that you can't tell whether they are Democrats or Republicans. They are vacuous bags waiting to be inflated by their monied players.
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Rima Regas
Mission Viejo, CA
Most Americans still don't realize the extent to which they've been lied to, or how deeply-entrenched is the rot of money in politics.
While a registry would help, it would not address decades of rewriting laws and removing the safeguards that were designed to prevent tax evasion.
Those among us who understand economics and political science already know how we've gotten to this point. Most among us, however, do not - either because they have so bought the GOP economic credo, hook, line, and sinker that they believe that more deregulation and next to no taxes really does create jobs and wealth for the middle class, or they are so badly misinformed by a steady diet of Fox News that there is no amount of facts that will convince them that tax evasion is really taking place.
That is how far and low we have sunk. In order to redress these fundamental problems, we need to address the root causes at a time when much of the mainstream press is complicit in spreading and perpetuating it.
While both parties have suffered from varying degrees of corporatism for decades, one party is completely overrun by it today. While we have effective and honest economists and political scientists who have been very public in their tireless efforts to reeducate the public, those efforts alone are insufficient. As a result, we are a nation in trouble and, absent strong, principled leadership and an informed and engaged populace, very much at risk of becoming a full-fledged plutocracy.
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LN
Los Angeles, CA
For 30+ years the Right has nattered on about welfare fraud and food stamps, when the far more substantial fraud was happening at the top. Why isn't it seen as treasonous (and criminal) for American companies (like Apple) to ship their profits offshore? And when will the EU crack down on countries like Ireland that aid and abet this practice?
 
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"You have sacrificed nothing and no one."
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8/10
Posted - Jul 4 2014 : 8:17AM

Op-Ed Columnist
By Paul Krugman
JULY 3, 2014
You often find people talking about our economic difficulties as if they were complicated and mysterious, with no obvious solution. As the economist Dean Baker recently pointed out, nothing could be further from the truth. The basic story of what went wrong is, in fact, almost absurdly simple: We had an immense housing bubble, and, when the bubble burst, it left a huge hole in spending. Everything else is footnotes.
And the appropriate policy response was simple, too: Fill that hole in demand. In particular, the aftermath of the bursting bubble was (and still is) a very good time to invest in infrastructure. In prosperous times, public spending on roads, bridges and so on competes with the private sector for resources. Since 2008, however, our economy has been awash in unemployed workers (especially construction workers) and capital with no place to go (which is why government borrowing costs are at historic lows). Putting those idle resources to work building useful stuff should have been a no-brainer.
But what actually happened was exactly the opposite: an unprecedented plunge in infrastructure spending. Adjusted for inflation and population growth, public expenditures on construction have fallen more than 20 percent since early 2008. In policy terms, this represents an almost surreally awful wrong turn; we’ve managed to weaken the economy in the short run even as we undermine its prospects for the long run. Well played!
And it’s about to get even worse. The federal highway trust fund, which pays for a large part of American road construction and maintenance, is almost exhausted. Unless Congress agrees to top up the fund somehow, road work all across the country will have to be scaled back just a few weeks from now. If this were to happen, it would quickly cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs, which might derail the employment recovery that finally seems to be gaining steam. And it would also reduce long-run economic potential.
How did things go so wrong? As with so many of our problems, the answer is the combined effect of rigid ideology and scorched-earth political tactics. The highway fund crisis is just one example of a much broader problem.

