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lokisnow

U.S. Politics: Next-ennials vs stamps

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14 minutes ago, DMC said:

The Bloomberg rumors arrive every four years like clockwork.  My general disposition is simply to roll my eyes - until I remember I used to do the same about the perpetual Trump rumors.  But you're right - Bloomberg doesn't fit as the voice of the current Democratic party.

Yeah, it's not shocking that Bloomberg is floating himself again, per se.  It's that he's doing at a Democrat now

 

That said, you see pieces like this suggesting that perhaps Trump really will drive enough moderate Repubs away from that party that it's part of a realignment.  I just don't know how one squares that with the leftward tilt of the Dems right now.  

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Perhaps there's room for a third party that could establish itself in moderate Republican (Urban Republican?) districts. Ideologically positioned between the increasingly far right Republicans and the leftward tiling of the Democrats.

If you got some right-leaning Democrats and centrist Republicans on board and picked the right congressional districts (almost marginal enough for Democrats to win, but not quite) such a party might have a shot. 

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5 hours ago, Altherion said:

You'd think so, but they compared, for example, the cost of subway construction and maintenance to other large modern cities (London, Paris, etc.) and NYC is absurdly expensive. And even so it wouldn't be so bad if they were providing quality public services -- but they're not. Compared to other expensive and inexpensive cities I've lived at in Europe and in the US, NYC ranges from mediocre to awful. It's just that there's a great deal of money here so the parasites are out in force. The same is true of many other places in the US.

It is not impossible to determine that the services being provided are severely overpriced and usually bad without having internalized anything -- one can do it simply by comparison to other places.

 

Alon Levy has been extensively digging at the global disparities in capital construction for a long time and throughout this year.

and one of his conclusions since that January article was published as to why the United States has such huge costs compared to the rest of the world is:

that the professional government civil service in the United States is lacking institutional expertise and knowledge as well as being under staffed, under informed, under paid, and undervalued by the governments that employ them. 

while simultaneously civil servants are the target of all the vitriol and opposition in America. (the contractors charging these premiums for infrastructure projects are never blamed by the public the way that civil servants are.)

basically it is a multiaxial asymmetry problem  which the contractors continually exploit and costs keep escalating as they have realized there is no penalty to be suffered for continuing to escalate. 

the problem and the solution is the opposite of what you’re claiming: it is the inadequacy of public investment in robust and empowered civil service (oversight and project management) compounded over decades that has resulted in out of control infrastructure costs in the United States. 

(And as Alon has gathered data, the disparity has smoothed out (still extremely large) as he’s no longer comparing outlier to outlier).

 

 

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12 hours ago, Ormond said:

As a psychologist I just have to point out that the "vividness" or number of details in a memory is no indication that it is an ACCURATE memory. There are many examples of vivid and detailed memories of crimes (including sexual assaults) where the witness does not correctly remember who the perpetrator was. 

This doesn't mean that Ms. Ford's memory is inaccurate, just that the degree of vividness and detail in it is no indication of whether or not it is. 

Vividness was a poor choice of words on my part. I should have perhaps used something like "reasonably recalled the events" or something like that.

Anyway, there is stuff from my teenage years, that while not exactly traumatic or life altering, I remember pretty well, like the time I got taken down to the police station for underage drinking and pissing in a pubic street. I don't remember what I was wearing that night or what time it was, but I think I do remember the incident fairly well.

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22 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

I'm pretty sure I can point out hypocrisy in a civil manner. If I want to get my way in trade talks and the other side are being dicks, the worst thing for me to do is be uncivil.

Being "civil" is likely the best policy most of the time. And in fact, I'm enough of an idealist to believe that most people are decent and will make a good faith effort to reciprocate civility.

But, some people don't operate in good faith and see attempts at civility as a sign of weakness and a lack of resolve. Some people aren't deserving of civility. I have about zero faith the Republican Party or Republicans would try to attempt reciprocate attempts at civility. And you know, I think at some point have a a bit of a right to get a bit fed up with the situation we find ourselves in that has brought upon us by the Republican Party. Right now we some countries such as Hungary that have descended into fascism and the US is perilously close to descending into it and you know somebody needs to raise a little hell about it.

In about two decades I've watch the Republican Party elect two clowns as president and watched them completely botch two major issues such the Iraq War and the GFC and completely ignore a variety of other important issues. And now we find ourselves with one ignorant orange clown as president. I've simply lost my patience with the the Republican Party and I do not think people should be expected to be patient forever.

