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Political Roundtable Part XXX

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Re: Political Roundtable Part XXX 

Post#661 » by dobrojim » Sat Nov 20, 2021 2:33 pm

Zonkerbl wrote:
Ruzious wrote:
Zonkerbl wrote:Getting my booster on monday, wewt!

Good, and don't forget to get your flu shot - if you haven't already gotten it.


Yeah got my flu shot a long time ago, I was in the dr's office for some random reason and they had just gotten the flu shot in, so I've had it since September or something


My flu shot had a worse lingering effect than my booster did.
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Re: Political Roundtable Part XXX 

Post#662 » by dobrojim » Sat Nov 20, 2021 4:05 pm

as promised

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/letters-to-the-editor/letting-go-of-mr-trump/2021/11/19/68e91eee-47de-11ec-beca-3cc7103bd814_story.html

With all due respect to David Robinson, his Nov. 14 letter complaining that Democrats won’t “let go” of former president Donald Trump, “Both parties need to wake up,” was unrealistic for the simple reason that the GOP won’t give up on him, either.

So, I ask, which party is suffering from Trump derangement syndrome? I’d say the party that condones insurrection, supports voter suppression and has no policy platform beyond being reflexively against anything the Democrats are for. It has been observed many times that the last to understand a con has taken place is typically the victim of the con, in this case the GOP in believing that Mr. Trump is any one of a great number of things and, most important, that he is competent to be president.

It’s a shame that the whole country must suffer the consequences of the GOP falling victim to a con.”
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Re: Political Roundtable Part XXX 

Post#663 » by FAH1223 » Mon Nov 22, 2021 3:06 am

Read on Twitter

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Last year, after Joseph R. Biden Jr. won the Democratic presidential nomination, a group of progressive lawmakers rallied around him to project party unity at a critical time.

More than a year later, as the president seeks to pass a robust spending package of social policies that represent the bulk of his domestic agenda, many of the same leaders are looking for a return on their political investment.

In an interview with The New York Times, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, one of the country’s most prominent progressives, questioned whether Democratic leaders and the White House understood the scope of the demands coming from the party’s base.

The interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

Why do you feel this social policy bill has to pass as soon as possible, at the biggest scale possible?

I think the stakes are really, really high.

The entire reason that the Progressive Caucus gave their votes [for the infrastructure bill] was based on direct promises from the president, as well as direct promises from more conservative Democratic holdouts. And from House leadership as well. So if those promises don’t follow through, it’s going to be very, very difficult for them to get votes on anything moving forward, because the trust that was already so delicate will have been broken.

Do you think these extended negotiations and the stuff that was cut will have an electoral effect? Obviously the Senate will have its say, but if the spending bill largely looks like what the House passed this week, will Democrats say it fulfills the promise of Election Day?

I think that if we pass the Build Back Better Act as the House passed it, that we have a shot to go back to our communities and say we delivered. But that’s not to say that this process has not been demoralizing for a lot of folks, because there were enormous promises made. Not just at the beginning, and not just during the election, but that continued to be made.

And this is where I have sounded the alarm, because what really dampens turnout is when Democrats make promises that they don’t keep.

With the bipartisan infrastructure plan, there’s all of these headlines going around. And I understand the political importance of making a victory lap. But I think that the worst and most vulnerable position we could be in is to over-promise and under-deliver.

So let’s not go around and say, “We’re going to replace every lead pipe in this country,” because according to the bipartisan infrastructure plan, that is not going to happen. That has not been funded. And if the Build Back Better Act gets cut even further, then that’s definitely not going to happen.

You and other progressives backed Biden during the general election. Do you feel that this White House has continued to be open to the left?

And that created trust, because trust requires vulnerability from all parties.

There was some good faith with the American Rescue Plan [Democrats’ $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package, signed in March]. But after that, which was quite early, it’s been a bit of a slog.

I actually don’t direct this critique directly at the White House. I think, in general, the party doesn’t quite fully grasp what is happening in deep-blue communities.

What is it that you say they’re missing?

The talking points are not enough.

