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US Politics: Show Trials & Tribulations

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19 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

He really does.  I’ve rarely seen anyone who looks quite as smarmy and self-satisfied as that man.  

Are you ready for him to have a leadership position in the House sometime in the next few years? He’s got about as safe a district as a Republican can get, and I always figured that busting into the SCIF and his performance during the House proceedings was an audition for a spot in the GOP leadership.

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32 minutes ago, Paladin of Ice said:

Are you ready for him to have a leadership position in the House sometime in the next few years? He’s got about as safe a district as a Republican can get, and I always figured that busting into the SCIF and his performance during the House proceedings was an audition for a spot in the GOP leadership.

Gaetz is at least temporarily in the doghouse because he voted against President Shithole on the recent War Powers resolution. A clear signal to the rest of the Shithole Cult than any deviation from complete obedience, even from the most committed shit-eaters, will be punished.

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/01/22/matt-gaetz-trump-impeachment-team-102534

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4 hours ago, DMC said:

Is Zephyr Teachout a real name?  Like, someone has lived their whole life being like "hey, I'm Zephyr, I know that sounds weird, but don't worry, my last name is Teachout?"  That just made my morning.

OK, not that you were seriously asking, but as a name expert I can answer that. :)

Teachout is a surname that seems to have originated in upstate New York. The 1800 United States census has 14 families (only the name of the head of the family is given in pre-1850 censuses) with the last name Teachout. All of them lived in Saratoga, Herkimer, or Washington counties in New York except for one in Franklin County, Vermont.  It is probably an Americanization of a Dutch surname, possibly Tietsort. 

Though Zephyr may seem like just a modern "hippy" name, it's been used on rare occasions as a female given name in the USA since the early 19th century. There are six Zephyrs in the 1850 U.S. census, the earliest where all non-slave residents were listed by name. One of them was a seven year old girl living in Saratoga County, New York, so there's a geographical link between Zephyr and where the Teachouts were originally from. Though since Zephyr Teachout's middle name is Rain it does seem if she's an early example of parents choosing a "nature name." Her father is a professor of constitutional law and her mother became a state court judge in Vermont -- and her father was already a law professor when Zephyr was born -- so if they were "hippies" they were highly educated ones. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zephyr_Teachout

 

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15 minutes ago, Ormond said:

OK, not that you were seriously asking, but as a name expert I can answer that. :)

Teachout is a surname that seems to have originated in upstate New York. The 1800 United States census has 14 families (only the name of the head of the family is given in pre-1850 censuses) with the last name Teachout. All of them lived in Saratoga, Herkimer, or Washington counties in New York except for one in Franklin County, Vermont.  It is probably an Americanization of a Dutch surname, possibly Tietsort. 

Though Zephyr may seem like just a modern "hippy" name, it's been used on rare occasions as a female given name in the USA since the early 19th century. There are six Zephyrs in the 1850 U.S. census, the earliest where all non-slave residents were listed by name. One of them was a seven year old girl living in Saratoga County, New York, so there's a geographical link between Zephyr and where the Teachouts were originally from. Though since Zephyr Teachout's middle name is Rain it does seem if she's an early example of parents choosing a "nature name." Her father is a professor of constitutional law and her mother became a state court judge in Vermont -- and her father was already a law professor when Zephyr was born -- so if they were "hippies" they were highly educated ones. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zephyr_Teachout

 

Ormond,

Ever hear of the fairly famous Judge “Learned Hand”.  I always felt like he was destined for the bench based upon his name.

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The dissertation I just (finally!) finished is on how the bureaucracy influences policymaking in three facets (and papers):  (1) Unilateral action, or executive orders; (2) Delegation models or specifically the interbranch budgetary process; and (3) the president's legislative agenda.  

hey, congrats! good luck on the defense thereof.  was gonna ask initially how your thesis works with the old iron triangle idea, but i see your later paragraphs get into that. can we get maybe an iron mobius strip that cuts out the lobbyists and lobbyists-turned-market-stalinist-bureaucrat?

 

stego--

the conspiracism drives me nuts. i think that's the objective.

