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September 03, 2014, 01:59:00 am
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1  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: If one is 1/32nd Native American, should they be considered Native American? on: Today at 01:01:07 am
No. By that definition, my mother would be Native American, as would her mother.
2  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Sen. Gillibrand: I was sexually harassed by men in Congress on: Today at 12:56:22 am
Come on, Kirsten. Names. We want names.
3  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Ted Cruz's dad: “The Average Black Does Not” Understand The Minimum Wage Is Bad on: Today at 12:52:16 am
“And then I said, ‘Did you know that every member of the Ku Klux Klan were Democrats from the South?’ ‘Oh I didn’t know that.’ You know, they need to be educated.”
So does he.  The KKK wasn't just in the South and when it did leave the confines of the solidly Democratic South in the 1920s, it was just as warmly welcomed by Republicans as Democrats.  Indeed, it in the North, it likely was more Republican than Democrats, especially amongst people whose grandparents had been nativist Know-Nothings.

Didn't the KKK's base in states like Indiana/Ohio mainly consist of Prohibitionist anti-Catholic Republicans?
4  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Would you support the following corporate tax reform? on: September 02, 2014, 07:14:37 pm
I'd rather we get rid of the capital gains tax (the more I understand it, the less sense it makes) and have a corporate tax that's lower than it is, and only on the biggest companies, but with very little to no deductions/credits. While also raising the personal income tax for those with higher income, and getting rid of the highly-regressive payroll tax, with the new personal income tax rates something like: $0-50k/year=0%, $50-150k/year=1%, $150-250k/year=5%, $250-400k/year=40%, $400k+/year=67%.
You realize that under those rates, someone making $450k/yr. would end up with less than someone making $150k/yr?

ITT: People who don't understand how marginal tax rates work.

Now I understand how Reagan won 49 states in 1984.
5  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Ted Cruz's dad: “The Average Black Does Not” Understand The Minimum Wage Is Bad on: September 02, 2014, 07:12:38 pm
Someone get this man a parody twitter account.

@sh**tTedCruzsDadSays
6  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: What's next for Eric Cantor? on: September 02, 2014, 04:20:37 pm
Eric Cantor showed that you don't need investment banking experience to land a $3.4 million gig investment banking. Of course this isn't a meritocracy and he's being bought for his connections, not his skills.

Yeah, when an ex-congressman becomes a company's Vice President of Government Affairs and announces they're "going to the private sector" it's quite laughable.

I think Phil Gramm may have had a "real" finance job at one point after he left the Senate; but then again he's a PhD economist.

I'd like to see a Where Are They Now on former members to see how many are also in lobbying or access-based positions like Cantor's.
7  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Israel steals another 1000 acres of the West Bank on: September 02, 2014, 10:14:36 am
Israel claims they did this to "get back" at the murderers of the abducted seminary students.

I agree that comparisons to Nazi Germany are inappropriate. Not even South Africa works in this particular case.

This is more like Zimbabwe's confiscation of white farmers' land. No justice or rule of law. Just collective punishment designed to appeal to the majority's most base emotions. Mugabe wanted to "stick it to The Man." Israel wants to provoke the "Big Bad Arabs."

It's more proof that try as it might, Israel isn't the Western liberal society it pretends it is. It's just another post-colonial state built on the resentment of identity politics.
8  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: do you use ms access on: September 02, 2014, 09:43:56 am
For work. Not for play.
9  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: What kind of phone do you have? on: September 02, 2014, 09:42:56 am
iPhone 4S

Contemplating whether or not to get a Galaxy S5 or get an iPhone 5S when they get marked down later this month.
10  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: What's next for Eric Cantor? on: September 02, 2014, 09:30:58 am
Gillespie vs Cantor?

Political Hack vs Wall Street Shill?

The Tea Party would be on that race like white on rice.
11  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Would you support the following corporate tax reform? on: September 02, 2014, 12:22:59 am
That sounds like more Republican feel-good nonsense. Companies aren't going to hire more workers or pay their workers more because we got rid of the corporate tax. They're going to increase the dividends they pay out to their wealthy shareholders. Which is why we'd be raising capital gains and income taxes - so that they're getting the money and paying the taxes on it.
Dividends are taxed separately from capital gains and regular income, so that aspect of  plan makes little sense.

