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Thread: The NEVERENDING Political Discussion Thread

  1. #2251
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hink View post
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/art...es_115635.html

    This is the best article I have seen that describes why capital gains taxes are different from regular income. I wanted to get your thoughts on capital gains taxes, as I know many of you are much smarter than I when it comes to taxes and tax policy.

    I don't know if I have an opinion on whether or not capital gains taxes should be lower than regular income or not. I think I can see both sides at this point.

    Thoughts?
    His opening argument equating his ten years of work and his book royalty advance to a capital gain seems pretty flawed since the only capital he has invested is time (not counting foregone income from not investing his time elsewhere) and the laws of nature and physics do not allow him to post a gain on that form of capital.

    Regarding his closing thoughts, and his opinion about politicians who "jack up tax rates" though, I disagree, especially regarding corporate taxes and capital gains. Lower corporate taxes and lower capital gains taxes encourage the financiers to take the profits out of the businesses to pay higher bonuses and dividends. If the rates were higher there would be less incentive to take as much money out because the corporations could lower their profits (and therefore their tax liability) by reinvesting those funds back into their firms to advance research, increase regular wages, improve services, etc.

    Personally I would prefer to see the capital gains taxed the same as regular income.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  2. #2252
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Hink View post
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/art...es_115635.html

    This is the best article I have seen that describes why capital gains taxes are different from regular income. I wanted to get your thoughts on capital gains taxes, as I know many of you are much smarter than I when it comes to taxes and tax policy.

    I don't know if I have an opinion on whether or not capital gains taxes should be lower than regular income or not. I think I can see both sides at this point.

    Thoughts?
    The whole risk argument seems a bit disingenuous to me when there's tons of people (small business owners) that are taking tremendous risks but still taxed at the normal tax rate. With that said, I have no problems with people who actually invest in companies paying a lower tax rate. The issue I have is with derivatives where it's not shares of companies being traded but rather risk. I think money derived from that should be taxed normally in that it would discourage high risk transactions and would actually encourage physical investment in companies.

    One political issue that is just baffling to me is the one the postal service has found themselves in. For the life of me I see no reason why Congress is having them over-contribute to their pension system to such an absurd degree. It's like some people have deliberately set the postal service up to fail...

  3. #2253
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Blide View post
    One political issue that is just baffling to me is the one the postal service has found themselves in. For the life of me I see no reason why Congress is having them over-contribute to their pension system to such an absurd degree. It's like some people have deliberately set the postal service up to fail...
    They did. The PO was doing very well until 2006 when congress required them to pre-pay 70 years worth of pensions. I don't see any legitimate reason why this was done.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  4. #2254
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    There should only be a few questions during the prez debate:

    1. What does a pair of socks cost at Macy's? Kohls? Wal-Mart?

    2. What does a pound of grapes cost?

    3. What does an average hardcover book cost?

    4. Do you know what BOGO means?

  5. #2255
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    First time in my life (unless I'd rented a DVD), I get to watch all of "An Affair to Remember"; and RJ goes ho, hum, and ambles off..

  6. #2256
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    There should only be a few questions during the prez debate:

    1. What does a pair of socks cost at Macy's? Kohls? Wal-Mart?

    2. What does a pound of grapes cost?

    3. What does an average hardcover book cost?

    4. Do you know what BOGO means?

    I don't know the answers to any of those questions!! And seriously, what the heck is BOGO?
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  7. #2257
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    What do you know about Bulderberg

    I have heard some whopper conspiracy theories in my time, but this one might actually have thin threads of truth to it. Apparently the Bilderberg Group controls the world and everyone answers to them. One site named it the mother of all secret societies.

    But here is the interesting twist… not only do they exist and have a website, they do talk about global politics, they do have very influential people in attendance, and they do appear to do what the conspiracy theorists say… up to the point that they don’t actually admit to having any influence on global politics.

    What are your thoughts on Bilderberg? Do you think that all of our political discussions are in vein because there is a master puppeteer behind the scenes and we just see the show? Or do you think that this group of business owners are actually looking out for their best interest, but only on a corporate level?
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  8. #2258
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    What are your thoughts on Bilderberg?
    There are other meetings beyond this one where world leaders and business leaders frequently get together such as the Bohemian Club.

