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Paladin of Ice

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Everything posted by Paladin of Ice

  1. Paladin of Ice

    U.S. Politics: Moscow Mitch

    Yeah, 100%. My mother's family immigrated from Italy when she was just a couple of years old. They were ambiguously dark skinned people (there's a whole group of my cousins who would have been thrown right to the back of the bus in the old days) who came from the most backwater of backwaters in Italy, (we're talking an island of fishermen and goat herders where less than 300 people live year round) speaking no English, with no advanced skills that would win points in a merit based immigration system. They were seen as criminals and thugs, and the ones that weren't crooks were only good for blue collar labor, which only drove down the pay of "real Americans". Knowing that there is a group of my cousins out in Long Island who love Trump and cheer him on as he persecutes dark skinned immigrants coming from backwater areas because they don't speak English and have no advanced skills, talking about how "those people" bring crime and drive down wages, and that they see absolutely no conflict there, infuriates me to no end.
  2. Paladin of Ice

    US Politics: Culture Club

    My opinion as a New Yorker with limited knowledge of Texas: Voter registration, hell yes. But the cages and immigration issues cannot be the only issues relied on to reach and fuel the voter mobilization. I’ve seen and heard many, many times over the years (including in these threads) how frustrated Latinx voters get when Democrats and Liberals get when we make the mistake of acting like immigration is the only issue that matters to them. If you think otherwise, you’re seriously underestimating the ability of people to “other” different groups of people, even ones who look very much like themselves and come from a similar background. I can also point you in the direction of many Hispanic advocacy groups and Texas Hispanics who are conservative Dems that will echo those points.
  3. Paladin of Ice

    US Politics: Culture Club

    I’ve been waiting and waiting for Booker to get a bigger profile in this race, from the start I thought he would be one of the few that matters in the end and I’ve consistently had him in my second tier of candidates. (First tier is reserved for Elizabeth Warren only.) Especially considering that he was a somewhat notorious media hound in NJ, the fact that he’s been flying quietly under the radar, (aside from some exchanges with Biden) was outright baffling to me for a long time. I did hear a few weeks ago that Booker has been going all in on the early states in terms of doing retail politics, that a year before the early primaries he was already spending every hour he could going door to door and giving talks in coffee shops to try to get word of mouth going. He explicitly compared it to his first local city council race, where he was the challenger against a better known and funded incumbent, and saying how he had to be on the grind shaking hands, listening to issues, etc. months before the incumbent even began campaigning. That let him slowly build his name and build buzz until the people in the area actually saw him as a credible challenger, whereas if he didn’t have that head start he’d just be the guy they didn’t know who was challenging the guy they did know, and most times that gets you nowhere. On one hand I see the sense of that, you can go into primaries with no buzz, but if you score a surprise victory or do significantly better than expected, the buzz will create itself around you. If you come in with tons of media buzz but lose or do worse than expected, you’ll just be yesterday’s headline, (which is worth somewhere between zero and nothing) and you’ll suddenly have a big hole that you’ll need to climb out of. Still a risky as hell strategy though, because it’s kinda all or nothing. If you don’t have the media buzz and don’t pull off an upset showing, you’re essentially left with nothing at all.
  4. Paladin of Ice

    U.S. Politics: Trump of the Will

    I think this one has a much better chance of being viewed favorably without falling into the inevitable "BOTH SIDES!!!111!!!111!" crap if you use "Lock him up" or "Send him home". Because just about everyone who isn't a Republican does want Donny to shut up.
  5. Paladin of Ice

    U.S. Politics: Trump of the Will

    I love the right wing lie that left wing groups aren’t just throwing milkshakes at right wing politicians or figures, but that mixed into the milkshake is quick drying cement so that they can hurt or kill people. (See here for example.) This ignores, of course, the fact that sugar prevents cement from setting, as a simple google search or having ever worked in construction can tell you. So unless it’s a milkshake with zero sugar, it’s not ever going to turn into cement. Not that this has stopped the lie from being a right wing meme, or stopped it from being used to further radicalize the Right.
  6. Paladin of Ice

