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La Albearceleste

US Politics: What Price Loyalty?

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New thread, old topic:

8 hours ago, Shryke said:

It's the reason he's so pissed at Sessions. In his mind the DOJ are "his lawyers" and it's their job to look out for his interests.

It's less distatorial imo and more his innate authoritarian instincts and his history in the private sector as a CEO. To him the government should be like one of his businesses and so everyone answers to him and the people who work in the government exist to further his agenda and protect his ass. He does not understand the idea of the state as it's own entity separate from himself that he works for or with. And thus he views actions that aren't what he wants as betrayal.

It's part of why he's all in on the deep state conspiracy. What other reason could they have for doing this? It must be that they are working for his enemies instead of for him.

This is very true. I've noted before that Trump's 'business' experience is all in the context of family firms: in other words, firms in which he has control but no accountability. Whenever he had to work with partners or otherwise in a frame of accountability, matters ended up in court. Looks like that will continue to hold true. 

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@ants

Attorney-Client privilege does not let you organize a crime with your lawyer. You can tell your lawyer about a crime and that would be protected information.

But you can't ask your lawyer to help you with a crime, because then that becomes criminal conspiracy and the lawyer is an accessory to the crime.

Also, you can't claim attorney client privilege for every single conversation you've ever had with a lawyer. It has to specifically be a conversation regarding their legal consultation of the client.

Examples:

If Donald killed a guy and told Cohen 'I did this!'- That's protected.

If Donald killed a guy and asked Cohen to help him get out of the situation by ditching the body- That's NOT protected.

If Donald killed a guy and told Cohen off the cuff while they were watching a Jets game, at which point they discuss his legal options- That's protected.

If Donald killed a guy and told Cohen off the cuff while they were watching a Jets game, and then he went to get a hotdog- That's NOT protected.

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Posted (edited)

Now conservative sorts of people, awhile back Paul “Numbers Guy” Ryan made the following speech:

https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/melanie-hunter/paul-ryan-liberal-progressivism-longest-con

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Yet, after all of that, we feel less safe and less secure, less free and less prosperous. As government grows more unaccountable and unresponsive, there is less faith and less trust, and that is because liberal progressivism simply does not work. It’s the longest con,” he said.

“It preaches to us about fairness while snuffing out the striving that is at the heart of a free society. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that we are in the weakest economic recovery since the Great Depression – that people are working longer hours for less, that we are supposed to somehow, supposed to accept this as all of a permanent new normal,” Ryan said.

Now rather than just get into an argument with conservative idiot Paul Ryan over general equlibrium theory and how the government can make Walrasian market clearly or Say’s law ballpark true, I think its interesting to note that compared to other countries, the US has a lower labor force participation rate.

And given the fact that other nations have bigger or larger social safety nets than the US, its hard to make the case the America's welfare state, such as it is, is really the problem, even if Paul "Numbers Guy" Ryan think it's the problem.
 

https://www.frbsf.org/economic-research/publications/economic-letter/2018/april/raising-speed-limit-on-future-growth/

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This chart compares the percentage of prime-age workers in the labor force in Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In these other advanced economies, labor force participation of prime-age workers has increased overall and now stands far—several percentage points—above the rates observed in the United States.

Which raises the question—why aren’t American workers working?

Guess we're not living in an Ayn Rand novel after all.

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More on conservative clown bullshitting.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-debt-crisis-is-coming-but-dont-blame-entitlements/2018/04/08/968df5c2-38fb-11e8-9c0a-85d477d9a226_story.html

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A group of distinguished economists from the Hoover Institution, a public-policy think tank at Stanford University, identifies a serious problem. The federal budget deficit is on track to exceed $1 trillion next year and get worse over time. Eventually, ever-rising debt and deficits will cause interest rates to rise, and the portion of tax revenue needed to service the growing debt will take an increasing toll on the ability of government to provide for its citizens and to respond to recessions and emergencies.

I’d say most of these clowns have lost the right to be called “distinguished”, unless were saying "distinguished bullshit artist".