    I think it's easy to see how people think there's some sinister conspiracy theory behind all these meetings. Personally I think it serves a more benign purpose of being an opportunity where the world's power players can meet each other in a candid manner where they're not going to get scrutinized by the press. I think there's too many massive egos and competing interests at play for it to be much more than that.
    Last edited by Blide; 03 Oct 2012 at 3:19 PM.

  9. #2259
    If there is a world wide conspiracy dedicated to making its members rich, I wish they were better at it. Wouldn't they be even richer if the world was more prosperous?

  10. #2260
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    crime, family & politics

    Written by Gregg Easterbrook:

    Preach What You Practice: One of the ironies of American politics is that is politically conservative states like Texas tend to have high rates of crime, divorce and teen pregnancy, while the liberal states like Massachusetts and New York tend to have low crime rates and higher percentages of stable marriages. So do people become conservative because they look around and observe lawlessness and absence of traditional values, or does conservatism cause these things? Do people become liberal because they look around and observe stability and affluence, or because liberalism causes these things?

    New York City was liberal in the 1980s when it was a homicide capital and is liberal now as one of the safest cities in the world to stroll after dark, making it hard to separate cause and effect.

    Love him or hate him, on this subject you've got to read Charles Murray's new book "Coming Apart." His big point is that well-off liberals should "preach what they practice" -- that denizens of the high-income zip codes in blue states themselves have two-parent households with conventional marriages, strict work ethics and high educational achievement, yet contend no one should be judgmental about out-of-wedlock birth, bad public schools or welfare. Murray presents overwhelming evidence that although it's assumed anything goes in the sinful liberal cities while tradition rules in the Bible Belt, in the last generation it's been the other way around -- red states are plagued by divorce and teen pregnancy, blue states have conventional family values.

    Coming from a radioactive conservative, this analysis is unsettling. Liberals, Murray charges, are harming the underclass by asserting that all lifestyles are equally valid -- when they know from their own experience that conventional behavior leads to the best economic and educational outcomes.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
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  11. #2261
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planit View post
    Written by Gregg Easterbrook:

    Preach What You Practice: One of the ironies of American politics is that is politically conservative states like Texas tend to have high rates of crime, divorce and teen pregnancy, while the liberal states like Massachusetts and New York tend to have low crime rates and higher percentages of stable marriages. So do people become conservative because they look around and observe lawlessness and absence of traditional values, or does conservatism cause these things? Do people become liberal because they look around and observe stability and affluence, or because liberalism causes these things?

    New York City was liberal in the 1980s when it was a homicide capital and is liberal now as one of the safest cities in the world to stroll after dark, making it hard to separate cause and effect.

    Love him or hate him, on this subject you've got to read Charles Murray's new book "Coming Apart." His big point is that well-off liberals should "preach what they practice" -- that denizens of the high-income zip codes in blue states themselves have two-parent households with conventional marriages, strict work ethics and high educational achievement, yet contend no one should be judgmental about out-of-wedlock birth, bad public schools or welfare. Murray presents overwhelming evidence that although it's assumed anything goes in the sinful liberal cities while tradition rules in the Bible Belt, in the last generation it's been the other way around -- red states are plagued by divorce and teen pregnancy, blue states have conventional family values.

    Coming from a radioactive conservative, this analysis is unsettling. Liberals, Murray charges, are harming the underclass by asserting that all lifestyles are equally valid -- when they know from their own experience that conventional behavior leads to the best economic and educational outcomes.
    An interesting read. My comments are directed at Easterbrook and not Planit's. I am assuming Planit just posted Easterbrook's words and not his own.

    I’m not sure what to make of Murray’s position in all of this based on the info presented. First of all, I don’t think that well healed liberals are saying that no one should be judgmental about bad public schools, for example. Where did he get that idea? Second, I’m not sure what the argument here is. Is he saying liberals should stop pretending that single family or other “non-traditional” home structures are ok? To what end? To try and promote “traditional” values (whatever that is exactly) as the best way? Wouldn’t that put them in the camp of the red states that are seeing these high numbers of teen pregnancies, divorce rates and crime? Is it possible that liberal areas don’t see these high rates because they don’t “preach” these standards? Not making someone who made unfortunate decisions and got pregnant (or got someone pregnant) young or married the wrong person feel like a bad person or someone that is condemned to hell, poverty, etc. seems like a pretty good way to be. Personally I would rather encourage someone for their good decisions than denigrate them for the bad. We all make mistakes. Some of us are just lucky enough to not make some really big ones. But even when that happens, are they bad people?

