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An Ongoing Political Conversation: Begun 11-9-12

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Just_passin__thru_max50

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Posted almost 2 years ago

 

11-9-12


Six days after the election, Fox News, on the Bret Baier Special Report show, announced Campaign 2016.


Today, Obama asked representatives from both sides of the aisle to meet next week to work out fiscal issues.


He says he is open to compromise, he is open to new ideas but is against being 'unbalanced'. Let's see how this fleshes out. John Boehner (R-OH) says he is open, too.


I invite you to comment about anything political in this forum.


Please do not post inappropriate remarks. I guess I will be the moderator at large.


I know there are both Dems and GOP'ers here.


Make your point, comment or post up a statement but do not attack each other. Show finesse, demonstrate intelligence and be passionate, ... just don't slam 'our President' or each other. You already know I would have preferred a different outcome to Election 2012 but I am still an American.


I am trying to walk the walk that I suggested to you earlier this week: To be proactive, consistent and get involved.


Involvement starts right here.


The Guy !
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Wredcedar_max50

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I am not optismic.  While both sides use the word compromise, just listening to them say it led me to feel that by compromise each side meant for the ther side to give in to virtually all their demands with only a little concession.  I see both sides as wanting 90% of what they want and 10% of what the other side wants, not anything close ot 50 -50.  With the current house and senate setup, it is still a perfect situation for gridlock.  Also, as I have said before, each side will spin it to make it seem like the other sides fault.


Hope to heck I'm wrong.

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I would be thrilled to see some positive movement.I believe neither party desires to send this country over the physcal cliff.The near future problem I see ,which is quite evident, is that Harry Reid has promised that any bill regarding this sent to him by a Republican congress would be D.O.A. at his domain.Perchance our president should began by having a word with prince Harry about compromise.I too,am not optomistic.

Mr-natural_1__max50

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I've been thinking on this a lot lately--obstacles to compromise, etcetera. Unfortunately, I cannot subscribe to this idea that we can just split the difference because Grover Norquist (lobbyist, not elected official) has short-circuited any possibility for it on the Republican side with this "no tax pledge". So, I thought, "Can I really blame him? If not him, who?". The answer I came up with is that I can blame the legislators (including a few Democrats) who took the pledge. They took pledges already--to this nation and its constitution. I realized immediately that I'm not that insightful and I'm surely not the first person to think of this--so I Googled and came up with a letter to the editor on a Greenville, SC newspaper's website. Here is the opinion, it is short (and eerily like what I've already said):


From:  http://www.greenvilleonline.com/article/20121109/OPINION/311090003


When our elected officials take the oath of office, and swear that they will defend the Constitution, etc., we deserve to expect their complete loyalty to this oath. But how is it possible for the hundreds of congressmen and senators to do this and yet at the same time sign a pledge to lobbyist Grover Norquist?


Our leaders have no right to pledge anything other than “The Pledge of Allegiance.” The Constitution should be their guide. For me, it is unimaginable for a member of Congress to sign a pledge of any sort. It is a threat to our Democracy. [emphasis mine (mz66)]


I understand Grover Norquist twisted arms and basically blackmailed congressional Republicans to get their signatures. But this is all the more reason for our representatives to stand up for what is right and not submit to the bullying of any lobbyist. How many of them have told Grover Norquist “I won’t sign your pledge”? They all should have.


This is not about tax increases or decreases. It’s not about taxes and spending. It’s not about the budget deficit. This is about our Congress succumbing to blackmail. It’s about our elected officials’ strength of character.


Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Jim DeMint, and Rep. Trey Gowdy represent the citizens of South Carolina. Their views on taxes do not necessitate the signing of a pledge to a Washington lobbyist. They should just vote their conscience regarding taxes, but don’t pledge to Grover Norquist.


Ronald Saulnier 


Simpsonville 


====


Now, there is some cause for hope. There are apparently defections from the "pledge allegiance to Norquist" camp:


From:  http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-11-02/norquist-losing-clout-with-republicans-refusing-to-pledge-taxes 


Defections Starting


Either Congress will find a technicality to raise revenue without violating the pledge or lawmakers will “get more pressure from the public and interest groups that some kind of revenue-side solution is needed,” she said yesterday.


