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Community Zone => Chatter => Topic started by: Mr. Blackwell on August 25, 2012, 01:55:38 PM

Title: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on August 25, 2012, 01:55:38 PM
There is a discussion I am involved with in two separate threads.[1] I want to consolidate that discussion into one thread. I am just about done with my research to begin to thoroughly delve into the ideas and questions I have for two specific members...Screwtape and nogodsforme.

It is not my intention to prove them wrong but to understand their position in contrast to my own understanding of the past and current political landscape.

This discussion will attempt to clarify:

1. The difference between the view that racism is the cause of all the hate towards Obama vs. the view that racism is a political tool to keep all of us chattel distracted.   

2. The general view that the Republican Party are just a bunch of obstructionists.

3. Why the ability to compromise is viewed as a weakness rather than a strength.

I am starting this thread because the discussion may exceed the bounds of the OP in the two threads I am having them in.

I would prefer that only Screwtape and nogodsforme respond but if other members feel compelled to interject then by all means, please add to the conversation.

This comment and introduction is merely a place holder. I will open the conversation later today with a response to Screwtape from a previous thread.
 1. If you want to get technical my discussion spans several threads
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Nam on August 25, 2012, 07:37:41 PM
It should be noted that many of the current "conservative Republicans" in the Republican party, were former Democrats, or come from that line of Democrats. Many political figures today and yesterday as Republicans were originally Democrats. Most changed to the Republican party because they didn't like the advancing liberalism of the party, were recruited in masse during the mid 20th century when Republicans started to cater to southerners to get their vote (which today shows the effects of that), or those who switched parties solely on the basis of being elected in the area they were running in, or their area became dominant in said political sphere.

Today, many Republicans of the past would be too liberal for the current party. Such as Nixon, Lincoln, Grant, Teddy Roosevelt etc., and some Democrats would be just the kind of person the Republican party would want, such as Andrew Jackson, Grover Cleveland[1], Joe McCarthy, James Buchanan etc.,

-Nam
 1. mainly for placing people in key areas beneficial to the party
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: screwtape on August 25, 2012, 11:31:36 PM
bm,
so I can find the thread later when I have time to reply
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on August 28, 2012, 11:27:42 PM
Thank you Nam. That information is important to keep in mind, I don't know if it will play into this particular conversation...it may. If nothing else is serves as an example of how the parties shift over time.

I made a off hand snarky comment here (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,23498.msg526411.html#msg526411) but it was an accurate observation of the political landscape and narrative driven by the Democrats. The Republicans are not called the "Party of no" for no reason and I didn't make it up.

TIME just published “The Party of No...It reveals...the Republican plot to obstruct President Obama before he even took office... (http://swampland.time.com/2012/08/23/the-party-of-no-new-details-on-the-gop-plot-to-obstruct-obama/)

My first question is primarily for nogodsforme. You made the statement that current opposition to ObamaCaretm must be racist because the plan has roots in the Republican party but now that Democrats have passed it they (Republicans) object to it.

You said

I think a lot of the hatred towards President Obama is, unfortunately,  based on race.

<snip>

It was the exact same plan that Gov. Romney implemented in MA and was the plan the Repubs. proposed as the "sensible" capitalist alternative to "socialist Hillarycare". Obamacare was Bob Dole's Republican health care plan.

<snip>

So why did people go batsh!t crazy when offered Bob Dole's Romneycare program? Why did they act like it was the end of the world, and would destroy America? Why hadn't they acted like that when Bob Dole proposed it? Because it was being promoted by the black guy. I can't see any other reason.

I provided a very lengthy response (http://www.princeton.edu/~starr/20starr.html) demonstrating that there was great opposition to Clinton when he tried the same thing. It wasn't racism then, why would it be now?

1. If this legislation is a Republican plan born in the early 90's...why weren't the Republicans able to get it passed?

2. Did they block their own plan?

3. Why did the Democrats hijack the plan if it's so terrible?

4. Why didn't the Democrats pass their own plan?

 
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: screwtape on August 29, 2012, 07:30:21 AM
I'm not nogodsforme, but I play her on tv.

there was great opposition to Clinton when he tried the same thing.

He didn't try the same thing.  The plans were different.  Ostensibly, there should have been zero opposition to Obama's plan because it was the republican plan. 

It wasn't racism then, why would it be now?

I do not think it is entirely racism now, but I think that racism permeates the gop, particularly the teabaggers.  The repubs just want power and to get power they are appealing to the racists and latent racist feelings. 

1. If this legislation is a Republican plan born in the early 90's...why weren't the Republicans able to get it passed?

They didn't want to.  Doing so would be a victory for the president.  And they want him to have no victories.  Imagine that.  The repubs are willing to let the country sit in an economic recession and do nothing about it for 4 years just so they can try to recoup some of their power.  Grotesque, no?

2. Did they block their own plan?
yes

3. Why did the Democrats hijack the plan if it's so terrible?

Nobody said it was terrible.  It is like DADT, imperfect, but a step in the right direction and the only plan that had a chance of passing.  It was a compromise they thought would work.

4. Why didn't the Democrats pass their own plan?

obstructionism.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on August 29, 2012, 10:41:13 AM
1. If this legislation is a Republican plan born in the early 90's...why weren't the Republicans able to get it passed?

They didn't want to.  Doing so would be a victory for the president.  And they want him to have no victories.  Imagine that.  The repubs are willing to let the country sit in an economic recession and do nothing about it for 4 years just so they can try to recoup some of their power.  Grotesque, no?

Grotesque? In many ways...yes.

I am curious why they didn't take the opportunity to pass their own health care reform act during the 8 years Bush was in office.

Why did it take a Democratic controlled house and senate along with a Democrat president to pass a Republican health bill?

Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: jaimehlers on August 29, 2012, 11:08:41 AM
While racism may have played a part on the resistance to Obama, I seriously doubt that it was the primary motivating factor.

There's a saying, don't attribute to malevolence what can be caused by incompetence.

The Republicans were and are running scared of what happens if Obama succeeds despite their full-court press opposition.  That's why they came up with this stupidity-squared plan in the first place, because they felt that if they were the slightest bit reasonable, they'd end up losing for good.  They never seriously considered that people might recognize just how bankrupt their strategy was and turn against them for their sheer incompetence in trying it in the first place.

I was a Republican once.  But I'll not vote for someone running under the banner of the Pathetic Pachyderms again, until they reform themselves to a party that means something other than "NO!!"
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: screwtape on August 29, 2012, 11:13:42 AM
Why did it take a Democratic controlled house and senate along with a Democrat president to pass a Republican health bill?

I dunno.  I would guess a shift in priorities?  The neocons didn't give a rat's ass about social programs.  They were all about tax breaks for the rich, shifting public money to private corporations, starting wars and restoring the office of president to pre-Nixon power.  They would dismantle social security, medicare, welfare, the whole thing, if given the opportunity. Recall, bush's first priority after his re-election "mandate" was to try to privatize Social Security.

On top of that, the 1996 health care analysis you linked mentioned that by time things got rolling, the opposition was inconsolable.  The repubs and insurance industry opposed everything, even compromises they originally agreed too.

Plus, despite people saying there is no difference between the parties, there actually is a difference between the parties.  Democrats actually care about helping people.  repubs say they are cynical attempts to ingratiate voting demographics, but that is because repubs are such selfish pricks they cannot imagine doing something so altruistic just for the good of it.  Doing things solely to capture power is their MO and they cannot imagine the dems being different.

Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: jaimehlers on August 29, 2012, 11:16:49 AM
I think both parties are trying to seek power at this point, though I won't argue that the Republicans aren't more focused on it than the Democrats.  Still, I don't think it's just about seeking power, even for them.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on August 29, 2012, 11:23:17 AM
If you ask me...both sides are self projecting the other. Dems may kid themselves into thinking that they only want to stay in power to help the little people, I say "whatever helps you sleep at night...bitch. How are those fringe benefits working out for ya?"

Repubs may kid themselves into thinking that they only want to preserve the constitution and limit big government in an effort to grant individual liberty for the small businessmen to which I say "whatever helps you sleep at night...bitch. How are those fringe benefits working out for ya?"



Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: screwtape on August 29, 2012, 11:38:57 AM
I think both parties are trying to seek power

Of course.  That is what politics is.  But let's be honest about who is willing to do what.  Someone here linked chris matthews going off on the rnc chairman for so dishonestly trying to portray Obama as a foreigner, and he was absolutely right.
http://thinkprogress.org/election/2012/08/27/747131/chris-matthews-confronts-rnc-chairman-obama-being-a-foreigner-is-the-thing-your-party-has-been-pushing/

I do not see the same level of dishonesty from the left, nor have I ever. 


Still, I don't think it's just about seeking power, even for them.

What have they done with their power when they had it?  Tried to ensure they continued to have power.  Help me out here.  What have they done that was constructive?
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on August 29, 2012, 11:41:00 AM
Why did it take a Democratic controlled house and senate along with a Democrat president to pass a Republican health bill?

I dunno.  I would guess a shift in priorities?  The neocons didn't give a rat's ass about social programs.  They were all about tax breaks for the rich, shifting public money to private corporations, starting wars and restoring the office of president to pre-Nixon power. They would dismantle social security, medicare, welfare, the whole thing, if given the opportunity . Recall, bush's first priority after his re-election "mandate" was to try to privatize Social Security.

To me, that sounds like echo chamber hyperbole. It does nothing to help me understand your position or why you have it. Or why it's true.

If the neocons didn't give a rat's ass about social programs why did they even bother to come up with a healthcare plan in the first place?

 
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on August 29, 2012, 11:45:06 AM
I do not see the same level of dishonesty from the left, nor have I ever.

And you never will if your only source of info comes from a sympathizing source.

You really should take the time to actually listen to the opposition, not just what your sources tell you about what the opposition has said.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: jaimehlers on August 29, 2012, 12:09:41 PM
Screwtape, do you really think the Democrats passed things like the health care bill out of the goodness of their hearts?  They did so in large part because they felt it would win them enough goodwill to get re-elected.  Same thing with middle-class tax cuts and various other things that they've pushed for.  Don't get me wrong, I consider those worthwhile things to do.  But I know enough about politics to understand that it's very rare for a politician - and practically unheard of for a party - to go for things unless they feel that doing so will have a reasonable chance of keeping them in power.

That's the key point here.  The Republicans do things in order to stay in power, as do the Democrats.  The difference is what, specifically, they choose to do.  I might be cynical about the reasons the Democrats chose to do the things they did, but I consider them to be far more worthwhile than what the Republicans have accomplished since Dubya got elected.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on August 29, 2012, 12:16:08 PM
From 2009

Democrat Alan Grayson


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-usmvYOPfco&feature=player_embedded

Please bare in mind that the Obama plan IS a Republican plan.

How's that for dishonesty?
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Hatter23 on August 29, 2012, 01:03:47 PM
Screwtape, do you really think the Democrats passed things like the health care bill out of the goodness of their hearts? 

To put it bluntly;

If the Republicans have as a major part of the stategy of staying in power of helping out the extremely rich, and the Democrats have as a major part of the stategy of staying in power of pleasing the general populace, and, I'm not part of the extremely rich, which of the two will more likely have a better result for me? Democrats.

Another major part of the of the stategy of staying in power for Republican is to please the Religious Right, and I'm not part of the religious right, and part of their interest would be to KILL me, having them not in power is in my own interest.

Furthermore, I see the relative health of national economies that are capitalist with some socialist elements such as Germany or Denmark, and the horrible economies of purely capitalist societies like Somalia. The Democrats seem to be closer aligned with the former, and the Republican with the latter, it is in my best interest to vote Democrat.




Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on August 29, 2012, 01:08:56 PM
...I'm not part of the religious right, and part of their interest would be to KILL me...

Complete bullshit.

Edit
Can't even take into consideration the rest of what you said because I am stuck knee deep in this crap.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Traveler on August 29, 2012, 01:46:20 PM
Well, I don't know what he's getting at with the "kill" issue, but if the poster is gay, as an example, there are definately right wing nutjobs in the current (disfunctional, obstructionist, right-wing) republican party who would advocate that. Seriously. The republican party has been taken over by complete and total radical rightwingers. It scares the crap out of me.

Oh, another example that might fit with the "kill" comment. Their position on health care, abortion, contraception, and other women's issues, will mean more women dying. Examples? Planned Parenthood provides breast cancer screening, often to lower income persons who would otherwise not have access. Those women might DIE if they miss an early diagnosis because of such policies. I, for instance, was diagnosed as stage II with a mammogram.

There are a lot of (current) republican policies that are anti-life, in my opinion.

By the way, the old republican party, although I disagreed with them, at least cared about working with the president, regardless of party affiliation, to get things done. The current republican part is obstructionist, and cares for little other than undermining President Obama and getting elected. Although I tend to dislike all politics, the republican party has outstripped all their predecessors for dishonesty and, quite frankly, obstructionist evils.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Hatter23 on August 29, 2012, 02:08:26 PM
...I'm not part of the religious right, and part of their interest would be to KILL me...

Complete bullshit.

Edit
Can't even take into consideration the rest of what you said because I am stuck knee deep in this crap.

Not Bullshit, when it was legal to kill heretics(which included atheists) all theocracies do kill them.  Religious Right wishes to install a theocracy, therefore yes, by extension, kill me.

I do understand that this isn't on the mind of the rank and file Republican, not even remotely. However, do I consider it a distinct posiblity if the Dominionist/RR gets their way?, yes.

Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: earthfreak on August 29, 2012, 02:13:14 PM

Quote

Not Bullshit, when it was legal to kill heretics(which included atheists) all theocracies do kill them.  Religious Right wishes to install a theocracy, therefore yes, be extension, kill me.

I have to say it's a bit of a stretch, but it is freaky when some extremist in the audience/group says something like this and there's no automatic outrage from the general populace of conservatives (as a queer heathen kinda socialist, I'm acutely aware of this stuff)
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Traveler on August 29, 2012, 02:16:12 PM
I don't know if I can dig up the quote ... saw it on facebook somewhere ... but one of the current crop of republicans did say, in effect, that atheists should be killed. Will post if I can find it.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: jaimehlers on August 29, 2012, 02:26:44 PM
I don't think they want to make a theocracy.  Or at least most of them don't.  Some might, but I suspect that the majority of remaining Republicans are committed to the idea of democracy and wouldn't take kindly to a theocracy.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Hatter23 on August 29, 2012, 02:37:39 PM
I don't think they want to make a theocracy.  Or at least most of them don't.  Some might, but I suspect that the majority of remaining Republicans are committed to the idea of democracy and wouldn't take kindly to a theocracy.

Democracy does not preclude theocracy. Remember GB Sr stated that atheists shouldn't be considered citizens. Non-citizens can't vote. If that pecedent was established, how quickly do you think it would change to only Christians could vote? I would figure less than 20 years.

If there's a religious test in order for a person to have any voice in Government, isn't that still a theocracy?


Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Nick on August 29, 2012, 02:50:47 PM

Quote

Not Bullshit, when it was legal to kill heretics(which included atheists) all theocracies do kill them.  Religious Right wishes to install a theocracy, therefore yes, be extension, kill me.

I have to say it's a bit of a stretch, but it is freaky when some extremist in the audience/group says something like this and there's no automatic outrage from the general populace of conservatives (as a queer heathen kinda socialist, I'm acutely aware of this stuff)
Where was the outrage when they killed Dr. Tiller?
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: jaimehlers on August 29, 2012, 02:53:26 PM
That's why it won't happen, unless someone manages to pull a really sneaky plot off.  I don't think even the ones who do want a theocracy are stupid enough to go along with such a plan unless they can be sure they'd be in charge of it, because it's just as easy to go to only specific Christian sects can vote.

And, in any case, it wouldn't be a democracy, any more than the USSR was a union of republics.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on August 29, 2012, 03:24:51 PM
I would be eager to see a quote from any elected republican who called for the death of any American who disagreed with their particular ideology.

To speculate what might be is a far cry from what is. By doing so you validate any speculation from the right-wingers about what they seem to think liberals must really have in mind for America.

To wish for a denial of citizenship and thus equal protection under the constitution to vote is not = to calling for their death. I don't recall Bush Sr pushing for any legislation to deny citizenship for atheists or for their death.

Was there ever such a bill proposed?
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on August 29, 2012, 03:40:48 PM
Where was the outrage when they killed Dr. Tiller?

First, THEY didn't kill Dr. Tiller...Scott Roeder did.

Second, Within hours after the murder, every antiabortion group in the country denounced the attack. Robert P. George, a leading Catholic intellectual opponent of abortion, wrote that "George Tiller's life was precious" and characterized his murder as "a gravely wicked thing." He called on his fellow abortion opponents to "teach that violence against abortionists is not the answer to the violence of abortion."

