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Fragile Bird

US Politics: The Accountability Problem

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1 hour ago, Guy Kilmore said:

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.

Also true of Michigan. Just to bring this back to politics, Michigan is probably afflicted quite a bit by the urban clustering effect where there are a few modest sized cities (Detroit, Flint, Lansing, Ann Arbor etc.) with rural/country areas in close proximity. Good consequences for work-life balances if you like the convenience of 'big' cities along with the quiet living of the rurals, but not that great if you are talking partisan politics.

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44 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

Well...what's your point?

:lol:

I'm not even sure anymore.

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44 minutes ago, IheartIheartTesla said:

Also true of Michigan. Just to bring this back to politics, Michigan is probably afflicted quite a bit by the urban clustering effect where there are a few modest sized cities (Detroit, Flint, Lansing, Ann Arbor etc.) with rural/country areas in close proximity. Good consequences for work-life balances if you like the convenience of 'big' cities along with the quiet living of the rurals, but not that great if you are talking partisan politics.

I know this is picky, but the Detroit "urbanized area" in Wayne, Macomb, and Oakland counties had over 3.7 million people in 2010, and to me that is way to big to be called a "modest sized city."

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5 hours 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.

Kelly is a great recruit for the Democratic primary. Former aviator and astronaut, which kind of takes some of the wind out of McSally's sails on that front. 

Husband to Gabby Giffords, so he has some name recognition statewide already.  And expect him to run a centristy-type campaign like Sinema did, although he probably won't find it as difficult since he most likely doesn't have very liberal on-the-record comments, unlike Sinema. This is a good get for Dems imo.

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4 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

Someone earlier had the correct take on the GOP and AOC: They’re just mad they can’t have sex with her.

Dear God I just did a spit take. *slow clap*

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Gavin Newsom announced he's planning on killing the High Speed Rail project under construction. They'll complete the Bakersfield to Fresno section, but won't bother connecting it to the Bay Area or Los Angeles.

https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-governor-gavin-newsom-state-of-the-state-20190212-story.html

There's so much state and federal money and laws tied up in this project that it might be illegal for him to stop it. at the very least, the amount of lawsuits for killing the project are going to equal the lawsuits (pretty much all over now for the last couple years) they faced when starting the project.

That said, the project is also the poster child for project mismanagment, scope creep and consultant/management rent-seeking in terms of the cost escalations, so it is not especially surprising a move.

but it's funny that the absurd "cost projections" for the three mountain ex-urban tunneling projects (Altamont, Tehachapi, and San Gabriel) are what are killing the project, if only the greed of the consultant caste had not convinced all the journalists, civil service and politicians in California that it costs 500 million per mile to tunnel under rural mountains with no infrastructure, same as it costs to tunnel under built up urban areas. (for reference the gotthard base tunnel cost 250 millionish per mile for a 35 mile tunnel, and it went way over budget).

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15 hours ago, felice said:

I'm not suggesting the people living in poor neighbourhoods should be going after higher paid jobs! The idea is reducing inequality, with higher minimum wages and better welfare and public services funded by taxing higher incomes more.

 

Also, what about social, or even public housing? That's what we tend to do in eurocommie land... According to the internet there's about 400,000 New Yorkers living in public housing developments. That seems kinda low to me.

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US President Donald Trump said today he's not happy with a bipartisan border deal in Congress that would avert another government shutdown set to start on Saturday NZT.

"I can't say I'm happy. I can't say I'm thrilled," Trump told reporters as he met with members of his Cabinet at the White House, a day after the deal was struck giving Trump a fraction of the money he's sought for his US-Mexico border wall.

At the same time, Trump said he did not think there would be another government shutdown. "If you did have it it's the Democrats fault," he added.

"I would hope that there won't be a shutdown," Trump said. "I am extremely unhappy with what the Democrats have given us."

Interesting that Trump is saying that a bipartisan deal in Congress is "what the Democrats have given us."

He has at least learned that he can't volunteer to take the blame for a shutdown and then try to blame the Democrats after the fact. He's getting the blame game against his opposition going well in advance. I wonder if that's a strong sign that despite the above appearing to indicate Trump isn't interested in another shutdown that he is still likely to go there as his preferred option come 15 Feb if he doesn't explicitly get the wall funding. 

I haven't stayed too up to date with the chatter around this. Has he backed off the state of emergency option?

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19 hours ago, Kalbear said:

It's how it works, and its idiotic. Trump posts that a winter storm disproves climate change and we get crickets, but some administrative bullshit about the green new deal proves its bad. She says something inartful and true, gets slammed - and Trump references the trail of tears and nothing. 

Keep in mind the district she reps: mine. There are tensions between the large Jewish and Muslim communities, and doing something like this was a mistake, even if she wasn't wrong. An old boss of mine is Jewish and he refused to endorse Keith Ellison in his initial run over things like this. 

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42 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Keep in mind the district she reps: mine. There are tensions between the large Jewish and Muslim communities, and doing something like this was a mistake, even if she wasn't wrong. An old boss of mine is Jewish and he refused to endorse Keith Ellison in his initial run over things like this. 