Yes, is child care great? Absolutely. Universal pre-K, this is something I’m deeply, deeply supportive of. But we also have too much of a top-down strategy when it comes to our base. We’re always giving them the medicine and telling them what they need to accept, as opposed to really monitoring where the energy is, and being responsive to it. And allowing that to shape our strategy.

And even with the infrastructure plan, this kind of investment is deeply needed in underserved communities like the Bronx. However, if we as a party are asking every single person in this party to take a victory lap, and do a news conference in front of a bridge or pothole, and we aren’t funding and actually fixing that pothole, I’m very concerned about how people are going to interpret that a year from now.


But doesn’t the White House agree — didn’t it propose a more robust package? The obvious response here is that the administration faces the reality of a 50-50 Senate.

There is an enormous amount of executive action that they’re sitting on that I think is underutilized. On student loans. We’ve got executive action on the table with respect to climate. There are certainly things that we can do with immigration.

So why are we taking this as a legislative compromise, when the opportunity is so much greater, or when Biden could do this stuff with a stroke of a pen, and is just reminding us that he’s choosing not to?

We always try to tell people why they need to settle for less, instead of being able to harness the energy of our grass roots and take political risks in service of them, the same way that we take political risks in service of swing voters. We can do both.

Is this frustration a growing sentiment in the Democratic congressional caucus? Or is this just you?

Frustration is there, and it’s part of why the Progressive Caucus was holding out on passing both of these two pieces of legislation together, because we’re like, listen, we’re not going to take these empty promises anymore.

We went from the American Rescue Plan to six months of watching us just hand the pen to Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. If you even look at the [infrastructure bill], it was drafted in the Senate, and they didn’t even allow conferencing with the House version. They said you just need to take this legislation as is — no compromises, no edits, nothing.

You’ve got to give me something to work with, with my communities. And if you’re not, how can I make the argument that they should turn out again? And this notion that saying “We’re not Trump” is enough — this is such a deeply demoralizing message.

Democrats have a trifecta and have been unable to pass voting-rights protections. And so people can wring their hands and say “but Manchin” all they want, or “but the filibuster” all they want, but at the end of the day, what people see are the results of their actions and the results of investing their time.

We are up against political nihilism. The idea that nothing we do matters, because as long as I live in the Bronx, the political reality of this country is that no one’s going to fight for me. That is why it’s so important that we take some of these risks for our base.

Your party is trying to project political victory at this moment — and pulling out all the stops to do so. You’re sounding the alarm.

Before the Virginia elections, it was very clear that our help and our participation was not wanted or asked for, which is fine. I’m not here to tell people how to run their races. But at the same time, to consider the members here that have some of the tightest relationships to our political base as just a uniform liability — and not something that can be selectively deployed, or consulted, or anything — I think it’s just sad. I think it was a mistake.

And we saw a big youth turnout collapse. Not a single person asked me to send an email, not even to my own list. And then they turn around and say, “It’s their fault.” When I think it was communicated quite expressly that we were unwelcome to pitch in.

The idea that we just accept a collapse in youth turnout — and essentially turn it into a self-fulfilling prophecy — in times when races are decided by such narrow margin points: I think it’s ill advised.
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Re: Political Roundtable Part XXX 

Post#664 » by Zonkerbl » Mon Nov 22, 2021 1:41 pm

This is why the GOP propaganda machine is so focused on AOC, because she's one of the few competent politicians in the Dem party, who understands politics. "Take risks for your base as well as the swing voters" So what the Dem party needs to do is create a situation where they can punish people who are out of line, and I specifically mean moderates like Manchin and Sinema. You can't commit political suicide for the careers of two politicians. Susan Collins voted for abolishing abortion. But Manchin won't vote for eliminating lead in pipes. The difference in party discipline is staggering.
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Re: Political Roundtable Part XXX 

Post#665 » by FAH1223 » Tue Nov 23, 2021 4:33 pm

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The deal between House progressives and centrists on the Build Back Better Act (BBB) held, even after a poorly rendered Congressional Budget Office score that showed the legislation adding to the deficit (primarily because the CBO is barred from showing any benefit from dumping $80 billion into tax enforcement). House passage ensued without incident, unless you call Kevin McCarthy ranting for eight hours an incident.

