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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Republican Presidential Primary News & Discussion Center 2012 (Page 22)

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Author Topic: Republican Presidential Primary News & Discussion Center 2012
Blayne Bradley
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In case anyone is interested:

quote:

Fiscal Bang for the Buck
One-year $ change in real GDP per $ reduction in federal tax revenue or increase in spending
Tax Cuts
Nonrefundable Lump-Sum Tax Rebate 1.02
Refundable Lump-Sum Tax Rebate 1.26
Temporary Tax Cuts
Payroll Tax Holiday 1.29
Across the Board Tax Cut 1.03
Accelerated Depreciation 0.27
Permanent Tax Cuts
Extend Alternative Minimum Tax Patch 0.48
Make Bush Income Tax Cuts Permanent 0.29
Make Dividend and Capital Gains Tax Cuts Permanent 0.37
Cut Corporate Tax Rate 0.30
Spending Increases
Extend Unemployment Insurance Benefits 1.64
Temporarily Increase Food Stamps 1.73
Issue General Aid to State Governments 1.36
Increase Infrastructure Spending 1.59

http://www.economy.com/mark-zandi/documents/Small%20Business_7_24_08.pdf
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Blayne Bradley
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New Huntsman ad apparantly is bad.
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talsmitde
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The Manchester Union-Leader has endorsed Newt Gingrich.

According to Nate Silver, this endorsement generally correlates with a 11% boost in the New Hampshire primary.

While Newt's obviously the next anti-Romney-of-the-month, voting does start pretty soon, and with the holiday season now upon us, there will be less space for turnover in the Republican race.

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Lyrhawn
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Yeah, the GOP primary has turned into a game of musical chairs. All he has to do is stay seated for the next 30 days and hope that the others crash so spectacularly that they drop out early and fast so he can pick up the pieces.

He still has a chance. If Newt is smart, he'll start quietly courting his weaker competition and offering them something to drop out after the first three or four states when they come in in the single digits.

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BlackBlade
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Nice knowing you Herman Cain.

Can you even openly say you are reevaluating mid race and still claw your way back? I've never heard of it. Also these latest allegation seems to easily have the most traction.

I love the article ends with a comment made by his spokesman, about how it's all full steam ahead for Cain.

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Orincoro
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It's amazing to me that someone like Cain could enter this race with these skeletons in his closet (assuming for a moment that the allegations are all more or less true). It is breathtakingly irresponsible, on a level with Clinton, or Edwards running for President, knowing that if certain events came to light, they would bring enormous pressure upon their administrations, and do untold damage to the political process.

That in itself is almost worse than committing an infidelity. People cheat for lots of reasons- but to place yourself above the needs of your nation and your government, is pure narcissism.

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Geraine
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
It's amazing to me that someone like Cain could enter this race with these skeletons in his closet (assuming for a moment that the allegations are all more or less true). It is breathtakingly irresponsible, on a level with Clinton, or Edwards running for President, knowing that if certain events came to light, they would bring enormous pressure upon their administrations, and do untold damage to the political process.

That in itself is almost worse than committing an infidelity. People cheat for lots of reasons- but to place yourself above the needs of your nation and your government, is pure narcissism.

I'm with you. Practice what you preach. You can't be a person that speaks about family and moral values and then get caught having an affair or in a bathroom with a page.

I really hope Gingrich falls back down in the polls. To be honest I am surprised the media hasn't been throwing all of the dirt they have on him yet. Of course this is probably just a strategy. If they keep quiet for long enough and he gets the nomination, they can then release all of the dirt they have on him and make the republicans regret making him their candidate. (Insert Tin Foil Hat Emoticon here [Razz] )

Didn't Newt hand his ex-wife divorce papers while she was in the hospital with cancer? Come on..

ETA: There is no Tin Foil Hat icon? I thought there was?

