REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS

A thread for Democrats Only

POSTED BY: THGRRI
UPDATED: Wednesday, August 15, 2018 07:34
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Tuesday, February 6, 2018 6:29 AM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:
Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:
Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
Not sure if you are intentionally avoiding the question

Yes I am. It's irrelevant.
Quote:

You seem to be decrying the effects of inflation, but your solution is to ramp up inflation by Increasing Minimum Wage?

I know what you're getting at.

I am fair certain you do not.



I do, and I explained it. I'm well aware that union pay goes up with minimum wage increases. That's an altogether separate problem that needs to be addressed. Not a reason not to increase minimum wage.

You haven't once addressed what I"m getting at. Which is you better build that moat around your house that I've been telling Second he needs to build around his.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018 6:30 AM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


Quote:

Originally posted by JO753:
Odd how the GoPs never mention investor dividendz or executiv pay having an inflationary effect. Its az if an unlimited amount uv money can go to the rich without any penalty on sosiety at all.

----------------------------
DUZ XaT SEM RiT TQ YQ? - Jubal Early

http://www.7532020.com



Huge effect. Add to that all the bonuses and golden parachutes that they get even if they were complete failures.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018 7:40 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by JO753:
Odd how the GoPs never mention investor dividendz or executiv pay having an inflationary effect. Its az if an unlimited amount uv money can go to the rich without any penalty on sosiety at all.

In between 1978 and 2014, inflation-adjusted CEO pay increased by almost 1,000%. Meanwhile, typical workers in the U.S. saw a pay raise of just 11% during that same period.

In 2014, the ratio between average American CEO pay and worker pay was 303-to-1. The 1965 ratio was 20-to-1.

http://fortune.com/2015/06/22/ceo-vs-worker-pay/

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018 7:50 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:

I do, and I explained it. I'm well aware that union pay goes up with minimum wage increases. That's an altogether separate problem that needs to be addressed. Not a reason not to increase minimum wage.

You haven't once addressed what I"m getting at. Which is you better build that moat around your house that I've been telling Second he needs to build around his.

I would like to see that revolt. The revolts of the 1960's were a good thing for the country, but I don't think workers and the unemployed and the poor will revolt today. I'd love to be proved wrong, but what we will probably get is a revolt at the polls in 2020 and four more years of Trump. The battle cry in the Presidential election of 1972 was "Why change Dicks in the middle of a screw? Nixon in 72!" We know how that election came out, don't we.

I think it appropriate when discussing Nixon to include art titled "I Swallowed A Bug" by Jerantino. The art was posted today.
www.deviantart.com/art/I-Swallowed-A-Bug-729499738

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018 11:33 AM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:
Quote:

Originally posted by JO753:
Odd how the GoPs never mention investor dividendz or executiv pay having an inflationary effect.

Huge effect. Add to that all the bonuses and golden parachutes that they get even if they were complete failures.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

I will ask you to stay on topic.
What is the Inflation-causing effect of Investor Dividends, or Executive Pay? What is the cause-and-effect relationship?

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018 11:54 AM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:
Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:
Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:
Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
Not sure if you are intentionally avoiding the question

Yes I am. It's irrelevant.
Quote:

You seem to be decrying the effects of inflation, but your solution is to ramp up inflation by Increasing Minimum Wage?

I know what you're getting at.

I am fair certain you do not.

I do, and I explained it. I'm well aware that union pay goes up with minimum wage increases.

No, you did not explain it previously.
Are you now admitting that you understand that Union Pay Schedules are tied to the Federal Minimum Wage?
If the Minimum Wage is increased by 100%, like from $7.50/hr to $15/hr, then the Minimum Union Scale goes up also. If the base Union Wage Rate is 20% above, then it went from $9 to $18. The tiers of the Union Scale above that base also are boosted by percentage, depending upon Contract Language. So the $30/hr becomes $60/hr. The non-Union wages remain about 80% of the Union Wage, so $24 becomes $48/hr.
This is a fairly simple and circular formula, all predicated on Minimum Wage Increase.
The Minimum Wage worker gets $7.50 more per hour, the bottom rung Union worker gets $9 more per hour, the higher tier gets $30 more per hour, the non-Union worker gets $24 more per hour. So, which of those has the greater increase in buying power? It it clear that the Minimum Wage worker now has their low buying power made even worse, by inflating the wages of everybody else.
If that wasn't simple enough for you, then understand that the Minimum Wage worker has the least likely opportunity for overtime. So 40 hours per week moves them from $300/wk to $600/wk. The worker at the base of the Union Schedule is more likely to get opportunity for up to 20 hours at Time-and-a-half ($270 to $540) and perhaps 15 hours of Double Time ($270 to $540) per week. So from $900/wk to $1,800/wk. Hours beyond that are usually at far higher rates than Double Time. The higher tier Union worker with the same overtime opportunities will go from $3,000/wk to $6,000/wk.
So the Minimum Wage worker who whined for the Increase of $300 per week is competing in the economic market place with those who the Increase garnered $900/wk (possibly for the same work) or $3,000/wk for the semi-skilled. Who do you REALLY think is the winner there? And who just chopped off their foot? For example, housing rents are not going to stay stagnant for long, with between $300 and $3,000 extra per week floating around (merely among Wage workers), so who do you think will be getting the best living accommodations, and who will need to find a cheaper place?

There are standard business models, which largely are similar across industries. Let's take Restaurants, where many Minimum Wage workers are oft employed. To calculate how much must be charged for the product, how to price the food, they know that of all the income, 1/3 should go to the payroll, meaning the costs of having and paying the employee. From that base reference, all else follows. IIRC, the material cost (the food) should be kept under 1/3. And the remaining 1/3 goes to business expenses like rent, utilities, taxes, maintenance, other overhead. By payroll, this means that if the worker "earns" $7.50/hr, then each hour generally costs the employer $15/hr. So very simply, what the worker earns is 1/6 of the factor for cost of the product.
So if the employee doubled their pay-per-hour at a place that serves $3 hamburgers, the price must be sextupled to $18 burgers in order for the restaurant to not go out of business.
So the Minimum Wage worker who whined for their Wage to be doubled now has all purchasing expenses multiplied times 6. Did the whiner benefit themselves, or just cut off their other foot?

All based upon Minimum Wage Increase. Every greedy worker who is not you hopes you get your Increase so that you lose while people who care about the economy, the trade imbalance, the global competition of 10 cent per hour labor, and your own well-being are hoping that Minimum Wage Increase is not the way you increase your pay.

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018 12:21 PM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:

So the Minimum Wage worker who whined for the Increase of $300 per week is competing in the economic market place with those who the Increase garnered $900/wk (possibly for the same work) or $3,000/wk for the semi-skilled. Who do you REALLY think is the winner there? And who just chopped off their foot?

JewelStaiteFan, you are recapitulating plantation economics: We can't pay the slaves more than food, clothing and shelter because that will cause an inflationary spiral in the cost of cotton and destroy the Confederacy's economy based on slaves working at the absolute minimum wage. Our dear slaves "just chopped off their foot" if we planters can't sell our bales of cotton because the price is too high.

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018 1:56 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:

Are you now admitting that you understand that Union Pay Schedules are tied to the Federal Minimum Wage?



Did I ever argue it? It's irrelevant to my argument and it's an excuse to do nothing until it's too late.

Please show me where I said to raise the minimum wage to $15/hr. I've never once said that. In fact, I've argued loudly against it because it would be too great a shock to the system.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018 2:14 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:
Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
Are you now admitting that you understand that Union Pay Schedules are tied to the Federal Minimum Wage?

Did I ever argue it? It's irrelevant

Please show me where I said to raise the minimum wage to $15/hr. I've never once said that.

$15/hr was an example, and it has been widely proposed and endorsed.
Regardless of the amount, Minimum Wage Increase is the root of the same circular formula resulting in the Minimum Wage worker losing buying power.
You are merely saying you want to more gradually put Minimum Wage workers out of work, back on their couch playing games.

