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speedle
In general, I think it's bad form to pitch some other forum in here, but I had a thought and wanted to pass it on. I respectfully think that most of the threads and posts over here in the Newgate are quite insightful and knowledgeable regarding politics and world affairs. It turns out that there is a small forum just starting up that might be of interest to some of you. I present it here, without recommendation or comment, just FYI.

www.politicalchat.org

absinthist
The answer given for the random question was incorrect.
Tibro
Yes, who better to recognize a random incorrect answer. Thank you.

And thank you Speedle. I just can't see going to a forum where the sole purpose is engaging in political argument. I like it here where it serves to flesh out who I'm talking to. The political talk here isn't idle but it's not the main thrust of why I come or decisive of how I think of others here. I think I prefer it that way. I'd rather come to drink and if a political discussion breaks out then so be it, that's part of the give and take.
speedle
QUOTE(absinthist @ Nov 16 2010, 05:01 PM) *
The answer given for the random question was incorrect.


Ha!

I think it's George Bush, or George W. Bush, either or.

Tibro, fair enough, point well taken.
absinthist
QUOTE(speedle @ Nov 16 2010, 02:48 PM) *

I think it's George Bush, or George W. Bush, either or.

Whatever you call him, it is still incorrect. Either they hate him so much, their name is so sophisticated few can grasp or they love him so much the correct answer should be "the best president of the US" which neglects Ronald Reagan, who has actually been one of these*; furthermore, bush is teetoteller, so what kind of respect he shall gain? How many Poles have been killed in his stupid "wars" thus far?

*Jefferson Finis Davis?
Tibro
You would be surprised what kind of respect you might garner from being a teetotaler. Try it and find out, then you can tell me if I'm wrong.
absinthist
You have entered that phase? Great!

There are two kinds of weaknesses. One, when you cannot control your alcoholism, second, when you cannot control your sobriety. Join the club you fit the most in.
Tibro
I believe your examples are united by a single example of a kind of weakness. Be strong and try to see it. If you have enough kontrol.
absinthist
I am strong enough to kick your ass and have another. And wake up completely sober for work. That is also a controllable aspect thereof.
Shabba53
Wow, are you really doing the whole 'I can kick your ass even though I'm really sitting behind a keyboard' thing?

That's about as lame as someone can possibly get.
G&C
QUOTE(absinthist @ Nov 16 2010, 02:01 PM) *

The answer given for the random question was incorrect.

Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.
Donnie Darko
HA!
Jaded Prole
And it's a good thing -- Reagan too for that matter. Unlike a few lingering fascists, they have finally had their last word and departed.
Provenance
What Shabba said.
speedle
What Prole said.
R3al Caravano
Yep, I'm going to have to call BS on roughly this whole thread. What are you'all doing trying to up ratings?

Cheers!
speedle
Have at it Hoss.
R3al Caravano
Well, I give people for the most part the benefit of the doubt. It has something with the fact that I have trouble believing people are so stupid, or maybe a more correct phase is that people are so deluded. I would rather believe that someone is playing a con than do what they often do out of any justification whether if the justification is merely to their selves. The simple question still remains: are you being honest and more importantly are you being honest to your self? I know I get drunk on occasions and run my mouth, but it happens, and at some point I come to my senses. I really have no clue if Boggy is a neo-nazi, but it just seems strange to me. I would ask how many Polak jokes does it take to screw in a light bulb? Now that being said the whole idea of judgement based on physicality or religious beliefs seems to me a manner of deflection based on the inability of one to deal with the hand they were dealt. I prefer honest people and this is my only criteria placed on people.

If you were talking about the political site, I think it is a good one.

Cheers
Donnie Darko
Can somebody tell me what's so bad about this guy? Everybody left and right is shitting all over him but he still seems reasonable to me:
http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/Tax…20101207_MS_act

Kirk
I cant believe he gave another 52 weeks to the unemployed yet the liberals are saying he rolled over. Tax cuts are good for everybody, the temporary income tax was due to expire decades ago, there should be no income tax.
Donnie Darko
Sometimes I think he's the only mature person in office.