But that was the easy part. The bill now goes to the Senate, where a certain two senators have withheld final approval for months. And this time, the bipartisan infrastructure bill has already been signed into law, with no chance to make a deal that moves both bills together.

Yet most of the work on BBB is really done. The House “precleared” nearly all of it with the Senate, and Joe Manchin indicated that he would be comfortable with a vote before the end of the year. Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), who staked her political future on allowing the infrastructure bill to pass first, stated that she has no worries that Manchin will tank BBB.

That doesn’t mean the bill won’t change, in some ways significantly, before reaching the finish line. Several key areas will see alterations; nearly all of them will either reduce the bill’s price tag or raise its revenue. Either way creates a pool of money that must be put to use to make some of the major elements of BBB permanent or more financially secure. It would be policy malpractice to leave these social policies as sitting ducks for future Congresses to kill.

I’ve made my views on BBB pretty clear. It’s the product of a hobbled and often captured legislative process, skimping on its programs while also maximizing the hassle that ordinary users will go through to qualify for them. Despite that crucial context, it’s better than most of what comes out of Congress, with important investments in family care, housing, health care affordability, and cash assistance. But outside of making those too poor to pay taxes eligible for the Child Tax Credit, almost none of BBB is made permanent. (Indeed, the increased dollar amount to the Child Tax Credit is extended only through 2022.)

Whether these programs endure will make the difference between a transformative turn toward social welfare and a flash in the pan. And right now, there’s no reason to be confident about the former. It is much easier to let programs expire than to affirmatively repeal them. Given the pessimistic outlook for the midterms, and the severe antipathy to social spending within the Republican caucus, BBB’s investments could survive for just a moment in time.

Progressives have assumed that the BBB programs will prove so popular that it would be political suicide to let them go away. That would be a more reliable bet if the programs weren’t such half measures to begin with.

For example, look at the child care and pre-kindergarten programs, which at six years are the most long-term BBB provisions. The income and activity requirements and co-pays in child care will make the program more difficult to access, and potentially cost-prohibitive in the early years for some families. And both programs require state funding to enact. It’s already a stretch to expect conservative states to assist the Biden agenda, but when the program is temporary and there’s no guarantee the feds won’t drop out after six years, that makes states extremely unlikely to adopt the programs.

We’ve seen throughout U.S. history imperfect social programs perfected over time, from Social Security to Medicare. But from their inception, those programs were permanently in place, creating a virtuous cycle of constant improvement. The BBB programs will have to fight for their very survival, and may not even be in a position to be improved, as the political fight will be around their existence. Furthermore, their design renders them less popular, making extension less likely.

But the Senate can remedy this mistake. As I noted, several elements of the House version of the bill will be changed in the Senate. For example, the immigration provisions, which according to the White House Build Back Better framework cost $100 billion, are not likely to make it past the parliamentarian’s determination of whether they have a substantial budgetary impact, and Democrats have shown little inclination this year to challenge the parliamentarian’s recommendations.

At the last minute, the House added back in a terrible paid leave program, which leaks substantial public money out to private insurance companies, excludes the lowest earners, and would likely prove a supreme nightmare for anyone to access. Manchin has already said he objects to paid leave in the bill; that’s another $205 billion in outlays, according to the CBO. Reports suggest that Manchin might also object to the expansion of Medicare to cover hearing, a $35 billion program.

It would be policy malpractice to leave these social policies as sitting ducks for future Congresses to kill.

Finally, there’s the state and local tax (SALT) deduction provision. The House bill widened the deduction cap, currently at $10,000, to allow households to take $80,000 in state and local taxes as a deduction. Anyone who pays that much in taxes is quite rich. It is politically radioactive to make one of the largest elements in a social-policy bill a tax cut for millionaires, and enough senators know that to ensure changes.

The Bernie Sanders/Robert Menendez compromise on SALT, which would repeal the SALT cap for incomes up to $400,000 and phase out the deduction completely above that level, removes at least some of the terrible optics of tax cuts for millionaires. (To be clear, it’s still a distasteful policy that shouldn’t move forward, but it appears to be the price of BBB passage for some Democrats.) Something like this will likely be the final deal. And because Sanders/Menendez extends beyond 2025, when the SALT cap was supposed to go away entirely, it will save money in the budget window, roughly $100 billion more than the House version.