Even Operation Rescue, the extreme antiabortion group that organized a six-week blockade of Tiller's office in 1991, issued a statement condemning the murder. "We denounce vigilantism and the cowardly act that took place this morning," Troy Newman, the organization's president, said. (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124398690567579389.html)

So the question becomes, why didn't the media report the outrage over Dr. Tillers death?
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Azdgari on August 29, 2012, 03:43:35 PM
...I'm not part of the religious right, and part of their interest would be to KILL me...

Complete bullshit.

Edit
Can't even take into consideration the rest of what you said because I am stuck knee deep in this crap.

It does seem curious, to me, that religious-right-wingers also tend to be so ardently supportive of their right to own weapons capable of killing masses of people.

Surely a total coincidence.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Hatter23 on August 29, 2012, 04:13:19 PM
To speculate what might be is a far cry from what is. By doing so you validate any speculation from the right-wingers about what they seem to think liberals must really have in mind for America.

To wish for a denial of citizenship and thus equal protection under the constitution to vote is not = to calling for their death. I don't recall Bush Sr pushing for any legislation to deny citizenship for atheists or for their death.

Was there ever such a bill proposed?

The speculation does not validate the contrary because we do have the examples of voting theocracies and the use of execution to enforce restricted belief. When we look at actual socialist(not Communist) contries, we see no equivalent.

When someone who recently left office stated that they wished for something to happen, but they didn't do it, that's just an indication thet they knew they couldn't get away with it.

Again I understand this is not even on the mind of your rank and file Republican, but the Coalition of the Religious Right has 30 million members. 10% of the US, one very sizable lobby, (I think second only to the AARP.) And one doesn't rise to a position of potency in the organization by being anything less than utterly unreasonable. The whole usurping of state power through DOMA, something unthinkable 40 years ago, was an exersize of their influence. So is "faith based intiatives," "teach the contraversy,"and the attempt for school vouchers.

We have people who are considered voices within the conservative media that have called for excutions, Roger Hedgecock for one.

Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on August 29, 2012, 04:33:52 PM
We have people who are considered voices within the conservative media that have called for excutions, Roger Hedgecock for one.

Never heard of him and I couldn't find anything on him other than he was mayor of San Diego and that he is now a talk show host. What did he say and did he say it during his political career or during his talk show career?
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on August 29, 2012, 10:53:42 PM
A few members of this forum have asked me, since I am a poor man, why I would vote against my own interest. Some of you seem perplexed that any woman or minority person could possibly bring themselves to vote for a Republican.

I assume that I am not the only person on this forum, and certainly not in this country, who votes on ideas and what I think is right...not what is in the best interest for my pocket.

Yes, there are black republicans and I'd be willing to bet that the Kock brothers haven't bought them all. So, I guess since the Republican party only exists as a racist entity upholding the values of the rich white man, that makes any black republican an Uncle Tom. It's the only reasonable explanation since it makes no sense that anyone would vote against their own self interest unless they are getting kickbacks.

However, since racism is institutionalized...the poor minority only have two options. Either vote for the party that will take care of them from cradle to grave or sell out and get filthy rich from the Republican party.

Ain't hyperbole a bitch?

Now begins the final phase of this cognitive dissonance campaign. America’s 57th presidential election is the first devoted to calling the nation’s bluff. When Mitt Romney selected Paul Ryan, Republicans undertook the perilous but commendable project of forcing voters to face the fact that they fervently hold flatly incompatible beliefs. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-will-an-election-to-call-voters-bluff/2012/08/29/8764c538-f13c-11e1-892d-bc92fee603a7_story.html)

What is the American dream?

I don't know any more. I thought it was owning some land, putting a home on it and raising a family but it seems, now, that the dream is having the government take care of you, whether it can afford to or not, as long as you vote for the party that promises to tax the fuck out of the rich land owners.

Somebody stop me...I'm starting to really enjoy the hyperbole too much.



Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Azdgari on August 29, 2012, 11:21:46 PM
A few members of this forum have asked me, since I am a poor man, why I would vote against my own interest. Some of you seem perplexed that any woman or minority person could possibly bring themselves to vote for a Republican.

I assume that I am not the only person on this forum, and certainly not in this country, who votes on ideas and what I think is right...not what is in the best interest for my pocket.

And what is right...is making sure the law recognizes that rape that results in pregnancy is not legitimately a rape.  Yes, I can see why women get behind that sort of thing.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on August 29, 2012, 11:34:29 PM
And what is right...is making sure the law recognizes that rape that results in pregnancy is not legitimately a rape.  Yes, I can see why women get behind that sort of thing.

Oh yeah, cause H.R. 6969 seeks to define rape that results in pregnancy as illegitimate rape. And I must support that bill blindly because I'se a hate mongerin womanizn dark ages type conservative.

Everybody knows a woman can't get pregnant if she don't wont to. So all them gals gettin them abortions? They just cold blooded murderers trying to hide behind the protection of the law. Yup.

And that's why I support the Republican Party 100%....I don't care if it's Todd Aiken or David Duke. I VOTE REPUBLICAN cause those poor rich folk need that money and I might want to make some too someday.

Seriously, how many evils can we lump onto one party?  Seems to me you should focus your efforts on eradicating the GOP before you tackle Christianity. You know, cause there are some Christians who vote democrat...so they can't be all bad.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Azdgari on August 29, 2012, 11:40:59 PM
You don't think that a disregard for womens' rights is a problem with the current crop of Repubs?
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Nam on August 30, 2012, 12:01:35 AM
Not all Republicans are bad people. The mayor of my city is a Republican. He's been Mayor for 20 years. I've voted for him 4 times in a row. He's done a lot to help move the city forward; especially by diversifying it, and allowing more business to come in. The city has gone from 6,000 (mostly white, like 96% white) to 35,000+ (only 88% white now). I think he's a good guy. Though weird. If anyone not knowing he was a lifelong Republican (old school type, was also Mayor of the city back in the 1970s) they'd think he's a Democrat. But, he's not. I voted for Charlie Crist. Even Jeb Bush (once). I will vote for a moderate Republican but not a conservative one. When a mod/repub speaks out against his/her party it usually ends their careers. They are outnumbered. Even if they went to the Democratic party, that doesn't guarantee them success in that party.  Where in the past switching parties may not have been such a big deal, today it seems to mean everything. As if you betray your own party, then, in a way, you are betraying your country, or something.

Political parties seem to have become fundamental ideological viewpoints where it's one way, their way, and no other. I think this is why 3rd parties find it difficult to succeed at almost anything. Even though most in 3rd parties are usually former members of the two main parties, or, they lean that way. Either way.

It's a Civil War, with a secondary war in the Republican party. The Democrats aren't really fighting. Not like the Republicans. I don't know if that's worse for the Republicans, or the Democrats.

An opinion.

-Nam
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Timo on August 30, 2012, 04:37:29 AM
A few things:

If the neocons didn't give a rat's ass about social programs why did they even bother to come up with a healthcare plan in the first place?

The way that I understand neoconservatism, or at least the way that I hear people use the term, is that it's mostly a label that describes one's view on foreign policy.  I know that there's a history to it and that it goes back to people like Bill Kristal's dad, and a rejection of liberalism and what not, but I think that most of us would associate it with the foreign policy of George W Bush and his first term specifically.  Not all Republicans or conservatives are neocons.  Rand Paul and Ron Paul, for example, advocate drawing back our military entanglements.  And then there are the realists.  And I used to sometimes run with the libertarians who tend to lean more to the right, especially these days since Obama has gone back on most of what he promised in terms of civil liberties.

In any case, they came up with a plan because we have a laughably inefficient health care system that costs more and delivers less than the systems that are enjoyed by citizens of other developed nations.  They came up with a plan because they wanted to have an alternative to what Bill Clinton was trying to do.  And at the time, I'm sure there were plenty of people that thought it was the right thing to do and that something should be done.  Mitt Romney, after all, used this as a model for his health care reform bill in Massachusetts. 

By the time W came into power they had other priorities, like wars, tax cuts, social security reform, medicare reform, and immigration reform.

I do not see the same level of dishonesty from the left, nor have I ever.

And you never will if your only source of info comes from a sympathizing source.

You really should take the time to actually listen to the opposition, not just what your sources tell you about what the opposition has said.

I think that I agree with both of you.  I don't think that I've ever seen a campaign as dishonest as the one that Mitt Romney et al are running.  All politicians bend the truth to meet the needs of the narratives that they are trying to establish, but this is something else entirely.

That said, I don't think that you can just read Think Progress and watch Rachael Maddow and feel like you're being as informed as yo can be.  I don't think it'd hurt to go take a look at say, the National Review Online or the Daily Caller.

From 2009

Democrat Alan Grayson

....

Please bare in mind that the Obama plan IS a Republican plan.

How's that for dishonesty?
 

You're misrepresenting his remarks.  He's riffing on the idea that the Republicans had no plan.  Yes, Obama's plan was based on the Republican plan from the 90s, and the Romney plan.  But by 2009, the Republicans in Congress had abandoned that plan.

Another major part of the of the stategy of staying in power for Republican is to please the Religious Right, and I'm not part of the religious right, and part of their interest would be to KILL me, having them not in power is in my own interest.

The dominionists that might be in favor of that sort of thing are of the religious right but they do not constitute the whole of it.  They're a fringe of the fringe.  As wacky as Michelle Bachman is, for example, I've yet to hear her say anything to indicate that even if, God forbid, she were able to somehow managed to come into power she'd try to kill us.

Furthermore, I see the relative health of national economies that are capitalist with some socialist elements such as Germany or Denmark, and the horrible economies of purely capitalist societies like Somalia. The Democrats seem to be closer aligned with the former, and the Republican with the latter, it is in my best interest to vote Democrat.

I've never heard a conservative argue that we should have no government whatsoever.  Where conservatives and liberals disagree is on what the scope and size of that government should be.  I've never heard a mainstream conservative argue that government shouldn't be able to do things like police neighborhoods, protect property and contract rights, provide national security, educate children etc.  I've heard plenty of disagreements about how and what services might be delivered, ie should we allow school voucher programs, but no one is arguing for anarchy.  Even the most radical Republican plans would just do things like cap government spending at something like 18 percent of GDP.

Really, one of the issues that they're trying to push in the convention is this idea that under Obama there is regulatory uncertainty.  Business, they say, needs to be able to have some reasonable expectations of what sort of regulatory environment they will be dealing with going forward.  That's not exactly pining for the lack of a functioning government.

Oh, another example that might fit with the "kill" comment. Their position on health care, abortion, contraception, and other women's issues, will mean more women dying. Examples? Planned Parenthood provides breast cancer screening, often to lower income persons who would otherwise not have access. Those women might DIE if they miss an early diagnosis because of such policies. I, for instance, was diagnosed as stage II with a mammogram.

There are a lot of (current) republican policies that are anti-life, in my opinion.

Indeed.

Honestly, however heterodox you are in your views, I think it's important for people who vote for Republicans to understand that this is what you are voting for too.  So yeah, you can brush off the comments about legitimate rape, about personhood amendments, about cuts to Planned Parenthood, etc.  Maybe it's not what you believe, personally.  But this is what you're voting for if you're voting Republican in 2012.


Peace
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Chronos on August 30, 2012, 06:48:00 AM
A few members of this forum have asked me, since I am a poor man, why I would vote against my own interest.

That you are.

Republicans didn't want the health care program. They don't want any health care program, for that matter. They developed their health care program to (1) make it look like they were doing something and to (2) ensure that any plan would be as completely privatized as possible, just in case some wild-eyed Republican actually wanted to pass something.

Earlier, you asked why Obama passed health care legislation that was originally designed by Republicans. The reason he offered the Republican-designed legislation is that he knew that true universal health care wouldn't pass, mainly due to Republican representatives in Congress. He specifically chose a plan that had been sponsored by the Republican party (at one point), supported by Republican think-tanks, supported by a Republican governor and was operating in one state (Massachusetts), so that the Republicans who were in opposition to him couldn't refuse. Why would they? But they did. They cut off their own noses to spite their faces. The current Republican candidate for President cannot even acknowledge the cognitive dissonance of his party versus the Massachusetts plan versus what Obama sponsored and Democratic members of Congress passed. Romney is running away from it like it is a 57 Plymouth Fury. A couple of weeks ago a wildfire spread through the media when one of Romney's campaign staff, during a national broadcast, suggested that a person in a competing campaign ad would have been better off if he had lived in Massachusetts at the time he was laid off from work because he would still have a health care option available to him.  Um, what? Pardon me? Apparently, she didn't get the memo to avoid speaking about the Massachusetts plan, and amazingly she's still employed by Romney's campaign. Apparently Romney doesn't like to fire people all that much.

Why run away from something you did, that you were proud of and is helpful? Oh, because somebody else doesn't like it. Oh, gollygeewillikers -- what's a Mormon to do?


Some of you seem perplexed that any woman or minority person could possibly bring themselves to vote for a Republican.

Even before now, yes. I left the Republican party long after I should have. Ronald Reagan, after switching his affiliation from Democrat to Republican (early 1960s) famously said "I didn't leave the Democratic Party. The party left me." This is how I felt years ago -- about the Republican party. As an atheist, I am specifically not welcome. As an intellectual, I am not welcome. As one who likes investment in education and scientific research, I am not welcome. As a person who has worked in a hospital, handled medical billing, handled health insurance claims and now sells health insurance, the perspective I have on the American health care system is unique, I am not welcome. Every time I hear my Republican family members (of which there are many) say that they are having this or that problem with health care -- getting a product or service approved, getting it paid for, paying their share, etc -- I remind them that they should stop bitching about what they keep voting for. You keep voting for Republicans, you get to keep the same system you are bitching about. Kismet.

Republicans will tell you that you will no longer have your own doctor, you will no longer be in control of your own health care, you will wait months or years to have a medical procedure performed, your taxes will go up and there will be death panels who get to judge when you should be euthanized instead of getting more medical care. Really? This is not a joke. Republicans don't just engender this, or encourage others to speak it, they say it themselves, publicly, on the campaign trail, on the radio, on TV, etc. The fact of the matter is that in other countries that have universal health care, they still get to choose their doctors or hospitals, just like we do here, and they do sometimes have wait to see those doctors or to get into those hospitals to get the care they need, just like we do here, and they sometimes can't get everything they need or want because not everything is afforded, just like we do here. However, they do have an additional tax but that additional tax is in place of the health insurance premiums we pay, not in addition to, and their tax burden for health care is often less than the premiums we pay for our private health insurance. They get more bang for the buck. Everyone is covered so no one has to worry that having a good health care plan with their job as a requirement of their job -- they can take any job they like because they will always have health care, regardless. For many people in America, that would be freedom. For many employers in America, like myself, that would be freedom. However, the Republicans tell me that is not freedom. They say that having to obtain health insurance in the private market and pay for it is freedom. Republicans have a major intellectual and factual disconnect on that issue.

And, The Netherlands doesn't have any euthanization process in place, no matter how much Rick Santorum shouts it as true, it's not. And, the ACA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affordable_Care_Act) doesn't have death panels, either, no matter how much Michele Bachmann wants to pitch that fork. To Republicans, the truth doesn't matter when they can just make shit up and people will believe it.


With regards to women and minorities and why any of them would vote Republican ... health care is a major concern for them and one that Republicans truly don't give a shit about. Statistically speaking, women make up about 51% of the population but consume about 80% of the health care offered. Why? Between the ages of 20-55, women consume an inordinate amount of health care compared to their representation in the population, and that's due to the physiology of their sex. They have more parts that have things go wrong, and consequently they need more procedures and medications. After 55, the morbidity rate for women is rather close to that of men. So, why would women vote for Republicans who say that these same women can just obtain health care in the private market on their own? It's difficult for them to do so. Why? Once you have some serious problems in your medical history, it can be impossible or just plain expensive to obtain health insurance. Assuming a woman could get health insurance, the premiums are 3-4x the amount that a man of the same age would pay. Why? Because in the field of insurance you match premium to risk. The more risk you present, the more premium you pay. When it comes to insuring everyone for health care, women present 3-4x the risk over men. When women aren't earning similar pay to men, paying for that health care at 3-4x the rate of men is just impossible. The ACA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affordable_Care_Act) has some provisions to alleviate this kind of problem, but the Republicans are offering nothing in its stead.

Minorities often earn less and often work in jobs that provide no health care benefits at all. They cannot pay private health insurance premiums.

And, here we are with the Republicans repeatedly saying that they will repeal the ACA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affordable_Care_Act). The very act that gives people access to health care regardless of their employment status, regardless of their medical history, regardless of the amount of money they earn, and you think women and minorities should vote for a party that will take away their access to health care?