So, about the highway fund: Road spending is traditionally paid for via dedicated taxes on fuel. The federal trust fund, in particular, gets its money from the federal gasoline tax. In recent years, however, revenue from the gas tax has consistently fallen short of needs. That’s mainly because the tax rate, at 18.4 cents per gallon, hasn’t changed since 1993, even as the overall level of prices has risen more than 60 percent.
It’s hard to think of any good reason why taxes on gasoline should be so low, and it’s easy to think of reasons, ranging from climate concerns to reducing dependence on the Middle East, why gas should cost more. So there’s a very strong case for raising the gas tax, even aside from the need to pay for road work. But even if we aren’t ready to do that right now — if, say, we want to avoid raising taxes until the economy is stronger — we don’t have to stop building and repairing roads. Congress can and has topped up the highway trust fund from general revenue. In fact, it has thrown $54 billion into the hat since 2008. Why not do it again?
But no. We can’t simply write a check to the highway fund, we’re told, because that would increase the deficit. And deficits are evil, at least when there’s a Democrat in the White House, even if the government can borrow at incredibly low interest rates. And we can’t raise gas taxes because that would be a tax increase, and tax increases are even more evil than deficits. So our roads must be allowed to fall into disrepair.
If this sounds crazy, that’s because it is. But similar logic lies behind the overall plunge in public investment. Most such investment is carried out by state and local governments, which generally must run balanced budgets and saw revenue decline after the housing bust. But the federal government could have supported public investment through deficit-financed grants, and states themselves could have raised more revenue (which some but not all did). The collapse of public investment was, therefore, a political choice.
What’s useful about the looming highway crisis is that it illustrates just how self-destructive that political choice has become. It’s one thing to block green investment, or high-speed rail, or even school construction. I’m for such things, but many on the right aren’t. But everyone from progressive think tanks to the United States Chamber of Commerce thinks we need good roads. Yet the combination of anti-tax ideology and deficit hysteria (itself mostly whipped up in an attempt to bully President Obama into spending cuts) means that we’re letting our highways, and our future, erode away.
 
All-Star Member

4629 Posts
8/11
Posted - Jul 10 2014 : 12:37PM
US Federal Government could do a better job of getting our tax payments into the proper hands. This type of news is what feeds the skepticism we feel towards the folks running the show in DC.
460x.jpg

Senior Member

2759 Posts
11/09
Posted - Jul 10 2014 : 12:57PM
^
Of course that first one is the big problem that moneyed interests would like to keep that way. Why do you think so many Physicians are right wing nuts?
My Father who managed health care contracts for decades always brings medicare up.
Also, in a 14 trillion dollar economy 36 billion in comparison is a drop in the bucket.
How about the worlds biggest employer? The United States Department Of Defense. If reported accurately China's People's Liberation Army as nearly a million less employees with four times the population.
The size, and scope of the DOD is nonsense!
 
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Woman of the Decade
13913 Posts
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Posted - Jul 17 2014 : 10:13PM

repost:
Lack of opportunity in the South
Did anyone post either of these from earlier this year? If so I missed it.


I don't mean to keep dumping on the South. But the comments on the immigration smartbuydisc.ru spurred me to revisit some of these admittedly redundant studies. This isn't politics, its just facts.
And no, the entire south is not a rural dump of trailer parks and the north is not some uniform utopia. And the mountain states (Idaho, Utah, Wyoming) are actually the reddest. (They're less populated, though, which will usually be a mitigating factor in poverty and unemployment)
But, Southern politicians have essentially managed to weaponize the legacy of the Civil War and their rhetoric "of fuck the Yankees" has dovetailed brilliantly with the "fuck the federal government" and they keep the masses voting majorities for them year in and year out.

Edited by - Smiler Grogan on 7/17/2014 10:22:43 PM

 
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13495 Posts
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Posted - Jul 18 2014 : 8:02AM
The problem with playing one political side is evil and the other isn't is that sometimes your examples then fall apart. He cites the G.I. Bill, which was passed under a Democratic president, but was originally written by a Republican and then supported by some members of both parties. Instead of playing this one side is evil and the other isn't, which both parties do and the press seems to eat up -- probably because it sells copy -- the extremists versus the non-extremists of both sides should be pointed out.
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Posted - Jul 18 2014 : 2:25PM
That last sentence I am a big advocate of. Most people are either center left, or center right, still close to the middle. The media panders to the extremes.
Still, most of the people on the right I encounter are nuts. And they are all old, and white.
Edited by - 2ferme on 7/18/2014 2:55:31 PM
 
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Woman of the Decade
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Posted - Jul 18 2014 : 11:50PM
Sometimes, sure. As I said, the south is not all bad and the north is not all good.
But as pertains to economics, the proof that I've presented here would appear to be pretty overwhelming.
And as to your comment in the immigration thread about Oregon, I really can't speak to that as I don't know when this occurred or who the governor in power was at the time.
Income inequality/poverty/unemployment have landed on the Dems' radar more and more simply because its far more obvious now then ever before, and also because, it presents a chance to contrast Dems against the GOP for, admittedly, political benefit. But if Republicans didn't cater so much to corporations as opposed to the working-class, it wouldn't work.
 