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30 minutes ago, Ormond said:

Though Zephyr may seem like just a modern "hippy" name, it's been used on rare occasions as a female given name in the USA since the early 19th century. There are six Zephyrs in the 1850 U.S. census, the earliest where all non-slave residents were listed by name. One of them was a seven year old girl living in Saratoga County, New York, so there's a geographical link between Zephyr and where the Teachouts were originally from. Though since Zephyr Teachout's middle name is Rain it does seem if she's an early example of parents choosing a "nature name." Her father is a professor of constitutional law and her mother became a state court judge in Vermont -- and her father was already a law professor when Zephyr was born -- so if they were "hippies" they were highly educated ones. 

THis is a bit weird however, given that Zephyr(us) is usually depicted as a male (I can't really think of a female depiction of the ancient Greek deity for the West Wind). Thus Chaucer also used the male pronoun in the general prologue of the Canterbury tales.

But yes, Zephyr sounds somewhat like a very sophisticated Hippie name. The standard Hippie name probably would've been West Wind.

West Wind Teachout, anyway, I get sidetracked here.

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5 hours ago, butterbumps! said:

Why did Sanders publicly apologize to Biden for one of his surrogates (Zephyr Teachout) implying that Biden has corruption issues (of the nature that represents the transactional, business as usual political swamp), but not issued one to Warren for the sexist treatment unleashed on her by the toxic segment of his fan base in the wake of the sexism spat?  Or acknowledged the curious correlation of a surge in donations to his campaign with the #Warren is a Snake vitriol they flooded her with?  

(Or has he issued one and I missed it? Though that in itself would be strange in the extremely divergent coverage of the Biden apology versus the Warren one.)

ETA:  here’s a link to Teachout’s piece that got Biden an apology.  I mean, Biden kind of does have this problem- it’s not really far out there.

I don't know, but my guess is one of them works for Sanders and the others are an uncontrollable rabble that he might not want to acknowledge. Given the tension between Warren and Sanders, I can see why either one of them wouldn't be keen on apologizing to the other if they don't have to. Shit, any of the candidate could get in an endless apology loop if they started apologizing for the toxic segments of their base.

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4 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Interesting.  In this epistemological construct, does truth exist or if it does exist, does it matter in their point of view?

Scot, I'd have to say that is a difficult question to answer. I suppose we could say that this philosophical group might admit their is are aspects of truth in the world, but given many factors from our biological limitations all the way to how we have structured society, accurately interpreting "truth" would be nearly impossible. I don't know many postmodernists who fully fall into this category, but I certainly think plenty of people have adopted this notion that certain beliefs long held as "true" are worth questioning.

That'd be my only issue with OldGimlet's splitting. I know there is a material dialectic that Marxists believe, but I also think many Marxists would posit that we are so obscured by the hegemonic control of the elite, that we cannot see the tyranny in the world around us. If you're up for a short (goofy) video from Slavoj Zizek (a Marxist), he does a six minute analysis of John Carpenter's 1988 alien invasion movie, They Live, where he uses the film to explain how this obfuscation of the elite works (hint: people happily participate in the lie). The video is more fun if you grew up liking this film ;)

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12 hours ago, Triskele said:

This is the question, isn't it?  Many of the pieces I've been linking have touched on this question one way or the other.  I'm agonizing because I just don't think it's clear what the right move is, and I sort of question whether anyone really does.  

Even if one were to break it down to something like "run a moderate vs. run a progressive" I still think that it could still also come down to which progressive and which moderate and even then those choices could play out differently at this time against Trump than against another candidate in another time.  

I am more open to going with Sanders as the choice than I've ever been at this moment, and recent polling suggests that a Sanders v. Biden drawn-out primary is quite possible.  I know that Bernie ought to smoke Biden in terms of youth vote and general energy.  But then I see in our dear threads here how there's a solid subset of consistent Dem voters who really don't like the guy.  And then I still have a lot of anxiety about running on M4A even though I think it could be a great policy if enacted.  It's that whole paradox where tons of folks who can see problems galore with the health system write large are kind of OK with their own situation with private, employer-provided insurance.  I worry that even a lot of Dem voters will have serious anxiety about M4A.  Loss aversion.  

