Fragile Bird

US Politics: Russian Roulette Republican Style

421 posts in this topic

Prosecutors are at this moment going to court to cancel their bail deal with Manafort because he's broken it. Manafort has been writing an editorial with a Russian with ties to Russian intelligence, according to court filings, says CNN.

Is Manafort actually more afraid of the Russians than he is of the FBI?

Stunning news, in a time of daily stunning news!

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36 minutes ago, dmc515 said:

I take issue with the notion the State Department has gotten "bloated" - in terms of appropriations it is by far one of the cheapest departments to fund, and has been for decades while other departments have skyrocketed. 

Anyway, we also have to keep in mind that some of the staffing difficulties can be attributed to the simple fact that Rex Tillerson is grossly incompetent at his job.

I believe the department accounts for 1% of the annual budget, which is nothing, but I've heard a lot of former staffers say they were over employing people during the Bush and Obama Administrations. And these weren't people who support what Tillerson is doing. They were openly trashing him. But they did believe the staff payroll could use some scaling back. 

And yes, RT is grossly incompetent at his job. It's just one more example of why running a business is almost nothing like running a bureaucracy/state/country. 

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26 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

Prosecutors are at this moment going to court to cancel their bail deal with Manafort because he's broken it. Manafort has been writing an editorial with a Russian with ties to Russian intelligence, according to court filings, says CNN.

Is Manafort actually more afraid of the Russians than he is of the FBI?

Stunning news, in a time of daily stunning news!

He does give off that he's got all the skeletons in his closet to hide. He's linked to some seriously shady people in Russia and Eastern Europe. 

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7 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

I believe the department accounts for 1% of the annual budget, which is nothing, but I've heard a lot of former staffers say they were over employing people during the Bush and Obama Administrations. And these weren't people who support what Tillerson is doing. They were openly trashing him. But they did believe the staff payroll could use some scaling back. 

There were probably redundancies, sure.  I just get defensive of bureaucracies when they're called "bloated" - for good reason, because that can often lead to debilitating cuts.

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I don't just mean Russian roulette a la Manafort style, I also mean things like passing the tax bill. Surely by the time the 2018 elections roll around there will be a lot of angry people as the impact of the bill rolls out?

And now Trump's lawyer saying the president can never obstruct justice, because the president is the head of the justice system in the US. Yet both Nixon and Clinton had obstruction of justice claims brought against them.

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1 minute ago, Fragile Bird said:

I don't just mean Russian roulette a la Manafort style, I also mean things like passing the tax bill. Surely by the time the 2018 elections roll around there will be a lot of angry people as the impact of the bill rolls out?

Probably not, or they'll just think it's fake news. Or if they had a 60-person majority they could REALLY get things done. 

Or...the filibuster is going to be killed here really soon. 

 

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Continuing from previous thread's latest argument over the benefits or non-benefit of attempting to enlighten one's idiot relatives and acquaintances and neighbors and work place sisters and fellows:

The thing is that there are plenty of R's and those ilks as believers in white supremacy, etc. families, etc.,  who honestly, if they admit it, DO NOT LIKE their family members, neighbors etc., who do not think like they do, so it matters not a bit.

They are glad that those who don't have thoughts like their never show their faces -- or don't open their mouths -- but keep a decent distance -- send the right cards at Christmas and gifts at weddings, but please don't rock our comfy complacent routines and rituals by actually showing up and showing us the whole world isn't like us.

It's impossible to get anywhere with those families, it really isn't.  Many of them will even say, yes, to anything one says, but don't mean it.  They are that terrified of rocking the boat.  They are far more terrified of rocking boats than they are of having actual sexual predators and pedophiles in positions of power.

Just as bad are those family members and etcs. who love to argue just for the sake of arguing, i.e. blowharding. 

It's an entire waste of one's personal energies that can be put to better use by helping fund an electrician to go and work in Puerto Rico.  And to do that funding, informing all the family members that they will no longer be receiving gifts for weddings, etc. because you are donating those funds to the Great Cause of getting power back to Puerto Rico.

 

 

 

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Moving this here since the other thread is at 22 pages and could be closed at any time.  @Kalbear:

Quote

I don't see it as a problem. Why do you think it's sad? 

Some of the best data explaining election results is that it was a referendum on white nationalism. Do you disagree with that? 

Do you think that Republicans as a party are going more or less white nationalist?

I think it's sad that you're essentially stating all GOP voters are bigots and hate-filled.  That's wrong, categorically, and demonstrates the type of attitude that will perpetuate the centrifugal trends in this country.

