Paladin of Ice

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About Paladin of Ice

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    Winter's Bannerman
  • Birthday September 27

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    James

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  1. So there's about an 80/20 chance it's simply Trump being petty and vindictive, ala his "Reverse everything Obama ever did" policy.
  2. From what I understand, it was never intended as a growth thing, more as a counterweight to China, a way to steal a bunch of its closer trading partners and pull them into our sphere, and get everybody playing by the same rules so China couldn't pull the shenanigans they've been using against individual companies and countries for decades. Apparently when the US dropped out earlier this year, a lot of the more onerous copyright copyright and stuff got dropped, as did a few other small things.
  3. Kelly is already said to be on the outs with Trump. Agent Orange got tired of being told no and someone else being credited as "The adult in the room", so from all indications Trump is sidelining Kelly and acting on his own worst instincts again, except when someone manages to restrain him or convince him otherwise. No biggie though, because Trump knows better than the generals.
  4. "We're back": Hawkish Neo-Cons see Pompeo and Bolton as a chance to get back into government work, direct the country again, and get a new generation of similar thinkers onto Washington's inside track.Some are unwilling to work for Trump, however, and many more are on a blacklist due to sign on with Never Trump movements or writing anti-Trump op-eds and such during the 2016 campaign. Some Republicans are pushing a Balanced Budget Amendment again. Considering this is coming on the heels of them hobbling government revenue with their tax scam and right after the CBO projected trillion dollar a year plus budget deficits because of said tax legislation, it's a nice reminder that everything Republicans do on fiscal policy is aimed solely at returning us to the glory days before the New Deal, and everything they say otherwise is a bullshit smokescreen to try to cover that. Yesterday there was a Senate hearing for Judicial Nominee Wendy Vitter. Vitter is a anti-abortion activist who pushed lies including that getting an abortion makes a woman more likely to get cancer or die a violent death. She also wanted to put brochures saying this (which she called facts at the time) in doctors offices. Oh, and she refuses to say if she thinks school desegregation is a good thing. But she's the wife of a former Senator, she was greeted warmly by the Republicans at her hearing, and non of them have indicated they would vote against her. In fact, only 1 Republican has voted against any Trump judicial nominee thus far. So, say hi to your newest Federal Judge, and good luck trying to get her or any Trump nominee not to strike down progressive laws and causes for the next 20 years after Trump is gone. This country fucked itself so hard in 2016, and will be feeling it for so long afterwards.
  5. Facebook has me pegged as "Very Liberal" but aside from that their information about me is extremely general and not ver useful. It seems my refusal to click their links and ads or login to various places with Facebook has made me something of an enigma to them. Good.
  6. Probably more effective than corporate fat cats who spend significantly more on marketing than on R&D. Or pay themselves tens of millions of dollars each. The idea that somehow corporate bureaucrat are so much better than government ones, or, gods forbid, a general cooperative has always puzzled me. Also note, my previous post is an ideal world dream, which I realize is almost certain not to happen, but I'd love to less less corporate greed in the health care world and more of a spirit of emphasizing the public good.
  7. Personally I'd prefer if all companies related to health care were either explicitly non-profit or not-for-profit, or were part of a public field, ala Social Security.
  8. Since the right wing likes to shout that liberals are threatening Free Speech by boycotting speakers who literally want genocide, I thought I'd highlight the tactics the Right is using to assault education. (Y'know, other than defunding it and slandering it during their Two Minute Hate sessions) The Alt-Reich promotes recording and misleadingly editing lectures or other comments by professors, ginning up online and right wing media outrage with said recording, and using campaigns including physical threats and mass mailings to colleges to get those teachers and professors fired. (Oh, and "watchlist" websites with names, pictures, and other information about the professors.) Because, y'know, they love Free Speech so much and only the Left hates it. Some selected quotes from the various articles:
  9. I posted this over in the politics thread, but it's also very relevant here: Big Brother is getting ready to watch over the shoulder of the news media.
