Tywin et al.

US Politics: Borrow And Spend Conservatism Marches On

403 posts in this topic

2 hours ago, Fez said:

Democrats are lucky enough members ignored Pelosi to get this spending bill passed. On funding it's a huge win for Democratic priorities, and Democrats absolutely would've been blamed for a shutdown, much like they were last time. I wish Congress would do something about DACA, but it's clear that Republicans aren't budging on not allowing it to be attached to a spending bill. The Democrats had no leverage here, only the ability to hurt themselves.

The Senate will start on an immigration bill next week, and it's going to be a vote-a-rama style thing, so no one knows what it'll end up looking like. Hopefully something passes, and hopefully the House takes it up. And unfortunately that's all that Democrats can do on this issue.

It’s a cruel way to view politics, but wouldn’t Democrats benefit if there isn’t a resolution on DACA and people start getting deported? They’ve clearly tried, and Republicans will eat all of the blame when the cameras start showing people getting ripped from their homes and communities. I’m not saying I want that to happen, but it seems inevitable that it will. The entire negotiation has just been Lucy (Republicans) holding the football.

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3 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

I do agree that Republicans in the congressional district haven’t exhausted all means.

As far as I can see, they have done exactly one thing - which was to make a statement publicly washing their hands of any responsibility - and nothing else. 

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No one should be surprised about John Kelly's defense of Porter. The guy was put on a pedestal because he was a General but he has a history of defending abusers. In 2016, he appeared as a character witness at a court-martial of a Marine colonel accused of sexually harassing two female subordinates. Kelly praised him as a superb officer. As Haberman points out, that man was later arrested for indecent liberties with a child.

 

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12 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

It’s a cruel way to view politics, but wouldn’t Democrats benefit if there isn’t a resolution on DACA and people start getting deported? They’ve clearly tried, and Republicans will eat all of the blame when the cameras start showing people getting ripped from their homes and communities. I’m not saying I want that to happen, but it seems inevitable that it will. The entire negotiation has just been Lucy (Republicans) holding the football.

I wish politics weren't like this.  But when one party controls all of the government, and is totally unwilling to protect 800k children from deportation (even when offered something in return!) there's just no other way.

I don't know how serious the political cost of this will be.  It certainly OUGHT to be high, but who knows?  America is already targeting veterans and doctors for deportation so maybe the Republican party just doesn't care?

Edited by Maithanet

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42 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

It’s a cruel way to view politics, but wouldn’t Democrats benefit if there isn’t a resolution on DACA and people start getting deported? They’ve clearly tried, and Republicans will eat all of the blame when the cameras start showing people getting ripped from their homes and communities. I’m not saying I want that to happen, but it seems inevitable that it will. The entire negotiation has just been Lucy (Republicans) holding the football.

Maybe? But it seems like a lot of Republicans (and enough independents) want these deportations to happen, or just don't care. DACA recipients aren't getting deported yet, but plenty of other sympathetic people are, and the media covers it, and it hasn't moved the needle at all. And it certainly seems like polls are showing most people don't support shutdowns over the issue, and Democrats have no other leverage avenues.

Frankly, it seems more like one of those issues that Democrats can't really win by talking about it. So they should just shut up, talk about winning issues, and quietly do something the next time they're in power. Republicans are very good at that kind of thing (e.g. there was almost no talk of gutting environmental protections during the 2016 election, but it sure is happening), and Democrats could learn a thing or two about that.

It sucks, but as Democrats were so quick to say from 2009-2016, elections have consequences. And we lost the last one. 

 

Edited by Fez

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For Tywin:

Sorry I have been too busy to reply to your question about the Religious Right in the previous version of this thread.

First, you do realize that I am a theologically liberal Presbyterian and Scot is Eastern Orthodox?? Asking the two of us specifically to explain the Religious Right's support of Trump to you is sort of like asking an active member of a Reform Jewish synagogue to explain a right wing Hasidic sect. Scot and I don't necessarily know much more about this than anyone else.

But --- here is an interview in Vox of a non-supporter of Trump who is an "evangelical" Christian who has written a book trying to explain the issue. I think it gives a pretty good take on it.

https://www.vox.com/2017/10/4/16346800/donald-trump-christian-right-conservative-clinton

One of the most interesting part in the above to me:

 

Quote

 

I spoke to a lot of these people while writing this book, and many of them are friends of mine. What they say is that they’re willing to put up with Trump so long as he does certain powerful things like put the right people on the Supreme Court. It will only take another appointment to the Supreme Court by the Trump administration to affect the direction of the Court for years and years, and they know that.

