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Fragile Bird

US Politics: The Accountability Problem

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17 hours ago, Cas Stark said:

I feel this is a talking point that is not rooted in reality, America spends more on education than any other country in the world, the problems with education is not money.  I've been hearing that we needed to spend more on education literally my entire life, and we have increased spending on education my entire life, with nothing to show for it.  

https://www.vox.com/2015/3/25/8284637/school-spending-US

That is not surprising, it takes a lot of money to fix problems rather than prevent them in the first place. From an outsider perspective it seems that the fundamental lack of food, health, income security in the USA gives a large proportion of the population a difficult start which takes a lot of effort to overcome. A situation of course made worse by the weird system of paying early education by local taxes rather than regional/national ones, resulting in worse off communities being hit on multiple levels.

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Sorry to drive-by — I haven't been around much lately — but this entire argument is based on a false premise, that American public education is bad and/or getting worse. It is not. American public education has improved over time and is still doing so. To the extent that our assessments can capture student achievement, the indicators are positive, and we keep raising our standards. I would have to dig out my copy to get page numbers, but my data comes from Diane Ravitch's Reign of Error. Ravitch was an Assistant Secretary of Education under George H.W. Bush. I'm not expecting anyone else to provide journal citations, but I think the current claims are being pulled directly out of the asses of people making them. Not maliciously — these are common, widespread perceptions. But that doesn't, in and of itself, make them true. 

That's not to say public education is a solved problem — there's always room for improvement, we will always find things we could do better, there will always be hucksters trying to use public education to siphon public money to their own benefit, and so on. But to argue that our public schools are simultaneously receiving unparalleled funding and going down the toilet is oversimplistic at best and grossly inaccurate, even though that's an extremely common public perception. 

Stuff like local funding of public education creates some obvious problems already identified earlier in this thread. But personally, I think a lot of our problems in education are really the result of policy failures in other spheres, and public education is just one area where those policy failures manifest visibly. Specifically, I think poverty is at the root of a lot of what appear to be public education issues. It's very difficult to be a good student when you don't have adequate food or shelter or your buildings don't have heat in the winter.

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15 hours ago, IheartIheartTesla said:

So I was thinking more of CCU rather than CCS (U being use rather than sequestration). The thing that excited me a few months ago is someone put a $100-250 value per MT of CO2e being reused through capture. Previous numbers were closer to $600/MT, so a substantial improvement.

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/06/its-possible-to-reverse-climate-change-suggests-major-new-study/562289/
 

Still, considering emissions reductions offsets are usually in the $1-2/MT range, it is still a more expensive option. And there is the usual academic disclaimer of "in 5 years this technology has the potential to...." which never pans out 5 years later, But funding for research in this area should be part of a green deal mix,

It certainly is interesting, and worth continuing researching. If that technology could be delivered at industrial scale, it would help combat climate change. 

My reaction was summed up in the article: Hmmm, I hope this works

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21 hours ago, Cas Stark said:

ETA, as far both sideism, given that one of the Democratic Party's rising stars has just said that she wants to end air travel within 10 years and that "all" Latinos/Latinas/Latinex peoples have a right to migrate to America, I wouldn't be so glib about stupidity on the left.

Missed this one. So let me cover this,

Maybe you don't read this thread regularly, but there has been times I've disagreed with AOC on a couple of issues. Not so much on her broad policy goals, but more on the implementation.

I have indicated in several post that I'm not exactly on board with Modern Monetary Theory. That said MMTers are much closer to truth on matters than the gold bug crowd within Republican Party. In fact they are much closer to truth on the nature of debts and money than your average conservative is or was.

I have also indicated that I'm skeptical for her government job guarantee. And in fact, there is some skepticism about that on the left that does exist. As I have indicated, I see that idea as being a "second best" policy. If we had sane policy both fiscal and monetary, I'd see as not being necessary. But over the last ten years what we got, was a bunch of insane ignorant nonsense from conservatives. And that ignorant nonsense wasn't just limited to your average conservative rube. Even Nobel Prize winners like Eugene Fama made basic mistakes with regard to economic theory that would have got a freshman student a failing grade. He basically used an accounting identity to make an argument when he started with that whole "a dollar spent by the government is one that can't be spent by the private sector!". That might be true where MV = Py and V is stable. But nobody, thinks V is stable. If Fama thinks it is he should have specified that assumption, when he proceeded to write drivel in the opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal.