Put that all together and suddenly you’re talking about real money: conceivably as much as $440 billion. There are a couple of other possible Senate changes—not applying the savings in the drug pricing reform to private insurance, or eliminating a tax on nicotine that made it into the bill at the last minute—but the budget impacts of those changes are negligible. Let’s say they’re done, and the Medicare hearing piece is kept intact (I’d certainly hope so): If so, you can round down the total savings to $400 billion.

Under Manchin and Sinema’s artificial spending cap that has governed this bill, that’s $400 billion you could apply to shoring up the surviving parts of BBB, particularly by making some of them permanent.

Note that extending their lifespan does not change a single policy around the bill. If Manchin and Sinema are comfortable with child care and pre-K under the current terms, those would not change by just adding more years to them. And you could easily make both of those programs permanent for less than $400 billion.

Based on the CBO score of the Education and Labor title, if you just extend out the funding level in 2027 on both child care and pre-K for another four years (you only have to extend through the ten-year budget window to make a program permanent), adjusting for inflation, a back-of-the-envelope estimate puts the approximate cost at $270 billion.

That investment would lock in those two programs, and create that virtuous cycle of consistent improvement in future Congresses. You could use the other $130 billion to add back funding to housing or long-term care; there’s not enough money allotted to the latter to attract enough workers and improve access. Or you could increase the funding for the first three years of pre-K, so states might actually want to participate.

Whether these programs endure will make the difference between a transformative turn toward social welfare and a flash in the pan.

This would be a far better outcome than including a weak and potentially harmful paid leave program or a historically tone-deaf SALT change, especially considering that those don’t have enough support to pass the Senate. It would be great to fix the immigration system, but Biden could do plenty under his own authority, and the parliamentary obstacles are in reality a convenient cover for the fact that not all 50 Democratic senators want to move forward on immigration.

While using savings to make BBB programs permanent is totally realistic, I fear that it won’t be done. Progressives aren’t pushing for permanence, and without such a push, Manchin and Sinema might just demand that the windfall $400 billion be applied to deficit reduction. Or they could weaken the already weak surtaxes on multimillionaires, wasting the opportunity to impose a popular tax on the rich and take strides on reducing inequality.

That may even be a likely scenario. But even if paid leave and immigration—important priorities for the party—have to go to hit the Manchin Sinematic Universe’s artificial spending number, the $100 billion extra on the SALT deal is found money. And the House bill, with paid leave and immigration in, was already effectively offset. The price for eliminating the other measures should be making a couple of programs permanent.

This is the endgame opportunity for Build Back Better. It’s a chance to at least ensure some enduring legacy from the legislation, without having to fight tooth and nail against a political system that through structural disadvantages is more likely to produce Republican majorities. I don’t understand why every non-Manchin/Sinema Democrat wasn’t screaming to make more of the bill permanent. Now there’s one last chance. Democrats shouldn’t squander it.


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Re: Political Roundtable Part XXX 

Post#666 » by Chocolate City Jordanaire » Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:02 pm

Zonkerbl wrote:Lots of interesting trials going on right now, Rittenhouse, Aubery, and Charlottesville, where the Nazis are playing neo Nazi recruitment videos in their closing arguments:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2021/11/18/charlottesville-white-supremacist-lawsuit-goes-jury/8674688002/
Rittenhouse was found innocent of everything.
Aubrey defendants each were found guilty of murder.
After the Wizards GM really went and did it by having an imaginative, strong, draft day. I totally feel this as well;

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Re: Political Roundtable Part XXX 

Post#667 » by Chocolate City Jordanaire » Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:16 pm

Zonkerbl wrote:We are in hell right now. Looking forward to taking some business trips to Africa, get away from the nonsense, try to help people.
If and when you do tell me what you think of the nation of Ghana
After the Wizards GM really went and did it by having an imaginative, strong, draft day. I totally feel this as well;

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Re: Political Roundtable Part XXX 

Post#668 » by Pointgod » Fri Nov 26, 2021 1:49 am

dobrojim wrote:as promised

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/letters-to-the-editor/letting-go-of-mr-trump/2021/11/19/68e91eee-47de-11ec-beca-3cc7103bd814_story.html

With all due respect to David Robinson, his Nov. 14 letter complaining that Democrats won’t “let go” of former president Donald Trump, “Both parties need to wake up,” was unrealistic for the simple reason that the GOP won’t give up on him, either.