What data exactly are you referring to?  Please clarify.

This question is irrelevant to the above.  Of course they're increasingly white nationalist, but that's still obviously distinct from every GOP voter being a white nationalist.

 

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The Republican War on Economics

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/12/the-republican-war-on-economics.html

Groundbreaking empirical research shows where innovation really comes from
Breaking down barriers for underrepresented kids could quadruple America’s pool of inventors.

https://www.vox.com/2017/12/4/16706352/innovation-inequality-race-gender

Edited by Martell Spy

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13 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

I don't just mean Russian roulette a la Manafort style, I also mean things like passing the tax bill. Surely by the time the 2018 elections roll around there will be a lot of angry people as the impact of the bill rolls out?

I think the interesting conclusion you can draw from the tax legislation is that Republicans are much more afraid of upsetting their donor base than their actual base. Because they're hurting a lot of their constituents who don't really care that much about taxes.

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16 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Probably not, or they'll just think it's fake news. Or if they had a 60-person majority they could REALLY get things done. 

Or...the filibuster is going to be killed here really soon. 

 

Why not? This is an ideological war, why not escalate?

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1 minute ago, dmc515 said:

Moving this here since the other thread is at 22 pages and could be closed at any time.  @Kalbear:

I think it's sad that you're essentially stating all GOP voters are bigots and hate-filled.  That's wrong, categorically, and demonstrates the type of attitude that will perpetuate the centrifugal trends in this country.

I don't; I think they are willing to support them, and are unwilling to change their minds based on those facts. If you point out that they're supporting bigots they'll dismiss it or deflect it. 

I think it's more reasonable to make extremists losers. Until this kind of thing isn't excusable by getting other things they want - like being in a party of winners - then doing basically anything else to kick them off of that isn't going to do shit.

1 minute ago, dmc515 said:

What data exactly are you referring to?  Please clarify.

I was specifically talking about the Adam Serwer article, as well as several at 538. 

1 minute ago, dmc515 said:

This question is irrelevant to the above.  Of course they're increasingly white nationalist, but that's still obviously distinct from every GOP voter being a white nationalist.

Unfortunately I disagree, because of the nature of conservatives in the US and how they track in their viewpoints. The majority of the GOP at this point has to be considered white nationalist given polling and viewpoints. The way conservatives work is that they use their party to identify themselves, and fit in to their tribe, and ingroup feelings are hugely important. Same goes for climate denial (like my sig says). They may not care deeply about it (though it looks more and more like that's the case), but they will start saying the slogans and start believing it because their friends and politicians do. 

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4 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

I think the interesting conclusion you can draw from the tax legislation is that Republicans are much more afraid of upsetting their donor base than their actual base. Because they're hurting a lot of their constituents who don't really care that much about taxes.

I strongly believe they are also relying on the cyclical nature of U.S. elections. Even if the worst happens and they have a bad 2018 election, they know they will get back in power at some point. They saw the worst case scenario with Bush and the War and great recession, and here they are back again. So the lesson they draw from this is to grab that pussy while you can.

And for many of them this is all a game to them. But that post Congress lobbyist position, that's their actual life.

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3 minutes ago, Martell Spy said:

I strongly believe they are also relying on the cyclical nature of U.S. elections. Even if the worst happens and they have a bad 2018 election, they know they will get back in power at some point. They saw the worst case scenario with Bush and the War and great recession, and here they are back again. So the lesson they draw from this is to grab that pussy while you can.

And for many of them this is all a game to them. But that post Congress lobbyist position, that's their actual life.

True, but it's different to be defeated in the middle of a decade than it is at the end of one. If Democrats can pick up seats in the House while keeping their loses in the Senate to a minimum, they'll be set up to have a really good cycle in 2020. And while people always over use the phrase "most important election in my lifetime." 2020 really is. If Republicans have a good year then they'll own the U.S. for the next decade, if not longer, and Trump will have the ability to trample Democrats and do god knows how much damage to the country. 

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4 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

I don't; I think they are willing to support them, and are unwilling to change their minds based on those facts. If you point out that they're supporting bigots they'll dismiss it or deflect it. 

I think it's more reasonable to make extremists losers. Until this kind of thing isn't excusable by getting other things they want - like being in a party of winners - then doing basically anything else to kick them off of that isn't going to do shit.

Ok, I don't disagree with any of this.  I also don't see how it contradicts the the statement that one can make a distinction between a GOP family member and those that espouse bigotry or hate-filled beliefs.