All these asshole news commentators and partisan democrats are bitching about how he has no spine, but I think what he did took more spine than any of those wankers in Congress and the Senate or newspaper editorialists have. It takes far more guts to risk your political reputation for the sake of accomplishing what you think is most important (tax cuts for the middle class and 13 more months of jobless benefits) than it does to throw a tantrum and fuck millions of people out of much needed money because you didn't get your way. The Rethuglicans were fully willing to sacrifice the middle class and jobless if the rich didn't get a tax cut, and the Jackass party seemed quite willing to let that happen in order to make the Rethuglicans look bad. How typical: the Republicans look out for the rich (i.e. themselves) and the Democrats look out for themselves (i.e. the rich).

Thankfully one person, the President, had the sense to walk away with half the pot rather than going all-in on a bluff. It's much easier to say no and accomplish nothing than to negotiate and accomplish something. I think he did a bold thing.

Of course it's still up to the bozos in the legislative branch to give him something to sign, so I'm sure they'll still do all they can to screw it up.
Artemis
QUOTE
the rich


What does that mean?
speedle
Donnie, I've got to disagree with you. Obama wouldn't have HAD to make that choice if he had played his cards right earlier in the year. He could have gotten the extension and kept the middle class tax rates where they are, all while (having painted the Re-Pubicans as the party that only cares about the "rich" by following advice he ignored) he could have let the Bush tax cuts on those top earners expire.

But, while he may yet be proven to have acted bravely, he did so after allowing himself to be painted into a corner.

The fact remains that, by and large, we haven't gotten what we were promised from this President.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(Artemis @ Dec 9 2010, 06:33 PM) *

QUOTE
the rich


What does that mean?


From my point of view, anybody making $200K a year or more is what I would call rich.
Artemis
I seem to remember he promised to put everything in the daylight, with websites to explain what he was doing and why - I guess that didn't extend to the Congress dominated at the time by his party, which proceeded to hold midnight votes, vote on bills not written yet, fail to explain what was really in bills, use cheap tricks to cut off debate, etc. etc.

In short, he's a liar and a tawdry product of the old school Chicago political machine that should have died with Al Capone.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(speedle @ Dec 9 2010, 07:20 PM) *

Donnie, I've got to disagree with you. Obama wouldn't have HAD to make that choice if he had played his cards right earlier in the year. He could have gotten the extension and kept the middle class tax rates where they are, all while (having painted the Re-Pubicans as the party that only cares about the "rich" by following advice he ignored) he could have let the Bush tax cuts on those top earners expire.

But, while he may yet be proven to have acted bravely, he did so after allowing himself to be painted into a corner.

The fact remains that, by and large, we haven't gotten what we were promised from this President.


When the Senate rules means that a 57-36 vote in favor of something means it completely fails, it's a miracle that Obama has been able to do anything at all since his inauguration. The vote would have been the same before the election, since Republicans have adopted the "just say no to everything" stance since he was elected. Newspaper editorialists keep acting like our hindsight is 20/20 and somehow the votes would have been there for this bill before the congressional elections, but the President doesn't make the Senate's schedule. Harry Reid is the douche we should be criticizing for a lack of foresight, not Obama. The Senate couldn't rescind don't ask don't tell, and they couldn't even pass a bill paying for 9/11 responder's health care, which would cost WAY less than tax cuts for the wealthy, but somehow these clowns would have been able to extend unemployment again and let the tax cuts for high earners expire then even though they can't do it now?

Do you believe Obama would say "bah, fuck my agenda, let's compromise on everything" if he had a Senate that supported him? The guy realizes that it's better to walk away from the poker table with something rather than nothing.
Artemis
Two hundred thousand is as arbitrary a figure as any.

Would that "anybody" include a small business owner who takes in 200K and plows it back (what's left of it after Federal, State, and local taxation that is) into his business, while providing the "jobs" of which Obama is so fond? He never saw a government job he didn't like and probably never held a real one himself, much less provided one out of his own pocket, of course.

When I think of "rich", I think of somebody with millions of dollars. Two hundred thousand won't buy a fancy house anymore even if you managed to CLEAR two hundred thousand, and you'd have to earn four hundred thousand to do that.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(Artemis @ Dec 9 2010, 08:20 PM) *

I seem to remember he promised to put everything in the daylight, with websites to explain what he was doing and why - I guess that didn't extend to the Congress dominated at the time by his party, which proceeded to hold midnight votes, vote on bills not written yet, fail to explain what was really in bills, use cheap tricks to cut off debate, etc. etc.