Norquist already has had a few defections among sitting House members. Among those who changed their minds were Jeff Fortenberry, a Nebraska Republican, and Robert Andrews, a New Jersey Democrat. For the current Congress, he lists 238 House signers.


In the Democratic-controlled Senate, pledge signatories number 41, enough to derail legislation through procedural votes if they stick together and vote as a bloc.


Republicans Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma have openly broken with Norquist, while Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and Mike Crapo of Idaho have participated in deficit-reduction talks where tax-raising provisions are on the table.


-- Also, in the same Business Week piece (published Nov 2, by the way), another quote from a GOP House candidate:


“You’re pledging to an ideology of someone who’s not in government -- he’s a lobbyist -- and I just don’t think that’s a smart move,” said Ted Yoho, a Republican running in Florida’s 3rd Congressional District. “It just ties your hand and it limits you. I just think it impedes the lawmaker.” [mz66 note: Ted was elected 4 days after this was published.]


===


So--maybe there is some hope.


One question, which I'll only whisper and not belabor the point: What took them so long?


Another question, which I will keep asking loudly: When will the rest wake up and follow suit?




Bessie Braddock: “Sir, you are drunk.”
Churchill: “Madam, you are ugly. In the morning, I shall be sober.”

Clone_trooper_max50

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The economy is not growing because people aren't spending. We need to get people confident enough to start buying again.


The problem is the government continues to take money from the private sector. People are waiting to see how much more they will be paying in taxes to a government that produces nothing but debt.


What's the government response to this issue? Spend even more and take more money from the people. This is after crying they need to pay their fair share ( they already pay a higher rate than others). Not exactly fair, when you consider that a lot of the people who support this higher rate don't pay taxes or if they do, its a small amount. They have succeeded in dividing us.


Government spending won't do it. Government spending comes about by taking money from the private sector. This results in no money for private sector spending so the economy won't grow. It becomes a never-ending cycle.


 

Mr-natural_1__max50

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Three helpful resources:


http://www.whitehouse.gov/2011-taxreceipt


http://www.whitehouse.gov/economy/buffett-rule


http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/taxes/tax-cuts


It's actually the folks making more than $250,000 that are often paying a smaller percentage.


 


 


 




Bessie Braddock: “Sir, you are drunk.”
Churchill: “Madam, you are ugly. In the morning, I shall be sober.”

Mr-natural_1__max50

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Reagan in a speech apparently endorsing the same concept as The Buffett Rule:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnpG6qCltCw


P.S. Ignore the silly time traveller references.




Bessie Braddock: “Sir, you are drunk.”
Churchill: “Madam, you are ugly. In the morning, I shall be sober.”

Mr-natural_1__max50

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Regarding House GOP's resistance to cooperating with John Boehner


http://nyti.ms/Z6zHaP  (NY Times: Boehner Tells House G.O.P. to Fall in Line)


 




Bessie Braddock: “Sir, you are drunk.”
Churchill: “Madam, you are ugly. In the morning, I shall be sober.”

Just_passin__thru_max50

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11-11-12:


Very pleased to see The President participating in Veterans Day observances at Arlington National Cemetery at the Tomb of the Unknowns this morning.


That's one in the plus column.


The Guy !
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Mr-natural_1__max50

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Daily Show: Post-Democalyptic World - Whine Country - Employee Benefits


http://on.cc.com/TEP724


 




Bessie Braddock: “Sir, you are drunk.”
Churchill: “Madam, you are ugly. In the morning, I shall be sober.”

Mr-natural_1__max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 2 years ago

 

Following the election, petitions requesting that states be allowed to "secede" from the United States started showing up on the White House's petitions website. 


Back in 2010, a prophetic post showed up on a legal blog. The poster's brother had written the following letter to all 9 members of the Supreme Court of the United States: 



I’m a screenwriter in New York City, and am writing to see if you might be willing to assist me in a project that involves a unique constitutional issue. 


My latest screenplay is a comedy about Maine seceding from the United States and joining Canada. There are parts of the story that deal with the legality of such an event and, of course, a big showdown in the Supreme Court is part of the story.


