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About Mudguard

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    Santa Clara, CA

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  1. Mudguard

    U.S. Politics- SCOTUS 2: The Election Strikes Back

    It's clear that Putin has dirt on Trump. My money is on money laundering for Russian mafia and oligarchs. The only question is whether Mueller has found enough evidence to prove it and support a recommendation for impeachment. That there hasn't been any leaks about Mueller finding this evidence means either that Mueller really hasn't found the evidence or that he's found the evidence but runs a really, really tight ship. Still, I think it would be extremely difficult to keep news this big under wraps for long, unless the number of people that know about the evidence is very, very small so that the identification of a potential leaker is very high and the penalty for leaking is very high. Maybe this is the case, but it's impossible to tell one way or the other.
  2. Well, for starters, you're not going to have the exact same people running the government VC funds because there's no way those people are going to do the same work on a government salary. They would either find a different job or do the same job in a country where VC investing by private entities is still legal. And without any skin in the game, what incentive do these government employees have to bust their ass to identify the best investments? And what about all the private capital that is just sitting around now? I don't get why it's a good idea for it to just sit in a bank, or be used to invest in companies in another country. You may as well have that capital put to use in your own country. Rather than banning investment, I'd prefer that capital gains taxes be raised instead. That said, I'm not against the government trying to run their own VC style fund as long as private investment was still allowed. It would be an interesting experiment to see how well the government fund could perform over a period of 20 years or so. Malaysia's state run investment fund, 1MDB, has imploded in scandal over the last several years when it was discovered that some government officials and private individuals that were tasked with managing the fund were using it as a private piggy banks.
  3. Mudguard

    U.S. Politics- SCOTUS 2: The Election Strikes Back

    I could see it being Devin Nunes. It would explain his completely over the top attempts to shut down or stonewall the Russia investigation and pass information to Trump. I thought he was just trying to curry favor with Trump, but his behavior makes a lot more sense if he knew he was guilty of collusion and was trying to cover it up. Buddying up with Trump also might come in handy if he needs a pardon. Time to get out the popcorn!
  4. Mudguard

    U.S. Politics: Kraving for Kavanaugh

    I think your idea about giving a nonpartisan commission the power to appoint would require an amendment to the Constitution. Can't see that happening anytime in the near or distant future. Also, as a practical matter, formation of the nonpartisan commission is going to be a partisan process in the current climate, and the members in the commission are likely going to behave in a partisan manner. Not sure it would be any better than the current system.
  5. Mudguard

    U.S. Politics: Kraving for Kavanaugh

    Kavanaugh wrote that the POTUS should be immune from criminal proceeding and civil lawsuits in a law review article, not a court decision, so I wouldn't call it an instance of judicial activism. In his law review article, which I skimmed, he argued that Congress should pass a law that would give the POTUS such immunity. He explicitly stated that current Court jurisprudence made it clear that the POTUS wasn't immune, and that he wasn't commenting on whether that Court jurisprudence was correctly decided. He gave himself enough wiggle room to go either way if the issue is ever brought before the Court again. Kavanaugh has a remarkably clean record on current hot topic issues for someone that has over a dozen years as a Circuit Court judge and many years of service in Republican administrations on many contentious issues. It's clear that he's prepared his whole life for the possibility of being nominated to the Supreme Court, so I think he's going to sail through his confirmation process with relative ease. He clearly knows how the game is played during the confirmation process, so he's just going to give generic, non controversial answers to everything. At a minimum, he's getting all the Republican senators, and I wouldn't be surprised in several Democrats joined. Not much Democrats can do except make some noise, but I'm worried that when Kavanaugh gets confirmed in October, it's going to drive Democrat enthusiasm down before the November elections, while the Republicans get a bounce. The timing of this couldn't be worse. A devastating report from Mueller could counter this, but I'm not sure that such a report is going to come in time, if ever.
  6. Why can't the jurors all be voluntary? There are countries in Europe which essentially have such a system, although I think they call the volunteers "lay judges", so it should be workable. I don't get why you are so opposed to mandatory voting but are fine with mandatory jury duty, when the burden of jury duty is often much, much greater than voting.
  7. How about jury duty? It's probably the closest thing to mandatory voting. Jury duty is generally a lot more burdensome than casting a vote, yet it is mandatory in the US. Would you prefer that jury duty be made voluntary? That said, I doubt that the US is going to pass a mandatory voting requirement anytime soon.
  8. Mudguard

