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Fragile Bird

US Politics: Flaming the Flamenco Flamingo

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4 minutes ago, Paladin of Ice said:

They’re probably trying to avoid the right wing media taking that statement and putting it in a commercial as just “Taxes will go up!”

It’s a rather small minority of people that pay attention to news/politics all the time and will actually know or go out to learn the nuance and truth in those things, or even know what Medicare for all means. Most Americans are so disconnected from the workings of any true universal healthcare system that they imagine they’ll still need to pay insurance premiums and that their taxes will go up on top of that. Warren and, to a lesser extent, Sanders, don’t want to hand ammunition to the Right that will be used to confirm that misinformation and misunderstandings.

Maybe it's just me, but I cannot for the life of me understand why more businesses don't throw their support behind universal healthcare. I mean, I can understand why the healthcare industry doesn't want it, and why businesses that already don't offer insurance to their employees wouldn't want it either. 

But it just seems to me that for a non-healthcare related industry that already offers health insurance to their employees would be clamoring for universal healthcare. Yes, their taxes will go up, but their expenses on premiums will vanish, as will the expenses incurred by hiring people to manage the insurance or paid to contractors to interface with the insurance providers. Every other nation in the developed world subsidizes all their businesses by providing UHC, so it seems like businesses would want to get in on that sweet, sweet government largesse.

I mean, I realize that insurance premiums are tax-deductible, but that's also profit that's not being made. Do the numbers for businesses really stack up that much in favor of keeping the current system over moving to a universal system?

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11 minutes ago, The Great Unwashed said:

 Every other nation in the developed world subsidizes all their businesses by providing UHC, so it seems like businesses would want to get in on that sweet, sweet government largesse.

See, this attitude is explains exactly why I actually believe the US will never have universal health care. The idea that other countries in the world have UHC to subsidize business, ‘sweet sweet government largesse’, is utterly bizarre.

Other countries have UHC because they came to realize that all citizens should have health care, that it was a basic right of citizenship. And gee whiz, they did it because they thought about what citizenship should include, not because it was enshrined in their constitution.

Do try to remember that for decades Americans pointed their fingers at Europe and sneered at benefits like health care because ‘taxes are so high in Europe’, and no right-thinking American would choose health care over low taxes. Look at their price of gas!

The argument in the US is all about cost dollar-wise, not cost human-wise. And the $ is the almighty and will win.

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21 minutes ago, The Great Unwashed said:

Maybe it's just me, but I cannot for the life of me understand why more businesses don't throw their support behind universal healthcare. I mean, I can understand why the healthcare industry doesn't want it, and why businesses that already don't offer insurance to their employees wouldn't want it either. 

But it just seems to me that for a non-healthcare related industry that already offers health insurance to their employees would be clamoring for universal healthcare. Yes, their taxes will go up, but their expenses on premiums will vanish, as will the expenses incurred by hiring people to manage the insurance or paid to contractors to interface with the insurance providers. Every other nation in the developed world subsidizes all their businesses by providing UHC, so it seems like businesses would want to get in on that sweet, sweet government largesse.

I mean, I realize that insurance premiums are tax-deductible, but that's also profit that's not being made. Do the numbers for businesses really stack up that much in favor of keeping the current system over moving to a universal system?

My employer has a large Italian parent company and they feel American HC costs are a crushing burden on overall operations. It's really a shame that so much of everyone's compensation pie is just sucked into HC costs. It represents lost wages, lost retirement contributions, it affects competitiveness, it's all around inflationary to the cost of doing business in America. 

I feel like universal HC would not only be less burdensome overall, but it would increase the entire economies effectiveness in the U.S.

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11 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

The argument in the US is all about cost dollar-wise, not cost human-wise. And the $ is the almighty and will win

We are past the tipping point though. I believe Universal HC can now be argued for as the lower cost measure and that Universal HC is more and more being seen as the win for that almighty dollar argument. Slowwwwwly but surely workers and employers are coming to understand the math that Universal HC is better for both worker and employer. Even though this is something an intelligent society should've understood over 30 years ago, I refuse to believe we will never get there. But then again we are talking about a country that elects a Trump so there's that very real reason for pessimism over our rationale.

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Orwell, I’d like you to meet the naked Emperor:  

Quote

Now Trump himself has come up with an answer – and it’s not one anyone was expecting. The problem, apparently, is energy-efficient lightbulbs.

Talking before an audience of Republican legislators in Baltimore on Thursday night, Trump gave a rambling speech in which he tackled criticism of his recent plans to weaken regulations on environmentally friendly bulbs.