At the moment my story is a 12 page treatment. As an architect turned screenwriter, it is fair to say that I come up a bit short in the art of Supreme Court advocacy. If you could spare a few moments on a serious subject that is treated in a comedic way, I would greatly appreciate your thoughts. I’m sure you’ll find the story very entertaining.



He received a reply from Justice Antonin Scalia which reads as follows:



 I am afraid I cannot be of much help with your problem, principally because I cannot imagine that such a question could ever reach the Supreme Court. To begin with, the answer is clear. If there was any constitutional issue resolved by the Civil War, it is that there is no right to secede. (Hence, in the Pledge of Allegiance, “one Nation, indivisible.”) Secondly, I find it difficult to envision who the parties to this lawsuit might be. Is the State suing the United States for a declaratory judgment? But the United States cannot be sued without its consent, and it has not consented to this sort of suit. 


I am sure that poetic license can overcome all that — but you do not need legal advice for that. Good luck with your screenplay.




 




Bessie Braddock: “Sir, you are drunk.”
Churchill: “Madam, you are ugly. In the morning, I shall be sober.”

Duke_max50

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mz66 says ...



Three helpful resources:


http://www.whitehouse.gov/2011-taxreceipt


http://www.whitehouse.gov/economy/buffett-rule


http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/taxes/tax-cuts


It's actually the folks making more than $250,000 that are often paying a smaller percentage.


 


 


 



The problem I see here is they keep referring to the "Effective Tax Rate", as described in the Buffett Rule. Now, let me be clear, I support everyone paying their fair share. That said, the Effective Tax Rate is slightly misleading. The reference should be made to the Earned Income tax rate.


So many people point out that many millionaires, such as Mitt Romney, pay less in "effective taxes" than the middle class. What they fail to point out is the most of these millionaires have no "earned" income to report as their income is derived from Capital Gains on investments. And under our current tax code Capital Gains are taxed at 15%. This is the fault of the government, not millionaires.**


For those millionaires who do have reportable earned income, such as the CEO of a major corporation, there are so many loopholes and deductions they are able to take because of their wealth, and the perks that go with their job, that they end up paying less in taxes. Imagine your taxable "earned income" being $100,00 per year. You donate $5000 per year to charity so that amount is totally tax deductable thereby lowering your taxable income. Now imagine you make that same salary but the company you work for provides you with a home and a car so you have no car payment or mortgage. Now you can, and choose to, donate $20,000 to charity. You have lowered your taxes even more through that deduction and may even stand to get a refund. You will certainly pay lower taxes than I do. Jump that income to millions and you see where this goes. That is actually what H. Ross Perot has done for years. His home, car, boat, vacation home etc. is all "owned" by the corporation. He enjoys it as the head of the corporation but he technically does not own any of it. And he has the corporation pay him a salary, last I heard, of $40,000 per year. That means he lives in billionaire style but pays taxes at the same rate I do because of his reportable "earned" income. And for a millionaire or billionaire who has already made their fortune and now lives simply off Capital Gains income once they start taking what deductions they can their effective rate goes down.


Based on our current tax code those people who have Earned Income above $250,000 are taxed at the highest rate. They can simply find more deductions than the average worker can. The fix is not raising taxes on the rich, it is closing those loopholes and deductions they are able to take that we cannot. Then they end up paying taxes that are more in line with the way we pay. And then if you either terminate Capital Gains and treat the income from investments as earned income or raise the Capital Gains tax to 25% while closing the loopholes on them as well, the wealthiest will be paying their fair share without raising taxes on anyone. This was and is the proposal from the conservative side of Congress. The problem is if all you hear is "no tax increase on the rich" then it sounds like class warfare. What I think "We The People" need to do is pressure our legislators to  pass legislation to currect the tax code. Either treat it all as eraned income, no matter how it is earned, or raise the Capital Gains rate then close the loopholes.


