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Thread: The NEVERENDING Political Discussion Thread

  1. #2601
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ColoGI View post
    Clearly the way we treat our service members is a hot button issue for me, apologies folks.
    I don't think you offended anyone. Clearly you have first hand knowledge of the subject versus my "dependent id card" status on the subject. But man, i do miss shopping at the commissary.
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

  2. #2602
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Last night I got to hear a presentation from a great economist from the Ann Arbor area… He said that the value of our money is about to burst.

    $800 Billion - early 2008 the total amount of us currency on the global market. (M1 money supply)
    $800 Billion – Amount Bush added in late 2008 as part of the bail out.
    $1 Trillion – Amount Obama added as part of Quantitative Easing #1 (because the bailout did not work)
    $800 Billion – Amount Obama added as part of QE2 (Since QE1 did not work)
    $1 Trillion – Amount Obama added as part of QE3 (Since QE1 and QE2 did not work)

    So in a little more than 4 years, the money supply has increased 4.4 Trillion (well over 400%.). The cost of Food and food supplies have increased 42%, Gas and petroleum products have increased by 82% and Energy costs have increased by 86%. All three of those are left out of the most recent inflation calculation by the federal government. It is only a matter of time before our dollar is worth a quarter.

    To make matters worse, according to one set of economic records that he sited, in 2011 our federal government:
    Brought in $2.3 Trillion;
    Spent $3.95 Trillion;
    Borrowed $1.65 Trillion;
    Which raised the debt to about $17 Trillion;
    And we still have to deal with $110 Trillion in unfunded SSI debt which is set to kick in within the next few years.

    I don’t care if you are Republican or Democrat… this is a problem and many economists are now saying that there is the real risk of economic collapse before we have a chance to elect the next president.
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  3. #2603
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    Last night I got to hear a presentation from a great economist from the Ann Arbor area… He said that the value of our money is about to burst.

    $800 Billion - early 2008 the total amount of us currency on the global market. (M1 money supply)
    $800 Billion – Amount Bush added in late 2008 as part of the bail out.
    $1 Trillion – Amount Obama added as part of Quantitative Easing #1 (because the bailout did not work)
    $800 Billion – Amount Obama added as part of QE2 (Since QE1 did not work)
    $1 Trillion – Amount Obama added as part of QE3 (Since QE1 and QE2 did not work)

    So in a little more than 4 years, the money supply has increased 4.4 Trillion (well over 400%.). The cost of Food and food supplies have increased 42%, Gas and petroleum products have increased by 82% and Energy costs have increased by 86%. All three of those are left out of the most recent inflation calculation by the federal government. It is only a matter of time before our dollar is worth a quarter.

    To make matters worse, according to one set of economic records that he sited, in 2011 our federal government:
    Brought in $2.3 Trillion;
    Spent $3.95 Trillion;
    Borrowed $1.65 Trillion;
    Which raised the debt to about $17 Trillion;
    And we still have to deal with $110 Trillion in unfunded SSI debt which is set to kick in within the next few years.

    I don’t care if you are Republican or Democrat… this is a problem and many economists are now saying that there is the real risk of economic collapse before we have a chance to elect the next president.
    Well, right off the top of my head I see several issues with this analysis. The low-hanging facile assertions: increase in money supply did not make food prices increase, so guilt by association is implied. Second, the deficits are decreasing, not increasing. Third, if debt was in fact an actual issue, there would be pressure from the people that matter (the bankers and the few with real money) to do something about it. Fourth, the implication that the total amount of money flooding the market is still out there is flat wrong. Last time I looked, domestic energy costs at this time are not 86% higher than some starting point not given.

    Next, the too-small amount of first addition [stimulus] to the money supply was in addition to the bankers refusing to lend because of the outcomes of their hubris. QE1 was also at a time of little lending + Yurp starting to contract.