As an employer, I just want to hire people who can do the work. I don't want to be involved in my employees' health care. Period.


I assume that I am not the only person on this forum, and certainly not in this country, who votes on ideas and what I think is right...not what is in the best interest for my pocket.

When you speak of your pocket, I assume you mean that you don't want to pay more in taxes. Who has suggested that you will? Obama certainly hasn't, not unless your net income is $250,000/year or higher, and by other statements you have made I doubt that you are anywhere near that limit.

The Republicans, however, have suggested that people at lower income levels pay more taxes while affording more breaks to those making over $250,000/year -- you know, the job creators -- and allow you to pay for your own health insurance premiums with that hefty income you have. I am amazed that you can be so skeptical with regard religion but very gullible on other issues.

Yes, there are black republicans and I'd be willing to bet that the Kock brothers haven't bought them all.

I'm sure there are blacks who are Republicans. Good luck finding them. Even on the campaign trail Herman Cain had trouble finding them -- most of his followers were white. A polling firm, I forget which one, recently did a survey of black voters to determine who they will vote for: Obama or Romney. The result was that 94% were for Obama and 0% were for Romney. Perhaps that 6% in the middle represents both Republicans and Independents? If so, none in the survey were willing to say they were voting for Romney. I don't think Romney will be trolling for black votes in the Tidewater (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tidewater_%28geographic_term%29), in Cleveland, Columbus or Cincinnati, or in Miami or Orlando. The only thing he will hear are the crickets.

So, I guess since the Republican party only exists as a racist entity upholding the values of the rich white man, that makes any black republican an Uncle Tom. It's the only reasonable explanation since it makes no sense that anyone would vote against their own self interest unless they are getting kickbacks.

Do you mean kickbacks like Pentagon contracts, farm subsidies, etc?


However, since racism is institutionalized...the poor minority only have two options. Either vote for the party that will take care of them from cradle to grave or sell out and get filthy rich from the Republican party.
...
What is the American dream?

I don't know any more. I thought it was owning some land, putting a home on it and raising a family but it seems, now, that the dream is having the government take care of you, whether it can afford to or not, as long as you vote for the party that promises to tax the fuck out of the rich land owners.

If you want to be taken care of from cradle to grave, Republicans are quite helpful in that regard. Do you really think that Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, General Electric, etc, just come up with planes, missles, optics and what-not and go searching for a customer? No. These "defense contractors" wouldn't exist (or not exist anywhere near their prominence) without giant hand-outs from the US Government. Remember, anything the government spends money on is a hand-out, not just a welfare check, not just medical care, not just an education -- it's all a hand-out.

Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: screwtape on August 31, 2012, 06:54:58 PM
If the neocons didn't give a rat's ass about social programs why did they even bother to come up with a healthcare plan in the first place?

I dunno jay, why did they bother?  maybe because when they came up with it it looked like a democratic avalanche coming down on them and it seemed like a better alternative?  Or maybe I'm wrong.  Do you think the neocons give a rats ass about people?

You really should take the time to actually listen to the opposition, not just what your sources tell you about what the opposition has said.

That's condescending, jay, and I don't appreciate it.  I've not talked to you like you were a naive asshole with your head in the sand. 
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: screwtape on August 31, 2012, 07:00:04 PM
They did so in large part because they felt it would win them enough goodwill to get re-elected.

That is a claim.  Prove it.

I think they did it because it is a good idea.  Because every other industrial, developed nation has one.  Because the electorate has problems paying for healthcare. 

I agree both sides do things to stay in power.  But I think the dems also do things because they still want good governance.  The repubs have claimed for the last 35 years that government is the problem.  When you elect people who hate government, you are unlikely to get good governance.

Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: screwtape on August 31, 2012, 07:06:03 PM
From 2009

Democrat Alan Grayson
...
Please bare in mind that the Obama plan IS a Republican plan.

How's that for dishonesty?

the repub plan was from 1993, jay, not a 2008 alternative to obamacare.  Know your facts.
http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/graphics/2010/022310-bill-comparison.aspx

Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Chronos on September 01, 2012, 09:32:21 AM
Now, about the vagina ...

Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: screwtape on September 03, 2012, 08:51:37 PM
Ah, what I was looking for.  A great post by The Rude Pundit, which I more or less agree with 100%
http://rudepundit.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-republican-strategy-niggerization.html

caution: rude language.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on September 05, 2012, 03:32:38 PM
I dunno jay, why did they bother?  maybe because when they came up with it it looked like a democratic avalanche coming down on them and it seemed like a better alternative?  Or maybe I'm wrong.  Do you think the neocons give a rats ass about people?

I don't really know enough about the neocons to form an opinion about what I think they care about. I'll probably start researching it in a few days...

You really should take the time to actually listen to the opposition, not just what your sources tell you about what the opposition has said.

That's condescending, jay, and I don't appreciate it.  I've not talked to you like you were a naive asshole with your head in the sand.

You are right...I will try to refrain, but I can't promise. Half the time I don't realize that I'm being condescending until it's pointed out to me.

Now, back to the topic at hand. It seems to me and a few others here as well, that what motivates the parties to not come together and cooperate is partisan politics more than racist world views.

What shapes the parties platforms might be a different matter but how can we sit in our armchairs and say with certainty that the Republican party's attempt to require an ID to vote at the polls is purely out of hate for dark skinned people? Perhaps it is the case that a racist bigot might latch onto that plan because they see it as a way to disenfranchise a block of people who are likely to vote against him. I mean, It's not enough to make it seem like Democrats follow a cannibal bastard. Instead, the strategy has become to make simply being a Democrat associated with the dirty, poverty, hands-out part of humanity. The niggers, if you will. (http://rudepundit.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-republican-strategy-niggerization.html) I just can't see my way through to believing that that would be the main reason for calling for voter ID in the first place. But I guess that's the case brought against the Republicans for which they must defend their policies, since some people claim everything they do is racist.

The easy compromise would be for the states or the federal government to provide ID's for free. Since there are plenty of people willing to provide transportation to the voting booths I don't see why they wouldn't be willing to provide transportation to the DMV to get the ID's.

They can't ALL be racists and to paint an entire political party (or group of people) in one color is not an honest approach in the first place.

The plight of the Republican party is not too dissimilar to the plight of the American atheist as far as public perception goes.

The Democrats and their legion (many of whom are atheist) accuse Republicans of being obstructionists, racists, bigots. They charge them with waging a war on women, minorities and undocumented workers. They charge them with pandering to the rich 1%. The vast majority of Republicans are rich white men so these charges stick in the minds of the accusers.

The conservative Christians (many of whom are Republicans) accuse atheists of being arrogant, socialist, Godless heathens hell bent on destroying their Christian nation. They charge them with lying, immorality, being in favor of killing babies (then eating them). They view atheists as a bunch of drugged up devil worshipers. Ironically, the vast majority of atheists are relatively affluent white men.

In both these scenario's the accused must make a choice. Either try to climb over the huge barrier of false accusations in order to prove to their accusers that they are not guilty of the crimes they are charged with BEFORE they can even BEGIN to defend their position...ignore the accusations and carry on business as usual (which doesn't seem to be very productive) OR sling the mud right back at their accusers.

Since it's easier to sling mud than climb huge barriers, lines are drawn in the sand, enemies are made and not much good gets accomplished.

America is falling to pieces. This is not the time to take a stand and draw lines in the sand. Now is the time we should be setting aside our minor differences and try to look past each others hubris, treat each other as equals and come to a compromise for peaceful coexistence and a safe stable economy in which all of us can thrive.




 
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Samothec on September 05, 2012, 04:34:28 PM
The plight of the Republican party is not too dissimilar to the plight of the American atheist as far as public perception goes.

The Democrats and their legion (many of whom are atheist) accuse Republicans of being obstructionists, racists, bigots. They charge them with waging a war on women, minorities and undocumented workers. They charge them with pandering to the rich 1%. The vast majority of Republicans are rich white men so these charges stick in the minds of the accusers.

The conservative Christians (many of whom are Republicans) accuse atheists of being arrogant, socialist, Godless heathens hell bent on destroying their Christian nation. They charge them with lying, immorality, being in favor of killing babies (then eating them). They view atheists as a bunch of drugged up devil worshipers. Ironically, the vast majority of atheists are relatively affluent white men.

There are some huge differences that negate this analogy. Firstly, atheists have never comprised a percentage of the population even close to that of the Republican party. Secondly, the athiests started with the negative views against them while the Republicans have worked to accumulate their negative accusations (only some Republicans actually match those negative portrayals).


America is falling to pieces. This is not the time to take a stand and draw lines in the sand. Now is the time we should be setting aside our minor differences and try to look past each others hubris, treat each other as equals and come to a compromise for peaceful coexistence and a safe stable economy in which all of us can thrive.

This would be fantastic and I'd love it. Unfortunately compromise seems to have become a dirty word in Washington DC. And the false belief that capitalism will solve our problems is gaining with the Republicans (and not a few Democrats).

We used to have a middle class that made this country work (in several senses of the word). Then corporations decided that profits were all that mattered so they hired sociopaths who showed them how to kill their employees financially which fed the corporation in the short term. But capitalism depends upon consumers and the more consumers you put out of work or force into lower paying jobs the weaker the economy becomes. We are in a downward spiral and the Republicans want to deregulate and encourage the current policies instead of strengthening the economy. They claim their plans will help but these policies haven't in the past so why would they work now?


I have been disappointed by all the political parties (yes, even the 'independents') and would love to see major changes for the better but the only changes I see on the horizon make me afraid for our future. Right now the Republicans are at the forefront of America's downward spiral following directions from the CEOs and religious leaders so I won't vote for Romney.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: shnozzola on September 05, 2012, 05:36:19 PM
A good interview by Terri Gross today with an NY Times economics journalist, comparing dems and reps.

Quote
David Leonhardt, the Washington bureau chief of The New York Times, won a Pulitzer Prize last year for his columns about the economy.

http://www.npr.org/2012/09/05/160607524/journalist-evaluates-obama-romney-economic-plans

Quote
"The country itself is better off," Leonhardt tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. The economy has stabilized since the recession in 2008, which was "a little bit worse than 1929," he says. "And yet, of course, we don't have anything that looks like the Great Depression. As bad as the economy is, we don't have unemployment at 20 percent."

But, Leonhardt says, when looking at measures such as household income and median wealth, "a typical American household is worse off than it was four years ago."
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on September 05, 2012, 07:00:42 PM
There are some huge differences that negate this analogy.

To be sure. That's why I only focused on the one thing they have in common. It is impossible for a xian to hear an argument presented by an atheist because of the prejudice surrounding atheists created by the xians.

It is similarly impossible for a liberal to hear an argument presented by a republican because of the prejudice surrounding republicans created by the liberals.

neither atheists nor republicans set out to be demonized. Insisting that republican policies are racist or bigoted because republicans are racist and bigoted and refusing to work with them because they are a bunch of racists and bigots is an ad hominem attack against a strawman and detracts from any real debate.

Quote
Unfortunately compromise seems to have become a dirty word in Washington DC

Then we the people need to change that and demand that our elected representatives work together instead of demonizing one another and pitting us against ourselves.

It would be nice if Hollywood and TV producers would bring us shows glorifying reasonable men and women who work together to find a good solution to a problem instead of glorifying men and women who stand their ground against insurmountable odds and crushing their antagonist.

It would be nice if we collectively hailed the ability to compromise and work together with people we may disagree with as heroic. Nobody wins when everyone is covered in shit.


Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: screwtape on September 06, 2012, 06:50:25 AM
You are right...I will try to refrain, but I can't promise. Half the time I don't realize that I'm being condescending until it's pointed out to me.

I appreciate the acknowledgement.

What shapes the parties platforms might be a different matter but how can we sit in our armchairs and say with certainty that the Republican party's attempt to require an ID to vote at the polls is purely out of hate for dark skinned people?

I do not think it is purely out of hate for non-whites.  But racism and bigotry is a tool they use to get what they want. 

I read an OpEd piece about a month ago.  I searched for it, but I cannot remember exactly when it was or who wrote it.  The gist of it was this - the author of the editorial was at a dinner party and the topic of politics came up.  He asked all and sundry (all white people) about whether anyone was uncomfortable with a black man in the White House.  Almost everyone said yes.  One person was uncomfortable with her own position and added "don't judge me".  Are these people racists?  I don't know. I suppose it depends how you define it.  But race plays a definite roll in their decision process.

The easy compromise would be for the states or the federal government to provide ID's for free.

Yes, but they aren't doing that.  And they are taking the position that is someone could conceiveably be inelligible, the voter has to prove he or she isn't. The simplest way to explain what they are doing is deliberate disenfranchisement.

The plight of the Republican party is not too dissimilar to the plight of the American atheist as far as public perception goes.

Jay, you are out of your mind.

The Democrats and their legion (many of whom are atheist) accuse Republicans of being obstructionists, racists, bigots. They charge them with waging a war on women, minorities and undocumented workers. They charge them with pandering to the rich 1%. The vast majority of Republicans are rich white men so these charges stick in the minds of the accusers.

Jay, all of this is true, with the possible exception of the racist stuff. 

America is falling to pieces. This is not the time to take a stand and draw lines in the sand. Now is the time we should be setting aside our minor differences and try to look past each others hubris, treat each other as equals and come to a compromise for peaceful coexistence and a safe stable economy in which all of us can thrive.

The problem is not partisanship.  The problem is the republican party has been taken over by liars, lunatics and corporations.  Reasonable conservatives exist in the world.  And they recognize the gop is bananas.  Here are some: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/

The problem is much, much larger than you have described it.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Samothec on September 06, 2012, 06:23:04 PM
It is similarly impossible for a liberal to hear an argument presented by a republican because of the prejudice surrounding republicans created by the liberals.
neither atheists nor republicans set out to be demonized. Insisting that republican policies are racist or bigoted because republicans are racist and bigoted and refusing to work with them because they are a bunch of racists and bigots is an ad hominem attack against a strawman and detracts from any real debate.

I'd say that it is difficult for both Democrats and Republicans to hear the other side because of prejudices on both sides - some of which are justified. The Republicans have done most of the damage to themselves while the Democrats are a little less self-destructive. But that does not excuse either side from doing their jobs which requires working with the other side. That is my big complaint right now - especially against the Republicans who worked diligently over the last 4 years at only one thing: making Obama as ineffective as they could. He still succeeded in getting some stuff done but America could have been in a better position right now. But the Democrats didn't exactly do well at helping Obama even though they're supposedly on his side.


Nobody wins when everyone is covered in shit.

All too true.
Title: Nuclear Option triggered
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on November 22, 2013, 04:42:35 PM
Nuclear Option triggered. An option Harry Reid previously described as something that would be "a black chapter in the history of the senate."

http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/22/politics/senate-nuclear-option-5-things/

Quote
The politics of the move are messy, with majority Democrats saying it was needed to end unprecedented obstruction by minority Republicans, and Republicans contending it was a power grab.

Both sides are right...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLo3EaT1EVk

So much for the dream.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Nick on November 22, 2013, 05:16:59 PM
I think it was a move that had to be made.  Half of the obstruction moves in US history have taken place during Obama's administration.  A president deserves to have a vote on the people he/she wants in office.  The GOP would not hesitate to do the same if they get the chance.  This way some of the judicial positions will have reasonable people in positions.  You cannot block everything that comes by and not expect this.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: jaimehlers on November 22, 2013, 05:33:48 PM
Requiring a Senate supermajority to confirm a president's appointees - I don't care which party - and thus using it as a political weapon against that president is more than a little ridiculous.  I would certainly have preferred that this not be necessary, but if that statement about half of all the appointees blocked being during the Obama administration is true, it's an egregious abuse of power.  The same would be true if it were a Republican president and a Democratic minority in the Senate.

The advice and consent clause in the Constitution is a check on the President to keep him from being able to pick whoever he wants without restriction, not carte blanche to allow the minority party to hamstring the President and the majority party.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: ParkingPlaces on November 22, 2013, 06:29:45 PM
American politics has eroded into a morass of idiocy, overseen by mental patients. If Republicans were in the majority in the Senate and this action was taken, Rush and the gang would be giggling with glee. But since Democrats are in power this year, the right hates it. However, the next time they get a Senate majority, they will be dancing in the aisles.

It is like the "Obama is always golfing" thing. The Republicans made all sort of excuses for why Brush took so much vacation when he was president (there times as much as Obama has) but they hate it when Obama is off golfing. Even though he is presumably less apt to do something they hate while he's on the back nine.

You have to have double standards to have double standards. Which is why they are so popular with people not the least it interested in democracy.