    Success, stable homes and higher income are all linked to education, for example. The financial challenge with any single parent household is there is only one wage earner. But depending on the circumstances, that person may be “better off” not staying in an unhappy marriage even if they are in a lower income bracket. Abusive or otherwise unhealthy relationships don’t do anyone much good, I would argue (especially the children). And how many of those two family households in liberal areas are actually those peoples’ first marriage anyway? There are a lot of factors here that have not been parsed here methinks.

    Again, I think it’s the preaching that is part of the issue. At least when it comes to things like teen pregnancy. Tell any kid how much they really shouldn’t have sex until they are married, no exceptions and with threats of hell or being kicked out of the house/church and you have just elevated that activity to “highly desirable.” Same with drinking, drugs, smoking, etc. I prefer to inform and educate people about these things and allow them to make their own decisions with facts in hand (ie. comprehensive sex education, which includes abstinence, as opposed to abstinence-only curricula). They’ll have to make them anyway, whether you like it or not.

    Again, I really don’t think anyone of any political persuasion is promoting that bad schools are just ok. Education reform is a cause that spans all ages and affiliations. How to make it happen is the big question.

    This book sounds like a big mess of conflated data….
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  12. #2262
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    I have heard some whopper conspiracy theories in my time, but this one might actually have thin threads of truth to it. Apparently the Bilderberg Group controls the world and everyone answers to them. One site named it the mother of all secret societies.

    But here is the interesting twist… not only do they exist and have a website, they do talk about global politics, they do have very influential people in attendance, and they do appear to do what the conspiracy theorists say… up to the point that they don’t actually admit to having any influence on global politics.

    What are your thoughts on Bilderberg? Do you think that all of our political discussions are in vein because there is a master puppeteer behind the scenes and we just see the show? Or do you think that this group of business owners are actually looking out for their best interest, but only on a corporate level?
    If all of this is true then how was Bill Clinton elected president? He scared the business community to death and the Bush family have allegedly been long time members of the Bilderberg's.

    I have never put much stock into conspiracy theories. People in power rarely serve as puppets for long. Besides almost every economist and corporate big wig states that Congress needs to create a budget and stop engaging in this ridiculous brinksmanship regarding the debt ceiling. If puppet masters estisted I would doubt this would occur nor would such misunderstanding on what the debt ceiling actually is among Congress.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  13. #2263
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    An interesting read. My comments are directed at Easterbrook and not Planit's. I am assuming Planit just posted Easterbrook's words and not his own.

    ….
    That's correct - just passing along something that was an interesting observation
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

  14. #2264
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    An interesting read. My comments are directed at Easterbrook and not Planit's. I am assuming Planit just posted Easterbrook's words and not his own.

    I’m not sure what to make of Murray’s position in all of this based on the info presented. First of all, I don’t think that well healed liberals are saying that no one should be judgmental about bad public schools, for example. Where did he get that idea? Second, I’m not sure what the argument here is. Is he saying liberals should stop pretending that single family or other “non-traditional” home structures are ok? To what end? To try and promote “traditional” values (whatever that is exactly) as the best way? Wouldn’t that put them in the camp of the red states that are seeing these high numbers of teen pregnancies, divorce rates and crime? Is it possible that liberal areas don’t see these high rates because they don’t “preach” these standards? Not making someone who made unfortunate decisions and got pregnant (or got someone pregnant) young or married the wrong person feel like a bad person or someone that is condemned to hell, poverty, etc. seems like a pretty good way to be. Personally I would rather encourage someone for their good decisions than denigrate them for the bad. We all make mistakes. Some of us are just lucky enough to not make some really big ones. But even when that happens, are they bad people?

