Fragile Bird

US Politics: Everyone's Manipulating Everyone

401 posts in this topic

The Russians did it in the US and are doing it Europe.

And now it turns out one of the billionaires behind Breitbart, Robert Mercer, created a manipulative internet ad campaign for the Leave side in the UK Brexit vote, that actually created unique ads depending on their analysis of your Facebook page. And donated the work to the Leave campaign, which the Leave campaign did not report.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/feb/26/us-billionaire-mercer-helped-back-brexit

Carry on.

Edited by Fragile Bird

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Master Facebook and master the world? I think we might have created a monster...

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In case anyone is interested, here is a link to today's Omaha World-Herald article on the possible effect of Trump on the Omaha mayoral race. I didn't remember that Stothert says she wrote in McCain for president until I read this article. I still hope Mello wins. Stothert is known for having some nastiness in her own personality; her nickname among those who oppose her in Omaha is "Mean Jean". :

http://www.omaha.com/news/politics/city-election/mello-tries-to-tie-stothert-to-trump-in-effort-to/article_f9ca2a39-5830-508d-aa43-aacba49d4153.html

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@Fez

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Winning solves all problems though. Before the election, people were saying that Republicans were in serious danger of a party split. Now, they still might if Trump goes far enough off-the-rails; but based on how Republicans have been acting, its pretty clear that if any other Republican had won, all their previous in-fighting would've been swept away. And thanks to the underlying cyclical nature of US politics, Democrats are likely to start doing really well in elections.

Yes and no. You are correct in that the Democrats will almost certainly do well in upcoming elections and in that winning usually covers up the infighting. However, I think that there is still a lot of time for infighting to take place and the Democratic Party that eventually wins a Presidential election might be quite different from the 2016 variant.

For example, after the Republicans suffered a catastrophic defeat in 2008, there were questions about the health of the party and how long it would take for it to be relevant again. These seem to have been answered by the overwhelming victory in 2010... except that the Republican Party of 2010 was not quite the same as the one in 2008. In 2016, they finally completed the comeback and now hold both houses of Congress as well as the Presidency. However, the Republican Party that won in 2016 is very different from the one that lost in 2008 in several respects (albeit quite similar in others). The same thing might happen to the Democrats.

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@Commodore

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I went to a Tea Party rally in 2010 and was immediately bored by the whole affair.

Yeah, I could see how watching a bunch of middle aged people, dressed up in some ridiculous Paul Revere getup, going around and saying:

Looky here, I own a gun!

Betchya didn't know I owned guns!

would be about as exciting as getting a root canal.

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Just now, Altherion said:

The same thing might happen to the Democrats.

Hell, they might even be organized for once.

Probably wishful thinking on my part.

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Just a reminder: Any doofus can read Ayn Rand. It doesn't make you smart.

Any doofus, can believe in what Ayn Rand had to say. That too doesn't make you smart.

https://newrepublic.com/article/140869/will-trump-era-finally-kill-paul-ryans-wonkish-cred

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Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House, has long had a reputation as the Serious Republican. He is an alleged policy wonk who, whether you agree with his politics or not, is knowledgeable and committed to generating innovative policy proposals

Key operative word here being "alleged".

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But reading The Second Apocalypse R. Scott Bakker makes you a genius. More politicians should do so. IS NOT TRUTH INFINITE?

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24 minutes ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

But reading The Second Apocalypse R. Scott Bakker makes you a genius. More politicians should do so. IS NOT TRUTH INFINITE?

Good grief!  The Second Apocalypse would only give Bannon more delusions of grandeur than he has already plus VP Pence already thinks the truth shines right out of his butt.  

Trump would want Isherebinth invaded and mined.  No thanks. 

 

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Dear God.  I can picture Trump people, weary of the "dishonest media," greeting each other with "Truth Shines" as a way of demonstrating devotion to the cause.

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5 minutes ago, Triskan said:

Dear God.  I can picture Trump people, weary of the "dishonest media," greeting each other with "Truth Shines" as a way of demonstrating devotion to the cause.

Sean Spicer "Truth Shines! Period!"