That said, of course if the Democrats were in the minority in the Senate right now, they would be complaining too. Such is politics.

I wouldn't worry about it though. The US will be a dead country within 50 years. We no longer have the tools to sustain our government or maintain our economy. And selfishness is the order of the day. It can't be fixed.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on November 22, 2013, 07:49:35 PM
The GOP would not hesitate to do the same if they get the chance.

They had the chance and threatened to use it. That is where the quotes from then Senator Obama and Harry Reid come from....they were arguing (very eloquently and patriotically) against the nuclear option...which the Republicans did not use when they had the chance.


Requiring a Senate supermajority to confirm a president's appointees - I don't care which party - and thus using it as a political weapon against that president is more than a little ridiculous.
And just a few short years ago the Democrats disagreed with that statement.

Quote
I would certainly have preferred that this not be necessary, but if that statement about half of all the appointees blocked being during the Obama administration is true, it's an egregious abuse of power.  The same would be true if it were a Republican president and a Democratic minority in the Senate.

I am curious how accurate that claim is too because the CNN report goes on to say that they have only blocked 5 judicial nominations and passed over 200. Which is odd to describe that record as obstructionist. Unless this nuclear option is about something other than judicial nominations.

Quote
The advice and consent clause in the Constitution is a check on the President to keep him from being able to pick whoever he wants without restriction, not carte blanche to allow the minority party to hamstring the President and the majority party.

And the nuclear option in effect gives the current president the authority to appoint, carte blanche, whomever he wants to any position open (except the supreme court) with total disregard for what the minority party thinks about it.

Here, I have positive proof that God does not answer prayers. Please listen very very carefully to what Biden said about the looming threat of the nuclear option posed by the Republicans back in 2005

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1Dacnvjf8A

I think both parties are trying to seek power


I do not see the same level of dishonesty from the left, nor have I ever.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zD8onSGOYr4

In other words...If you don't like the Democrat platform or the policies put forth by the Democratic party then...fuck you. We will destroy democracy in order to achieve our goals. If you oppose our policies then you are the enemy.

I do not see the same level of dishonesty from the left, nor have I ever.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGAdrQ2RpdM



Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Nick on November 22, 2013, 08:33:51 PM
So what are you saying Blackwell?  That this dysfunctional government is a good thing and that this system works well?  For better or worse a president should be able to appoint who he/she wants unless that person is a criminal or something like that.  Elections have consequences but elections are nation wide.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on November 22, 2013, 08:48:06 PM
So what are you saying Blackwell?  That this dysfunctional government is a good thing and that this system works well? 

One size does not fit all.

Quote
For better or worse a president should be able to appoint who he/she wants unless that person is a criminal or something like that.  Elections have consequences but elections are nation wide.

It's sometimes called cronyism. You wouldn't want one of the Bush's to be able to stack the system with his like minded buddies without opposition.

Or would you?

Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on November 22, 2013, 09:14:42 PM
1. Republic = http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/republic

2. Democracy = http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/democracy

3. Majority-Rule = http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/majority%20rul

Which of these definitions best describes the current political environment in America today?
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Nick on November 22, 2013, 11:07:20 PM
So what are you saying Blackwell?  That this dysfunctional government is a good thing and that this system works well? 

One size does not fit all.

Quote
For better or worse a president should be able to appoint who he/she wants unless that person is a criminal or something like that.  Elections have consequences but elections are nation wide.

It's sometimes called cronyism. You wouldn't want one of the Bush's to be able to stack the system with his like minded buddies without opposition.

Or would you?
I would not like it but he does have that right.  You can't just leave those positions empty and that is what the right wants.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Nam on November 23, 2013, 01:45:21 AM
"Filibuster" is written nowhere in the US Constitution.

-Nam
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on November 23, 2013, 01:25:10 PM
"Filibuster" is written nowhere in the US Constitution.

-Nam

Well yeah. Not sure why you felt the need to point that out. This complaint is about parliamentary procedures, hypocrisy and divisive politics.

 
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: MadBunny on November 23, 2013, 03:10:30 PM
(http://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_1024w/WashingtonPost/Content/Blogs/ezra-klein/StandingArt/aviary%20(1).jpg)
(sorry about the large image, I didn't want to include the whole page, which is clearly a biased interpretation of this image)


I think it's reasonably apparent that the system in place now is not working.  What was meant as a check to the power of the President, and a vital tool in democracy as been abused.  It has become a tool of petty obstruction. 

The real problem with it is that the cloture/filibuster rules were changed allowing the minority party to simply 'phone in' their cloture and send the rest of their caucus on vacation unless the majority party could force a supermajority to break it.  It's farily apparent that the use of cloture/filibuster has been rising over time, for both majority parties, though visibly, obviously more with the Republicans and their stated position of opposition to everything Obama.


Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on November 24, 2013, 12:44:54 AM
So. Cloture was the old method of dealing with filibusters and it was changed once to reduce the number of votes necessary to kill a filibuster...to make it easier. Currently the Democrat majority does not have 60 (D)'s listed among them so they just decide to change the rules to their favor by voting to eliminate the filibuster all together.

Kinda like the abusive husband saying "SEE WHAT YOU MADE ME DO?!?" after he hits his wife for arguing with him.

Well, this turn of events is great for the next year or so because it helps streamline the process of filling cabinet appointments in the executive branch and filling bench seats in the judiciary. It is also great for the Democrat party as long as they maintain the majority in the senate.

It's a temporary fix for a temporary problem. However, it's a potential long term problem which may eventually need to be fixed.

The Democrats may reverse this fix if they find themselves voted out of the majority in 2014 before the next session begins in 2015. I very highly doubt that they will let this provision stand in the event that they lose the majority. They will want to keep the filibuster for themselves if they are elected out of power.

Either way, however things turn out ... if it's "bad" then it's all the Republican's fault for bringing it on themselves. That is the most important thing to remember. The Republicans are the bitching wife who needs to be smacked around from time to time to remind her of her place. She is to be seen but not heard in important decision making matters. Her role is to stand behind her man and present the appearance of solidarity and unity. She may voice her concerns privately, behind closed doors but if she opens her mouth in public....there will be hell to pay.

If you think that that is a good system of government then I must admit that I don't understand the practical benefit. It doesn't make any sense to allow whoever happens to be in the majority to make up the rules as they go along.

If you prefer a more lighthearted analogy...Our politicians are playing Calvinball.




Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Nick on November 24, 2013, 01:25:35 AM
I'd much prefer we just divorce her/them/whatever.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Azdgari on November 24, 2013, 01:46:24 AM
If you prefer a more lighthearted analogy...Our politicians are playing Calvinball.

No, no, keep searching for ways to paint all opposed to the current Republican partiy as a bunch of wife-beaters.  That's both the most honest and most productive thing to do.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: MadBunny on November 24, 2013, 03:08:30 AM
Mr. Blackwell,

Do you not see the problem inherent in that chart?  It's pretty obvious to me, but based on your reply it doesn't seem as obvious to  you.


Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Willie on November 24, 2013, 03:12:04 AM
Either way, however things turn out ... if it's "bad" then it's all the Republican's fault for bringing it on themselves. That is the most important thing to remember. The Republicans are the bitching wife who needs to be smacked around from time to time to remind her of her place. She is to be seen but not heard in important decision making matters. Her role is to stand behind her man and present the appearance of solidarity and unity. She may voice her concerns privately, behind closed doors but if she opens her mouth in public....there will be hell to pay.

If demonizing your opponents is what it takes to feel justified in your position, then it may be time to reconsider your position.

Consider that nearly half of all the presidential nominations that have ever been blocked have been Obama's. 82 for Obama, 86 for all other presidents combined. With that in mind, do you REALLY think that it's such a stretch to say that the Republicans brought this on themselves? If the Dem's were just out to make a power grab, why the hell has it taken such an extraordinary amount of abuse to push them to it? Claiming that they didn't want to do it isn't just excuse making. It's freaking obvious that they didn't want to do it.

If you still really, truly, believe that your abusive husband analogy is valid, then your ideological leanings have overwhelmed your ability to reason.

[edit: replaced large image with simple text]
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on November 24, 2013, 06:22:59 PM
Mr. Blackwell,

Do you not see the problem inherent in that chart?  It's pretty obvious to me, but based on your reply it doesn't seem as obvious to  you.

Unfortunately, I must admit that I don't think I fully understand the inherent problem or why what the Democrats did is the proper solution.

I also don't understand why some people on the right accuse those on the left of trying to destroy America or why some people on the left accuse those on the right of trying to destroy individual people in America.

I have no love or loyalty for the republican party (or any party for that matter) but when people can calmly and rationally say that they have never seen similar levels of dishonesty from the left (or right depending on who I am talking to) I have to shake my head.

I stumbled across this thread a couple of days ago and was re reading it and thought to myself...well gee, there are a couple of perfect examples in the media right now which highlight just how dishonest political parties can be.

I don't give many passes to politicians.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Nam on November 24, 2013, 08:09:58 PM
"Filibuster" is written nowhere in the US Constitution.

-Nam

Well yeah. Not sure why you felt the need to point that out. This complaint is about parliamentary procedures, hypocrisy and divisive politics.

 

It's relevant in that you were talking about Republicans threatening to use it but not using it (making it seem as if Democrats haven't done the same before actually using it), and my point is: it's no where in the Constitution which Republicans always state they believe in the Constitution, and use it as a tool to win arguments (which they rarely do) in concern to it, and therefore as some Republicans have done recently in argument toward any opposition using the filibuster as a "Constitutional right" (knowing or not knowing it's not in the Constitution) to "win" in such idiotic debate and position.

Don't know if you're a Republican, or not, but it's a tool I'm sure many Republicans have used; doesn't matter if it's true, to them.

-Nam
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: MadBunny on November 24, 2013, 08:18:31 PM
Ok, leaving aside that there really is a pretty apparent disparity between the parties. [1]


What we have here is a check on the balance of power to the executive branch.  Namely the ability to nominate only judges that agree with your political ideology.  For what it's worth, that's an important check.  Judges by the nature of their role in government should be as neutral as feasibly possible.  We shouldn't need to counterbalance conservative judges with liberal judges is what I'm saying.  With that in mind, the previous administration went out of it's way to appoint ideologically biased judges.  The very extreme were blocked by the then minority Democratic party.  In other words not great but still a reasonable facsimile of function.

The current situation is EVERY SINGLE nominee is being blocked.  No reason is given, other than it's someone President Obama wants.  Most recently I read that Paul wanted to block Yellen pending an Audit of the fed.  Those are two independent things, why hold one up in order to achieve the other if the other has merit? 

Five years of obstruction, in other words.  This situation is unprecedented in history.  Blame the Democratic party for what they did during the Bush administration but people still got appointed.  Most of them actually.

Still, if you look at the chart you can see that they used cloture and filibuster as well, as has every congress going back to essentially 1960 in rising numbers.

People, politicians have taken this important tool and turned it into a petty tool to obstruct their way into getting what they want rather than advancing their own agenda to the American people.

This tool has been losing it's value every time it's used for this purpose petty.  It's time to replace it with something that works, and can't be abused as it has been for the last five years.  This has been a long time coming, and in all honesty was only a matter of time anyway.  Given that the current Republicans are vowing to 'make them regret' doing this, it only highlights the need to fix this tool.



You know what it reminds me of?  It's a bit of a tangent but bear with me.  It reminds me of a Republican senator talking about getting enough votes to impeach the President.  Left out of his statement was a reason for impeachment.  Who cares, just make something up later, and if it doesn't work do it again, and again , and again until it works.  Kind of like voting to end Obamacare 41 times.  Why do it 41 times?  Who cares, all that is important is to show that they don't like Obamacare. 


You might like to talk about how both parties are the same, but I don't see it. 
I don't see anything constructive coming out of the Republican party; only obstructive.  If you think it's balanced then I suspect you're getting your news 'unskewed', to reach back to the recent election for a term.
 1. "they both do it" may be accurate but the rate at which both parties lie and distort is very different.  I happen to think that matters.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Chronos on November 24, 2013, 09:10:34 PM
Unfortunately, I must admit that I don't think I fully understand the inherent problem or why what the Democrats did is the proper solution.

When Obama was elected Mitch McConnell declared war on Obama by saying he and his fellow Republicans would do everything possible to make Obama fail. The filibuster is the tool that they have used in the Senate. The graph shows what the Republicans are doing. McConnell wasn't the only one who declared war, but he was the loudest voice.

Making a president fail is the political equivalent of a 4yo having a temper tantrum every day because he couldn't have ice cream for dinner. It isn't mature and it accomplishes nothing. And, you would think that a declaration of war on Obama by preventing votes from making it to the floor of the Senate would be sufficient to satisfy Republicans Who Hate Obama, but the Tea Party/Know Nothings think McConnell is too liberal. The Tea Party is supporting a Republican challenger to McConnell in Kentucky at the next election. Does this sound sane? The Republicans as a group not only vow a war on Obama, they are warring among themselves.

A counterpoint to the filibuster issue is that for a filibuster to occur somebody had to stand on the floor of the Senate and talk until they passed out. So far only 2 senators have done that. Harry Reid should have forced more of them to engage an actual filibuster rather than simply taking the threats of a filibuster as a de facto filibuster.

~~

On the other side of the Capitol, the House of Representatives stalls legislation in committees instead of letting the legislation onto the floor for a vote, thereby making a functioning government very difficult. While this particular tactic has been used by both parties over the past century to stall a particular piece of legislation, the Republican members of the House have managed to use it every day, regardless of the importance or value of the legislation. The current Congress has passed the least amount of legislation compared to any Congress in the past 100 years. Of course, during the times that they aren't working on real legislation, they manage to send to the floor legislation for repealing "Obamacare" 41 times. They can send that to the floor 41 times but not a budget bill?

These legislative bodies are no longer functional. For Republicans, this is Mission Accomplished. The Democrats have never sought such dysfunction or achieved it.

Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Chronos on November 24, 2013, 09:16:55 PM
The current situation is EVERY SINGLE nominee is being blocked.  No reason is given, other than it's someone President Obama wants. 

I think the problem is so bad that Obama could nominate every high-level conservative neo-con who would normally cause Republicans to have orgasms but the Republicans are the part of NO. I really think they would say NO to every last person he could nominate.

That is not a functional legislative system.


Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on November 24, 2013, 09:18:13 PM
Thank you Madbunny,

I don't have time tonight for letting what you say sink in to give a thoughtful reply. I will say that I personally can't bring myself to view the Democrat party as the "good guys" and the Republican party as the "bad guys". The closet I can get at the moment is "good cop, bad cop" and we are all potential subjects suspects.

Divide and conquer.

Edit to add:

Ditto Chronos. My allotted internet time for research has come to a close this evening. I don't think I can dispute what you guys have said. However, my mind is full of fuck so after I have time to get a better understanding I will likely have many more questions.

Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: MadBunny on November 24, 2013, 09:45:10 PM
The current situation is EVERY SINGLE nominee is being blocked.  No reason is given, other than it's someone President Obama wants. 

I think the problem is so bad that Obama could nominate every high-level conservative neo-con who would normally cause Republicans to have orgasms but the Republicans are the part of NO. I really think they would say NO to every last person he could nominate.

That is not a functional legislative system.

Obama could cure cancer and they'd complain that he hates doctors.  The truth is he's pushed so much conservative, classically 'Republican' legislation that they honestly should have been voting for Obama during the last election.  17 tax cuts, extensions on the Bush 'temporary' tax cuts, so much expanded oil drilling that we're a net export nation now, RECORD numbers of illegals deported, he's one of the most lethal presidents in history as well with his targeted killings.  The push to regulate wall street has been essentially non-existent.  Bypassed Elizabeth Warren for head of the organization she created, and lets not forget that his signature health care law was a Republican sponsored idea designed to maximize the private market for health insurance.

That's why it's so common to fall back on the racism argument with Obama.  All this stuff that he's done that they should be creaming their pants to get, and the whole time they're wandering around with posters of him with a Hitler mustache and calling him a Socialist.[1]

There are plenty of legitimate arguments to make against the President[2], but rather than that we have this circus full of clowns honking their noses and dedicating them to the decidedly useless task of living up to the name 'party of no'.

 1.  I know. I know. H. wasn't a Socialist.
 2.  in particular taking single payer and public option off the table, and passing a law that changes the financial underpinnings of insurance by messing with the ability to weed out adverse selection
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: MadBunny on November 24, 2013, 09:55:14 PM
Thank you Madbunny,

I don't have time tonight for letting what you say sink in to give a thoughtful reply. I will say that I personally can't bring myself to view the Democrat party as the "good guys" and the Republican party as the "bad guys". The closet I can get at the moment is "good cop, bad cop" and we are all potential subjects suspects.