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Woman of the Decade
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Posted - Jul 19 2014 : 12:02AM
Flash, as we have talked about endlessly in -- what is it now, three different threads?? -- its primarily the Republicans who are the extremists!
It's not even in doubt anymore! The most extreme lefty was Dennis Kucinich and he's gone. If the likes of Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders appear "extreme" then its mainly because even the so-called "mainstream" republicans are so far tilted to the right now. TUP just pointed out in one of those threads how Kansas! Kansas. It doesn't get any redder than Kansas!
This essay by Norm Ornstein and Thomas Mann (two think tankers representing two sides of thought sums it up:
Edited by - Smiler Grogan on 7/19/2014 12:03:07 AM
 
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13495 Posts
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Posted - Jul 19 2014 : 3:54PM
I lived in Oregon for 8 years, trust me there are extremists on both sides.
Even that article does exactly what I said. While yes, it points to problems, it also fictionalizes some in the context used, for example, that article uses a quote from Lamar Alexander
However, if you follow the link to the original interview that came from where the Wyden-Bennett Bill was discussed this was another part of the same interview....
At least to me, the quote in the article you linked to is disingenuous since it doesn't bother to give all the information. This is what I mean about the press using polarizing stances to keep the divide. Honestly, the majority of Republicans and Democrats I meet in real life sit in the middle. Not all, I have met extremists on both sides.
When some right-wing personalities, ie Sarah Palin, were making outlandish statements about the refugees at the Mexican border, papers all over jumped on the crazy GOP party, barely any touched on Glenn Beck bringing food there. Why? Compromise doesn't sell copy, compromise doesn't bring readers, as long as we can be kept divided they get readers and money.

Senior Member

2759 Posts
11/09
Posted - Jul 19 2014 : 7:10PM
^
Smiler is far left. That's why you are getting these half story posts. Something I hate.
And one reason why the left wing noise media doesn't do as well as the right wing noise media. I am not alone. As I posted a few weeks back. Check out books on Amazon by left wing authors like whats a matter with Kansas, and then check out the books by the right wing nuts. Thousands of reviews for the right wing nut books, but a few hundred for any left of center book.
The big difference is the right rarely admits any mistakes, and sounds like a parrot. I don't get that from the left. But I very much get it from the far left.
Still, most folks on the left are thinking for themselves.
Do you think the right's base is thinking for themselves?
 
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Woman of the Decade
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Posted - Jul 20 2014 : 12:52AM
I am curious to know what I've said in any of my postings that brings you to that conclusion. I'm not necessarily going to say you're wrong, I am just curious how you make that determination.
Uh, no. Let me explain that for you: (and note, this is all my opinion, of course. And also note, I'm largely talking about conservatism in its form of the last 25 years.)
Being a liberal does not require reading a billion books and screeds about "taking the country back". It doesn't require listening to forty radio shows or watching a 24-hour network. It doesn't require spending millions on annual conferences at ritzy hotel ballroom.
Pretty much, just reading The Constitution and the Bill of Rights does us just fine. No one has to give me any more info than "all men are created equal". No one has to explain in depth to me about "life liberty and the pursuit of happiness." To me, and many others, liberalism is basically the default position of what America is all about. It's not something I have to work for, or understand or be converted to. It's just there. It's like air.
Liberalism is NOT the flip side of conservatism. It is not a "belief system". It's not dogma. There's no rulebook. If you want to call it an ideology, fine, but its a hugely broad ideology.
It's so broad, in fact, that it can encompass other "isms" including conservatism and libertarianism. How about that?
American Conservatives, on the other hand, especially in the last 20 years, seem have a desperate need to educate, persuade and convert people to their side, hence all the books, radio shows, newspapers, magazines and 24-hour networks.[1] Conservatives all seem to have a missionary zeal on the level of the Mormons and Jehovahs' Witnesses. All of their components -- the Southern Fundamentalists, the NRA, the Neocons, the Corporatists -- they all put in serious hours doing their best to convince everyone why liberals are terrible people and why they're responsible for the national debt, losing Vietnam, AIDS, crime, obesity and The Kardashians.
And let me give props: It has worked! Over the last 25 years, "liberal" was turned into a four-letter word, forcing us to go to "progressives" which is a little bit harder to demonize. ("Damn progressives! They're always wanting to...to...progress!") They have put energy into this thing, and they certainly had the wind to their backs from 1998-2005 [2]

