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About ThinkerX

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  • Birthday 04/25/1963

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  1. US Politics: Kill (the) Bill

    Alas, I have to agree with the facts in Commodore's link - because I live in a state that now has just one company on the ACA exchange. I do not see this situation improving in my state or in the nation at large anytime soon. Yes, the ACA is better than what came before, and far superior to the now dead abomination republicans sought to foist upon the country. But it is still very badly flawed. Is it a 'marketplace' if there is but a single provider?
  2. US Politics: Ask Fox News

    While the latest edition of the Trump-Russia scandal is interesting, I have been wondering lately about something potentially far more devastating to far more people - specifically, the economic effects of the conservative Republican agenda, should it come to pass. Three elements - the republican health care plan, the tax cuts for the rich, and the shift from domestic to military spending. The first automatically makes health care unaffordable for tens of millions of people. That hurts them - and those still on insurance, who get to pay increased rates. Some of those folks may opt out as well. Additionally, healthcare is big biz in the US, with millions (?) of people on the payroll, and millions more jobs directly supported by it. A great many of these jobs could go away under this plan. Tax cuts for the rich amounts to an increased tax burden on the lower castes. This means less disposable income - fewer people buying the things that keep the economy humming. It also deals a major blow to an already struggling retail sector. This could also have a major effect on things like the real estate market. Pay for most folks this past decade or two has not been good. More and more people in the 'minimum wage + a dollar or two' category who *depend,* one way or another, on one or more of the programs being cut. Not good. Taken together, I see a strong potential for two things: 1 - A major economic 'crash' within a year or two of these programs being enacted. A crash worse than the 2007-2008 mess. 2 - A steep decline in the number of people in the 'middle class' as in this group being reduced by half, also within a short time span. And no effective recovery for decades - effectively, this situation becomes permanent. Even the GOP will be forced to admit the existence of the crash when it occurs. What interests me is their response. Would a major disaster, created by their pet policies, be enough for them to renounce those policies? Thoughts?
  3. US Politics: Ask Fox News

    Wait a sec. The French are trying to outdo the unprecedented disaster that was the US presidential campaign...and succeeding?
  4. US Politics: Ask Fox News

    At least in the comments sections of the political articles I was reading, Sanders was vastly more popular than Clinton. His supporters maintain that an utterly corrupt DNC sabotaged his campaign to promote Clinton. That said, unless the Democratic Party finds a genuinely popular candidate, they WILL lose the 2020 campaign for POTUS. Hence, somebody like Oprah or Zuckerberg. Mondale. Gore. Hillary. Qualified, dull as dirt candidates destined to lose. And the Democratic Party seems incapable of grasping this.
  5. US Politics: Ask Fox News

    I continue to read the 'comments' sections of various political articles. Because there are so many, and on a range of topics, individual links are too much of a pain, but... ...from those comments, often in a confused way, quite a number of Trump fans seem to be experiencing 'buyers remorse.' The health care fiasco in particular seems to have rattled some of them. At the moment, some are trying (and failing) to convince themselves it's Obama's fault or the 'Deep State.' Anybody else notice this?
  6. US Politics: Speak Into the Microwave

    Corporations - aka the 'one percent.'
  7. US Politics: Speak Into the Microwave

    I submit it is not so much 'party above country' anymore as it is 'caste comes first.' One does not become a national level politician in the country without either being a member of the 1%, or being deeply beholden to them. We are entering into an age of literal oligarchy, with a few hundred or few thousand oligarchs either occupying or directly controlling the political positions that matter, and a 'change of party' means nothing more than a 'change of oligarch.' Hence, Oprah or Zuckerberg or somebody like them being the next democratic party candidate for POTUS. At least some of the apparent differences between the parties (though not all) are 'red meat' issues, never meant to be truly resolved, trotted out to divide the masses and garner votes.
  8. U.S. Politics: Russian Around

    A new crisis fast approaches. Except, it's an old crisis, largely manufactured by Republicans, who are about to find themselves caught in yet another trap of their own devising. The debt ceiling. If Stockman is right (maybe?) they got mere months to do something, otherwise a bit longer. But many of the Republican deficit hawks appear to believe their own rhetoric. Combine this with their adamant insistence on tax cuts for the rich...
  9. U.S. Politics: Russian Around

    I find this overly optimistic - but if it starts happening in the next few years, Trump will (wrongly) take the credit:
  10. US Politics: Lock Him Up!

    Grounds for the emolument (sp?) clause?
  11. US Politics: Lock Him Up!