    Anyhoo, this sounds like a Pete Peterson "fix the debt" scare tactic. Our debt:GDP is nowhere near danger territory at this time or in the next several years. The money supply is being counted by the rich as they consolidate capital, which is what they want. If the politicians truly wanted to fix the debt they would get people working. Since that is not happening in both the short- and long-terms, what's the panic? [note I have not discussed how this issue affects the bottom three quintiles in the U.S.].
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  4. #2604
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ColoGI View post
    Well, right off the top of my head I see several issues with this analysis. The low-hanging facile assertions: increase in money supply did not make food prices increase, so guilt by association is implied. Second, the deficits are decreasing, not increasing. Third, if debt was in fact an actual issue, there would be pressure from the people that matter (the bankers and the few with real money) to do something about it. Fourth, the implication that the total amount of money flooding the market is still out there is flat wrong. Last time I looked, domestic energy costs at this time are not 86% higher than some starting point not given.

    Next, the too-small amount of first addition [stimulus] to the money supply was in addition to the bankers refusing to lend because of the outcomes of their hubris. QE1 was also at a time of little lending + Yurp starting to contract.

    Anyhoo, this sounds like a Pete Peterson "fix the debt" scare tactic. Our debt:GDP is nowhere near danger territory at this time or in the next several years. The money supply is being counted by the rich as they consolidate capital, which is what they want. If the politicians truly wanted to fix the debt they would get people working. Since that is not happening in both the short- and long-terms, what's the panic? [note I have not discussed how this issue affects the bottom three quintiles in the U.S.].
    The panic is there is no way that we will be able to repay our debt, the value of our money will go down, and the measurement of inflation did not include important things like food, gas, and energy.

    As for the information that he presented, he is a retired financial adviser who has been teaching and practicing economics since the 50's and still maintains all the alphabet soup of credentials for financial planning and investing. My guess is he knows a bit more about this information that you do. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe you are more qualified to explain it than he is.

    My point is we WILL face another financial crisis.
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  5. #2605
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    Last night I got to hear a presentation from a great economist from the Ann Arbor area… He said that the value of our money is about to burst.

    $800 Billion - early 2008 the total amount of us currency on the global market. (M1 money supply)
    $800 Billion – Amount Bush added in late 2008 as part of the bail out.
    $1 Trillion – Amount Obama added as part of Quantitative Easing #1 (because the bailout did not work)
    $800 Billion – Amount Obama added as part of QE2 (Since QE1 did not work)
    $1 Trillion – Amount Obama added as part of QE3 (Since QE1 and QE2 did not work)

    So in a little more than 4 years, the money supply has increased 4.4 Trillion (well over 400%.). The cost of Food and food supplies have increased 42%, Gas and petroleum products have increased by 82% and Energy costs have increased by 86%. All three of those are left out of the most recent inflation calculation by the federal government. It is only a matter of time before our dollar is worth a quarter.

    To make matters worse, according to one set of economic records that he sited, in 2011 our federal government:
    Brought in $2.3 Trillion;
    Spent $3.95 Trillion;
    Borrowed $1.65 Trillion;
    Which raised the debt to about $17 Trillion;
    And we still have to deal with $110 Trillion in unfunded SSI debt which is set to kick in within the next few years.

    I don’t care if you are Republican or Democrat… this is a problem and many economists are now saying that there is the real risk of economic collapse before we have a chance to elect the next president.
    First off M1 in 2008 was $1.4trillion and M2 was $7.7B, which if the point of the lecture was future risk of inflation, M2 is the better number. M1 is only currency in circulation and deposits in checking accounts. M2 counts M1 and investments and deposits like money markets, savings accounts, CD's and other financial instruments that can become cash very quickly and thus is a much better representation of the amount of money available in the economy. http://www.ny.frb.org/aboutthefed/fedpoint/fed49.html

    In the near term deficits are not an issue for four reasons; there are plenty of people willing to lend the US money for a very small real return; the US has a very low effective tax rate (by effective I mean what people and corporations actually pay and not the quoted rate); 40% of the debt is owed to either the federal government or the Federal Reserve; and if the debt become insurmountable you just print more money thereby increasing inflation which makes the debt cheaper to service.

    Focusing on the debt and deficit without also focusing economic growth and the impact of reduced government spending will have on the overall economy is much more concerning. Government spending is roughly 15% of the overall US economy. Furthermore by threatening to have the US not pay its already incurred debts by not raising the debt ceiling is far more damaging to economic growth then a large deficit at this point in time. Congress already voted to spend the money but they don't want to authorize the mechanism to pay for it. If you owe a lot of money you want people to know that you will pay them back. Those that want the government to default are actually working increase the cost of debt and thereby the size.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  6. #2606
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    The panic is there is no way that we will be able to repay our debt, the value of our money will go down, and the measurement of inflation did not include important things like food, gas, and energy.