As I talked about in the "Ted Koppel: Fox News is Bad For America" thread, I don't consider myself at war with my fellow Americans.[3] But, as we discovered during the Bush years, there are lots of people still nursing the wounds from The Civil War [4] Someone like myself would be tempted to listen to a conservative viewpoint and say "OK, I can see your Point A and your Point B, but Points C and D are totally out of whack and would ruin the country. I will now sit down, have a nice cup of Starbucks mocha and explain in detail why they're bad"
At which point Fox News/Rush Limbaugh et al, would probably tell my conservative counterpart "Fucking kick that goddamn f*****t satan-worshipping socialist in his nuts! Jesus would!!"
Rush Limbaugh's brand of aggressive, bumper sticker sloganeering, jingoism, and rants against "feminiazis" plays very well with the largely white, older, male base that forms modern conservatism. And that's what sells all those books [5]and radio time and TV time. They give the aggrieved, much put-upon, white male comfort in knowing, "Thank God, there's someone out there who gets me!" [6] Plus, the fervor of conservatives means that they all will naturally congregate in one place. Fox News is conservative's Holy Temple in this regard, and Rush is Pope.
One last thing: we have the "How Should Republicans Change the Party" and "Karl Rove vs the Tea Party" threads, which highlight the many fissures in the GOP/conservative movement. I find it interesting that the Republicans/Conservatives of the last 25 years resemble nothing so much as Islam with its warring factions of Shia and Sunni, or Christianity, (especially where Northern Ireland is concerned.) "We're This and Fuck You Guys Who Believe in That" makes for fun Friday night meetings, I guess, but it's no way to run a country.


[1] That infrastructure is one that activist liberals have only relatively recently begun to compete with. Minus this activity from the right, you would probably never see a Huffington Post, Daily Kos, currently left tilting MSNBC, etc etc. Trust me, we'd all much rather be spending more time following the Dave Matthews Band around the country.
[2] After that golden era though,
[3] At least, I didn't until the Bush Years. You know...knives to gun fights and all that....
[4]
[5]
[6] Sean Hannity is basically Carrie from Sex in the City.

 
All-Star Member

Woman of the Decade
13913 Posts
1/08
Posted - Jul 20 2014 : 1:17AM
Flash, I guess I'm just not explaining myself well. I'm not a Sith. I'm not speaking in absolutes.[1] I don't say all republicans are bad and all democrats are good. I will take your word for what happens in Oregon. Here in Virginia we recently

And I know Lamar Alexander believes in bipartisanship. So does Lisa Murkowski. So does Susan Collins.
And yes, you are right about Glenn Beck. When he does crazy stuff, he gets attention, there's been no attention on what he's done at the border, nor on what he said a few weeks ago. () [2]
I am speaking in the context of the current discussions on immigration and the economy, as relates to the current House of Representatives. That's my core focus in a lot of what I'm talking about and I probably didn't make that clear.
I don't say everyone's an extremist. What I do say is that the overwhelming evidence that has presented itself to us is that Republican policies - on those subjects -- are mostly extremist -- even while some in the party fight against them.

[1] I know, I know...
sith absolutes.jpg
[2]
fainting 2.jpg
"Wow, you'd think this is the first time she's ever heard the phrase, 'Liberals Were Right' in her entire--OH. WAIT."

 
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Woman of the Decade
13913 Posts
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Posted - Jul 29 2014 : 12:55AM
As I stated here, the robots are going to destroy us all.

-by Vivek Wadhwa
Of course, I'm sure that SOME places will still be hiring...
skynet.jpg


 
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Woman of the Decade
13913 Posts
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Posted - Jul 29 2014 : 1:01AM
Elysium: The Prequel

- More than 15,000 households have had their taps turned off for being past due. Yet the bankrupt city hasn’t touched 40 businesses who owe $9.5 million in total.
 