    US Politics: Wondering the Acosta

    I'm strongly for Warren at this point, and right now it would take something pretty big to change my mind. Come the general election, of course, I'll vote for whoever is the nominee.In terms of favorites I tend to think of it in tiers, so Warren is the only top tier candidate, next one contains a couple of decent contenders like Harris, Booker, and maybe Castro. Below that is Sanders, who I was behind for quite awhile in 2016 but I slowly soured on him over the course of the primary. Below that is Biden. Then come all the also rans like Inslee, Bullock, and Hickenlooper, who I honestly don't think are worthy of contemplating, because their chances are 0. I've got nothing against them, but it ain't gonna happen, and I hope they all get it through their heads and drop out soon. I'd put "Mayor Pete" in that same tier, he's honestly a net "Meh" from me, since every time I hear something good about him or he does something I like, he doesn't something bad to balance it out. I think he has no business being in this. O'Rourke also falls into the category of not really worth discussing, as he's already shown himself to be an empty suit who's not to be up to the task and is in the middle of torpedoing his own campaign. Bottom tier basically consists of Seth Moulton, Williamson, (even if she wasn't completely off her rocker, she's an anti-vaxxer and I'm a medical technician, so that's an automatic "FUCK NO!!!" from me) and Tulsi Gabbard, who can fuck right off.
  7. Paladin of Ice

    US Politics: Reaching the Tipping Point

    More or less nasty than the apocalyptic predictions we were hearing from you over a dozen years ago about how society was on the edge of imminent collapse because oil was running out? Honestly, a major migratory issue could be on the way, but there are so many moving parts at work, (how are the effects of climate change actually going to play out, what is going to be the political and social situations in Central American countries with crime, corruption, politics, etc.) that trying to predict it ahead of time is a fool's game. I don't trust anyone to be clairvoyant enough to accurately foresee the outcome of it all. Personally, I think if a major migration crisis comes to pass trying to resist it will be counterproductive and futile, (as it is now, every time Trump says he's going to get real tough on closing the border or building the wall, smugglers turn around and tell migrants and refugees "See, you gotta get across the border now before they put this change into effect!" which is one of the reasons why we're seeing a big increase in border crossings) I'd rather welcome them in and legally put them to work. Unfortunately, I don't know how you sell such a policy to the country, all too many of whom are threatened by immigrants who have a darker skin tone and don't speak English as their first language, so much so that people will simultaneously believe that immigrants are stealing their jobs and are too lazy to work without seeing the contradiction inherent there.
  8. Paladin of Ice

    US Politics: Reaching the Tipping Point

    I think turning Trump's handling of immigration into a weakness may be easier than a lot of people think. Just keep beating him over the head with the fact that border crossings have skyrocketed since he took over and changed approach. Unfortunately, I also think that with the average American, (who is none too kindly disposed towards immigration) the only you can sell what I feel is the right policy (use aid and careful oversight to try to get Central America on its feet) is with some really unsavory sales marketing. Something along the lines of "Trump blew up aid to Central America and they all wanted to come here to get away from the hell hole their countries became! At least before that things were manageable! Lets throw some money at them so they stay over there instead of coming here!" It's certainly not my ideal solution, I'd rather welcome people in and put 'em to work legally, but a policy that embraced such an idea would raise the hackles of both the rabidly anti-brown immigrant Right, and the general low info voter who only votes as a reaction to what has happened since the last election.
  9. Paladin of Ice

    US Politics: Reaching the Tipping Point

    US politics is dominated by awful ideas, and has been for a long, long time. Biden just represents us getting back to the normal of terrible ideas instead of policy being decided by a hate filled, tantrum throwing baby intent on flinging his crap at everyone and everything around. And a large, perhaps overwhelming portion of electorate wants nothing more than to get back to normal. Cause you know, once we get back to normal we can all take a breath and stop worrying about or paying attention to the state of politics or our country. It's not like normal was slowly killing us, stripping us of our rights, or leaving us trapped in lives of quiet desperation or anything. And okay, even if it was, it's a hell of a lot less threatening than change. Or those goddamn atheist socialists that are going to throw everyone who ever owned a gun in a FEMA camp or whatever other drivel is the favorite bullshit of right wing conspiracy theorists this hour.
  10. Paladin of Ice

    US Politics: Don't Panic - Organize

    Or here’s a radical thought: black women can be really kickass at getting things done and be the most dependable Democratic voters, but not have the sheer numbers to decide a national presidential election. (What with African Americans making up roughly 12% of the population and, y’know not being a monolith, plus some who either don’t vote at all or are being disenfranchised from voting, etc.) Not being needlessly insulting and rude is also an idea that might be worth embracing.
  11. Paladin of Ice

