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Kalbear

US Politics: Sing us a song, you're the Tariff man

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Ear worms, I'm going to be tormented with ear worms!

Yesterday I was at Costco, and the cashier was whistling as he rang up my items. I was about to make a comment about Walt Disney movies when a childhood memory popped into my brain and put Whistle While You Work in my head all day. Except it was the parody song I hadn't thought of in years. When I was a little kid, even though WW II had been over for 15 years, we still sang "Whistle while you work, Hitler is a jerk, Mussolini is a weenie". I can't remember any of the rest of it, but folks, think of the children before your write some catchy lyrics for Trump!

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It appears that the manners of our Vice President are becoming more popular:

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No more dinners with female colleagues. Don’t sit next to them on flights. Book hotel rooms on different floors. Avoid one-on-one meetings.

In fact, as a wealth adviser put it, just hiring a woman these days is “an unknown risk.” What if she took something he said the wrong way?

Across Wall Street, men are adopting controversial strategies for the #MeToo era and, in the process, making life even harder for women.

Call it the Pence Effect, after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who has said he avoids dining alone with any woman other than his wife.

...

While the new personal codes for dealing with #MeToo have only just begun to ripple, the shift is already palpable, according to the people interviewed, who declined to be named. They work for hedge funds, law firms, banks, private equity firms and investment-management firms.

For obvious reasons, few will talk openly about the issue. Privately, though, many of the men interviewed acknowledged they’re channeling Pence, saying how uneasy they are about being alone with female colleagues, particularly youthful or attractive ones, fearful of the rumor mill or of, as one put it, the potential liability.

The article points out a potential reason not to do this:

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“If men avoid working or traveling with women alone, or stop mentoring women for fear of being accused of sexual harassment,” he said, “those men are going to back out of a sexual harassment complaint and right into a sex discrimination complaint.”

However, the obvious rejoinder here is that an accusation of sex discrimination is far less devastating to any particular individual than one of harassment so while institutions might equally oppose both, individuals are far more likely to attempt to avoid the harassment charge.

Amusingly enough, the behavior described in this article is quite similar to what was officially requested of graduate students who were teaching undergraduates back when I was a grad student: always leave the door open when holding office hours, don't be alone with any given undergrad (especially of the opposite gender) and so on. If this keeps spreading, we'll go back to the days when it was a breach of propriety for a man and a woman who are not married or related to be alone together except that instead of fear for the woman's reputation driving the trend, it will now be fear for the reputation of the man.

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I think the approach of treating women with the respect due to any other human being is probably still more popular. And better manners. 

This is one of those 'two people I know are doing this, can I churn out a few hundred words to make a buck on it' articles. ('A few' and 'many' here undoubtedly translate as 'the two guys I could turn up'.)

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A warning to liberals. Just because Bill Kristol and his crew have become anti-Trumpsters doesn't mean we should become all buddy buddy with them.

Their ideas were a disaster and will continue to be a disaster.

https://www.vox.com/2018/12/5/18126573/weekly-standard-neoconservatives-trump-iraq-casualties

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The Weekly Standard isn’t just any conservative magazine. It’s distinctively the “neocon” magazine. Its founding editor, Bill Kristol, was the intellectual architect of the Project for a New American Century, a think tank that shaped the Republican Party’s foreign policy agenda for years.

It was most notably the creator of the preventive war doctrine that spurred President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq. Its current editor, Stephen F. Hayes, made his bones with the absurd 2004 book The Connection: How al-Qaeda’s Collaboration With Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America.

 

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The result is an essay that, years before 9/11, called not just for aggressive measures against Iraq but also “actively pursuing policies in Iran, Cuba, or China, for instance — ultimately intended to bring about a change of regime.” This was meant literally, and continues to be an animating impulse of neoconservative thinking.

As recently as November 24 of this year — more than 20 years after the publication of the original essay — Kristol did a tweetstorm calling for regime change in China. Back in the summer of 2008, about midway between these calls for regime change in Beijing, he wanted the US to risk war with Russia to bail out Georgia after the small nation found itself paying the price for aggressive action toward Moscow.

 

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Critically, this is more than just a series of misjudgments or even a reflexive overestimation of the utility of military force. It’s a deeply held ideological view that argues that the United States must avoid any form of pragmatic accommodation of anyone or anything in the international order.

 

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But that’s conservatism for you. The more proximate problem for America is that while the country desperately needs the kind of principled resistance to Trump’s worst excesses that the Weekly Standard represented, it would be particularly useful for that resistance to take the form of ideas that are better than Trump’s — rather than simply different and in many ways worse.

