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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Presidential Election News & Discussion Center 2012 - Inauguration Day! (Page 8)

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Author Topic: Presidential Election News & Discussion Center 2012 - Inauguration Day!
SenojRetep
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
But the scientific consensus (in this case, economists) seems to be that increasing capital gains rates is a bad idea.
No, I don't think so. The consensus among monetarists seems to line up that way, but monetarists are stupid and wrong.
From an earlier Yglesias column:
quote:
[T]his is definitely an issue where the conservative position is in line with what most experts think is the right course, and Democrats are outside the mainstream...It's a pretty solid theory, it's in most of the textbooks I've seen, and it shapes public policy in basically every country I'm familiar with.
I'm not that up on macroeconomics, but based on my passing familiarity with the subject I'm not aware of any school of thought that holds that it's a good idea to tax investment income at the same rate as earned income. If such a position exists, I'm not alone in seeing it as outside the mainstream scientific consensus on the issue.
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ScottF
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Really? What would you change, Scott, if you continued to deduct losses and paid an extra 10% on your gains? Where would you put your money?

More to the point: if capital gains were your primary source of income, would they cease to be your primary source of income if they were taxed more highly? [/QB]

I'd probably look much closer at real estate or maybe bonds.

But I was speaking more from the perspective of active/future investment decisions vs existing. That said, can you imagine the sell-off if/when it's announced that the rate is going up by 20% as of X date?

To your point, if I actually had cap gains as my primary source of income already, I probably wouldn't/couldn't do much about it.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I'm not aware of any school of thought that holds that it's a good idea to tax investment income at the same rate as earned income...
Is that the yardstick? I thought we were arguing over whether it was a consensus that taxing capital gains was bad, and higher capital gains taxes were themselves always also bad.

-----------

quote:
But I was speaking more from the perspective of active/future investment decisions vs existing. That said, can you imagine the sell-off if/when it's announced that the rate is going up by 20% as of X date?
Where, again, is that money going to go? We're talking about people who use capital -- stocks, etc. -- as an alternative to savings accounts, people whose net worth is overwhelmingly in capital. Are they going to sell all their stock and buy real estate, thus saving the real estate market? Are they going to buy gold, because they're stupid? Are they going to put it in a money market? I don't think so.
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ScottF
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:

-----------

[QUOTE]... We're talking about people who use capital -- stocks, etc. -- as an alternative to savings accounts, people whose net worth is overwhelmingly in capital. [/QB]

We are? I certainly don't fall in that category, unless you're defining capital differently than I do. And yeah, if I've had a position in a stock that's done well and I know my return will go down by a bunch in 6 months, I'd strongly consider selling and getting the money off the table and into real estate or municipal bonds.

I realize its not black and white but I'm telling you what my thought process would be, not my speculation about the broader market. Again, I don't think I'm an unusual example, but maybe I am and most others would just shrug and stay in no matter what.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
And yeah, if I've had a position in a stock that's done well and I know my return will go down by a bunch in 6 months, I'd strongly consider selling and getting the money off the table and into real estate or municipal bonds.
And can you explain why you think this would be bad for the economy?
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MattP
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Why not just apply the rule to future investments, if a sell-off is the primary concern?
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
Why not just apply the rule to future investments, if a sell-off is the primary concern?

That sounds like a recipe for disaster.
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Blayne Bradley
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Back when the US taxed it at 90% during WWII did rich people stop saving money?
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Really? What would you change, Scott, if you continued to deduct losses and paid an extra 10% on your gains? Where would you put your money?

If I were Scott, I'd probably just move to Canada, comparing tax rates under that proposal, I think the Canadian tax rates on capital gains would be lower at every income level.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
... Are they going to sell all their stock and buy real estate, thus saving the real estate market? Are they going to buy gold, because they're stupid? Are they going to put it in a money market? I don't think so.

In Canada, it would probably first go to dividend stocks that produce tax-advantaged dividend income instead of capital gains. So that would be a big shift from stocks that emphasize capital gains (technology companies) to financial stocks (banks and the like).