You really believe that no company is going to hire more workers if we get rid of corporate tax? By your logic, no company with shareholders would ever expand, because they would devote all of their profits to increasing dividends. Expanding operations can be profitable in the long term, which is good for shareholders and the reason that companies expand at all. Additionally, eliminating corporate tax would allow companies to reduce prices, which would have a progressive effect as lower-income people spend a greater percentage of their income on consumption.

You don't follow corporate news very much, do you? Because that's exactly what most major publicly traded companies have been doing the past few years. Lay off workers, avoid hiring new workers, do whatever you can to keep earnings-per-share within consensus estimates, increase the dividend and watch your stock price go up. I own a couple thousand dollars worth of IBM and that's exactly what they've been doing -- it's great for the rich, old people who run American business and government and will be dead in 20 years anyway. It's terrible for people like me who would like to get hired by one of those companies and/or who would like to see them use that money to make the firm more productive and profitable over a longer time horizon.
12  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Would you support the following corporate tax reform? on: September 01, 2014, 09:30:39 pm
What would that top bracket be? In order for it to be revenue neutral, we'd probably have to make capital gains just into a normal income tax bracketing, and then the top rate be something like 50% or 60%, which is borderline unacceptable to me.

I'd think about it. But I actually don't know, it depends on how the numbers work out.

Why is it unacceptable? The same amount of revenue is getting collected, it's just all getting collected at once.

It would probably be closer to fine if there were a couple more brackets toward the top, but nevertheless I think that in order for rates to make sense to me. To me, taking more than 60% of someone's income, money they've earned, is wrong.

However I do think we could do a lot of things differently in terms of revenue if we got rid of the corporate rate. We could get rid of a lot of those subsidies for big companies, we could do away with all of those deductions that are done to inspire employment, since we are incentivizing in a much bigger way with that reduction. I'm not sure how much it would take to make things revenue neutral, but we certainly have a lot of areas to do so.

It would also require making capital gains taxed much much closer to regular income, if not exactly at regular income.

That sounds like more Republican feel-good nonsense. Companies aren't going to hire more workers or pay their workers more because we got rid of the corporate tax. They're going to increase the dividends they pay out to their wealthy shareholders. Which is why we'd be raising capital gains and income taxes - so that they're getting the money and paying the taxes on it.

Distinguish between marginal and effective rates. No one is going to have a 60% effective capital gains tax. And even if they did, why is that "wrong"? "Wrong" according to what?
13  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Will Corbett win less counties than Santorum 2006? on: September 01, 2014, 09:19:22 pm
Just realized that Tom Corbett would lose election in Texas for being too liberal.

14  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Will Corbett win less counties than Santorum 2006? on: September 01, 2014, 09:14:49 pm
Does anyone know what the biggest margin of defeat for a sitting governor in any state has been?
15  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: 2016 primary calendar tilts towards the South on: September 01, 2014, 09:05:50 pm
I don't see how Cruz gets the evangelicals in his corner. Yes, he's a Southern Baptist, but he doesn't "speak the language" like Huckabee and Perry do, and he's been on the record as saying stopping same-sex marriage is "not an animating issue" for him.
16  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Campaign contributions in foreign countries - is there data? on: September 01, 2014, 07:56:07 pm
To the extent that other countries' voters, parties and other groups donate money to political campaigns, is there data on those contributions? Do other countries have equivalents of the Federal Elections Commission?

I ask because I think it would be interesting to compare the amount of money spent per vote in US federal elections to the amount of money spent per vote in British or German or French or Swedish elections.
17  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Would you support the following corporate tax reform? on: September 01, 2014, 06:16:17 pm
What would that top bracket be? In order for it to be revenue neutral, we'd probably have to make capital gains just into a normal income tax bracketing, and then the top rate be something like 50% or 60%, which is borderline unacceptable to me.

I'd think about it. But I actually don't know, it depends on how the numbers work out.