Better yet, lets just go to a flat tax rate with no deductions or loopholes, period. The lowest wage earners pay .5% (this way everyone pays something and all feel invested in the country). The next group pays 2.5%, then 5%, then 10%. The top group, $250,000 - $2,000,000, pays 15%, and anyone who makes more then $2,000,000 per year pays 20%. And this rate is for earned income or capital gains. Depending upon where you put the dollar amount break for the 2.5%, 5% and 10% brackets you won't hurt these folks and they can still have money to spend or donate as they see fit. Example, I make $40,000. If that is flat taxed at 5% my bill is $2000. I clear $38,000 (Social Security and Medicare not withstanding). Take out another $5000 per year for those two things and I am still left with more money than I am now. And I see no way that 20% of $1 billion will ever hurt that guy.


But, hell, what do I know? I'm just a street cop. LOL


If you can put some ice in a glass of bourbon I can drink it. If you can't I can still drink it.

Wredcedar_max50

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The tax code is 70,000 pages long, and composed mostly of special interest loopholes.  Tax code needs revising, it shoud probably be somewhere between 70 and 700 pages and closer to the former.

Img_20121116_162202_max50

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I'm for Obama, althrough I dont always see eye to eye with the commander in chief, i do love the U.S.A.  I think we gave Bush 8 years to mess it all up. I think we should give Obama 8 years to fix it. Hey did anyone hear about Texas wanting to split from fro the U.S.A. because he Obama got the office.

Wredcedar_max50

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SecurityOfficer2131 says ...



I'm for Obama, althrough I dont always see eye to eye with the commander in chief, i do love the U.S.A.  I think we gave Bush 8 years to mess it all up. I think we should give Obama 8 years to fix it. Hey did anyone hear about Texas wanting to split from fro the U.S.A. because he Obama got the office.



Don't agree, Bush had 9/11 8 months into his presidency and recovered from that.  Things really went bad in the last 18 or so months of Bush's presidency.  Obama increased the national debt more in 4 years that Bush did in 8.  Obama's firdst 2 years were with a democrat controlled house and senate and all they accomplished was the job killing national health care act,  in a lame duck session.

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 Thats just what i think. however i do wish we would elect a indepent. No body ase givin them a far share. i really dont them rommeny would have been good for us and i dont think Obama is good for us. I dont like the fact that Obama as put us in the hole more then any other president. but then again he was just trying to do what he promised. he just make some bad mistakes. like most presidents.

Tribal_cat_tattoo__2__max50

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SecurityOfficer2131 says ...



 Thats just what i think. however i do wish we would elect a indepent. No body ase givin them a far share. i really dont them rommeny would have been good for us and i dont think Obama is good for us. I dont like the fact that Obama as put us in the hole more then any other president. but then again he was just trying to do what he promised. he just make some bad mistakes. like most presidents.



What did Obama do that he promised to make America a more stable Country and to help the US Citizens?


"Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives." - Ronald Reagan

Tribal_cat_tattoo__2__max50

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DoubleT213 says ...



mz66 says ...



Three helpful resources:


http://www.whitehouse.gov/2011-taxreceipt


http://www.whitehouse.gov/economy/buffett-rule


http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/taxes/tax-cuts


It's actually the folks making more than $250,000 that are often paying a smaller percentage.


 


 


 



The problem I see here is they keep referring to the "Effective Tax Rate", as described in the Buffett Rule. Now, let me be clear, I support everyone paying their fair share. That said, the Effective Tax Rate is slightly misleading. The reference should be made to the Earned Income tax rate.


So many people point out that many millionaires, such as Mitt Romney, pay less in "effective taxes" than the middle class. What they fail to point out is the most of these millionaires have no "earned" income to report as their income is derived from Capital Gains on investments. And under our current tax code Capital Gains are taxed at 15%. This is the fault of the government, not millionaires.**