If that was blocked, it would probably go into real estate. But I would say that would be a really bad idea since it would work against the government's efforts to rein in what looks like a housing bubble.

The government could of course remove the capital gains exemption on primary housing to fight even that ...

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ScottF
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
And yeah, if I've had a position in a stock that's done well and I know my return will go down by a bunch in 6 months, I'd strongly consider selling and getting the money off the table and into real estate or municipal bonds.
And can you explain why you think this would be bad for the economy?
Because companies use shareholder investments to grow their businesses, hire more people etc. When you buy that $675 share of Apple, they use the money to do cool things. Like design proprietary connector cables shipped straight from China. Ok, maybe not the greatest example.

If I do decide to get out of stocks, you could argue that my capital has merely shifted and there are ancillary benefits (ie growth, hiring) with that shift. But I don't think it would be a great trend, given how tightly economy is tied to equity markets.

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TomDavidson
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I would argue that the tight coupling of our economy to the equity markets is one of the great weaknesses and problems with our economy, and think a large movement away from stock "investment" as another form of savings would be enormously beneficial.
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MrSquicky
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quote:
When you buy that $675 share of Apple, they use the money to do cool things.
I don't understand what you mean by this. It sounds like you are saying that whenever you buy stock, the company gets that money, which is obviously not how it works. Could you explain?
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MrSquicky
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quote:
I'm not that up on macroeconomics, but based on my passing familiarity with the subject I'm not aware of any school of thought that holds that it's a good idea to tax investment income at the same rate as earned income. If such a position exists, I'm not alone in seeing it as outside the mainstream scientific consensus on the issue.
A couple of problems with this. First, economics is not scientific. I'm not sure why you would describe it that way.

Second, what you are saying isn't true. No one has been able to demonstrate that a higher capital gains rate or one equal to the income rate, has a negative effect on economic growth.

And that's leaving aside the situation we find ourselves in and the scope of the proposals. We are seeing a massive wealth disparity between the working class and the investing class. This is a very bad thing. There are a variety of proposals out there, none of which rely on a straight raise of the capital gains rate, but rather are targeted at those with high incomes and often those who high incomes come solely or mostly through investment. We're not sure what will happen then, just as we're not sure if any negatives will be worse than allowing the continued widening of wealth in the classes.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
quote:
When you buy that $675 share of Apple, they use the money to do cool things.
I don't understand what you mean by this. It sounds like you are saying that whenever you buy stock, the company gets that money, which is obviously not how it works. Could you explain?
Well, that's how it works some of the time, if new new shares were issued and you purchased them for example.
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Orincoro
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If apple sells you stock that it owns directly, then that is exactly what is going on. Sometimes they also use their cash to buy their own stock when the price is low.
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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
quote:
When you buy that $675 share of Apple, they use the money to do cool things.
I don't understand what you mean by this. It sounds like you are saying that whenever you buy stock, the company gets that money, which is obviously not how it works. Could you explain?
Well, that's how it works some of the time, if new new shares were issued and you purchased them for example.
Yes, it sometimes happens, when companies hold a secondary offering. Apple is not however holding a secondary offering. The $675 share purchase would be like the overwhelming majority of transactions where the money doesn't go to the company. But it seemed like the Scott was saying that it would. So I asked him to explain.
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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
If apple sells you stock that it owns directly, then that is exactly what is going on. Sometimes they also use their cash to buy their own stock when the price is low.

I'm not sure what you mean by that first part, but it looks like it might be based on an incorrect assumption. A company can't sell its own stock on the open market without an official public offering.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by ScottF:
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
And yeah, if I've had a position in a stock that's done well and I know my return will go down by a bunch in 6 months, I'd strongly consider selling and getting the money off the table and into real estate or municipal bonds.
And can you explain why you think this would be bad for the economy?
Because companies use shareholder investments to grow their businesses, hire more people etc. When you buy that $675 share of Apple, they use the money to do cool things. Like design proprietary connector cables shipped straight from China. Ok, maybe not the greatest example.