Why is it unacceptable? The same amount of revenue is getting collected, it's just all getting collected at once.
18  General Politics / Individual Politics / Would you support the following corporate tax reform? on: September 01, 2014, 05:56:07 pm
Eliminate federal taxation of corporate entities. Make this change revenue neutral by increasing capital gains taxes and by increasing income taxes on the highest tax bracket.
19  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Truth We Won't Admit: Drinking Is Healthy on: September 01, 2014, 05:46:01 pm
Of course getting drunk is bad for you. So is eating too much food. So is spending too much time in the sun. So is doing a specific type of exercise too much in a short period of time.

There's really nothing that isn't bad for you if you do it too much.
20  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Israel steals another 1000 acres of the West Bank on: September 01, 2014, 05:32:33 pm
It's not than the Israeli government doesn't want to negociate. It can't.

Settlers + nationalists + theocrats have too much political weight (and a much higher birth rate).

And whose fault is that? Israel didn't have to allow their citizens to settle in "Judaea and Samaria." Israel didn't have to allow any and all people with a Jewish great-great-grandmother the unconditional right to immigrate there. In democracies, people get the government they deserve and governments get the constituencies they deserve.
21  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Civil War in Syria on: September 01, 2014, 05:28:22 pm
We need to call a truce with Assad and focus on ISIS for the time being. If we could work with the Soviet Union to defeat fascism in Europe, we can work with Assad's Syria to defeat Islamism in the Middle East.

Assad is a threat to the Syrian people. ISIS is a threat to all people. We have to pick the least worst option.
22  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Is the North ever going to have comeback demographically ? on: September 01, 2014, 05:02:39 pm
75+ years out, climate change could make most of the Sunbelt unlivable and give the Frost Belt a pleasant, temperate climate.
23  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Minutemen groups on: September 01, 2014, 04:59:17 pm
Well-intentioned?  How!?

In believing they form the heroic last line of defense for their communities imperiled by a foreign invasion... which then in turn takes us back to TexasGurl's observation.

...foreign invasion?

Are the would-be yard guys and drywall fitters burning and pillaging the Anglo villages?
24  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Texas Megathread on: September 01, 2014, 03:23:03 pm
For the second time in a row, there will be no statewide televised gubernatorial debate in Texas.

Greg Abbott is backing out of his prior agreement to appear in a debate with Wendy Davis at the end of September.

Quote
"Due to our inability to agree on specific details of the format, Attorney General Greg Abbott will regretfully not be participating in the WFAA debate," said Robert Black, senior campaign adviser on Friday morning.

Outgoing state senator John Carona (R-Dallas) was critical of Abbott's decision:

Quote
"To cancel one's appearance in the only scheduled statewide televised debate, given the importance of this particular office, is unconscionable," wrote Republican State Senator John Carona in an email to WFAA. "Greg Abbott is wrong to do this to the voters of Texas. He should have to defend his record, which is not without blemish. This, as you undoubtedly recognize, is the new strategy of the those relying on the vote of the far right. I'm a staunch Republican, but this is one more embarrassing move by a Republican candidate that either can't or won't defend his position on the issues."
25  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Israel steals another 1000 acres of the West Bank on: September 01, 2014, 02:59:20 pm
No one can't deny that Israel is trying to make moderate Palestinians irrelevant. Abbas and the PA keep being backstabbed. Israel should now better, they keep humiliating the PA while the Hamas gets what it wants. It's going to blow up in their face at some point, figuratively and maybe literally...

They don't want a Palestinian government that is willing to negotiate because that would require them to actually negotiate with them. So Abbas et al sits in Ramallah cashing US checks while having no wherewithal to actually do anything (supposedly the Abbas family has left the country and is in Jordan) while Israel insists it won't negotiate with Hamas politically but engages them militarily constantly.

If they want to weaken Hamas, they have to strengthen their rival. That would require giving more autonomy to the West Bank and more power to the PA. But that would require giving up the West Bank.

It appears that having rockets fired at their civilians constantly is the price that Israel is willing to pay for clinging to a racist and revanchist conception of what Israel should look like.
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