 

Switching gears to impeachment I saw a Frank Rich piece at NYmag that gave me some hope that some GOP Senators will really regret this stance down the road as way more dirt will come out, and this vote will look worse as times goes on.  A few Senator names he threw out as having vulnerable seats if this goes in that direction were Joni Earnst of Iowa, Tom Tillis of North Carolina, and Jon Cornyn of Texas.  

Hey Trisk! I think the right move, ultimately, is anyone but Trump. I suppose the bigger worry is that if we get another centrist, then the Democratic party might hit a place where it can never return to the party of FDR (and to be clear, he had plenty of issues, but we are really far from working from the a great base of social equality and being a more culturally progressive party). It's much like when people roll their eyes when Republicans say they're the party of Lincoln. They are not. They abandoned that long ago.

M4A seems a strange hurdle. I know people who say they want to keep their private insurance. Do they really, though? They like paying big chunks of their check every month so when they go to the doctor, they can pay co-pays. One of these people, I remember complaining two years ago because she couldn't afford the co-pay of 40 dollars a week to see a physical therapist. Now she doesn't want to give up her insurance. It's not the issues, I think.

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No one likes their private insurance or dealing with an insurance company, and if they say they do, it's just because it wasn't as bad as something they had before.

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4 hours ago, mormont said:

The solution is clearly to run a progressive candidate other than Sanders. But the problem is that many Sanders supporters refuse to recognise any candidate other than Sanders as progressive. 

I don't think this is true, Mormont. I think it has been true of this election for a small few, but I am a Sanders supporter who feels little "loyalty" to him over someone like Warren. Warren is facing some scrutiny from segments of Sanders' base about Warren, but I think that has to be a minority. 

Other than Warren and Sanders, other progressive candidates seem in thin supply. The problem to me seems that many politicians have branded themselves as such, but recent history would suggest otherwise.

Larry responded to you with some reasons Sanders supporters don't like Warren, and one of them that baffles me (again, with this section of his base) is that she used to be a Republican. I think looking at a person's record is completely reasonable, and if she'd been a Republican up to a year or two ago, then fine. But she long ago had a moment of reckoning about her Repbulican leanings, and to me, her progressive views would be more entrenched due to this. I have no basis for this as truth, I just think she came to the Left having faced some very grim truths about the Republican party and how they treat the working class and poor.

Edited by Simon Steele

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2 hours ago, Gorn said:

Except that Sanders happens to be the best-liked candidate in the entire Democratic field, so he's actually the candidate most likely to unite the party: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-ups-and-downs-of-candidate-popularity-in-4-charts/

Edit: Turns out even Tom Steyer is a fan

This is why the russian trolls are targeting Sanders and his campaign -- and Warren's too -- so heavily to create division and confusion, while pretending to be 'friendly' commentators and supporters.

https://www.salon.com/2019/11/26/russian-trolls-are-back-for-the-2020-election-and-they-wont-be-easy-to-spot/

Quote

Darren Linvill, associate professor Clemson University and the Social Media Listening Center, describes the scope of the politics-focused Russian twitter bots and trolls shaping online conversations about the elections and the 2020 campaign.

 

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29 minutes ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

THis is a bit weird however, given that Zephyr(us) is usually depicted as a male (I can't really think of a female depiction of the ancient Greek deity for the West Wind). Thus Chaucer also used the male pronoun in the general prologue of the Canterbury tales.

But yes, Zephyr sounds somewhat like a very sophisticated Hippie name. The standard Hippie name probably would've been West Wind.

West Wind Teachout, anyway, I get sidetracked here.

Zephyr has also been used for males. In the 1940 U.S. census (latest one to be released) there are 240 female and 52 male Zephyrs.

I don't think most people who have chosen the name are going back to Greek mythology to find it, though. I think they are thinking of it as the poetic English term for a soft gentle breeze, which in modern English does NOT necessarily have to be from the west. 

