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Paladin of Ice

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About Paladin of Ice

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    Winter's Bannerman
  • Birthday September 27

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    James

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  1. Eh, the thing about both Hunter Biden and “Ukrainian corruption” both seem very easy to defeat and be shown as the bullshit that are. Republican politicians: “Joe and Hunter Biden are corrupt because Burisma!!!1!” Then why didn’t you say or do anything about it at the time? Hunter getting hired by Burisma wasn’t a secret buried somewhere on obscure corporate documents and not seen by anyone in the U.S. Every major news source had at least a small story about it, the Obama White House had to put out a statement about why it wasn’t a conflict of interest, etc. Similarly, Joe Biden acted out in the open and in his official capacity. (Unlike, say, operating through shady lawyers and criminal campaign donors.) Nearly every Western nation called for the firing of that prosecutor, and there are statements from some of the same Republican senators who are currently accusing Biden of corruption thanking him for what he did in Ukraine as VP. (And unless I’m misremembering the timeline, the corrupt prosecutor who got fired was fired before Hunter even served on Burisma’s board.) If this was all so corrupt, why didn’t republicans say anything at the time? They had the majority in the House, they could have been holding hearings all day long and adding it to their list of Obama conspiracies. What, they didn’t have time for it in between 50 Benghazi hearings that they were pushing during an election year? Bullshit! As for the silly excuse about Trump being so concerned about corruption in Ukraine, if that was a real thing why did military and foreign aid go through to Ukraine without a hitch in 2017 and 2018? Why did it only become a problem when even Fox News polls showed Trump losing decisively to Biden? And most importantly, why should any election be considered trustworthy or believable if we’re going to, by default, say it’s okay for a president or party to use extortion and force other countries to help them and/or slime their opponents? Because that does become the de facto state of play if we don’t try to draw a line in the sand against it here and now.
  2. Paladin of Ice

    U.S. Politics: Huff and Puff the Socialism away

    That and the attempt to crack down on anyone criticizing Israel, especially the BDS movement. (Watching conservative reaction to BDS has always been an easy way to show what a lie the whole conservative spiel of “money = speech, and there shouldn’t be any restrictions on speech” is. The second anyone wants to use their money/speech in a way you don’t support, that “principle” goes right out the window.)
  3. Paladin of Ice

    U.S. Politics: Huff and Puff the Socialism away

    I assume it’s a combination of trying to give themselves cover against the charges that everything that they do is a partisan attack on Trump, (“Look, no matter what Republicans or Fox say, we aren’t just anti-Trump. If we were, why would we be working on this trade deal with him?”) and to be able to point out that they’re doing things besides investigations and actually trying to do serious work. I think it’s wrongheaded and doomed, but I imagine that’s their thought process.
  4. Paladin of Ice