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DDDaysh
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I actually saw NEWT speak when I was in college. I saw him in an auditorium type set up, but then again in a very small groups setting with basically him and about 30 students. I shook the man's hand and was actually dating a guy who got him to sign his T-shirt. (Yes, I have absolutely horrible, HORRIBLE taste in men.)

Here's the thing that scares me. When I sat in the room with him, I really thought he was the only sane politician in the country. I knew there were serious problems with alot of the things he said. I knew he had very questionable moral values. But somehow, I just didn't care, I was practically enthralled. He made all the problems look small and his answers seem just right. Even some Nader supporters were nodding their heads at times.

I've never had another politician give off that "happy glow" the way he did, not even others that I've seen in a similar small group setting.

So I'm a little scared. If he manages to charm the public just long enough to get elected, it could be a BIG PROBLEM.

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Juxtapose
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Cain's out.
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Lyrhawn
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That was a pretty dramatic rise and fall. Can't remember the last time someone rose from obscurity that fast and crashed and burned just as quickly.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by DDDaysh:
I actually saw NEWT speak when I was in college. I saw him in an auditorium type set up, but then again in a very small groups setting with basically him and about 30 students. I shook the man's hand and was actually dating a guy who got him to sign his T-shirt. (Yes, I have absolutely horrible, HORRIBLE taste in men.)

Really? Being a Republican ipso facto makes someone horrible? And a horrible partner?

There are no common interests more important than politics?

Edit: I'm just really baffled, and having a hard time wrapping my head around this. It's not an attitude I really understand. My partner is a quasi-libertarian like me, but she deeply disagrees with my minarchist/anarcho-capitalist leanings. My best friend is a self-described Socialist. The only member of my family I like is a pretty hardcore hippy (married to a guy with some hippy sensibilities, but who's job is genetically engineering "frankenfoods" and has worked for Monsanto, among other places). My boss (who is an awesome, brilliant lady) is a Democrat married to a Republican.

Putting so much value on political persuasion that a Newt-supporter gets characterized as a horrible human being is... pretty horrifying to me, actually. [Frown]

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Lyrhawn
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Yeah I don't know about "horrible taste in men" on the whole, but it might be fair to say "bad choice."

I think I would have trouble dating a vocal, hard core supporter diametrically opposed to my beliefs. We'd either have to totally ignore politics, which isn't necessarily a problem, or we'd both be in fights, which is troublesome because I also like opinionated, strong women. That can easily be construed as "wait, so you like strong women, but not when they don't agree with you?" Sometimes. I have different sets of criteria for random people I talk to, friends, and significant others, and for SOs, why introduce more explosive variables than you need to? And sometimes opposing views are simply a turn off.

So yeah, for a liberal, someone being a conservative CAN be a deal breaker, but I'd never judge someone just for that.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by DDDaysh:
... I shook the man's hand and was actually dating a guy who got him to sign his T-shirt. (Yes, I have absolutely horrible, HORRIBLE taste in men.)

Really? Being a Republican ipso facto makes someone horrible? And a horrible partner?
FWIW, I didn't read that as "Republican=horrible partner" full stop. I read it as "Hardcore Newt Gingrich supporter, to the extent that one would would get his signature on one's T-shirt=horrible partner"

Especially when it comes to picking a partner that one hopes is faithful to you, picking one that is so enthusiastic about a man with Gingrich's romantic history is kinda risky.

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Samprimary
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It's unfair to judge a person who supports newt as a horrible individual. They might have brain damage. We need to be responsive and respectful of the extra challenges they have in life.

Serious portion of post: (1) I think this article sums up everything there is to be said about Cain's run, (2) Cain's supporters, when polled, tend to greatly favor Newt and greatly disfavor Romney, so let's see what happens now in the primaries, and (3) nice job shielding all the other Republican candidates from a great degree of public scrutiny, Herman. You done good.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Yeah I don't know about "horrible taste in men" on the whole, but it might be fair to say "bad choice."

