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b_b




When not in real life, I spend my time here.


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    The central challenge for Democrats in taking back the White House will hinge on the party’s ability to persuade a majority of Americans to support a more progressive agenda going forward.

Apparently, Mr. Sosnik isn't familiar with how the Electoral College works. A plurality of Americans already vote democratic, and have so in all but one presidential election since 1992. Democrats' problem isn't one of majorities; it's one of geographics. That is unlikely to change anytime soon, and moving further leftward will accelerate, not decelerate this phenomenon.

The leftward lurch has some real perils in it. The numbers cited above I think don't paint the whole picture. Immigration, e.g., wasn't much of a partisan fight until like 2015 when the Muslim Ban was first proposed. Immigration reform was the darling of W and the Kochs and was opposed by Bernie Sanders as recently as the beginning of the primary season. That dramatic 52 point shift has seen a lot of its movement only in the last couple years. Similarly, we're seeing a dramatic increase in "single payer" devotees in just the last half year. Democrats and liberals should be wary of getting caught in the "against Trump" vortex, and not let it color their chances of ever winning another presidential election.

Speaking of, NYT published an OpEd today calling for Al Franken's resignation. That's the level of crazy liberals are going to rise to in service of all things "against Trump". Of all the moronic OpEds NYT has published over the years, this one got me particularly pissed off (because when Erik Prince or John Bolton publish one they're easy to laugh off), because it represents the worst of the left mob: letting a staff writer (as opposed to a one off partisan) call for the head of one of America's finest senators because, well, Roy Moore is a child molester and Donald Trump is a rapist and we don't like them so everyone gets a trophy.

People need to keep their heads. America and the Democrats don't need a leftward push, especially one that's driven by "against Trump". We need a push toward sensible regulatory and tax reform, driven by a shared sense of community and compassion. That's not a leftist agenda, even though it sounds like one in today's world. It's a humanist agenda that the left has the best mandate to push. It will only happen, however, if we move past the identity driven leftism that's currently en vogue.

Not sure how I missed that the first time around. Heard Lewis on fresh air yesterday, and it sparked my interest.

Whatever. You could never let it go. And anyway I'd lose a little faith in humanity if you did.

b_b  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 1, 2017

That's kind of a fun idea. If there are enough people almost every name can be disqualified from someone's childhood memory. Right now, we're leaning toward Fox, which I think is sick. My wife isn't an X-Files fan, so that name doesn't mean anything to her, fortunately.

I had McGeorge picked out from long ago, but it took her about half a second to veto that. Anyway, now that Ken Burns' Vietnam is all over the place, it kind of lost its appeal to me at this place and time. The funny thing is how similar our aesthetic is in almost all things design, and how vastly different it is with respect to names.

Interesting, indeed. It may be a useful strategy for Democrats to support certain parts of the bill publicly. They may find it easy to sew or encourage divisions within the GOP ranks. Instead of being the new party of "no" like the GOP opposition before them, perhaps they can be the party of "yes, and..." There are so many ideological red lines for conservatives that countermand other ideological lines for other conservatives, that it may be easier to foment infighting than to just be intransigent. At least, that's what I'd do.

b_b  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 1, 2017

Naming children is hard. I've never had trouble naming cats, but I've never had to do that with a partner. I commend all you parents out there with being able to reach consensus. I still have a couple months, but so far it's been a struggle. Perhaps, like term papers in college, the thing will just come together once time constraints dictate that the thing get done now. We'll see.

They're almost killing it with this proposal. The Tax Policy Center estimates that only 4% of households will claim the deduction if this bill is adopted. That's down from 21% under current law. Those 4% are almost entirely rich people with big mortgages (and some middle class people who have a lot of deductions). My guess is I'll no longer qualify for it, and that doesn't bother me. If my taxes are lower overall, that means I'm saving money--it's irrelevant where it comes from. Of course mortgage lenders, builders, and realtors are freaking out over this: they make their best commissions on large sales. In the current framework, the impact will be minimal, because so few households will be negatively impacted by it. It should only affect sales of expensive homes going forward (and even that should be minimal, since the first $500,000 still counts). If it has any negative impact on home values, it will be in a limited segment. We shall see how this shakes out when interest rates eventually rise.

The slaughter of these sacred lambs probably will be the bill's undoing. The fact that they're capping state and local taxes is already causing Republican defections. They thought they could get away with it, because high tax states are blue, but of course it turns out that lots of the upper middle class people in those states are represented by Republicans. State and local deductions are another area where reform may make sense, since that amounts to a federal subsidy of states who decide to raise taxes (of course the other side of that coin is that these states are still overwhelmingly net donor states).

Another aspect of this bill that will rip the GOP apart is the corporate tax cut. Their argument is that cutting corporate taxes will lead to increases in worker pay. Everyone pretty much knows that any cut in the corporate tax rate wont' lead to increases in pay or business investment, but rather to increases in dividends and stock buybacks. Real reform would cut business taxes while also putting in provisions that make it attractive to reinvest the savings. Nothing of the kind exists here.

All-in-all this bill is a failure of reform, and I think for those reasons it will die just like healthcare "reform" did. The GOP has so many competing interests that can't be accommodated (because they're inherently contradictory--there are some genuine deficit hawks, even if we've seen that most of those people were lying throughout the Obama administration) that implosion is the most likely result. The only way this thing works is if all the deficit holdouts capitulate. As we saw with health, getting 96% agreement of GOP members is a tall order. (Apologies for the digression; I'm fascinated with this trainwreck of a bill.)

I personally think the mortgage interest deduction should be killed entirely (phased out would probably be more reasonable). Anyway, anyone who buys a big house because they can "save" on their taxes is a moron of the highest order. Some very rudimentary arithmetic can show how wrong that is. MID is mostly a gift to the finance sector, and they already have plenty. At least $500,000 is a start.

Funny that there's no mention of the carried interest loophole. That was one of Trump's stump speech regulars in the campaign. I said so myself many times that he was full of shit, but he repeated it so much even I started to believe the lie. Shame on me. Liar's gonna lie.

Haha. I never missed a JLH movie between the ages of 16 and 20, so I've actually seen it.

For sure. I think Ivanka gets a free pass because of sexism, that's all. "She's just a girl" is the implicit assumption when she constantly gets overlooked as a villain. I guess Tiffany will get the last laugh when all her older siblings are in jail, and she stays out because daddy is only proud of her "to a lesser extent."

You shared this one ;)

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