But since our political system is so messed up and we can't seemingly get decent monetary and fiscal policy, as evidenced by the, GFC, then maybe the jobs guarantee is something worth thinking about. Remember the "skills gap" crowd. Or how about the crowd that claimed unemployment was to do to "Obama's job killing regulations!". Yeah, it turns out that was all a bunch of horseshit. Unless you really want to claim that the current state of the economy is due to Trump's brilliance, rather than trends he inherited from Obama. Seemingly, however, now even Trump, Stephen Moore, and perennial conservative loser Kevin Warsh think that aggregate demand is a thing, with their sudden reversals on monetary policy.

On the issue of immigration, while I have indicated my skepticism about having complete open borders at this time ( though I'd point out that a lot of libertarians do believe in this. Perhaps you aren't familiar with what the boys and gals down at Reason mag believe as you suppose), there certainly is a very strong case that we should increase the current level of legal immigration. Where these immigrants come from, I could care less. If most of them happen to come from Latin America, then so be it. Makes no difference to me. The so called immigration problem the United States has doesn't exist and really is the result of conservatives over active imaginations.

As far as going completely open borders, I think we should raise the level of legal immigration and see what happens. If there are no adverse affects, then we should think about raising it again. Maybe some day we will have something that gets to open borders. There are lot of reasons to think that open borders may have a lot of welfare improving effects, both for the immigrants themselves, and for most US citizens. The point here is that having open borders or something close to it isn't a completely insane idea. What is insane is conservatives claiming we have a really big immigration problem.

As far as the air travel thing. Now I know that conservative sorts of people and even "reasonable centrist" love to point out how crazy AOC with regard to the New Green Deal. While there is a legitimate debate to be had, I should think, over how far we should go or what we should exactly do, what is truly insane and crazy is that we have waited this long to do anything about it. And this is the result of years of conservative climate denial and gas-lighting on this topic. I'm grateful AOC is pressing the issue because somebody needs to. The latest IPCC report is no joke. Also, I'd note AOC goal isn't to stop all long distance travel, but to replace the current mode of transportation, air travel, with something else. No I have no idea about the feasibility of this. But to the extent that it would be doable, I'm not sure why their would be an objection to it.

The upshot of this is maybe the left is sometimes wrong about certain things. However it does not follow that "both sides" are equally crazy. One is much crazier than the other and has been for years.

 

Edited by OldGimletEye

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*Not trying to centre anyone out*

Boarder - a word we use to identify people who post in the Westeros Board.

Border - Has various definitions, but in the context of the US Politics thread usually means a line separating two political or geographic areas, especially countries.

*end of PSA*

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3 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

*Not trying to centre anyone out*

Boarder - a word we use to identify people who post in the Westeros Board.

Border - Has various definitions, but in the context of the US Politics thread usually means a line separating two political or geographic areas, especially countries.

*end of PSA*

No worries. I don't mind being told, "Dude would you like invest in a dictionary!". LOL.

Edited by OldGimletEye

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11 minutes ago, OldGimletEye said:

Missed this one. So let me cover this,

Maybe you don't read this thread regularly, but there has been times I've disagreed with AOC on a couple of issues. Not so much on her broad policy goals, but more on the implementation.

I have indicated in several post that I'm not exactly on board with Modern Monetary Theory. That said MMTers are much closer to truth on matters than the gold bug crowd within Republican Party. In fact they are much closer to truth on the nature of debts and money than your average conservative is or was.

I have also indicated that I'm skeptical for her government job guarantee. And in fact, there is some skepticism about that on the left that does exist. As I have indicated, I see that idea as being a "second best" policy. If we had sane policy both fiscal and monetary, I'd see as not being necessary. But over the last ten years what we got, was a bunch of insane ignorant nonsense from conservatives. And that ignorant nonsense wasn't just limited to your average conservative rube. Even Nobel Prize winners like Eugene Fama made basic mistakes with regard to economic theory that would have got a freshman student a failing grade. He basically used an accounting identity to make an argument when he started with that whole "a dollar spent by the government is one that can't be spent by the private sector!". That might be true where MV = Py and V is stable. But nobody, thinks V is stable. If Fama thinks it is he should have specified that assumption, when he proceeded to write drivel in the opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal.

But since our political system is so messed up and we can't seemingly get decent monetary and fiscal policy, as evidenced by the, GFC, then maybe the jobs guarantee is something worth thinking about. Remember the "skills gap" crowd. Or how about the crowd that claimed unemployment was to do to "Obama's job killing regulations!". Yeah, it turns out that was all a bunch of horseshit. Unless you really want to claim that the current state of the economy is due to Trump's brilliance, rather than trends he inherited from Obama. Seemingly, however, now even Trump, Stephen Moore, and perennial conservative loser Kevin Warsh think that aggregate demand is a thing, with their sudden reversals on monetary policy.