    US Politics: Don't Panic - Organize

    Most of what I recall seeing about Democratic primary voters, especially in early states, is that they're older, whiter, and more centrist than the party as a whole. (Couldn't find a good source in the limited time I have before going to work though.) On top of that, how many more leftist candidates will make it to next February, then get through the early hurdle of more conservative states before Super Tuesday, especially if the media are going all in on "a moderate who can win back Trump voters" plus "but what about electability in the general election?" and refuse to give airtime to candidates the same way they refused to cover Clinton's ideas last time so they could show empty podiums of where Trump was supposed to speak? I do not put it beyond mainstream media conglomerates to put their thumbs on the scale either. Not the reporters themselves, (although unconsciously they may transfer their own biases or be caught up in the infamous Beltway Bubble) but I doubt that, say, the Viacoms of the world have much enthusiasm for Democratic contenders who keep calling for breaking up monopolies and such. Don't forget the tendency to force "both sides!!!11!!!!1!" style centrism down everyone's throat. My favorite candidate is Warren by a mile, but I'm pretty sure she's going to have do the equivalent of dismantling a brick wall with her bare hands to get the nomination.
  12. Paladin of Ice

    US Politics: Don't Panic - Organize

    As someone working in healthcare, the whole idiotic thing just makes my blood boil. Can I start my own religion that specifically says that doing anything to heal a Republican lawmaker or judge is forbidden? Pretty sure I could whip up a short holy book in a couple of days.
  13. Paladin of Ice

    US Politics: It’s Not A Crime If Your Feelings Got Hurt

    I agree in general, but how do you tell with each specific case if this has actually happened, especially with someone running for president? Why shouldn't I believe that Biden wouldn't still favor the sort of policies that made dollar signs show up in the eyes of credit card and debt collection companies? Why should I believe that he'll take the right steps on mass incarceration? Me Too? Systemic racism? Income inequality? Worker rights and protections? Etc. I mean, I know that anyone who actually looks at policy is very much the exception to the rule and most people are just happy to have a folksy, charming guy to vote for, (not on this board but in general in America) but I would actually like to make some headway on those issues sometime in my lifetime. I know it probably won't happen for various reasons, (including that something like 1/5 of the judiciary and 2-3 members of SCOTUS will be Trump appointees before he's out of office even if we vote him out in 2020, and they will fight to stop any efforts to undo Trump's rampant stupidity and viciousness) but it would certainly be nice. And as far as believing that a candidate will take action on any of those fronts, Biden is pretty far down the list for me. Yeah. Like I said with primary voters Biden will be much more popular than with the larger field of Democratic voters, and the media do love themselves a centrist, so if the activists of the party don't get involved during the primary Uncle Joe will have a far better chance than he logically should. But I'm similarly doubtful that his number of core voters will grow much, unless the low information voter crowd really gets drawn to Biden's charm and tragic life story.
  14. Paladin of Ice

    US Politics: It’s Not A Crime If Your Feelings Got Hurt

    Name recognition, the thought that he’s experienced, (overlooking the fact that Biden has a lot of bad experience tied to his record, such as with the drug war or being part of rewriting bankruptcy laws in a way that gutted their protections) and that the dem primary voters are disproportionately midwesterners who think all problems would be solved by Democrats being more moderate. Biden might not have much appeal to those of us who are lefty politics junkies, but to that crowd he’s just what they’ve been waiting for.
  15. It should be noted that this is an old trick Barr has used before, when he and H.W. Bush dropped the pardons for Iran-Contra, they did so on Christmas Eve. Although I think the internet, social media, and the 24 hour cable news cycle mean that this tactic will be a lot less effective in 2019 than it was in 1992. But Barr always has been, and always will be, a willing Republican hatchetman.
  16. I think it's moronic to expect any change in this country to happen as long as Democrats need the House, the presidency, and 60 votes in the Senate to get anything done, but Republicans just need a president who's willing to give the law and human decency the middle finger.
  17. Paladin of Ice