You don't have to think of them as the 'good guys' only to realize they're not the 'bad guys' this time around. 

Let me give you a simple example.  I have a coworker he hates Obamacare with a weird passion  .He has a daughter that's early 20's, lives in bakersfield for some reason.  I know right?  Bakersfield.  She's on his health insurance.  I pointed out that because of Obamacare his daughter can remain on his insurance (which he liked) or that because of the way the new exchanges were set up she could shop for cheap coverage and see right up front if she qualifies for price cuts/subsidies (which he liked).  Then he complained about the high deductible, until I pointed out that if he's smart and simply invests the difference in his own pocket (bank/HSA/investments/whatever) he'll save much more in the long run since he doesn't use insurance that often.  Also it'll be in his pocket instead of somebody else's.  Or just get a low deductible plan, like what he has now.

He still hates Obamacare, just doesn't know why.

Who's the bad guy in this scenario?  The person who told him that he has to hate Obamacare no matter what. 
That's the bad guy.  My friend who hates Obamacare, is doing so to his own detriment.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: screwtape on November 24, 2013, 10:18:40 PM
They had the chance and threatened to use it. That is where the quotes from then Senator Obama and Harry Reid come from....they were arguing (very eloquently and patriotically) against the nuclear option...which the Republicans did not use when they had the chance.

It was different then.  Bush was nominating extremist whackaziods.  Obama is not.

And just a few short years ago the Democrats disagreed with that statement.

It was different then.  Bush was nominating extremist whackazoids.  Obama is not.

And the nuclear option in effect gives the current president the authority to appoint, carte blanche, whomever he wants to any position open (except the supreme court) with total disregard for what the minority party thinks about it.

But if the majority is the opposing party, then what?

In other words...If you don't like the Democrat platform or the policies put forth by the Democratic party then...fuck you.

yes.  elections have consequences.  That is the point.  Tough fucking shit.

We will destroy democracy in order to achieve our goals.

oh please.  the filibuster is not democratic.  it is anti-democratic.

If you oppose our policies then you are the enemy.

oh please. opposing policy is fine.  obstructing appointments and agenda to the degree repubs have is tantamount to sabotaging government. 



Kinda like the abusive husband saying "SEE WHAT YOU MADE ME DO?!?" after he hits his wife for arguing with him.

so, do you, or do you not think the repubs were abusing the filibuster and just blocking absolutely everything Obama wanted to achieve?

It's a temporary fix for a temporary problem. However, it's a potential long term problem which may eventually need to be fixed.

I agree.  I think our system of government is outmoded and no longer works.  I think we should change to a parliamentary system.  However, I think a constitutional convention would begin a civil war.

Either way, however things turn out ... if it's "bad" then it's all the Republican's fault for bringing it on themselves.

You think they didn't?  please, elaborate.

The Republicans are the bitching wife who needs to be smacked around from time to time to remind her of her place.

so not the case.

Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: screwtape on November 24, 2013, 10:22:44 PM
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2013/11/the_nuclear_option_and_the_filibuster_harry_reid_tries_to_stop_republican.html

Quote
I’m glad to hear that Sen. John McCain thinks the partial end of the filibuster passed today is a “devastating” breach of Senate procedure. The Senate rules need to be devastated.

The filibuster is anti-democratic. It gives a minority of representatives from a minority of states a stranglehold over the country and in particular over the president’s power of appointment. The filibuster is not in the Constitution, barely existed before 1917, and didn’t take on anything like its current form until the middle of the 20th century. Only very recently has it become the monster it is now. It is past time for the filibuster to go, and damn the conventional wisdom about the consequences.

Until now, both parties have held off from killing the filibuster when they’ve controlled the presidency but not the Senate, because they’ve been mindful of what they stand to lose when they’re on the other side of the power divide. But the Democrats have been so much the losers in this that even Majority Leader Harry Reid, a defender of Senate tradition and gridlock if ever there was one, has admitted the truth born of the brute force of Republican obstructionism: He has no choice, which is why he pushed to end the filibuster for presidential appointees and non-Supreme Court judicial nominees. (The filibuster remains intact for Supreme Court nominations and regular laws.)

Take the D.C. Circuit—the federal court of appeals that is second to the Supreme Court in importance—as just one example of the Republicans’ advantage, since it’s the cause of the collision that finally sent the Democrats over the edge. Around 2005, after he won re-election, President George W. Bush succeeded in pushing through a slate of D.C. Circuit judges who included hard-core conservatives such as Thomas Griffith, Brett Kavanaugh, and Janice Rogers Brown. They have done all kinds of work for the right since then. Most recently, Brown came through with a ruling against Obamacare’s requirement that employers provide health insurance that covers contraception. As Bush lined up his nominees to the courts (not to mention federal agencies), the Democrats kept their promise only to filibuster selectively, based on “extraordinary circumstances.”

As a result, Bush was able to build a federal judiciary with an overwhelming majority of Republican-appointed judges. As Charlie Savage wrote in 2008 before Obama became president: “Republican-appointed judges, most of them conservatives, are projected to make up 62 percent of the bench next Inauguration Day, up from 50 percent when Mr. Bush took office. They control 10 of the 13 circuits, while judges appointed by Democrats have a dwindling majority on just one circuit.”

That’s pretty much how the presidential power of appointment is supposed to work. You win the White House, you control the courts, until the next time around, when it’s the other party’s turn to pick judges. But the Republicans in the Senate have indefatigably changed the game. They have appointed just one of Obama’s five nominees to the D.C. Circuit—Sri Srinivasan, the single golden compromise. Caitlin Halligan withdrew after more than a year of waiting and filibustering. Last summer, Obama announced three nominees at once—Patricia Millett, Robert Wilkins, and Cornelia Pillard. All hyper-qualified. None radical. One even worked in the Bush as well as the Clinton Solicitor General’s Office and has represented the pro-business behemoth that is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. When Obama made his triple-nomination announcement, I figured that the president would go two for three. Or at least one for three. Right?

Wrong. The Republicans filibustered all three of Obama’s picks. Not because they were extraordinary nominees, but because they were nominees, period. The normal business of filling vacant seats on the D.C. Circuit became, in the heated rhetoric of Republican senators such as Chuck Grassley, nefarious “court packing.” Grassley said there was no need for more judges on that court because the workload was down. Never mind that he'd confirmed the Bush judges who at that point brought the total number of non-senior judges on the court to 11—exactly three more than there are now. The real reason for the Republican united front was simple math: The D.C. Circuit now has four judges appointed by Republicans and four judges appointed by Democrats, plus six senior judges, five of whom are Republican appointees. Fifteen of the 19 last picks have been made by GOP presidents. The senior judges hear plenty of cases. The appeals courts issue rulings in panels of three. And so, as Moshe Marvit pointed out in Dissent in May, the number that matters most is this: At that point in 2013, almost 80 percent of the D.C. Circuit panels were majority or exclusively Republican appointees.

That’s the Republican advantage. It’s been working well for them. They saw no reason to give it up. Why not keep pushing the filibuster envelope if no one makes you back off?

That’s why Reid finally pushed back. The fight for bipartisan normalcy has already been lost. The majority leader merely sounded the death knell. There will be lots of loud lamenting at the wake that follows. Don’t be fooled. If the Republicans were in the Democrats’ position, they’d have done the same thing months ago. Now Millett, Wilkins, and Pillard can take their seats on the bench. And soon the funeral speeches will end, and the next phase of life in the Senate will begin.


Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: jaimehlers on November 24, 2013, 10:32:29 PM
It wasn't even "the" Republican minority.  It was a minority within the Republican party who did it.  So a minority of a minority was trying to hold judge appointments hostage.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: MadBunny on November 24, 2013, 10:39:25 PM
If you say so.   I'm hard pressed to find any areas where the TP and the Republican party are divided.  To me it's the difference between Sharia/Sunni.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: jaimehlers on November 24, 2013, 11:00:50 PM
That's cause the Republicans think they're screwed without the tea party, when it's actually their association with the tea party that's screwing them.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Chronos on November 24, 2013, 11:21:06 PM
If you say so.   I'm hard pressed to find any areas where the TP and the Republican party are divided.  To me it's the difference between Sharia/Sunni.

Republicans threaten to shoot the hostages; Tea Partiers threaten to shoot themselves.

Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on November 25, 2013, 12:10:36 AM
Thank you Madbunny,

I don't have time tonight for letting what you say sink in to give a thoughtful reply. I will say that I personally can't bring myself to view the Democrat party as the "good guys" and the Republican party as the "bad guys". The closet I can get at the moment is "good cop, bad cop" and we are all potential subjects suspects.

You don't have to think of them as the 'good guys' only to realize they're not the 'bad guys' this time around. 

Let me give you a simple example.  I have a coworker he hates Obamacare with a weird passion  .He has a daughter that's early 20's, lives in bakersfield for some reason.  I know right?  Bakersfield.  She's on his health insurance.  I pointed out that because of Obamacare his daughter can remain on his insurance (which he liked) or that because of the way the new exchanges were set up she could shop for cheap coverage and see right up front if she qualifies for price cuts/subsidies (which he liked).  Then he complained about the high deductible, until I pointed out that if he's smart and simply invests the difference in his own pocket (bank/HSA/investments/whatever) he'll save much more in the long run since he doesn't use insurance that often.  Also it'll be in his pocket instead of somebody else's.  Or just get a low deductible plan, like what he has now.

He still hates Obamacare, just doesn't know why.

Who's the bad guy in this scenario?  The person who told him that he has to hate Obamacare no matter what. 
That's the bad guy.  My friend who hates Obamacare, is doing so to his own detriment.

I shouldn't have done this, but I decided to check if there were any responses before I go to bed. I still haven't done any research or thought deeply about the other replies but this one...this reply struck me because it digs at the root of my misunderstanding.

Is Obama a DINO[1], a corporate shill? Merely a scapegoat for the shadowy powers behind the veil which have been moving our country further and further right?

If so then why argue that the Republicans are obstructionist? They are just playing their part in this grand illusion. They aren't obstructing anything...they are merely facilitating the fundamental change which Obama promised. Aren't they? They are the "bad cop".  And should be commended for playing their role perfectly.

Is not the Republican party the ultimate political troll? That would make the Democrat party Pinocchio, always wishing they were real boys.

Where is the Green Fairy when you need her?

Apologies...I have had drinks. 

 1. Democrat In Name Only
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: MadBunny on November 25, 2013, 12:42:56 AM
You seem to be dancing in a lot of circles to avoid looking at the actions of the Republicans. 
It appears at every turn that you try to for so reason defend their actions by pointing at the Democratic party. [1] 
My suggestion is this; come back tomorrow or whenever and look at the example I gave you of the guy who hates Obamacare despite liking every part of it that I told him about.

Also, where the Republican filibuster/cloture/obstruction stuff is concerned.  Look at that action independent of what you think of the Democratic party.  The tired excuse offered by many Republicans of 'but THEY DID IT TOOO' doesn't fly.  I've seen  you deconstruct religious bias and do it well.  Apply your skills to the topic at hand.  I'm well aware of various failings of the Democratic party, and the President Obama.  This isn't about that. 

Don't try to flip the script, just look at the stuff in front of you and draw a conclusion.  Heck, use the handy chart I linked in.  Watching you dance around this is unfortunately a bit like watching a theist dance around the idea that parts of their bible might be wrong.

I'm not asking for a lot.  No books, no dissertations, essays or whatnot, just that you use your critical thinking facilities as I've seen you do elsewhere.  Failing that, you might want to just admit you have a blind spot where the RNC is concerned.


 1. Seriously, it's that hard to say, just use DNC.  Your language is one step away from referring to them as 'libs'.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Chronos on November 25, 2013, 07:00:31 AM
Is Obama a DINO[1], a corporate shill? Merely a scapegoat for the shadowy powers behind the veil which have been moving our country further and further right?
 1. Democrat In Name Only

/shrugs/   I'm sure many Democrats do not care for the lack of liberalism shown by Obama, because in fact he has barely acted like a liberal at all. He's cut the federal budget even before or in addition to the sequester limits, he's deported people who were here illegally (and without much review of special cases), he's engaged in drone strikes, failed to get universal health care and lets the NSA monitor just about any form of communication we have. So, yeah, I am sure there are Democrats who don't like these things and would prefer they change, but the Republicans are too much of a distraction. They are like a circus freak show that never leaves town, and every time you return to the circus you see something more outlandish than the last time you visited.

This is why many Republicans (non-Tea Party) know that Obama is really rather conservative. While they play the media game of calling him this or that liberal name, they realize that, yes, it's just a game. The Republicans realize their side is full of crazy people with no ideas beyond name-calling, filibusters, and making mountains out of molehills, or as one recent example claims god, guns and football:

http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/24/showbiz/wayne-mills-death/index.html

^ I never heard of him before this news article appeared. I'm sure he was a Tea Party supporter.

Few on the right wish to acknowledge how conservative Obama is. One person who does is Andrew Sullivan, a conservative gay Catholic from Great Britain (https://www.google.com/#q=site:dish.andrewsullivan.com+obama+conservative). He compares Obama to being a Tory (British conservative party), which he also states is like being a responsible Republican. Others argue that Republicans drug the country further right than it really is causing Democrats to morph into what Republicans used to be.


If so then why argue that the Republicans are obstructionist? They are just playing their part in this grand illusion. They aren't obstructing anything...they are merely facilitating the fundamental change which Obama promised. Aren't they? They are the "bad cop".  And should be commended for playing their role perfectly.

Is not the Republican party the ultimate political troll? That would make the Democrat party Pinocchio, always wishing they were real boys.

Where is the Green Fairy when you need her?

Apologies...I have had drinks.

Yes, you have had a few drinks because that ^ doesn't make any sense at all.


Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Hatter23 on November 25, 2013, 08:25:40 AM
  I'm sure many Democrats do not care for the lack of liberalism shown by Obama, because in fact he has barely acted like a liberal at all. He's cut the federal budget even before or in addition to the sequester limits, he's deported people who were here illegally (and without much review of special cases), he's engaged in drone strikes, failed to get universal health care and lets the NSA monitor just about any form of communication we have. So, yeah, I am sure there are Democrats who don't like these things and would prefer they change, but the Republicans are too much of a distraction.

Yeah, I would like the Obama progressive I heard during his Election and Inaugural speeches, not the Bush-light I've seen in office.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Nick on November 25, 2013, 08:37:17 AM
Thank you Madbunny,

I don't have time tonight for letting what you say sink in to give a thoughtful reply. I will say that I personally can't bring myself to view the Democrat party as the "good guys" and the Republican party as the "bad guys". The closet I can get at the moment is "good cop, bad cop" and we are all potential subjects suspects.

You don't have to think of them as the 'good guys' only to realize they're not the 'bad guys' this time around. 

Let me give you a simple example.  I have a coworker he hates Obamacare with a weird passion  .He has a daughter that's early 20's, lives in bakersfield for some reason.  I know right?  Bakersfield.  She's on his health insurance.  I pointed out that because of Obamacare his daughter can remain on his insurance (which he liked) or that because of the way the new exchanges were set up she could shop for cheap coverage and see right up front if she qualifies for price cuts/subsidies (which he liked).  Then he complained about the high deductible, until I pointed out that if he's smart and simply invests the difference in his own pocket (bank/HSA/investments/whatever) he'll save much more in the long run since he doesn't use insurance that often.  Also it'll be in his pocket instead of somebody else's.  Or just get a low deductible plan, like what he has now.

He still hates Obamacare, just doesn't know why.

Who's the bad guy in this scenario?  The person who told him that he has to hate Obamacare no matter what. 
That's the bad guy.  My friend who hates Obamacare, is doing so to his own detriment.
That is because the GOP and the 1%ters have mastered the art of turning things around so people vote against their own interests.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: jaimehlers on November 25, 2013, 10:09:03 AM
Twenty years ago, Obama may well have identified as a Republican.  My dad was a lifelong Republican until around the time of Clinton's second term in office.

Due to the rightward shift of the party, it's been shedding anyone not seen as conservative enough.  That's now been compounded by the tea party, which is busy trying to remove anyone they don't see as conservative enough.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Nam on November 25, 2013, 05:24:58 PM
If you say so.   I'm hard pressed to find any areas where the TP and the Republican party are divided.  To me it's the difference between Sharia/Sunni.

Republicans threaten to shoot the hostages; Tea Partiers threaten to shoot themselves and the hostages.


Fixed that for you.

-Nam
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on November 27, 2013, 01:08:23 AM
Time out for a brief intermission

I am conflicted...have been for some time. The nature of my conflict is this...

