The Left: Robespierre did nothing wrong

Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by bricktop, Jan 17, 2017.

  1. No, but lowering taxes does help provide the means for better advertising, better equipment, etc to hopefully help get the public to want more of their product. Letting small businesses keep more of their money is never a bad thing.

    You can't go to a progressive corporate tax structure so you either give everyone a tax break or tax everyone even more. I say give all corporations a lower tax rate and help small business grow. Most of these large American corporations are foreign companies now anyways. Making the US more competitive will give them incentive to move back to the US and repatriate the insane amount of cash being hoarded in foreign accounts with them.
     
  2. AlternativeFactsRule

    AlternativeFactsRule Mmm ... Coconuts
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    Investments in labor, equipment, or real estate are going to be based on the business prospects, not tax cuts. Employees are viewed no differently than office supplies. Businesses aren’t going to use the tax cuts to buy a new crate of staplers just because they have more money. Similarly, they aren’t employing new people just because they get a tax cut.
     
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  3. High Cotton

    High Cotton Where does this fall in our Christian walk?
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    The biggest business tax cut ever.
     
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  4. herb.burdette

    herb.burdette Meet me at the corner of 8th and Worthington
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    Wavy stink lines and flies surrounding the opportunist, might be his best work yet, devastating effects.
     
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  5. Joe_Pesci

    Joe_Pesci lying dog-faced pony soldier
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    Sadly I think this is pretty common.
     
  6. Joe_Pesci

    Joe_Pesci lying dog-faced pony soldier
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    the opportunist is missing sharp teeth imo
     
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  7. BellottiBold

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    So two bio firms just got shut down in CA for profiting off the sale of fetal tissue. Super. This will make the abortion debate a real blast.
     
  8. Joe_Pesci

    Joe_Pesci lying dog-faced pony soldier
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    let ye who has never made a buck off of baby flesh cast the first stone
     
  9. BellottiBold

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    read the thread :laugh:
     
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  10. Prospector

    Prospector I am not a new member
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    The Supply Side: Robots seen asenhancing retail store operations
    BusinessRetailThe Supply Side

    by Kim Souza


    [​IMG]
    Consumers shopping in brick-and-mortar stores could see more robots at work as the cost of technology has come down and the industry struggles to find labor. Since Amazon first began using robots to fill orders in its warehouses, retailers from Wal-Mart Stores to small regional pharmacy chains are testing robots to manage inventory.

    Wal-Mart began in August testing a Bossanova robot that can handle such tasks as scanning shelves for out-of-stock items and wrong or missing labels. By using the 300-pound robot to scan shelves, take high resolution images and create a panoramic view of the shelf and generate a report of the findings, employees can quickly replace the out-of-stocks.

    [​IMG]
    Wal-Mart is testing the robots in about 25 stores with the number increasing to around 50 by year end. Inside Wal-Mart Store No. 54 in Springdale — a Supercenter facing South Thompson Street — shoppers may spot T.J. between 6 and 7:30 a.m. The Bossanova robot has been assigned to the store since August.

    Kenneth Todd and Anthony Russo of Ricoh — a third-party robotics service provider — manage T.J., who makes its runs early each morning and then hangs out in the employee lounge in the back room of the supercenter the rest of the day and night. Todd said it takes T.J. about 90 minutes to make its runs scanning the grocery and consumables areas of the store. If there are few distractions, the work can be completed in about 40 minutes, he said. The robot wears a Wal-Mart name tag bearing the name “T.J.” The bot was named after the employee who used to do the scanning manually.

    “Travis is happy to have Travis Junior helping him with the daily scan tasks because it allows for more efficiency,” Todd explained. “The employees can get to restocking and fixing problems faster when the report is waiting for them to start their day.”

    Russo said the robot can read the depth of the items on the shelf and soon it will be able to tell if there is something out of place. He said the robot has the store map embedded in its memory and is fed algorithms which tell it which mission to make. He said the robot has several sensors on it that allow it to detect obstructions and people.

    “We tell it what shelves we want scanned, take it out to its home position in the store and it gets to work,” Russo said. “If there is an obstruction in the aisle, it will navigate around it and resume scanning. If too much of the aisle is blocked, then the robot will move on and return later.”

    [​IMG]
    T.J., the Bossanova robot, makes its shelf audits at Walmart Store No. 54 in Springdale early each morning.
    The robot is 7-feet tall and able to scan items on the floor up to the top shelf. Russo said Wal-Mart is believed to be leasing the robots, which is likely the arrangement that will continue. In a typical 45-minute mission, the robot will store up to 500 gigabytes of information, which is compiled into the report.

