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thejeff's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 22,431 posts (23,352 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 8 aliases.

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GreyWolfLord wrote:
Personally, I was VERY anti-bank and anti-bailout to a degree. I wouldn't want to lose my savings and bank accounts, but at the same time, what went around should go around. I think one of the reasons the pay of jobs haven't equaled out to the inflation is due to things like how we bailed out the banks. If we had a HARD crash, I think balance would eventually have been restored without a bailout, and pricing on homes, houses, and necessities would also have balanced out to where your average person could afford them.

I've said before, we handled the bank bailouts in about the worst manner possible - except for letting them collapse. They truly were too big to fail. Letting things take their course would have been a HARD crash, far, far worse then what actually happened. We'd still be sifting through the rubble.

The libertarian fantasy that letting the market sort itself out is best is horribly, horribly wrong.

As I said, we did it in a very bad way. Far too easy on the banks. Without the controls and requirements to keep them under control. Temporary nationalization - like the FDIC does routinely with smaller banks. Break ups to keep them from being too big to fail. Haircuts for ceos & stockholders. Perhaps bailing out the mortgages rather than the banks.

"Let it all burn" wasn't an option.

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Turin the Mad wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Turin the Mad wrote:

A scandal 10 years ago at the state level ....

To decided a national election for presidency, in a far more contested race, with far more favoritism shown.
I thought you were referring to her scandal, not the presidential election scandal, which most people are not going to remember her for, but the Supreme Court.

Except this is far closer to the Katherine Harris level of election rigging. Far less serious, as far as I can tell. No caging. No purging of voter rolls.

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Charon's Little Helper wrote:

Which Tea Party base? The Tea Party actually started with a Libertarian bent - Ron Paul was their darling and arguably started it. Since then many of the more recent Tea Party groups have all sorts of anti-free-trade vibes, which is pretty much the polar opposite of Libertarian economically. (Some Libertarians lean isolationist on security issues - but not trade.)

One thing about something which started (didn't remain for long) as grass-roots as the Tea Party is that it isn't hard for any group who wants some clout to grab the name.

How about the Tea Party that actually exists and has largely taken over the Republican party, not some idealization that had little clout and really only existed for a few months, maybe a year at most before being overwhelmed by the one we know today?

It's like someone mentioning the Republicans and being asked "Do you mean the anti-slavery party?"

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Krensky wrote:

The lying, the cheating, the defrauding of his business partners, customers, contractors and the tax payers. The inventing of multiple false identities to talk to the press while pretending to be someone else. The sexual harassment and alleged rape. The creepy lusting after his own daughter. The racism, the misogyny, the abelism, the casual cruelty and general douchbaggery. Let's not forget the temper tantrums, physical outbursts, and pathological need to be the biggest, most important person in the room.

I probably missed a few things.

Trump isn't a meritocrat. He's never had any cosideration for mertiocracy. He's a spoiled rich brat who's squandered the fortune his grandfather the pimp and father the racist landlord left him. He's an exploiter and con artisit.

I will however agree that he's a strange fellow.

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MMCJawa wrote:
I would have preferred someone a bit more liberal as a choice. I think Hillary may be underestimating the republican dislike of her. Just because a faction of Republican voters hate Trump doesn't mean they like Hillary. If the more "moderate" Republican voters stay home, and the hardcore Bernies supporters do as well, Hillary may not be able to defeat Trump.

"May not", sure. It's politics. Anything can happen.

Frankly, I doubt many of the hardcore Bernie supporters would vote for her unless she admitted she was a corrupt pawn of wall street and promised to resign in January. Even if she'd picked Elizbeth Warren for VP. Anything less would just be another Hillary lie. Even that probably would be.
Most aren't that hardcore, of course. Most would have switched with a Warren pick. Of course, most will switch anyway.

If moderate Republicans stay home, she wins. This is a play for centrist independents, not for actual Republicans. She'll get some. And she'll sweep Democrats, despite the Bernie Bros. She'll win African-Americans by close to Obama's margins and Hispanics by even more. She'll win women by a landslide too.

Trump will dominate among white men. Especially older white men. But to steal from Lindsey Graham, there aren't enough angry old white men left.

If Trump doesn't get a ground game campaign up and running and can't organize it better then he ran the convention, he's going to lose in a landslide.

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CBDunkerson wrote:
Turin the Mad wrote:

Unless I'm off the mark, Sharoth may be aiming at the greater concern of shared culpability by the two majority parties over time.

The 2016 election seems likely to result in another vapor-locked administration regardless of who wins. Congress doesn't get along all that well as-is, and they're none too fond of either candidate.


