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U.S. Politics: Phantom of the Emergency

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2 hours ago, Triskele said:

OH TULSI GABBARD NO

 

The task of figuring out exactly what niche Gabbard's candidacy falls into just got weirder.  

Yeah she’s a hard pass from me. My friends in the LBTQ community have already, uh, let’s say strongly informed me of her past.

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Tulsi Gabbard seems like a natural Republican who had to put a D in front of her name to get a shot at a congressional seat in Hawaii. I've not read too much on her policy positions on broader soci-economic stuff, so Maybe she's a D on some things and R on others.

Didn't Hillary have some problematic historical statements and policy positions on LGBT issues? It didn't harm her for the 2016 nomination, but perhaps there was no viable LGBT ally among the primary candidates to rally around, so it didn't hurt her. Who are the LGBT allies among the likely 2020 Democrats?

Also Roseanne Barr claiming her firing was anti-semitism. Personally I had no idea she was Jewish. Finding that out doesn't change my opinion about her being racist.

Edited by The Anti-Targ

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19 minutes ago, The Anti-Targ said:

Tulsi Gabbard seems like a natural Republican who had to put a D in front of her name to get a shot at a congressional seat in Hawaii. I've not read too much on her policy positions on broader soci-economic stuff, so Maybe she's a D on some things and R on others.

Didn't Hillary have some problematic historical statements and policy positions on LGBT issues? It didn't harm her for the 2016 nomination, but perhaps there was no viable LGBT ally among the primary candidates to rally around, so it didn't hurt her. Who are the LGBT allies among the likely 2020 Democrats?

Also Roseanne Barr claiming her firing was anti-semitism. Personally I had no idea she was Jewish. Finding that out doesn't change my opinion about her being racist.

She's also like a fucking holocaust denier so...

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5 hours ago, OldGimletEye said:

According to some centrist, the idea of a Green New Deal is out in crazy land.

Can you oppose something like a Green New Deal and be a centrist?

It's a genuine question, but one of semantics. Because US politics have moved so far to the right, it's become difficult to know what a "centrist" is supposed to be. Not that this hasn't been a recurrent question on these threads, but I think it's an important one: when we use a label like "centrist" should we be talking of centrists in the current sense, i.e. left of the Republicans, or centrists in the absolute sense, i.e. to the right of socialists?

Climate change throws in an extra layer of difficulty. I don't think anyone reasonable can deny climate change in 2019. Nor can anyone reasonable deny that it requires pretty major policies at this point. So a centrist should not be opposing a "Green New Deal" but simply refusing "extreme" socialist solutions to curb corporate power. A reasonable centrist however should accept that there's simply no way to deal with climate change without at least hurting the industries primarily responsible for it. A reasonable centrist might even have to accept the fact that eternal economic growth is quite simply not fully compatible with the survival of our species.

All that is tricky. Climate change basically means that the West cannot protect its "way of life" indefinitely, so this should be a pretty centrist position. However, if you oppose the American "way of life," you're supposed to be a dangerous anti-American commie or something. And fact is, as of now, it's difficult to see how to change our way of life without massive government intervention.
Because it seems to me that, on some level, Republicans have a point: anyone wanting to deal with climate change will almost automatically advocate for what are essentially radical leftist policies.

So how do you guys make sense of all this mess? Doesn't accepting climate change mean becoming a leftist or even worse? Aren't all reasonable people forced to contemplate becoming radical activists of sorts? Again, not a rhetorical question. My GF is constantly asking me what we should do. As in, what kind of political activism we should engage in. But is there anything centrist at this point? Doesn't climate change mean that there are really two possibilities: denying it and sticking our heads in the sand or becoming radical eco-activists of sorts?

Edited by Rippounet

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51 minutes ago, The Anti-Targ said:

Tulsi Gabbard seems like a natural Republican who had to put a D in front of her name to get a shot at a congressional seat in Hawaii. I've not read too much on her policy positions on broader soci-economic stuff, so Maybe she's a D on some things and R on others.

She seems to stake out a few positions that might seem more Republican-ish like acting a bit jingoish on military stuff and saying there's religious bigotry against Christians.  On economic issues she's a Bernie supporter though I don't know much more about specifics of what she's going to stake out position-wise.   

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1 hour ago, Rippounet said:

Can you oppose something like a Green New Deal and be a centrist?