 

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For insight into the interplay of money, power, access, and Donald Trump, you need not look further than the recent emoluments lawsuits filed against the president. The details of some of the possible constitutional violations, where President Trump is potentially profiting from payments by foreign governments, are on full display in a Washington Post report Wednesday that found lobbyists representing the government of Saudi Arabia reserved some 500 rooms at Trump’s Washington, D.C. hotel shortly after the 2016 election.

“At the time, these lobbyists were reserving large numbers of D.C.-area hotel rooms as part of an unorthodox campaign that offered U.S. military veterans a free trip to Washington—then sent them to Capitol Hill to lobby against a law the Saudis opposed,” veterans and organizers told the Post. “At first, Saudi lobbyists put the veterans up in Northern Virginia. Then, in December 2016, they switched most of their business to the Trump International Hotel in downtown Washington. In all, the lobbyists spent more $270,000 to house six groups of visiting veterans at the Trump hotel, which Trump still owns.”

 

Saudi Arabia Paid Washington Lobbyist to Book 500 Rooms in Trump’s D.C. Hotel Shortly After 2016 Election

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/12/saudi-arabia-washington-lobbyist-500-rooms-veterans-9-11-trump-hotel-qorvis-mslgroup.html

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9 hours ago, Altherion said:

It appears that the manners of our Vice President are becoming more popular:

The article points out a potential reason not to do this:

However, the obvious rejoinder here is that an accusation of sex discrimination is far less devastating to any particular individual than one of harassment so while institutions might equally oppose both, individuals are far more likely to attempt to avoid the harassment charge.

Amusingly enough, the behavior described in this article is quite similar to what was officially requested of graduate students who were teaching undergraduates back when I was a grad student: always leave the door open when holding office hours, don't be alone with any given undergrad (especially of the opposite gender) and so on. If this keeps spreading, we'll go back to the days when it was a breach of propriety for a man and a woman who are not married or related to be alone together except that instead of fear for the woman's reputation driving the trend, it will now be fear for the reputation of the man.

I think the behavior in the article is an extreme over reaction.  This thread deals with it pretty well:

 

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@larrytheimp

We have very similar degrees, she went to a slightly better university, but I graduated with higher honors, so call that a wash if you want. She interned for a U.S. Senator. I was a staffer for one. I’ve also worked either on the campaign or as a staffer for elected officials at basically every level of government, and have been doing so since I graduated high school. Given that we’re basically the same age, I’m willing to be that I have more experience than she does, and since I’ve worked on the press side of politics before, I would have known not to make that kind of mistake. If you want to make a press release about a policy, you run it through your press team, policy team and possibly legal team. You don’t merely tweet it out. Hence why I argued before that new elected officials should keep their heads down at first, not go full Leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeroy Jenkins.

@DMC

First, I disagree about a lot of MoC seeking out the cameras. You tend to see the same handful of people for the most part. That doesn’t mean the rest are doing deep dives on the policy side, but I do think you’re vastly underestimating the number of Congressmen and Congresswomen who are heavily invested in public policy.

That said, yes it was patronizing, but I would have said the exact same thing about a 29 year old man, or any first term Congressperson elect. What she did was dumb, and it’s not the first time. The moment she sparked the abolish ICE conversation I wanted to bash my head into a wall, because it was obvious what the externalities of that would be. She gave Republicans an easy talking point while making basically every member of her party answer where they stood on the issue, which did them no favors.

Look, I have nothing against AOC. I’m actually inspired by her run. But she needs to be more careful or else she risks damaging her political future before it’s gotten off the ground.  I can easily see her running for the Senate one day, but that won’t happen if she undercuts her credibility at the start of her career.

@Paladin of Ice

Lol, why would there be any hard feelings?

Come here next August and volunteer to sit in a political booth for 8-12 hours a day for 12 straight days at the state fair. I promise you after that no insult will ever hurt your feelings too badly again.

;)

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Men have always preferred putting women into purdah than people operating as full human beings, equal in the law and society to men, treated with the same respect as they demand for themselves.

In the meantime the D.C. nazis have no plans or strategies for dealing with Mueller's report when it comes out.  Can you all guess why, hmmmmmmmm?  

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/12/trump-white-house-has-no-plan-counter-mueller-report/577417/

 

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And now the stock markets have lost all of 2018's gains. 

Not to worry, this is a natural correction, long overdue after years of the market going up. Expect more volatility.

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5 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

We have very similar degrees, she went to a slightly better university, but I graduated with higher honors, so call that a wash if you want. She interned for a U.S. Senator. I was a staffer for one. I’ve also worked either on the campaign or as a staffer for elected officials at basically every level of government, and have been doing so since I graduated high school. Given that we’re basically the same age, I’m willing to be that I have more experience than she does, and since I’ve worked on the press side of politics before, I would have known not to make that kind of mistake. If you want to make a press release about a policy, you run it through your press team, policy team and possibly legal team. You don’t merely tweet it out. Hence why I argued before that new elected officials should keep their heads down at first, not go full Leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeroy Jenkins.