With the 2020 census coming up prior to that year's election it seems that election is going to be more important than 2016, especially if Trump somehow manages to win.

Not really.

The Republican party has controlled the Supreme Court since the 1960s. More than FIFTY YEARS now. That should have changed earlier this year, but the GOP controlled senate threw all semblance of just governance out the window to prevent it.

Based on current polls the most likely outcome of the upcoming election is that the Democrats will take the Presidency and the Senate (though not the House). That would allow Clinton to finally shift the balance of power on the Supreme Court. Combine that with executive actions which no longer get invalidated (regardless of precedent) 5 to 4 by the Supreme Court and the Democrats would be able to make slow and steady progress towards many goals that have been blocked for decades. On the other hand, if Trump wins then we may well have another 50 years of a right-leaning Supreme Court. That is a massive difference which will be decided by this year's election.

As to 2020... the important elections for that year are the STATE elections. Governors and state legislators. Those are the officials who redraw the district maps every 10 years. Nationally elected officials have nothing to do with it. Most of the relevant state officials who will be in office to implement the 2020 census will actually be up for election between 2016 and 2020. Ergo, the 2020 election will not be such a big deal for redistricting. That said, as Republican voters turn out more in off-cycle state election years, they...

All true, though the Supreme Court will also likely weigh in on redistricting - at least to strike down some more egregious plans.

And state house legislatures are (usually? always?) elected every two years, so that will matter in the 2020. As will the governors elected that year and this cycle as well as between then and now.

I'm not so sure the 2020 cycle won't be important for state control and redistricting. The Democrats dominated the 2006 & 2008 cycles, then got creamed in 2010. That hurt them very badly in redistricting after that census.

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Less incompetent. Less hateful. Less scared.

In fact, not really the same circus at all.

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Sharoth wrote:
Krensky wrote:
Sharoth wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Sharoth wrote:
IMHO the majority of the RNP are not anchored in reality. Trump is just playing into that fantasy land view. Sadly, there were more than a few things that Trump said that I at least partially agreed with. But he and the Republican party are too crazy for my tastes.
What things did he say that you found any agreement in? Policy-wise, I mean. Obviously some of his rhetoric doesn't allow much room for disagreement.

~grins~ I would have to relisten to it to give my thoughts on what I sort of agreed with. Most of the time was spent with this going through my head "OMG! Most of this is utter BS!"

But honestly, I am neither Democrat or Republican. I just want someone competent in the office who realizes that BOTH parties are now the extreme end of the spectrum and over 90% of the people are in the middle.


The DNC is about where the middle was twenty years ago and the right was fifty. I mentioned my father up thread. As referenced there, a few years ago he called himself an Eisenhower Republican. I jokingly pointed out that by today's standards, that makes him a liberal Democrat. By today's measures, Barry Fscking Goldwater is center right, for pitty's sake!

"Please" as in relisten to Trump's speech and give my opinion? I can do that, but it will probably be at the tail end of this weekend before I can devote a few hours to relistening to Trump's speech.

More I suspect, "Please" as a rhetorical question. Please explain how the modern Democratic Party is extreme. The real Democratic Party, not the caricature that's been described at the Republican Convention. As Krensky says, on economics and foreign policy, the modern Democratic party is to the right of where the whole country was 50 years ago. Hardly extreme, in my view.

Is it on social issues that Democrats are extreme? There they have been moving, but still don't seem to be way out in front of public opinion.
Can you give examples of things Clinton has actually proposed that you think are extreme?

I don't mean to pick on you here, but I see this claim regularly and I rarely get any real explanation of what people think is so crazy about Democrats these days.

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Getting sucked into the details despite myself: For all the hoopla about illegal immigration this cycle, border crossings are actually down I believe, the resident undocumented population has dropped from its high point and record numbers have been deported under Obama.

You can argue it's not enough, but despite the "amnesties" and the accusations, Obama's been better on immigration by Republican standards then his predecessors.

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Caineach wrote:
A begrudging respect for Ted Cruz was not what I was expecting out of the GOP convention. As much as I despise the man, I do respect him for his comments on not being a "servile puppy". Though he never was one to follow the rest of the GOP, rarely is he in the right when doing so.

If it makes you feel better, don't think of it as a principled stand, but as a political gamble that Trump will fail horribly and opposing him now will stand Cruz in good stead for his 2020 presidential bid.

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bugleyman wrote:

I have to wonder if we all share some responsibility for Trump's viability as a candidate. Has daily political discourse become so hyperbolic that words like "fascist" and "criminal" have lost any real meaning?

Opposition to things like racism, sexism, and demagoguery should be non-partisan. :(

Should be. But never has been.