So, I ask, which party is suffering from Trump derangement syndrome? I’d say the party that condones insurrection, supports voter suppression and has no policy platform beyond being reflexively against anything the Democrats are for. It has been observed many times that the last to understand a con has taken place is typically the victim of the con, in this case the GOP in believing that Mr. Trump is any one of a great number of things and, most important, that he is competent to be president.

It’s a shame that the whole country must suffer the consequences of the GOP falling victim to a con.”


Couldn’t read the whole thing but I already like it. I never understood the Trump derangement syndrome talking point. The guy was President a literal walking, talking disaster. I don’t know why people wouldn’t talk about him over the past 4 years. Compare that to the right’s obsession with Hillary Clinton(who wasn’t President) and Obama, it’s **** weird.
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Re: Political Roundtable Part XXX 

Post#669 » by Pointgod » Fri Nov 26, 2021 5:13 am

FAH1223 wrote:
Read on Twitter

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Last year, after Joseph R. Biden Jr. won the Democratic presidential nomination, a group of progressive lawmakers rallied around him to project party unity at a critical time.

More than a year later, as the president seeks to pass a robust spending package of social policies that represent the bulk of his domestic agenda, many of the same leaders are looking for a return on their political investment.

In an interview with The New York Times, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, one of the country’s most prominent progressives, questioned whether Democratic leaders and the White House understood the scope of the demands coming from the party’s base.

The interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

Why do you feel this social policy bill has to pass as soon as possible, at the biggest scale possible?

I think the stakes are really, really high.

The entire reason that the Progressive Caucus gave their votes [for the infrastructure bill] was based on direct promises from the president, as well as direct promises from more conservative Democratic holdouts. And from House leadership as well. So if those promises don’t follow through, it’s going to be very, very difficult for them to get votes on anything moving forward, because the trust that was already so delicate will have been broken.

Do you think these extended negotiations and the stuff that was cut will have an electoral effect? Obviously the Senate will have its say, but if the spending bill largely looks like what the House passed this week, will Democrats say it fulfills the promise of Election Day?

I think that if we pass the Build Back Better Act as the House passed it, that we have a shot to go back to our communities and say we delivered. But that’s not to say that this process has not been demoralizing for a lot of folks, because there were enormous promises made. Not just at the beginning, and not just during the election, but that continued to be made.

And this is where I have sounded the alarm, because what really dampens turnout is when Democrats make promises that they don’t keep.

With the bipartisan infrastructure plan, there’s all of these headlines going around. And I understand the political importance of making a victory lap. But I think that the worst and most vulnerable position we could be in is to over-promise and under-deliver.

So let’s not go around and say, “We’re going to replace every lead pipe in this country,” because according to the bipartisan infrastructure plan, that is not going to happen. That has not been funded. And if the Build Back Better Act gets cut even further, then that’s definitely not going to happen.

You and other progressives backed Biden during the general election. Do you feel that this White House has continued to be open to the left?

And that created trust, because trust requires vulnerability from all parties.

There was some good faith with the American Rescue Plan [Democrats’ $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package, signed in March]. But after that, which was quite early, it’s been a bit of a slog.

I actually don’t direct this critique directly at the White House. I think, in general, the party doesn’t quite fully grasp what is happening in deep-blue communities.

What is it that you say they’re missing?

The talking points are not enough.

Yes, is child care great? Absolutely. Universal pre-K, this is something I’m deeply, deeply supportive of. But we also have too much of a top-down strategy when it comes to our base. We’re always giving them the medicine and telling them what they need to accept, as opposed to really monitoring where the energy is, and being responsive to it. And allowing that to shape our strategy.