    Todd said customer reaction to the robot varies from people thinking it’s cleaning the floors to others who just shake their head thinking, “There goes another job.” He said the robot performs best when there isn’t a lot of traffic in the store. Most of the time, he said customers just pass by without a second look. Russo said the robot manufacturer is working on a docking station that resembles a phone booth. The robot will go inside the booth to charge and the doors will close. When ready, the booth doors will open, and the robot will make its run. He said the enclosed booth will protect the robot from being bumped by pallet jacks.

    Wal-Mart said the combination of people and technology are helping to make its stores more convenient and easier to shop, ensuring that products are available when customers want them.

    Brad Bogolea, CEO of San Francisco-based Simbre Robotics, spoke in October about the opportunities for digital parity in brick-and-mortar. His company has a robot they call “Tally” which is being tested by several U.S. retailers.

    “Tally works alongside retail workers and customers,” Bogolea said. “For retailers wanting to move ahead, it’s going to be important for them to introduce technologies that bring efficiency to their operations in light of what Amazon is doing to disrupt the entire retail sector.”

    He said the lack of instrumentation in stores is a real opportunity for companies like Simpre and its competitors, particularly with helping retailers detect out-of-stocks. Bogolea said retailers have invested heavily in supply chain intelligence, but that only gets the product from the manufacturer to the store.

    “It doesn’t always tell you what’s on the shelf, and that’s ground zero for the customer and where they make their purchases,” he said. “Retailer intelligence picks back up at the point of sale, but there is a gap we think technology can help fill.”

    Retailers perform manual shelf audits to try and keep track of product inventory at the shelf. He said this is a mundane and time-consuming job for hourly employees and costs retailers like Wal-Mart thousands of hours a week. He said even small stores like Dollar General spend up to 25 human hours a week with only limited accuracy.

    “By the time the physical audit is done, the store shelves have been empty longer than they need to be. Retailers lose an estimated $448 billion each year because of out-of-stocks. Brands also lose out to competitors because if their item is not on the shelf when a customer wants it, that’s a sale that’s probably going to a competitor,” Bogolea said.

    On average, he said 10% of the items on a customer’s shopping list are routinely out-of-stock. If the item is on sale, that increases to 20%.

    “That’s why we built Tally to help provide out of stock information to retailers in an accurate and expedient manner so the issues can be fixed sooner. We partner with physical retailers and are also testing in some dark stores that fulfill for e-commerce,” he said.

    When asked about robots taking human jobs, Bogolea said the robots enhance the work of humans by removing some of their routine tasks and freeing up time to do more sophisticated work.
    ––––––––––––––––––––
    Editor’s note: The Supply Side section of Talk Business & Politics focuses on the companies, organizations, issues and individuals engaged in providing products and services to retailers. The Supply Side is managed by Talk Business & Politics and sponsored by Propak Logistics.
     
  11. naganole

    naganole Look, I am a really big deal around here...
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  12. AlternativeFactsRule

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    The dead are socialists.
     
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  13. Can I Spliff it

    Can I Spliff it Is Butterbean okay?
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  14. timo

    timo What is the cost of lies?
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  15. Anison

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    Didn’t read the link but have been following this feud for a few days. Cornel West has a long history of picking fights with anyone who eclipses (or even approaches) his standing as “the” preeminent black intellectual. His diatribes against Obama were petulant and appalling; his broadside against Coates (not the first time he’s taken aim at him either) reak of Dr. West’s insatiable need to solely occupy the space of black intellectualism.

    There’s room in the black intellectual sphere for Obama’s pragmatism, Coates’s focus on white supremacy over black bodies, and West’s strident advocacy against income equality. West should keep fighting his fight, and accept not everyone has to take it up with him.
     
  16. Joe_Pesci

    Joe_Pesci lying dog-faced pony soldier
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    coates apparently saying obama was a continuation of malcolm x's legacy does seem like a stretch to me
     
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  17. Anison

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    That’s a perfectly fair critique.

    West assailing Obama as having a “certain fear of free black men” because his white mother raised him is on a whole other level though. And that’s what West does when someone other than West is looked to as a black intellectual thought leader. And that’s what West is doing with Coates right now.
     
  18. Prospector

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    This Accountant's take: Tax Laws, Social Engineering, & the 3 Events that Destroyed our Economy


    By David B
    Thursday Dec 21, 2017 · 4:17 PM CST
    2017/12/21

    [​IMG]


    Tax policy is social engineering. Make no mistake about it. It tells us who we are as a nation, and what we value.
    The GOP ideologically have been convinced, since before Reagan, that "Trickle Down", aka "Supply Side" economics, works. Five years ago, when Romney was running for President, they were bold enough to ask the impeccable Congressional Research Service, a nonpartisan congressional service that is above reproach. They asked them to prove that lowering tax rates improved savings, investment, and economic growth. They came back and showed that there was NO correlation at all. So, what did the GOP in congress do? They tried to kill the report.