I was going to say that they are playing a bit of local politics in going after her about this. 

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1 hour ago, The Anti-Targ said:

Interesting that Trump is saying that a bipartisan deal in Congress is "what the Democrats have given us."

He has at least learned that he can't volunteer to take the blame for a shutdown and then try to blame the Democrats after the fact. He's getting the blame game against his opposition going well in advance. I wonder if that's a strong sign that despite the above appearing to indicate Trump isn't interested in another shutdown that he is still likely to go there as his preferred option come 15 Feb if he doesn't explicitly get the wall funding. 

I haven't stayed too up to date with the chatter around this. Has he backed off the state of emergency option?

He hasn't backed away from declaring a national emergency, but Congress could block it if he ever does.

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21 hours ago, KingintheNorth4 said:

A shame that Ilhan Oman had to apologize for telling the truth about Republican support for Israel.

In politics truth is a commodity not a source of good or righteousness. There is no upside in US politics or public discourse in a Muslim saying anything critical about Israel or support for Israel among colleagues. A Muslim politician in a Western country simply needs to reiterate a firm commitment to a 2-state solution (regardless of it being unrealistic in practice), and recognition of Israel's right to exist as a nation. If you don't hold the view that Israel has a right to exist as a nation, then keep your mouth shut on Israel and focus on the many and varied other issues facing the their country and the Muslim world.

I strongly oppose almost every Israeli action wrt Palestine and Palestinians. But Israel must continue to exist within the UN recognized boundaries, and be defended as such.

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1 minute ago, KingintheNorth4 said:

He hasn't backed away from declaring a national emergency, but Congress could block it if he ever does.

Well... They can challenge it - but not necessarily block it.  The administration is also looking into redistributing defense funds to build the physical wall.   

I think he takes the less than $2 billion and then maybe halfheartedly tries either the emergency declaration or defense funding to appease the base, so he can say he did his best.  Then he'll go apeshit on Twitter the next time any crime is committed by an undocumented person and blame Democrats and congress.

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Collins insisted on Tuesday that Kavanaugh won’t overturn Roe despite his anti-abortion vote last week, however. The senator argued that the justice took a “logical approach” in his dissent to the case and said she did not believe he contradicted precedents established by Roe and Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which held that states can’t place undue burdens on women seeking an abortion.

“I don’t understand how this is being viewed as somehow overturning Roe v. Wade except by people on the far left who are looking for anything,” Collins told HuffPost on Tuesday.

In his dissent to the order, which he wrote separately from the other conservatives on the court, Kavanaugh argued the issue hinged on whether the doctors who perform abortions at the state’s clinics can obtain admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic where they provide abortion care. Abortion providers in the state said that the Louisiana law would severely curtail admitting privileges to the point where many clinics would be forced to close forever. Kavanaugh, however, argued that the state had sufficient time to resolve the matter of admitting privileges before the law took effect. If the doctors cannot obtain admitting privileges, he added, they can return to court. 

“What he is simply saying is that if during that period of time the physicians do not get their privileges, they can come back to the court without prejudice. I think that was a logical approach, and he committed to following the precedent that was established in Whole Woman’s Health,” Collins added.

 

Susan Collins Defends Brett Kavanaugh’s Abortion Vote
The senator said Kavanaugh took a “logical approach” when the Supreme Court justice voted to uphold an anti-abortion law in Louisiana.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/susan-collins-kavanaugh-abortion_us_5c630f39e4b0b50014aa81fc

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2 hours ago, The Great Unwashed said:

Husband to Gabby Giffords, so he has some name recognition statewide already.  And expect him to run a centristy-type campaign like Sinema did, although he probably won't find it as difficult since he most likely doesn't have very liberal on-the-record comments, unlike Sinema. This is a good get for Dems imo.

Exactly.  He's in a very advantageous position.  Between being astronaut, which every kid thinks is cool, and being Giffords' husband, he has some rathe undue credibility.  Without any type of record to scrutinize.  Not an expert on potential Arizona candidates, but seems he's as good as any to flip the seat.

1 hour ago, The Anti-Targ said:

I haven't stayed too up to date with the chatter around this. Has he backed off the state of emergency option?

He's been warned not to do it, yes.  Reportedly by McConnell himself.  Cornyn seems particularly against it.  Will he listen?  ...

42 minutes ago, Guy Kilmore said:

I was going to say that they are playing a bit of local politics in going after her about this. 

This, like, is the exact opposite of local politics.  The entirety of the House Democratic leadership didn't admonish her because of local politics.

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23 hours ago, KingintheNorth4 said:

A shame that Ilhan Oman had to apologize for telling the truth about Republican support for Israel.

It's not the truth. AIPAC isn't a PAC and doesn't donate to political campaigns, they're a lobby, a strong one, but are maybe #20 overall. It's entirely possible to criticize AIPAC, Israel, Netanyahu etc without being antisemitic, but this, this kind of linkage to money and greed was absolutely antisemitic whether that's what she intended or not.