    U.S. Politics: The Flood Shall Wash Away The Cobbs

    Thanks for linking your previous post on economic models in your earlier post. I note that the PollyVote site lists the Bread and Peace model (among many others) on its website and incorporates its prediction into its aggregate. They also list the 538 model and also incorporate it into their aggregate. Now that I've seen the Political Economy model, I'm still not impressed with it's utility. It's interesting, especially in its simplicity, but it seems pretty useless besides being a relatively simple way of roughly predicting the popular vote shares of each party. The Lewis-Beck Tien Political Economy Model isn't really based on any theory of voting, so it doesn't provide any insight about why people vote the way that they do. Their model was simply developed by testing a bunch of different variables and seeing which one(s) fit the data set that they used the best. What was the original point of citing this model?
  9. Mudguard

    U. S. Politics: A noun, a verb and no collusion.

    I'm extremely doubtful that these models are 99% accurate. To claim that you can predict complex human behavior like voting with 99% accuracy based on economic factors is, frankly, unbelievable. Which is why I'd like to know specifically what models dmc515 is referring to and how accurate they are based on past data, and how good these models have been at predicting election results since they've been released. I read a few articles on voting models and was not impressed by the data that I saw. I'm very skeptical that a voting model based purely on economic factors will be very good. For example, here's an article from 538. The best model examined in the 538 model was a "bread and peace" model, so not entirely an economic model, and it only performed well within the dataset that the model creator used to create the model. Outside of the original data set, the model performed much worse than the 90% predictive power that was found within the original data set.
  10. Mudguard

    U. S. Politics: A noun, a verb and no collusion.

    Regarding the DNC, DCCC, and/or state Democratic parties supporting one candidate over another in a primary election, I don't necessarily have a problem with it if they are upfront about their support. I only have a problem if they lie or try to hide their support and pretend to be neutral, and that happens way too often. That said, I don't think it's a good strategy for the party to help one candidate outspend another candidate by a large margin in the primary. I would prefer that they just try and level the playing field a bit, and then let the voters decide. The money is better spent in the general election. I don't think it's a good way to identify in the primary the best candidate, and by best I mean the candidate that has the best shot of winning in the general, by giving one candidate a huge amount of extra resources. If this candidate is really the better candidate, this person shouldn't need a massive amount of extra resources over their opponents in the primary to win. I'm also skeptical that the DNC, DCCC, and state Democratic parties are always picking candidates solely based on their likelihood of winning the general election. I'm sure that personal connections and a matching ideology to the people in charge play a big role in many cases.
  11. Mudguard

    U. S. Politics: A noun, a verb and no collusion.

    Can you provide a citation to the economic model(s) that you are referring to? What economic factors do these models look at and how are they weighted? Are these voting models based purely on economic factors? Are these models applicable to state level elections or just national level elections? I'm skeptical that a voting model based purely on economic factors can accurately predict state and national level elections on a consistent basis. If it was that simple, accurate, and reliable, then 99% of the "experts" shouldn't have wrongly predicted that Clinton was going to beat Trump.
  12. How many non-profit research labs or facilities actually took a cancer therapy to market and sold that therapy to patients? I don't doubt that many of these therapies start out at an academic lab or a nonprofit research center's lab, but they don't develop the actual product that is sold. They just patent their discovery and license the patent to a for-profit company. You can't just get rid all the for profit drug, biotech, and medical device companies and expect that the non-profits can take up the slack. You'd have to try and build a massive replacement organization to replace all the for profit companies. Good luck with that. What about hospitals and doctors? Is it OK for them to make a profit, or should their profits also be capped at zero?
  13. Mudguard

    US Politics: What Price Loyalty?

    Just read my posts again. If that is too much work, the TLDR point is that Mueller doesn't need to subpoena Trump to make his case because he already has everything he needs.
  14. Mudguard

    US Politics: What Price Loyalty?

    I thought it was obvious from the context of my response that what I meant was that Trump wasn't going to admit to any wrongdoing during an interview with Mueller.
  15. Mudguard

    US Politics: What Price Loyalty?

    Sure, but Mueller doesn't need Trump to say anything else to make his case. Anyway, Trump isn't going to voluntarily sit down for an interview, and I doubt Mueller is going to subpoena him for all the reasons I've already stated. We'll see how it plays out.