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018 4:16 PM

JO753

rezident owtsidr


Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
What is the Inflation-causing effect of Investor Dividends, or Executive Pay? What is the cause-and-effect relationship?



The premis uv minimum waje earnerz getting more money automaticly cauzing inflation iz based on the idea that prise uv the goodz and servisez they provide will haf to go up the same amount.

Wut if insted, the upper manajment all the way up to the CEO get less pay to make up for the increased labor cost?

How many burger flipper salaryz duz the McDonaldz CEO, CFO, Prezidentz, VPz, etc etc etc (there are duzenz uv titlez and ranks) equal? All the grossly overpaid peeps who hav next to nothing to do with getting that burger into your handz. Suppoze we cap executiv pay at 2,000,000$.

This goez for every company in the supply chain also.

Then, wut if McDonaldz gets off the stock market? Wut happenz to all the money that wuz being given to investorz? (who hav absolutely nothing to do with getting you your Big Mac)

Wut do you propoze to do with all that money?

I think the real workerz coud get a pretty good boost to their pay AND the price uv the food coud go way down!

JSF, I dont watch Fox very often. Just occasionally look in on Hannity or Carlson to see how they are spinning the latest Trump atrosity, but I think its next to impossible for them to hav hidden the welth gap problem from their fanz all theze yirz. So you must hav herd about the top 1% owning more than the bottom 90%.

How do you think that happened?



----------------------------
DUZ XaT SEM RiT TQ YQ? - Jubal Early

http://www.7532020.com

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018 5:18 PM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Why isn't pay rising faster?
www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2014/10/29/the-surprising-truth-abou
t-where-new-jobs-come-from/#768d7a0a3382


What do established firms use their money for? We know that the big firms don’t use it for investment as much as one might expect. In a Financial Times article entitled “Corporate investment: A mysterious divergence” Robin Harding helped resolve a conundrum that had puzzled the world’s top economists: why is net investment at a measly 4 percent of output when pre-tax corporate profits are now at record highs – more than 12 percent of GDP?

In standard economic theory, this makes no sense. When profits go up, companies should be seizing investment opportunities to lay the groundwork for even more profits in future. In turn, that investment should create jobs and lead to higher wages. That’s how capitalism is meant to work.

As it happens, we have the kind of thing that you rarely see in economics—a study that enables us to pinpoint the problem by offering “with” and “without” data.

It’s brilliant work by economists from the Stern School of Business and Harvard Business School, Alexander Ljungqvist, Joan Farre-Mensa, and John Asker, in an article entitled “Corporate Investment and Stock Market Listing: A Puzzle?” which compares the investment patterns of public companies and privately held firms. It turns out that the lag in investment is a phenomenon of the public companies more than the privately held firms.

“They find that, keeping company size and industry constant, private US companies invest nearly twice as much as those listed on the stock market: 6.8 per cent of total assets versus just 3.7 per cent.” Large publicly-owned firms are simply not investing enough to grow the economy.

Guess where all that money goes?

So if the money doesn’t go into job creation or investment, where does it all go? One part of the answer is that the firms are just sitting on the money, not seeing opportunities for investment. Another part of the answer is given by William Lazonick in HBR and the New York Times: an astonishing amount goes to share buybacks.

“From 2004 to 2013, 454 companies in the S&P 500 Index expended 51 percent of their profits, or $3.4 trillion, on repurchases, on top of 35 percent of profits on dividends… More than three-quarters of compensation for the 500 highest-paid executives came from stock options and stock awards.”

“So who gains from open-market repurchases? Their sole purpose is to give a company’s stock price a manipulative boost, and prime beneficiaries are the corporate executives who decide to do them... For corporate executives, stock-based pay is a ticket to membership in the 0.1 percent top-income club. So why do we let executives manipulate the stock market?"

As The Economist has written, the Blue Chips' use of share buybacks is the equivalent of becoming addicted to snorting "corporate cocaine."

“We are reaping the bitter fruits of the ‘shareholder value’ revolution," as Matthew Yglesias at Slate writes. "Executives at publicly traded companies are paid to generate higher share prices, which is done by hitting quarterly earnings targets. This leads to underinvestment relative to the behavior of managers of privately held firms.”

As Harding concludes, it is “time to stop thinking about corporate governance and executive pay as matters of equity and to regard them instead as a macroeconomic problem of the first rank.”

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Wednesday, February 7, 2018 8:17 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


US trade gap with China swells to record US$375 Billion
Business | 7 Feb 2018 11:48 am
www.thestandard.com.hk/breaking-news.php?id=102660&sid=2

US President Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to overturn trade policy and bring down the country’s massive, persistent trade deficits.

After a year in the White House, he still has a lot of work to do.

The Commerce Department reported Tuesday that the U.S. trade deficit in goods and services grew by 12 percent to US$566 billion last year, biggest since 2008. A record US$2.9 trillion in imports swamped US$2.3 trillion in exports last year.

The deficit in the goods trade with China — frequently accused of unfair trading practices by the White House — hit a record US$375.2 billion in 2017. The goods gap with Mexico climbed to US$71.1 billion.

"Trump’s trade team has not been able to stem the flood of imports into the country yet,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank.

The trade gap grew even though the U.S. dollar dropped nearly 7 percent last year against the currencies of its major trading partners, a move that gives U.S. companies a price edge in foreign markets and makes imports pricier in America.

Dean Baker, senior economist at the left-leaning Center for Economic and Policy Research, says it takes time for a weaker dollar to have an impact on the trade balance.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the trade deficit "ultimately will be reduced” by a combination of new or renegotiated trade pacts and a crackdown on abusive foreign trade practices. He cited the administration’s decision last month to impose tariffs on cheap Chinese solar panels and South Korean washing machines. But Ross said "it is not practical to set an exact deadline” for narrowing the trade gap.

Countries run trade deficits when they buy more products from other countries than they sell and run surpluses when they export more than they import. The United States has not turned a trade surplus since 1975, when Gerald Ford sat in the White House and "Jaws” ruled the box office.

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Wednesday, February 7, 2018 10:25 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Don’t kid yourself. The future is bleak.
by Matt O'Brien
www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/02/06/dont-kid-yourself-the-f
uture-is-bleak/?utm_term=.25a16da0b697


Democracy is really a prisoner's dilemma, and we're losing at ours.

That, at least, is the message of the depressingly timely new book “How Democracies Die” by Harvard University professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt. It turns out, you see, that whether government of the people, by the people and for the people will in fact perish doesn't just depend on how good a job we did at setting up our political system. If it did, all the Latin American ones that copied our Constitution wouldn't have seen theirs fall apart. No, the survival of our democracy is also a matter of how good a job we do at fighting fair even when we don't have to.

In other words, whether we follow both the written and unwritten rules of politics.

The problem, of course, is that we haven't done that for a while now, and it doesn't look as though that's about to change. That's made our democracy devolve into trench warfare even in the best of times, and maybe a democracy in name only if the worst were ever to come to pass. That might sound alarmist, but just because you're paranoid doesn't mean President Trump isn't trying to undermine the rule of law.

Most of what we're talking about, though, doesn't have anything to do with the White House's current occupant. It's more the fact that everything gets filibustered nowadays. Or that opposition parties semi-regularly shut down the government to try to get their way. Or even say that they'll force the government to default on the debt if their demands aren't met. This is not normal. Or at least it didn't used to be. While there aren't any formal rules against these things, they're the type of hardball tactics that parties rarely, if ever, used before. That's because they knew the other side would respond in kind until our consensus-driven institutions, in particular, the Senate, stopped working altogether.

What changed? Well, the Republican Party did. They're the ones who shut the government down in the 1990s, the ones who threatened to breach the debt ceiling in 2011, the ones who shut the government down again in 2013 and the ones who blocked a sitting president from filling an empty Supreme Court seat simply because they could. A big part of this is that the party was taken over by the conservative movement, which is more hostile to compromise than everybody else. The rest, though, is that it stayed white and Christian at the same time that the Democratic Party and the country at large were becoming much more diverse and secular. They didn't just see their opponents as people with different ideas, but as different people, period.