I think I would have trouble dating a vocal, hard core supporter diametrically opposed to my beliefs. We'd either have to totally ignore politics, which isn't necessarily a problem, or we'd both be in fights, which is troublesome because I also like opinionated, strong women. That can easily be construed as "wait, so you like strong women, but not when they don't agree with you?" Sometimes. I have different sets of criteria for random people I talk to, friends, and significant others, and for SOs, why introduce more explosive variables than you need to? And sometimes opposing views are simply a turn off.

So yeah, for a liberal, someone being a conservative CAN be a deal breaker, but I'd never judge someone just for that.

I think this is totally valid, actually. I don't know how well I could have a relationship with a dedicated Marxist. I doubt it would go well.

But honestly for me it seems much more to do with intelligence, respect, critical thinking, and rationality. My socialist friend is not overzealous and dogmatic, he is cautious and pragmatic and recognizes when reality does not coincide with his ideals. I don't realistically think I could ever be in a relationship with a rabid Randroid or a rabid Marxist, and I like Rand.

quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by DDDaysh:
... I shook the man's hand and was actually dating a guy who got him to sign his T-shirt. (Yes, I have absolutely horrible, HORRIBLE taste in men.)

Really? Being a Republican ipso facto makes someone horrible? And a horrible partner?
FWIW, I didn't read that as "Republican=horrible partner" full stop. I read it as "Hardcore Newt Gingrich supporter, to the extent that one would would get his signature on one's T-shirt=horrible partner"

Especially when it comes to picking a partner that one hopes is faithful to you, picking one that is so enthusiastic about a man with Gingrich's romantic history is kinda risky.

Oh come on, do you hold partners to the same standard if they're fans of a cheating celebrity? Liking the professional career of someone who's a bit scummy in their personal life is not uncommon, or indicative of the personal habits of the fan.

I'm nowhere near a hardcore Newt supporter, but I don't think he's terrible or an idiot, and if I was presented with an opportunity to get his autograph I wouldn't mind it.

PS: Thanks for being a paragon of civil discourse as always, Sam. [Wink]

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Lyrhawn
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What's left of Cain's support will die entirely and flow to Newt. I suspect that as Gingrich cements a double-digit lead over Romney, several still in the Bachmann/Perry/Everyone else camp will see which way the wind is blowing and flock to Newt as well, who seems to have won the GOP Musical Chairs contest.

There are still a lot of undecideds out there who will start to make up their minds in the next two or three weeks. Unless they're all pragmatic voters who flock to Romney, he's going to be in a surprising amount of trouble in early states he was supposed to do very well in. Anything less than a crushing win in New Hampshire will be spun as a loss. Newt is polling ahead in Iowa, where Romney has barely campaigned (and Iowans are mad about that).

I still think this will come down to how fast the anti-Romney vote coalesces around a candidate, but with Cain out, it might be happening sooner than I thought.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
I think this is totally valid, actually. I don't know how well I could have a relationship with a dedicated Marxist. I doubt it would go well.

But honestly for me it seems much more to do with intelligence, respect, critical thinking, and rationality. My socialist friend is not overzealous and dogmatic, he is cautious and pragmatic and recognizes when reality does not coincide with his ideals. I don't realistically think I could ever be in a relationship with a rabid Randroid or a rabid Marxist, and I like Rand.

I have several friends that I get into very long, very heated arguments with on a semi-regular basis about politics, the economy, etc. But we're all still friends at the end of the day, and it's not that big a deal. I think the calculus is a little different with someone you're dating. My last girlfriend was entirely apolitical. The last girl I dated was also entirely apolitical. The one before that was as rabid a liberal as I am, though a bit more of a feminist, which made things interesting but never bad. I find disengagement rather unattractive, I'd probably be more comfortable with someone who disagreed with me a fair bit than with someone who just didn't give a damn at all.
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Dan_Frank
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Yeah, again I find I basically agree, though I may have a slightly different threshold than you. For example, and of course this is just based on our interactions here so I could be totally wrong, but I actually feel that our political differences would not keep me from wanting to date you, Lyr. You're intelligent, thoughtful, and civil, which I think is basically all I need for the conversations to stay cool and not disrupt a relationship. But, the last time I dated was many years ago, and I was a liberal myself then, so I don't really have much real experience in this area to compare against.