It's a genuine question, but one of semantics. Because US politics have moved so far to the right, it's become difficult to know what a "centrist" is supposed to be. Not that this hasn't been a recurrent question on these threads, but I think it's an important one: when we use a label like "centrist" should we be talking of centrists in the current sense, i.e. left of the Republicans, or centrists in the absolute sense, i.e. to the right of socialists?

Climate change throws in an extra layer of difficulty. I don't think anyone reasonable can deny climate change in 2019. Nor can anyone reasonable deny that it requires pretty major policies at this point. So a centrist should not be opposing a "Green New Deal" but simply refusing "extreme" socialist solutions to curb corporate power. A reasonable centrist however should accept that there's simply no way to deal with climate change without at least hurting the industries primarily responsible for it. A reasonable centrist might even have to accept the fact that eternal economic growth is quite simply not fully compatible with the survival of our species.

All that is tricky. Climate change basically means that the West cannot protect its "way of life" indefinitely, so this should be a pretty centrist position. However, if you oppose the American "way of life," you're supposed to be a dangerous anti-American commie or something. And fact is, as of now, it's difficult to see how to change our way of life without massive government intervention.
Because it seems to me that, on some level, Republicans have a point: anyone wanting to deal with climate change will almost automatically advocate for what are essentially radical leftist policies.

So how do you guys make sense of all this mess? Doesn't accepting climate change mean becoming a leftist or even worse? Aren't all reasonable people forced to contemplate becoming radical activists of sorts? Again, not a rhetorical question. My GF is constantly asking me what we should do. As in, what kind of political activism we should engage in. But is there anything centrist at this point? Doesn't climate change mean that there are really two possibilities: denying it and sticking our heads in the sand or becoming radical eco-activists of sorts?

There are people who accept anthropogenic climate change, but who have faith that Elon Musk, or someone like him, will come up with a technical solution to prevent major catastrophes that mean we don't need to do anything about emissions.

But as Mohammad once famously said: "Trust in Musk, but tie your camel."

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1 hour ago, Triskele said:

She seems to stake out a few positions that might seem more Republican-ish like acting a bit jingoish on military stuff and saying there's religious bigotry against Christians.  On economic issues she's a Bernie supporter though I don't know much more about specifics of what she's going to stake out position-wise.   

Yeah, Gabbard has a weird mix of positions that, taken all together, don't really add up to being a liberal, conservative, or moderate. Steve Bannon once called her his favorite member of congress, which no one should take as a ringing endorsement.

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I've seen her take flak for meeting with Assad. But US policy on Syria has been pretty incoherent since 2012 or so a rebel victory has meant a literal genocide of minorities, so I see her as taking a much more realistic position on foreign policy. Frankly the US position on Assad is disgusting given what a rebel victory would actually mean (not counting the SDF). 

 

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Ok, I'm starting to wonder if just maybe this shutdown might not result in a shakeup in the republican senate leadership.  Yes, it's highly unlikely, but worth tossing out there... 

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8 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

Didn't Hillary have some problematic historical statements and policy positions on LGBT issues?

I don't want to draw too direct a comparison. But I do think that 'historical' needs to be put in context. Clinton said similar things about gay marriage, but ten years earlier, and without the 'homosexual extremists' remark. 

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10 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Can you oppose something like a Green New Deal and be a centrist?

I'd say at a minimum you really can't be a centrist and then consider something like the Green New Deal as being something that is crazy, given what we know about climate change. If you do, then you are just putting on airs of being the "reasonable centrist" but not really.
 

10 hours ago, Rippounet said:

It's a genuine question, but one of semantics. Because US politics have moved so far to the right, it's become difficult to know what a "centrist" is supposed to be. Not that this hasn't been a recurrent question on these threads, but I think it's an important one: when we use a label like "centrist" should we be talking of centrists in the current sense, i.e. left of the Republicans, or centrists in the absolute sense, i.e. to the right of socialists?

Yes it is a genuine question. And of course, when one speaks of being a "centrist", they probably ought to state in reference to what. In an absolute sense or the American sense.