    US Politics: compromising positions

    We certainly know that the West Virginia GOP was shamelessly and openly trying to equate/link her with 9/11 terrorism in the minds of their voters, and it’s not like a certain segment of the country needs much impetus to want to harm a dark skinned refugee wearing a hijab... (also worth noting that a lot of this “outrage” is being ginned up by Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy, who spent the lead up to the 2018 election accusing prominent Jews of buying the election for Democrats.) I don’t have time to look over the Vox article right now, but as I understand it, her most recent comment, the one that was supposedly a “vile anti-Semitic slur” and worthy of being censured and reprimanded for was saying something along the lines of “it’s wrong to have a greater loyalty to a foreign power than the best interests of the United States” and as far as I’ve heard she didn’t even name names. I mean, it’s not a vile anti-Semitic slur when we say that about Trump and Russia, so what am I missing? I’m genuinely curious.
  18. Or maybe Democrats should look to strike while the iron is hot. People are calling out for a better healthcare system and right now they can still remember that Republicans are demonstrably full of shit on the issue. If Republicans try that tactic again and scream “Death panels!!!!11!1!”, or government takeover or whatever else, Democrats can point out that Republicans said that the ACA was going to do all that too and it didn’t happen, nor was it a Socialist apocalypse that chased all the Christians out of America or stole all the money doctors make or whatever else they said about it. All a presidential candidate would have to do is let Trump and other Republicans complain, then roll their eyes and say “We’ve heard this all before. You said it ten years ago and it wasn’t true then, just like it’s not true now. And what exactly was your plan again?” Personally I think that plays a lot better than mouthing empty slogans and being caught looking like you don’t have any actual plan.
  19. Trump likes the Saudis. They rent properties from him, and that’s all he needs to know. Besides, thanks to his gut and very good brain, he knows more about war than the generals, more about intelligence than spies, and more about international relations than the diplomats, so we’re in good (tiny) hands. It sure is a good thing voters considered issues like this with all due diligence.
  20. The Syrian government fighting ISIS? Buddy, you are quite misinformed. The Syrian government and the Russians were quite happy to ignore ISIS entirely for years on end so ISIS and the rebels would fight each other. Assad and company only ever focused their efforts on non-ISIS rebels. It was left to the Kurds, Iraqis, the US (mostly air power) and a few rebel groups to fight ISIS.
  21. Thing is, it’s not like Gabbard’s awfulness was hiding or anything. A minute’s worth of googling and research would take you on a dive right into it. Plus she has a right wing Democrat/actually moderate Republican voting record on all but a few issues, (as opposed to most of the faux moderates we hear about that keep sticking to the Trump line) so most of the attention she got, especially from progressives, was due to being a superdelegate who backed Bernie. And while I was glad that Bernie pushed the economic discussion in the party leftward, the idea that anyone or anything he touched or backed should be adopted was always obviously bullshit, at least as far as I’m concerned.
  22. A rising star only with the uniquely stupid and uninformed who thought that anything Bernie Sanders touched was golden and sanctified.
  23. Paladin of Ice

    US Politics: The Accountability Problem

    Because Kevin McCarthy, as far as I know about this story, had singled Omar out for her support of the BDS movement, (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, which wants to protest Israel's actions towards Muslims by pulling outside investment and such) and Omar had responded by essentially saying that the only reason McCarthy pretends to care about anti-semitism is because AIPAC and similar pro-Israel lobbies donate to him. Yeah, the bullshit greedy Jew controlling the world trope needs to have died in a fire at least a couple of centuries ago, but why criticism of a pro-Israel lobby and saying someone only cares about that issue because lobbying groups pay them to care is different from saying that a Republican senator only cares about oil because oil lobbying groups fill their pockets, or write policies beneficial to big pharma or Wall St. because pharma and Wall St. groups give them money is beyond me. As is why criticizing Israel is the same as criticizing Jews. And considering some of the policies and tactics of Israel and the distaste I've often seen for those policies among quite a few American Jews, if anything I think conflating Israel with all Jews worldwide is if anything really dangerous and wrongheaded. And lest we think McCarthy has a single honest bone in his body about this issue: https://twitter.com/JuddLegum/status/1055170806949523458/photo/1 In case the link doesn't work, in McCarthy's own words about the 2018 election "We cannot allow Soros, Steyer, and Bloomberg to BUY this election! Get out and vote Republican on November 6th!" But please, do go on about how much McCarthy cares about anti-semitism. Especially when he said that just after a bomb was sent to Soros' house...
  24. Paladin of Ice

    U.S. Politics: 5.7 Billion Problems But The House Ain't One

    The other to consider besides his approval ratings is his disapproval rating. The approval rating is a little lower than general, but seldom has the disapproval been higher, and usually only for a day or two at a time. (Currently the disapproval is just about 56% as per 538.) A lot of people whose usual answer to whether they approve of Agent Orange or not is “Don’t know, don’t care, I spend every waking moment with my fingers in my ears and making noise loudly so I never hear the news or politics” have moved into the disapprove category. Going from, say, 42% approval to 39.5% may rightly not seem like much... but simultaneously going from 50% disapproval to 56% is a pretty bad sign for someone in elected office, even with an overly compliant, “We need a horse race for our ratings!!1!!” media.
  25. Paladin of Ice

    U.S. Politics: Oh Donnie Boy, the Feds are calling...

    Who totally respects and values American ideas like Free Speech.