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Instead, the tax cuts passed last year actually added an amount to America’s long-run fiscal challenge that is roughly the same size as the preexisting shortfalls in Social Security and Medicare. The tax cuts are reducing revenue by an average of 1.1 percent of GDP over the next four years. The Hoover authors minimized the cost of the tax cuts by noting that if major provisions are allowed to expire on schedule — certainly an open question, given political realities — they would amount to “only” 0.4 percent of GDP. Even this magnitude exceeds the Medicare Trustees’ projections of a 0.3 percent of GDP shortfall in Medicare hospital insurance over the next 75 years.

 

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an extent large enough to solve the long-run debt problem. The Social Security program needs only modest reforms to restore its 75-year solvency, and these should include adjustments in both spending and revenue. Additional revenue is critical because Social Security has become even more vital as fewer and fewer people have defined-benefit pensions. 

Social Security is a relatively easy fix and anyone running around selling horror stories about it's impending doom is selling bullshit. The real long term fiscal challenge is over US healthcare cost.

And I don't favor a lot of cuts to Social Security, particularly after the GFC which caused so much havoc than many folks will need Social Security when they retire because whatever retirement plans they might have had were set back because of the GFC.

...............................................................................................

ACA hasn't collapsed yet, despite Trump's shennigans.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/09/opinion/obamacare-trump.html

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Front pages continue, understandably, to be dominated by the roughly 130,000 scandals currently afflicting the Trump administration. But polls suggest that the reek of corruption, intense as it is, isn’t likely to dominate the midterm elections. The biggest issue on voters’ minds appears, instead, to be health care.

And you know what? Voters are right. If Republicans retain control of both houses of Congress, we can safely predict that they’ll make another try at repealing Obamacare, taking health insurance away from 25 million or 30 million Americans. Why? Because their attempts to sabotage the program keep falling short, and time is running out.

I’m not saying that sabotage has been a complete failure. The Trump administration has succeeded in driving insurance premiums sharply higher — and yes, I mean “succeeded,” because that was definitely the goal.

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Putin for President in 2020. By golly, he's the true conservative!

http://piketty.blog.lemonde.fr/2018/04/10/capital-in-russia/

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More generally, the Soviet disaster led to the abandon of any ambition of redistribution. Since 2001, income tax is 13%, whether your income be 1,000 roubles or 100 billion roubles. Even Reagan and Trump have not gone as far in the destruction of progressive taxation. There is no tax on inheritance in Russia, nor in the People’s Republic of China. If you want to pass on your fortune in peace in Asia, it is better to die in the ex-Communist countries and definitely not in the capitalist countries such as Taiwan, South Korea or Japan where the tax rate on inheritance on the highest estates has just risen from 50% to 55%.

But while China has succeeded in conserving a degree of control on capital outflows and private accumulation, the characteristic of  Putin’s Russia is an unbounded drift into kleptocracy. Between 1993 and 2018, Russia had massive trade surpluses: approximately 10% of GDP per annum on average for 25 years, or a total in the rage of 250% of GDP (two and a half years of national production). In principle that should have enabled the accumulation of the equivalent in financial reserves. This is almost the size of the sovereign public fund accumulated by Norway under the watchful gaze of the voters. The official Russian reserves are ten times lower – barely 25% of GDP.

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https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-04-02/rational-markets-theory-keeps-running-into-irrational-humans

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To many young people, the idea of efficient financial markets -- the idea that, in the words of economist Eugene Fama, “At any point in time, the actual price of a security will be a good estimate of its intrinsic value” -- probably seems like a joke. The financial crisis of 2008, the bursting of the housing bubble, and gyrations in markets from gold to Bitcoin to Chinese stocks have put paid, at least for now, to the idea that prices are guided by the steady hand of rationality. The theory won Fama an economics Nobel Prize in 2013, but he shared it with Robert Shiller, whose research poked significant holes in the idea decades ago.