    Success, stable homes and higher income are all linked to education, for example. The financial challenge with any single parent household is there is only one wage earner. But depending on the circumstances, that person may be “better off” not staying in an unhappy marriage even if they are in a lower income bracket. Abusive or otherwise unhealthy relationships don’t do anyone much good, I would argue (especially the children). And how many of those two family households in liberal areas are actually those peoples’ first marriage anyway? There are a lot of factors here that have not been parsed here methinks.

    Again, I think it’s the preaching that is part of the issue. At least when it comes to things like teen pregnancy. Tell any kid how much they really shouldn’t have sex until they are married, no exceptions and with threats of hell or being kicked out of the house/church and you have just elevated that activity to “highly desirable.” Same with drinking, drugs, smoking, etc. I prefer to inform and educate people about these things and allow them to make their own decisions with facts in hand (ie. comprehensive sex education, which includes abstinence, as opposed to abstinence-only curricula). They’ll have to make them anyway, whether you like it or not.

    Again, I really don’t think anyone of any political persuasion is promoting that bad schools are just ok. Education reform is a cause that spans all ages and affiliations. How to make it happen is the big question.

    This book sounds like a big mess of conflated data….
    I think the point he's trying to make is that liberals like to point out the hypocracy in the red states that preach morality but don't seem to practice. He's saying the blue states enspouse values that don't follow either because of having more traditional families, sending their kids to private schools, etc.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  15. #2265
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/ceo-wo...131640914.html

    Hmm. This doesn't sound like threats at all.

    If you vote for Obama I am going to fire you.

    I find people like this to be disingenuous and generally sh!tty people. Especially in this case, where the guy already got "bailed" out, by our system for bankruptcy. Man that government is horrible. Stupid regulations....
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  16. #2266
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Whose Yur Planner View post
    I think the point he's trying to make is that liberals like to point out the hypocracy in the red states that preach morality but don't seem to practice. He's saying the blue states enspouse values that don't follow either because of having more traditional families, sending their kids to private schools, etc.
    I am honestly having a hard time seeing how blue states can be considered hypocritical in this instance. Accepting or presenting other options while not choosing to utilize them is hardly hypocritical. What is hypocritical is advocating a hardline on something while not actually adhering to it yourself.

  17. #2267
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Blide View post
    I am honestly having a hard time seeing how blue states can be considered hypocritical in this instance. Accepting or presenting other options while not choosing to utilize them is hardly hypocritical. What is hypocritical is advocating a hardline on something while not actually adhering to it yourself.
    Most politicians are hypocritical regardless of party affiliation. That is why they pass laws and regulations that don't actually pertain to them, take money from special interest groups to approve funding or regulations but say that it is wrong in front of the TV cameras and call each other names for doing things that their own party does.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  18. #2268
    Murray should not be taken as gospel truth. His book is very controversial and has been debated all over the place.

    A liberal critique of it (from what I remember of reading about it - I will never read anything of his again after his bell curve book)

    1. He cherry picks his evidence. He ignores a lot of trend line data and relies on current associations.

    2. He ignores social and economic factors such as the loss of good paying jobs for high school educated men, availability of head start and other social services, etc.

    3. His solutions have no evidence to back up they would work. They are no more than opinion. There is no reason to suppose, as Murray does, that same sex marriage sends a signal to others that they don't have to be married. It just reflects his own prejudices.

    5. Same for his accusations of hypocrisy.

    I could go on. Again, I am adamant about not reading his book because I have found his other writings not worth paying for.

  19. #2269
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    Most politicians are hypocritical regardless of party affiliation. That is why they pass laws and regulations that don't actually pertain to them, take money from special interest groups to approve funding or regulations but say that it is wrong in front of the TV cameras and call each other names for doing things that their own party does.
    In the 80s and 90s in southeast MI my dad was a campaign manager for local mayors, judges, DAs, those sorts of candidates, and a lobbyist as well (the 10 cent bottle deposit, e.g.). He'd drag me along frequently to events, and I met many of these folks. What you say is true at the national level and increasingly at the state level, but still largely not true below that (sadly that is slowly changing too).

    Don't conflate all of them together. The local folks are still trying their best and want to do a good job. Corporations have bought the national electeds and the media. They haven't extended their tentacles down to local mayors yet in most places.

