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US Politics: The Accountability Problem

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Also, at this point the most sane thing a true opponent of abortion could do is assassinate one of the liberal justices. A bunch of 6-3 rulings would be just fine with Roberts.

Another question. Will the dems ever win the Senate again? 

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2 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Also, at this point the most sane thing a true opponent of abortion could do is assassinate one of the liberal justices. A bunch of 6-3 rulings would be just fine with Roberts.

Another question. Will the dems ever win the Senate again? 

It is not that difficult to envision a future where the Dems hold the House and the White House but the Repubs hold the Senate and the courts....like...forever.

I want someone to start a youtube channel where we get to observe people that didn't vote for Clinton in the Midwest suffering over future SCOTUS decisions and wailing WHYYYY.....*

 

*I don't really want this, but fuck, I am frustrated.  

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21 minutes ago, Triskele said:

It is not that difficult to envision a future where the Dems hold the House and the White House but the Repubs hold the Senate and the courts....like...forever.

I want someone to start a youtube channel where we get to observe people that didn't vote for Clinton in the Midwest suffering over future SCOTUS decisions and wailing WHYYYY.....*

 

*I don't really want this, but fuck, I am frustrated.  

I don't think I've ever seen a film or show of his, but Sasha Baren Cohen seems ideal for the host of this hypothetical program.

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2 hours ago, Martell Spy said:

Yeah, no surprise, as far as Kavanaugh goes. He appeared an entitled frat-boy rapist and he is in the process of confirming it with his ongoing behaviors.

 


The Green New Deal’s Huge Flaw
It completely ignores the most crucial environmental, economic, and racial-justice issue of all: where we live.

https://slate.com/business/2019/02/green-new-deal-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-flaw-land-use.html

 

Re : electric cars,

you don’t need every car to be electric, you just need most vehicle miles traveled to be electric and hopefully you also need to reduce the amount of VMT per person. 

So for example, if every car were a plug In hybrid with a capacity similar to the Honda clarity which has an all electric range of fifty miles.

The average driver drives less than fifty miles per day, so if every car were a plug in hybrid—with that level of minimum range—you would eliminate about 80% of emissions without forcing people into the trade offs of all electric cars. Presuming of course people plug in their cars at night.

so how would you get to a world where every vehicle sold is at least a plug in hybrid with fifty miles of range? Especially given there’s at least a three year design and manufacturing cycle before the manufacturers would really begin to implement fleet compliance?

Government regulation with annually escalating attendant fees and tax rebates. But the latter self funded by the former.

The government imposes a fee of $500 (in year one) on all VIN registrations that are for models of cars that do not plug in with at least fifty miles of range.

manufacturers pass on this fee, but eh, every day of the year they also routinely discount all  new cars $3,000 to $7,000: it’ll get buried this first year with all the other fees that get inflicted on buyers every day.

they also get a $500 credit for every VIN registered for a car with every fifty miles of range, and of a car has 100 miles of range they get two credits per VIN, a car with 250 miles of range gets five credits etc. basically it would just let them zero out some of their fees, they wouldn’t be getting a check, when they reach a point where they were in surplus, that manufacturers compliant models would be eligible for additional tax rebates equal to the value of the VIN credits (giving them a competitive price advantage).

the $500 fee for non compliant new VINs doubles each year, in year 3 it is $2000, in year 4 it is $4000 per VIN which is probably where manufacturers start to care (because now you’re getting to the point where the increased fee is greater than the increased PHEV manufacturing costs) and also where the increased fee offsets the typical $3,000 to $7,000 discount new car buyers expect.

years three and four buyers really switch en masse (they don’t in years one and two because the fees are lower and the manufactured capacity is much lower, but production will have shifted to take advantage of the rebates and avoid the penalties by years 3-4). In other words, price crossover occurs in these years where compliant PHEV models becomes cheaper to consumers  than non compliant  ICE models.

in year 6, it is $16,000 at which point a carbon pricing test is implemented to determine how much higher the fee can rise to per vehicle in the remaining years, calculate the carbon price of the emissions poundage over the average expected 12 year 150,000 mile lifetime of the vehicle (using that models mpg ) assuming an inflation indexed carbon price beginning at $200 per ton of carbon emissions. If the vehicle lifetime price of carbon is greater than $16,000 the VIN fee can continue to increase, if the lifetime price is lower the VIN fee will drop to that lower price.

all VIN fees fund the rebate program the tax rebates to be applied only to compliant vehicles to further lower their prices and to reward the manufacturers who reach fleet compliance first.  Obviously fully BEV vehicles would be eligible for the biggest rebate discounts, but PHEVs would still get substantial discounts.

and again this would electrify most miles driven without forcing everyone into BEV cars. Resulting in a steady elimination of most vehicle carbon emissions over the national fleet replacement cycle of 18 years.