 

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In the wake of the 1987 stock market crash, economists pushed back strongly against the idea of efficient markets. Keynes’s remark was formalized into economic theory by J. Bradford DeLong, Andrei Shleifer, Lawrence Summers and Robert Waldmann in 1989. The idea was that so-called noise traders -- a coordinated herd of investors who either overpay or underpay for a financial asset -- can act in concert to push prices out of line with fundamentals. With their limited resources, rational arbitrageurs can’t always risk pushing back against the irrational tide -- sometimes, like a movie character who throws down his shotgun and runs when faced with an onrushing gang of zombies, rational traders can end up moving in the same direction as the speculators. When this happens, the noise traders can actually make money and remain in the market, defying Friedman’s formulation.

Nobody wants to have to sell off their underoos collection and Darth Vader doll collection if they mis-time when the market will correct.

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In other words, even markets with some rational participants can behave irrationally. Speculation can move prices around for irrational reasons, and rational traders often either can’t or won’t bother to correct them. However, it’s worth noting that the effect is less pronounced in 2012-2016 than in 2007-2011, suggesting the possibility that this particular market inefficiency may have been a temporary phenomenon.

Efficient markets theory never really fits the facts, but it never quite dies, either.

 

Edited by OldGimletEye

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Posted (edited)

Firing Mueller and Rosenstein won’t save Trump’s closest allies

Trump’s inner circle would still be in federal crosshairs.

https://www.vox.com/2018/4/10/17220556/mueller-trump-rosenstein-firing-ny-cohen

 

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So Trump could in theory get rid of Mueller as well as the prosecutors in New York leading the Kushner and Cohen probes. Trump would have to fire a handful of other Justice Department officials in the chain of command to make it happen, but he could probably do it. Still, legal experts don’t think even that would kill the cases.

“It seems highly doubtful, however, that either office would simply abandon its investigation on account of political or personal pressure,” Miriam Baer, a law professor at Brooklyn Law School and a former federal prosecutor, told me. Baer worked in the office that is investigating Cohen.

“The imperative to ‘do the right thing’ and see an investigation to its proper end has been woven into each office’s culture,” she added.

 

 

Edited by Martell Spy

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Boy, that swamp is sure being drained!!!! http://thehill.com/homenews/house/382608-ryan-telling-associates-hes-not-running-report?__twitter_impression=true&__twitter_impression=true&__twitter_impression=true&__twitter_impression=true&__twitter_impression=true

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Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has revealed to those close to him that he will not seek reelection in the 2018 midterm elections, according to Axios. 

The outlet reports that the speaker will make the announcement soon. 

Friends of Ryan reportedly said that he felt he had accomplished his "longtime dream" of tax reform and that he was ready to step back due to frustrating aspects of the job, including working with the president. 

 

 

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If that's true, oh man. Who's gonna replace him? They barely got him to take the job and he's barely adequate at it.

He's basically pulling a Boehner mk2 and getting the fuck out because the House is a goddamn mess because the GOP caucus is insane.

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2 minutes ago, Shryke said:

If that's true, oh man. Who's gonna replace him? They barely got him to take the job and he's barely adequate at it.

He's basically pulling a Boehner mk2 and getting the fuck out because the House is a goddamn mess because the GOP caucus is insane.

The MAGA crowd is celebrating this as a win and talking about getting rid of Mitch McConnell next. 

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3 minutes ago, Pony Queen Jace said:

Donald just announced imminent missile strikes in Syria on Twitter.

'Member when he said that he wouldn't make military announcements to alert our enemies? Good times.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Pony Queen Jace said:

Donald just announced imminent missile strikes in Syria on Twitter.

You know the irony about this whole situation is that when Trump was debating Hillary, his only good point (he didn't have any others) in that debate was his skepticism about getting involved in Syria.

Edited by OldGimletEye

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8 minutes ago, Shryke said:

If that's true, oh man. Who's gonna replace him? They barely got him to take the job and he's barely adequate at it.