(Hope that hypothetical didn't weird you out, it was just for illustrative purposes)

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Lyrhawn
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lol, I'm single, but I'm not that single.

Yeah, it totally depends on the person's personality. Some people allow their ideology to control their reactions and emotions more than others. I'm just as susceptible to it as anyone. I think it helps that (this is my observation anyway) women tend to be more interested in understanding and idea exchange than with simply winning an argument, though my best friend, a woman, is a frustrating exception to that rule. On the other hand, us menfolk tend to just want to win. I like winning as much as the next guy, but unless I'm in an actual competition, I'm far more interested in learning and sharing than I am with scoring points (this varies depending on how worked up I get). But yeah, attitude matters a great deal.

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Dan_Frank
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Heh, and I'm not single, so don't worry, you're safe. As I said, illustrative only. [Big Grin] For additional contrast, I truly find Sam adorable, but I think I'd want to strangle him fifteen minutes into our first date.

Because you're right. At the end of the day, it's the personality that matters, not their political ideology. That's basically all that I was responding to in the first place. If that particular Newt supporter was a scuzzy douche (sort of like Newt!), then yeah, that exemplifies horrible taste in men. But not all Newt supporters are scuzzy douches.

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Samprimary
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you've obviously never dated me
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Lyrhawn
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I sense a dinner in the offing...
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Samprimary
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thousand bucks says ten minutes into a date with me, he'd be a socialist
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Dan_Frank
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[ROFL]
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Lyrhawn
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God, I'll willing to kick in fifty bucks just to make it happen. I'll even host.

You'll both love Nebraska.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
FWIW, I didn't read that as "Republican=horrible partner" full stop. I read it as "Hardcore Newt Gingrich supporter, to the extent that one would would get his signature on one's T-shirt=horrible partner"

Especially when it comes to picking a partner that one hopes is faithful to you, picking one that is so enthusiastic about a man with Gingrich's romantic history is kinda risky.

Oh come on, do you hold partners to the same standard if they're fans of a cheating celebrity? Liking the professional career of someone who's a bit scummy in their personal life is not uncommon, or indicative of the personal habits of the fan.

I don't think Newt is merely a celebrity and people who support politicians aren't merely "fans."

The guy is running for a leadership position that involves many decisions that have to do with morals. Decisions like whether to torture, when to go to war, taking responsibility for global warming, etc. A mere celebrity like an actor or a musician, they may be immoral, but they're not necessarily making decisions that matter. We're just buying their music or their movies. That isn't the case with a politician.

(I also don't think "standard" is the right word for what I mean when I use the word risk. I'd rather think of it in terms of risk factors. As in being a supporter of Newt Gingrich is an important risk factor)

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
You'll both love Nebraska.

I .. I just had a cerebral hemorrhage trying to comprehend this statement
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
FWIW, I didn't read that as "Republican=horrible partner" full stop. I read it as "Hardcore Newt Gingrich supporter, to the extent that one would would get his signature on one's T-shirt=horrible partner"

Especially when it comes to picking a partner that one hopes is faithful to you, picking one that is so enthusiastic about a man with Gingrich's romantic history is kinda risky.

Oh come on, do you hold partners to the same standard if they're fans of a cheating celebrity? Liking the professional career of someone who's a bit scummy in their personal life is not uncommon, or indicative of the personal habits of the fan.

I don't think Newt is merely a celebrity and people who support politicians aren't merely "fans."

The guy is running for a leadership position that involves many decisions that have to do with morals. Decisions like whether to torture, when to go to war, taking responsibility for global warming, etc. A mere celebrity like an actor or a musician, they may be immoral, but they're not necessarily making decisions that matter. We're just buying their music or their movies. That isn't the case with a politician.