And if the US should survive the orange clown and if conservatives start up with good old "but, but he didn't do the true conservatism" thing, I'm going to have some very choice words about the matter as I doubt being civil will do anything.

And finally, I don't believe that civility always works. It's kind of like when I heard some conservative clown say he wanted to shoot Obama. I could have opted for something like the very civil  "oh please don't say that. That is not very nice thing to day!", but I think that exercise in civility would have not effectively gotten my point across. Instead  I opted to use the very uncivil, but I think more effective, retort , "You know what? You're nothing a but a chicken shit Ted Nugent wannabe coward." While that sure in the hell wasn't a very civil thing to say, I do in fact believe in was more effective in getting my point across.

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I find it hard that anyone who has been paying attention to Republican actions and the long term game they play on SC seats, that they wouldn't be just as capable of playing a long term game on potential Democrat nominations.  And we know Republican operatives lie.  Although being in the person's past life is important, I suspect a significant number of SC potentials went to similar universities, where being there for several years the capacity, the operative could easily be in a position to have interacted with a significant number of potential nominees. 

So I'm a bit with @Rippounet, we should be very clear what we define as credible, what that triggers, and how much evidence is to be given before we tank a nomination or elected official.  Because we know Republicans don't truly give a shit about this and will be happy to be hypocrites.  Its the Dems who have to be careful.

I don't think further investigation here is at all unfair to the process or the parties.  But if nothing more substantial was found, I don't think you could knock back Kavanagh's confirmation as a Dem on this particular issue, given the information public to date.  Of course, there are plenty of others issues to choose from where that particular slimeball is concerned that could be used to justify voting against him.

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11 hours ago, SweetPea said:

Even if NK keeps the nukes but signs a peace treaty, how is that not better than having nukes and being at war? That is not a pyrrhic victory, that is a victory in its true sense, for the US, since that's one less nation they are at war with, but especially for all the Korean people since they no longer live under the threat of possibly being nuked to dust at any moment. There would be absolutely no reason to use those nukes once they have ended the war.

This is known as 'shifting the goalposts'. Now, Trump gets praise for a situation where NK keeps its nukes? And is able to use those in exactly the same way as every other nuclear power, none of whom have used a nuke since 1945. Using nuclear weapons is not the only use of nuclear weapons. 

10 hours ago, Rippounet said:

38 years later? Yep, pretty much.

But don't get me wrong. I'm perfectly willing to believe that a douchebag fratboy can be a rapist. Especially one who famously doesn't respect women's reproductive rights. In other words the accusation is credible to me. It suits my worldview. It suits my political beliefs.
But that's not enough for legal or political consequences.

OK, first of all: the events took place 38 years ago. But Kavanaugh is, or at the very least may be, lying about them now

If there is a reasonable suspicion that he is lying, right now, about these past events then that most certainly is enough to disqualify someone from being appointed as one of the most senior judges in the United States. That does not meet the standards of probity that should reasonably be expected of anyone in public office, let alone a Supreme Court judge. 

This is not difficult to grasp. Supreme Court judges should have exemplary standards of honesty, integrity, selflessness and transparency. The question at hand is not just whether Kavanaugh exemplified those values 38 years ago. The question is also whether he is exemplifying them now. Calling Prof Ford a liar, if there is reason to believe she is telling the truth, would be about as far from those principles as it is possible to get. 

8 hours ago, Rippounet said:

What I'm saying is that without any actual evidence, credibility will necessarily be subjective.

This is not how credibility works. You appear to be saying if you have objective evidence, there is no need for credibility: if you don't, it's all subjective and nobody can tell who's telling the truth, so there's no such thing as credibility. It's bollocks. This idea that there are only two states, objective proof or an inability to know who's telling the truth about anything, is just not how reality works. It's self-indulgent philosophical blather.

 

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2 hours ago, OldGimletEye said:

Anyway, there is stuff from my teenage years, that while not exactly traumatic or life altering, I remember pretty well, like the time I got taken down to the police station for underage drinking and pissing in a pubic street. I don't remember what I was wearing that night or what time it was, but I think I do remember the incident fairly well.

 

 Well what else are you supposed to do in such a street?

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2 hours ago, mormont said:

OK, first of all: the events took place 38 years ago. But Kavanaugh is, or at the very least may be, lying about them now

If there is a reasonable suspicion that he is lying, right now, about these past events then that most certainly is enough to disqualify someone from being appointed as one of the most senior judges in the United States. 