  10. It's official: DHS thinks 1984 was an instruction manual. They want to compile a list of and  monitor journalists around their world, including reporters, editors, foreign correspondents, bloggers, and social media influencers to track them and their content. Among the things to be tracker is journalist "sentiment". I guess the "Congress shall make no law" part of the First Amendment doesn't carry any legal weight whatsoever, unlike the "shall not be infringed" portion of the Second Amendment,
  11. Yeah, the whole thing is stupid no matter which way you slice it. Either we;re getting into a full blown trade war, which is supremely stupid, or Trump's own people just gave away that we're not willing to actually go into a trade war, neatly invalidating the supposed point of the tariffs as threats and bluffs. I mean, it's not like Chinese officials and intelligence can't read or listen to the same reassurances Kudlow and company try to give to investors about this being a negotiating tactic. If we're not willing to follow through, and the Chinese think that we're not willing to do so, then all they have to do is wait it out and wait for the collapse when the bluff is called. If we're going to go full on with poker analogies, way to show all the cards in your hand to the other players, guys. And if we are willing to follow through on the tariff threat, what the hell good does it do to reassure investors that we're not and prop up the market in the short term when it'll just tank later when we do have to apply tariffs? If it's an actual negotiating tactic, you have to be willing to let the market potentially suffer a bit now and trust that it'll come back later when your negotiating tactic works and you give every indication that you're serious and you get the other side to back down. But hey, it wouldn't be the Trump Administration without rampant stupidity and fucking over everything around for minimal short term gain. (I do wonder if the Trump family and his administration officials make out like bandits when they get these market swings to happen though.) I mentioned this before in a recent post, so sorry for any repetition, but it is fascinating to watch the tribalism inspired double think at work in comment sections. There's a pretty familiar pattern that goes along the following steps: 1) News of some scandal or unethical thing done by the Trumpsters breaks out. 2) The same people who are always defending Trump and company in the comment section of the same news sites show up en masse to scream about how Obama and Clinton did the exact same things, (usually incorrectly, but leave that aside for a moment) and the fact that it's being treated as a scandal when Trump does it is proof of evil liberal media bias! 3) If Trump is, according to his defenders, doing the exact same thing as Obama and Clinton, why are these comment trolls so sure that Obama was such a disaster and the worst president ever, and Clinton deserved to be locked up, but Trump is an awesome president that they should spend their every free minute of every day defending? 4) No answer, rinse and repeat with next news story. I doubt there will be a major drop in popularity unless/until Trump does do something to truly screw over the country, like start a trade war in earnest, allow some sort of incredible fuck up that hits directly at the base, or crosses one of their red lines, as he started to do with gun before hastily stepping away from it. Otherwise I imagine we'll continue to see the slow erosion of support and enthusiasm we seem to be getting now, and especially less people will to take time out of their busy day to vote for a "Trump candidate" or buy his MAGA hats and contribute to his campaigns.
  12. I am a little worried about some of the Northeastern states, a couple of which have really bad income inequality, not much chances for successful employment in the state, and budget problems. Take Connecticut, for example, which, if certain trends aren't arrested, might be starting to become a little bit purple (in slow motion) the way red states like North Carolina and Arizona are, or the way Wisconsin did turn from blue to purple/leaning red. Just looking at it from a national picture, the idea seems unlikely to happen: Democratic control seems firm, as all Reps and Senators are Democrats, and a Presidential Election hasn't gone to a Republican since '88. Scratch the surface, however, and you come up with a state government almost equally split between Democrats and Republicans, the Democratic governor is the least popular gov in the country, and the state has a whole host of financial problems between massive income inequality, an equally massive budget hole, (with nobody liking any of the solutions, which also don't address CT's problems with being an aging state whose cities are in pretty bad shape) an often overextended upper middle class whose kids have no jobs besides retail close to where they live in the suburbs, major employers leaving the state, and an over reliance on jobs in the financial sector. Now, Trump's election and first year in office has been a wake up call to some there, as CT Democrats did very well on election night in 2017 in areas where they don't always fare well, (although 538 will note that in CT special elections it's actually Republicans who are overperforming) but the underlying problems are still very much there, and doing anything about them is going to be a hell of a task. Especially if CT Republicans, (who can be as socially conservative as anywhere in the country and are just itching to pull the same sort of fiscal conservative "miracle" that did so much good for Kansas, Oklahoma, and Indiana, among other states) make gains by grabbing the governor's seat or get further seats in the statehouse as they did in 2016. The odds of that happening may not be great, and it's fairly likely that state Republicans are going to suffer some backlash, but it's uncertain enough to know that CT has to get its house in order, pronto. Rhode Island shares many of the same problems according to what I hear, I'm just not as up on the subject.