(I also don't think "standard" is the right word for what I mean when I use the word risk. I'd rather think of it in terms of risk factors. As in being a supporter of Newt Gingrich is an important risk factor)

Okay, but you talked about Newt's romantic history, contrasting it to hoping your partner is faithful to you. This, to me, strongly reads that you are saying someone who likes Newt's policies must therefore be more likely to cheat on you, since Newt cheated on his wives. Try re-reading it and I think you'll see why I interpreted it that way. And yes, I think this is totally comparable to a sleazy celebrity. In both cases, adultery has little or nothing to do with their major spheres of influence.

Now, if you're saying that someone who likes Newt's policies is more likely to be an awful human being who likes to detain Arab children as prisoners in an illegal war and toss them in an antiquated carbon-spewing torture chamber, then that's a different matter. I still might think you're wrong, but I would have left that fight alone, because I don't have the energy to try to win it right now. [Smile]

quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
You'll both love Nebraska.

I .. I just had a cerebral hemorrhage trying to comprehend this statement
Hey we have more in common than we thought!
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Lyrhawn
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I think there's something there that wasn't there before.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
And yes, I think this is totally comparable to a sleazy celebrity. In both cases, adultery has little or nothing to do with their major spheres of influence.

I don't think so.
If I like a musician's music, I might like how their music sounds. But for most classes of celebrity, their other behaviour is irrelevant. The only exception I can think of would be a celebrity that has been chosen as a role model, then I think there may be a point of comparison.

(Edit to add: On second thought, I might even need to walk back a bit when it comes to celebrities. For example, if a potential partner said that they respected Tiger Wood's golfing, then I think that would be ok. But if they said that they were a *fan* of Tiger Woods and wanted to get a signature from him on their shirt ... that would definitely be a bad sign. )

On the other hand, a politician, at least in a representative democracy, is supposed to be your representative. As in he (or she) serves as an example of the group that you happen to belong to and makes decisions/policy taking into account the things that you value.

[ December 03, 2011, 10:37 PM: Message edited by: Mucus ]

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Dan_Frank
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Okay, so, to a certain extent, you're right, but it seems like you're still moving the goalpost from adultery to general badness. One can argue that Newt's adultery, like, say, Clinton's, makes him less fit to be president. I honestly don't really agree, but I can see why people feel that way.

However, I think that this is a far cry from saying that anyone who thinks Clinton was a good president, therefore, be a higher risk of being an adulterer. I still don't see how the two follow at all.

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Dan_Frank
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Just saw your edit. Yeah. That's actually a really interesting point. I'll have to chew this one over for a while. [Smile]
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DDDaysh
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by DDDaysh:
I actually saw NEWT speak when I was in college. I saw him in an auditorium type set up, but then again in a very small groups setting with basically him and about 30 students. I shook the man's hand and was actually dating a guy who got him to sign his T-shirt. (Yes, I have absolutely horrible, HORRIBLE taste in men.)

Really? Being a Republican ipso facto makes someone horrible? And a horrible partner?

[Frown]

Well, no, being a republican isn't so bad. I've voted that way myself sometimes. Being someone who loves Newt enough to have him sign a t-shirt is creepy though. Plus, he wore the shirt frequently.

However, I think I said my taste in men was horrible, not that the ex-boyfriend was.

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Dan_Frank
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The timing of the statement, and the use of the word "Yes," implies that one is logically following the other.

However, upon reflection, I will acknowledge that Mucus is right. If someone is still a hardcore "fan" of Tiger Woods after all his baggage, I will question their judgment. So depending on which version of events in Newt's personal life you believe, it seems logical to question the judgment of such a hardcore fan of his, too. So... yeah, being as much a fan as you've described does seem a bit over the top.


quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I think there's something there that wasn't there before.

Yeah, y'know, re: Sam, I've always thought there's something there that's sweet and almost kind.
But I know in the past he was mean and he was coarse and unrefined.
On the other hand, now he's dear, and even seems so unsure.
I wonder why I didn't see it there before.