    U.S. Politics: Huff and Puff the Socialism away

    Warning: The semi-rambling thoughts below are my thoughts and perceptions, as someone who tries pretty hard to keep up with the news but is not an expert on this particular subject. No we don't, and I've pointed out in talks elsewhere that the NYC metro area has 20 million+ people in it, (at least the way it's commonly defined, probably somewhat fewer in a range where they're likely to go to work within the bounds of NYC) so Amazon's 25K jobs, even if true, is not exactly a game changer. Especially with the metro area having an unemployment rate of about 3.7% right now. (Lets not get into the issue of how unemployment is calculated and better methods that aren't being used and how much numbers can be trusted and all other such petty quibbles that are irrelevant to the larger point I'm trying to make but which a lot of members of this board like to tie these threads up in knots over.) So I personally bristled back when Amazon was announced to be getting billions in tax cuts to do it, but IF the HQ2 had lived up to the hype on how many jobs it created and what salaries they claimed it would be, it might have still been worth it, from my perspective. You tax the workers, you play the long game and get the company later when their incentives run out, (because a lot of companies can skip and run out on states over tax breaks for a factory or such, but it's usually a little harder to transplant a major corporate center/headquarters) you take the added benefits you get in the surrounding community and such, etc. Whether the amount of incentives or how it was bargained for (billions + keeping everyone in the dark and getting it behind their backs) is right you can argue one way or another. After seeing the shit that's gone on in the last decade or two with cities giving away money to big businesses (Foxconn and various sports teams being probably the most infamous examples) I'm mostly against the practice in principle, because it's one thing to try to help development small and medium businesses but how much help do companies worth worth billions upon billions need to build a factory? That's bullshit. But on this particular deal/issue, Amazon trying to flex its muscles and shake up local politics, in both Washington and New York states, is a complete deal breaker for me. Between threatening Washington over that state's tax policies and trying to dictate terms to NY on labor practices and the process of getting HQ2 there, (including trying to hold a veto over the state lawmaker that would be appointed to review the deal) I turned against it. Amazon, and other companies and rich owners/C level managers need to be broken of this idea that they can make the rules and dictate terms to rest of the country as to what happens. That's not how this shit works, and every last one of them needs to be broken of the delusions they have. We the people, through our instrument of government, set the rules of the road, they're just a few more drivers among all the other traffic. It's time for them to learn that lesson. Amazon thought it could deliver a "it's my way or the highway" ultimatum to NY, and when the state didn't bend over backwards for them they threw a fit and ran off with their ball. Personally, I love the fact that the state didn't bend over for Amazon. And for both the good of the community and the larger potential cultural message it sends, I'm happy to see Amazon coming back to NY without a bunch of tax giveaways and special perks. It's too bad that it won't be the bigger site, but only time will tell on how things will go from here.
  5. Paladin of Ice

    U.S. Politics: Huff and Puff the Socialism away

    On the flip side, I'm also fairly sure that the 25K jobs figure for the planned HQ was likely an inflated number, (I mean, Amazon was basically trying to sell the state on the deal, they have every reason to promise big numbers that might not be borne out. I believe it's been mentioned that even Amazon estimated that there would only be few hundred jobs initially) and it's likely that the smaller center will grow over time. (The same way Google is paying to double the size of their workforce in NYC.) Which is part of why I ended my post on an uncertain note.
  6. Paladin of Ice

    U.S. Politics: Huff and Puff the Socialism away

    *Raises eyebrow* 49.9%? Trump and Republicans would give limbs for their approval to be that high. The one time that Rasmussen, which is notoriously in the bag for Republicans, could find a way to give Trump a 50% approval rating he had to trumpet it (no pun intended) like it was the biggest news of the year. Even for someone as petty, insecure, and desperate for validation as Trump is, that’s not something you do if those sort of ratings are routine. In most everything I see, aside from Rasmussen, he’s a little lucky to be above about 42%. Not that this means that polls tell the whole story or that those of us who are anti-Trump and what he does should get complacent; they don’t and we shouldn’t. But lets not overestimate the opposition either. In other news Amazon is opening a site in NYC after all, without all the tax credits, handouts, and attempts to change local culture/politics that they demanded last time. The only catch is it’s going to be a much smaller facility, estimated to bring in around 1500 jobs as opposed to estimates of 25000 with the last one. We’ll see how it turns out.
  7. Paladin of Ice

    U.S. Politics: Huff and Puff the Socialism away

    Remember how the Republican defense of Trump had been starting to settle on "Trump wasn’t trying to investigate the Bidens, he just really cares about corruption and wanted to root it out in Ukraine. It’s pure coincidence that the Bidens were caught up in that, the real scandal is how corrupt the Bidens are!" Yeah, that defense was always bullshit, (since Trump’s own transcript mentions Crowdstrike, the company that was hosting DNC services, and which right-wing conspiracy theories and Trump himself claim had a server that they hid from the FBI and moved to Ukraine [in actuality Cloudstrike is a cloud based service and didn’t have a server there to move and hide]) but Rudy Giuliani just officially blew it up by outright admitting that they were investigating Biden. On Twitter, because of course. Link: Anyone want to start an over/under on how long it takes the GOP to move the goalposts again?
  8. Paladin of Ice