1. We should never force anyone to do anything against their will.

2. We should all share the responsibility of taking care of each other

3. We should be able to keep the fruits of our labor

4. We should help others produce more fruit.


If there was some way to balance these four fundamental beliefs, I think we could give even the spiders a reason to frolic...and spiders don't frolic.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Chronos on November 27, 2013, 04:34:23 PM
A 31-Year-Old Is Tearing Apart the Heritage Foundation / Think Republicans have been making fools of themselves? Blame Michael Needham. (http://www.newrepublic.com/article/115688/heritage-foundations-michael-needham-tears-apart-right-wing)

Quote

With DeMint’s arrival, Heritage’s government relations team, which once boasted the ability to meet with 250 GOP and as many as 40 Democratic congressmen on any given day, disappeared. “The people at government affairs would go down to the Hill, and they had Hill folks saying, ‘Listen, we don’t want to meet with you because of what the folks at Heritage Action did yesterday,’” says the former Heritage staffer. Heritage analysts now have a hard time getting meetings on the Hill, even with Republicans.

...

In meetings, congressional staffers couldn’t even get Heritage Action to entertain the possibility that the strategy might fail. “They never wanted to discuss anything past defund,” recalls the Republican staffer. “We would ask, ‘What if [Democrats] say no and don’t budge, what do you do then?’ They kept saying: ‘That’s not our role. You figure it out.’ ”
...

On the morning of October 16, just hours before a deadline whose crossing could have pushed the United States into default, and hours before a deal averted that possibility and ended the 16-day government shutdown, after weeks of pushing House Republicans not to back down from the defund Obamacare plan that had gotten everyone to this point to begin with, Needham appeared on Fox News. “Everybody understands that we’re not going to be able to repeal this law until 2017 and that we have to win the Senate and we have to win the White House,” he said.



Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: MadBunny on November 27, 2013, 07:01:49 PM
They are just apeshit over this health insurance reform.

I really don't understand what their objections are.  Normally in an argument or debate, if it's rational one should be able to state the opponent's viewpoint.  Most of us here could probably play devils advocate for various religious actions and practices.  We don't agree with them, but we understand them and the viewpoint well enough to do so.

The republican viewpoint though... makes no sense at all.  That's why I think people fall back on the whole 'it must be racism' argument.  At least we can understand racism.  Heck, we can even understand the whole taxes thing.. the motives of the wealthy wanting more wealth are ultimately not that complicated.

This mindless obstruction, and endless hatred for the PPACA makes no sense.  Even if I did not have a license to sell health insurance in CA the laws components would still make sense to me given their stated goals.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: shnozzola on November 27, 2013, 07:33:04 PM
..... Michael Needham

Good article.

This line from the article is exactly what is wrong with the current direction of the republican party:
Quote
The scandalous Heritage report on immigration, co-authored by a scholar who had once claimed that Hispanic immigrants have lower IQs than whites........

If you have people who think like that making policy, you are doomed.  Current policy of republicans is only to want democrats to fail, not to improve the country - not to say - this is what is wrong with Obamacare, and this is how we can help fix it.  But it may be no different if the roles are reversed.  It would be interesting to see if a President Chris Christie would put up an idea for universal healthcare and have democrats try to stop it dead.   

Unless the US gets more mature in our politics, it will be a slow decline away from progress.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on November 27, 2013, 07:42:56 PM
Okay. My understanding of politics and policy is about as clear as mud. For the most part. I made up my mind a long time ago that a politician by any party affiliation is a politician. Full stop.

I assume most regular members of this forum vote Democrat (or something similar for those living in other countries) So on this forum I see many comments complaining about politicians on the "right".

I am getting responses, examples and explanations which I still don't fully understand. Instead of trying to pick out each statement that confuses me and addressing it I want to start this process over with one question at a time. For those of you who wish to engage after this point, you have my most sincere gratitude.

First question

Are there any Republican policies currently in place which (if you had the power) you would change. Why?

   Alternate question

Are there any Democrat policies currently in place which (if you had the power) you would change. Why?


For the sake of brevity, please pick just one policy at a time if you have several.

Also, for this part of the conversation I do not wish to go over the constitution or the bill of rights. Plenty of other threads for those cans of worms. I also don't want to get tangled up in a pissing match about which side lies more than the other. We can sit here and toss out examples back and forth all day long and never make any progress.

     
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Azdgari on November 27, 2013, 07:56:55 PM
I would dearly like for our Conservative[1] Party to cease its policy of threatening and punishing any federal scientists who discuss their fields of study with the public.
 1. "Republican of the North"
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on November 27, 2013, 08:03:03 PM
I would dearly like for our Conservative[1] Party to cease its policy of threatening and punishing any federal scientists who discuss their fields of study with the public.
 1. "Republican of the North"

What's going on with that?
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: MadBunny on November 27, 2013, 08:08:56 PM
Sorry in advance for the huge image.



First question

Are there any Republican policies currently in place which (if you had the power) you would change. Why?

Trickle down, or top down taxation.  The idea that letting the wealthy have more money results in the poor having more jobs and thus more of their own money has been shown time and again to be pure fantasy.

If you look at a chart of income, taxes and income disparity in this country you'll see that largely it follows this trend in taxes.  Note the point where the major shift in the countries income starts.  That's the point right about where we made our shift in capital gains taxation.

http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2011/09/04/opinion/04reich-graphic.html

(http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2011/09/04/opinion/04reich-graphic/04reich-graphic-popup.jpg)



   Alternate question

Are there any Democrat policies currently in place which (if you had the power) you would change. Why?


Trickle down, or top down taxation, and treatment of Wall st.  The Democratic party has for the last few decades abandoned it's Progressive roots.
I'm well aware of the so called 'laffer curve' and I disagree with the current conservative interpretation of it and say that the numbers should be set WAY higher than they are.

I would say that the problem with the Democratic party is that they have fallen into the propaganda trap set by the religious right.


Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: MadBunny on November 27, 2013, 08:09:42 PM
I would dearly like for our Conservative[1] Party to cease its policy of threatening and punishing any federal scientists who discuss their fields of study with the public.
 1. "Republican of the North"

What's going on with that?

Climate change, fracking, evolution, taxes.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Azdgari on November 27, 2013, 08:32:09 PM
I would dearly like for our Conservative[1] Party to cease its policy of threatening and punishing any federal scientists who discuss their fields of study with the public.
 1. "Republican of the North"

What's going on with that?

The same as with their policy of having nixed the long-form census.

Or rather, the mandatory long-form census, which is randomly assigned to people.  Without making it mandatory, the information it gains is not statistically useful.  Hence, it's been nixed from a scientific perspective.

Truth is not the friend of the modern conservative movements.  That's what's up.  Science is a way to get at truth.  Statistically useful census data is a way to get at truth.  But truth is the enemy, and so these things must be kept from the public eye.  By force if necessary.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on November 27, 2013, 08:43:17 PM
Trickle down is the theory, what is the actual bill or policy or law or whatever that kicked in the theory back in the 70's? What was the piece of legislation voted on to bring about this change and what was in place before it?

I found a wiki article describing the theory but am not having much luck in getting specifics.

Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on November 27, 2013, 09:11:52 PM
Just also realized...don't know if this makes a difference but from 1947 up till 1979 in that chart is called the great prosperity. Everything is on the up and up. If my memory serves me...the "rich" were taxed at something close to 80 or 90% following the great depression and the war. Apparently the graph shows that allowing the "rich" people to keep more of their money hurts everybody else. I don't understand (in a broad sense) how that can be true.

Going back to one of my 4 points

3. We should be able to keep the fruits of our labor.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Azdgari on November 27, 2013, 09:14:35 PM
What is our labour?
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on November 27, 2013, 09:18:03 PM
What is our labour?

Anything you do to gain fruit.

Edit correction

Something an individual does in order to gain fruit.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: MadBunny on November 27, 2013, 09:35:27 PM
Trickle down is the theory, what is the actual bill or policy or law or whatever that kicked in the theory back in the 70's? What was the piece of legislation voted on to bring about this change and what was in place before it?

I found a wiki article describing the theory but am not having much luck in getting specifics.

What you want to look into is Supply Side Economics and the Laffer Curve. 

Reaganomics.  Note the follow up links below for related topics such as stagflation and supply side.
http://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/reaganomics.asp

The so called Laffer Curve
http://www.investopedia.com/terms/l/laffercurve.asp

Here is a pretty good article on Supply Side Economics.  It's reasonably unbiased.
http://www.investopedia.com/articles/05/011805.asp


Just also realized...don't know if this makes a difference but from 1947 up till 1979 in that chart is called the great prosperity. Everything is on the up and up. If my memory serves me...the "rich" were taxed at something close to 80 or 90% following the great depression and the war. Apparently the graph shows that allowing the "rich" people to keep more of their money hurts everybody else. I don't understand (in a broad sense) how that can be true.

Going back to one of my 4 points

3. We should be able to keep the fruits of our labor.


Is it keeping the fruits of your labor if the corporation that employs you keeps virtually all of the income your production creates?  Take a worker at McD.  They create XX dollars of income, yet they receive effectively the  minimum legal wage.  McD keeps the rest and pockets it.  As a result the rest of us wind up paying for low wage subsidies to the workers who can't live on what they make.  We pay this through taxes, taxes that we pay but McD doesn't.  Keeping the fruits of our labor would imply that the workers at McD earn a wage more in sync with their level of productivity.  The argument on the part of McD is that their profits will go down and they won't be able to hire as many people.  I don't accept that argument.  They will hire whatever number of people they need to get the job done and no more.  If their profits drop... too bad.  There are better things to spend my tax dollars on than CEO salaries.

If you really want to know how much we spend as a nation subsidizing low wages take a look at this.

http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/publiccosts/fast_food_poverty_wages.pdf





Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: jaimehlers on November 27, 2013, 10:43:24 PM
3. We should be able to keep the fruits of our labor.
Indeed!  The problem is that most workers don't keep the fruits of their labor.  It all gets sucked upwards, in what almost amounts to a legal pyramid scheme.  And it's one that's gotten worse in recent years, as upper management salaries have spiked compared to worker salaries.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on November 27, 2013, 11:01:04 PM
in every job I have ever applied for the fruit has been negotiable and agreed to before labor was provided. Except for twice. We negotiated the price during the interview and agreed upon it but my first paycheck was $1.00 less per hour than what was agreed on.

I quit immediately without further notice. 

In the other, apparently there was fine print and my compensation was .50 less than I understood it to be because of a loop hole. I also quite that job, although with that one I waited until I found another job...then quite without notice. It was McDonald's.

What seems to be argued is that the "minimum" wage should be raised. That is a slightly different argument than being able to keep what you agree to earn.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Azdgari on November 27, 2013, 11:09:57 PM
What is our labour?

Anything you do to gain fruit.

Edit correction

Something an individual does in order to gain fruit.

That's pretty useless as definitions go.

What I was about to try to get at is, how is the value (fruit) of one's labour calculated?  What is the methodology used?
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Azdgari on November 27, 2013, 11:13:03 PM
in every job I have ever applied for the fruit has been negotiable and agreed to before labor was provided. Except for twice. We negotiated the price during the interview and agreed upon it but my first paycheck was $1.00 less per hour than what was agreed on.

I quit immediately without further notice.

What is the incentive for an employer to negotiate with a worker for their labour?  This does not usually happen in the real world.

In the other, apparently there was fine print and my compensation was .50 less than I understood it to be because of a loop hole. I also quite that job, although with that one I waited until I found another job...then quite without notice. It was McDonald's.

What seems to be argued is that the "minimum" wage should be raised. That is a slightly different argument than being able to keep what you agree to earn.

Just because you agreed to something, that doesn't mean it was fair.

If one's options are between agreeing to a shitty wage, or to continue job-searching for another month and be a month behind on one's rent, the agreement is made for reasons other than fairness.  Does that make that person's "fruits of labour" worth objectively less?
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on November 27, 2013, 11:54:44 PM
This does not usually happen in the real world.

Everything is negotiable...what world do you speak of?
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on November 28, 2013, 12:04:38 AM
What is our labour?

Anything you do to gain fruit.

Edit correction

Something an individual does in order to gain fruit.

That's pretty useless as definitions go.

What I was about to try to get at is, how is the value (fruit) of one's labour calculated?  What is the methodology used?

That...I don't know precisely because I have never owned my own business and paid people to work for me in that capacity. I recently negotiated with a couple of local septic companies for a better price than what they originally quoted me.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: jaimehlers on November 28, 2013, 12:27:34 AM
Please don't try to tell me that you think the money the average worker earns is anything close to what their labor is worth.  Most large employers have every reason to find employees who will work for what the employer wants to pay them, rather than what the job is actually worth.

Take Wal-Mart, for example.  Their whole business model is based around finding the cheapest possible suppliers, and then forcing other suppliers to follow suit if they want Wal-Mart to carry their products.  They carry the same attitude towards their employees - if you aren't willing to take what Wal-Mart offers, you don't get the job.  It's not even close to negotiable.  Most of the low-end service jobs are exactly like that, and they employ a lot of people, who generally live paycheck to paycheck.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: magicmiles on November 28, 2013, 12:32:53 AM
Please don't try to tell me that you think the money the average worker earns is anything close to what their labor is worth.  Most large employers have every reason to find employees who will work for what the employer wants to pay them, rather than what the job is actually worth.

Take Wal-Mart, for example.  Their whole business model is based around finding the cheapest possible suppliers, and then forcing other suppliers to follow suit if they want Wal-Mart to carry their products.  They carry the same attitude towards their employees - if you aren't willing to take what Wal-Mart offers, you don't get the job.  It's not even close to negotiable.  Most of the low-end service jobs are exactly like that, and they employ a lot of people, who generally live paycheck to paycheck.

I completely take your point here, but I am left uncertain as to what actually constitutes a fair wage? Taking the Wal-Mart example, what would be a fair wage and how is that determined?

Interesting discussion. Annoyingly interesting, only a mouse click away from my boring reports..
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on November 28, 2013, 01:09:04 AM
Please don't try to tell me that you think the money the average worker earns is anything close to what their labor is worth.

Their labor is worth what they agree it's worth. Everybody wants more, especially when they have more years of experience.

Quote
Most large employers have every reason to find employees who will work for what the employer wants to pay them, rather than what the job is actually worth.

Who's responsibility is it to determine what a job is worth?

Quote
Take Wal-Mart, for example.  Their whole business model is based around finding the cheapest possible suppliers, and then forcing other suppliers to follow suit if they want Wal-Mart to carry their products.  They carry the same attitude towards their employees - if you aren't willing to take what Wal-Mart offers, you don't get the job.  It's not even close to negotiable.  Most of the low-end service jobs are exactly like that, and they employ a lot of people, who generally live paycheck to paycheck.

According to the chart provided by MadBunny it's a lot more than just WalMart and McDonald's workers who aren't able to keep up with inflation. Nobody is forcing people to work for Walmart or McDonalds. Nobody is forcing people to buy products from Walmart or McDonalds

1. We should never force anyone to do anything against their will.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: MadBunny on November 28, 2013, 01:19:11 AM
Are you sure you're not a theist Mr. Blackwell?  Because you just casually with a comment discount the amassed evidence of decades showing that while productivity has risen have not. 

Ignored the parts regarding laffer curves, supply side economics, income disparity.. all of that with a pithy story about how you negotiated your own wage and quit when you didn't get it. 

Remember the huge Ezra Klein chart I posted?
Where has the profit from that increased productivity gone? 

Taxes?  Nope, they're at near historic lows.
Entitlements, welfare etc?  Nope, those get paid through taxes.
Unions, maybe all the unions are eating them up.  Nope, union membership only accounts for a tiny fraction of the workforce as does pension entitlements which are quickly disappearing.
That Obamacare thing?  Not that either, it's effectively revenue neutral, and hasn't fully been implemented anyway.

Plus this has been happening for decades regardless of the party in power at the time.

If the profit from increased productivity is not going to the people who're actually working than it's going somewhere.  That somewhere is the top of the money chain.
The wealthy have had their incomes SKYROCKET over the last few decades while everybody else has had their wages stay stagnant.  You're the one that asked what I would change about the respective parties.  My answer remains the same: tax policy.

It's hurting us all.



Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: MadBunny on November 28, 2013, 01:21:30 AM
According to the chart provided by MadBunny it's a lot more than just WalMart and McDonald's workers who aren't able to keep up with inflation. Nobody is forcing people to work for Walmart or McDonalds. Nobody is forcing people to buy products from Walmart or McDonalds

1. We should never force anyone to do anything against their will.

Have you ever noticed how all the gas stations in your area are within a few cents of each other on gas prices? 
Tell me, are you able to negotiate lower gas prices just because you don't think you should be forced to pay those prices against your will? 

You could always not purchase it. 
You could always walk.