5 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

I was specifically talking about the Adam Serwer article, as well as several at 538.

That's a really long article, but I gather his main point is this:

Quote

Yet when social scientists control for white voters’ racial attitudes—that is, whether those voters hold “racially resentful” views about blacks and immigrants—even the educational divide disappears. In other words, the relevant factor in support for Trump among white voters was not education, or even income, but the ideological frame with which they understood their challenges and misfortunes. It is also why voters of color—who suffered a genuine economic calamity in the decade before Trump’s election—were almost entirely immune to those same appeals.

Totally agree with that, as we've discussed in the past.  The problem is you're conflating those that demonstrate high levels of racial resentment on the implicit racism scale with white nationalism.  No political scientist worth her salt would do so.

9 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

The majority of the GOP at this point has to be considered white nationalist given polling and viewpoints. The way conservatives work is that they use their party to identify themselves, and fit in to their tribe, and ingroup feelings are hugely important. Same goes for climate denial (like my sig says). They may not care deeply about it (though it looks more and more like that's the case), but they will start saying the slogans and start believing it because their friends and politicians do.

Again, there is a difference between explaining this and why it makes the party and many of its supporters not only unacceptable but dangerous and refusing to tolerate a Republican family member or insisting they're a bad person simply due to party affiliation.

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23 hours ago, Martell Spy said:

 

Quote

On Meet the Press Sunday, Chuck Todd asked Susan Collins how she could support a huge tax cut after having complained about excessive debt. “Economic growth produces more revenue and that will help to offset this tax cut and actually lower the debt,” she calmly replied. An incredulous Todd asked Collins how she could defend such a claim when every study has concluded the opposite. She cited Glenn Hubbard, Larry Lindsey, and Douglas Holtz-Eakin.

Hubbard is a clown. Lindsay is a clown. Holtz-Eakin is somewhat saner, but I'm pretty sure he did tell Collins privately that "tax cuts pay for themselves" after emphatically denying it in a Washington Post column I do believe.

Also, just want to say, that the Great Recession has certainly, I think, pushed the economics profession to the left, which was badly needed. From about the 1970s onward, the profession went to the right. And the person most responsible for the rightward shift, I do believe, was Robert Lucas. The RBC models that he spawned tended to dominate through the 1980s and the 1990s. Lucas boldly declared that the problems of depression were solved, until it was massively apparent that was not the case. And as far as making policy, as in what to do, when the shit hit the fan, the RBC model was completely useless and led lots of conservative sorts of people to make conservative mistakes.

Its been almost 40 years since the Reagan revolution and by now we surely know that tax cuts don't pay for themselves(the only exception is if we perhaps were in a liquidity trap situation and the tax cuts were target towards lower income folks) and the Lucas spawned RBC model certainly wasn't up to the task of handling the Great Recession. The majority of the profession, I think, has shifted left, but there are still some conservative economist out there that won't change their priors.

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Also besides the bullshit that Collins got fed, it’s important to keep in mind the bullshit letter by John Taylor and company.

That letter tried to slyly imply that the adjustment process would complete in about 10 years, meaning that maybe “tax cuts would pay for themselves”.

When this bullshit was called out by Furman and Summers, Taylor and co quickly retreated saying, “well golly little ol us? We never said what the length of the adjustment process would be!” But, that was not a little detail. It was a big detail.

Now, I don’t watch Fox News (cause if I wanted to inflict that much brain damage on myself I'd just chug a quart of bourbon in about an hour), but I just have to imagine, that the original letter got a mention on Fox News, and by the time Taylor and company backed tracked the damage had already been done.

Edited by OldGimletEye

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On 12/4/2017 at 6:18 PM, Martell Spy said:

One thing here:

When Karl Marx wrote his magnus opus he basically stole David Ricardo's old idea that wages were set by class conflict. Neo classicals (Ricardo and Smith were classicals) responded with marginalist theory, which basically, according to the marginalist refuted Marx's (and Ricardos claim) and that the factors of production were compensated by their marginal product.

And ever since, ardent right wingers have peddled the marginalist story (at least a simplistic version of it) as a justification for income disparity.

Now personally, I find marginalist theory useful, at least in analyzing short run phenomenon. But, I've never been quite comfortable with the idea that it's the sole reason of how incomes and wages are set, which may often depend on a variety of social norms and practices.

And I would say, this article adds to that suspicion.

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However, there is this: political scientists have often been proven wrong, not only with elections but by events.

 

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