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      01-21-2015, 12:43 PM   #1
UncleWede
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State of the Union

I'm a registered "Decline to State" because I just can't stand the partisanship BS. If it's right for the country, it doesn't matter what letter precedes the smart individual who thought it up/put it in a bill.

I thought it unfortunate that the only time it seemed that the entire gallery stood was when POTUS thanked our Armed Forces. I stood at home.

Everybody knows who made and how much the first lady paid for her (personally, I think it was FUG-LY) dress; What was POTUS wearing, and how much did it cost?

While we are on the whole attire thing, what the Teletubby color was that tie Boehner was wearing???

POTUS is still sharp enough on his toes to counter "I know, I won twice" Props to him for that.

Can you tell that I couldn't find anything of any real substance to discuss? He only briefly mentioned the dark pit of campaign money. That almost made me think something might be in the winds of change. Yes, I'm still a na´ve optimist. . .
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      01-21-2015, 01:49 PM   #2
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I just kept looking at Boehners expression. If he didn't clap neither did I..
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      01-21-2015, 02:36 PM   #3
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I wish the SOTU was delivered via letter to Congress instead of the whole dog and pony show.
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      01-21-2015, 05:01 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by UncleWede View Post
I'm a registered "Decline to State" because I just can't stand the partisanship BS. If it's right for the country, it doesn't matter what letter precedes the smart individual who thought it up/put it in a bill.

I thought it unfortunate that the only time it seemed that the entire gallery stood was when POTUS thanked our Armed Forces. I stood at home.

Everybody knows who made and how much the first lady paid for her (personally, I think it was FUG-LY) dress; What was POTUS wearing, and how much did it cost?

While we are on the whole attire thing, what the Teletubby color was that tie Boehner was wearing???

POTUS is still sharp enough on his toes to counter "I know, I won twice" Props to him for that.

Can you tell that I couldn't find anything of any real substance to discuss? He only briefly mentioned the dark pit of campaign money. That almost made me think something might be in the winds of change. Yes, I'm still a na´ve optimist. . .
There's plenty to discuss, although the discussions won't lead anywhere.

Is there the slightest doubt among anyone at all that infrastructure improvements for the US would be a good investment? Not to mention necessary, unless you want to be out dodging falling bridges on the highway.

http://www.betterroads.com/cincinnat...-truck-driver/

And is there any doubt that asking the top 1% to pay a bit more taxes to pay for it isn't going to cause them to sulk and do any less work that they do right now? Note that that top 1% has done extremely well for the past 6 years under the Obama recovery, while the bottom 50% has gotten very little. Among other things, the stock market has more than doubled, while wages have increased very little. As Warren Buffet said: "Of course there's class warfare. My class is winning."

But of course government investment and higher taxes on anyone are as anathema to the Republicans as abortion, gay marriage, and doing something sensible about immigration.

Or, is there any doubt that anyone who works full time deserves more than $15,000 a year? And deserves 7 days of sick leave, rather than zero? Or that our country wouldn't be stronger, in many ways, if we gave them that?

Or, any doubt at all that in today's world, a community college education is at least as much a requirement (both for the individual an the country) as (free) high school was 50 years ago?

I could state a lot more, but it would be equally futile. We're in for two more years of garbage. In 2016, hopefully the electorate will make a reasonable decision about which party has the better plan to keep America strong and economically competitive in a world where we are no longer the easy favorite. And vote them into control of all three.

Or they won't, and we'll go the way of Great Britain. Not a bad place, but no longer all that relevant. Hasn't done anything really "great" in some time.

Visit Europe, and see how much better/newer their infrastructure is than ours. They don't feel the need to come here for an advanced education much, either. As they once did. What's happened to our infrastructure and our educational institutions is sickening. And those are clearly governmental responsibilities.

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      01-21-2015, 05:38 PM   #5
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It's going to take someone with some BRASS balls to get in there and suggest a straight, fixed, no need for an accountant, flat tax on all income. Just won't happen probably in my lifetime.

Here in Cali, we pay .18/gal in gas tax that is SUPPOSED to go right back into roads, yet we can't get a decent repair job on a pothole, nevermind re-doing a road that is 20 years past it's lifetime. Why should we go digging into some 1% back pocket for something that is already in place?

I don't think ANYONE expects to make it, in any urbanized part of the US, on $15k/year. Hell, Josh, Bill, Chico and Tyler (moonshiners) have some other job they do that nets them more than $15k/year. Minimum wage jobs are NOT a career choice, those are the jobs our youth should be doing in order to gain perspective/work-ethics, and to motivate them to get a better job. I still go out and volunteer to do some of those dirty, back-breaking, nasty jobs, just to keep my on the straight and narrow and remain thankful for the job I have and what it took to get there.