All-Star Member

Woman of the Decade
13913 Posts
1/08
Posted - Jul 29 2014 : 1:12AM
Oh, and let's not forget, this is the same Detroit that is
 
Golden Age Classic

13495 Posts
5/01
Posted - Jul 29 2014 : 9:35AM
Honestly, that article seems to rely more on scare tactics than reality at the current time. For instance, in the current issue of Reason there is an article on Self-Driving cars (/ They only have 75% of cars being self driving come the year 2040. More than that most of her cases bring up items that aren't yet in existence or if they are at the current time are exceedingly expensive. To have a complete change over would require that people discard what they have and just buy new, something that is unlikely to happen. Retrofitting existing cars to become self driving? Doubtful. They would have to come up with engineering plans to cover all known models on the road and how to retrofit each one, since cars are not the same inside. Then the cost of putting in all this equipment. Not going to happen. Once they are out, and affordable, it would be a gradual shift, IMHO. We are still not at the point that self driving cars can completely even take over. There is an area in Maine that I go to where GPS fails. The maps that GPS uses utilize roads that don't exist anymore and haven't for over 50 years. Letting a car self drive there would put you through a house or tree. As for taking over for pharmacists? Also unlikely. There are currently robots that are utilized in bigger pharmacies. Smaller ones can't afford them. And they still require user intervention. Someone has to check manually what is going in and coming out as amazingly enough robots apparently make mistakes too. Yes, as technology expands, the jobs change. Ask chimney sweeps, shoe shiners, hatters, and many more occupations of the past. But this predicted immediate change over -- not that I can see. As technology changes new students will be taught current changes, that happens now. Older employees, some will learn the new skills, that happens now, or stay utilizing the old equipment, which doesn't disappear overnight. Within two decades we will have more energy than we need? We haven't been able to take ourselves off oil. We fight other methods of energy (look at how many breeder reactors are running right now). As of now, I see our "jobless future" as a dystopian fantasy -- not any sort of reality.

Senior Member

tGrump has no shortage of assholes.
6976 Posts
11/13
Posted - Jul 29 2014 : 11:02AM
Does your car take leaded gas?
In the thirties, there were plenty of houses without indoor plumbing, but somehow they all seemed to have been retrofitted for it by the sixties.
And in the sixties, who ever thought that little businesses would ever be able to afford their own computers--after all, a computer cost millions of dollars and took up a whole room.
Things change. See what direction we are going.
Oh, those old Popular Science magazines of the fifties and sixties had plenty of articles on how in the future everybody would have the robots and flying cars and retractable roofs on their houses. We were going to have a three or four day workweek because all those computers and robots and all that push-button efficiency was going to be serving us and lightening our load. They forgot to ask what we would be doing to get the money to buy all that. They forgot to ask how the money from all the innovation was going to be shared downward.
Where is the prosperity going to come from?

Senior Member

2759 Posts
11/09
Posted - Jul 29 2014 : 11:03AM
Smiler has an affinity, as many do for the narrative of scare in the media.
 
Golden Age Classic

13495 Posts
5/01
Posted - Jul 29 2014 : 11:24AM
From my understanding, no retrofitting was required to use unleaded gas. There is a big difference between figuring out where to put sensors, the new computers, and other equipment necessary to allow a robot to drive a car than to run piping through walls. And an even bigger difference with the claim in that article that, "the debates of the next decade will be about whether we should allow human beings to drive at all on public roads." The article I linked to suggests that 26 years from now robotic cars will be 75% of traffic. That article has us already arguing if humans can drive on public roads over the next 10 years. It talks about traffic cops going away. Wouldn't that be well over 30 years in the future? And only if we can perfect 100% computer operation. And what about people overriding their computers? Computers in the 60s seem to be a poor complaint, look at all the jobs that computers since then have created, from manufacturing, to sales, to programming, to web design, to others that I didn't think of instantly.
I still don't see this dystopian future coming. But again, that is just my opinion.
Edited to add, according to we still have places without complete indoor plumbing.
Edited by - flash on 7/29/2014 11:34:46 AM
 
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Woman of the Decade
13913 Posts
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Posted - Jul 29 2014 : 12:06PM
Admittedly, the author is overhyping a bit, but overall, you can see what direction things have been moving in for almost 20 years. Automation/digitalization are becoming the norm in a number of jobs even as the worlds' population increases.
And the part about the machines not needing $20/hr, health benefits or the need to form a union is undeniably true.
Well, let's hope that one about them not forming a union is true~!
terminators.jpg
 
All-Star Member

Woman of the Decade
13913 Posts
1/08
Posted - Jul 29 2014 : 12:10PM
The big obstacle in the way of the Robopacalypse will be money.
Someone will have to put up billions to invest in widespread robot factory workers, etc.
Still, one can look at incremental changes: 5,000 jobs here, 3,000 jobs here, year after year, decade after decade....

fubar

7535 Posts
12/09
Posted - Jul 29 2014 : 12:35PM
^Energy and rare elements. Russia has the energy and China has the metals. Without resources, money is hallucinatory wealth.