I'm going somewhere with this, and I'm curious to see if you get the analogy.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on November 28, 2013, 01:50:05 AM
...you just casually with a comment discount the amassed evidence of decades showing that while productivity has risen have not.

I asked for specifics. What caused productivity rates to rise? Was it some sort of legislation? If yes, which legislation? How much does automation influence the rise of productivity?

Quote
Ignored the parts regarding laffer curves, supply side economics, income disparity..

I haven't looked up the laffer curve or supply side economics yet. Still don't know what that is all about or why it is "bad".

Quote
all of that with a pithy story about how you negotiated your own wage and quit when you didn't get it.

Sorry my life is pithy. It is my life and it is all that I know.   

Quote
Remember the huge Ezra Klein chart I posted?
Where has the profit from that increased productivity gone?

I don't know...do you?

Quote
Taxes?  Nope, they're at near historic lows.
Entitlements, welfare etc?  Nope, those get paid through taxes.

Who pays taxes? I have never paid income taxes in my life. I pay all kinds of other taxes but not income and I'm not alone...roughly 50% of American households do not pay taxes on the fruits of their labor.

Quote
Unions, maybe all the unions are eating them up.  Nope, union membership only accounts for a tiny fraction of the workforce as does pension entitlements which are quickly disappearing.

I am jealous of union workers. I really am. I would dance on my mother's grave for a union job. I don't think I am cut out for a union job though...I have known and currently know plenty of union workers and they are all assholes who don't give a fuck about anyone else. They won't lift a finger to help you unless there is something in it for them in return. So, I am not sure I am cut out for that type of gig.

Quote
That Obamacare thing?  Not that either, it's effectively revenue neutral, and hasn't fully been implemented anyway.


I haven't really made up my mind if Obamacare is good or bad. I have heard that it is not revenue neutral and considering they have spent almost a billion dollars on the website alone...I don't see how it CAN be revenue neutral anytime soon. 

Quote
Plus this has been happening for decades regardless of the party in power at the time.

My point exactly.

Quote
If the profit from increased productivity is not going to the people who're actually working than it's going somewhere.  That somewhere is the top of the money chain.
The wealthy have had their incomes SKYROCKET over the last few decades while everybody else has had their wages stay stagnant.  You're the one that asked what I would change about the respective parties.  My answer remains the same: tax policy.

How would you change it? How would that change help the overall economy?

Quote
It's hurting us all.

I still can't see how me making more money than my neighbor to the left hurts him or how my neighbor to the right making more money than me hurts me.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on November 28, 2013, 01:57:08 AM

Have you ever noticed how all the gas stations in your area are within a few cents of each other on gas prices? 
Tell me, are you able to negotiate lower gas prices just because you don't think you should be forced to pay those prices against your will? 

You could always not purchase it. 
You could always walk.


I'm going somewhere with this, and I'm curious to see if you get the analogy.

I have walked...but currently choose the cheapest. At this moment I don't get the analogy. I think I might sort of get it but am not sure how it applies to wages.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: jaimehlers on November 28, 2013, 02:36:09 AM
Their labor is worth what they agree it's worth. Everybody wants more, especially when they have more years of experience.
Bargaining power.  Employers have it, and for the most part individual employees don't.  That's why we have things like unions and collective bargaining, which for all their problems are still far better than the alternative.

Quote from: Mr. Blackwell
Who's responsibility is it to determine what a job is worth?
Don't try to dismiss this issue with pithy statements.  Trying to act as if the employee carries the ultimate responsibility for the terms of their employment is short-sighted at best.  Employers are the ones who determine what a job is worth to them, and for the most part employees get to take it or leave it, unless they're independently wealthy or something and can afford to take the time to find a good job.  Income is not wealth.

Quote from: Mr. Blackwell
According to the chart provided by MadBunny it's a lot more than just WalMart and McDonald's workers who aren't able to keep up with inflation. Nobody is forcing people to work for Walmart or McDonalds. Nobody is forcing people to buy products from Walmart or McDonalds
When you don't have income, and nobody to help support you, if you can get a job and thus income from Wal-Mart or McDonalds, you're not to argue about how much you're paid because even minimum wage with no benefits is better than no income.  That's what companies like Wal-Mart, McDonalds, and most of the major service sector businesses count on - people who need income, even crappy income, and thus will take what they're offered without arguing or negotiating.  That's what allows them to get away with selling things so inexpensively and thus allows them to stay in business - because they can avoid having to pay their workers anything resembling a reasonable wage.  In point of fact, businesses ultimately hurt themselves by this kind of conduct.  When you offer rock-bottom wages, you get rock-bottom employees for the most part.

Quote from: Mr. Blackwell
1. We should never force anyone to do anything against their will.
Indeed not.  But it sure is easy to take advantage of someone's helplessness to get them to agree to something whether they like it or not.  That's using force against them just as surely as if you were holding a gun to their heads or had a knife to their necks.  You're using the fact that you have leverage and they don't to try to force them to accept your terms.  You may not actually be holding a gun or a knife, but you're perfectly willing to take advantage of their poor circumstances to get the best possible deal for yourself.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: MadBunny on November 28, 2013, 02:41:19 AM
I can see that this problem is bigger than I had originally thought.  It seems that you have a lot of pre-formed opinions as well as some that are outright false.  The 47% thing as an easy example. 

The so called 47% who pay no income taxes only do so largely because of tax cuts.  In other words the majority of them actually do pay taxes but through poor tax policy much of this gets reduced to zero.  This is the result of some arguments from the business community (read: chamber of commerce) against raising wages. In essence a targeted tax cut instead of a wage increase.  Now many years later all that argument is forgotten and all we hear is that they don't pay taxes.  Amusingly, the majority of those 47%ers?  In red states.  http://www.theamericanconservative.com/where-do-the-47-percent-live/

(http://www.theamericanconservative.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/non-payers-by-state.jpeg)


As for supply side economics and the laffer curve, they're not that complicated, though given your tendencies I suspect you'll initially find yourself in agreement with them.  If it helps you can think of it at the walmart model.


Quote
Remember the huge Ezra Klein chart I posted?
Where has the profit from that increased productivity gone?

I don't know...do you?

Yes, Mr. Blackwell.  I do.  It went to the wealthy.  If wages for all quintiles had risen at the same rate of productivity what is currently the minimum wage would be about $30.  They didn't rise for all quintiles though, only for the top.

(http://www.currydemocrats.org/in_perspective/income_distribution_over_time.jpg)


If the profit from increased productivity is not going to the people who're actually working than it's going somewhere.  That somewhere is the top of the money chain.
The wealthy have had their incomes SKYROCKET over the last few decades while everybody else has had their wages stay stagnant.  You're the one that asked what I would change about the respective parties.  My answer remains the same: tax policy.

How would you change it? How would that change help the overall economy?

The explanation largely depends on how sophisticated your understanding of basic economics is.

Put simply: supply side economics favors the wealthy in all areas.  This is a problem because as we see SSE doesn't work for the economy as a whole, only for the people at the very top.  We need to reverse the trend from SSE and move toward more progressive taxes. 

Put even more simply: the people who own all the stuff and making all the money should be paying all the taxes.  When the people who have 90% of all the money pay 90% of all the taxes it'll be 'fair'.  If you don't want that group to be the super rich then find a way to put that wealth in the hands of the people in the middle.




Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: jaimehlers on November 28, 2013, 02:42:25 AM
I still can't see how me making more money than my neighbor to the left hurts him or how my neighbor to the right making more money than me hurts me.
It doesn't.  Provided that you aren't making your money by preying on your neighbor to the left, or your neighbor to the right isn't making his money by preying on you.

That's what a lot of businesses do.  They siphon away as much money from their workers' productivity as they can get away with in order to pass it up to the top echelon management.  Some of that is understandable, but it's long since passed into the realm of highway robbery.  Worse, the robbers are then able to take that money and use it to influence government policy to benefit themselves.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: MadBunny on November 28, 2013, 02:47:09 AM
In point of fact, businesses ultimately hurt themselves by this kind of conduct.  When you offer rock-bottom wages, you get rock-bottom employees for the most part.

If you follow a Keynesian model it hurts them twice since the employees have less discretionary income to spend as well.  No customers: no business.





I have walked...but currently choose the cheapest. At this moment I don't get the analogy. I think I might sort of get it but am not sure how it applies to wages.

Didn't you just ask why people can't negotiate their wages?  Why can't you negotiate the price you pay for gas?

Again, this is a real line of questions.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Chronos on November 28, 2013, 11:58:31 AM
I assume most regular members of this forum vote Democrat (or something similar for those living in other countries) So on this forum I see many comments complaining about politicians on the "right".

I do not vote for just Democrats. I also vote for Republicans, independents and even Libertarians a few times.

In the recent city elections I voted to re-elect our Republican mayor (he seems to be doing fine with the city and I saw no reason to change it). In fact, in the last 3 elections, I have voted for a Republicans for mayor. Our last mayor who was a Democrat is a bit whacko and wrong for the job. Not only did I vote against her, I helped to campaign against her. I had even campaigned FOR a Democrat during the primaries even though I couldn't vote for her since I was a registered Republican at the time. The 4th election back -- when I was still a registered Republican -- I voted for the Republican primary challenger against the Republican mayor who was seeking re-election. The primary challenger was a known drunk and kook. Why did I vote for him? Our existing mayor had turned into a bit of an asshole and said stupid shit in the national press (this was Sept 11 time period) about Islamic sand people or something like it. I didn't care what he had accomplished, somebody with that attitude was not going to represent me - he had already served 2 terms and he didn't need a 3rd. In the primaries, the challenger got 585 votes and the incumbent got 1,758. I knew the incumbent would win, but my vote was a protest vote and I was not alone. He ended up losing in the general election to the whacky Democrat, which came to be her one and only term as mayor. Voters wised up on their second chance.

In the same recent city elections, I voted for one Republican and 4 Democrats for our board of aldermen. The other 4 Republicans made it clear that they wanted to dismantle various city functions or outsource them and I don't care to have it. The Republican mayor won re-election, my Republican choice for alderman lost, but another Republican won. Of the Democrats I voted for, 3 won. The ratio on the board is 4 Democrats and 1 Republican.

Our county commissioners are a miserable lot of Tea Party Republicans. I didn't vote for a single one. The president of the commission is a smarmy, perfectly-coiffed asshole whose father is a Democrat who used to be mayor (3 times) and is now a state senator. Their Sunday family dinners ought to be interesting. The others on the commission also want to dismantle nearly every county government function and outsource it to private companies. That is beyond dumb. The only reason that these idiots won office is because there are a greater number of people in our county (agricultural and/or wealthy big-land owners) than in our main city, so the tilt was to Tea Party types. The Tea Party types will not win a city election -- ever.

State-wide, I have voted for Democrats for governor/lieutenant governor for the past 2 elections and likely will again next election because nobody who is a sane Republican has come forth. As for my state representatives I have voted for a mix of Ds and Rs over the years. Our state senator was an extremely conservative Republican idiot who I never voted for -- he finally lost because the locals finally wised up. He was a Cuban immigrant who constantly railed against immigrants. He would never win election any further up the chain because he would have to win immigrant votes, and in Maryland if you diss immigrants you will never win (Maryland is very diverse). For governor, I voted for William Donald Schaeffer (D) twice (back in the 1980s). The Republicans running for governor in Maryland have had too many whacky ideas. I did vote for Ellen Sauerbrey (R) over Parris Glendenning (D) the first time he ran for governor. Neither choice was outstanding. The second time Glendenning (R) ran, I think Sauerbrey (R) ran again and I voted for the libertarian candidate but I forget his name (I don't think he was a Libertarian but some other party that was like libertarians), only because I thought none of the candidates were great and we need to express our desire for a 3rd party option. Also, when he came to one our street festivals he seemed very personable and willing to listen. Glendenning won. Our last Republican governor (Ehrlich) was the first Republican elected as governor in Maryland since Spiro Agnew won the governor's race in 1966. Ehrlich engaged in the typical stupid Republican crap and was defeated by O'Malley, who I have voted for twice. Not outstanding, but decent.

For national representation, 25 years ago our US Representative was a Democrat who was doing fine, and I voted to re-elect her (I was a Republican back then). However, she lost to Roscoe Bartlett (R) who I have always viewed as a half-wit. I had dealings with Roscoe that confirmed that he is a half-wit. He was in Congress for 24 years and I never voted for him a single time. Anybody but Roscoe. Due to the reconfiguration of legislative districts, which I will call out as gerrymandering, Bartlett was defeated and we now have a Democrat as our US Representative. Not complaining about my representative, but I must observe how we ended up with him. It's also possible Bartlett would have been defeated anyway, but whether a D or R ended up in office is largely due to gerrymandering.

I have always voted for the Democrats for Senate seats, mainly because the Republicans nominate whacky people. Ever heard of Alan Keyes? He's a black man who couldn't win in Maryland (lotsa black people here) because he was arrogant, caustic and had crappy ideas. Whenever somebody claims that blacks will always vote for blacks -- they're wrong. They figured out that Alan Keyes was not on their side. Mr Keyes was invited to run for senator of Illinois. He didn't win, not only for his bad ideas and caustic attitude but also because he was a carpetbagger.

My votes for President? Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Obama, Obama.

If a Republican comes along who acts sane, I might vote for him/her. I voted for Elizabeth Dole in the Republican primaries in 2000, but Republicans (in general) don't vote for women.

Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Nam on November 28, 2013, 03:08:21 PM
I would also like to add, and I've stated it before, I started voting mainly Republican and ever since the nuts have taken over, I've been voting less and less on their side. Last election I voted, I believe, for only two Republicans. I Also voted once for Jeb Bush for my state for Governor, Charlie Crist (when he was a Republican) for Governor and Senate (though he was running as an Independent at the time), and voted twice for the mayor of the former city I live in who is a Republican. My father was a Republican for almost 40 years, now he's a Democrat. His words, "I didn't change, they changed.". He was replying to me about how he remembered when Republicans weren't so fuckin' insane the way they are today, and how they didn't bend over and take it up the ass from the crazies in the minority (who still are the minority) of the party.

The country used to be, in general, moderate to the right now they are moderate to the left. You have the moderate/conservative[1] to thank for that; not the crazy ones like Ted Cruz, Michelle Bachmann, etc., no, the moderate/conservatives who allowed them to take control.

-Nam
 1. non-crazy
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Hatter23 on November 28, 2013, 04:00:53 PM
I still can't see how me making more money than my neighbor to the left hurts him or how my neighbor to the right making more money than me hurts me.
It doesn't.  Provided that you aren't making your money by preying on your neighbor to the left, or your neighbor to the right isn't making his money by preying on you.

That's what a lot of businesses do.  They siphon away as much money from their workers' productivity as they can get away with in order to pass it up to the top echelon management.  Some of that is understandable, but it's long since passed into the realm of highway robbery.  Worse, the robbers are then able to take that money and use it to influence government policy to benefit themselves.

Yeah, were I king, I would make it that the best paid person in a company cannot make more than 49 times what the worst paid person in a company makes(adjusting to a per hour basis) So there's plenty of incentive to try harder and work your way up, but not so much as to enter the realm of wage slavery.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Chronos on November 28, 2013, 04:22:13 PM
Trickle down is the theory, what is the actual bill or policy or law or whatever that kicked in the theory back in the 70's? What was the piece of legislation voted on to bring about this change and what was in place before it?

I found a wiki article describing the theory but am not having much luck in getting specifics.

The Laffer Curve (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laffer_curve) is the source, but the name wasn't sexy. They morphed the idea a little and re-christened it "Trickle Down Economics". The only part of the re-christened name that is correct is "down". The original name should be The Laugher Curve because that's really all it can generate: simplistic humor.

The Laffer Curve is a great topic for discussion when you are sitting around with a few intelligent people in a pub and having a beer or three (when discussing the Laffer Curve, three are better than two). However, the Laffer Curve cannot be measured, tested or implemented, but that doesn't stop people from claiming that it is true. There are only two points on the Laffer Curve that are valid: 0% and 100%. Everything in the middle is purely conjecture.

So, using this Laffer Curve theory, some people believe that if you reduce a tax rate from 25% to 20%, the people who have experienced a 5 point reduction in taxes will produce a lot more work, earn a higher income than before and thereby pay more taxes than before. For example, maybe someone who was at a 25% tax rate earning $35,000/year will suddenly be capable of producing $44,000 of income for their (newly) reduced tax bracket of 20%. If you do the math, 25% of 35,000 is $8,750 in taxes while 20% of $44,000 is $8,800 in taxes.[1] Since there is an extra $50 in taxes, the Laffer people say you are fully justified in reducing the tax rate.