He's basically pulling a Boehner mk2 and getting the fuck out because the House is a goddamn mess because the GOP caucus is insane.

Who's going to replace him? Depends on whether there really is an anti-Pelosi movement in the Dems' caucus.

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1 minute ago, OldGimletEye said:

You know the irony about this whole situation is that when Trump was debating Hillary, probably his best point in that debate was his skepticism about getting involved in Syria.

I actually approve of this action, so I will keep my criticisms to the methodology rather than the overall effort.

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3 minutes ago, Pony Queen Jace said:

Donald just announced imminent missile strikes in Syria on Twitter.

And taunted Russia while doing so.  WTF is wrong with that man? (rhetorical questions, as I'm sure the answer would fill this thread plus a few more)

Not that we need this spelled out, as it's fairly obvious, but here's the (top) 3 things wrong with his tweet: https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/11/politics/donald-trump-russia-syria-missile-tweet/index.html

 

I was also reading his comments about community college.  The man has no idea what it is or how important it is in making college affordable to so many people, but he's more than willing to just dismiss it out of hand.

 

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4 minutes ago, Pony Queen Jace said:

I actually approve of this action, so I will keep my criticisms to the methodology rather than the overall effort.

Wha? No Republican is gonna vote for Pelosi as House Leader. They are gonna pick one of their own. Except there was no one last time which is why they begged Ryan to take the job. The House GOP Caucus is a clusterfuck no one wants to have to deal with.

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3 minutes ago, dmc515 said:

It's between McCarthy and Scalise, and the battle has already started.  Has the potential to be a pretty bitter fight, and even if they lose the House, it may come down to Trump.

Ok, any chance that Ryan not running for reelection gives him some spine to stand up to Trump in the next six months?  Republicans have pulled the football too many times to really be optimistic, but guys like Flake and Corker are definitely a bit more anti-Trump once they decided not to seek reelection.  Although being (somewhat) anti-Trump is what forced their hand, which isn't the case for Ryan. 

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Anyway, Trump went on a Mueller-based twitter rant this morning again:

Probably the most salient point here being a repeat of his admission from January that he obstructed justice but it doesn't count because it was just "fighting back".

Despite, you know, that being basically one of if not the most obvious way he, as President, would obstruct justice.

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Russia will respond if the United States launches a strike in Syria, Russian Ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin

Link

So there is that.

Looks like Russia is pushing back quite a bit on this. Of course I can't even imagine the response if the Russia bombed a US ally. Some people on reddit were discussing whether Syrian possessed the capability to shoot anti ship missiles at the US destroyers off the coast until it was pointed out that if Syria ever successfully hit back the US would just level the country. I'm a fair bit disappointed in the US to be honest there is no alternative to Assad, the SDF (and i'm a huge YPG partisan) kind of are but they are way to far from from Damascus removing the Syrian regime without an alternative would result in a literal genocide, so taking potshots at them from the side just feels dishonest and cruel. Especially since we haven't confirmed who launched the attack. 

 

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3 minutes ago, Lany Freelove Cassandra said:

And taunted Russia while doing so.  WTF is wrong with that man? (rhetorical questions, as I'm sure the answer would fill this thread plus a few more)

Not that we need this spelled out, as it's fairly obvious, but here's the (top) 3 things wrong with his tweet: https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/11/politics/donald-trump-russia-syria-missile-tweet/index.html

 

I was also reading his comments about community college.  The man has no idea what it is or how important it is in making college affordable to so many people, but he's more than willing to just dismiss it out of hand.

 

He's a stupid old man with a little bit of mental degeneration.

It's not complicated. You can throw in all the personality issues you want, and they're what makes him actually dangerous, but we can stop vagfooting around at this point.

It's not uncommon at all to lose a bit of that mental sharpness as you get older. With most politicians it's harder to detect because they were smart enough at the start so that they're regressing towards the mean rather than towards fifth grade like Donald, and while a lot of politicians have hugely narcissistic personalities they also have enough political wherewithal to know not to say certain things that are... insane.

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