"but that's just my opinion, I could be wrong"
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      01-21-2015, 08:41 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by UncleWede View Post
It's going to take someone with some BRASS balls to get in there and suggest a straight, fixed, no need for an accountant, flat tax on all income. Just won't happen probably in my lifetime.
And it shouldn't. A simple tax, fine.

But it needs to be progressive, not flat. The idea that the rich should pay the same percentage as the poor is awful. It would make for income inequality that would make even an old banana republic look good. Which is what most of those pressing for a flat tax want. "Complexity" is just a cover argument. Note that making capital tax rates the same as income rates would be good for both simplicity and fairness. Try to get that through the Republicans. And see if any of the "flat tax" proponents would agree with that one. Complexity is just fine with them, as long as it benefits the wealthy.

A simple progressive tax still wouldn't require an accountant. Accountants are required because special interests have gotten tax loop holes by bribing (or, if you prefer, making campaign contributions to) our legislators. And they're really required only for the well off, who get the vast majority of those breaks.

Note that anyone owning a BMW qualifies as "well off" in my book. No matter how much they bitch about not having enough money. Once again, try living on the minimum wage of $15,000. Millions do.

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      01-21-2015, 10:08 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by 128Convertibleguy View Post
Once again, try living on the minimum wage of $15,000. Millions do.
Actually, very few are trying to live off the minimum wage, no matter how Obama tried to spin his inflammatory rhetoric (while trying to say he was above being inflammatory). According to the Cato Institute:

- Welfare pays more than the current minimum wage, in 35 states,

- In 12 states, an individual leaving welfare to take a job paying the same as welfare would see a decline in actual income,

- In 13 states, welfare pays more than $15/hour,

- In 11 states, welfare pays more than the average pre-tax wage for a teacher,

- In 39 states, welfare pays more than the starting salary for a secretary,

- In the 3 most generous states (HI, DC, and MA), welfare pays more than the starting salary for an entry-level programmer.

- Mississippi, the lowest-paying state, pays $16,984 in welfare benefits per year.

So who are these people trying to "raise a family on $15,000/yr?" Why are they not taking advantage of a reasonably generous welfare system? If the minimum wage is raised, will welfare benefits also be raised, thus canceling out any benefit?

Obama's speech may have inflamed people, but it was a little light on facts. And as stated by UncleWede above, who expects to raise a family on a minimum wage job?

http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.or...ff_2013_wp.pdf
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      01-21-2015, 11:14 PM   #8
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I'm pretty pissed about privacy. I have nothing against Obama personally but the last few years have been complete bullsh!t and I don't think he did enough.
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      01-22-2015, 09:44 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by bbbbmw View Post
Actually, very few are trying to live off the minimum wage, no matter how Obama tried to spin his inflammatory rhetoric (while trying to say he was above being inflammatory). According to the Cato Institute:

- Welfare pays more than the current minimum wage, in 35 states...
None of what you say matters. People don't want to live on welfare, which is a truly crummy life of desperation. They actually want to work. Most who can, do. There are millions who work for minimum wage, and they're not teenagers. Look at the people who serve you in restaurants, in hotels, and at stores. They're not all teenagers, they're mostly adults trying to earn a living.

This crap comes from te CATO Institute, one of many right wing organizations, who serve largely to make the privileged upper class (like you and me) in America believe that holding the lower classes down in hopeless poverty is the "right" thing to do. Hey, it works for them (the privileged).

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      01-22-2015, 09:57 AM   #10
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I'm pretty pissed about privacy. I have nothing against Obama personally but the last few years have been complete bullsh!t and I don't think he did enough.
Very true. But it's a real dilemma. The guy at the top knows that, if there's a terrorist attack on his watch, people will blame him. And that if he spies on people in an attempt to do everything he can to reduce the risk of even one attack from happening, he'll get much milder criticism, or maybe none at all, if he can stop people like Snowden.

So individual political leaders will work for better privacy. But, once they get elected President, their incentives completely change. It's hard for me to see how any Commander-in-Chief doesn't use every tool he has available to gather intelligence, to do his job of protecting America. Even if it's morally questionable, or against the spirit of America.

Franklin said "those who would give up some freedom for some security deserve neither". Had he become President in our time, he would have changed his tune.

I don't know what the solution is. I do know it has to start us, with a large majority of Americans who refuse to become part of the culture of fear and bigotry, with a media that does not supercharge the culture of fear and bigotry in order to make money. Yes, I'm talking about FauxNews, among others. As is often the case, we have met the enemy, and he is us.

We're in for a long wait on that. Look at what happened with Ebola. Media driven panic is not too strong a characterization. With counterproductive results like ordinary citizens supporting dumping crap on the heroes who went to fight it where it mattered.

This is another tough one.