In short, he's a liar and a tawdry product of the old school Chicago political machine that should have died with Al Capone.


What lies did he tell?

The President can't get everything he promises done if he can't get the legislative branch to back his agenda. Not being able to accomplish what you set out to do and deliberately lying are very different things. Do you think he would have ran away from everything he proposed if he had the votes to get what he proposed? And if so, why?
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(Artemis @ Dec 9 2010, 08:24 PM) *

Would that "anybody" include a small business owner who takes in 200K and plows it back (what's left of it after Federal, State, and local taxation that is) into his business, while providing the "jobs" of which Obama is so fond? He never saw a government job he didn't like and probably never held a real one himself, much less provided one out of his own pocket, of course.


Being a lawyer is not a real job, but being a small business owner is? Why can't they both be real jobs? If somebody puts their time into something and gets paid for it, that's a real job. If somebody inherits a pile of money, that's not a job, but I don't think inheritances should be taxed, as that is effectively double-taxation.

I do agree that income is relative, and that a big family or small business owner making $200K is in a different situation than an individual working for a company pulling in a $200K salary. That's why there a small business tax-credits that individuals cannot get, and expense write-offs that individuals cannot get. Find me a person that makes $200K a year, small business owner or not, who is having to put their groceries on a credit card, and then maybe I'll consider the possibility that their taxes shouldn't go up so that other people who make less money don't have to put groceries on a credit card. And if anybody has lots of examples of how the last 10 years of tax cuts for wealthy people have made our economy hunky-dory, I'm all ears.
Artemis
QUOTE
What lies did he tell?


I told you. He promised everything in the light and then they proceeded under cover of darkness.

He had control of both Houses. He has no excuses for not carrying out his agenda.

If he had gotten what he proposed, would he run away from it? No, it's not in the arrogant sob to do so. But history will eventually hold the stink at arm's length.

He's a hack. A slick hack, but still a hack.
Artemis
QUOTE
Being a lawyer is not a real job, but being a small business owner is?


Depends on whether the lawyer runs his own business (self-employed) or is an employee of a law firm, or employs other people himself, I guess.

You know what Will Shakespeare said about the lawyers ... I doubt many people associate any kind of lawyer with a guy who runs a meat market or a roofing business, in any case.
Artemis
QUOTE
Find me a person that makes $200K a year


Find me a person who makes $2000 a year, and I'll show you a person who ought to pay the same percentage of his income in tax as the guy making $200K. A flat rate for everybody obviates any definition of "rich", which isn't about math, but about prejudice, in my opinion.
Donnie Darko
For what it's worth, if the government has a surplus, then I'm perfectly fine with wealthy people getting back more money than less wealthy people in the form of tax cuts. The only thing wrong with the Bush tax cuts is that he kept them going when the government couldn't afford to do what it wanted to do. That's no more OK than it is for me to go put a Tesla on my credit card because I want one.

When we have two wars and a recession and literally millions of people without jobs (which went away in spite of wealthy people getting tax cuts), I don't find anything wrong with taking money from the person who can eat anything at anytime they want and still have money to burn and using that to help the person who would otherwise have to put groceries on a credit card.

While I cannot speak for other left-leaning people, I have no prejudice against the wealthy. I hope to be wealthy one day (and am working hard towards that), and have several friends who are exceedingly wealthy, while others including myself are living hand-to-mouth. If my money goes to help someone who lost their job, or goes to help somebody afford college, or goes to help kill Taliban, then I'm A-OK with that. I can't personally keep track of all the things I'd like to help with, so I'm thankful that the government is there to redistribute some of my money. Of course they also re-distribute it to many things I wish they wouldn't, but that's what happens when you live in a country full of millions of very different people and politicians who are trying to get money for their own agendas.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(Artemis @ Dec 9 2010, 08:37 PM) *

QUOTE
What lies did he tell?


I told you. He promised everything in the light and then they proceeded under cover of darkness.


I don't recall him promising to keep "everything" in the wide open. I do remember him promising to conduct government business with greater transparency than his predecessor. I never interpreted that to mean that they would be more transparent about everything. If Obama said "all Congressional, Senate and executive policy discussions will be open to the public", then yeah, he's a liar, but he didn't promise that. Could he have been more open about drafting health care policy? Sure. Was he more open about the drafting of that policy than his predecessor was about meetings with energy executives? Yes. You might call that lying, but it doesn't appear to be deliberate deception to me.