They'll just tell you straight up, "We're willing to put up with the cussing and the chaos of the White House and the bombast and some of the idiocy if he just appoints the right people to the Court and does a couple of other things."

 

And for a lot of everyday Religious Right voters, as opposed to the leadership, the "appointing the right people to the Supreme Court" itself boils down to just a single issue -- abortion. I really think many everyday evangelical voters who support Trump, especially women, rationalize this because they are really one-issue voters. They truly believe that abortion is equivalent to murdering babies, and no matter how horrible Trump is on everything else, stopping the murder of babies is more important. 

One could add to the above that many White evangelical voters in the South have always been racist and this is part of Trump's appeal to them. I graduated from high school in Lynchburg, VIrginia, where everybody knows that Jerry Falwell got his start there by founding a "Christian school" as a direct response to desegregation. Today's Religious RIght leaders have given up racist rhetoric, but unfortunately a lot of their followers still harbor those ideas. 

A final thought -- a lot of the discussion about this focuses on the figure that 80% of those who describe themselves as "Evangelicals" voted for Trump. Now, "Evangelical" has never been completely synonymous with "Religious Right" -- there have always been "Evangelical" organizations like Sojourners that did not fit in with the political Right at all. But one should also point out that just as a bit of the overwhelming support for Trump among self-identified Republicans comes from the fact that some "never Trump" conservatives have stopped labeling themselves as Republicans to pollsters, there are anti-Trump Christians who have stopped calling themselves "Evangelicals" in polls for similar reasons. Here are a few examples:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/10/18/why-i-am-ditching-the-label-evangelical-in-the-trump-era/?utm_term=.97604cbf6002

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/09/opinion/sunday/wehner-evangelical-republicans.html

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/03/evangelical-christians-religion-politics-trump

P.S. And here is a link to a recent column about the Religious Right and Trump by Jim Wallis, one of the main Evangelical leaders who has always been critical of the RR:

https://sojo.net/articles/religious-right-will-rise-and-fall-donald-trump

Edited by Ormond

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I don't think Trump can read. He has now killed the written portion of the PDB. How can anyone trust him to make decisions on the future of this country if he's incapable of spending the time to learn the threats? Yet one more reason we are completely fucked. We have a President who is unable to read a daily briefing of the biggest threats facing this country but instead relies on Fox and Friends to get all his intelligence.

Quote

For much of the past year, President Trump has declined to participate in a practice followed by the past seven of his predecessors: He rarely if ever reads the President’s Daily Brief, a document that lays out the most pressing information collected by U.S. intelligence agencies from hot spots around the world.

Trump has opted to rely on an oral briefing of select intelligence issues in the Oval Office rather than getting the full written document delivered to review separately each day, according to three people familiar with his briefings. 

Reading the traditionally dense intelligence book is not Trump’s preferred “style of learning,” according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

The arrangement underscores Trump’s impatience with exhaustive classified documents that go to the commander in chief — material that he has said he prefers condensed as much as possible. But by not reading the daily briefing, the president could hamper his ability to respond to crises in the most effective manner, intelligence experts warned.

 

Edited by Mexal

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1 hour ago, Maithanet said:

I wish politics weren't like this.  But when one party controls all of the government, and is totally unwilling to protect 800k children from deportation (even when offered something in return!) there's just no other way.

I don't know how serious the political cost of this will be.  It certainly OUGHT to be high, but who knows?  America is already targeting veterans and doctors for deportation so maybe the Republican party just doesn't care?

I think the political cost will be higher than people think.  Maybe not with those who are consistent voters, but things like this bring people out of the woodwork to come out and vote.  I don't think my brother has ever voted in his life, yet when he heard about families being torn apart and people who have steady jobs and own houses being forced out at gunpoint, he was appalled and is planning on voting in the midterms on a straight Democratic ticket.

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43 minutes ago, Mexal said:

I don't think Trump can read. He has now killed the written portion of the PDB. How can anyone trust him to make decisions on the future of this country if he's incapable of spending the time to learn the threats? Yet one more reason we are completely fucked. We have a President who is unable to read a daily briefing of the biggest threats facing this country but instead relies on Fox and Friends to get all his intelligence.

I think he can read, teleprompter Trump has proven that I think.  However, I don't think he can comprehend what he reads.  Like, he can say words that are presented to him, but if you ask him to read a paragraph and summarize it I don't think he has the mental capacity to do so.

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8 minutes ago, aceluby said:

I think he can read, teleprompter Trump has proven that I think.  However, I don't think he can comprehend what he reads.  Like, he can say words that are presented to him, but if you ask him to read a paragraph and summarize it I don't think he has the mental capacity to do so.