On the issue of immigration, while I have indicated my skepticism about having complete open borders at this time ( though I'd point out that a lot of libertarians do believe in this. Perhaps you aren't familiar with what the boys and gals down at Reason mag believe as you suppose), there certainly is a very strong case that we should increase the current level of legal immigration. Where these immigrants come from, I could care less. If most of them happen to come from Latin America, then so be it. Makes no difference to me. The so called immigration problem the United States has doesn't exist and really is the result of conservatives over active imaginations.

As far as going completely open boarders, I think we should raise the level of legal immigration and see what happens. If there are no adverse affects, then we should think about raising it again. Maybe some day we will have something that gets to open boarders. There are lot of reasons to think that open boarders may have a lot of welfare improving effects, both for the immigrants themselves, and for most US citizens. The point here is that having open borders or something close to it isn't a completely insane idea. What is insane is conservatives claiming we have a really big immigration problem.

As far as the air travel thing. Now I know that conservative sorts of people and even "reasonable centrist" love to point out how crazy AOC with regard to the New Green Deal. While there is a legitimate debate to be had, I should think, over how far we should go or what we should exactly do, what is truly insane and crazy is that we have waited this long to do anything about it. And this is the result of years of conservative climate denial and gas-lighting on this topic. I'm grateful AOC is pressing the issue because somebody needs to. The latest IPCC report is no joke. Also, I'd note AOC goal isn't to stop all long distance travel, but to replace the current mode of transportation, air travel, with something else. No I have no idea about the feasibility of this. But to the extent that it would be doable, I'm not sure why their would be an objection to it.

The upshot of this is maybe the left is sometimes wrong about certain things. However it does not follow that "both sides" are equally crazy. One is much crazier than the other and has been for years.

 

I think open borders is utterly and completely an insane idea and have a hard time understanding why anyone would support such a thing.  Issues such as the proper level of legal immigration, how to maintain border security, birthright citizenship, how to deal with people here illegally now,  assimilation or not into society are things that people can reasonably disagree on, but open borders is crazy, really, really crazy. 

As far as replacing air travel with high speed trains within 10 years, um, it took 20 years and 3x the budget projections to just build a new tunnel/bridge in Boston, one city.  The idea that we can replace air travel with trains in 10 years is  laughable, and even if it were possible, it would be a black hole of debt because almost no high speed rails are actually profitable anywhere in the world, unless you think that China is really making major bank on their system. And I say this is as someone who supports high speed rail in areas where it might make sense, like from Montreal down to Charlotte, a real true high speed rail in the NE corridor would probably provide enough secondary benefits to make it worthwhile, same for an LA-San Diego, maybe a few other places, but running high speed rail everywhere as a plan to eliminate air travel is silly.  I'm not sure what her intent would be for international travel, I assume some type of restriction to  prevent the peasants average American from affording it or accessing it, unless she intends to build train bridges across the oceans.  

Yes, we agree one party is crazier than the other, but we disagree on which one.

 

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11 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

I think open borders is utterly and completely an insane idea and have a hard time understanding why anyone would support such a thing.  Issues such as the proper level of legal immigration, how to maintain border security, birthright citizenship, how to deal with people here illegally now,  assimilation or not into society are things that people can reasonably disagree on, but open borders is crazy, really, really crazy. 

Well for one, not everyone on the left agrees with open borders. There is a dispute about that within the left. Secondly, while this may not be exactly open borders, there are good reasons to think that we should make labor mobility across national borders much easier to do. There is case to get pretty close to it.

As far what to do with most of the undocumented immigrants here right now. That one is pretty easy. Put most of them on the path of citizenship. Nobody in their right mind thinks we are going to remove all these people, particularly when most of them have lived in the US for several years.

 

11 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

As far as replacing air travel with high speed trains within 10 years, um, it took 20 years and 3x the budget projections to just build a new tunnel/bridge in Boston, one city.  The idea that we can replace air travel with trains in 10 years is  laughable, and even if it were possible, it would be a black hole of debt because almost no high speed rails are actually profitable anywhere in the world, unless you think that China is really making major bank on their system. And I say this is as someone who supports high speed rail in areas where it might make sense, like from Montreal down to Charlotte, a real true high speed rail in the NE corridor would probably provide enough secondary benefits to make it worthwhile, same for an LA-San Diego, maybe a few other places, but running high speed rail everywhere as a plan to eliminate air travel is silly.  I'm not sure what her intent would be for international travel, I assume some type of restriction to  prevent the peasants average American from affording it or accessing it, unless she intends to build train bridges across the oceans.  