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Samprimary
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*overturns table, walks out of thread*
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Orincoro
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:calls after him: "Good... go on... 'git! Nobody wants you 'round here no-how!"
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Rakeesh
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We're all staight here, right, right? (Except for those of us who aren't, which is no problem, which the little date sidebar reminded me of that stereotypical male 'nohomo!!' philosophy)

Anyway, I've gotta say I disagree with you, Dan. I might be more to your way of thinking if it were just a matter of 'Newt was married and those marriages ended in affair-driven divorces'. Sometimes, humans cheat and that's not a rock-solid guarantee of nefariousness in and of itself.

But Newt went, and goes, further than that, holding forth in past and present about morality, generations, America, protecting values (especially from those effing liberals!), etc etc. It would be politically tiresome to me (because that's not my cup of tea) ordinarily, but when the guy saying it doesn't hesitate not only to castigate his rivals but to hold up his angle as the moral high ground...that seems a very straightforward sign of 'can't trust him'.

Note: campaign-ese admission of flaws, for example, "I don't claim to be the perfect candidate," doesn't count. It's typical politics. If you're gonna be a bucket of s*#t in your personal relationships, you may very well be a gifted administrator or problem solver or scientist or something. But why on Earth would anyone take you seriously when you start gabbing morality?

This is all quite aside from Newt's breathtaking dishonesty and hypocrisy even on straightforward political matters outside of his personal life (hello, lobbying!). I would almost like him to win the nomination just so I can vote against him in the general.

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Samprimary
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He also, as I mentioned, guns for bootstrappy platitudes which belie an unrealistic apprehension of how things work in the real world, outside of ideological fantasy.

I could just again reference his idea to have the kids be the janitors of schools and this would learn 'em good gumption or something.

Man, just walk into a janitor's storeroom sometime. Count the things on the shelves that any ordinary idiot would still know are a liability and a danger put in the hands of a primary school student. Take a wild guess as to the socioeconomic patterns of divide and impediment to real education that would occur the instant this program got enacted. Guess how much of a distraction to the true task of schools this would additionally impose on centers of learning. What a great system. Look at how emblematic this fuzzy, unrealistic social engineering is to everything he supports. Look at how awesome Newt is. The fact that he's also a hypocritical, godawful scumbag is, as it was with Cain, relevant but FAR from the most important element in why any party should be embarrassed to have him as a representative.

Much less the forerunner at ANY point in their primary.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Anyway, I've gotta say I disagree with you, Dan.

You disagree with my stance before or after I decided that my initial position was flawed and Mucus had a legitimate point?

I know, I know, it's easy to forget that people can change their minds when faced with arguments (because it seems to happen so rarely!) but when it happens it's important to note exactly what you're disagreeing with. [Smile]

Edited to clarify: From the context it looks like you're disagreeing with my discarded position. I can't blame you, since clearly even I think it's the wrong stance to take! If I'm missing something, let me know.

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Rakeesh
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It's *especially* easy to disagree with your discarded position when l missed that you'd discarded it! My bad-I had the reply box open for quite awhile and entirely forgot I did, I think.
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Rakeesh
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I had no idea churches couldn't make it in the long-run in regions where they involved themselves in local politics. Huh.
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Samprimary
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quote:
And, to my own disgust, I find myself right now leaning toward Newt Gingrich, a man who, as a human being, in my opinion does not measure up to either Romney or Obama.

But I think he'd make a better President than either. I can support his position on more issues than either of the others'. And as he (incredibly) rises in the polls, I think Gingrich is the kind of practical politician who can get good things done.

It wasn't Clinton who balanced the budget back in the 1990s. It was Newt Gingrich, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Until Gingrich engineered the impossible by winning Republican control of the Congress for the first time since the 1952 election, Clinton did nothing to balance the budget. Gingrich made a budget-balancer out of him.

Maybe, as president, Gingrich could do it again. The world is heading for a financial disaster so terrible that we can hardly imagine it. Governments made the disaster; but America also created the peace that allowed the world system of free trade to flourish, raising living standards everywhere.