I consider myself to be relatively centrist, if not in the American context, at least on economic matters as I'm not a full blown Marxist or anything. But the problem I have with many other centrist is they often take positions that are nonsense in order to look "reasonable". They are just doing "middle splitting" and I think it's pretty lazy intellectually. Think of the people that gushed over Paul Ryan's allegedly being a "serious conservative" or the people that think something like a New Green Deal is just a complete wacko notion. Or those that gushed over the Bowles/ Simpson, when we had bigger fish to fry at the time.

I'd say the thing that needs to be pulled off in American politics is nudging centrist opinion to the left, while getting enough of their votes to actually win elections. There is an underlying tension there, and where the appropriate balance is, I'm not really sure, though it's something I think about often.

10 hours ago, Rippounet said:

So a centrist should not be opposing a "Green New Deal" but simply refusing "extreme" socialist solutions to curb corporate power. A reasonable centrist however should accept that there's simply no way to deal with climate change without at least hurting the industries primarily responsible for it. A reasonable centrist might even have to accept the fact that eternal economic growth is quite simply not fully compatible with the survival of our species.

`The irony of this situation, I think, is the longer we delay in dealing with something like Climate Change, the more heavy handed government involvement will likely have to be. The people that will complain the most about government interference in the "free market" will have only themselves to blame because of their foot dragging and sandbagging.

Quote

 A reasonable centrist might even have to accept the fact that eternal economic growth is quite simply not fully compatible with the survival of our species.

Interestingly enough, there is a debate on the left whether growth is possible, while combating climate change. I tend to come down on the side, that yes it is. But, of course, the sooner we get started, the less drastic government actions will have to be.

Procrastination is like masturbation. At the time you are doing it, it feels good, but in the end, you're just fucking yourself.
 

10 hours ago, Rippounet said:

So how do you guys make sense of all this mess? Doesn't accepting climate change mean becoming a leftist or even worse? Aren't all reasonable people forced to contemplate becoming radical activists of sorts? Again, not a rhetorical question. My GF is constantly asking me what we should do. As in, what kind of political activism we should engage in. But is there anything centrist at this point? Doesn't climate change mean that there are really two possibilities: denying it and sticking our heads in the sand or becoming radical eco-activists of sorts?

As Krugman often says, reality often has a left of center bias.

 

Edited by OldGimletEye

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24 minutes ago, mormont said:

I don't want to draw too direct a comparison. But I do think that 'historical' needs to be put in context. Clinton said similar things about gay marriage, but ten years earlier, and without the 'homosexual extremists' remark. 

Having read a little further, I'm off on the timing: Clinton's remarks were earlier and Gabbard's later than I initially believed. But still, there's a significant difference in context and approach. Read the article here:

https://splinternews.com/tulsi-gabbards-homophobic-past-is-coming-back-to-haunt-1831722271#lagjys3elc0yq4jbqogccjw5.jg423pep5tyl

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Misguided "Centrist / Washington Beltway" opinion: Skills Gap Edition


Okay, I know I've ranted about the skills gap before. But, this was something that truly drove me nuts.
Not saying that investing in job training is not a good idea. It is.
But the whole skills gap meme, promoted by the likes of Jaime Dimon and other "reasonable centrist", missed the bigger issue about the job market. It was a case of "reasonable centrist" being just completely out to lunch, but thinking they were something else.

To the extent that a skills gap was the main issue, most likely it was the case of people like Jaime Dimon not having the right skills.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/01/14/skills-gap-is-fixed-because-there-was-no-skills-gap/

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There is nothing Washington loves more than an imaginary problem that gives it an excuse for not solving an actual one.
Especially when that hypothetical is some kind of long-term issue that lets pundits and politicians flatter themselves for having the wisdom to look past what’s happening today toward what is really going to matter tomorrow. All of which is to say that it should be no surprise that the — entirely wrong! — idea that unemployment couldn’t come down because workers simply did not have the skills needed was able to take over the policy conversation the way it did the past decade.

 

Quote

Well, it certainly seemed that way to, among many others, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon and economist Tyler Cowen, who, back in 2011, had speculated that unemployment might stay around 10 percent forever because the people who had lost their jobs during the crash allegedly lacked the skills to add any value in the marketplace.

 

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What made this story so seductive to Washington was that it depoliticized the economy. It said that unemployment was high not because we did not have enough stimulus — which, of course, really was the case — but rather because workers did not have enough education

 

Quote

None of this is hindsight bias. All of it was clear enough as it was going on. But in case it wasn’t, the fact that unemployment has now fallen to 3.9 percent is a pretty good sign that workers had enough skills all along. Unless, that is, you think it’s more likely that they mysteriously gained and lost them as economic growth went up and down.