The result has been what political scientists Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein call “asymmetric polarization”: Republicans have moved much further to the right than Democrats have to the left. Not only that, but they've been much more willing to use extreme measures to get what they want. They think that everything is their final chance to stop the country from changing forever — “the 2012 election may be the last opportunity for Republicans,” wrote former South Carolina senator and Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint, because “Republican supporters will continue to decrease every year as Americans become more dependent on the government" — and that their opponents aren't “real Americans” like they are. Who cares, then, if what they're doing isn't considered proper? There are bigger issues at stake.

But in politics, as in physics, every action has a (mostly) equal and opposite reaction. Sure, Democrats haven't held the full faith and credit of the United States hostage as Republicans have, but they did just shut down the government and have embraced the filibuster with equal vigor. What else are they supposed to do? Both parties would be better off cooperating with each other than they are now, but they'd be even better off if they were the only ones not working together. That's a prisoner's dilemma, and it's easy to get stuck in a negative equilibrium. After all, you can't just start cooperating on your own. You both have to do it — and why would you trust someone who hasn't been? Take the Supreme Court. If a seat comes up and Democrats have won the Senate back, should they let Trump fill it? Almost certainly not. There's just no reason to think that this would make a Republican majority ever extend a Democratic president the same courtesy again. Virtue, then, wouldn't be its own reward, but rather the self-righteousness you feel at being on the wrong end of Supreme Court decisions for the next 30 years.

Which brings us to the bleakest part of all. The only way democracies stop being so polarized is after some kind of catastrophe — a catastrophe that more often than not is brought on by, yes, polarization. Indeed, the two most optimistic examples that Levitsky and Ziblatt can come up with are the way Chile's parties from across the ideological spectrum were eventually able to set aside their rather substantial differences to support democracy in the years after Augusto Pinochet's coup and how German conservatives managed to overcome their traditional Catholic-Protestant divide to do the same in the wake of World War II. Remember, the fact that democracy can come back after a dictatorship is supposed to be the good news here. The bad news, Ziblatt told me, is that there hasn't been any other way out once one side starts treating politics as war by other means. "No matter how long the other one holds out,” he said, “they will eventually respond tit for tat,” and he “can't think of” any countries that have broken this cycle of partisan retribution.

The point is that people have to believe in a higher principle than winning. When they don't, when they're willing to ignore a court's order to stop gerrymandering and try to keep their opponents from even getting to the polls with a voter ID law that a federal court said would “target African Americans with almost surgical precision,” well, that's when they'd go so far as to vote for someone they'd said was a “kook” and a “con man” and the type of person who'd made “the textbook definition of a racist comment.” And once they've done that, there's no telling how far they might go. Maybe they'd turn a blind eye to the president's conflicts of interests overseas, or participate in low-level corruption by holding events at his hotels, or even attack law enforcement officials for investigating him.

Democracy doesn't end with a bang or a whimper, but rather a laugh about your enemies losing.


The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Wednesday, February 7, 2018 7:16 PM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Today’s budget deal is the proof: Republicans never cared about the deficit

Republicans used to profess to be extremely worried about the budget deficit. Many of us suspected at the time that they were full of it. And one big thing we’ve learned this week is that they were, indeed, full of it.

Back in 2012, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the budget deficit “the nation’s most serious long-term problem.” That same year, House Speaker Paul Ryan called it a “serious threat” to the economy. They were full of it.

Today’s budget deal — a big, multi-billion dollar increase in military spending “offset” by a nearly-as-large increase in non-military spending — gives up the game entirely. They don’t care, on any level, about the size of the federal budget deficit.

www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42981072

With Bushonomics completely discredited by 2009, the GOP was clearly in need of a brand refresh.

What they came up with was the “Tea Party” and the insistence that the big lesson of the Bush years was that Republicans had moved away from conservative economic orthodoxy. That — at least in theory — is why Republicans opposed Obama’s stimulus bill in 2009. Then Trump won and the Tea Party rebrand became obsolete in 2016.

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Wednesday, February 7, 2018 11:23 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by second:
Today’s budget deal is the proof: Republicans never cared about the deficit

Republicans used to profess to be extremely worried about the budget deficit. Many of us suspected at the time that they were full of it. And one big thing we’ve learned this week is that they were, indeed, full of it.

Back in 2012, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the budget deficit “the nation’s most serious long-term problem.” That same year, House Speaker Paul Ryan called it a “serious threat” to the economy. They were full of it.

Today’s budget deal — a big, multi-billion dollar increase in military spending “offset” by a nearly-as-large increase in non-military spending — gives up the game entirely. They don’t care, on any level, about the size of the federal budget deficit.

www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42981072

With Bushonomics completely discredited by 2009, the GOP was clearly in need of a brand refresh.

What they came up with was the “Tea Party” and the insistence that the big lesson of the Bush years was that Republicans had moved away from conservative economic orthodoxy. That — at least in theory — is why Republicans opposed Obama’s stimulus bill in 2009. Then Trump won and the Tea Party rebrand became obsolete in 2016.

So Obama Averaged $1.25 Trillion Deficit per year.
The Trump Tax Reform reportedly over a 10 year span reduces Revenue by $150 Billion per year.
The link you gave indicates almost $300 Billion more outlays over 2 years, or $150 Billion per year.
So Trump's first FY adds $300 Billion for the year, compared to Obama's record of $1,250 Billion per year. Not horrific progress made by Trump in his first attempt.

Obama's FY2017 claimed a $503 Billion Deficit with $3,644 Billion Revenues and $4,147 Billion Outlays.

Obama saddled FY2018 with claimed $454 Billion deficit, $3,899 Revenues, and $4,352 Billion Outlays using static projections.

If Trumponomics generates a 4% increase in Revenue the "Tax Reform Revenue Reduction" will be eliminated, wiped out, erased. If an 8% increase is realized, this new spending increase will also be balanced, wiped out. Much better hope for that than Obamanomics ever pretended.

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Thursday, February 8, 2018 9:40 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Democrats' strategic strike against gerrymandering
www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/monitor_breakfast/2018/0207/In-Democrat
s-strategic-strike-against-gerrymandering-Holder-leads-the-charge


Political gerrymandering 'a fundamental affront to our system of democracy.'

Two cases before Supreme Court

Partisan gerrymandering lies at the heart of two cases before the US Supreme Court – one brought by Democrats in Wisconsin, the other by Republicans in Maryland. The cases show that partisan gerrymandering is an equal-opportunity practice. How the justices rule could reshape the conduct of US elections.

A lawsuit over North Carolina’s congressional map is working its way through the courts. And last month, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a Texas case on racial gerrymandering.

Another challenge for Democrats is that their voters are clustered in cities and towns and on the coasts, which hurts their chances of winning power, Mr. Wasserman notes. The trend toward partisan “sorting” – people choosing to live near like-minded people – means there’s only so much Democrats can do in redrawing district lines.

“The truth is, gerrymandering compounds sorting,” says Wasserman. “When we’ve had a balkanization or a polarization of voters on the map to the degree we’ve seen in the last 20 years, it becomes easier for partisans drawing the maps to create safely Democratic or safely Republican seats.”

Safe seats often lead to the election of members who don’t feel the need to work across the aisle, contributing to polarization. Elections in such districts are often decided in the primaries, which are dominated by the most hard-line partisan voters.

So the creation of more competitive congressional districts could ease polarization, at least somewhat.

Citizen-led efforts to reform redistricting are under way in seven states, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University. Some involve ballot initiatives, others are trying to pass legislation. But taking redistricting out of the hands of partisans is difficult.

Only four states ­– Arizona, California, Idaho, and Washington – use an independent commission to draw congressional districts. In 37 states, the state legislature draws the boundaries, and in most, the governor must approve the map. Two states, Hawaii and New Jersey, use politician commissions. Seven states have just one member of the House, and thus there’s no congressional redistricting and gerrymandering is impossible.

“I actually think that a movement toward nonpartisan commissions is in some ways the purest way to do this [redistricting],” says Holder. “But I deal with reality, and between now and 2021, we're not going to get commissions in all of these states.”