There can be no new revelations about Gingrich. We already know every appalling thing about him, because the Left borked and palined him in the 1990s, and there's nothing left to uncover.

So if you Republicans actually want to get rid of Obama, stop looking at "true conservatives" -- they won't get the votes of independents and swing Democrats like me.

And don't nominate Romney, either -- he's too fragile and, being a Mormon, too easy to tear down and destroy. The Left will be so glad to do it.

I think Gingrich is your best choice, because despite his negatives, there is nobody smarter or more capable or with a better record of good government seeking the office of President right now.

He'll blow Mr. Teleprompter out of the water. And he'll know how to work with Congress after he's elected.

Between OSC on Cain and OSC on Gingrich, I don't know what to say. Is there anyone here who earnestly believes that card hasn't just lost it, politically? That's a serious question. Gingrich vs. Obama would be the democratic party's best case scenario right now. It would be throwing the election to Obama. Which bubble of ideologically driven polling misinformation is he in that tells him otherwise?

Also, it helps to know what "palined" means before you use it.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
I had no idea churches couldn't make it in the long-run in regions where they involved themselves in local politics. Huh.

He doesn't make any sense. I've come full circle into just being amazed by it.
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Orincoro
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I like the mental math that says these two things compute:

quote:
The Church does occasionally take a stand on moral issues, sometimes publicly, sometimes in private conversations with government leaders.
quote:
We're a worldwide church, and we wouldn't last long in most countries if we ever meddled in politics anywhere .
(emphasis original)

Occasionally we get involved in politics.

We *never* get involved in politics.

I mean, on the face of it, the idea that taking money (a whopping 10% of a whole lot of incomes), to expand the size and scope of your church is not going to naturally expand the political influence of your church is inherently self-contradictory. The church grows, and its influence will grow- even if church leaders *never ever* have a "private conversation," with government leaders, or donate a single dollar to any political cause at all. I understand that he would like us to see it as somehow divorced from all political ambition, but that's a little slippery. Growing a base of church members, with schools, publishing, facilities, and all manner of other activities, is in itself a political enterprise. If it were purely preaching, there would need be no money involved at all. You can spread a religion without money- you get the money because you have ambitions, and ambition and money mean politics. Don't tell me they're sending all that promotional material down to Latin America because it's easier than talking to their neighbors- they're going where they think they can get more members. Add that's already a decision that supersedes the merely spiritual- that is a political decision.

And why would more latin Americans be joining the church? Again, there is the idea that you can simply preach to people, and they will believe you, and I guess that's part of it. But there's something else about sending a well-fed, reasonably well-educated, happy, motivated young American (or other nationality), to a foreign country where people don't have his/her sort of economic or educational opportunities and telling those people that he preaches to that his *religion* is what makes him the way he is.

The US government does the same thing- that's a fundamental principle of American diplomacy- the economic mission is served by giving a positive impression of the American lifestyle, so as to recruit cultural and political allies. Preaching, and more importantly mission serving, is not very different from that very political act.

And before anyone jumps on me about this- I'm being very broad about defining "politics." But I think that's an important point to be made- the idea that you *aren't* political is the statement with a burden of proof. As a default, most endeavors *are* political in some way.

So I think you're hard pressed to follow that particular string and say- "the church is not political." It is not a political party, no. But nothing that big and powerful is not political.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
I had no idea churches couldn't make it in the long-run in regions where they involved themselves in local politics. Huh.

For some definitions of "long-run," I think this is actually true. Not what he intended probably though.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
I had no idea churches couldn't make it in the long-run in regions where they involved themselves in local politics. Huh.

I do believe that any church, including the one I belong to, stands to lose far more than they ever gain by being involved in politics.

This doesn't mean churches have no business in civil affairs, but the deeper they go the more diminishing returns there are for steeper losses.