Or maybe it was the case of everyone just deciding to take a long vacation at once.

Edited by OldGimletEye

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Tulsi Gabbard is the new Rohrabacher. She better get nowhere near the presidency. Immediately after her announcement, the Russian Twitter trolls with fake pictures were out in full force supporting and amplifying her. There is an  reason for this.

On the back of the news this weekend of the FBI opening a CI investigation on Trump, Clint Watts, in the below thread, lays down pretty much everything in the public sphere about this case. Nice reminder of what we know and how screws up it all is.

 

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20 hours ago, Jace, Basilissa said:

Hey now, if I was looking for mindless I'd be recruiting @Tywin et al.

You have a good brain.

Sucker! I’ve been sabotaging the Pony Queen Party from the inside, and I’m about ready to leak the pictures!

#kompromat

#sekrets

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19 hours ago, larrytheimp said:

This goes both ways - I'm definitely in the rabid left camp and my moderate relatives tell me im crazyand rabid and pushing for a Green New Deal and higher marginal taxes are going to push people to the GOP.  

I suck it up and accept that Joe Manchin exists and is better than an R, you guys can accept that AOC and the younger more socialist leftists are part of your coalition.  

I have absolutely no problem accepting that AOC and those like her are part of the party. We need the youthful energy and ideas for sure. But my issue with them as a whole is their inability to play the long game or think strategically. They want stuff right now, right this minute, and it simply doesn't work that way. Threatening to primary someone like Manchin (as an example) just demonstrates that. It's better to have someone who votes with us 60% of the time than someone who votes Republican 100% of the time. The left wing needs to learn that and accept it. 

I'm not saying "get in line" or anything like that, but if they want broad support among the rest of the Democrats (especially the old ones), there's only one way to do that: win some more seats. Only then will your agenda move forward. 

And attacking the moderates is NOT the way to go. Most people of both parties ARE moderate and do you know why? Because the center is where policy is made and shit gets done. 

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19 hours ago, Gertrude said:

Dude, I love AOC because she's bringing it. We need more real people like her with ideas that start conversations. I don't agree or disagree with her tax policy. I'm more for it than against, but I think it still is a band-aid to tax policy. It needs to be razed to the ground and rebuilt so we can close the gap between the stated tax rates and effective tax rates to see what we actually have to work with. It's only then that conversations about specific tax brackets becomes relevant, IMO.

 

OMG yes this so hard.  F8ck futzing with the marginal rates.  Can I climb up on my soap box again?  We really need to focus on getting rid of the capital gains preference.  It is super stupid that we have it.  There are also so many taxpayer and industry-specific gimmes in the form of various credits and deductions that should be DESTROYED.  After that, I wouldn't necessarily have super high brackets at the top end (think combined with state somewhere in the 40s would do), but we MUST have a real and effective estate tax.  You can't and shouldn't be able to take it with you, and the lack of an effective estate tax (and to be clear, what was there before the "repeals" was not real or effective) is a huge contributor to wealth concentration.  I honestly have no sympathy for the non-existent family farm example.  Also, I would be willing to discuss a corporate gross receipts tax.  Also, we should have a discussion about pass-through businesses and where tax should be measured and collected.  

24 minutes ago, Ice Queen said:

I have absolutely no problem accepting that AOC and those like her are part of the party. We need the youthful energy and ideas for sure. But my issue with them as a whole is their inability to play the long game or think strategically. They want stuff right now, right this minute, and it simply doesn't work that way. Threatening to primary someone like Manchin (as an example) just demonstrates that. It's better to have someone who votes with us 60% of the time than someone who votes Republican 100% of the time. The left wing needs to learn that and accept it. 

I'm not saying "get in line" or anything like that, but if they want broad support among the rest of the Democrats (especially the old ones), there's only one way to do that: win some more seats. Only then will your agenda move forward. 

And attacking the moderates is NOT the way to go. Most people of both parties ARE moderate and do you know why? Because the center is where policy is made and shit gets done. 

I think the problem is knowing what the center is anymore.  I am significantly to the right of a lot of the people on this board, and to the left of the GOP by a long shot, but these days objectively that makes me a leftist, not a centrist.  

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