If I do decide to get out of stocks, you could argue that my capital has merely shifted and there are ancillary benefits (ie growth, hiring) with that shift. But I don't think it would be a great trend, given how tightly economy is tied to equity markets.

Companies don't hire people and grow their companies because they have extra money. They hire people and do cool things because their is a demand for those cool things which requires hiring more people. For there to be a demand, people have to have money to spend.
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ScottF
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Companies don't hire people and grow their companies because they have extra money. They hire people and do cool things because their is a demand for those cool things which requires hiring more people. For there to be a demand, people have to have money to spend.

Your first sentence is false. I work for a company that just IPO'd and we now have a bunch of extra money. We are opening new offices and hiring a bunch of people as a result.

We're not expanding because existing demand requires it, we're expanding ahead of the curve because we're sitting on a bunch of shareholder cash and we need sales people to help generate additional demand and revenue.

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ScottF
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
quote:
When you buy that $675 share of Apple, they use the money to do cool things.
I don't understand what you mean by this. It sounds like you are saying that whenever you buy stock, the company gets that money, which is obviously not how it works. Could you explain?
Yeah you're right, technically it's only newly issued stock and primary market tx's that go directly to the company and the secondary market stock is traded between shareholders.
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ScottF
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I would argue that the tight coupling of our economy to the equity markets is one of the great weaknesses and problems with our economy, and think a large movement away from stock "investment" as another form of savings would be enormously beneficial.

Fair enough.
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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by ScottF:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Companies don't hire people and grow their companies because they have extra money. They hire people and do cool things because their is a demand for those cool things which requires hiring more people. For there to be a demand, people have to have money to spend.

Your first sentence is false. I work for a company that just IPO'd and we now have a bunch of extra money. We are opening new offices and hiring a bunch of people as a result.

We're not expanding because existing demand requires it, we're expanding ahead of the curve because we're sitting on a bunch of shareholder cash and we need sales people to help generate additional demand and revenue.

I don't think you understood boots's point. Your company isn't expanding because they have more money. The money is allowing them to expand, but they are doing it because they believe that there will be demand for the additional production that this expansion enables. If they didn't believe this, expansion would be crazy.

In a rational economic system, additional capital enables expansion. It doesn't drive it. That's done by expected unmet demand (as well as strategic concerns).

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MattP
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quote:
We're not expanding because existing demand requires it, we're expanding ahead of the curve because we're sitting on a bunch of shareholder cash and we need sales people to help generate additional demand and revenue.
I don't think you're really contradicting kate here. IPOs are a special case and represent a small fraction of trades. Purchasing shares of Walmart or Apple does not lead to much hiring.
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ScottF
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I might be parsing or reading into it too literally - maybe I'm not contradicting her. We believed in increased opportunity before we had the capital infusion, but could not expand based purely on that optimism. Because we now have extra money, we are growing and hiring.

If the intention was "Companies don't hire people and grow their companies because they have extra money unless there is also anticipated opportunity or demand" then we're definitely in sync. Of course opportunity is not the same as demand.

MattP - agreed that IPOs are outliers with regards to how capital works for companies.

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Lyrhawn
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If companies grew and hired because they had extra cash laying around then we simply wouldn't have an unemployment problem.

Cry about taxes and the like as you wish, but corporate America is sitting on a multi-billion dollar nest egg, and I've read dozens of articles in the last year and interviews with CEOs where they say the number one reason they aren't spending that money is because there's a lack of demand. You can't create more product to sell when no one wants to buy the product you already have.

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Thesifer
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
If companies grew and hired because they had extra cash laying around then we simply wouldn't have an unemployment problem.

Cry about taxes and the like as you wish, but corporate America is sitting on a multi-billion dollar nest egg, and I've read dozens of articles in the last year and interviews with CEOs where they say the number one reason they aren't spending that money is because there's a lack of demand. You can't create more product to sell when no one wants to buy the product you already have.

A good example of this would be Apple. They're not going out and hiring tons and tons of 'spare' people they don't need, they even have the demand, but they don't need the employees. Sitting on 90 billion in cash, more than legally allowed, they had to come up with a plan to spend it, and give some back in dividends.