    Aside, maybe relevant: I still have my opening day ticket from 1985 with the world series trophy on it, 5th row behind the home bullpen at the rubber, dad could get good seats from his work. Rubbing the frame that holds the ticket for good luck.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  20. #2270
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Blide View post
    I am honestly having a hard time seeing how blue states can be considered hypocritical in this instance. Accepting or presenting other options while not choosing to utilize them is hardly hypocritical. What is hypocritical is advocating a hardline on something while not actually adhering to it yourself.
    Disclaimer-I do not believe this. It is just consistent with a certain mindset.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  21. #2271
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    Most politicians are hypocritical regardless of party affiliation.
    Yeah, I'm not disagreeing with this. However I will say that I think Republicans have become much more hypocritical recently as they've moved further to the right. A whole bunch of Republicans are now taking stances on social and fiscal issues they don't personally believe in just so they don't get primaried out by Tea Party candidates.

    Quote Originally posted by Whose Yur Planner View post
    Disclaimer-I do not believe this. It is just consistent with a certain mindset.
    I understand. I just thought it was a strange assertion that the original author was making.

  22. #2272
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ColoGI View post
    In the 80s and 90s in southeast MI my dad was a campaign manager for local mayors, judges, DAs, those sorts of candidates, and a lobbyist as well (the 10 cent bottle deposit, e.g.). He'd drag me along frequently to events, and I met many of these folks. What you say is true at the national level and increasingly at the state level, but still largely not true below that (sadly that is slowly changing too).

    Don't conflate all of them together. The local folks are still trying their best and want to do a good job. Corporations have bought the national electeds and the media. They haven't extended their tentacles down to local mayors yet in most places.

    Aside, maybe relevant: I still have my opening day ticket from 1985 with the world series trophy on it, 5th row behind the home bullpen at the rubber, dad could get good seats from his work. Rubbing the frame that holds the ticket for good luck.
    With the exceptions of a hand full of massive Cities (NYC, CHI, LA....) you are correct in your assessment of local governments, for the most part anyways. There are always exceptions, but I have been very lucky that many of the local governments that I have worked for, the people elected actually thought and felt what they said. The Mayor of my city also lives two blocks from me and it is amazing because he practices what he preaches... He is also a religious pastor too, so that helps.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  23. #2273
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    http://news.yahoo.com/gop-senate-can...-politics.html

    GOP Senate Candidate: 'God Intended' Pregnancies From Rape
    My problem isn't necessarily that he said it... he has a right to be stupid. My problem is that he isn't the only one who feels they can dictate what someone does with their body. As a man, I don't have anything that can be related to rape and childbirth. I don't have anything that is even close to the mental and physical torment.

    The fact that men in congress, or running for congress, feel it their place - under the guise of religion - to tell a women how they should feel when such an act happens is just so beyond me.

    How can the people of Indiana vote this idiot in? If he and Akin both win, I think it says something about our country... and it isn't very good.

    As a note:

    -Akin is down 5 points in Missouri
    -Mourdock is up 2 points in Indiana
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  24. #2274
    Quote Originally posted by Hink View post
    http://news.yahoo.com/gop-senate-can...-politics.html
    How can the people of Indiana vote this idiot in? If he and Akin both win, I think it says something about our country... and it isn't very good.

    As a note:

    -Akin is down 5 points in Missouri
    -Mourdock is up 2 points in Indiana
    Indiana is an extremely conservative state. Indiana Democrats would be described as 'New England Republicans' if they were in Connecticut or Maine.

    Mourdock angered a lot of centrist Republicans defeating Dick Lugar and commenting that, paraphrasing, it's his way or the highway. He's angered Lugar supporters again with a mailer that seems to claim an endorsement from Lugar when there is no such thing. But I think Mourdock just delivered his October surprise and Donnelly will win by a narrow margin of ~3 points or so.

    Off-topic:
    He made last night's comment in my fair 'burgh.
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  25. #2275
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    This made me laugh:
    2012’s worst candidate? With Mark Clayton, Tennessee Democrats hit bottom.

    “Jesus did not have a campaign staff. And he had the most successful campaign in human history,” Clayton said recently, when asked if all this adds up to a winning run against incumbent Sen. Bob Corker (R). Jesus “didn’t even have pictures or a Web site.”

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