 

Edited by lokisnow

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14 hours ago, larrytheimp said:

Because they are public servants and should be held to a higher standard.  How are Northam's black constituents supposed to just accept this, especially when he was such a douchebag about how he handled it?  

Edit: and I'm not saying they should even be condemned - they just don't get to be a fucking Governor!

I don't know if anyone has brought this up, but I think I might be able to forgive Herring, but really can't with Northam in so far as letting them keep their office.

While both cases are bad, that picture of Northam really made me wince. The reason being that whole thing with a person in black face with a big smile on their face right next to somebody dressed up as a klansman. There is nothing funny or amusing about the klan, given their horrific history. And I think that should have been well known by the 1980s and well long before that.  The idea that a minority person would stand there with a big smile on their face while next to a klansman really made me disgusted and I have a big problem with it.

Edited by OldGimletEye

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13 hours ago, ThinkerX said:

From my POV, the 'Green New Deal' is more of an opening position than something adamantly held to.

That said, the Green New Deal has flaws so severe it'll be unworkable even if watered down a great deal with double the timeline.  

Even if you take the latest IPCC report on climate change just somewhat seriously, I think you would have to conclude that something big has to be done fairly quickly*.

And for those who think the something like the Green New Deal interferes too much with the free market, I'd note that the longer you wait, then the more likely government action will have to be even more heavy handed.

The first guy that did the original New Deal arguably saved capitalism form itself during what was known as the "red 1930s". Similarly, the New Green Deal might save capitalist from themselves because if what the IPCC says comes true, there are going to be lot of rightly pissed off people. Maybe the likes of the Koch brothers think they can just lock themselves up in a gated community, safe from a bunch of pissed off lowly peasants. But, they in fact, maybe badly mistaken.

*Even if it means running up the defecit. Gasp!!!!!

Edited by OldGimletEye

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38 minutes ago, OldGimletEye said:

Even if you take the latest IPCC report on climate change just somewhat seriously, I think you would have to conclude that something big has to be done fairly quickly*.

And for those who think the something like the Green New Deal interferes too much with the free market, I'd note that the longer you wait, then the more likely government action will have to be even more heavy handed.

The first guy that did the original New Deal arguably saved capitalism form itself during what was known as the "red 1930s". Similarly, the New Green Deal might save capitalist from themselves because if what the IPCC says comes true, there are going to be lot of rightly pissed off people. Maybe the likes of the Koch brothers think they can just lock themselves up in gated community, safe from a bunch of pissed off lowly peasants. But, they in fact, maybe badly mistaken.

*Even if it means running up the defecit. Gasp!!!!!

My main objection is that there is no single substitute, or combination of substitutes for fossil fuels that would keep civilization 'as is.'  At best, energy consumption would *have* to drop by maybe half - and that is going full tilt with windmills, solar power, hydro (debatable among the green crowd) and biofuels (also debatable among the green contingent).  Among other things, this means getting rid of most of suburbia and most private vehicles - and housing and auto's and things connected to them form damn big chunks of the US economy.  It means a sharp curtailing of most air travel, which affects not just passenger service but parcel delivery and a fair portion of the fresh foods at the grocery store.  In short, it means asking the vast majority of the populace to 'live small.'

 

There are obvious somewhat realistic measures that can be taken - like expanding, double tracking, and electrifying the entire US rail grid, plus carbon swaps and financial/tax incentives for things like wind, solar, and carbon swaps.  But these measures, as attested to by the mentality of the current administration, will be contested each step of the way by those who refuse to accept a sharp reduction in fossil fuel usage.