For those millionaires who do have reportable earned income, such as the CEO of a major corporation, there are so many loopholes and deductions they are able to take because of their wealth, and the perks that go with their job, that they end up paying less in taxes. Imagine your taxable "earned income" being $100,00 per year. You donate $5000 per year to charity so that amount is totally tax deductable thereby lowering your taxable income. Now imagine you make that same salary but the company you work for provides you with a home and a car so you have no car payment or mortgage. Now you can, and choose to, donate $20,000 to charity. You have lowered your taxes even more through that deduction and may even stand to get a refund. You will certainly pay lower taxes than I do. Jump that income to millions and you see where this goes. That is actually what H. Ross Perot has done for years. His home, car, boat, vacation home etc. is all "owned" by the corporation. He enjoys it as the head of the corporation but he technically does not own any of it. And he has the corporation pay him a salary, last I heard, of $40,000 per year. That means he lives in billionaire style but pays taxes at the same rate I do because of his reportable "earned" income. And for a millionaire or billionaire who has already made their fortune and now lives simply off Capital Gains income once they start taking what deductions they can their effective rate goes down.


Based on our current tax code those people who have Earned Income above $250,000 are taxed at the highest rate. They can simply find more deductions than the average worker can. The fix is not raising taxes on the rich, it is closing those loopholes and deductions they are able to take that we cannot. Then they end up paying taxes that are more in line with the way we pay. And then if you either terminate Capital Gains and treat the income from investments as earned income or raise the Capital Gains tax to 25% while closing the loopholes on them as well, the wealthiest will be paying their fair share without raising taxes on anyone. This was and is the proposal from the conservative side of Congress. The problem is if all you hear is "no tax increase on the rich" then it sounds like class warfare. What I think "We The People" need to do is pressure our legislators to  pass legislation to currect the tax code. Either treat it all as eraned income, no matter how it is earned, or raise the Capital Gains rate then close the loopholes.


Better yet, lets just go to a flat tax rate with no deductions or loopholes, period. The lowest wage earners pay .5% (this way everyone pays something and all feel invested in the country). The next group pays 2.5%, then 5%, then 10%. The top group, $250,000 - $2,000,000, pays 15%, and anyone who makes more then $2,000,000 per year pays 20%. And this rate is for earned income or capital gains. Depending upon where you put the dollar amount break for the 2.5%, 5% and 10% brackets you won't hurt these folks and they can still have money to spend or donate as they see fit. Example, I make $40,000. If that is flat taxed at 5% my bill is $2000. I clear $38,000 (Social Security and Medicare not withstanding). Take out another $5000 per year for those two things and I am still left with more money than I am now. And I see no way that 20% of $1 billion will ever hurt that guy.


But, hell, what do I know? I'm just a street cop. LOL



Nice!


"Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives." - Ronald Reagan

Mr-natural_1__max50

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On finger-pointing


I am not going to get into whose original sin caused the mess we're in--so boring...


==


On taxes and The Buffett Rule


DoubleT213: Many great points. And don't feel like you have to justify your qualifications here--as far as I know, none of us are experts on this. 


I'd say that "effective tax rate" is not intentionally misleading, especially since the distinction is so well explained (at least where I've read).


The fact that capital gains and dividends are not considered regular income is a loophole. Untangling ALL the various loopholes and deduction unfairness is a very daunting task. The Buffett Rule seeks to simplify the first step to reform by simply writing in an overriding exception that short circuits the loopholes/deductions under certain conditions: namely that the annual income, regardless of the source, is at least one-million dollars. Whether that's fair or not is a topic of frequent debate. I personally feel that it is fair, but I'll refer you back to my earlier disclaimer that none of us are experts. However, what should be obvious is that this is a great way to raise revenue quickly without an enormous short-term legislative burden.


==


On legislative gridlock


Speaking of legislative burdens, Senate filibuster reform has been proposed:


Democratic Solution To The Filibuster: Make Them Talk


http://huff.to/RGcXut


==


Quote of the Day


"Yeah! This sex scandal is all anyone in Washington can talk about. I wonder why the country is in financial ruin?"


~ Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report, Thursday 11/15/2012




Bessie Braddock: “Sir, you are drunk.”
Churchill: “Madam, you are ugly. In the morning, I shall be sober.”

Tribal_cat_tattoo__2__max50

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I have learned a little bit more about tax law in this post... thanks Matt and DoubleT213; I don't know much about it.. I will still have to do my own research.. but thank you both.


Bump!


"Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives." - Ronald Reagan

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Heard this on PBS.  A likely senerio.  Busk tax cuts allowed to expire on Jan 1 (appaent grldlock).  then a tax rollback to the Bush cut levels on thouse making less than $200,000 or $250,000.  Democratic win, get tax hike on the wealthy they want.  Republician win, they did not raise taxes.  Losers, the public as layoffs are already in the works for companies making over $200-250,000 and watch unemployment go over 9% and middle class workers are mostly the ones laid off laid off.

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For the modern day secessionists who made this 1860s political cartoon relevant again:





Bessie Braddock: “Sir, you are drunk.”
Churchill: “Madam, you are ugly. In the morning, I shall be sober.”

Mr-natural_1__max50

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Bessie Braddock: “Sir, you are drunk.”
Churchill: “Madam, you are ugly. In the morning, I shall be sober.”

Mr-natural_1__max50

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Well, I can certainly understand the lack of enthusiasm for a discussion. I guess I'll keep posting things that should make you go "Hmmmm."


Florida Republicans Admit Voter Suppression Was The Goal Of New Election Laws:


http://goo.gl/JLm2x




Bessie Braddock: “Sir, you are drunk.”
Churchill: “Madam, you are ugly. In the morning, I shall be sober.”

Mr-natural_1__max50

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I saw Spielberg's new Lincoln film this weekend. Superb--everyone should go see it. I still find it fascinating that once upon a time, the south was where the Democratic party reigned and it was mostly the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that moved southern Democrats to flee to the Republican party. There's no doubt in my mind that if Lincoln came through a crack in space-time today that he'd be a Democrat.


(How's that for a conversation sparker?) :)




Bessie Braddock: “Sir, you are drunk.”
Churchill: “Madam, you are ugly. In the morning, I shall be sober.”

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mz66 says ...



I saw Spielberg's new Lincoln film this weekend. Superb--everyone should go see it. I still find it fascinating that once upon a time, the south was where the Democratic party reigned and it was mostly the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that moved southern Democrats to flee to the Republican party. There's no doubt in my mind that if Lincoln came through a crack in space-time today that he'd be a Democrat.


(How's that for a conversation sparker?) :)


 


I heard Lincoln is doing well in theaters?



What doesn't kill me had better start running!

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LonnaNJ says ...



I heard Lincoln is doing well in theaters?



Yes, the showing I went to was a PACKED matinee--I was very pleasantly surprised. Between Bond and Twilight I half-expected to have a row to myself.




Bessie Braddock: “Sir, you are drunk.”
Churchill: “Madam, you are ugly. In the morning, I shall be sober.”

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Rated +3 | Posted almost 2 years ago

 

I am a hybrid political animal. A moderate conservative. I believe governament should be small. Giving the tools for all citizens to work hard and make their share of the American dream, not handed to them. I believe in womens rights, taking care of those citizens who are physically/mentally incapable of doing so themselves. I believe we are all GODs children, equal. If there are too many loopholes for the tax code and ANY citizen takes advantage of them then its the governments fault, not those who take advantage of LEGAL opportunities. This great country has an orderly transition of power. Whether I voted for this President or not he is still MY PRESIDENT! Due my respect. The people of this great country have spoken. Only history will determine the greatness or lack or it.


""Life is a storm.. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes"
Alexander Dumas-The Count of Monte Christo

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Rated +1 | Posted almost 2 years ago

 

Right on, Al. I, too, am a moderate. No, seriously. (To those in the peanut gallery going "HA!") You would not believe the arguments I have with hardline liberals regarding the hypocrisy of their own brand of fearmongering. Taking the narrow path in the middle is not an easy journey, but it is the only one that is true to myself.


Regarding the loopholes: yup--away with them. The problem is not everyone calls them "loopholes"--they consider them benefits to which they are entitled.


 




Bessie Braddock: “Sir, you are drunk.”
Churchill: “Madam, you are ugly. In the morning, I shall be sober.”

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Obama, Romney to meet at White House Thursday

Link: http://goo.gl/AhvmT




Bessie Braddock: “Sir, you are drunk.”
Churchill: “Madam, you are ugly. In the morning, I shall be sober.”

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