Well this maybe all true. But, still, again, what is much more insane is not dealing with the climate change issue, unless you want to get into some kind wacko conservative conspiracy theory about the latest IPCC report. And I think we know who is responsible for our current state affairs.

11 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

Yes, we agree one party is crazier than the other, but we disagree on which one.

Oh, tell us again, how the Republican Party and conservatives or the more sane ones?

Edited by OldGimletEye

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5 minutes ago, OldGimletEye said:

snipped

Oh, tell us again, how the Republican Party and conservatives or the more sane ones?

It would be pointless for me to even attempt to articulate why I feel this way.  And, again, I am on record as saying the GOP is terrible, full of hypocrites and cowards, with no desire for anything other than the minority party of ranters, they have no desire to govern, Democrats were right about this.  But, that makes them passively destructive and mostly useless, progressives on the other hand have a zealous, untiring energy to get their policies enacted, making them actively destructive.  

But I appreciate the civil discussion here.

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11 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

It would be pointless for me to even attempt to articulate why I feel this way.  And, again, I am on record as saying the GOP is terrible, full of hypocrites and cowards, with no desire for anything other than the minority party of ranters, they have no desire to govern, Democrats were right about this.  But, that makes them passively destructive and mostly useless, progressives on the other hand have a zealous, untiring energy to get their policies enacted, making them actively destructive.  

But I appreciate the civil discussion here.

Well let me see. In my lifetime, I've watch conservatives botch likely the two biggest issues over the last 20 years.

1. They completely botched the handling the Iraq War.

2. They were completely wrong on well just about everything concerning the GFC. 

They have also been wrong about:

1. Bank regulation even if "barely a Democrat" Jamie Dimon agrees with them.

2. Healthcare. I still remember the old conservative line about "best healthcare system in the world". We have known at least since about 2005 we have the most expensive healthcare system in the world.

3. They have completely made up a non-existent problem with regard to immigration.

4. They have been completely in la-la land over climate change.

5. Routinely just talk out of their butts where the topic of deficits are concerned.

6. Their "pro-growth low tax" policies haven't seemingly turned out too well.

What is it that they are actually better at? One would have to think long and hard, it would seem, to come up with an answer.

Edited by OldGimletEye

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Dont forget their great sane policy of ensuring unlimited corporate funding in campaigns, voter suppression, faith based healthcare and shutting down the government as a negotiating tactic. 

Yeah, sane.

I especially love the notion that the Democrats, in passing a nonbinding aspirational document, are the ones who will stop at NOTHING to get their policy done.

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7 hours ago, Jace, Basilissa said:

Like, that's not really a thing in American culture. And I'm not sure of a time when it was. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there have been times within someone's living memory when they gleefully whispered 'cuckolded' behind a supposed friend's back when he arrived single to that years' Christmas party. But generally in every experience I've ever seen/heard/read in real life or simulated, a 'cheater' whether male or female (admittedly WAAAY more for the female) is seen as the villain of a story. I have never in my life encountered someone who described with relish cheating on and thereby emasculating their husband or lover. I've known people who 'cheated', but they invariably either saw these activities as shameful to themselves or were on some psychotic rage bend where nobody wanted anything to do with them besides the person(s) they were fucking.

Conversely, the person on whom the 'cheating' was perpetrated is not seen as 'weak' or 'less than', they're seen as having been victimized (I'm not here to tell you what for, exactly, 'cause I don't know) by a nefarious and untrustworthy scoundrel. Friends and family rally around this person to lift their spirits and provide words of condemnation towards the belligerent.

It's a pretty old idea that may or may not apply depending on the relative likability of the cheaters and the cheated. For example, from a cursory Google search, it appears that the story of Paolo and Francesca is still taught at American universities.

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1 hour ago, OldGimletEye said:

No worries. I don't mind being told, "Dude would you like invest in a dictionary!". LOL.

Lol, I actually assumed you got into the habit of typing 'boarders' and never even noticed it.

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1 minute ago, Fragile Bird said:

Lol, I actually assumed you got into the habit of typing 'boarders' and never even noticed it.

LOL. I noticed I'm not the best speller around a long time ago.

