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Fragile Bird

US Politics: The Accountability Problem

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I see attacks on Democrats continue.

Kamala Harris isn’t black enough (she’s married to a white man! How dare she call herself black!}. Her response is she was born black and will die black and she married her husband because they love each other.

And I just found out about the white security guard in Florida who started an internet rumor that AOC had a credit score of 430, had two checking accounts closed and had been evicted twice by sheriffs. A meme eaten up and spit out by Republican supporters everywhere. I wondered why I was always seeing comments to news stories about her along those lines.

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15 hours ago, S John said:

Moonshine.  Never been to a WV wedding where the mason jars didn’t come out.  Makes bourbon look like a drink for children.

I love how I say your home state has nothing to offer and you respond with “Hey, we’ve got super strong cheap liquor.”

Respect man.

:cheers:

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Just now, Tywin et al. said:

I love how I say your home state has nothing to offer and you respond with “Hey, we’ve got super strong cheap liquor.”

Respect man.

:cheers:

What else is there?

Moonshine is life.

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13 minutes ago, Jace, Basilissa said:

What else is there?

Moonshine is life.

Look who’s talking, Ms. Indiana.  

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1 hour ago, Fragile Bird said:

I see attacks on Democrats continue.

Kamala Harris isn’t black enough (she’s married to a white man! How dare she call herself black!}. Her response is she was born black and will die black and she married her husband because they love each other.

And I just found out about the white security guard in Florida who started an internet rumor that AOC had a credit score of 430, had two checking accounts closed and had been evicted twice by sheriffs. A meme eaten up and spit out by Republican supporters everywhere. I wondered why I was always seeing comments to news stories about her along those lines.

The sad/funny thing about the credit score/closed checking accounts/evictions is that they are essentially saying that being poor should prevent you from serving in office.  

I have shitty credit and have had checking accounts closed in the past and it's not something you do on purpose or try to make happen.  It's also a pretty shitty feeling to then spend what little money you do make chopping away at these debts.  I've paid insurance on a truck I couldn't even afford to put gas in, biking to work, to pay off shit like that.  

If probabaly be more likely to vote for someone who could relate to financial problems faced by those living pay check to pay check.

Also pretty hilarious that they attack her on these grounds considering the financial behaviour of Trump and his foundation and some of his appointees (looking at you, Pruitt, Zeinke, Whitaker, etc).

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Yeah, the importance of credit score on personal/professional worth is a pet peeve of mine. Had a friend who's credit was destroyed by an abusive ex-husband and she went through a small slice of hell because of it.

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Ooooh, former astronaut Mark Kelly has announced he is running in the Arizona special election for McCain's former seat, the one Martha McSally was appointed to fill. She will also run for the seat.

I forgot that Kelly is Gabrielle Giffords' husband.

Does he have a chance?

And in other news, John Dowd, a former Trump lawyer, is claiming there will be no report from Mueller. He also said there was no way Trump could sit down with Robert Mueller, because he guesses at answers he doesn't know. He would 'accidentally' commit perjury.

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8 minutes ago, larrytheimp said:

The sad/funny thing about the credit score/closed checking accounts/evictions is that they are essentially saying that being poor should prevent you from serving in office.  

I have shitty credit and have had checking accounts closed in the past and it's not something you do on purpose or try to make happen.  It's also a pretty shitty feeling to then spend what little money you do make chopping away at these debts.  I've paid insurance on a truck I couldn't even afford to put gas in, biking to work, to pay off shit like that.  

If probabaly be more likely to vote for someone who could relate to financial problems faced by those living pay check to pay check.

Also pretty hilarious that they attack her on these grounds considering the financial behaviour of Trump and his foundation and some of his appointees (looking at you, Pruitt, Zeinke, Whitaker, etc).

This, and @Gertrude and @mormont, fucking-A right.

I had a shitty credit score for years that I've finally been able to get mostly turned around, I've had a checking account closed and I've been evicted; all because I had the bad luck to graduate from college 2 years before the GFC and got a job in the industry that was affected at the very beginning when banks started tightening credit in late 2007. It took me almost a year to find another job, even though I was looking desperately the whole time. 

I don't give a shit if a politician has had money issues in the past, or has been behind on child support, or something like that, as long as they acknowledge it and don't try to pass that stuff off as somehow making them an awesome businessperson. I've been in those positions before and have worked my ass off to get out of them and I fucking hate the canard that having had money issues in the past automatically makes you irresponsible or untrustworthy.

Attacking someone for being poor or having money problems just proves to me how callous and out-of-touch the Republican party has become, not that I had many doubts about it before. And that goes for Democrats who try to pull that same line of attack in a primary.

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3 hours ago, Fragile Bird said:

And I just found out about the white security guard in Florida who started an internet rumor that AOC had a credit score of 430, had two checking accounts closed and had been evicted twice by sheriffs. A meme eaten up and spit out by Republican supporters everywhere. I wondered why I was always seeing comments to news stories about her along those lines.

The most absurd thing, as AOC herself has noted, is there are dual attacks on her from the right.  One claiming she was poor and bad with money, and the other claiming she was secretly wealthy.  Classic GOP strategy - throw a bunch of shit at the wall and see what sticks.

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8 minutes ago, DMC said:

The most absurd thing, as AOC herself has noted, is there are dual attacks on her from the right.  One claiming she was poor and bad with money, and the other claiming she was secretly wealthy. 

Did you know that 1/3rd of homeless people are actually millionaires?  She was probably one of those. 