    What did the report conclude?

    The results of the analysis suggest that changes over the past 65 years in the top marginal tax rate and the top capital gains tax rate do not appear correlated with economic growth. The reduction in the top tax rates appears to be uncorrelated with saving, investment, and productivity growth. The top tax rates appear to have little or no relation to the size of the economic pie.
    However, the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution. As measured by IRS data, the share of income accruing to the top 0.1% of U.S. families increased from 4.2% in 1945 to 12.3% by 2007 before falling to 9.2% due to the 2007-2009 recession. At the same time, the average tax rate paid by the top 0.1% fell from over 50% in 1945 to about 25% in 2009. Tax policy could have a relation to how the economic pie is sliced—lower top tax rates may be associated with greater income disparities.

    Yet that didn’t stop them, five years later, when the economy is running in high gear, from ramming through this tax law anyway.

    And this conclusion is absolutely true, and I will make this point in a bipartisan manner. The truth is that when you think, historically, of a time when the economy was running on all cylinders, you might think of the 1950's. That's when "What was good for GM was good for America," a phrase that became somewhat ironic when Obama was President and Romney was running against him. The economy was thriving under Eisenhower Republicanism. We built the interstate highway system with tax dollars back then, we were comfortably home from the war, and, while we had the constant threat of the Cold War, and the start of the Civil Rights Movement, the economy was terrific.

    And how much did the federal government take, not of all income over $250K, but of only $100K? It took 90%. AND, the economy was booming.

    Why? Because of priorities. With the marginal tax rate at 90% for income over $100K, CEO's didn't attempt to cannibalize the company by siphoning billions in compensation while laying off workers. Because the marginal tax rate was so high, deferred compensation was crucially important, and, with incentives to save tax dollars, both corporations and individuals invested in defined benefit pension plans, not 401(k)'s. Instead of paying the top executives millions and laying off workers to maintain their lifestyles, the CEO's recognized that the best way to avoid taxes was to pay employees a living wage and invest in their companies' own infrastructure.

    So what happened to this country as we used to know it?
    I would argue that three events, eight years apart, created the economic discrepancy we have today, that will only be exacerbated when the new tax law comes into effect.

    The first was the 1978 Supreme Court decision, “Marquette National Bank of Minneapolis v. First of Omaha Service Corp." This case threw out usury laws, and allowed states to set interest rates as they saw fit, offer credit cards to anyone breathing, and changed the course of American Business from Industrial Manufacturing to Financial Services.

    In 1978, inflation was 6%. In 1979, it was 14%, and remained double digits for most of the 1980’s. I would argue that the relaxation of usury laws allowed interest rates to climb, and inflation to climb with it.

    Think of America in the 1970’s. Yes, we were in one recession after another. Yes, the oil crisis was hurting businesses, and many were going under. But the vast majority of American businesses were manufacturers. We made stuff. But why get a 10% return on an investment in a factory when we could get 18% just by sending someone a credit card with a high credit limit?

    Second, around that the same time, someone figured out that Internal Revenue Code section 401(k), originally created to limit executives from deferring too much income away for themselves, could also be used by employees to defer income. So in the early 80's, companies realized that they could shift the burden of retirement pensions off of their books and have it become the responsibility of the employees.

    Then, third, Reagan and Tip O’Neill lowered the highest marginal tax rate to 50%, then to 28% in 1986. Prior to that, there was a disincentive to earn a lot in one year. We had income averaging (Schedule G) on the tax returns, which allowed an unusually high income year to be averaged in with prior tax years, and the big focus was deferred compensation. It was a smart move to defer your income over time, in the form of a pension or equivalent, so you didn’t give it all away to the government at once.

    The 28% rate in 1987 changed all that. Now, we had nouveau riche. We started to watch Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous on TV. Arbitrage, Leveraged buy-outs, junk bonds, they all hit the economy, as management started to cannibalize its own businesses in order to pay themselves and cash out. With the transition away from manufacturing to financial services, factories started closing herewith increased frequency, and moving overseas, with the globalization that came with the increase in focus on the finance industry. America became a country that stopped producing goods, but started instead growing money from money, and reducing the rest to the service industries to support everything else.

    Prior to that, excess profits went into salaries and the physical plant, to avoid higher taxes. Now, it went into the pockets of those extolled by Robin Leach.