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Thursday, February 8, 2018 3:00 PM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


What Happened to All the Jobs Trump Promised?

President Trump has made many claims promising that individual companies such as Amazon, Alibaba and Boeing will hire large – and specific – numbers of American workers, a total of 2.4 million in all. Only about 206,000 of those jobs have been created so far. Roughly 136,000 of those were genuinely new positions, as opposed to slots that were planned before the presidential election. Some 63,000 of them are potentially attributable to Trump, according to the companies that did the hiring.

Just before Trump took office, Alibaba chief Jack Ma stood with the president-elect and promised 1 million U.S. jobs. But there’s no sign any Americans were actually hired. The Chinese e-commerce giant wasn’t planning to build facilities or hire coders in the U.S; it’s trying to recruit American merchants to use its platform with the expectation that those companies would then hire more people. Alibaba wouldn’t comment on its progress.

Trump claimed his trip to Saudi Arabia in May would create “millions” of American jobs. But no jobs were actually created. Lockheed Martin told ProPublica that 18,000 may eventually materialize if preliminary agreements proceed. Other companies that signed deals on the trip, such as Boeing and GE, couldn’t provide even estimates of potential hires.

In October, Trump hosted a signing ceremony for a big order of Boeing jets and said it would create 70,000 jobs. But the company isn’t planning such a hiring spree. A Boeing spokeswoman said the number is just an estimate – using a generic formula and the sticker price of the planes – of indirect jobs that may be supported or sustained.

In all, Trump has made 31 specific claims about companies adding or saving American jobs thanks to his intervention. We went back to see what’s become of those announcements.

https://projects.propublica.org/graphics/trump-job-promises

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Thursday, February 8, 2018 5:06 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
Quote:

Originally posted by second:
Today’s budget deal is the proof: Republicans never cared about the deficit

Republicans used to profess to be extremely worried about the budget deficit. Many of us suspected at the time that they were full of it. And one big thing we’ve learned this week is that they were, indeed, full of it.

Back in 2012, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the budget deficit “the nation’s most serious long-term problem.” That same year, House Speaker Paul Ryan called it a “serious threat” to the economy. They were full of it.

Today’s budget deal — a big, multi-billion dollar increase in military spending “offset” by a nearly-as-large increase in non-military spending — gives up the game entirely. They don’t care, on any level, about the size of the federal budget deficit.

www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42981072

With Bushonomics completely discredited by 2009, the GOP was clearly in need of a brand refresh.

What they came up with was the “Tea Party” and the insistence that the big lesson of the Bush years was that Republicans had moved away from conservative economic orthodoxy. That — at least in theory — is why Republicans opposed Obama’s stimulus bill in 2009. Then Trump won and the Tea Party rebrand became obsolete in 2016.

So Obama Averaged $1.25 Trillion Deficit per year.
The Trump Tax Reform reportedly over a 10 year span reduces Revenue by $150 Billion per year.
The link you gave indicates almost $300 Billion more outlays over 2 years, or $150 Billion per year.
So Trump's first FY adds $300 Billion for the year, compared to Obama's record of $1,250 Billion per year. Not horrific progress made by Trump in his first attempt.

Obama's FY2017 claimed a $503 Billion Deficit with $3,644 Billion Revenues and $4,147 Billion Outlays.

Obama saddled FY2018 with claimed $454 Billion deficit, $3,899 Revenues, and $4,352 Billion Outlays using static projections.

If Trumponomics generates a 4% increase in Revenue the "Tax Reform Revenue Reduction" will be eliminated, wiped out, erased. If an 8% increase is realized, this new spending increase will also be balanced, wiped out. Much better hope for that than Obamanomics ever pretended.

I forgot to point out that Obama's pretend Revenue growth was $255 Billion in one year, despite his record of extended Recession and stagnant economic growth.
A minor amount of actual, Real growth would, by comparison, generate real Revenue growth, erasing projected deficits.

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Thursday, February 8, 2018 9:48 PM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:

I forgot to point out that Obama's pretend Revenue growth was $255 Billion in one year, despite his record of extended Recession and stagnant economic growth.
A minor amount of actual, Real growth would, by comparison, generate real Revenue growth, erasing projected deficits.

I forgot to point out that no President has ever set the deficit; Congress does and always has.

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Friday, February 9, 2018 6:57 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:

I forgot to point out that Obama's pretend Revenue growth was $255 Billion in one year, despite his record of extended Recession and stagnant economic growth.
A minor amount of actual, Real growth would, by comparison, generate real Revenue growth, erasing projected deficits.

Then Trump is going in the wrong direction. He is doing worse than Obama.

Last May, the Trump administration released a budget projecting the United States would swing from a deficit of $440 billion in 2018 to a surplus of $16 billion in 2027. The budget called for deep cuts to domestic programs and a robust increase in military spending.

Instead, the opposite has happened.

The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget projects that the United States will run $2 trillion annual budget deficits by 2027 and have a debt-to-gross domestic product ratio of 105 percent — a level not seen since the end of World War II.

“With this deal, we will experience trillion-dollar deficits permanently,” said Andy Roth, vice president of the conservative Club for Growth. “That sort of behavior, the last time I checked, is not in the Republican platform.”

The seeds of this ballooning debt load are already taking root — the Treasury Department said last month that it expects to borrow $955 billion this fiscal year (not the $440 billion previously projected) and more than $1 trillion in both 2019 and 2020. That money appears set to get only more expensive to borrow, as the Federal Reserve looks to continue raising interest rates and investors demand higher returns from an increasingly debt-laden government.

Indeed, the borrowing spree is contributing to recent volatility in financial markets, as investors fret that the additional fiscal stimulus, paired with a strengthening economy, could fuel inflation and translate into higher interest rates more quickly than anticipated.

www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/republicans-learn-to-love-deficit-spen
ding-they-once-loathed/ar-BBITo1p

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Friday, February 9, 2018 2:48 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by second:
Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:

I forgot to point out that Obama's pretend Revenue growth was $255 Billion in one year, despite his record of extended Recession and stagnant economic growth.
A minor amount of actual, Real growth would, by comparison, generate real Revenue growth, erasing projected deficits.

Then Trump is going in the wrong direction. He is doing worse than Obama.

Last May, the Trump administration released a budget projecting the United States would swing from a deficit of $440 billion in 2018 to a surplus of $16 billion in 2027. The budget called for deep cuts to domestic programs and a robust increase in military spending.

Instead, the opposite has happened.

The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

lol. "Non-partisan". Hallmark term for ultra-Libtards who wish to hide their bias and disguise their imbalance. Not even much of a hearty attempt.
Quote:

projects that the United States will run $2 trillion annual budget deficits by 2027 and have a debt-to-gross domestic product ratio of 105 percent — a level not seen since the end of World War II.

“With this deal, we will experience trillion-dollar deficits permanently,” said Andy Roth, vice president of the conservative Club for Growth. “That sort of behavior, the last time I checked, is not in the Republican platform.”

The seeds of this ballooning debt load are already taking root — the Treasury Department said last month that it expects to borrow $955 billion this fiscal year (not the $440 billion previously projected) and more than $1 trillion in both 2019 and 2020. That money appears set to get only more expensive to borrow, as the Federal Reserve looks to continue raising interest rates and investors demand higher returns from an increasingly debt-laden government.

Indeed, the borrowing spree is contributing to recent volatility in financial markets, as investors fret that the additional fiscal stimulus, paired with a strengthening economy, could fuel inflation and translate into higher interest rates more quickly than anticipated.

www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/republicans-learn-to-love-deficit-spen
ding-they-once-loathed/ar-BBITo1p


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Friday, February 9, 2018 3:22 PM

THGRRI


Moldova: official asks Russia to keep out of local politics

BUCHAREST, Romania
A top Moldovan official on Friday accused Russia of meddling in domestic politics in an election year and called on Moscow to respect the former Soviet republic.


http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/article199267474.html


T

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Friday, February 9, 2018 3:40 PM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
Quote:

Originally posted by second:

The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

lol. "Non-partisan". Hallmark term for ultra-Libtards who wish to hide their bias and disguise their imbalance. Not even much of a hearty attempt.