    I hear this all the time. These are anectodal whines - there is zero evidence for this fear.


    Source

    The sharp spikes in "all items" is what people remember and think it persists. Food price volatility is from a number of factors, all related to man-made climate change, population increase, and decreasing arable land/capita.


    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    As for the information that he presented, he is a retired financial adviser who has been teaching and practicing economics since the 50's and still maintains all the alphabet soup of credentials for financial planning and investing. My guess is he knows a bit more about this information that you do. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe you are more qualified to explain it than he is.

    My point is we WILL face another financial crisis.
    Of course there will be another financial crisis. We let FIRE do this to us because we don't keep them in control We are in an era of disaster capitalism and that's how they roll. But the Pete Peterson-esque fear-mongering distracts away from how we can fix these shock-doctrine paradigms.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  7. #2607
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    Last night I got to hear a presentation from a great economist from the Ann Arbor area… He said that the value of our money is about to burst.

    $800 Billion - early 2008 the total amount of us currency on the global market. (M1 money supply)
    $800 Billion – Amount Bush added in late 2008 as part of the bail out.
    $1 Trillion – Amount Obama added as part of Quantitative Easing #1 (because the bailout did not work)
    $800 Billion – Amount Obama added as part of QE2 (Since QE1 did not work)
    $1 Trillion – Amount Obama added as part of QE3 (Since QE1 and QE2 did not work)

    So in a little more than 4 years, the money supply has increased 4.4 Trillion (well over 400%.). The cost of Food and food supplies have increased 42%, Gas and petroleum products have increased by 82% and Energy costs have increased by 86%. All three of those are left out of the most recent inflation calculation by the federal government. It is only a matter of time before our dollar is worth a quarter.

    To make matters worse, according to one set of economic records that he sited, in 2011 our federal government:
    Brought in $2.3 Trillion;
    Spent $3.95 Trillion;
    Borrowed $1.65 Trillion;
    Which raised the debt to about $17 Trillion;
    And we still have to deal with $110 Trillion in unfunded SSI debt which is set to kick in within the next few years.

    I don’t care if you are Republican or Democrat… this is a problem and many economists are now saying that there is the real risk of economic collapse before we have a chance to elect the next president.
    Quite a few things wrong with this post. But I'll just limit my reply to one particular issue. There is no such thing as an unfunded SSI debt. It's a fundamental lack of understanding about how SSI works both through the accuaries and as how SSI is required to operate by law. It's a scare tactic. SSI remains fully funded for another 2 decades, at which point if nothing is changed it will be forced, by law, to decrease benefits approximately 25% but will then continue to operate fully funding the 25% decreased benefits. The supposed unfunded liability (which by law can not happen) is a really large number that has no meaning other than to scare people who do not understand how SSI works.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  8. #2608
    Cyburbian
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    Isn't unfunded liability essentially if everyone were to cash out at once? That obviously doesn't happen.

    In other random news. Fox News hired Dennis Kucinich as a contributor. Of course they had to hire one of the most far left former politicians out there to make Democrats look bad.

  9. #2609
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Relax, everyone... Wal-Mart is about to save us.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    C'mon and get me you twist of fate
    I'm standing right here Mr. Destiny
    If you want to talk well then I'll relate
    If you don't so what cause you don't scare me

  10. #2610
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    Quite a few things wrong with this post. But I'll just limit my reply to one particular issue. There is no such thing as an unfunded SSI debt. It's a fundamental lack of understanding about how SSI works both through the accuaries and as how SSI is required to operate by law. It's a scare tactic. SSI remains fully funded for another 2 decades, at which point if nothing is changed it will be forced, by law, to decrease benefits approximately 25% but will then continue to operate fully funding the 25% decreased benefits. The supposed unfunded liability (which by law can not happen) is a really large number that has no meaning other than to scare people who do not understand how SSI works.
    That is not entirely true. Starting sometime this decade (2015-2017) SSA will stop collecting more than its owes each year. (This happened in 2010 and 2011 with the temporary reduction in social security payroll tax) At that time SSA will start redeeming its holding of treasury bonds to cover the difference. In or around 2040 all of the bonds that are held by SSA will be redeemed resulting in a "deficit" of approximately 25%. The good news is all of the debt (roughly 17% of the total outstanding US debt) will be retired. The bad news is later that decade this will become an ongoing expense. At that time Congress will have to determine how to cover the shortfall through more borrowing from outsiders, increase taxes, reduced spending or a combination of the three.