I think that's fair.

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6 minutes ago, aceluby said:

I think the political cost will be higher than people think.  Maybe not with those who are consistent voters, but things like this bring people out of the woodwork to come out and vote.  I don't think my brother has ever voted in his life, yet when he heard about families being torn apart and people who have steady jobs and own houses being forced out at gunpoint, he was appalled and is planning on voting in the midterms on a straight Democratic ticket.

I think for most people it will depend a lot on whether someone they know personally is affected.  There was on article on CNN yesterday about a guy from Ohio who was deported to Jordan after 40ish years in the US, married to an American, 4 American kids, owned 3 businesses in the area.  Lots of locals were on his side, up to and including a congressman, but that didn't stop ICE agents from detaining him and shipping him out without even being allowed to see his family. 

Now if you don't know this guy and you are inclined to be a dick about such things you might say that it doesn't matter, he broke the law so fuck him.  But if you were a local and knew the guy, knew he was a functioning part of the community and employed people, you might have a different outlook.  I guess what I'm saying is "illegals are getting deported left and right" is something that might get applauded, but "Joe is getting deported" will have an impact on people.  Not enough to cause the right to abandon their position en masse, but the more stories there are like the one above - maybe you get just enough people thinking that this isn't actually what they wanted (even though it's exactly what they voted for).  

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2 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

On average, how long does it usually take for a market correction to occur?

Also, I was listening to a podcast on the stock market yesterday and one of the panelists was an economic historian. She said 2017 reminded her a lot of 1928.

Lol, you're not paying attention!

I took a look at the list of downturns and the shortest corrections have been three weeks (one was 18 days), with drops just over 10%, the longest 15 months, the average since WW II has been 71 days, so a little more than 2 months.

Interestingly, those 10% corrections were followed later in the year or the following year with bigger corrections or bears.

In May of 1928 there was a 10.3% correction over 29 days, and then in November of 1929 the Crash started, down 44.7% over 67 days, with the two biggest hits on Black Monday and Black Tuesday, down 12.82% then 11.73% The crash was slowed down by massive buying by some very wealthy people, the Rockefellers, the Whitneys, William Durant and others, making huge purchases, backed by a coalition of banks.

This is how many people lost fortunes. I always thought that 'the Crash of '29' was the big event. The big event was actually the crash of 1930, when the Dow started dropping and nothing could stop it, down 89% to hit bottom at 41.2. So all told the market fell from a peak of 380 to a low of 41.

To put that in context, that would be like the Dow falling today from a peak of 26,616 to about 2,700. Would Trump still take credit? :P The market took 25 years to recover, reaching it's previous peak in 1954. 

Can that happen? The economy of the 1920s had serious problems, present day economies are strong. But, and this is the big but, as I mentioned previously governments around the world hold trillions of dollars in debt they issued to pull their nations out of the financial collapse of 2008/09. Some economists believe that debt has to be dealt with, and it's pretty hard to imagine how that will happen without disruption.

I need to do a rant about interest rates, but I will do it in another post, or else no one will read it.

eta: I just want to point out that from 1927 to 1929 the market doubled in value. The DJIA was 17,821 on this day in 2015. It's been a crazy rise, but not like the late 20s.

 

Edited by Fragile Bird

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7 hours ago, WinterFox said:

If Mike Pence had an ounce of political cunning he'd walk out of the Opening Ceremony as the NK's enter.

On this week's Profiles in Courage:

Michael Richard Pence. Bigot, liar, and enabler of white supremacy - IN. THAT. ORDER. :P

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/02/pence-avoids-kim-jong-uns-sister-at-olympics.html

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Actually I'll take my last post one step further and say that I think the majority of Americans would support a path to amnesty for illegal immigrants who have been here a long time, have contributed to society, and who have stayed out of trouble.  Not just the DACA kids, but anyone who fits that criteria.  I really think even a good number of conservatives would support that.  The problem is that Trump drew a line in the sand and allowed the the hard-liners to frame the narrative in such a way that you are either for the wall, deportations, no amnesty, etc or you are for OPEN BORDERS.  Now, obviously most people are not for open borders, not even most liberals.  It's completely asinine, but that's accusation if you cede ground on the path to amnesty or oppose the idiotic wall.  

It's painfully obvious to me that there is a lot of room for a reasonable compromise on this issue if we had competent leaders who posses the spines to stand up to some of their constituents.  I think if we developed a path to amnesty for those meeting certain criteria, and also beefed up border security, and re-vamped the visa program - I think somewhere in there is a middle ground that the vast majority of Americans would support.  But we continue to let the loudest voices from the fringe poison the well.  