JewelStaiteFan didn’t check so much as one damn thing before writing about the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, did you?
www.crfb.org
www.crfb.org/debtfixer
https://twitter.com/BudgetHawks
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Committee_for_a_Responsible_Federal_Budg
et

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Saturday, February 10, 2018 5:32 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


We like to imagine American politics as a kind of scored debate, with political actors as the debaters, the media as the judge, and the public as the audience. Much of cable news is based on this metaphor. Panelists from different sides of issues are introduced to “debate” an issue; shows sell themselves as “no-spin zones”; networks brag that they’re “fair and balanced” or place “facts first.” Under this conception of American politics, a memo that proves a fraud, an argument that proves a bust, a politician who is seen to lie — all of it is revealed and punished, the system self-regulates.

But that metaphor is often wrong, and it’s particularly wrong in the ecosystem driven by Fox News and Trump’s Twitter account. If you’re just trying to activate your tribe, you don’t have to win the argument, you just need to have an argument; you need to give your tribe something to believe.

There are plenty of outlets trying to fact-check the claims, working hard to align their reporting with reality, trying to explain what’s actually happening. But explaining takes some time, it takes dates, and it takes an interest in the explanation and some interest in the people delivering it. This work never reaches most of the people convinced by the original stories, and it likely wouldn’t be credible to them even if it did. As David Roberts wrote in his important essay on tribal epistemology:

Information is evaluated based not on conformity to common standards of evidence or correspondence to a common understanding of the world, but on whether it supports the tribe’s values and goals and is vouchsafed by tribal leaders. “Good for our side” and “true” begin to blur into one.

You don’t need to win the argument. You don’t need to even have the facts. All you need is to offer your side an alternative story in which to believe, a story that makes you sound trustworthy and your enemies untrustworthy. All you need to do is craft a semi-plausible (if not entirely coherent) counternarrative, so that those who don’t want to look past the facade of Trump’s Potemkin village don’t have to.

www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/2/9/16991410/trump-fox-nunes-fbi-
warner-texts

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Sunday, February 11, 2018 7:39 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Republicans wouldn’t spend to save US jobs until the crisis was over. Then it was too much, too late.

In 2018, with unemployment at 4.1% and interest rates on the rise, the GOP has enacted tax breaks and spending increases to the tune of $3 trillion, far more than the $800 billion included in the stimulus bill Obama and the Democrats passed over objections of every Congressional Republican in 2009.

In 2011, with unemployment at 9% and borrowing costs falling, the GOP forced a fiscal showdown that ultimately put strict caps on US borrowing, limiting the government’s ability to invest and create jobs at a critical time. Not satisfied, representative Paul Ryan proposed $5 trillion in budget cuts the next year, criticizing then-president Barack Obama’s desire to invest in infrastructure and energy projects as “looming crisis” that would bring a “crushing burden of debt.”
http://budget.house.gov/uploadedfiles/pathtoprosperity2013.pdf

Americans had to suffer through years of unemployment and slow growth while Republicans delayed opening the fiscal spigot and borrowing more money. The GOP is now set to borrow trillions at ever higher interest rates. Do you see what is wrong with the GOP’s strategy? If you don’t, then read https://qz.com/1203958 for more details.

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Sunday, February 11, 2018 11:45 AM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by second:
Republicans wouldn’t spend to save US jobs until the crisis was over. Then it was too much, too late.

In 2018, with unemployment at 4.1% and interest rates on the rise, the GOP has enacted tax breaks and spending increases to the tune of $3 trillion, far more than the $800 billion included in the stimulus bill Obama and the Democrats passed over objections of every Congressional Republican in 2009.

Are you again lying to Fans of Firefly?
You refer to the $800 Billion Stimulus Act in 2009, which was a complete failure due to all of it paid as kickbacks to his Donors.
Then there was the $600 Billion QE1.
Then was another $600 Billion for QE2.
Then another $480 Billion per year for QE3, which quickly got changed to $1 Trillion per year for 2013 and 2014.
Due to the failure of the Stimulus Act, Bobo demanded that he get his Stimulus Plan of 2011 passed, but reasonable people weren't buying it.
So more than $4 Trillion to prop up his failed Obamanomics, over 8 years, an average of $500 Billion per year.
And you compare this to Trump's $3 Trillion over 10 years, an average of $300 Billion per year?
Quote:


In 2011, with unemployment at 9% and borrowing costs falling, the GOP forced a fiscal showdown that ultimately put strict caps on US borrowing, limiting the government’s ability to invest and create jobs at a critical time. Not satisfied, representative Paul Ryan proposed $5 trillion in budget cuts the next year, criticizing then-president Barack Obama’s desire to invest in infrastructure and energy projects as “looming crisis” that would bring a “crushing burden of debt.”
http://budget.house.gov/uploadedfiles/pathtoprosperity2013.pdf

Americans had to suffer through years of unemployment and slow growth while Republicans delayed opening the fiscal spigot and borrowing more money. The GOP is now set to borrow trillions at ever higher interest rates. Do you see what is wrong with the GOP’s strategy? If you don’t, then read https://qz.com/1203958 for more details.

yah, sure. "Investing" in more McJobs, Silindra kickbacks for the Obama campaign, and nonexistent "shovel ready" jobs to benefit Democrap Donors, that would have been a genius plan.
Just because King and Queen Obama needed to siphon more Federal funds for their bank accounts, and Clinton Crime Family Foundation needed more kickback money doesn't mean it would have been beneficial to America.

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Sunday, February 11, 2018 2:21 PM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Forget the GOP’s obvious hypocrisy on spending — ever since the Bush era, it’s been clear that elected conservatives do not really care about deficits, except insofar as they make a handy club for whacking Democrats. Instead, worry about the lessons Republicans might draw from this experience. During Obama’s presidency, the GOP’s mania for spending cuts — and its ability to wring budget concessions out of the president — was an anchor on the economy at a critical moment when millions were suffering from the aftermath of a financial catastrophe. Yet, the party suffered precisely zero political consequences. Instead, they’re in power in part because of the slow, post-crises economy at the end stages of a recovery that could help them hold onto Congress in 2018. Moreover, it's clear that nobody actually expects them to make good on their rhetoric about fiscal prudence. They’ve abandoned it pretty much without punishment. Pushing austerity during a downturn and priming the pump when the economy is near full health might turn out to be an incredibly canny political strategy, even if it may have been unplanned. If there ever comes another time when sabotaging the economy might work to Republicans’ advantage, they have every incentive to do it again.

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Sunday, February 11, 2018 6:26 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by second:
Forget the GOP’s obvious hypocrisy on spending — ever since the Bush era, it’s been clear that elected conservatives do not really care about deficits, except insofar as they make a handy club for whacking Democrats. Instead, worry about the lessons Republicans might draw from this experience.

Baseless pablum. Were you referring here to Bush era as Bush43? Elected Republicans since then have been Congressmembers wringing Budget cut concessions from spendaholic Obamination, all that they could do. Appears you are allergic to facts and truth here.
But wait:
Quote:

During Obama’s presidency, the GOP’s mania for spending cuts — and its ability to wring budget concessions out of the president — was an anchor on the economy
Are you subverting sense with the premise that spending Cuts are an anchor on the economy, and the corollary that only Government spending can allow economic growth or expansion, and Federal Debt is not the actual anchor on the economy? You should put a warning label in when you slip that nonsense in the middle of a paragraph. "Entering the rabbit hole" might be good.
Quote:

at a critical moment when millions were suffering from the aftermath of a financial catastrophe. Yet, the party suffered precisely zero political consequences. Instead, they’re in power in part because of the slow, post-crises economy at the end stages of a recovery that could help them hold onto Congress in 2018. Moreover, it's clear that nobody actually expects them to make good on their rhetoric about fiscal prudence. They’ve abandoned it pretty much without punishment. Pushing austerity during a downturn and priming the pump when the economy is near full health might turn out to be an incredibly canny political strategy, even if it may have been unplanned. If there ever comes another time when sabotaging the economy might work to Republicans’ advantage, they have every incentive to do it again.