    With low tax rates, and low capital gains rates, the US has shifted from an economy that produces goods and services to an economy that produces financial instruments. And, as the report says, that doesn't improve "savings, investment, and productivity growth." It simply concentrates the wealth in the hands of fewer and fewer.

    To understand why this is true - why trickle down economics does not work - let's take $20 million dollars. Let's give $10 million to one, I dunno, hedge fund manager, or CEO of a Fortune 100 company. Let's divide the other $10 million among 25 guys each earning $200k each, and another 50 people earning $100k each. So we have 1 guy earning $10 million, and 75 people splitting the other $10 million. I'm having these 75 people earn a decent salary, so that we don't confuse the issue by dividing it among people who earn $9 an hour. These 75 people are reasonably well off.

    Even so, my question is this: which $10 million will better stimulate the economy? How many more cars, refrigerators, dinners out, movie tickets, etc., etc., will one $10 million purchase compared to the other? Most likely, the guy who earns the $10 million himself won't spend much of it. He or she will probably do some, maybe by a car or two, but will primarily invest it, which means that he or she will exchange the money for a different means of exchange - a stock or bond on the secondary market, for example. He or she might just sock it away in the Cayman Islands. It's the concentration of the wealth among a smaller and smaller population.

    Henry Ford, in his genius, knew that he had to figure out a way to pay his workers enough to buy his cars. Having more people earn that $10 million will cause more cars to be bought. Having fewer people earn that $10 million concentrates that money into fewer hands, and there are only so many cars, refrigerators, homes and dinners out that one family can purchase in a year, compared to 75 families, let alone more, if we spread it out a bit.

    I have a good friend who is a libertarian, who asked me, then, "How much should we tax people earning over $250K?" Maybe it should be 90%, as it worked well under Eisenhower. Or 70%, as it worked well under Kennedy - who had a balanced budget - and LBJ, when the economy was soaring as well. Or 39.6%, which was where it was under President Clinton, when, once again, the economy was booming.

    The issue is not tax rates, nor taxes collected. Not by itself. Nor is spending. The issue is two-fold: One is, what should the relationship be between the tax revenue raised and the spending of that revenue? And the other is, what kind of society do we want to be?

    This brings us to regulations, and my favorite investigative journalist, Greg Palast. In his book, Vulture’s Picnic, which he wrote years ago, he notes:

    Regulation, the rules they tell you to hate, are the way we apply democracy to the economy. Votes versus dollars. I think you can understand that. Yes, I know, the government is deeply fucked up. That's the U.S. government, the UK government, and let's not even talk about the Chinese, Malaysian, and Tanzanian governments. People have been belly-aching about rules and regulations ever since Moses schlepped the first ten down from Mount Sinai.
    But the Big Problem with government is that we don't have enough of it; the rules aren't tough enough to stop BP from blowing Cajuns to Kingdom Come. Or the rules are corrupted, made by politicians who are greased....

    If you're screaming for the "guvmnt to git off" your back, I see your point. But you're still a loser, a cheap mark, a decoy duck, a dim, unwitting stooge for forces even more powerful than that ugly guvmint, a toy for powers who are shitting on you while telling you it's raining chocolate.

    But then, who regulates the regulators? Well, Shaw Construction for one. Shaw is now constructing a plant that will turn plutonium from old atomic bombs into nuclear plant fuel. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission exempted Shaw's bombs-to-nukes plant from anti-terrorist security measures. A commissioner who voted for this take-a-terrorist-to-tea exemption, Jeffrey Merrifield, now works for Shaw. And the Secretary of Energy who promoted the plan, Spencer Abraham, is now Chairman of Areva USA, partner in Shaw Areva MOX Services.

    Heinrich Himmler's solution to the problem of having to look into the eyes of your kill was to industrialize the process, using gas from I.G.Farben Corporation and ovens from Siemens AG. They just took the orders.

    But there's a regulator of regulators we must rely on. The Fourth Estate.... That's our job as journalists, to rip away masks...."

    The same Fourth Estate that is being vilified as “fake news” for daring to report nearly any real news at all.

    Anyone who tells you that there is too much regulation perhaps does not care if there is e coli in the broccoli they eat, lead paint and other toxics in the toys their children, nieces and nephews play with, or mold that causes meningitis in the antibiotics that might be prescribed.

    Regulations protect the rest of us from this sort of thing. I'm sure that when the reader goes the supermarket, you appreciate the "sell by" dates on dairy and meats. That's regulation. It protects us from the profit motive. That's an economic argument. I'm also sure that when you go to a restaurant, you appreciate that the employees must wash their hands before leaving the bathroom. That's just common sense, but it is also a regulation. Before we start talking about regulations as "bad," and full of red tape, we have to recognize that at least some of them are necessary and worthwhile. And they have to be enforced and paid for. With taxes.