 

Ok, but who gets to decide the suspicion is reasonable? You?

I know you seem to have mind-reading powers, so often are you explaining to your interlocutor what they are REALLY saying, but other people need an authority to pass a judgment based on proofs to know the truth.

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42 minutes ago, Errant Bard said:

Ok, but who gets to decide the suspicion is reasonable? You?

Again, this is not some weird, impossible to attain standard but a standard that is reached, and tested, every single day, in more contexts than I can count. Courtrooms. Tribunals. Workplace disciplinary or grievance hearings. Arguments over who should do the dishes.

The idea that 'reasonable' is some capricious, completely subjective standard that can't be fairly applied to a candidate in a Senate hearing for a Supreme Court vacancy is absurd. The basis for considering this to be a 'reasonable suspicion' has been discussed at length. If you're asking for it to be repeated over and over again, why? If you're saying that it doesn't reach the standard required, explain why not. Without the a priori assumption that there is no such standard, please. 

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9 hours ago, Altherion said:

You'd think so, but they compared, for example, the cost of subway construction and maintenance to other large modern cities (London, Paris, etc.) and NYC is absurdly expensive. And even so it wouldn't be so bad if they were providing quality public services -- but they're not. Compared to other expensive and inexpensive cities I've lived at in Europe and in the US, NYC ranges from mediocre to awful. It's just that there's a great deal of money here so the parasites are out in force. The same is true of many other places in the US.tly overestimating Ocasio-Cortez.

Hang on... If I read this right you're talking of private contractors being responsible for extremely high costs on the NYC subway.
So you're saying that people distrust government because it hires shitty contractors that waste public money?

9 hours ago, Altherion said:

It is not impossible to determine that the services being provided are severely overpriced and usually bad without having internalized anything -- one can do it simply by comparison to other places.

But you can't do that if the services are really provided by the private sector!

If anything, all such examples you would take from the US would end up being great arguments in favor of socialized services.

9 hours ago, Altherion said:

You are using the definition of neo-liberalism from the late 1980s and by that definition, she was indeed not much of a neo-liberal. However, the definition you use become completely untenable circa 2008 -- there's a limit to how much hypocrisy even the most gullible and indoctrinated will tolerate and arguing for massive government bailouts while simultaneously insisting that the government not try to influence the market is beyond that limit. The definition I came of age with is not one of unbridled free market capitalism (which would at least rule out bailouts), but one in which politicians are in cahoots with the corporations that finance them and while the neoliberals still fight against some regulations and taxation as they did before, they are perfectly happy with others (e.g. the regulation of intellectual property). Hillary Clinton was practically the embodiment of this and several post-election articles said as much (example).

So let me get this straight. Trump lowers taxes and destroys welfare, but Hillary is more of a neo-liberal because she would probably give big bailouts if there was a new financial crisis... ?

9 hours ago, Altherion said:

More and more people believe that they're the ones who are disadvantaged and it is not obvious who is right. Academia has its position, but fewer and fewer people trust them anymore. I personally do not -- the people who do studies on these subjects sometimes can't even do math and always can't do science (i.e. this level of quality would never be accepted in any discipline where the results are expected to be used for something that must work).

Translation; you dismiss scientific research that doesn't fit your narrative or experience. :rolleyes:

9 hours ago, Altherion said:

It is difficult to extrapolate that far ahead. For example, you are making certain tacit assumptions regarding demographics which may or may not be warranted (imagine what could happen if the fearmongers truly come to power). Also, I think you are greatly overestimating Ocasio-Cortez.

Haven't you heard? The nazis are already in power.
And it's not Ocasio-Cortez herself I'm talking about, it's what she represents.

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15 hours ago, Zorral said:

It would have more than likely.  Look what happened to a whole lot of politicians of the 19th century who got caught with their pants down, and not even of assault.  Of course, the south was always different -- though if one of them even had been caught assaulting a woman of his own class, it's likely the problem would have been resolved by her male relatives.  Fer pete's sake you stupid sob Beaufort!  that's what slaves is fer.

I think it depends on how our hypothetical nominee told the story. Again, if you have venture into the darkest depths of the old man'S club logic. Just go there, with some cigars and whiskey, and get into the mood.