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Warren is officially in the race:

Quote

Sen. Elizabeth Warren officially launched her 2020 presidential campaign Saturday at a rally in Lawrence, Massachusetts, using the backdrop of Everett Mills -- the site of a historic 1912 labor strike led by women and immigrants -- to issue a call to action against wealthy power brokers who "have been waging class warfare against hardworking people for decades."

Over 44 minutes in sub-freezing temperatures, Warren described a political elite "bought off" and "bullied" by corporate giants, and a middle class squeezed so tight it "can barely breathe."

"The man in the White House is not the cause of what is broken, he is just the latest and most extreme symptom of what's gone wrong in America," Warren said of President Donald Trump. "A product of a rigged system that props up the rich and powerful and kicks dirt on everyone else. So once he's gone, we can't pretend that none of this ever happened."

I think she missed her chance last time around and the DNA test silliness isn't helping, but she's still one of the better candidates.

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A small Ohio city has made election day a holiday by replacing Columbus Day. It’s a great idea and it will make Mitch McConnell mad.

https://www.npr.org/2019/02/08/692771542/sandusky-ohio-makes-election-day-a-paid-holiday-by-swapping-out-columbus-day?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20190208

Edited by Morpheus

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15 minutes ago, Altherion said:

Warren is officially in the race:

I think she missed her chance last time around and the DNA test silliness isn't helping, but she's still one of the better candidates.

I knew Bread and Roses was a famous labour rallying cry based on a historical fight. It was fascinating to hear the story of the Bread and Roses event. One of my favourite bakeries in this city is called Bread and Roses in honour of those women.

If HRC spoke like that at rallies she might be president. I don't think she refused PAC money, though.

The Guardian did a story about AOC doing a presentation about all the legal shit you can do and be elected. Many of the points Warren made were made by AOC in that video. I expect much of Warren said will be repeated by other Democrats.

Kamala Harris took PAC money in California. Some blog was attacking her almost immediately after she announced by claiming her biggest individual donor was Time-Warner, at $127k, iirc, out of $30M she raised for her Senate run. She of course did not take money from Time-Warner, she took money from a PAC full of corporate donors. Since Time-Warner has a huge acquisition it wants to make, one Trump strongly opposes because it would put CNN in a very powerful corporate ownership, I assume Time-Warner has donated heaps of money in PACs on both sides of the fence.

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Dang, check out this piece with more on how hated Klobuchar is by her staff.  

 

Quote

“The way Sen. Klobuchar behaves in private with her staff is very different than when she’s in the public eye, and that kind of cruelty shouldn’t be acceptable for anyone.”

 

 

Quote

But the new details reported by BuzzFeed and the Huffington Post, if true, are particularly damning. BuzzFeed reviewed e-mails, often sent between 1 and 4 in the morning, in which Klobuchar “regularly berated employees, often in all capital letters, over minor mistakes, misunderstandings, and misplaced commas. Klobuchar, in the e-mails, which were mostly sent over the past few years, referred to her staff’s work as ‘the worst in . . . years,’ and ‘the worst in my life.’”

 

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4 hours ago, Cas Stark said:

It would be pointless for me to even attempt to articulate why I feel this way.  And, again, I am on record as saying the GOP is terrible, full of hypocrites and cowards, with no desire for anything other than the minority party of ranters, they have no desire to govern, Democrats were right about this.  But, that makes them passively destructive and mostly useless, progressives on the other hand have a zealous, untiring energy to get their policies enacted, making them actively destructive.  

This is a view from the Upside Down. The Republicans have passed a soak-the-middle class tax bill, peeled away civil liberties in the name of fighting terrorism, created a new Cabinet level department with a dystopian name, passed a disastrous give-away to pharmaceuticals, destroyed campaign finance regulation, gutted financial regulation, and launched two forever wars during their last two Presidencies. The Democrats... enacted a health care plan modeled off Republican proposals from the 90s and first implemented by a Republican governor.

Edited by DanteGabriel

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Republican policies are doing a grand old job of making sure that sea levels keep rising, extreme weather is cultivated, kids will learn better without food subsides, with lead and roundup in water, Mercury in fish, pollution in the air, acid rain and toxic oceans, antibiotics and hormones in meat, poor sex education, early abstinence pregnancies, silly science, lack of drug harm reduction, prison enslavement with ridiculous sentencing, history whitewashing, fewer rights for women, attacks on voting rights. We should all die sooner from the GOP and thus entitlement programs will be reduced in expense. Lower health standards for most, more expensive care for all!

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