Senior Member

2759 Posts
11/09
Posted - Jul 29 2014 : 1:07PM
And somebody will have to design, and build those machines. The notion that machines will be able to do this is false.
The real question to answer is having a public school system that prepares people for the world of work, and recognizing Students strengths, and weaknesses to hopefully point them in the direction of success. For those that want to attempt to succeed, not graduate to the street corner.

fubar

7535 Posts
12/09
Posted - Jul 29 2014 : 3:35PM
While economists and pundits make predictions from theory and funding, the world ignores them and does what it has always done.

Senior Member

2759 Posts
11/09
Posted - Aug 5 2014 : 10:34AM
/ class="postlinks">Go To Top of page
[Link]
 
All-Star Member

Woman of the Decade
13913 Posts
1/08
Posted - Aug 5 2014 : 11:51AM
^
This is something that certainly does not get talked about enough.

State and local governments have awarded at least $110 billion in taxpayer subsidies to business, with 3 of every 4 dollars going to fewer than 1,000 big corporations, the most thorough analysis to date of corporate welfare revealed today.
Boeing ranks first, with 137 subsidies totaling $13.2 billion, followed by Alcoa at $5.6 billion, Intel at $3.9 billion, General Motors at $3.5 billion and Ford Motor at $2.5 billion, the new report by the nonprofit research organization Good Jobs First shows.
Dow Chemical had the most subsidies, 410 totaling $1.4 billion, followed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire-Hathaway holding company, with 310 valued at $1.1 billion.

And for a little context: Berkshire Hathaway is #4 on the most recent Fortune 500 List, with a Market Value of $308B, and had profits of $19B in 2013. Boeing:#30, $93B in MV, $4.5B in profits; Intel: #53, $128B, $9.6B;

Senior Member

2759 Posts
11/09
Posted - Aug 5 2014 : 12:41PM
^
Read the follow up posts to the article. One was quite interesting. You will know what post it is.
 
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Woman of the Decade
13913 Posts
1/08
Posted - Aug 17 2014 : 12:28PM

fubar

7535 Posts
12/09
Posted - Sep 9 2014 : 8:43AM
Since Ayn Rand is now a source of economic wisdom, I wonder when will politicians and pundits take the next step and start quoting Milo Minderbinder.
 
All-Star Member

Woman of the Decade
13913 Posts
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Posted - Dec 4 2014 : 12:45AM
2 gass.jpg
 
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Woman of the Decade
13913 Posts
1/08
Posted - Dec 10 2014 : 11:47PM
^
This is quite interesting. Oil is at record lows for the 21st century, and yet Saudi Arabia is not lowering its production, thus weaponizing its petrol muscles.
The major theories: the Saudis are trying to fuck with Syria, Iran, Russia and ISIS. The instability in Syria threatens the Middle East, the muscle-flexing by Iran and Russia threatens their profits, and ISIS threatens everything. All three of these countries have benefited from high priced oil. So by continuing production at normal levels, prices stay down and these guys get squeezed and Russia and Syria will be the worst off as they're already dealing with crippling sanctions. Oil is just about the only thing both countries have.
Of course a nice byproduct is that economic activity should -- repeat SHOULD -- pick up a little especially considering its the holidays. Food prices should lower a little bit. Basically you know how it is: gas prices have a distinct hold on the US psyche: when it goes up we freak the fuck out and when it goes down we feel a little better.

More here.






As I've stated in the past, if there's one thing where there's no difference in Democrats or Republicans its the relationship with the Saudis. Regardless of their dreadful humanitarian records and treatment of women, we'll always be tight with them come hell or high water. I mean seriously, the Saudis probably saw the details of that torture report yesterday and went, "Shit is that it? What a bunch of amateurs!!"

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