As a teenager, I was at a party and met this attractive but fairly drunk young lady. [implication: a slut and to some degree at fault]. As I had a drink myself, I was trying to get intimate with her. You know, boys will be boys. *laughter*

And I don't think, that would be the end of a supreme court nomination in the 19th century. It's not a particularly pleasent place or thought, but I think you are a bit over romanticizing the moral standards/integrity of the 19th century gentlemen. That uderlying ideas of those old boys club, with their contempt for women, must have come from somewhere. And I don't think they are 1970s or 1980s  products (as much as I despise the 80s on a cultural level).

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14 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Sorry, I wasn't aware of that. What evidence are we talking of?

Witnesses to what? Not the rape itself, obviously.

That's worthless. I've been saying for years that my former boss was a bitch and a thief but me saying it doesn't make it so. It just means I hate her guts.

38 years later? Yep, pretty much.

But don't get me wrong. I'm perfectly willing to believe that a douchebag fratboy can be a rapist. Especially one who famously doesn't respect women's reproductive rights. In other words the accusation is credible to me. It suits my worldview. It suits my political beliefs.
But that's not enough for legal or political consequences.

Wouldn't this same reasoning be enough to disregard the vast majority of victims of priest pedophilia?

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10 hours ago, Triskjavikson said:

Bloomberg running as a Democrat?  Please.  Not that I hate the guy, but he's so milquetoast, former GOP, third-way-ish, fix-the-debt-ish...maybe sense the moment a little better? 

The Atlantic has an article about how he has "MeToo" adjacent problems. Mainly with his attitude towards women. If he somehow becomes the Democratic nominee I will vote third party for sure.

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3 hours ago, mormont said:

Calling Prof Ford a liar, if there is reason to believe she is telling the truth, would be about as far from those principles as it is possible to get.

Quote

If you're saying that it doesn't reach the standard required, explain why not.

This is utterly crazy. Talk about shifting the goalposts...

Conservative scumbag or not, it's still up to Ford to show that her accusation has legs to stand on, not up to Kavanaugh to prove she is a liar.

Jeez, most of the arguments here could be summed up by "he's a conservative scumbag, so he's got no credibility."

1 minute ago, aceluby said:

Wouldn't this same reasoning be enough to disregard the vast majority of victims of priest pedophilia?

Depends on the case.
In most cases I've heard of, no. In some, perhaps.

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4 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

 

Jeez, most of the arguments here could be summed up by "he's a conservative scumbag, so he's got no credibility."

Bullfuckingshit.

He's already shown himself to have lied to get his appellate seat.

He's now painting himself as an innocent schoolboy who lived the Jesuit "man for others" motto. But from his own high school yearbook and from the memoirs of his accused co-rapist (who doesn't want to take the stand to defend his friend's honor) he was part of a culture of drunken fuckuppery in his overprivileged prep school (Treasurer of the Keg City Club).

We got the idea he's a conservative scumbag through plenty of evidence.

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13 minutes ago, aceluby said:

Wouldn't this same reasoning be enough to disregard the vast majority of victims of priest pedophilia?

This.

Just saw a meme on Facebook, about 30 year old male memories of being assaulted by a priest = horror and outrage, while 30 year old women's memories of sexual assault = lies.

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36 minutes ago, IheartIheartTesla said:

The Atlantic has an article about how he has "MeToo" adjacent problems. Mainly with his attitude towards women. If he somehow becomes the Democratic nominee I will vote third party for sure.

So you'd prefer four more years of twitler, and silent prayers that RBG outlives those, too.

Unless you have strong evidence of Bloomberg being a cannibal with a special taste for toddlers meat, I can see no possible reality in which he would be a worse choice than Twitler or Pence.

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1 hour ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

I think it depends on how our hypothetical nominee told the story. Again, if you have venture into the darkest depths of the old man'S club logic. Just go there, with some cigars and whiskey, and get into the mood.

As a teenager, I was at a party and met this attractive but fairly drunk young lady. [implication: a slut and to some degree at fault]. As I had a drink myself, I was trying to get intimate with her. You know, boys will be boys. *laughter*

And I don't think, that would be the end of a supreme court nomination in the 19th century. It's not a particularly pleasent place or thought, but I think you are a bit over romanticizing the moral standards/integrity of the 19th century gentlemen. That uderlying ideas of those old boys club, with their contempt for women, must have come from somewhere. And I don't think they are 1970s or 1980s  products (as much as I despise the 80s on a cultural level).

You don't understand that social mores and manners are not the same as morals.

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