  13. Yeah, I doubt fate will be kind enough to dispose of Pruitt that quickly, but he does seem to to be circling the drain and getting a lot of bad press lately. Heres' a little something I want to call some attention to: advocacy group Texas Civil Rights Project estimates at least 3,000 US Veterans have been deported in recent years, mostly for non-violent offenses. The number has to be estimated because DOJ doesn't track the Veteran status of deportees. While anything a group devoted to a cause says should be taken with a grain of salt, here's a link to their short overview of their finds, a direct link to the PDF with their full report, an NPR audio story about the most recent such deportation, and interviews with one of the group's attorneys and a previously deported veteran who runs a support house to help the veterans deported to Mexico. Also, at least some of what they report on, such as the support center nicknamed "The Bunker" in Tijuana where deported veterans get support and help acclimating to the changes in their life, have been reported on several times in the past.
  14. Ha! Well, I'm no Nostradamus. Thankfully it was awful but not quite as bad as it looked like it was going to be.
  15. What's more, with the announcement that Trump is looking to cut off aid money meant to rebuild areas of Syria and Iraq that ISIS held and prematurely pull out the US presence, we should all be prepared for further loss of soft power influence and a continuation of the conditions that make a lot of people join terrorist groups in the first place. Trump has also been quick to toot his own horn about defeating ISIS, (never mind how he complained in the final debate with Clinton about the fact that it was taking place on the same day that the assault on Mosul was starting and how unfair that was to him, and how all he had to do was not screw up a plan already in progress, which he is going to do his best to do) but oddly silent about their increasing presence in Afghanistan. Honestly, I can't blame anybody for not feeling the need to jump on everything Agent Orange does at this point. We know he's going to say and do stupid, obviously counterproductive things. We know the right wing will find a way to excuse it and adore him by (usually falsely) saying Obama and Clinton did the same things. (Never mind that they thought Obama was the worst thing to happen to America and wanted to lock Clinton up, but adore Trump when he is, according to them, acting in the same way. Odd, that...) Half the time he'll gutlessly back off from whatever stupid and obviously counterproductive thing he said, the other half he'll double down and try to reach a lower level of being stupid and counterproductive, forcing us to react accordingly. What's the point? On some other forums where I participate on political threads I do it largely because most of the posters are younger than I am and can use the political education, but what purpose does it serve to get jerked around and react to everything dumbass thing that comes out of his mouth? I'm going to do what I can to work against his horrible designs from the country, as I imagine most people here are going to do, and anybody willing to change their mind about supporting him is likely either going through or has already gone through that process by this point. Preaching to the choir isn't going to help it along. The number still aren't looking good, but it looks like it's going to ease up a little from a little while ago, when it looked like there was a legitimate chance for the Dow to end the day down 750 points or so and the S&P down more than 3%. Now it looks like it'll only be somewhere between 600-700 for the Dow and maybe 2.75% for the S&P. It sure is a good thing trade wars are easy to win and we have such a great businessman for a president who knows better than to do things like publicly shit all over one of the biggest retailers/market places in the country, or I might be worried right now.