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Monday, February 12, 2018 6:22 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


The U.S. is not one two-party nation, but two one-party nations
https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/politics-is-more-partisan-now-but
-its-not-more-divisive/amp
/

Remember when Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill would supposedly come to compromise over drinks?

Here’s the thing: By some measures, the United States is more partisan than ever, but that more peaceful and unified past, that golden age of unity, was … pretty much never.

Let’s think for a moment about what the nature of political division looks like right now in the U.S. Using presidential election results, my FiveThirtyEight colleague David Wasserman found that elections are getting less and less competitive at the county level; a record number of counties in 2016 voted for either Trump or Hillary Clinton in a blowout. This is consistent with findings in political science that even when national presidential races are competitive, many individual states are not. Political scientists have characterized the polarized U.S. as “two one-party nations,” instead of one two-party nation.

The issues we fight over — gender, race, immigration, culture and the role of government — divide Americans neatly and consistently under party labels. The current moment feels divisive because major policy and political questions are “sorted” between the parties — Republicans are mostly unified around one set of answers, and Democrats are mostly unified around another.

American history is also riddled with divisions, including over many of the same questions that divide us now. In particular, race and immigration have long fueled intense fights. The difference is that much of the historical conflict on these issues occurred within parties, so we have to look beyond the tensions between Republicans and Democrats to understand it. Or, often these fights remained outside of electoral politics altogether, and thus those issues went unaddressed. While they might have made for some quieter presidential election years, these dynamics masked serious problems, like inequality, exclusion and violence.

Historically divided parties

For a sense of how much more political division used to play out within each party, look at presidential conventions. A few hundred party faithful gathered every four years to pick their presidential nominee. In many years, it took multiple ballots to come to agreement – in one case, 103. Ten or more ballots were hardly standard, but they weren’t unheard of. Even a few presidents whom we often look back on as unifying — like Lincoln and FDR — took multiple ballots to win the nomination.

Since 1952, of course, every Republican and Democratic convention has been settled on the first ballot. In part, that’s because of rule changes that tied delegate voting to caucus and primary results. But it also reflects the degree to which — especially after the South shifted toward the Republicans — the two major parties no longer have highly contentious factions that disagree on central policy questions. Had modern parties faced more internal division, more presidential conventions might have started without any candidate having reached the minimum delegate threshold needed to win. Indeed, there have been a few close calls, like 1964 and 1980. Things don’t always go smoothly. But more typically, presidential nominations are tied up well before the convention begins.

Before 1952, on the other hand, party members were more likely to duke it out among themselves. Some of the squabbles at these conventions reflected tensions between candidates and factions, but they usually mapped onto some of the same issues that divide us today.

Race and immigration

Lots of evidence suggests that race and immigration are two of the main drivers of our current divided state. Political scientist Michael Tesler found that racial attitudes mattered more in 2016 than in any recent election — even 2008, when the presence of an African-American candidate shaped the political conversation.

Racial divisions between parties haven’t exactly been unheard of in U.S. history. The Republican Party was founded on the principle of stopping slavery’s expansion.

But many of the major fights about race have also taken place within parties, which means that our usual measures of polarization might mask what’s really going on.

Conflicts between Northern and Southern Democrats, which often manifested in different convention votes for presidential and vice presidential nominees, escalated during the 1940s, for example. In 1944, Southern Democrats tried to organize a revolt against Roosevelt at the DNC, claiming to reassert “white supremacy” in a party that had started to move slowly in a more liberal direction on racial issues (such as with a speech by an African-American at the 1936 convention). In 1948, tensions between leaders pushing for civil rights progress and their opponents resulted in several delegations walking out of the convention and eventually creating their own ticket. Through the 1950s and 1960s, Democrats continued to be internally divided on these issues, with the civil rights faction eventually gaining ground.

Internal conflict over race wasn’t just a Democratic issue. After the Civil War, Republicans initially sought to win votes from newly enfranchised African-Americans. Over time, this question became more controversial, and eventually “lily white” Republicans gained influence in the party and pulled it away from efforts to be more racially inclusive. This meant halting efforts to include African-Americans in the party and abandoning efforts to support anti-lynching legislation.

Attitudes about immigration also have something to do with our current state of division. Because much of the political debate tends to focus on non-European immigration, it seems natural that immigration would combine with race along some kind of “diversity” dimension. But that wasn’t always the case. The 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, passed in the wake of the Civil Rights Act, opened up immigration and removed quotas based on country of origin. Before this era, immigration wasn’t necessarily considered one single issue. Country of origin mattered; politicians expressed very different views about immigrants from Northern Europe, Southern and Eastern Europe, and Asia.

The Democrats were historically the party of European immigrants. (Although the party was not lacking in nativist factions.) But as observed by Terry Golway, a historian who wrote a history of Tammany Hall, Democrats prided themselves on openness to immigrants but did not extend this openness beyond whites. Republicans, Golway said, boasted of their efforts to help African-Americans but struggled with serious anti-immigrant sentiment within their ranks and stressed the importance of assimilation.

Sometimes the two parties found common ground on immigration — but these aren’t the proudest moments of our history. At the end of the 19th century, both parties took relatively restrictive stances toward Asian immigrants, excluding whole nations of people from seeking U.S. citizenship — or even getting visas to come to the country — because of racist beliefs.

In other words, contending forces within the parties have at times kept race and immigration from dominating, say, presidential elections. But they also often kept progress on those issues from even making the public agenda. To the extent that we can trace the deep divisions of today to the civil rights era, we might understand them not as signs of contemporary dysfunction but as the results of finally addressing long-standing injustice and discrimination. The immigration issue is more complex, but cross-party unity has at times lent itself to overt discrimination. Superficial unity at the expense of full citizenship for all Americans is hard to defend. It’s worth noting that policies aimed at curbing racial discrimination in American life and immigration policy were also bipartisan efforts. But it’s far from a foregone conclusion that periods of unity were more just or equitable.

Why this matters

The sorting of issues about race and immigration have certainly contributed to the sense that Republican and Democratic voters are living in different worlds. The anger inspired by such questions makes it that much harder to reach governing compromises, especially when issues are increasingly regarded in racial terms.

These issues are difficult and divisive. It isn’t a trivial difference that they now separate the two parties from each other, where they once were points of internal contention. Partisan differences over fundamental issues of identity and justice certainly contribute to a sense that Republicans and Democrats live in two different worlds. But the thing is, looking closer reveals that Americans have pretty much always lived with major differences in experiences and opinions. Furthermore, periods in which the two parties were less clearly “sorted” have produced immigration policies that excluded whole nations and racial groups, and — in many cases — what amounted to an elite consensus to do nothing about violence and inequality.

Before we let nostalgia for compromise go too far, we might consider that finding common ground politically has sometimes made things worse.


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Monday, February 12, 2018 7:03 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


America lost a war to Russia in 2016.

Trump’s fantasy of a military parade and Trump’s choice to release or block congressional memos about the Russia probe were the two big stories of last week. At first glance, they have nothing to do with one another. In fact, they are part of the same story: a grand cover-up of American defeat.

In the past, the United States has organized grand military parades: but always after a victory in war, and always as a way of welcoming soldiers back to civilian life. So it was after the Civil War, the First World War and the Second World War. Such parades marked a moment and made perfect sense.

The problem today is that the United States has not just won a war, but lost one. Carl von Clausewitz, the great student of war, defined its aim as altering the will of the enemy. America lost a cyberwar to Russia in 2016. Defeat is hard to face; but every delay in facing the hard facts makes matters worse. This is no time for parades.

A country that treats defeat as a victory invites calamity. The only serious American response to Russia’s violation of its sovereignty, the Mueller investigation, is now also a target of Russian cyberwar. As reporting by Politico has shown, the very strange decision to release a highly partisan (and very partial) hit memo against Mueller was in large part a consequence of a cyber campaign in which Russian bots played a major part.
www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/02/04/trump-twitter-russians-rele
ase-the-memo-216935


No array of tanks, whether at their bases or on parade in Washington, can protect us against cyberwar. Serious national defense would involve a serious defense against actual threats to sovereignty, rather than costly gestures meant to change the subject.