I think what has actually happened is that Obama has done a lousy job of eschewing characterizations of him by both left and right, and so the left is disenchanted by something that was never there in the first place, and the right is struggling to portray him as a socialist dictator when in fact he can't even get those in his own party to do what he tells them to do.
Artemis
Well, I wish I was rich as well and I like to think I would be generous and wise with all that surplus money. On that we can agree.
Donnie Darko
I've never been rich by the standards I set, but before I went back to school I had a lot more money than I do now, and I was generous with it, using it to help individuals in need and giving to charitable organizations when I could. If I were a billionaire, philanthropy would actually be a tremendous amount of fun, as I think I could do more good with some of that money than the government could. However, I can't imagine myself setting up my own private FDA, road paving, public sanitation or military, because it's better to have public ownership of such things, because at least that way you can try to intervene via elections if management isn't doing what you think they should do.

On the topic of Obama, David Brooks, a moderate conservative with whom I agree about 30% of the time, wrote an interesting article in the NY Times today about how this was actually a victory for Obama. His point was that Obama was actually coming around to bi-partisan negotiating (I distinctly remember that being what he was elected to do), essentially forced to do so by the fact that neither his party or the other party seemed to be able to negotiate on their own.
You may have to sign up to read it but I think it's a reasonable argument:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/opinion/…xMP65kKI+jf4uew
Donnie Darko
I just have to vent about this awful person, Sarah Palin.
Today, that idiot wrote this:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405…2838245628.html

Yeah, that's right, she's still going on about death panels. What this fucking imbecile fails to mention is that her own Republican Party is the one who is carrying out a very real death panel. GOP governor Jan Brewer of Arizona has prohibited Medicaid from paying for several types of organ transplants that were previously covered. This literally means that people who were previously on transplant lists are now getting kicked off them. A child will likely lose their father because he can't come up with the $250K that a liver transplant will cost him, now that Medicaid has booted him from the transplant list which he was at the top of. If that's not a death panel specifically designed to kill the poor, I don't know what is. Palin and Brewer are noxious, vapid, stupid vermin.

Artemis
The beauty of a union of individual states, as it was originally envisioned and quickly went to hell due to the federal government usurping powers to which it has no right, was that every state would be free to make such decisions. If you don't like the way Arizona does things whether the issue be taxes or welfare, or gun control, move to New York. People could vote with their feet. If then, New York prospers and Arizona goes to shit, everybody would see what's what and other states would fall into line accordingly. To some extent, it's still possible. In other words, stay out of Arizona if you don't like it.
Donnie Darko
My concept of human rights doesn't end at the NY state line.

That being said, I wouldn't complain if Arizona seceded from the US. At least that way my tax dollars wouldn't be subsidizing a state that has instituted real live actual "death panels", and their tax dollars wouldn't be subsidizing us New Yorkers who have this outlandish notion that killing poor people by booting them off transplant lists is a bad thing to do.

Brewer tried to blame her decision on "Obamacare", but that makes no sense since she signed her "kill the poor" bill months before "Obamacare" ever passed. If you're looking for a liar, I think I found you one (and a repeat offender too, lest we forget that she said illegal immigrants behead people in Arizona).

I'm 100% serious when I say that I wish Alaska would secede, though. They get back $4 in Federal subsidies for every $1 they pay in Federal tax, making Sarah Palin's home state the biggest beneficiary of the evil government after New Mexico. That means her state of less than 700,000 people gets quadruple the federal money per person that my borough of 2 million people gets.

I realized that whatever Sarah Palin says, then the opposite must be true. Democrats are gonna have Death Panels, she insists, which means that it's a Republican who makes the first state-run death panel official. Government redistribution of wealth is bad she says, which means her states is #2 out of all 50 in benefitting from government wealth redistribution. Fruit-fly research is a waste of tax money, she says, so of course she has a kid with Downs syndrome who could stand to benefit from such research. I'm gonna get real worried if she says the sun will come up tomorrow morning….
G&C
I thought that was her grandchild…
Donnie Darko
Ha! Must be since she said it's her child.
Artemis
QUOTE
My concept of human rights doesn't end at the NY state line.