They had no reason to go out and hire more people just because they could.

A friend of mine owns a restaurant, he keeps wondering why anyone thinks even he (An ACTUAL small business) would hire another employee just because his taxes went down. He doesn't have a need for them, or work for them to do. If he needs someone, he will hire them.

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BlackBlade
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Why with the marginal savings from everybody's taxes being cut, we'll all go out to restaurants now and he'll need additional locations!
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Why with the marginal savings from everybody's taxes being cut, we'll all go out to restaurants now and he'll need additional locations!

See that's true. But it is only true for those people for whom going to restaurants would be an unaffordable luxury without the tax cuts.
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Tuukka
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I'm under the impression that when rich people get more money, they usually don't spend it right away, as they already had enough money for whatever they wanted to buy.

But when poor people, or lower middle-class people get more money, they spend it right away. Because there is so much they always wanted, but couldn't afford. When they can finally afford it, they buy it right away.

The money goes immediately into circulation. It goes into products and services. People buy new mobiles and furniture, they go to restaurants and amusement parks, they get someone to fix the plumbing, or to repair the paint in the car.

All the stuff that they quite didn't have enough money for.

This means there is much greater demand in the economy - for *almost everything*. Excluding stuff like expensive luxury items. And this means more jobs at almost every level. And more jobs means again more poor and lower middle-class people with more money to spend. Which means again greater demand.

If a rich person gets a few extra millions due to tax cuts, I don't think he's likely to go to more restaurants and amusement parks. He already had the best mobile, and the best furniture. His plumbing doesn't need fixing, and neither does his car.

Maybe he buys a new yacht, once he has saved a few million more. Then again, he might be well satisfied with his current yacht. So the money goes to savings, stocks, bonds, etc.

This all sounds rather logical to me. Maybe It's fundamentally flawed, but I've seen many noted economists argue more or less the same principle.

Ironically, the stock-owning, company-owning, product & service-providing rich person is probably going to make more money because of the larger spending of the poor and the lower middle-class, than he could have ever done with tax cuts.

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Darth_Mauve
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I'm trying to remember the quote, either Twain or Will Rogers--that said something along the lines that "If you give more money to the rich, they will hang on to it in all the ways they have practiced for centuries. If you give more money to the poor, the rich will have it by nightfall. That's how they got rich in the first place."
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Blayne Bradley
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So apparently on Fox News Gaddaffi was described as a "key US ally".

Interesting.

@Tuukka: Along those lines I hear that a better proposal would've been instead of bailing out the banks, simply wipe out all US private debt.

Which would crush the banks.

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Javert
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This headline on CNN this morning made me legitimately laugh out loud:

Romney campaign seeks to lower expectations for debate

I'm sure the wording is not what the Romney campaign intended, but it's kinda hilarious regardless.

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BlackBlade
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Seriously! What the heck? If they already expect to lose the first debate why would I even tune in to see him participate?

I guess there's the curiosity of seeing just what it's like for Mitt Romney to do something he expects to lose at.

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Samprimary
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Scarborough cries ‘Oh, sweet Jesus!’ as Romney fails to lead chant
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Samprimary
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General hilarity for this election was kind of down after the conclusion of the clownshow republican primary but that clip sees us kind of catching back up into stride!
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Destineer
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Video of that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SclDiN-lcYE&feature=youtu.be

The best part is after he fails to rile them up, when he's like "There we go!" as if the thing he'd wanted to have happen actually happened.

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Lyrhawn
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Obama has been involved in eight one on one political debates? How are they coming up with that number?

Regardless, this is hardly news. Romney's folks have been spinning this line for weeks, and I'm sure even the blunt headline doesn't bother them considerably, though they would have preferred something different. The point is to lower expectations so that when he loses, or better, if he actually holds his own, then doing okay becomes at worst nothing bad, and at best, a victory. It's all about managing the press more than anything.

I don't think it means he won't try hard or that he'll phone it in, not any more than he did as his primary debates. In fact, I expect he'll try his hardest because anything that can be spun as a great performance suddenly becomes an upset victory against Obama, the master debater.