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12 hours ago, Altherion said:

That depends on how you define value. They certainly contribute economic value to the corporations they serve -- otherwise the latter would not employ them.

Yah, by extracting value and putting nothing back -- a vicious cycle - circle of plunder and exploitation that leads to total destruction.

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9 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

Did you know that 1/3rd of homeless people are actually millionaires?  She was probably one of those. 

She's the Welfare Queen for the 21st century.

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1 hour ago, Tywin et al. said:

I love how I say your home state has nothing to offer and you respond with “Hey, we’ve got super strong cheap liquor.”

Respect man.

:cheers:

Lol, well the other good thing about it is that it’s gloriously rural and pretty remote in places for being on the east coast, but that isn’t for everyone either.  I’ve been an urban dweller for about a decade and I appreciate the good things about it and the perspective and life lessons learned by living in big cities.  I love the variety of restaurants and things to do.  For a number of reasons, I think it’d be good for the soul of rural America if everyone had to spend at least a few years living in a big US city.  It has been good for me.  

But with that said, my SO and I are ready to go back to a small town / rural area life and are always on the lookout for an opportunity to do so.  Don’t know if we will be able to actually pull it off before retirement, but I always have an eye out.  Most likely thing in the near term is find work in a large town / small city and live in the wilderness nearby.  Harder to pull off than it sounds though.  

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8 minutes ago, S John said:

Most likely thing in the near term is find work in a large town / small city and live in the wilderness nearby.  Harder to pull off than it sounds though.

So, basically, you need to find your Walden.

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1 hour ago, Fragile Bird said:

Ooooh, former astronaut Mark Kelly has announced he is running in the Arizona special election for McCain's former seat, the one Martha McSally was appointed to fill. She will also run for the seat.

I forgot that Kelly is Gabrielle Giffords' husband.

Does he have a chance?

And in other news, John Dowd, a former Trump lawyer, is claiming there will be no report from Mueller. He also said there was no way Trump could sit down with Robert Mueller, because he guesses at answers he doesn't know. He would 'accidentally' commit perjury.

Isn't that impossible by the definition of perjury?

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18 minutes ago, S John said:

Lol, well the other good thing about it is that it’s gloriously rural and pretty remote in places for being on the east coast, but that isn’t for everyone either.  I’ve been an urban dweller for about a decade and I appreciate the good things about it and the perspective and life lessons learned by living in big cities.  I love the variety of restaurants and things to do.  For a number of reasons, I think it’d be good for the soul of rural America if everyone had to spend at least a few years living in a big US city.  It has been good for me.  

But with that said, my SO and I are ready to go back to a small town / rural area life and are always on the lookout for an opportunity to do so.  Don’t know if we will be able to actually pull it off before retirement, but I always have an eye out.  Most likely thing in the near term is find work in a large town / small city and live in the wilderness nearby.  Harder to pull off than it sounds though.  

If you are willing to brave the cold, Minnesota is your friend.  I'm in downtown right now and I am 30 - 40 minutes from farmland and cows.

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11 hours ago, karaddin said:

Apologies if anyone has already pointed this out, but NYPD:

Employees 55,304

Over 1/6th of that total just in police employees. I'm sure the city would run better if that public servant count was higher and more services were handled in house.

Alon Levy has pointed out that a huge difference between the United States and other countries with lower capital and administrative costs are that those countries have robust and empowered civil service and keep a great deal in house that is all outsourced to million dollar a pop consultants in the United States. And the United States has dedicated decades to systematically underfunding, blaming for every problemand simultabeously actively dismantling its civil service, to the point that domestic experience with a robust and empowered department is now extinct, and the entire civil service just accepts that these cost escalations and consultant rent seeking are just the natural state of things.

for example, in capital construction in Los Angeles. In 2012, Metro was looking into building a train to relieve the most congested corridor in the United States, the 7 miles of the Sepulveda mountain pass that divides Los Angeles in half. So they reached out to a consultant for an estimate of how much an aerial train would cost, since they were unlikely to raise funds for a tunnel.

the consultant reported back that based on their global survey of aerial trains all aerial trains cost an average of 45 million per mile to build, including a 2004 San Francisco aerial connection to their airport which also cost 45 million per mile.

But the consultant said based on inflation between now and when this breaks ground in four to six years, you probably better figure one 60 million per mile.

and then here’s how dumb the consultant correctly ascertained metro was, the consultant  then pointed that two stations at either end of the continual 7 mile nonstop stretch crossing the mountains would each add 10 million dollars, so the consultant said obviously we have to add that twenty million to the per mile cost to get 80 million per mile.

then the real kicker, the consultant said the industry standard for project management is 50% of the total project cost, so 40 million per mile.

in conclusion, the consultant stated, we could definitely build this for 120 million per mile.

so that’s the problem with a depleted civil service, they go to consultants and the consultants double and then triple the costs through sleight of hand and rent seeking largesse.

dont even get me started on tunneling. Metro insists it will cost 505 million per mile to tunnel the 5.5 mile direct route, even though those per mile costs only happen under built out city streets in the oldest and most complicated parts of downtown. Tunneling under mostly undeveloped mountain terrain is one of the cheapest kinds of tunneling you can find. But metro agrees with the consultants that they’ll have to pay 3-4 billion for that stretch of tunnel. Even though, less than twenty years ago, they built a 2.4 mile tunnel under a narrower part of the mountains for their first subway for about one tenth that cost per mile cost.

and we are probably going to build that 4 billion tunnel and about two thirds of that money is pure rent escalation going into the consultants pocket caused by the gutting of the civil service who really ought to know better.

Edited by lokisnow

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