KelleyAmne Conway "Alternative Truth Shines but isn't reported by the liberal media."

Prez Trump "Some people, really smart people say Truth Shines. "

Steve Bannon "Here in the dark Nationalist Truth Shines in a way only I can see. "

VP Pence. " Truth Shines right outa my butt!"

Gah, no!

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2 hours ago, OldGimletEye said:

Just a reminder: Any doofus can read Ayn Rand. It doesn't make you smart.

Any doofus, can believe in what Ayn Rand had to say. That too doesn't make you smart.

Reading Ayn Rand not only does not make you smart, it will most likely make you dumber.  Because she was a terrible writer.  Fountainhead at least has some semblance of a coherent plot and characterization, but Atlas Shrugged is literally the worst novel I've ever even attempted to read.  If you want to read WWII-era revolutionary female political theorists, do yourself a favor and look up Hannah Arendt instead, regardless of ideology.

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4 hours ago, Relic said:

Master Facebook and master the world? I think we might have created a monster...

What with Money = Speech we already had the monster. The Hacking/Social Media/Fake News has just given it more appendages, methinks.

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3 hours ago, Triskan said:

Dear God.  I can picture Trump people, weary of the "dishonest media," greeting each other with "Truth Shines" as a way of demonstrating devotion to the cause.

Reminds me of that Turtledove series where the Freedom Party greet each other with "Freedom" while throwing people into concentration camps.

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Yes, the Republican Party likes them some Donald Trump.

http://www.people-press.org/2017/02/16/1-early-public-attitudes-about-donald-trump/

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Overall, 84% of Republicans say Trump makes them feel hopeful and 72% say he makes them feel proud. Few Republicans say Trump makes them feel uneasy (16%) or angry (6%).

So could we like stop with the "Trump was an exogenous event" bullshit?

Edited by OldGimletEye

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Sounds like this week is do-or-die for ACA repeal. 

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Republican leaders are betting that the only way for Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act is to set a bill in motion and gamble that fellow GOP lawmakers won’t dare to block it.

Party leaders are poised to act on the strategy as early as this week, after it has become obvious they can’t craft a proposal that will carry an easy majority in either chamber. Lawmakers return to Washington Monday after a week of raucous town halls in their districts that amplified pressure on Republicans to forge ahead with their health-care plans.

Republican leaders pursuing the “now or never” approach see it as their best chance to break through irreconcilable demands by Republican centrists and conservatives over issues ranging from tax credits to the future of Medicaid.

The new strategy means the health-care law could be overhauled in three precarious steps—reflecting the difficulties of concurrently repealing and replacing the law, as President Donald Trump had sought.

Republicans can afford to lose no more than two GOP votes in the Senate and 22 in the House, assuming they get no support from Democrats. That means any GOP faction could torpedo the repeal effort by withholding its support—and members of each have threatened as much.

Advocates of the strategy hope that knife’s-edge math will be an asset rather than a liability. They are betting different groups of Republican lawmakers can be pacified with a handful of concessions, then will swallow hard and vote for a longstanding repeal pledge, first in the House, then in the Senate.

 

This may be the most uncertain major bill brought to the floor since the original bailout bill in 2008 (which notably failed). The really important bills generally don't come to the floor unless leadership knows it will pass, or knows it will fail and is bringing it to send a message. Boehner's whip count failed a couple times, but I think the bills were always pulled at the last minute. Maybe that happens here too in the end, if the votes aren't there, but it sounds like the issue is going to be forced.

And I honestly have no idea what will happen. There are plenty of Republicans, especially in the senate, who would be happy to block repeal bills from coming up; but I don't know if there are any that would actually vote against them if forced.

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http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/2/25/14728622/kevin-hassett-cea-economic-advisers

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President Trump will name the American Enterprise Institute’s Kevin Hassett as the chair of his Council of Economic Advisers, according to multiple reports. The CEA chair serves as the White House’s chief economist, and while Trump has demoted the position from the Cabinet-level standing it enjoyed under past presidents, it remains one of the most important economic policy jobs in the federal government.