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My issues with M4A (ignoring political ramifications) are:

1) The personal. I have really good insurance. My employer covers 100% of my premiums and funds a HRA to cover my deductible. I have literally zero personal health care costs until my deductible is exhausted, at which point I'd have to pay the co-pays; which are mostly $25 or $50 per visit. And my coverage is really good (and I've had some medical issues that have made me actually test this out). This is the selfish reason, but it nonetheless matters to some extent to me. I know I'm very lucky, but I also know I'm not the only one. I personally would be worse off with M4A, I'd have higher taxes and no reduction in health care costs or improvement in my access to health care.

2) The logistical. I truly do not believe that the Federal Government is currently capable of setting up and managing a system as complex as M4A; even if they were given several years to transition over to it. Look how badly they botched just setting up the ACA/Obamacare Exchanges at first; and that was so much less complex. Or look at Medicare and Medicaid; they only function as well as they do because of how heavily they rely on private insurance companies to manage their functions. And even then, there's still a lot of issues that just get papered over by throwing more money at them. But M4A is too large for that, the expenses would be enormous.

3) The resistance. There will be overwhelming resistance to M4A from a large number of people, many of whom will do everything in their power to undermine the policy; like they did with the ACA. And a lot of people got hurt with that ACA undermining, and I think it would be even worse here since M4A would affect so many more people. And the thing is, with the ACA, the people hurt were mostly those who didn't have coverage in the first place, so they weren't exactly worse off, they just weren't made better. Here, you'd have a lot of people ending up in a worse situation than they currently are in, because they did have coverage before.

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5 minutes ago, Fez said:

My issues with M4A (ignoring political ramifications) are:

1) The personal. I have really good insurance. My employer covers 100% of my premiums and funds a HRA to cover my deductible. I have literally zero personal health care costs until my deductible is exhausted, at which point I'd have to pay the co-pays; which are mostly $25 or $50 per visit. And my coverage is really good (and I've had some medical issues that have made me actually test this out). This is the selfish reason, but it nonetheless matters to some extent to me. I know I'm very lucky, but I also know I'm not the only one. I personally would be worse off with M4A, I'd have higher taxes and no reduction in health care costs or improvement in my access to health care.

2) The logistical. I truly do not believe that the Federal Government is currently capable of setting up and managing a system as complex as M4A; even if they were given several years to transition over to it. Look how badly they botched just setting up the ACA/Obamacare Exchanges at first; and that was so much less complex. Or look at Medicare and Medicaid; they only function as well as they do because of how heavily they rely on private insurance companies to manage their functions. And even then, there's still a lot of issues that just get papered over by throwing more money at them. But M4A is too large for that, the expenses would be enormous.

3) The resistance. There will be overwhelming resistance to M4A from a large number of people, many of whom will do everything in their power to undermine the policy; like they did with the ACA. And a lot of people got hurt with that ACA undermining, and I think it would be even worse here since M4A would affect so many more people. And the thing is, with the ACA, the people hurt were mostly those who didn't have coverage in the first place, so they weren't exactly worse off, they just weren't made better. Here, you'd have a lot of people ending up in a worse situation than they currently are in, because they did have coverage before.

Wouldn't at lot of the problems be way less if one just made the transition longer? I remember seeing some politician proposing several years ago that Medicare be gradually expanded by lowering the age of eligibility for it by just one year per year (the first year of the change 64 year olds would be on Medicare, the second year 63 year olds, etc.) and also adding all newborn infants born that year into it. The transition would then take about 30 years and that would be manageable. Also, though I suspect some people on the far left wouldn't like it, I personally would have no problem with letting private insurance companies still manage the functions of Medicare and Medicaid in a M4A system. The goal is to get the entire population to have basic health insurance guaranteed by the federal government, and the private health insurers can all gradually transition to running "Medicare Advantage" type policies for everyone instead of working through employers.