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/12/america-cyberwar-russia-
2016-memo-truth

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Monday, February 12, 2018 11:35 AM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by second:
America lost a war to Russia in 2016.

Trump’s fantasy of a military parade and Trump’s choice to release or block congressional memos about the Russia probe were the two big stories of last week. At first glance, they have nothing to do with one another. In fact, they are part of the same story: a grand cover-up of American defeat.

In the past, the United States has organized grand military parades: but always after a victory in war, and always as a way of welcoming soldiers back to civilian life. So it was after the Civil War, the First World War and the Second World War. Such parades marked a moment and made perfect sense.

The problem today is that the United States has not just won a war, but lost one. Carl von Clausewitz, the great student of war, defined its aim as altering the will of the enemy. America lost a cyberwar to Russia in 2016. Defeat is hard to face; but every delay in facing the hard facts makes matters worse. This is no time for parades.

A country that treats defeat as a victory invites calamity. The only serious American response to Russia’s violation of its sovereignty, the Mueller investigation, is now also a target of Russian cyberwar. As reporting by Politico has shown, the very strange decision to release a highly partisan (and very partial) hit memo against Mueller was in large part a consequence of a cyber campaign in which Russian bots played a major part.
www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/02/04/trump-twitter-russians-rele
ase-the-memo-216935


No array of tanks, whether at their bases or on parade in Washington, can protect us against cyberwar. Serious national defense would involve a serious defense against actual threats to sovereignty, rather than costly gestures meant to change the subject.

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/12/america-cyberwar-russia-
2016-memo-truth

Not a huge surprise, Democraps are always losing the Wars they get us into. That's the reason they get elected, to get us in to war, and then lose, to remind the voter they should have voted for the opposite party.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018 8:20 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Donald Trump doesn’t give a dam. Or a bridge. Or a road. Or a sewer system. Or any of the other things we talk about when we talk about infrastructure.

But how can that be when he just announced a $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan? That’s easy: It’s not a plan, it’s a scam. The $1.5 trillion number is just made up; he’s only proposing federal spending of $200 billion, which is somehow supposed to magically induce a vastly bigger overall increase in infrastructure investment, mainly paid for either by state and local governments (which are not exactly rolling in cash, but whatever) or by the private sector.

And even the $200 billion is essentially fraudulent: The budget proposal announced the same day doesn’t just impose savage cuts on the poor, it includes sharp cuts for the Department of Transportation, the Department of Energy and other agencies that would be crucially involved in any real infrastructure plan. Realistically, Trump’s offer on infrastructure is this: nothing.

That’s not to say that the plan is completely vacuous. One section says that it would “authorize federal divestiture of assets that would be better managed by state, local or private entities.” Translation: We’re going to privatize whatever we can. It’s conceivable that this would be done only in cases where the private sector really would do better, and contracts would be handed out fairly, without a hint of cronyism. And if you believe that, I have a degree from Trump University you might want to buy.

At one level, none of this should be a surprise. The current infrastructure non-plan looks a lot like the sketchy proposal the Trump campaign laid out in 2016, back when he was still pretending to be a different kind of Republican, less committed to the party’s economic orthodoxy. Even then he was claiming that he could do infrastructure on the cheap, that a relative pittance of federal money could somehow generate vast investment (although the mystery multiplier has gotten even bigger this time around).

First, the economics: America desperately needs to repair and upgrade its deteriorating roads, water systems, power grid and more. True, we’re no longer a depressed economy that needs public investment to put the unemployed back to work; massive infrastructure spending would have been an even better idea five years ago. But it’s still something that needs doing.

Where would the money come from? Well, if you don’t worry too much about deficits — and as we’ve just seen, Republicans don’t care at all about deficits as long as a Democrat isn’t in the White House — we can just borrow it. Despite a modest rise in interest rates, the federal government can still borrow very cheaply: The interest rate on inflation-protected long-term bonds is still less than 1 percent, which is below realistic estimates of long-run economic growth, let alone the Trump administration’s fantasy numbers. So borrowing now to pay for essential infrastructure would still be good economics.

And as I said, there would be political advantages, too. If Trump just pushed ahead with a straightforward, conventional public investment plan, he could trumpet the number of workers employed on new projects. Furthermore, he could surely find a way to stick his name on many of those projects. Historically, many politicians have had what’s known in the trade as an edifice complex — an urge to build big stuff to promote their personal brand and feed their vanity. Certainly Trump of all people would find that prospect appealing.

By the way, some Democrats feared that Trump really would go big on infrastructure, which might drive a wedge into their party and be highly popular besides.

Oh, and another point: Public spending can yield a lot of private profit. An infrastructure program involving real money could be very lucrative for Trump cronies, or for that matter Trump himself. Yes, there are rules that are supposed to prevent that kind of profiteering, but does anyone think those rules would be enforced under current management?

So why isn’t Trump proposing something real? Why this dog’s breakfast of a proposal that everyone knows won’t go anywhere?

Part of the answer is that in practice Trump always defers to Republican orthodoxy, and the modern G.O.P. hates any program that might show people that government can work and help people.

But I also suspect that Trump is afraid to try anything substantive. To do public investment successfully, you need leadership and advice from experts. And this administration doesn’t do expertise, in any field. Not only do experts have a nasty habit of telling you things you don’t want to hear, their loyalty is suspect: You never know when their professional ethics might kick in.

So the Trump administration probably couldn’t put together a real infrastructure plan even if it wanted to. And that’s why it didn’t.

www.nytimes.com/2018/02/12/opinion/donald-trump-infrastructure.html

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018 11:01 AM

THGRRI





T

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018 11:06 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


About those security clearances: Why is there so much chaos in the Trump administration?

Discussions with people who work in the Trump administration, or work closely with the Trump administration, make clear that the core of the staffing crisis is a management crisis.

Insiders tend to trace three zones of dysfunction, all of which overlap, and all of which destabilize daily functioning and, in turn, scare off potential recruits qualified for security clearances.

1) Trump doesn’t listen when you brief him, doesn’t read the documents you prepare for him, and can’t correctly remember what you’ve told him. And if you anger him, he will turn on you in a meeting or, worse, in public. No one wants to end up like Steve Bannon or Jeff Sessions. And none of this is a secret to those who might be qualified for these jobs and already have good jobs. The ones who aren't qualified? They'll jump at the chance.

2) Trump is heavily influenced by whoever gets to him last. The result is an ongoing battle, which plays out through both bureaucratic maneuvering and constant leaking, between the various ideological factions of the administration. These fights often seem catty and personal when they spill out into the press, but the stakes are nothing less than the direction of America’s domestic and foreign policy.

This makes the Trump White House a particularly dangerous place to work. All of the factions are constantly maneuvering to consolidate or regain influence by deposing members of rival factions.

In another administration, the hired chiefs of staff enforce the President’s will. But Trump’s views are so mutable, and he’s so deeply swayed by whoever gets into his office or onto his call list, that replacing Chief of Staff Kelly with someone else could actually lead to a completely different version of the Trump administration — it’s likely, for instance, that Chief of Staff Gary Cohn would have pushed Trump toward a deal on DREAMers, rather than away from one.

Trump has set up an administration where the direction of policy is up for grabs and the possible payoffs to deposing colleagues are huge. The results have been roughly as you’d expect.

3) Early staffing decisions have led to ongoing scandals and legal risks. The Trump administration’s haphazard staffing and vetting procedures caused dysfunction. In a normal administration, White House staff secretary Rob Porter would have left quietly when it came clear he cannot qualify for a full security clearance because of domestic violence. Instead, the Trump White House kept him on, only to have his past erupt into scandal.