 

That said, dwindling fossil fuel reserves *WILL* force a green transition eventually - or more accurately force the ongoing transition to be accelerated, but it'll be a messy, ugly process with resource wars, states of emergency, and severe shortages.  Likely, it'll see representative government largely reduced to a sham or at least marginalized, replaced by oligarchy.   

 

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8 minutes ago, ThinkerX said:

My main objection is that there is no single substitute, or combination of substitutes for fossil fuels that would keep civilization 'as is.'  At best, energy consumption would *have* to drop by maybe half - and that is going full tilt with windmills, solar power, hydro (debatable among the green crowd) and biofuels (also debatable among the green contingent).  Among other things, this means getting rid of most of suburbia and most private vehicles - and housing and auto's and things connected to them form damn big chunks of the US economy.  It means a sharp curtailing of most air travel, which affects not just passenger service but parcel delivery and a fair portion of the fresh foods at the grocery store.  In short, it means asking the vast majority of the populace to 'live small.'

 

There are obvious somewhat realistic measures that can be taken - like expanding, double tracking, and electrifying the entire US rail grid, plus carbon swaps and financial/tax incentives for things like wind, solar, and carbon swaps.  But these measures, as attested to by the mentality of the current administration, will be contested each step of the way by those who refuse to accept a sharp reduction in fossil fuel usage.

 

That said, dwindling fossil fuel reserves *WILL* force a green transition eventually - or more accurately force the ongoing transition to be accelerated, but it'll be a messy, ugly process with resource wars, states of emergency, and severe shortages.  Likely, it'll see representative government largely reduced to a sham or at least marginalized, replaced by oligarchy.   

 

How the fuck did you manage to have the most sober and perspicacious post of 2019 less than 40 days in?

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2 hours ago, ThinkerX said:

My main objection is that there is no single substitute, or combination of substitutes for fossil fuels that would keep civilization 'as is.'  At best, energy consumption would *have* to drop by maybe half - and that is going full tilt with windmills, solar power, hydro (debatable among the green crowd) and biofuels (also debatable among the green contingent).  Among other things, this means getting rid of most of suburbia and most private vehicles - and housing and auto's and things connected to them form damn big chunks of the US economy.  It means a sharp curtailing of most air travel, which affects not just passenger service but parcel delivery and a fair portion of the fresh foods at the grocery store.  In short, it means asking the vast majority of the populace to 'live small.'

 

There are obvious somewhat realistic measures that can be taken - like expanding, double tracking, and electrifying the entire US rail grid, plus carbon swaps and financial/tax incentives for things like wind, solar, and carbon swaps.  But these measures, as attested to by the mentality of the current administration, will be contested each step of the way by those who refuse to accept a sharp reduction in fossil fuel usage.

 

That said, dwindling fossil fuel reserves *WILL* force a green transition eventually - or more accurately force the ongoing transition to be accelerated, but it'll be a messy, ugly process with resource wars, states of emergency, and severe shortages.  Likely, it'll see representative government largely reduced to a sham or at least marginalized, replaced by oligarchy.   

 

I think anyway you slice this, the cost is coming out of somebody's ass. We can do nothing and pass off the cost to future generations or we can try to split the cost between us and future generations.

Exertnalities are basic concept in econ, and really this what this whole thing is about, in the sense that future generations will bear the cost, unless we do something. If we had taken the true cost of carbon into account, then maybe we would have done something sooner.

It's true of course, that much of our current capital stock will become useless if we get serious about climate change. It's rather unfortunate that we didn't get serious about this about two decades ago as the transition would have been a whole lot easier for most people, as we replaced our capital stock taking into account the actual cost of carbon, and government action likely would have been less heavy handed.

But, here we are, after several decades of climate change denial by certain sorts of people.

People can say, "but, but, the left is being just so crazy with all of this!!". But, I think what is really crazy is that we've waited so long to deal with this issue.

Edited by OldGimletEye

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11 hours ago, Altherion said:

Obviously, all of this is aspirational -- there is nothing concrete on the table yet. I suspect none of it will go anywhere soon, even if the Democrats win in 2020. The Speaker's reaction is in the same article

 

9 hours ago, ThinkerX said:

From my POV, the 'Green New Deal' is more of an opening position than something adamantly held to.