Hell, in this country we're lucky if racism isn't bi-partisan. There's never been any non-partisan consensus against it. Though we've sometimes pretended - nowadays we call that "political correctness". In the good times, we get one major party actually working against racism.

Edit: To some extent I think the responsibility might go the other way. While there's no shortage of hyperbolic vitriol from the more extreme base on either sides, there's also been too much acceptance of the right's slide into this behavior, both from the Democrats in power and from the media. There's been, for example far more investigations and hearings on Benghazi and Clinton's emails than on the lies that led us into the Iraq War.
There's been media pushback on the most extreme Republican/Tea Party candidates, but each one seems to lower the standards for the next.

Meanwhile, from the Republican side, even on the higher levels of politics, ludicrous accusations against Democrats have become normal. Trump first earned his whacko conservative following by doubling down on birtherism. Very few in the Republican Party leadership denounced this or even refuted it with anything other than weasel words, even when it was other actual politicians.

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Orfamay Quest wrote:
thejeff wrote:

I don't think it's nearly so well defined as "a new strain of Republican thought". It's not new and it's not thought. It's just the same strategy of riling voters up, stripped of it's veneer.

I disagree (obviously); while it certainly has roots, the implicit nihilism is something new. Sarah Palin, for all her flaws, was pretty obviously a creation of the Tea Party wing of the party and outlined a clear set of policies that she favored. That's one of the reasons that the thinly disguised racism worked so well for the various Republicans historically -- they could claim that the votes they were getting from the racists and such were actually votes in favor of whatever destroy-the-middle-class policies they wanted to do.

Trump has ripped that particular facade away. Trump -- and his supporters -- aren't actually for anything. They're not for the Constitution, for civil rights, for small government, for anything. The party platform bears no relationship to what Trump has been campaigning on (and I'm not the only one who has noticed that; check any of the recent political columnists).

Trump and his supporters are against. They're against Mexicans, against blacks, against women's rights, against[i/] liberals and most of all, [i]against Clinton. (Again, I'm not the only one who's noticed this. See Christie's witch-hunt speech, or Cain's speech explicitly calling Clinton a tool of Satan.)

Basically, the new strategy is riling voters up. Prior to this cycle, you riled voters up for a purpose. You whipped them into a frenzy so that they would do something, so that you had support for what you wanted to do. Trump has stripped that down. He wants to be elected, and that's as far as his ambitions go. He has no policy ambitions, no plans, no path forward. And his supporters are, in the rather prophetic words of Meat Loaf, "all revved up with no place to go."

Maybe I'm just more cynical. The facade was always a facade. The purpose remains the same: Get me into office.

It is the Tea Party wing, which was never really very coherent about what it wanted, just about what it opposed. Trump's just taken that to the extreme and dropped the pretense. He's likely to find out why more successful politicians kept the pretence up: You need the facade to appeal to voters you need in the general election.

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Orfamay Quest wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Pillbug Toenibbler wrote:
So, I think it's time the sane Republicans consider their post-November options.
The problem is, the divide isn't really sane and insane. If anything it's libertarian vs religious.

Except it's not. Trump is neither libertarian, nor is he religious.

As far as I can tell, Trump is nothing except narcissistically antimodernist. He liked the world better in 1955 and so did a lot of other people. He felt more comfortable when everyone around him knew their place and stayed in it, and he campaigns on a promise to put everyone back in their place.

And I think that's what Toenibbler means. Trump represents a new strand of Republican "thought" that is explicitly and by design unsuited to the modern world, because it is a rejection of the modern world. For that matter, it will by its very nature be a failure -- you can't unring a bell, unscramble an egg, pick your favorite clichéd metaphor -- but it can do a lot of damage to the brand in the process of that failure.

So the groups that are at least prepared to deal with changing reality instead of ignoring it will need to find a way to rework their message.

You may be right about it being different from libertarian or religion, but it's not new. It's the Sarah Palin wing. It's the angry wing. It's built off the racism of the Southern Strategy and the religious bigotry that came in with Reagan's embrace of the religious right - not religious per se.

I don't think it's nearly so well defined as "a new strain of Republican thought". It's not new and it's not thought. It's just the same strategy of riling voters up, stripped of it's veneer.

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bugleyman wrote:
thejeff wrote:
On the right, it's all about scapegoats - you're worse off and it's all because of the lazy blacks living off your tax money and the illegals taking your jobs and the gays doing something or other.
LOL. The racism and xenophobia I "understand." But what DO people imagine homosexuals have to do with their economic marginalization?

With economic marginalization? Not much really. But it's all part of the general "it's not my world anymore", "back to the good old days when men were men and everyone else knew their place".

It's not like it's really coherent or based on any kind of logical analysis. It's free-floating rage and it's easy to aim it somewhere useful.