    U.S. Politics: Huff and Puff the Socialism away

    Okay, I started on this the other day, then didn't get close to finishing it. Anyway... Short answer: I soured on Bernie by the end of the 2016 primary and that has continued during the time that has passed since then, plus I think he's kind of a fuck up, so I'm reluctant to support him now. Long version: I think Bernie has an extraordinarily narrow view of problems and refuses to considers alternatives, no matter how obvious it becomes that his theories are out of touch. I think he's so set on going back to the state of the world 50 years ago he doesn't see how the larger world and environment has changed and those solutions aren't viable anymore. I think his heart is in the right place but he's only interested in what he wants to see and is oblivious to anything else, which is a terrible quality in a president. (I always think back on part of a debate I listened to while driving in 2016. Sanders and Clinton were asked about problems in Central and South America, and Sanders got peevish and basically said "Why are we talking about South America? I'm running to be president of the United States!" Because, y'know, it's not like anything that happens in another country can ever effect the US, right?) For a lot of the 2016 primary, he didn't really put out much detail about his proposals, and when he did, they often got things wrong and were called out even by left aligned think tanks and analysts. He often seems all too willing to throw social, gender, or racial causes under the bus in pursuit of his economic goals. I want a lot of the things Bernie wants. I just don't think he's going to be able to deliver on any of it. Meanwhile Warren wants very similar things and almost always has a far more solid idea of how to get it. And because I do worry about Bernie screwing up an attempt at getting solid momentum for a leftward push in US politics, I would be willing to accept some candidates with more modest proposals (such as Booker) before him. If it came down to Bernie vs one of the "moderates" like Biden, Klobuchar, Bloomberg, or Buttigieg, I'd go with Bernie. Until then, he's Plan C behind Warren and some of the younger candidates, like Booker, Castro, and Harris, all of whom are struggling mightily and are unlikely to get anywhere in this election, sadly. My $.02.
  9. Paladin of Ice

    U.S. Politics: Gar Nicht Trump's Traumschiff!

    There are incredibly serious problems with someone who makes 20,000 in a year and someone who makes 20,000,000 both paying the same percentage. A percentage that’s pocket change for the millionaire is the literal difference between life and death for the working class. It’s also likely to starve local governments of badly needed tax revenue leading to major service cuts or outright being eliminated. (What, you want the city to have a professional fire department and a working water treatment plant? Maybe if we hadn’t lost all that funding due to tax cuts.) It likely would do the same to the federal government, leaving them ever more beholden to private companies to pick up the slack. And anyone who knows anything about private prisons can tell you that’s a horror show and then some.
  10. Paladin of Ice

    U.S. Politics: Gar Nicht Trump's Traumschiff!

    I thought I was going to be harsh for saying 30-40x, (with no more than 1% of wages being paid in stock, paying high level corporate officers in stock encourages bullshit tricks to inflate the stock price while neglecting the health of the company) but you guys are apparently tougher than I am. I do think 10x may, in some cases, be somewhat underpaying the corporate officers, but it would certainly be a hell of a lot better than the runaway system we have now. And if they can't make ends meet on that salary, maybe they can make a handy little chart of how to get by like McDonald's made for its employees awhile back.
  11. Paladin of Ice

    U.S. Politics: Gar Nicht Trump's Traumschiff!

    I agree that Pompeo, Mulvaney, and Pence will simply do their best to stonewall their way through things and can't be relied on not to lie through their teeth. Giuliani, I feel, would get on the stand and blow the entire administration to pieces while he thinks he's giving the perfect defense. Republicans might even agree to put him on because they think they can get him to be the fall guy all by himself. It's tempting to get Bolton up there too, because I'm sure he has no loyalty to this admin, but if he actually wanted to testify and say anything meaningful he would have simply done it instead of asking the court to block it. I know all the arguments for why one shouldn't investigate a prior administration criminally, but in this case I think an exception has to be made. When these guys are out of power, every single high ranking member of the Trump admin has to swing for their actions.
  12. Paladin of Ice

    U.S. Politics: Gar Nicht Trump's Traumschiff!