    Given the several fixes that Social Securtiy has recieved there is little reason to assume it won't happen again. In 1982 when SSA was about to go into a decifit President Reagan increased taxes to ensure the stability of the fund. My guess is in the next few years the tax rate will increase to ensure the stability of the program probably through an increase in the upper level of exemptions, social security tax being assessed on capital gains and divided or something else.

    Medicare and Medicaid are far greater problems to the long term fiscal health of the country.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  11. #2611
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Brocktoon View post
    Medicare and Medicaid are far greater problems to the long term fiscal health of the country.
    Not because we are becoming a welfare state or that welfare states always fail - it is due to the changing demographics of the population, the rapid increase in our health care costs (due to our poor habits, our food products, our "health" system, yada etc.), and rising inequality making this part of the safety net groan under the changes.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  12. #2612
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ColoGI View post
    Not because we are becoming a welfare state or that welfare states always fail - it is due to the changing demographics of the population, the rapid increase in our health care costs (due to our poor habits, our food products, our "health" system, yada etc.), and rising inequality making this part of the safety net groan under the changes.
    The only thing I would add is the myth of he private healthcare market before the ACA. If you are 65 years old and want healthcare outside of an employer sponsored plan your only option is Medicare.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  13. #2613
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Media Trust

    Speaking of not trusting the media and the Fix the Debt scam, here is a piece of investigative journalism that tracks which corporate-media journalists have fed at the trough of Pete Peterson. This is part of the reason why the...erm..."argument" upthread has traction - our media are not doing their job and shooting this cr@p down when it rears its head (to get a gun-control phrase in there too).

    An essential and successful element of the Peterson strategy is to create an environment where it is widely if not universally believed that there is no alternative to his vision. In this view, it’s “not realistic” to believe the country can afford the same programs it once did. Those who are prepared to be “adults” will look at these “hard truths” without flinching and recognize that it is time to take citizens-have-to-do-with-less medicine.

    The conceit is that those with “courage” will see past narrow, partisan concerns and embrace an ideal: a bipartisan consensus that has the strength to demand “shared sacrifice” from a childish and selfish populace.

    A review of the proceedings of the Fiscal Summits of the last three years ...

    Virtually none of the reporters thought to ask about or suggest an alternative path, such as preserving Social Security benefits and bolstering the system’s reserve by raising the cap of wages subject to Social Security taxes (currently annual wages above approximately $110,000 are not subject to any Social Security tax).
    ...
    And most questioning proceeded either on the false assumption that deficits were derived from excessive spending on entitlements or as though they had mysteriously, but inevitably, come to pass.
    ...
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  14. #2614
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    I don't care what anyone says about Hillary Clinton. The fact is the Republicans have absolutely nothing on her about Benghazi and that was made crystal clear yesterday.

  15. #2615
    Cyburbian
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    Benghazi was never anything more than Republicans trying to generate a scandal to damage Obama in the elections. Now that they're over, you have jackasses like Rand Paul trying to position themselves for the next one. I honestly laughed when I heard him say he expected Hillary to read every single diplomatic cable. It just shows how clueless he is.

  16. #2616
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    I don't care what anyone says about Hillary Clinton. The fact is the Republicans have absolutely nothing on her about Benghazi and that was made crystal clear yesterday.
    Truth. I was glad to see her fire back like she did--just the right amount of indignation. Rand Paul made a complete ass of himself--and honestly McCain kind of did as well.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  17. #2617
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    So what do people think of the strategy of the republican party to gerrymander congressional districts to effectively silence minorities and then award electoral votes for president based on congressional districts?

    http://www.salon.com/2013/01/24/virg...ote_bandwagon/
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  18. #2618
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    So what do people think of the strategy of the republican party to gerrymander congressional districts to effectively silence minorities and then award electoral votes for president based on congressional districts?
    It bugs me greatly but I honestly don't think anything will come of this. The big reason is that many battleground states would lose their significance if they did something like that. Then another reason is that Republicans don't want to be at a disadvantage if their roles were somehow reversed with the Democrats.