And even with the infrastructure plan, this kind of investment is deeply needed in underserved communities like the Bronx. However, if we as a party are asking every single person in this party to take a victory lap, and do a news conference in front of a bridge or pothole, and we aren’t funding and actually fixing that pothole, I’m very concerned about how people are going to interpret that a year from now.


But doesn’t the White House agree — didn’t it propose a more robust package? The obvious response here is that the administration faces the reality of a 50-50 Senate.

There is an enormous amount of executive action that they’re sitting on that I think is underutilized. On student loans. We’ve got executive action on the table with respect to climate. There are certainly things that we can do with immigration.

So why are we taking this as a legislative compromise, when the opportunity is so much greater, or when Biden could do this stuff with a stroke of a pen, and is just reminding us that he’s choosing not to?

We always try to tell people why they need to settle for less, instead of being able to harness the energy of our grass roots and take political risks in service of them, the same way that we take political risks in service of swing voters. We can do both.

Is this frustration a growing sentiment in the Democratic congressional caucus? Or is this just you?

Frustration is there, and it’s part of why the Progressive Caucus was holding out on passing both of these two pieces of legislation together, because we’re like, listen, we’re not going to take these empty promises anymore.

We went from the American Rescue Plan to six months of watching us just hand the pen to Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. If you even look at the [infrastructure bill], it was drafted in the Senate, and they didn’t even allow conferencing with the House version. They said you just need to take this legislation as is — no compromises, no edits, nothing.

You’ve got to give me something to work with, with my communities. And if you’re not, how can I make the argument that they should turn out again? And this notion that saying “We’re not Trump” is enough — this is such a deeply demoralizing message.

Democrats have a trifecta and have been unable to pass voting-rights protections. And so people can wring their hands and say “but Manchin” all they want, or “but the filibuster” all they want, but at the end of the day, what people see are the results of their actions and the results of investing their time.

We are up against political nihilism. The idea that nothing we do matters, because as long as I live in the Bronx, the political reality of this country is that no one’s going to fight for me. That is why it’s so important that we take some of these risks for our base.

Your party is trying to project political victory at this moment — and pulling out all the stops to do so. You’re sounding the alarm.

Before the Virginia elections, it was very clear that our help and our participation was not wanted or asked for, which is fine. I’m not here to tell people how to run their races. But at the same time, to consider the members here that have some of the tightest relationships to our political base as just a uniform liability — and not something that can be selectively deployed, or consulted, or anything — I think it’s just sad. I think it was a mistake.

And we saw a big youth turnout collapse. Not a single person asked me to send an email, not even to my own list. And then they turn around and say, “It’s their fault.” When I think it was communicated quite expressly that we were unwelcome to pitch in.

The idea that we just accept a collapse in youth turnout — and essentially turn it into a self-fulfilling prophecy — in times when races are decided by such narrow margin points: I think it’s ill advised.


Yeah this is the part where Progressives absolutely undermine themselves and deflate enthusiasm for Democratic Party. I have no idea why there’s been such a focus on the size of the bill and an irrelevant number vs talking about everything that the bill will do for their constituents and everyday Americans. The messaging of the Democratic Party is an absolute **** show and this isn’t helping.

The policies in the bill are broadly popular and given the choice between doubling down on talking about those popular policies and talking about the size of the bill and what’s not in it, they choose to do the latter. As much as the Republicans are an evil empire, you have to hand it to them for their message discipline. They didn’t talk about the size of their corporate tax scam or what they weren’t able to include in that trash ass policy, they sent a simple message to Americans “We’re putting more money back into your pockets”. I have no idea why Democrats can’t ever seem stick to one effective message regardless of what’s in a policy.
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Re: Political Roundtable Part XXX 

Post#670 » by verbal8 » Sun Nov 28, 2021 8:48 pm

It isn't surprising that the far right doesn't want to talk about specific policies. What they are pushing is unpopular with most of the country.

I think the progressive Dems would be better off pushing on all the issues separately vs. trying to get it done in one big bill. Even the areas where you don't get bills passed, you would establish a voting record against very popular policies for those in the GOP.
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Re: Political Roundtable Part XXX 

Post#671 » by Zonkerbl » Sun Nov 28, 2021 10:36 pm

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CRAZY. STUPID. LOUD.

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