I think it should be emphasized that of course it's "aspirational" or an "opening position."  This is exactly its intent as a non-binding resolution, as is pointed out in the article Altherion linked:

Quote

Importantly, it's a nonbinding resolution, meaning that even if it were to pass (more on the challenges to that below), it wouldn't itself create any new programs. Instead, it would potentially affirm the sense of the House that these things should be done in the coming years.

 

9 hours ago, Martell Spy said:
Quote

That strategic positioning hasn’t gone without notice. As Kristin Kanthak, a professor of political science at the University of Pittsburgh, put it on Twitter: “You know we are at a disgusting moment in our nation’s history when the billionaire sending out dick pics is the HERO of the story.”

Jeff Bezos Brings the Receipts
The Amazon founder goes to war with a tabloid.

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/02/jeff-bezos-accuses-national-enquirer-extortion/582319/

That isn't very woke for Kris to say.  Why shouldn't Lex Luthor be the hero in this day and age?  She clearly hasn't seen any recent DC movies.  And "billionaires."  Doesn't she know, as Howard Schultz bravely pointed out, that "billionaires" are a protected class that should be referred to as "people of means."

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13 hours ago, DanteGabriel said:

There was a "Gimme a Break" episode in 1984 that was pretty on point about blackface. It's something that stuck with me and I was just seven years old.

I’ve never heard of that, but given the year it came out, it’s not inconceivable that people thought it was still okay, especially those who hailed from confederate states.

13 hours ago, karaddin said:

I'm not sure why the frat example from the last thread was being discussed like it's was punishment of individuals. Unless I'm misunderstanding, it wasn't the individual kids that lost frat privileges, it was the frat itself - the organisation - that lost privileges and the organisation that was being punished. Even if that ignorance excuse flew for individuals, groups like a frat need to be held to a higher standard as they have institutional knowledge and should have people responsible for ensuring they don't breech codes of conduct or other behavioral standards. Suspension is one of the few things you can do to punish such a group and happens far less than it should.

It was both. As individuals, they were assigned various forms of sensitivity training as I explained before. As an organization, they basically had the curfew rules enforced on them (i.e why I said they lost their party privileges). And the thing is MSA (the student government) is run largely by the frats and sororities, and they were the ones who led the charge to crack down on this frat. Say what you will of frats and sororities, but they did do a good job of policing one another, but that was because they didn’t want to let one group ruin the party.

Quote

But knowing how equivalent organizations behave here in Aus I'm skeptical the frat was ignorant, much more likely is they believed themselves above rules.

My take was they understood that it wasn't polite without fully understanding just how offensive it was, if that makes sense. 

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@DanteGabriel

Let me add this, which to be honest, is shocking. Here is some polling data from just 2015, and a majority of white people thought wearing blackface was okay for a Halloween costume:

https://today.yougov.com/topics/lifestyle/articles-reports/2015/10/30/most-white-americans-think-black-face-ok-halloween

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Just turned on the tv, and they were talking about some surprising moments at Acting AG Whittaker’s Performance this mornin in committee.

The chair, Nadler, was questioning.him about Trump and the SOB actually had the nerve to say ‘your 5 minutes are up I’m not answering’.

Other than the fact the chair is not restricted to the 5 minute rule, has anyone ever seen such arrogance on display? 

 

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1 hour ago, Tywin et al. said:

@DanteGabriel

Let me add this, which to be honest, is shocking. Here is some polling data from just 2015, and a majority of white people thought wearing blackface was okay for a Halloween costume:

https://today.yougov.com/topics/lifestyle/articles-reports/2015/10/30/most-white-americans-think-black-face-ok-halloween

The whole issue is complicated (not that that excuses Northam). One of my favorite movies is Trading Places, but it has a pivotal scene with Dan Aykroyd doing a Jamaican accent with blackface.

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16 minutes ago, DanteGabriel said:

The whole issue is complicated (not that that excuses Northam). One of my favorite movies is Trading Places, but it has a pivotal scene with Dan Aykroyd doing a Jamaican accent with blackface.

Love the movie as well, but even the Swedish got a legit beef with that scene:

 

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Conservatives playin' Calvin Ball with the meaning of "socialism".