    That has been my other contention with Trump since the beginning: he might get elected, but was highly likely to be impeached. That is still possible, but it will be a god-awful messy process. The problem is, that leaves us with Pence, who is: A - competent; and B - an evangelical zealot with crossover appeal between evangelical Protestants and Catholics. Dwelling in an area with a very strong fundamentalist Christian presence, and having spent years on a Christian debate site, I find a politician with that sort of crossover religious appeal...strange - and frightening. Previously, what kept the evangelical factions in check was the utter loathing they have (had?) for each other. I cannot emphasize this enough: should Pence become POTUS and push through even part of the stated evangelical agenda, it will be a utter nightmare for most posters here, in excess of Kalbear's worse predictions. It means the 'blue laws' make a comeback at the federal level. It means women lose many of the rights they take for granted, possibly including the right to vote. With Trump impeached, the best we could hope for is that Pence's ambitions get gridlocked until the 2020 election.
  12. US Politics: Lock Him Up!

    With reluctance, I considered Trump becoming POTUS a very real possibility since about last June. I was - and still am - reading the 'comments' sections of a great many political articles in an effort to get a 'real feel' for the situation. That exercise told me two things: Trump was popular despite his many failings, and Clinton was just about the worst possible pick the democrats could have made. Sanders, despite all the scorn heaped upon him here, was *FAR* more popular than Clinton in those conversations, and in my view, would likely have defeated Trump in the general. The utter corruptness and ineptitude of the DNC in making Clintons campaign an attempted 'coronation' also went over very poorly. My take for the future: unless the democrats put forth somebody genuinely popular with the masses (pretty much meaning a 'celebrity candidate' like Oprah or Zuckerberg) they *WILL* lose the next presidential election *REGARDLESS* of Trumps unpopularity or groundwork.
  13. US politics: Donny, you're out of your element

    Somewhat related: Ben reading the comments attached to political articles about the Trump/Sweden fiasco. The conservative posters are absolutely convinced that Sweden is a hotbed of crime and that the liberal media is covering the truth up.
  14. So, does the hospital have good wifi?
  15. US Politics: Deep State Solution

    ------ ----- The way I see it, the US is moving very fast towards a rigidly defined caste system, based partly on race but mostly on economic class. At the top - the '1%' you have the 'Executive Caste' - the people who own pretty much everything, including the government. They typically own multiple residences, some outside the US. Private schools, assured jobs, and competence doesn't matter because of caste. They are essentially immune to all but the most serious laws, and when they do get in trouble, it is likely to be the result of an internal feud rather than a triumph of justice. Not all politicians belong to this caste, but at the national / higher state levels, all politicians are beholden to this class one way or another. Next, we have the 'white collar caste' - professionals, managers, lawyers, doctors, highly skilled and trained. Many own/operate small businesses. Two or three homes is not uncommon. Renting is a sort of strategic choice. Their offspring go to either private schools or the best public schools. They are effectively exempt from minor laws - cops will often pass on writing tickets, charges won't get filed, that sort of thing, but can still be prosecuted for the big stuff. Many are beholden to the executive caste. Collectively, they have thinly disguised contempt for the lower castes. Third is the 'blue collar' or 'tradesman' class - carpenters, plumbers, mechanics, and other 'hands on' types. Most work for others, a few have tiny businesses. Many are home owners, others rent. Public school is the norm here, though there is some home schooling. Race factors into legal standing at this level: whites might get a pass on minor offences, blacks and other minorities will not. At this point in time, owing to repeated sellouts 'from above,' this caste is collectively ticked off with the white collar caste and less than thrilled with the lower castes (seen as competitors). However, many are weirdly enthralled by the Executive Caste. The 'Service Caste' is almost but not quite at the bottom of the heap: fast food workers, shelf stockers at stores, counter attendants, janitors, and whatnot. Barring inheritance, a habitat house, or a trailer, they rent. Their kids go to public schools, frequently not very good ones. Legally...well being of the white race helps...sometimes. They bear some animosity towards the 'illegal' caste. (job competition) At the bottom is the 'foreign' or 'illegal' caste, people of often dubious legal standing, typically performing jobs that those of higher castes see as beneath them. Despite this, they are making inroads into both the service caste and the blue collar caste, which is a major driver behind the animosity with 'undocumented workers.' Legally, they have few rights - which is exactly what their sponsors want. From my POV, the executive caste *prefers* things this way and is willing to go to substantial lengths to make this model ever more rigid, making true upward caste mobility all but impossible.