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Orincoro
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I think you'd have to be careful in how you defined "involved," and "politics." Because most churches stand to gain a great deal by being political. But as I said, being involved in politics in the way that, say, a political party is involved in politics, is something entirely different from being political. OSC is sticking to the idea that since you can dismiss the claim that the church is a political entity, *like a political party*, that it is therefore not a political entity. I find that impossible to believe.
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BlackBlade
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Orincoro: Well that's certainly the trick isn't it? I think Mr. Card's point is that the LDS church cannot be rightly called a political entity as it's key objectives are not political, and it's nature is apolitical. Politics are virtually never discussed in church. When the Prop 8 stuff was going on I was honestly very surprised to hear it brought up at all, even in the limited fashion that it was. Essentially the instructions were that the church was supporting the legislation, members in California were encouraged to donate their time, resources, efforts to it, and the church members were asked to ponder on the matter.

The church does not donate its tithed funds to political organizations, and it does not have political consultants.

Have political leaders contacted our leaders and asked them for their opinions on political issues? Yes. But I'm not privy to what was actually said in those meetings. I wouldn't object to our prophet telling a political leader in private, "I think abortion is wrong in all instances." I'd disagree with the conclusion, but the prophet can speak for himself to whoever he wants, he only speaks for God when he says he is speaking for God and when God himself tells me he's speaking for God.

The church *will* be a political organization one day, specifically when God shows up again and declares that he's running things.

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Orincoro
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quote:
"it's nature is apolitical."
quote:
Essentially the instructions were that the church was supporting the legislation, members in California were encouraged to donate their time, resources, efforts to it, and the church members were asked to ponder on the matter.
You understand why to me, these two statements are inherently at odds? Your church encouraged, organized and facilitated political action. It directed its members to take part in a public campaign, to change the *constitution* of California to more closely reflect the church's view of society. That is politics. It doesn't particularly matter that they didn't *tell* you how to vote. The democratic party doesn't *tell* me how to vote. It encourages me to vote- it states its platform for me, and I can choose to follow it. Politics is not synonymous with coercion; it is the exercise of leverage an entity holds over a community. And by stating its platform and facilitating church member participation in the campaign for Prop 8, the church sent a *clear* message that it had and would use the popular leverage it needed to effect legislation and popular referendums it wanted, and that consequently, it would have to be considered as a potential counterbalance to any opposing agenda.

Hell doing almost anything is politics, but *that* is definitely political.

quote:
The church does not donate its tithed funds to political organizations, and it does not have political consultants.
and as the saying goes, if I had wheels I'd be a wagon. Running PACs and lobbying in Washington are not the only ways you can be political.

And on that subject- frankly that is just a claim I do not believe. The church owns a great deal of businesses, and those businesses participate in political lobbying. While the church might not directly employ any lobbyists, I would be *shocked* to hear that there aren't lobbyists living off of church tithings in one way or another.

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Rakeesh
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I'll certainly agree that the Church's ideals are apolitical, though of course since those ideals involve convincing people to believe given things, there will be some overlap. That's a different sort of politics than...hmmm...being political. If that makes sense.

As for the Chuch out here in the world, though, I don't see how it can truthfully be said that it's apolitical-again, not its ideals, but its execution. Prop 8 being simply the most striking, recent example. Even for all the ideals, politics go right back to the latter day founders, don't they? I mean there was at least political *involvement*-what human organization doesn't have that, at least a little? I think it's a given.

Back to the modern day, though, the Church makes definite efforts (as it should, I think, however much I disagree on some given issues) to persuade its members to behave, proselytize, and believe in certain ways on major social issues-sexuality, how money is spent, where it's spent, what to ingest, what to do on days of the week, marriage, child rearing, so on and so forth. Is it really accurate to claim there isn't any politics in any of that? Would we credit such a claim as accurate for another equally large group?

Anyway, as to my post, I was just having fun with Card's claim that religions which meddle in politics are doomed to failure long-term. Whatever he *meant* by that, that claim is just plain flat-out untrue to the point of silliness.

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