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      01-22-2015, 03:09 PM   #11
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OK, I just remembered another thing that really bothered me: Cmdr. Kelly. We are going to put him in space for a year???? He wears glasses, looks to be at least 20lbs over weight, and I'm guessing he has seen 45+ trips around the sun (birthdays). Sure, at 48 and in contacts I'd still dearly love to go into space, but I don't really expect it to happen.
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      01-22-2015, 04:11 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by upstatedoc View Post
I just kept looking at Boehners expression. If he didn't clap neither did I..
Partisanship at it's worst. Boehner can't even be happy for the country. He and his caucus are all about party first.
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      01-22-2015, 05:54 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by UncleWede View Post
OK, I just remembered another thing that really bothered me: Cmdr. Kelly. We are going to put him in space for a year???? He wears glasses, looks to be at least 20lbs over weight, and I'm guessing he has seen 45+ trips around the sun (birthdays). Sure, at 48 and in contacts I'd still dearly love to go into space, but I don't really expect it to happen.
He has a pretty impressive record.

http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/kellysj.html

And he has an identical twin brother, a former astronaut. By doing baseline testing before he leaves, and additional testing over time, there is a useful comparison available.

Last edited by 128Convertibleguy; 01-22-2015 at 06:02 PM.
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      01-22-2015, 07:03 PM   #14
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NO disrespect for his accomplishments.

So in February he turns 51. I always thought those Hollywood trips to the moon for the old guys was just that: Hollywood. And I know 50 is the new 30, but there must be someone else we can send up for a year? The Russian Cosmonauts who stayed up for extended lengths were always much younger. Maybe, since he is older and his kids are grown, he needs some "me time" away from the wife
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      01-22-2015, 07:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 128Convertibleguy View Post
None of what you say matters. People don't want to live on welfare, which is a truly crummy life of desperation. They actually want to work. Most who can, do. There are millions who work for minimum wage, and they're not teenagers.

You're living in fantasy land.
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      01-23-2015, 01:42 AM   #16
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Hilarious to watch BMW owners debate the plight of poor people. Full on let them eat cake moment.

"Hurr durr, I have an m3, I know all about what it takes to live on $15k per year"
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      01-23-2015, 01:45 AM   #17
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I wish the SOTU was delivered via letter to Congress instead of the whole dog and pony show.
So you'd prefer to hear the State of the Union paraphrased into a few news worthy sound bites, instead of having the president address congress? It's not like those legislators have anywhere to be.
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      01-23-2015, 03:23 PM   #18
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It needed more emotional and anecdotal stories to convince me that everything is awesome with America.

Joking aside, surprised he didn't say much about ISIS.
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      01-23-2015, 05:36 PM   #19
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It needed more emotional and anecdotal stories to convince me that everything is awesome with America.

Joking aside, surprised he didn't say much about ISIS.
What's there to say? We're doing what we can without putting boots on the ground. Protecting the Middle East is now pretty much up to the Middle East. As it should have been, a very long time ago. And would have been, except for our dependence on oil.
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      01-23-2015, 09:06 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by SoCal235 View Post
So you'd prefer to hear the State of the Union paraphrased into a few news worthy sound bites, instead of having the president address congress? It's not like those legislators have anywhere to be.
Yep:

"...While not required to deliver a speech, every president since Woodrow Wilson, with notable exception of Herbert Hoover,[5] has made at least one State of the Union report as a speech delivered before a joint session of Congress. Before that time, most presidents delivered the State of the Union as a written report.[3].."
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      01-24-2015, 04:08 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by F32Fleet View Post
Yep:

"...While not required to deliver a speech, every president since Woodrow Wilson, with notable exception of Herbert Hoover,[5] has made at least one State of the Union report as a speech delivered before a joint session of Congress. Before that time, most presidents delivered the State of the Union as a written report.[3].."
Which made sense in a country where the majority of people likely didn't have even a radio, and TV hadn't been invented.

As times change, it's useful to respond to those changes. I realize that's a staggering concept to many diehard conservatives. <grin>
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      01-25-2015, 12:35 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by 128Convertibleguy View Post
And it shouldn't. A simple tax, fine.

But it needs to be progressive, not flat. The idea that the rich should pay the same percentage as the poor is awful. It would make for income inequality that would make even an old banana republic look good.
Dude get off your soapbox! The income inequality that exists in America is absolutely trivial when compared to the inequalities that exist in most other countries. There are poor people in America, but they at least have access to schools, hospitals, food, shelter.

There are untold #'s of people dying everyday of malnutrition, starvation, commonly curable disease all over Africa, South/Central America Asia and parts of Europe. There is absolutely no comparison.

Also taxing the rich is not a novel idea nor is it going to solve our problems. This country needs a restructuring of its taxation and spending policies...we are spending way too much (the Billions of $ on quantitative easing is just one example). And we are not doing enough to encourage business growth. We have run up the credit card bills, and once interest rates start rising, we will have massive interest on those bills.

Simply taxing the rich at a higher rate isn't going to solve that problem.
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