Well certainly a lot better than fuckin Larry Kudlow. Of course, that's not sayin a lot, obviously.

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Hassett thinks this is all wrong. His research, conducted with AEI’s Aparna Mathur, suggests that most or even all of the burden of corporate taxes is borne by workers, not capital. In an influential 2006 paper analyzing data in 72 countries across 22 years, they estimated that a "1 percent increase in corporate tax rates is associated with nearly a 1 percent drop in wage rates.” A second paper in 2010 found a slightly smaller effect (a 0.5 to 0.6 percent decrease in wage rates per 1 percent increase in corporate tax rates) but still concluded that labor was ultimately paying the tax.

Okay, a few things here:

1. The issue of corporate taxation is one that liberal dirty hippies need to pay attention. When dirty hippie liberals stop paying attention to this, conservatives are likely to start spewing all types of conservative nonsense, which many people will believe.

2. I do believe that corporate taxes do hit wages to some extent. That does not mean, however, corporate taxes are not a progressive form of taxation.

3. That Hassett paper estimated a wage elasticity of about 0.3 on the low end. That comes out about  to $1 dollar in Corporate Taxes cost wages about 6 bucks. That seems implausibly large. I'd say overall the studies on the incidence of corporate taxes on wages just are not that good right now. I'm willing to change my mind of course as more stuff comes out. But, I think us lefties should be extremely skeptical about this stuff right now, because you know, how many times have we heard from the Republican Party, "Let us lower taxes on corporations and lower income taxes on high earning individuals and bust up your unions and the growth will be so awesome you won't even notice we busted up your unions and tried to yank your social security!!!' and then, you know, it never seemingly fucking pans out.

4. Also, I'm not really aware of a lot of convincing studies on the effect of corporate taxation on overall economic growth. I've pointed  this out before, but I again I'll repeat it: The corporate tax was passed around 1909. Between about 1870-1912 real GDP per capita was right around 2.2%. Between about 1947-1999, after the corporate tax was in effect, real GDP per capita was right about 2.2%. Now I know conservative Republican sorts of people this isn't exactly an apples to apples comparison as other factors could be in play. But, it does kind of set my prior that the benefits of corporate tax cuts are way oversold.

5. Overall I think raising income taxes on the wealthy has very few negative effects. I'm willing to acknowledge that high corporate taxes might be more harmful. And I am willing to concede on that point if the evidence starts to be more compelling. But, you know, if the left is going to concede the corporate tax thing, which is a pretty big concession, then it would be nice if Republicans and conservatives would take the issues of growing wealth inequality and wage stagnation more seriously and stop pooh-poohing it like say they have on the issue of global warming. Even if corporate taxation does not prove to be an effective way of addressing growing inequality and wage stagnation, other policy options might prove to be effective like strengthening unions. So like Republican sorts of people would ya stop with the union busting bullshit? Also passing decent minimum wage laws would be helpful.

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3 hours ago, OldGimletEye said:

Yes, the Republican Party likes them some Donald Trump.

http://www.people-press.org/2017/02/16/1-early-public-attitudes-about-donald-trump/

So could we like stop with the "Trump was an exogenous event" bullshit?

I would, however, like to see if there are any figures on how many people there out there like George Will, who would have called themselves Republicans a year ago but now tell pollsters they are Independents. 

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Just now, Ormond said:

I would, however, like to see if there are any figures on how many people there out there like George Will, who would have called themselves Republicans a year ago but now tell pollsters they are Independents. 

Yes, I think that would be some interesting data to have.

Also, I don't buy Will's explanation that Trump was an "exogenous event" that hit the poor old Republican Party.

As I've said before: I think the Republican Party has been on a crazy train to nutville for a while now.

Edited by OldGimletEye

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2 minutes ago, OldGimletEye said:

 

Yes, I think that would be some interesting data to have.

Also, I don't buy Will's explanation that Trump was an "exogenous event" that hit the poor old Republican Party.

As I've said before: I think the Republican Party has been on a crazy train to nutville for a while now.

They have been. But at the same time, thanks to partisanship I think most Republicans would say they would approve of any current Republican president.

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