Intending no offense, but unlike you, AOC went to the next level - actually ran for the office and won.  (unless something is missing from your above quote)

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4 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

You tend to see the same handful of people for the most part. That doesn’t mean the rest are doing deep dives on the policy side, but I do think you’re vastly underestimating the number of Congressmen and Congresswomen who are heavily invested in public policy.

Perhaps you see the same handful of people on national cable news, but MCs can also grandstand at the district level.  And, again, this is driven by the environment.  Come January, less than 150 members will have been in Congress since before Obama took office.  The rest won their seats in an age of increasingly expensive campaigns and a weakening of the incumbency advantage.  The fact is more members than ever have to have more interest in the camera and fundraising than policy.  So it's not that I'm underestimating the amount of members interested in policy - I imagine most of them are (or at least were) in one way or another - but rather I'm doubting their ability/time to truly "invest" in becoming an expert.  And even those that do usually specialize in a certain policy area - there are very few experts on the budget process.

5 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

That said, yes it was patronizing, but I would have said the exact same thing about a 29 year old man, or any first term Congressperson elect.

I just think what you originally said - that new MCs should steer clear of policy arguments until they've "mastered" the subject - is a preposterous standard.  It obviously doesn't reflect reality, and I'm not even sure it should.  An MC should be informed by policy experts, of course, but any MC that's trying to become an expert on multiple policy areas isn't really doing their job.  And, again, it is my strong prior that there is absolutely no correlation between...let's call it "policy ignorance" and tenure in Congress.

5 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

But she needs to be more careful or else she risks damaging her political future before it’s gotten off the ground.  I can easily see her running for the Senate one day, but that won’t happen if she undercuts her credibility at the start of her career.

She also needs to continue to speak out to maintain her appeal of authenticity.  Again, she needs a strike a balance there, but your advice seems to suggest she stop doing what makes her so popular with the progressives bloc in the first place. 

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5 minutes ago, ThinkerX said:

Intending no offense, but unlike you, AOC went to the next level - actually ran for the office and won.  (unless something is missing from your above quote)

:agree:  Plus, um, she raised campaign funds for her campaign.  As he's never run for office nobody knows if he can raise the funds to so.  In the meantime there's a whole lot going on politically, with her, and others, and this is what he's focused on.  It's not a good look for anyone who professes to supportequal rights and treatment for women and other diversities, it really isn't.  Additionally it looks very weird, to bang on about how much more qualified than she is, he is, when the whole damned White House is swarming with certifiably unqualified people, who also are probably certifiably mentally unstable.  Especially as he's never held office.

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Also, here's another interesting deal with AOC - her current congressional district is HEAVILY progressive. Her biggest challenge will almost certainly not be a republican, it'll be another democrat - and likely one that is if anything more progressive than she is. 

She is wisely playing to the people who will ensure that she is elected. Her criticizing the military is not going to be a bad deal, even if she gets the details wrong. You may WANT that to hurt her, and that's cool. You may WANT a system where the most meritocratic, intelligent, and eloquent people rise to power. This is not the system we have, this is not the system we have had for at least 50 years, and it isn't going to go away any time soon. 

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While we're chewing over AOC's every last false step, let me remind you that Louie Gohmert, who is even stupider than his name makes him sound, is still a member of Congress and has ramped up his bigoted trash-monger act to spread anti-Semitic smears on Fox Business (the cable news equivalent of smoking the last 1/4 inch of the cigarette right before the filter).

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/rep-louie-gohmert-falsely-says-george-soros-helped-take-property-from-fellow-jews/2018/12/06/05beded2-f979-11e8-863c-9e2f864d47e7_story.html?utm_term=.d5f5cfb9c352

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21 minutes ago, DanteGabriel said:

the cable news equivalent of smoking the last 1/4 inch of the cigarette right before the filter

Bravo!

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William Barr top candidate for permanent AG

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Former U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who served under former President George H.W. Bush, is the leading candidate for the job as a permanent replacement for Jeff Sessions, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

The Washington Post reported earlier on Thursday that President Donald Trump could choose his nominee for attorney general in coming days, and that Trump had told advisers he plans to nominate Barr.

Well, he'd definitely get confirmed.

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8 minutes ago, DMC said:

William Barr top candidate for permanent AG

Well, he'd definitely get confirmed.

Seems like an unusually boring pick for such a high profile post.  I don't know anything about him, but two minutes of reading indicated that he was considered very conservative and pro-prison back in the early 90s (but plenty of very conservative guys from the 90s would be considered moderates today). 

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