However, it is entirely unjustified ...

Do you know somebody who has an income of $35,000/year who can suddenly raise their income $9,000/year just because of the reduced taxes? Seems to me that a salary is a salary is a salary. If you are making $35,000/year, you are working for someone else, and that employer is not suddenly going to see the light and give you a $9,000 raise in one year just because HIS taxes have also been lowered. Worse, a person earning $35,000/year is unlikely to earn a bonus anywhere near $9,000/year. There are very few people employed in occupations making $35,000/year in which a $9,000 bonus is a reality. But let us suppose for a moment that there are many people for whom this scenario is true ...

What the Laffer Curve completely ignores is that when higher levels of income are earned more services are consumed. So, you say, well duh! Isn't that the point? Yes, it is, but only on the surface. Just because someone is consuming more services doesn't mean that all of those services are by and for private enterprise. Government (all levels) spends about 30% of all dollars in the economy -- these are not just dollars for government programs like social welfare and the armed forces, but everything like salaries, supplies, real estate, fixtures, etc. Each time more private dollars are spent in the economy, so are more government dollars spent. As an example: remember that mythical friend you have that earns $35,000/year and is eligible for a $9,000 bonus? What is he going to do with his $9,000? Put it in the bank? Maybe some of it, but not all of it. If he is looking to buy a house he may be saving up for a down payment, but if he is ready to buy now that $9,000 not only put him over his goal, he will spend a few more bucks once he buys the house. Let's say that house is in a new development of 1,000 homes off Serendipity Boulevard (remember we are growing the economy Laffer-style) ... what do you need for 1,000 new homes? You need additional fire protection, police protection, housing inspectors, additional water sources and perhaps additional purification capacity, new zoning, new easements, additional boxes for delivery of mail (and the associated personnel that go with those boxes), schools, medical facilities, etc, etc, etc.

Do you think that your friend is going to get all that extra stuff because the government earned $50 extra?  Hell no!  If you do, then Serendipity Boulevard is located in Fantasyland USA. If the government did reduce his taxes 5 points, the government will have to create new taxes to compensate, like a water/sewer hookup fee of $5,000 instead of $3,000, or real estate taxes of $0.30 per $1000 instead of $0.26 per $1000, or a $2000 fee for the fire truck to show up at your house instead of the old $500 fee ... etc, etc, etc.

The Laffer Disciples think that if you reduce income taxes everything will trickle down from the people higher up the income ladder to those who are below it. What they fail to tell you is that those who are down the ladder are unlikely to gain any real income from this maneuver and they are still likely to consume more services than their tax reduction justified because now the government is operating at a loss. (Remember, inflation still occurs so dollars are devalued constantly.) Is the government just supposed to lay off employees because you saved a few bucks in taxes? Since government is the largest single consumer of goods and services, reducing the output of the government is going to reduce the input to your paycheck. This means that the economy will stagnate or shrink, or in the worst case scenario, your government will take out loans (incur debt) to help pay the expenses from the mythical taxes that were never collected. Meanwhile, the Laffer Disciples just invested another $100,000 in Apple this week.


 1. These examples are not intended to bear any relations to tax rates per thousand of income anywhere in the United States. They're just examples.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Chronos on November 28, 2013, 05:03:06 PM
Just also realized...don't know if this makes a difference but from 1947 up till 1979 in that chart is called the great prosperity. Everything is on the up and up. If my memory serves me...the "rich" were taxed at something close to 80 or 90% following the great depression and the war. Apparently the graph shows that allowing the "rich" people to keep more of their money hurts everybody else. I don't understand (in a broad sense) how that can be true.

The economy is a machine with a delicate balance. If you accumulate more money at the top, it will not be spent on goods and services. It will be invested, which has become a socially acceptable euphemism for gambled on stocks and bonds while not actually fostering anything important.

The economy is like growing crops, and the government is like the farmer. The farmer has to till the soil, plant seeds, fertilize, water, pray for good weather (heh), monitor growth, prevent pests from consuming the crops, harvest the crops, store the crops, go to market and sell the crops. The farmer has to plow under the soil in fall and wait through the winter until spring arrives and he can start everything again. If money is like rain and if (true) investments are like fertilizer, what happens when the farmer's crops get little rain and fertilization? The crops won't grow right, if at all, and the farmer will harvest less, sell less and earn less. What does a farmer do if he is told each year that there will be less and less rain available, and less and less fertilizer to spread? Likely, he stews about his shrinking crops and eventually decides to quit.

3. We should be able to keep the fruits of our labor.

That is a vague question. Are you saying that you should be able to keep 100% of the fruits of your labor? If you are then my answer is Hell no!.

Whatever the fruits of your labor are, you did not earn them alone. You had help along the way. Somebody fed you, clothed you, educated you, provided medical care, protected your house from burning down, made sure you had clean air to breathe and clean water to drink, made sure that when you shat in your pot the feces actually went somewhere, made sure that when you are old and infirm that you still had care and an income, made sure that if you had a dispute with a neighbor, a stranger or another business that you could seek justice in a court of law, provided you with communications, provided you with research for ever-advancing technology, made sure that you had a voice, a vote, in fair and honest elections ..... and for all that (and much, much more), no, you cannot keep 100% of what you make. You did not bear 100% of the risk of loss in whatever endeavour you chose, nor shall you keep 100% of your gains.

By virtue of government -- any government -- there has always been a social compact that those before you sacrificed for your benefit and you need to pay it forward to the next generation. It's called socialism. Truly, it is. We are not alone and should not be alone. I will not live in some feudal society where a few rich men have castles surrounded by moats and pay their mercenaries to murder their enemies all while the queen tells the peasants to eat cake (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let_them_eat_cake). The Middle Ages was not a model for societal advancement (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_ages).


E pluribus unum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E_pluribus_unum) ... from many, one ... used to be the motto of the United States until 1956 when Congress decided it should be In God We Trust ... hmmm ... not from many, one; not out of many, one ... but just .... oh dear ... in god we trust. We must put all of our faith in god, not ourselves. We must come to rely on god, not ourselves. Everyone is on their own, separate and alone.

There are individuals in a society, but there is no societies in the individual.

Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on November 28, 2013, 07:54:24 PM
I wont be able to get deep into conversation tonight. I have read all the new comments and am getting a better idea of what is going on. Thank you.

I will clarify one thing real quick because a couple of people have asked.

3. We should be able to keep the fruits of our labor.

That is a vague question. Are you saying that you should be able to keep 100% of the fruits of your labor? If you are then my answer is Hell no!.

No. I don't think we should keep 100%. My primary concern or question for that statement is specifically the income tax. There are taxes and service fees for all the other social programs and government services already built into the system from the local level on up.

I just found this paper concerning income tax and the 16th Amendment. Is it worth digging further into?

Labor thought it was going to level the playing field with an income tax which would tax only the accumulated wealth of the nation. The purpose of the Income Tax Amendment (the 16th Amendment) was to bring tax relief to wage-earners. That was the plan, but the income tax has not worked out this way. This is evidenced by the fact that today large corporations, family trusts and foundations pay little or no tax while the middle class is drowning in taxation. Nothing has changed. The reality was in 1909 the very rich, with help of Republican Senator Aldrich of Rhode Island, gave in to the pressure to approve an income tax amendment to the Constitution. But the Republicans did so in such a way that the entire income tax issue could later be manipulated to protect the wealth which was supposed to be taxed. First they added wages to the mix while at the same time exempted them out. Incrementally they inflated our money while lowering the exemption amount. By WWII almost everyone was paying an income tax on their wages and salaries. It was never intended to be this way. (http://www.vivienkellems.org/Philip_Hart_Part_1.html)
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Azdgari on November 28, 2013, 09:06:37 PM
Who is the "they" who supposedly deliberately inflated all our money?
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on November 28, 2013, 09:42:33 PM
The way that paragraph is written it seems that "they" are the Republicans but I guess the federal reserve controls the rate of inflation.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Azdgari on November 29, 2013, 01:07:29 AM
That was my thought reading it too; taking it as it's written, it sounds like they're saying that there's a long-standing Republican conspiracy to inflate our currency.  :o
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Hatter23 on November 29, 2013, 06:11:18 AM
That was my thought reading it too; taking it as it's written, it sounds like they're saying that there's a long-standing Republican conspiracy to inflate our currency.  :o

Which is incorrect. However, I am inclined to think that there has been a long term strategy to reduce inflation adjusted wages...that the Republican have been either willing partners or unwitting pawns in more than Democrats. A clear example is the perfect system to reduce wages is to keep the legal immigration low, but illegal immigration poorly enforced. This creates a large labor pool that can be ill used and paid less than minimum wage. Furthermore, the more unwanted births you have, that further increases labor pools in general...putting downward pressure on wages. Poor education, tax structure that encourage outsource, voting down minimum wage increases, deregulation, detoothing Unions...it all points towards some very powerful people are working towards that goal.

Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Chronos on November 29, 2013, 07:48:44 AM
No. I don't think we should keep 100%. My primary concern or question for that statement is specifically the income tax. There are taxes and service fees for all the other social programs and government services already built into the system from the local level on up.

I just found this paper concerning income tax and the 16th Amendment. Is it worth digging further into?
...

Maybe you should dig further.

Quote
The purpose of the Income Tax Amendment (the 16th Amendment) was to bring tax relief to wage-earners.

Incorrect. The purpose of the Sixteenth Amendment was to allow the federal government to levy taxes other than tariffs and excise taxes, and to apportion the taxes collected without respect to the the populations of the states. Tariffs are taxes on imported goods and excise taxes are somewhat like a sales tax to the producer of goods instead of the buyer of goods. Before the Sixteenth Amendment, these taxes were considered indirect property taxes which must be returned to the locale where the taxes were levied (one reason the federal government is not in the business of taxing real property, like your house, and why the federal government does not collect sales taxes). The economy of the United States was growing rapidly and we were exporting more goods than we were importing which caused a strain on the federal budget since the government was not collecting sufficient taxes on imports to accomplish what it was required to do in the various states.

Before the Sixteenth Amendment, a state which imported very little was not collecting much in the way of taxes, and consequently, not providing much to its citizens, especially with respect to armed forces that they were required to provide to the federal army (among other services). For example, a state like Kentucky which imported very little, was not appropriated much back to its coffers due to its lack of imports. New York, however, was the major import location for most goods. Since the imposts were collected on goods in New York, the money went back to New York. With a situation like this, New York becomes a far richer state than Kentucky. The Sixteenth Amendment allowed the federal government to spend more income tax collections in Kentucky per capita than in New York per capita. You can consider this Robin Hood -- taking from the rich to give to the poor. In today's Republican vernacular, it is the redistribution of wealth. (Ironically, any tax is a redistribution of wealth. If we gave you back exactly the amount we taxed you, what would be the point?)

According to Wiki, Treasury Secretary AJ Dallas first offered the idea of a federal income tax during the war of 1812. Also, federal income taxes had been imposed at times before the Sixteenth Amendment to pay for specific events (wars). In contrast to the page you linked, the income tax was not a new idea suddenly floated by Republicans as a way to punish the middle class and enrich the already-wealthy.


Quote
The reality was in 1909 the very rich, with help of Republican Senator Aldrich of Rhode Island, gave in to the pressure to approve an income tax amendment to the Constitution. But the Republicans did so in such a way that the entire income tax issue could later be manipulated to protect the wealth which was supposed to be taxed.

Well, if the Republicans of the time structured the tax system in such a way as to protect wealth, they didn't do a very good job of it. The wealthy were traditionally taxed at far greater rates than they are today. That was true until the 1960s/1970s when Congress started to lower tax rates on the wealthy.

Additionally, any tax system can be manipulated. If you find a way to accomplish X, somebody else will find a way to accomplish Y.

Quote
First they added wages to the mix while at the same time exempted them out.

An income tax is imposed on wages, which are income. Without wages, there is no income tax. The author is either confused or being intentionally misleading.

Quote
Incrementally they inflated our money while lowering the exemption amount. By WWII almost everyone was paying an income tax on their wages and salaries. It was never intended to be this way.

The website you visited to capture all this is written and owned by someone with questionable comprehension skills. Vivien Kellems (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vivien_Kellems) was a libertarian before Libertarianism was cool. She was also a denier of the power to tax incomes and attempted many times to evade the income tax. She was a bit of a kook. According to Wikipedia she also supported voter reforms and the equal rights amendment. She is the personification of the stopped clock -- even a stopped clock tells the right time twice each day.

The author of that article is "Phil Hart" for whom I cannot find info about him directly, but I see that he is also likes to masturbate about the thought of paying no income taxes because his literature is strewn about the internet on various other sites. I noticed that I could purchase a CD from Vivien Kellems but she died before the technology existed, which is even more kooky. When I follow the link I am taken to Devvy.com, which is run by Devvy Kidd, who is far more kookier than Vivien Kellems (but likely on par with her buddy Phil). I had never heard of Devvy Kidd, but I quickly note that she is a radical -- she even says that Ted Cruz is not a natural-born US citizen and that the government is going to force people into re-education camps. She's a black helicopter kind of gal.  Oh, and I see that she writes for World News Daily (WND) which immediately discredits her in just about every way imaginable.

I wonder if she paid the heirs of Vivien Kellem for the rights to use Vivien's name and likeness (Devvy is in control of VivienKellams.org).

Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: Chronos on November 29, 2013, 08:11:30 AM
Who is the "they" who supposedly deliberately inflated all our money?

The way that paragraph is written it seems that "they" are the Republicans but I guess the federal reserve controls the rate of inflation.

I am not sure who "they" are or what "inflated" means, but given the bent of the author's pen, and given the associated things written and/or advertised on the various sites where I find his literature, he is railing against the Federal Reserve Bank, and banking in general.

Phil and his brethren do not believe that you should be able to get a loan from a bank. They believe that you should only be able to get a loan from someone who can afford to do without the money until you pay them back (in other words, a very wealthy man). What would the world be like if each individual had to petition directly a very wealthy man to get a loan for anything. We might as well return to having a monarchy.

Anyway, these people do not like fractional reserve banking, but fractional reserve banking is exactly how banks make loans. Because a bank takes in $100, keeps $70 on reserve (in case you visit and ask to withdraw $20) and loans out the other $30 to people who are buying homes and cars, not only does the bank have only a fraction of your deposit on hand but the bank also multiplied the available money. The balance sheet shows that the bank owes you $100 but they also have assets of $30 (plus interest), which means that there is now $130+ floating in the economy, not $100. Money inflation.

General inflation is a different issue but has a loose correlation with money inflation. The Federal Reserve Bank has an ability to affect the general inflation rate by controlling the availability of money (either tightly or loosely). Sometimes when money is readily available, general inflation rapidly increases, but right now the money is looser because there is very little inflation (a quirk) and the loose money has been made available to encourage the expansion of the economy by encouraging the purchase of goods and services.

This is why Paul Krugman says that inflation is not a bad thing (http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/13/europes-low-inflation-problem/). Any student of economics knows that deflation is a very ugly situation that can make one pine for inflation as a fond memory of the good ole days.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: shnozzola on November 29, 2013, 10:33:40 AM
...... Poor education, tax structure that encourage outsource, voting down minimum wage increases, deregulation, detoothing Unions...it all points towards some very powerful people are working towards that goal.
Yes, especially poor education.  This push to privatize and keep wealthy children well educated, while public schools get less and less of what kids need - this ensures a successful top tier.  It almost works outside the election system if you can keep the middle class blind to what is going on.  Very insidious and harmful in the long run - and that pendulum will swing violently back when the masses see it.  It seems a bit conspiracy oriented, and very sad that the many that could fight and stop it don't.  Which goes along with the current republican push to prevent the masses from easy absentee voting or reduction of voting hours, with republicans realizing if such things as college students away from home were unable to vote, their election numbers get above 50%.
Title: Re: Political warfare
Post by: jaimehlers on November 29, 2013, 11:41:03 AM
^^Indeed.  If it weren't for fractional reserve banking, there would be a lot less money available for just about anything.  It's one of the reasons this country is as rich as it is - because money is available to the average Joe for things that they couldn't realistically afford otherwise.  Without it, I can't think of any way to avoid economic stagnation - because when wealth is concentrated too heavily, there is much less overall demand, which hinders economic growth.

Let me put it this way.  A really rich man might buy a dozen TVs, or a dozen cars.  But if you were to, say, split the same amount of money up (say in a bank) and make it available to people who are not rich, each one of them will want a TV and a car.  If a thousand of them each buy a TV and a car, they heavily outweigh the amount of demand created by the rich man.  And best of all, they pay it off over time, so making money available to loan actually creates money that wasn't there before.  But it only works as long as money is made available to people without having to jump through too many hoops to get it.