Me neither, but just being human doesn't entitle anyone to other people's money for their personal needs, and that includes organ transplants. I'm not against a state disbursing public funds for such uses if the voters of the state approve it, but if they don't, then they don't. I can't hold it against them either way.
speedle
I don't remember Obama being elected to be a man of the middle, a bipartisan negotiator. I remember him being elected to change the tone of Washington and change things in a revolutionary way. To say I'm disappointed would be the understatement of the decade. I wanted anti-bush, I got milquetoast poker playing.
Shabba53
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Dec 9 2010, 09:42 PM) *

For what it's worth, if the government has a surplus, then I'm perfectly fine with wealthy people getting back more money than less wealthy people in the form of tax cuts.

FYI, the top 10% of taxpayers made up 46% of all adjusted gross income (AGI) nationwide, and paid 70% of all federal income taxes in 2008. Those numbers were 32% and 39% respectively in 1980. So, the 'rich' pay almost double (percentage wise) what they did in 1980, yet still get criticised for not paying enough…

If the government has a deficit, they should spend more time on eliminating wasteful spending instead of asking high income individuals to fund more of it.
Tibro
10% of taxpayers are paying 70% of the taxes? Really?

I am still of the opinion that they should be eaten. Just to keep the wealth properly "adjusted".
Tibro
QUOTE(Artemis @ Dec 11 2010, 07:16 AM) *

… their personal needs, and that includes organ transplants.

Organ transplants don't transcend "personal" needs in your book?
Shabba53
QUOTE(Tibro @ Dec 11 2010, 01:35 PM) *

10% of taxpayers are paying 70% of the taxes? Really?

Source: the IRS.

QUOTE
I am still of the opinion that they should be eaten. Just to keep the wealth properly "adjusted".
A good batch of soylent, that.
Tibro
Probably too rich for most our systems to handle, actually.

QUOTE(Shabba53 @ Dec 11 2010, 06:31 PM) *

If the government has a deficit, they should spend more time on eliminating wasteful spending instead of asking high income individuals to fund more of it.

The government seems to be just a bunch more people who don't want to lose their jobs. And the public just a bigger mass of folks who can't give up any of the pork their politicians brought to their troughs some time in the past. And giving up waste somehow doesn't seem to be a particularly Amerikan thing to do. Doom, gloom and duress, leave me my parade. The party's not over till the last one drops.
Provenance
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(Tibro @ Dec 11 2010, 01:35 PM) *

10% of taxpayers are paying 70% of the taxes? Really?


That's hardly remarkable. My wife, who has a middle class income probably pays 70% more in taxes than somebody who makes $20K a year. What is remarkable however, is that while 10% of the taxpayers pay 70% of the taxes, they own 95% of the country's wealth. That makes it look as if wealth has been redistributed upward by the tax code.

Exceedingly wealthy people on both sides of the political spectrum have even come out and said "what the hell are you crazy people doing? We don't need a tax cut in the middle of a recession and two wars!". The only reason why Republicans are fighting so hard for it is because of unwavering dedication to ideology that taxes are bad, and a determination to force the government to cut most federal programs by starving the government of revenue.

I'm all in favor of cutting wasteful spending, but the problem is that some people define "wasteful spending" as public education, while others define it as military spending. One man's pork is another man's bacon.

As for Obama being a huge disappointment, he's only disappointing in the sense that he didn't live up to expectations that others hoisted upon him. Looking at his senatorial record, the guy was actually rather moderate, and tended towards negotiation rather than foot-stomping refusal to co-operate. In regards to the current negotiation he made with the Republicans, he merely made a statement about priorities. For Obama, getting extended help for the unemployed, preventing middle-class taxes from going up, cutting payroll taxes and giving people a college tuition credit were more important to him than raising taxes on the wealthy. What's unfortunate is that those in his own party who are attacking him are appearing to be of the position that raising taxes on the wealthy is more important than helping those who need it most right now. It's unfortunate that the Democratic party has become more of a "tax the rich" party and less of a "help the little guy" party.

Obviously in an ideal world, taxes on the wealthy could return to their Clinton-era rates, when the economy did just fine and the wealthy did just fine, and that money could be used to then either reduce the deficit or pay for continued unemployment benefits and middle-class tax cuts, but that's just not possible with the Senate and Congress we have.
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