    We have a choice. We always do, on what kind of people we want to be? What kind of society do we want to create? How much are we willing, or unwilling, to contribute to our own well-being, and to take care of our neighbors who need help the most?

    It depends on who you ask. The Republicans just answered the question their own way. Speaker Ryan, as I noted in my post yesterday, wants to use the anticipated deficit to cut Social Security and Medicare, destroy unions, and create a non-wage-earner, sub-contracting world where corporations no longer will be required to pay for benefits, including sick pay, family leave, unemployment insurance, workers compensation, vacation pay, Social Security, Medicare, or, of course, health insurance. Yet that entire economic argument, that we need lower tax rates to grow the economy has been systematically debunked. We need taxes, and fair taxes, to make sure that we can take care of our own. And unless you no longer care whether restaurant employees wash their hands after using the toilet, you have to agree that at least some regulation is important. After that, you just have to figure out which other ones are, too.

    Friday, Dec 22, 2017 · 4:54:39 PM CST · David B
    The link to the Congressional Research Service report up top has been fixed. You can also access it here.
     

    Attached Files:

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  19. MA

    MA Surprisingly normal looking
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    Let's save the "I'm a true leftist/you're just a Democrat" schtick for when you've gone more than a day without marginalizing the importance of social issues just to make a (bad) point.
     
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  20. OHW

    OHW Well-Known Member
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    :meh:forgive me for acknowledging that Hillary Clinton (who failed to beat the most beatable candidate in modern history) was a bad candidate
     
  21. NCHusker

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    Is it's marginalizing the importance of social issues to want someone who's further left than just a conservative who isn't a scumbag?
     
  22. MA

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    There are plenty of good reasons for Dems to change their platform.

    Bad faith arguments about Clinton's loss just aren't one of them. But if you think it's okay to blame external factors or her positions, depending on what you're arguing at the time, that's your choice.
     
  23. OHW

    OHW Well-Known Member
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    OK, let's completely ignore that she lost the easiest shot at the presidency anyone will ever get.

    How do you explain Democrats getting murdered nationwide? You don't think policy might have had something to do with that?
     
  24. MA

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    No. It's marginalizing the importance of social issues to equate Clinton and Kasich, with only a footnote about their disagreement on "a couple of social issues".
     
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  25. NCHusker

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    Fair
     
  26. OHW

    OHW Well-Known Member
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    Do you want an apology or something? You've been harping on my comments wrt Dear Leader pretty hard.
     
  27. MA

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    I don't think policy was either completely or not-at-all responsible. I think it's disingenuous to hold up her loss as being because of policy, given all we know about other factors that contributed it (e.g., 126 million people being exposed to Russian propaganda on Facebook, and racial animosity being a leading predictor for Trump voters). And I also think people shouldn't pick and choose external factors or policy dependent on what argument they're making at the time.

    He asked about it and I explained why I said it. If that's harping then so be it.
     
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  28. OHW

    OHW Well-Known Member
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    So in your estimation the DNC is fine and shouldn't make any changes?
     
  29. AlternativeFactsRule

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    2020 will be easier
     
  30. AlternativeFactsRule

    AlternativeFactsRule Mmm ... Coconuts
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    You can think both that the DNC needs to change and that DNC policy has little to do with why they lost the presidential race.
     
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  31. MA

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    Sigh. You have to know how ridiculous these leaps you're making are.
     
  32. OHW

    OHW Well-Known Member
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    Then why are you so mad when you agree with me? Is it because I dared to besmirch the good name of Hillary Clinton?
     
  33. MA

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    I'm not mad at all.

    I just, as I've said, think it's acting in bad faith to use Clinton's loss as a testament to policy shortcomings when we know that a bunch of other factors contributed to it.
     
  34. OHW

    OHW Well-Known Member
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    Clinton's and the DNC's loss*

    You're only paying attention to one of hundreds of elections they lost last year.
     
  35. Mister Me Too

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    I agree, policies have not been the problem for the DNC it’s how they communicate those policies that has been the main culprit in their defeats.
     
  36. OHW

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    wouldn't it be cool if the DNC learned this
     
  37. MA

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    Well your post I initially replied to was about her and my point was only about her, so... yeah.
     
  38. BellottiBold

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    This genuinely gives me tears.
     
  39. Randy Bobandi

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    Just like Jesus would want.
     
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  40. OHW

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    indeed I saw this and thought you might like it
    [​IMG]
     
  41. Mister Me Too

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    [​IMG]
     
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