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17 hours ago, felice said:

I'm not suggesting the people living in poor neighbourhoods should be going after higher paid jobs! The idea is reducing inequality, with higher minimum wages and better welfare and public services funded by taxing higher incomes more.

To some extent this has been tried, but it can only be taken so far. Keep in mind that the wealth of the large or even medium-sized corporations resident within a given city comes predominantly not from the city itself, but from the region, the country or, for the largest, even the entire world. That they happen to be concentrated within a particular city is mostly an accident of history. Of course, there's a certain cachet to being there and moving would be a rather painful experience (they'd lose some fraction of their employees), but if make the taxes high enough, they will leave.

If this happens, the city would be even more screwed than if they had never been there because during the fat years, it racks up obligations which it would be unable to fulfill. For example, the average pension (not salary, pension!) for retired New York City public school employees (this includes both teachers and administrators) is around $44K per year. This can be kept up as long as the budget is $90B, but if even a few of the largest contributors leave, there will be trouble.

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50 minutes ago, dornishpen said:

It's not the truth. AIPAC isn't a PAC and doesn't donate to political campaigns, they're a lobby, a strong one, but are maybe #20 overall. It's entirely possible to criticize AIPAC, Israel, Netanyahu etc without being antisemitic, but this, this kind of linkage to money and greed was absolutely antisemitic whether that's what she intended or not.

This is the reasoning you always see for why it's anti-semitic - that AIPAC doesn't donate directly to political campaigns.  So the fuck what?  You can still criticize AIPAC's influence.  Is it incredibly less than the NRA, or the oil or pharmaceutical lobby?  Of course, those were inept comparisons.  But as a foreign policy lobby - which means on a much lesser scale - it's demonstrably the most influential.  Not to mention their influence in directing money towards preferred candidates, or the junkets that all MCs cream about. 

So, give me a break that AIPAC isn't especially influential, and it isn't about money.  Is it about Jewish money?  No.  On the right side it's almost entirely crazy Christians that influence pro-Israeli policy.  But on the left?  Yeah, it's mostly AIPAC that drives it.  That's just a fact, and it's not anti-semitic to say so.

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1 hour ago, DMC said:

This is the reasoning you always see for why it's anti-semitic - that AIPAC doesn't donate directly to political campaigns.  So the fuck what?  You can still criticize AIPAC's influence.  Is it incredibly less than the NRA, or the oil or pharmaceutical lobby?  Of course, those were inept comparisons.  But as a foreign policy lobby - which means on a much lesser scale - it's demonstrably the most influential.  Not to mention their influence in directing money towards preferred candidates, or the junkets that all MCs cream about. 

So, give me a break that AIPAC isn't especially influential, and it isn't about money.  Is it about Jewish money?  No.  On the right side it's almost entirely crazy Christians that influence pro-Israeli policy.  But on the left?  Yeah, it's mostly AIPAC that drives it.  That's just a fact, and it's not anti-semitic to say so.

The concept of Jews as behind the scenes manipulators using their large amounts of money to get what they want is absolutely antisemitic. And that's exactly what her tweet dog whistled. I don't know if she meant or understood it that way, but certainly both Jews who condemned it and the antisemites who defended her understood it that way. No it's not antisemitic to point out AIPACs influence as a lobbying organization, what made it antisemitic was the "its all about the benjamins" bit. I think it is important to keep in mind that several years ago she tweeted that "Israel has hyponitized the world" which is also antisemitic, she has apologized for this and discussed her learning curve with this, I found her to be sincere, but clearly she has a lot to learn.

 

ETA, also in my original post I called it a strong lobby which isn't denying its influential.

And you can make a lot of fair criticism, including that they likely make peace in Israel and Palestine more difficult, but shadowy cabals of Jews controlling the world with money, no. And we have so much and control everything, where is (((my))) check?

Edited by dornishpen

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9 minutes ago, dornishpen said:

The concept of Jews as behind the scenes manipulators using their large amounts of money to get what they want is absolutely antisemitic. And that's exactly what her tweet dog whistled. I don't know if she meant or understood it that way, but certainly both Jews who condemned it and the antisemites who defended her understood it that way. No it's not antisemitic to point out AIPACs influence as a lobbying organization, what made it antisemitic was the "its all about the benjamins" bit. I think it is important to keep in mind that several years ago she tweeted that "Israel has hyponitized the world" which is also antisemitic, she has apologized for this and discussed her learning curve with this, I found her to be sincere, but clearly she has a lot to learn.

 

ETA, also in my original post I called it a strong lobby which isn't denying its influential.

And you can make a lot of fair criticism, including that they likely make peace in Israel and Palestine more difficult, but shadowy cabals of Jews controlling the world with money, no. And we have so much and control everything, where is (((my))) check?

Funny you should say that. When discussing Trump's reaction to her tweet, demanding she resign, they then ran a clip from a speech Trump gave before a Jewish organization (sorry, didn't catch the name) in which he told them something like "You don't like me because I'm not asking for money from you because you like to control politicians".

Shouldn't he resign, then? Wasn't that an even clearer antisemitic statement?

Edited by Fragile Bird

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