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Samprimary
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Ron Lambert is writing a correction to the internal memo though, we need to wait until we have all the facts
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Jon Boy
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Obama has been involved in eight one on one political debates? How are they coming up with that number?

I thought they were talking about his experience from the 2008 campaign.
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Samprimary
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(Post removed by JanitorBlade. Offensive content.)

[ September 28, 2012, 09:41 PM: Message edited by: JanitorBlade ]

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Samprimary
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last note as 538 spikes obama into the mid-80's

http://www.businessinsider.com/romneys-47-viewed-more-than-convention-speech-2012-9

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
[link removed]

And?

Setting aside the fact that plenty of standard men's undershirts have a very similar silhouette (my son has some), so what? It's not like Romney has hidden the fact that he is a practicing Mormon.

[ September 28, 2012, 08:52 PM: Message edited by: rivka ]

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JanitorBlade
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Samprimary: I don't exactly get what your post is going for but Mormon garments are a very sacred thing to them. As the owner of this site is LDS I am sure he would not be comfortable with that link. Please remove it.
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JanitorBlade
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Samprimary: I imagine you simply haven't had enough time to see my request, but I felt I needed to remove the link after some time had passed.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Jon Boy:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Obama has been involved in eight one on one political debates? How are they coming up with that number?

I thought they were talking about his experience from the 2008 campaign.
Well sure, but he only had three debates with McCain. Where are the other five coming from? Or are they counting his one on one debates with Clinton?
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dkw
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Not 8 debates, but the '08 debates?

That was how I took Jonathon's statement, anyway, I haven't gone back to the links to see if that makes sense of the original quote.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by dkw:
Not 8 debates, but the '08 debates?

That was how I took Jonathon's statement, anyway, I haven't gone back to the links to see if that makes sense of the original quote.

While a reasonable guess, it does not make sense in the orginal context. In the press release they said "This will be the eighth one-on-one presidential debate of his political career. For Mitt Romney, it will be his first."

The memo goes on to talk about debates against both McCain and Clinton. Including Obama's primary debates with Clinton while ignoring all the primary debates Mitt participated in seems a bit dishonest to me. Romney participated in more than 20 debates during the primary season. Sure, none of them were actually one-on-one debates but I'm not sure why that distinction really matters. They are trying to paint Romney as a complete novice to political debates which at this point is simply untrue.

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SenojRetep
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quote:
Originally posted by Javert:
This headline on CNN this morning made me legitimately laugh out loud:

Romney campaign seeks to lower expectations for debate

I'm sure the wording is not what the Romney campaign intended, but it's kinda hilarious regardless.

Both sides are working hard to raise debate expectations of their opponents. This is pretty standard stuff. From the article, "Managing debate expectations is a well-worn presidential campaign tradition — and a painfully obvious tactic. But both sides have been ratcheting up the rhetoric to new heights, trying to make the other guy look 10 feet tall in hopes of getting reporters to spin the debate in their favor Wednesday if their candidate does better than expected."
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Scarborough cries ‘Oh, sweet Jesus!’ as Romney fails to lead chant

No, Romney did not fail to start a "Romney-Ryan" chant. MSNBC, and first-hand accounts from the crowd, say that the crowd was chanting "Romney" (contrary to the 'Joe & Friends' graphic). When Romney tried to insert "Ryan" the crowd noise died down. It seems evident that the crowd just assumed he was leading into his stump speech and gave up the cheer when he started talking. Furthermore...seriously? This is a big deal? I know the narrative du jour is that Romney is failing to generate excitement (and there's truth to that; if you compare polls, Democrats' excitement increased much more post-convention than Republicans, which is the main reason polls currently favor Obama), but the fact that people really seem to resonate with clips of Romney's occasional stump awkwardness (remember "America the Beautiful"?) seems, to me, petty and a bit silly.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by dkw:
Not 8 debates, but the '08 debates?

That was how I took Jonathon's statement, anyway, I haven't gone back to the links to see if that makes sense of the original quote.

Romney's press statement said Obama participated in 8 debates.
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