    No. In fact I think we feel fairly sure that she's a Republican who ran as a Democrat because it's impossible to get elected on the Republican ticket in Hawaii.
  13. Paladin of Ice

    U.S. Politics: Gar Nicht Trump's Traumschiff!

    Thanks for the extra details from your links, there are a few wrinkles there that I wasn't aware of.
  14. Paladin of Ice

    U.S. Politics: Gar Nicht Trump's Traumschiff!

    Fucking LOL! Lets take a moment to do some basic math and civics here kids. Warren's proposed wealth tax, if she can a) get chosen as the Democratic candidate, b) get elected president, c) win the Senate along the way, d) get a 50+ Democratic Senators on board with her tax, e) nuke the filibuster, (because, at least under current conditions, there’s no way that Democrats are getting a filibuster proof majority in the Senate, and no way Republicans will let any tax increase go into effect without filibustering it to death) and f) do all this without the proposal being seriously watered down, the amount that Warren has proposed for the wealth tax is 2% for fortunes over $50 million. To keep the math nice and easy, we’ll use round numbers. So if for each billion dollars that qualifies that works out to... $20 million in taxes. 1/50th the amount that FNR wants for them to give away with no guaranteed ROI. I guess it just makes sense though that a hypothetical billionaire worth about 5 billion would prefer to give away 20% of his wealth to this defeat Warren and Sanders fund instead of being taxed for 2%; after all, he wants to hold onto his money, right?! Surely their collective action will defeat the evils of socialism! (By the way, if anyone is wondering how many billionaires would be taxed as much in 1 year as FNR says that they should give away in one year to this fund, the answer, at least according to a Wikipedia list that has the wealth of US billionaires is: 12.) Now surely FNR has slippery slope arguments inspired by the great profit* Ayn Rand about how the dirty takers and looters of the world with their grasping, pawing hands will inevitably use this as a means to strangle these great Galtian men and women of the world and doom all mankind. After all, 2% today could climb to (shudder) 3% in another 50 years! Thanks for the laughs FNR, and for being such a perfect representation of the level of thought I’ve come to expect from so-called fiscal conservatives and libertarians. * not a typo.
  15. Paladin of Ice

    U.S. Politics: Gar Nicht Trump's Traumschiff!

    To me he's always seemed like the blandest of the bland and emptiest of empty suits. A good candidate, upon learning that he has zero support from one of his party's most loyal voting blocs, works hard to convince them and win them over. A good candidate doesn't try to paper over it by claiming that he has the backing of leaders from within that bloc when he doesn't, as good ole Mayor Pete supposedly did. I mean, this was originally reported by The Intercept so you gotta double check and verify it instead of taking it on faith, but so far it seems to be holding up to scrutiny and Buttigieg's campaign even made an official statement about it which seems to confirm some of the story. Things like this have made Buttigieg go from a "Meh" for me to a hard pass unless he's the last candidate standing. To me he seems like little more than empty souled neoliberalism with a fresh coat of paint. Democrats should definitely mount a campaign where every one of them in a prominent position basically says that if Trump had any guts or was innocent he'd testify. At least it would be another force of psychological stress on his unbalanced mind and might make him make more unforced errors and say deranged things to the press and on Twitter, continuing the trend of him turning off all but his most hardcore supporters. At best, it might actually provoke him to try to get more involved with the hearings. This is a guy who didn't have the self-restraint to resist the urge to talk about his dick during a presidential primary debate, after all. Look at that, a conservative who shot off at the mouth rather than putting in the two seconds worth of research it would have taken to see that he was wrong. What are the odds? https://i.imgur.com/Ffno981.png
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