  19. #2619
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    So what do people think of the strategy of the republican party to gerrymander congressional districts to effectively silence minorities and then award electoral votes for president based on congressional districts?
    They can't win with their ideas, so all they have is dirty tricks and subterfuge. I can't wait until their demographic is too senile to vote.

    Lord! save us from outrage fatigue!
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  20. #2620
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Blide View post
    It bugs me greatly but I honestly don't think anything will come of this. The big reason is that many battleground states would lose their significance if they did something like that. Then another reason is that Republicans don't want to be at a disadvantage if their roles were somehow reversed with the Democrats.
    I'm not so sure. The Virginia one looks to be likely to pass and the GOp is pushing proposals in other states, supported by the GOP Chairman who said they should do this. There was significant talk after November that the GOP needed to reach out to minorities to stay relevant, but as I have learned from the last few months of listening to right-wing talk radio, the right wing truly does believe that minorities are all takers who are destroying this country and that we specifically need marginalize the takers if we are going to save America from too many lazy minorities who want free things from hard-working patriotic white americans. I'm not sure most people realize how mainstream this view of minorities is among the right-wing, but force yourself to listen to a few hours a day of right-wing radio and it's undeniable that this is a mainstream view.

    If this scheme passes in the states that are currently proposing it, republicans will win the presidency and the house for the foreseeable future even while losing the popular votes in thiose states by millions. GOP leaders have expressed support for the scheme, and I see no reason to believe they won't move forward on it.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  21. #2621
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    I'm not so sure. The Virginia one looks to be likely to pass and the GOp is pushing proposals in other states, supported by the GOP Chairman who said they should do this. .
    It is disenfranchisement.

    Say what you will about the incompetence of Dems and their inability to stop these odious troglodytes, at least they wouldn't dream to stoop so low as these tactics. Why does the GOP hate the poor (that don't vote for them)?
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  22. #2622
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    I'm not so sure. The Virginia one looks to be likely to pass and the GOp is pushing proposals in other states, supported by the GOP Chairman who said they should do this.
    Pennsylvania was talking about doing the same thing a couple years back but ended up deciding against it because it'd make their state irrelevant in the election. They went ahead and disenfranchised minorities in other ways though.

    Then for Virginia, I'm not even sure they could get something like that passed in their current political environment. After the GOP's recent redistricting stunt and an election for governor later this year, I just don't see it happening. Now if the mid-term redistricting stands and that Tea Party AG wins the governors race, I could maybe see it happening.

  23. #2623
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Blide View post
    Pennsylvania was talking about doing the same thing a couple years back but ended up deciding against it because it'd make their state irrelevant in the election. They went ahead and disenfranchised minorities in other ways though.

    Then for Virginia, I'm not even sure they could get something like that passed in their current political environment. After the GOP's recent redistricting stunt and an election for governor later this year, I just don't see it happening. Now if the mid-term redistricting stands and that Tea Party AG wins the governors race, I could maybe see it happening.
    PA troglodytes just introduced a bill to carve up electoral votes, such that last election Head Socialist and ex-Kenyan B Barry Bamz would have lost the state.

    What the GOP is doing under the radar - we're distracted by Manti T'eo and fake fiscal cliffery, yaknow - is undemocratic. Full stop.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  24. #2624
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    Quote Originally posted by ColoGI View post
    PA troglodytes just introduced a bill to carve up electoral votes, such that last election Head Socialist and ex-Kenyan B Barry Bamz would have lost the state.

    What the GOP is doing under the radar - we're distracted by Manti T'eo and fake fiscal cliffery, yaknow - is undemocratic. Full stop.
    I don't doubt there's a push within the GOP to do things like that. I'm just skeptical they'll actually pull it off when the party is in such disarray. The conservative elements of the party want to disenfranchise voters to win elections while the moderates want to expand the base. It'll be interesting to see who ultimately wins but I don't see the Republicans making many gains until they solve this issue.

  25. #2625
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Blide View post
    but I don't see the Republicans making many gains until they solve this issue.
    I'm counting on you being correct, and will be mad at you if you are not. ;o)~
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

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