“The lightbulb,” the president began. “People said: what’s with the lightbulb? I said: here’s the story. And I looked at it. The bulb that we’re being forced to use! No 1, to me, most importantly, the light’s no good. I always look orange. And so do you! The light is the worst.”

But that was not the end of it. Trump complained that the energy-efficient bulb is many times more expensive than its incandescent predecessor and, he claimed, needs to be treated as “hazardous waste” if it breaks.

Energy-efficient bulbs such as halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) typically use about 25 to 80% less energy than traditional incandescents, and can last up to 25 times longer.

But that wasn’t good enough for Trump. He continued: “What are we doing? It’s considered hazardous waste, but it’s many times more expensive and frankly the light is not as good. So we’re going to sell them, but we’re also going to sell incandescent bulbs. People are very happy about it. It’s amazing.”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/sep/13/trump-orange-skin-hue-lightbulbs-energy-efficient

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23 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Some libertarians somewhere are probably circle-jerking themselves off to this load of verbal dumbassery.

"Finally! True freedom! I can buy cheap, wasteful, and shitty incandescents again!"

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1 hour ago, Fragile Bird said:

See, this attitude is explains exactly why I actually believe the US will never have universal health care. The idea that other countries in the world have UHC to subsidize business, ‘sweet sweet government largesse’, is utterly bizarre.

Other countries have UHC because they came to realize that all citizens should have health care, that it was a basic right of citizenship. And gee whiz, they did it because they thought about what citizenship should include, not because it was enshrined in their constitution.

Do try to remember that for decades Americans pointed their fingers at Europe and sneered at benefits like health care because ‘taxes are so high in Europe’, and no right-thinking American would choose health care over low taxes. Look at their price of gas!

The argument in the US is all about cost dollar-wise, not cost human-wise. And the $ is the almighty and will win.

Don't get me wrong, I'm absolutely in the "healthcare is a human right" camp. I'm just trying to put myself in their shoes, where profit > All, and it just seems like a no-brainer from an economic standpoint, which is the consideration that would apply in the case of U.S. business owners.

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3 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

They matter for the purposes of internal politics and unifying the party if nothing else. Biden will do a better job than Hillary at getting Democrats to rally to the cause. This is why back in 2016 I was calling for Sanders to get out early. Hillary et al.’s pettiness was going to drive them away, and the Sanders people weren’t without blame too. Biden won’t suffer from that in large part due to his skills as a retail politician.

Wow I can't believe I disagree with so few words in so many ways.  First and foremost, what the hell does retail politics have to do with uniting the party?  No matter how much time a candidate spends going door-to-door, or glad-handing at coffee houses, or holding town halls at libraries and high school gyms, they are only going to reach a small percentage of the democratic electorate face-to-face even in small states, let alone large states and the national democratic electorate.

Second, one key indicator of uniting the party or the "internal politics" of the party is through lining up party activists.  And based on Seth Masket's ongoing project interviewing early-state Dem activists, Biden's hardly dominating there - he's basically grouped in a top tier with four other candidates.  Indeed, Masket's interviews suggest Biden is the third least liked candidate among party activists, as only Gabbard and Sanders had a higher percentage of activists saying they would not consider supporting the candidate (to be clear, only in the primary).  This squares with polling data showing the demos of Biden's coalition - and the demos of those he's least popular.  Activists aren't going to be persuaded by Biden's folksy charm.  Now, obviously we don't have something to compare this to IRT 2016 since Masket (nor anyone else) didn't conduct an analogous study in that cycle, but I think it's safe to say Clinton had a significantly higher percentage of activist support - if evidenced only by Sanders and his supporters' incessant whining about the DNC and "party insiders."

Third, the other key indicator of establishment support would be the endorsement primary.  While Biden is slightly in the lead there, he obviously does not have nearly the percentage of support Hillary enjoyed, even this early.  Now, clearly part of this is simply due to the fact that there are far more viable candidates competing this cycle whereas Hillary really only had to contend with Sanders, but at least at this point there's far more uncertainty concerning whether Biden can muster the full force of the party as an organization behind him.

Fourth, while I thought Bernie was being his typical ornery, self-righteous, recalcitrant self by staying in so long, he deserves none of the blame for Hillary's troubles.  The aforementioned turnout and third party issues (as well as Obama-Trump voters, for that matter) were the result of Hillary's deficiencies as a candidate and campaigner, plain and simple.  Sanders' relatively surprising primary success was a symptom not the cause of a large swath of Democratic (and Independent) voters who had held at least a distaste for her for decades (myself included, although I certainly never considered supporting Bernie).   

