TrackerNeil

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  1. U.S. Politics 2016: The Mayans Were Only Off By 1418 Days

    I like how this is a shot at both Trump and Romney. That's some economical shade-throwing, there.
  2. U.S. Politics 2016: The Mayans Were Only Off By 1418 Days

    That "tear down this wall" line was widely recognized by Soviets to simply be a rhetorical flourish that had no real policy weight behind it. I wonder if China reads Trump's gesture towards Taiwan the same way.
  3. U.S. Politics 2016: The Mayans Were Only Off By 1418 Days

    Fact: there are some things are cannot be changed through reconciliation. The Senate can change its rules regarding this, of course, but they cannot simply repeal everything though that parliamentary maneuver as it currently exists. That still provides the GOP with the ability to screw things up, but they can't simply wipe away the law. (I see @aceluby already responded to this, so let me say I agree with him.)
  4. U.S. Politics 2016: The Mayans Were Only Off By 1418 Days

    Not to seem picayune, but that's not precisely true. The ACA passed the Senate on a 60-40 majority, without the need for reconciliation. After Ted Kennedy's death and the election of Scott Brown, Republicans stonewalled any attempt to square that bill with the separate one passed by the House. Speaker Pelosi got her caucus to approve the Senate bill and then Congress used reconciliation to smooth over the differences between the two. The ACA cannot be repealed root and branch using reconciliation, but Republicans can f*ck it up if they really want to.
  5. Feminism - Post-apocalypse version

    A straight guy I know (who shall remain nameless) once told me, flat-out, "I know I'm not supposed to be jealous of gay guys because you have it worse than me, but I really wish I could be close with other men and not have my motives questioned." That really took me aback, and I thought of that when I read the above. That kind of model puts a ton of pressure on straight guys, and on the women with whom they interact. But how does that change? I wish I knew.
  6. U.S. Politics 2016: The Mayans Were Only Off By 1418 Days

    I disagree. Although Bush was a disastrous president, he was conventionally qualified and conventionally behaved. He never taunted his rivals. He never admitted to groping women, nor brushed it off as "locker room talk." He never bragged about the size of his penis in a debate, nor mocked a disabled person on television. He was a plausible, if terrible, president, and I never held it against those who voted for him either time. I thought the choice was foolish, but not necessarily indicative of bad character Donald Trump is something else, and for the first time in my life I can say that I think that those who voted for him are either bad people or they're willingly assisting bad people. (If there's a distinction to be drawn.)
  7. U.S. Politics 2016: The Mayans Were Only Off By 1418 Days

    I can tell you that this Democrat is ready to open the bag of dirty tricks. By electing Trump, Republicans have turned the presidency into a joke*, so let's just make sure we're laughing at them. *This IMO really is the worst part of all this. The White House has held fools and morons and bigots and assholes, but I never thought we'd willingly and knowingly elect a buffoon. Now that we have, I guess Democrats are OK running Oprah Winfrey in 2020.
  8. U.S. Politics 2016: The Mayans Were Only Off By 1418 Days

    Yeah, I don't know if Democratic voters are going to relish this sort of skullduggery the way Republican voters do, but I agree that it's time for media to be less civil. To paraphrase Tess Rafferty, we no longer live in Polite America; we live in "Grab 'Em by the Pussy" America.
  9. U.S. Politics 2016: The Mayans Were Only Off By 1418 Days

    It seems to me that Trump in 2020 will be able to count upon at least the same level of support as in 2016, plus some fools who by then will have gotten used to his bullshit. (Assuming, of course, he doesn't make a real hash of his job by then.) That tells me that we Democrats need to nominate someone who will electrify all wings of the party to activate the 53% of Americans who didn't vote for The Donald.
  10. I don't know...I'd have said Rick's biggest weakness is that he's an overconfident, emotionally unstable man who relies far too heavily on violence to solve his problems.
  11. Agreed. What Negan did to Dwight wasn't wantonly malicious; it was malicious, but definitely not wanton. Why did Negan spare Rick? (Other than TWD doesn't want to fire Andrew Lincoln.) Wouldn't you think that the last person you want in charge of Alexandria is a guy who himself likes violent approaches to problems?
  12. Getting people to rise in solidarity with anything is hard, and when that thing is a scary guy like Negan it is nearly impossible. If I'm a rank-and-file Savior, I'd want to know what going up against the most frightening person I know gets me. Security? I have that now. Moral satisfaction? Please. I imagine Negan commands no true loyalty, and if he were to stumble his followers might set upon him like a pack of velociraptors, but for now what the guy is doing is working.
  13. Yup. And there are people who likely consider themselves incapable of cruelty who are indeed quite capable when properly induced. A zombie apocalypse likely brings out both the very best and the very worst in folks.
  14. I just caught up on the series--I won't pay for that show but I received it as a gift--and I think this is right. Negan is a ridiculous villain in the mold of Ramsay Snow. Boring as well. Yet I think @Castel is also correct that Negan's model is totally plausible; anyone who voted for Trump knows just how attractive a projection of strength can be, particularly in such an uncertain situation. If you work for the Saviors, your job is simple: do what Negan wants. You'll eat, you'll sleep safely, and you'll have a community, of a sort. You'll be required to occasionally participate in or even commit acts of atrocity, but it's an atrocious world, isn't it? I suspect that lots of Negan's people hate him and would love to see him meet the business end of a knife, but making that happen isn't easy. If Negan catches you fomenting dissent you're dead, and horrifically so. Besides, it seems to me that for a rebellion to succeed you need a credible alternative, and we have no idea if there is anyone the Saviors would regard as a worthy successor. Even if you did unseat Negan, what then happens to the Saviors? The surrounding communities hate them like fire, and would be pleased to pick them off one by one as they struggle to figure out the post-Negan world. Also, I have to say that I find myself unable to sympathize with Rick to any great extent, although I feel sorry for those who have followed him. Like Negan, Rick Grimes considers violence a go-to solution for many problems, and even though he lacks Negan's sadistic streak, the two men share a need to dominate others through force. Leaving that aside, Rick just makes bad decisions. The decision to attack the observatory was just unwise. Rick didn't know anything about the people he was planning to kill. How many were there? What kind of weapons did they possess? Did they have allies? He just decided that, since his group was good at killing, they'd trade their murder-skills for food. That's not too far from what the Saviors do, right?
  15. U.S. Politics 2016: The Mayans Were Only Off By 1418 Days

    I'm not 100% sure Trump even cares about repealing the ACA. This is the guy who's saying the infamous wall was a metaphor, and that he isn't really interested in locking up Hillary Clinton anymore, so... The GOP is in a pickle vis a vis the ACA. They've promised for years to repeal the law, but that was when they had no power to actually do it. Easy to promise when you can't deliver. And this "delayed repeal" plan is just stupid; history has shown that the ticking clock does not necessarily induce Congress to do anything. Remember sequestration? Those spending cuts were deemed so painful that Congress would do anything to avoid them, and...well, we all know what happened. Fact is, health insurance reform is not a Republican priority, and the party does not have any interest in wrangling for 15 months over a replacement behind which they have yet to coalesce that would also not strand 20 million Americans. Trump's victory has not changed the basic nature of voters, which is that they blame worsening conditions on whatever party holds the White House. If millions of Americans lose their health insurance, it's not Democrats who will take the blame. The GOP is just dysfunctional enough, however, for me to not be sure it won't screw up here and brass off those 20 million people. So I don't know what's going to happen.