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Trade negotiations often involve dirty tactics (see USA v Mexico) but the US really has hit a new low with Canada in the NAFTA negotiations.

Last week the US Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer released figures showing the US had an enormous trade deficit in goods with Canada that left us scratching our heads, wondering where tf the numbers came from.

The new US tactic is to claim foreign goods shipped through Canada, like goods from China landing in Vancouver and being shipped to the US, are Canadian foreign exports.

Quote

Basically, the USTR is counting the same goods twice. For example, a Chinese washing machine that passes through the port of Vancouver on its way to the United States is being counted in both the U.S. trade deficit with China and in the U.S. goods deficit with Canada.

And while Lighthizer is counting that washing machine as part of Canada's surplus with the U.S., the product is already paying tariffs as a Chinese import.

The volume of pass-through goods being added to real Canadian exports in the USTR's math is about US$75 billion. That's roughly equal to the entire GDP of Kenya.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/nafta-us-canada-trade-deficit-numbers-1.4524824

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3 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

Trade negotiations often involve dirty tactics (see USA v Mexico) but the US really has hit a new low with Canada in the NAFTA negotiations.

Last week the US Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer released figures showing the US had an enormous trade deficit in goods with Canada that left us scratching our heads, wondering where tf the numbers came from.

The new US tactic is to claim foreign goods shipped through Canada, like goods from China landing in Vancouver and being shipped to the US, are Canadian foreign exports.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/nafta-us-canada-trade-deficit-numbers-1.4524824

That's what this administration does. They did the same thing with their terrorism report.

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God bless America! There's a Trump tweet for everything!

Damn, the link won't load!

Trump tweet from 12:27 AM - 25 Feb 2015: "If the Dow Joans [sic] ever falls more than 1000 "points" in a Single Day the sitting president should be "loaded" into a very big cannon and Shot into the sun at TREMENDOUS SPEED! No excuses!

eta: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! It's a fake tweet! Looked so real!

eta2: I was going to delete this, but it's so funny I thought I'd leave it be. :)

Edited by Fragile Bird

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32 minutes ago, S John said:

It's painfully obvious to me that there is a lot of room for a reasonable compromise on this issue if we had competent leaders who posses the spines to stand up to some of their constituents.  I think if we developed a path to amnesty for those meeting certain criteria, and also beefed up border security, and re-vamped the visa program - I think somewhere in there is a middle ground that the vast majority of Americans would support.  But we continue to let the loudest voices from the fringe poison the well.  

I agree with this, I think that immigration is a much easier issue for most Americans to compromise on than say, abortion or taxes.  The problem is that Congressional Republicans are more afraid of primaries than the general election, and so what matters is not what the majority of Americans think, but what the majority of Republican primary voters think.  And while it is easy to lose sight of this, that group is actually quite small. 

Eric Cantor was a really conservative dude, and the House Majority leader in 2014, but he got primaried.  36,000 Republican primary voters were able to unseat him.  Even though his district has 760,000 people, those 36,000 decided who the Republican nominee would be, and the way VA is gerrymandered the Republican nominee is virtually guaranteed to win.  So thanks to that motivated 4.7% of a conservative district, now all of America has to deal with Dave Brat. 

And surprising no one, Dave Brat doesn't want to compromise on immigration. 

Edited by Maithanet

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3 hours ago, mormont said:

As far as I can see, they have done exactly one thing - which was to make a statement publicly washing their hands of any responsibility - and nothing else. 

Well they’re also doing to deny him funding, for what that’s worth. You have to keep in mind though that the parties are really weak in the US, and they’re even weaker at the state and local level. There isn’t much they can do if nobody else decides to run.

That said, if I was the Republican CD Chair in that district, I’d have found some young attorney or business man or woman and offered to do all the work on their campaign in exchange for them being a sacrificial lamb. I’d sell it to them on the idea that it would simply get their name out there to attract people to their firm or business. I’m not sure why they didn’t do that to be honest.

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5 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

That said, if I was the Republican CD Chair in that district, I’d have found some young attorney or business man or woman and offered to do all the work on their campaign in exchange for them being a sacrificial lamb. I’d sell it to them on the idea that it would simply get their name out there to attract people to their firm or business. I’m not sure why they didn’t do that to be honest.

Even a sacrificial lamb campaign costs money, and the Illinois GOP needs all the money it can get for their doomed campaign to re-elect Gov. Rauner (He's even less popular than Trump in the state).

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