Fifth, while that could be good news for Biden - because I agree he is a superior campaigner to Hillary and doesn't have an entrenched opposition even within his own party - the anti-Hillary/Bernie 2016 folks have become even more emboldened and obstinate over the past three to four years, and very well could be virulently anti-Biden.  All one needs to do to understand this is visit HuffPo a couple times a week - there's almost always a hit piece on Biden published there every few days.

Sixth, while Hillary basically had it wrapped up by Super Tuesday - she had an insurmountable pledge delegate lead due to the Dems' PR allocation and this is when Bernie should have dropped out if he was a mature adult - Biden is far less likely to do so, meaning it's probably gonna take him more time to get the party org united behind him.  Now, I could see a scenario in which Biden wraps it up by Super Tuesday.  If he wins either Iowa or NH, he could well dominate SC (especially if Harris and Booker are marginalized by then) and ride that momentum into a decisive delegate haul on Super Tuesday.  But this was pretty much long expected to play out for Hillary in 2016 (and it did), whereas Biden's probability of doing so is far lower.  Hillary's likelihood was probably ~80%, whereas Biden's likelihood is definitely <50%.  He still has the best chance out of any candidate to do this, but again this simply reflects the fact there are more viable candidates this cycle, at least for now.

Seventh, and finally, just as Bernie should have dropped out after Super Tuesday, Hillary should have dropped out after Obama rattled off 10 straight primaries in February 2008 - building a similarly insurmountable delegate lead.  Plus the 2008 primary was far more contentious and while there was a lot of hand-wringing about it, it clearly didn't hurt Obama in the general in the least.  Which suggests contentious primaries and the nominee's general election success are orthogonal.  A nominee's ability to unite the party establishment/organization/"internal politics" behind her campaign is pretty much solely dependent on the candidate's own appeal/skill to build a broad coalition, as well as environmental factors - e.g. how contentious the internal politics of the party are at the time independent of any of the presidential candidates; how much motivation the party has to unite.  In terms of the latter, Biden certainly has an advantage there since the party is obviously much more motivated and far less complacent about beating Trump this cycle.  But that has absolutely nothing to do with Biden's skill as a retail politician.

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1 hour ago, Tywin et al. said:

Makes me think of this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeVCka26BTE

What's the link one may ask? It's a PR strategy to fight environmentalism. Not a great one for anyone with half a brain, but possibly efficient for Trump voters.

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Then there's this -- Disney-ABC (Disney owns ABC) ran this as a commercial last night during the Dem Debate; this is really evil shyte.

https://deadline.com/2019/09/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-debate-ad-socialism-elizabeth-heng-1202733669/

Also, a 2fer, because Sanders and Warren are, like AOC -- social commies, or something.  And rapistbedbuginchief flew a banner over Houston prior the debate announcing that Socialists will kill Houston's economy (presumably after another Cat 5 + hurricane kills the city generally?). 

https://deadline.com/2019/09/trump-campaign-democratic-debate-socialism-abc-news-1202732337/

 

Edited by Zorral

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14 minutes ago, Zorral said:

Then there's this -- Disney-ABC (Disney owns ABC) ran this as a commercial last night during the Dem Debate; this is really evil shyte.

I don't see what to complain about with that ad - AOC's avid support for Khmer Rouge forced marriage is clear.

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24 minutes ago, DMC said:

I don't see what to complain about with that ad - AOC's avid support for Khmer Rouge forced marriage is clear.

O noze!  It's happened! DMC has caught what afflicts liar in chief! :crying:

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On 9/11/2019 at 7:02 PM, Zorral said:

Exactly. What kind of frackin' economy is this that when some of the most highly valued, massive corps like amazon, don't actually make money?  What they do instead is BUY their rivals of every kind.  What are they buying WITH?

I admit, I am knowledge challenged in these areas of finance and economics.  But they all seem massive ponzi schemes  . . . . 

They are buying them with what would be their profits. Amazon invests virtually all of what would be their profits back into themselves through the form of investing in Amazon and acquiring rivals. They are not losing money in the traditional sense they are just doing what a lot of start ups  do perpetually but so far most investors seem ok with it.    

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2 hours ago, DMC said:

Wow I can't believe I disagree with so few words in so many ways.  First and foremost, what the hell does retail politics have to do with uniting the party?  No matter how much time a candidate spends going door-to-door, or glad-handing at coffee houses, or holding town halls at libraries and high school gyms, they are only going to reach a small percentage of the democratic electorate face-to-face even in small states, let alone large states and the national democratic electorate.