If you have spent enough time with conservative sorts people, then you should be familiar with this tactic from the conservative Bag O' Tricks.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/07/opinion/trump-socialism-state-of-the-union.html

Quote

Obviously the strategy didn’t work; Medicare not only came into existence, but it became so popular that these days Republicans routinely (and falsely) accuse Democrats of planning to cut the program’s funding. But the strategy — claiming that any attempt to strengthen the social safety net or limit inequality will put us on a slippery slope to totalitarianism — endures.

1. Interesting enough Trump ran on protecting Medicare. In short, he ran on protecting the socialism. Until he decided he'd change the meaning.

2. And the Republican Party opposed the ACA allegedly because they wanted to protect Medicare. In other words they were protecting the socialism, when they decided the meaning had changed (again).

So conservative sorts of people, could we like puuuleeeze get one definition of socialism and like stick with it?

It's kind of hard to argue about the merits of something if its meaning continually changes during the argument.

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2 minutes ago, OldGimletEye said:

Conservatives playin' Calvin Ball with the meaning of "socialism".

If you have spent enough time with conservative sorts people, then you should be familiar with this tactic from the conservative Bag O' Tricks.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/07/opinion/trump-socialism-state-of-the-union.html

1. Interesting enough Trump ran on protecting Medicare. In short, he ran on protecting the socialism. Until he decided he'd change the meaning.

2. And the Republican Party opposed the ACA allegedly because they wanted to protect Medicare. In other words they were protecting the socialism, when they decided the meaning had changed (again).

So conservative sorts of people, could we like puuuleeeze get one definition of socialism and like stick with it?

It's kind of hard to argue about the merits of something if its meaning continually changes during the argument.

I don't know if the 'meaning' changes, or it's more that socialism exists on a broad continuum, but the salient feature is government control over wide swaths of the economy, through either regulation, taxation or outright ownership.  That's my definition.  The desire to control and regulate individual actions/speech/freedom while it is seemingly tied up with economic socialism, e.g. those who prefer a more socialistic system usually also prefer more controls on individual behavior, that isn't 'socialism' but something else.

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19 hours ago, Cas Stark said:

I don't know if the 'meaning' changes, or it's more that socialism exists on a broad continuum, but the salient feature is government control over wide swaths of the economy, through either regulation, taxation or outright ownership.  That's my definition.  The desire to control and regulate individual actions/speech/freedom while it is seemingly tied up with economic socialism, e.g. those who prefer a more socialistic system usually also prefer more controls on individual behavior, that isn't 'socialism' but something else.

Actually it does change, a lot, according to how convenient is for conservatives to change it, as it suits them.

Now maybe you have one consistent definition of socialism and that's fine. Under that consistent definition, we can debate the merits, or lack thereof, of government interference into the economy.But it is hard to have that argument when the term continually changes meaning.

And I'd suggest, if you use the term in a consistent way, then you would be an outlier among conservatives who tend be extremely squirrelly with that term.

Edited by OldGimletEye

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I'm a bit surprised the Green New Deal is a bit ambivalent about carbon capture technologies (I think a few of the env. groups are as well). The argument is that the capture technologies will give fossil fuel companies free reign to continue drilling, with the understanding that everything can be captured later. A similar argument is that more fuel efficient cars just make people drive more to get roughly the same fuel usage. 

There are complicated social arguments to be made on both sides, but in my opinion carbon capture technologies should be part of the mix. We can deal with unintended consequences later, but just reducing emissions wont cut it (IMHO). At some point we need scaled up technologies that can actually remove CO2 from the atmosphere (and other GHGs as well)

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1 minute ago, OldGimletEye said:

Actually it does change, a lot, according to how convenient is for conservatives to change it, as it suits them.

Now maybe you have one consistent definition of socialism and that's fine. Under that consistent definition, we can debate the merits or lack there of government interference into the economy.But it is hard to have that argument when the term continually changes meaning.

And I'd suggest, if you use the term in a consistent way, then you would be an outlier among conservatives.

Why?  Do you think conservatives are so stupid they don't know that Medicare is a socialist program, along with the rest of the safety net?  And that they have made a calculated decision not to object to Medicare because 1) it's very popular, 2) it's recipients vote at high levels and 3) it's been around for many decades.

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