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6 minutes ago, Ormond said:

Wouldn't at lot of the problems be way less if one just made the transition longer? I remember seeing some politician proposing several years ago that Medicare be gradually expanded by lowering the age of eligibility for it by just one year per year (the first year of the change 64 year olds would be on Medicare, the second year 63 year olds, etc.) and also adding all newborn infants born that year into it. The transition would then take about 30 years and that would be manageable. Also, though I suspect some people on the far left wouldn't like it, I personally would have no problem with letting private insurance companies still manage the functions of Medicare and Medicaid in a M4A system. The goal is to get the entire population to have basic health insurance guaranteed by the federal government, and the private health insurers can all gradually transition to running "Medicare Advantage" type policies for everyone instead of working through employers.

Sure, I think making the transition that extended could greatly ease the shift to such an increased administrative burden. As would allowing the existing Medicaid MCOs and Medicare Advantage companies to be involved with the new system.

However, to the best of my knowledge, that is not at all what the left is currently proposing when they talk about M4A.

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28 minutes ago, Fez said:

3) The resistance. There will be overwhelming resistance to M4A from a large number of people, many of whom will do everything in their power to undermine the policy; like they did with the ACA. And a lot of people got hurt with that ACA undermining, and I think it would be even worse here since M4A would affect so many more people. And the thing is, with the ACA, the people hurt were mostly those who didn't have coverage in the first place, so they weren't exactly worse off, they just weren't made better. Here, you'd have a lot of people ending up in a worse situation than they currently are in, because they did have coverage before.

If we pass a M4A plan, we should assume that Republicans (in congress, governors, etc) will do everything they can to make the plan not work.  Those efforts will no doubt be at least somewhat successful, and there will be elements of M4A that are screwed up.  Further, we should assume that Republicans will prevent any "fixes" to solve these problems, just like they did with Obamacare, becuase they know that Democrats are the ones who'll get the blame for any M4A failings.  So Democrats basically have one shot to recreate the entire health care system, and any errors are 100% on them. 

These errors will result in hundreds, if not thousands, of people that die because of adopting M4A.  Yes, tens of thousands die because of the current horrendous health care system we have.  But those people aren't blaming the government and Democrats in particular for the insurance companies screwing them over.  This will change that.  And if the backlash to Obamacare was bad because some people thought they could keep their plans and couldn't, it is going to be about 50X worse when people can accurately say "Warrencare killed my wife". 

Should Democrats do it anyway, because M4A will be a net gain for society?  Maybe.  But given how batshit crazy the Republican party is, handing them a veto-proof majority in the Senate (very likely in this scenario) and possibly enough state houses to amend the constitution (a real possibility), I am very very scared about whether M4A will really be worth it.  Not to mention that Republicans could very realistically just vote to repeal it, as Republicans came very close to doing on Obamacare. 

Thus, this is my convoluted, cowardly way of explaining why I support M4A in principle, but think that American politics are so dysfunctional that I do not support it in practice. 

Edited by Maithanet

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1 hour ago, larrytheimp said:

No one likes their private insurance or dealing with an insurance company, and if they say they do, it's just because it wasn't as bad as something they had before.

I don't like dealing with my insurance company, but my insurance is amazing and it was even better before the ACA. I'd happily give it up for m4a, but there are plenty of people at my work who would not. 

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1 hour ago, Simon Steele said:

I don't think this is true, Mormont. I think it has been true of this election for a small few, but I am a Sanders supporter who feels little "loyalty" to him over someone like Warren. Warren is facing some scrutiny from segments of Sanders' base about Warren, but I think that has to be a minority. 

Other than Warren and Sanders, other progressive candidates seem in thin supply. The problem to me seems that many politicians have branded themselves as such, but recent history would suggest otherwise.

Larry responded to you with some reasons Sanders supporters don't like Warren, and one of them that baffles me (again, with this section of his base) is that she used to be a Republican. I think looking at a person's record is completely reasonable, and if she'd been a Republican up to a year or two ago, then fine. But she long ago had a moment of reckoning about her Repbulican leanings, and to me, her progressive views would be more entrenched due to this. I have no basis for this as truth, I just think she came to the Left having faced some very grim truths about the Republican party and how they treat the working class and poor.

You literally said warren wasnt a progressive like 4 days ago! 

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sounds like a pynchon character: meatball mulligan, pig bodine, genghis cohen, webb traverse, zephyr teachout.

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