Fifth, while that could be good news for Biden - because I agree he is a superior campaigner to Hillary and doesn't have an entrenched opposition even within his own party

Sorry, perhaps I shouldn't have used "retail politics" as I was using it in an atypical way. What I was trying to get at is Biden has the best chances to quickly unify the party if he becomes the nominee because of how good he is at working within the party and because he is the least likely of all candidates to face any kind of significant internal backlash. I still see this as a four (and really three) horse race, and I have a hard time seeing how Warren, Sanders and Harris will be able to quickly unify the party. 

Quote

Fourth, while I thought Bernie was being his typical ornery, self-righteous, recalcitrant self by staying in so long, he deserves none of the blame for Hillary's troubles.  The aforementioned turnout and third party issues (as well as Obama-Trump voters, for that matter) were the result of Hillary's deficiencies as a candidate and campaigner, plain and simple.  Sanders' relatively surprising primary success was a symptom not the cause of a large swath of Democratic (and Independent) voters who had held at least a distaste for her for decades (myself included, although I certainly never considered supporting Bernie).   

I agree with your assessment of Hillary's campaign deficiencies, but I don't think Sanders is entirely blameless. Sander's desperation forced him to hit Hillary harder than he otherwise had, and it further entrenched his supporters dislike of Clinton and decreased the chances that some might vote for her. Given how narrow the margins were, I'd say that played a role in her defeat.

Quote

Seventh, and finally, just as Bernie should have dropped out after Super Tuesday, Hillary should have dropped out after Obama rattled off 10 straight primaries in February 2008 - building a similarly insurmountable delegate lead.  

Agreed, and in a small way it hurt her in 2016 that she didn't. 

 

And with that, the regularly required relitigation of 2016 has occurred :P

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33 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

What I was trying to get at is Biden has the best chances to quickly unify the party if he becomes the nominee because of how good he is at working within the party and because he is the least likely of all candidates to face any kind of significant internal backlash. I still see this as a four (and really three) horse race, and I have a hard time seeing how Warren, Sanders and Harris will be able to quickly unify the party. 

Ah.  Well I just wrote a lot due to a misunderstanding then.  Anyway, I don't know about that - I agree on Sanders of course.  Warren still worries me a bit - maybe not within the party but in terms of driving away white male independents that do disapprove of Trump and probably lean Dem in the general with any of the other three, as well as perhaps also having a repeat of Clinton's AA turnout problem.  And I think Harris might have a easier/better time getting the left on board.  They may hate her due her prosecutorial record, but they hate Biden for lots of reasons.

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33 minutes ago, DMC said:

Ah.  Well I just wrote a lot due to a misunderstanding then.  Anyway, I don't know about that - I agree on Sanders of course.  Warren still worries me a bit - maybe not within the party but in terms of driving away white male independents that do disapprove of Trump and probably lean Dem in the general with any of the other three, as well as perhaps also having a repeat of Clinton's AA turnout problem.  And I think Harris might have a easier/better time getting the left on board.  They may hate her due her prosecutorial record, but they hate Biden for lots of reasons.

Lol, when I saw the length of your post I was curious if I hit a nerve or something. 

I agree Warren has a chance Sanders likely won't have, but I don't know if I'm as worried as you (though I still am worried). It seems like she's found her voice in the last few months. I always thought she was a bit timid, but lately she's been on the attack, which is great to see. She's probably my number two choice at this point. I also am getting higher on Castro, but he's still a long shot (great VP option though, assuming Biden isn't the nominee). With Harris, I feel like she's going to have to play so much hardball to actually win, and that could leave a wake of bodies trailing her. 

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8 hours ago, Paladin of Ice said:

They’re probably trying to avoid the right wing media taking that statement and putting it in a commercial as just “Taxes will go up!”

It’s a rather small minority of people that pay attention to news/politics all the time and will actually know or go out to learn the nuance and truth in those things, or even know what Medicare for all means. Most Americans are so disconnected from the workings of any true universal healthcare system that they imagine they’ll still need to pay insurance premiums and that their taxes will go up on top of that. Warren and, to a lesser extent, Sanders, don’t want to hand ammunition to the Right that will be used to confirm that misinformation and misunderstandings.

Yeah, I get that, but I was referring to Warren specifically being asked if her healthcare plan would affect middle-class taxes, and she kind of just did the side-step and didn't answer the question.  I feel like this is the messaging shit that needs to get straightened out - the thing is that I've heard that clip that made me post that a couple times on the radio today, I feel like she missed a good opportunity to correct this common misunderstanding.  

I know that the Repubs are always going to be pushing the "Dems tax us all to death for social programs that only poor, brown, or drug addicts qualify for", and this was an easy spot to counter that.  

Eta: my point was she was basically perpetuating that misunderstanding by avoiding that specific question.  

Edited by larrytheimp
Eta

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