Similarly, the Trump White House is mired in investigations circling the activities of Trump’s amateurish campaign crew — Donald Trump Jr. and Carter Page and George Papadopoulos and Michael Flynn and Jared Kushner would have been nowhere near the center of a normal presidential operation — and those investigations are discouraging new staffers from joining the administration because they don’t want the hefty legal fees of getting caught in the Russia investigation or whatever scandal may erupt next.

During the campaign, Trump repeatedly promised to “hire the best people.” But the best people want to work for the best bosses, in the best organizations. Trump hasn’t created anything of the kind. The Trump administration is a chaotic, dangerous place, where staffers operate under constant threat from Trump and each other, and in which the president is so uncertain of his own opinions and agenda that more staff energy goes into persuading him of what he believes than carrying out what he wants.

www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/2/13/17004108/trump-aides-legal-f
ees-firing-resignations

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018 11:10 AM

THGRRI


I just moved the video second. Sorry, but good post nonetheless.


T

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018 11:23 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by THGRRI:
I just moved the video second. Sorry, but good post nonetheless.

No need to be sorry, for I shall put the video back in place. Trump doesn't run his business as sloppily as his White House because he cares more deeply about his business and his money. Eventually Trump will move out of the White House and back to NYNY to give all his time and attention to his business. I perfectly understand why his job in the White House is only a distant second to the work Trump cares most about:



The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018 11:29 AM

THGRRI





T

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018 1:27 PM

JO753

rezident owtsidr


Its like worrying about a hole on the side uv a bucket wen the bottom iz completely gon.

----------------------------
DUZ XaT SEM RiT TQ YQ? - Jubal Early

http://www.7532020.com

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018 1:35 PM

THGRRI


Quote:

Originally posted by JO753:

Its like worrying about a hole on the side uv a bucket wen the bottom iz completely gon.





T

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018 7:09 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Democrats are cleaning up in special elections

Long story short, Trump remains historically unpopular for a president early in his second year, and Republicans are paying the price at the polls.

According to an extremely useful comprehensive spreadsheet compiled by Daily Kos, across 70 special elections in 2017, Democrats ran 10 points ahead of Clinton and 7 points ahead of Obama’s 2012 results. Those numbers have accelerated into 2018. Across 12 races, Democrats are running 23 points ahead of Clinton and 8 points ahead of Obama.

Historically speaking, special election results usually are somewhat predictive of midterm general election outcomes, though I don’t think anyone believes it’s realistic for Democrats to obtain a nationwide 23-point swing relative to Clinton’s numbers.

Meanwhile, the special elections are already having real-world impact.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has decided to leave a number of formerly GOP-held seats vacant rather than schedule special elections his party might lose, national Republicans are pushing the panic button on an upcoming special House election in Pennsylvania, and GOP leadership is letting scandal-plagued Rep. Blake Farenthold stick around in his seat rather than risk a special election.

www.vox.com/2018/2/13/17010368/florida-special-election-margaret-good



The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018 10:34 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Michael Cohen Says He’s the One Who Paid the Hush Money to Stormy Daniels. Just because he's nice.

OK, here’s my guess: Cohen paid Stormy; Kushner paid Cohen; Ivanka paid Kushner; Don Jr. paid Ivanka; and Don Jr.’s end-of-year bonus from The Trump Organization was $130,000 higher than last year thanks to his outstanding performance. You don’t believe me? Fine. Come up with a better theory.

President Trump’s lawyer said he paid $130,000 to Stormy Daniels out of his own pocket https://t.co/QtqUeqSFxG

— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 14, 2018

Please go on:

Full statement from Trump lawyer Michael Cohen on his payment to Stormy Daniels: https://pic.twitter.com/pG2SQkPJ9r

— Tarini Parti (@tparti) February 14, 2018

Michael Cohen is Trump’s longtime fixer lawyer. Even so, the twitterverse seems to have some skepticism about all this:

I would note: Michael Cohen says neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump Campaign reimbursed him for the payment to Stormy Daniels. He does not say that Donald J. Trump did not reimburse him. https://t.co/3KMhvq2ApV

— Josh Barro (@jbarro) February 14, 2018

“Mr. Cohen…didn’t rule out Mr. Trump reimbursing him for the payment.” https://t.co/XA2Cz6Bh52

— Laura Rozen (@lrozen) February 14, 2018



The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018 11:30 AM

JO753

rezident owtsidr


Duz it even matter?

Its not like she wuznt paid off or Trump didnt cheat on hiz wife just kuz the money didnt kum from hiz pocket.

----------------------------
DUZ XaT SEM RiT TQ YQ? - Jubal Early

http://www.7532020.com

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018 12:04 PM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by JO753:
Duz it even matter?

Its not like she wuznt paid off or Trump didnt cheat on hiz wife just kuz the money didnt kum from hiz pocket.

It matters only because when a President lies about matters of common sense, his lower echelon officials will take note. They will lie, too, following the President's example. Then every news conference and written press release becomes more and more full shit and unbelievable. I think we will be at that point very soon with the Trump administration.

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018 2:04 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


"According to an extremely useful comprehensive spreadsheet compiled by Daily Kos, across 70 special elections in 2017, Democrats ran 10 points ahead of Clinton and 7 points ahead of Obama’s 2012 results. Those numbers have accelerated into 2018. Across 12 races, Democrats are running 23 points ahead of Clinton and 8 points ahead of Obama."

Yanno what that spread between Hillary and Obama tells me? Hillary was a mistake that cost the election.




HAS IT NOT OCCURRED TO YOU BY NOW THAT IF YOU HAVE TO RESORT TO LOGICAL FALLACIES AND TROLLING YOUR SO-CALLED ARGUMENTS ARE LIES?

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018 2:16 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1C2MVeM2K7WgqmJw5RCQbWyTo2u73CX
1pI8zw_G-7BJo/edit#gid=0


Out of 70 special elections, dems flipped 13 and repubs flipped 1. But when I look at the numbers more closely, most places dems flipped were closer to the 50/50 mark. And in deeply repub territory, the margins hardly moved at all.




HAS IT NOT OCCURRED TO YOU BY NOW THAT IF YOU HAVE TO RESORT TO LOGICAL FALLACIES AND TROLLING YOUR SO-CALLED ARGUMENTS ARE LIES?

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018 2:59 PM

CAPTAINCRUNCH

... stay crunchy...


Quote:

Originally posted by JO753:
Duz it even matter?



I don't think so: he slept with her, we all know it. If you don't think so you are dumber than the usual Trump supporter. Even Melania knows it (not that we think she cares - she signed with the devil), so by denying it he's just feeding the MSM gravy train - ironic. What a comprehensive dumb shit, our president.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018 3:50 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


So what if he did sleep with anybody. What business is it of yours?

She signed on with the Devil? Hyperbole much?

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018 3:59 PM

JO753

rezident owtsidr


Quote:

Originally posted by second:I think we will be at that point very soon with the Trump administration.


I wuz there by January 21st 2017.

----------------------------
DUZ XaT SEM RiT TQ YQ? - Jubal Early

http://www.7532020.com

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018 5:00 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


If people believe that Trump is substantially lying about something so easy to uncover, it has the potential to flip people who are merely giving him a pass, though it won't change the minds of true fans.




HAS IT NOT OCCURRED TO YOU BY NOW THAT IF YOU HAVE TO RESORT TO LOGICAL FALLACIES AND TROLLING YOUR SO-CALLED ARGUMENTS ARE LIES?

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018 8:53 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by second:
Quote:

Originally posted by JO753:
Duz it even matter?

Its not like she wuznt paid off or Trump didnt cheat on hiz wife just kuz the money didnt kum from hiz pocket.

It matters only because when a President lies about matters of common sense, his lower echelon officials will take note. They will lie, too, following the President's example. Then every news conference and written press release becomes more and more full shit and unbelievable.

Do you mean, like:
I never inhaled.
I never had sex with that woman.
It depends upon what the definition of the word "is" is.
I never raped those women.
We were laughing through the tears at Ron Brown's Funeral.
Ron Brown died in a plane crash.
That bullet in Ron Brown's brain is irrelevant.
Vince Foster committed suicide.
Kara Hultgreen really didn't die from Pilot error.
Lying about common sense things?

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