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Scott Betts wrote:

Yeah, it's not a happy time to be a conservative in America (or just about anywhere, for that matter). If you put yourself in their shoes, things are pretty bleak and have been for a while. The world at large doesn't put up with them and their beliefs anymore. Where they were once at least tolerated, they're shamed and marginalized instead. I'm sure they feel like their zone of comfort is rapidly shrinking around them, and I'm sure that's scary as hell to a lot of conservatives.

None of this is to say they don't deserve the experience they're going through. They absolutely do deserve it. But it's easy to understand why they're angry, why they're frustrated, why they feel like nothing is going their way, and why they want someone capable of throwing a punch in their name, even if it's just punching a metaphorical wall.

They're also being constantly lied to by their media and politicians, feeding that anger for their own purposes.

There are reasons to be angry and a similar anger can be seen on the left as well - Sander's campaign and Occupy and, in another context, Black Lives Matter. But there the anger is mostly better directed. On the right, it's all about scapegoats - you're worse off and it's all because of the lazy blacks living off your tax money and the illegals taking your jobs and the gays doing something or other.

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bugleyman wrote:
137ben wrote:
Michael Steele: Hillary Clinton is "absolutely qualified" to be president.
My immediate reaction is to ask why the republicans aren't nominating nominating Micheal Steele. At least in that interview, he comes off as a rational, articulate, and respectful man. In other words, the oppose of Donald Trump.

Because they can't. The base doesn't want rational, articulate and especially respectful.

They're mad as hell and they're not going to take it anymore and they want someone who feels the same way and they don't particularly care where he leads them as long as someone gets hurt.

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Pan wrote:
Looks like tonight is "Make America first again". Ohh and conservative talking head Laura Ingraham will be there. Wonder if she will tell us again how she would rather BM herself then use a bathroom with a transgender person in it?

Don't worry, it's still "email, Benghazi, evil Hillary" night. With a big dose of hate and fear.

But you're right. There may be a bit of "hate and fear the transpeople in your bathroom" along with the usual "hate and fear the muslims and mexicans and blacks".

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From the New Republic

But the power of the images is actually much deeper. They don’t just negate something central to Trump’s appeal. They amplify one (actually more than one) of the main knocks on Trump himself: That he’s sloppy, erratic, in so many ways the opposite of the virtues he claims to embody. And, let’s not gloss over it, this is a depiction of a campaign—a campaign that nurtures white grievance and resentment—trying to profit off the work of a black woman, from an African American family that Trump and his supporters regularly belittle. The fact that the plagiarized text in question was about the value of hard work just makes matters worse. A mortifying, calamitous, self-immolating moment.

For me that sums up why this matters.

But yeah, it would be nice if the press could actually cover this whole spectacle as something other than politics as usual. Cause it really isn't. And treating it that way just legitimizes and normalizes it. Making the Two-Minute Hate (3 hour hate?) into normal politics isn't a good thing.

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

One of the things that's bothering me of Trump v. Clinton is this:

Hillary has been married once to one person and *she is still married*.

Trump has been married what, three times?

Which candidate is holding closer to 'traditional family values'?

Trump, of course.

He's a rich old man with trophy wife. That's pretty damn traditional.

She's a working woman who doesn't show proper subservience to her husband.

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CBDunkerson wrote:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:

No. Just no.

No single party controlled federal gov has been truly fiscally responsible since Coolidge.

The 90's had a balanced budget due to a combination of a two-party deadlock where they shut down each-others' ideas and the tech boom bringing in more tax money than anyone expected.

Setting aside the questionable accuracy of that assesment of the 90s...

balanced budget != fiscally responsible

Most of the time you either want to be running a deficit to fund growth or a surplus to pay off debt. The instances when you would actually want government receipts to equal outlays will be few and far between.

Exactly. Fiscally responsible isn't what many think it is. Nowhere near so simple as "balanced budget".

I'd argue that you really want to be funding growth, pretty much regardless. Paying off debt is mostly irrelevant, if you're growing the economy.

Now, you might want to pay down the debt in cases where you want to cool off the economy, to keep a bubble from blowing up, for example, but again that's actually economic policy, not for the purpose of paying off debt.

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bugleyman wrote:
GM Niles wrote:
Man, if only there were a party that combined actual fiscal responsibility and individual liberties.

If only there were a VIABLE party. The only way Libertarians become viable in a two-party system is by replacing the Republicans.

Can we get on with that already?

Nor does the Libertarian Party combine "actual fiscal responsibility and individual liberties". "Government shouldn't" isn't always the answer to either. Libertarians support individual liberty as far as the free market will do so. If it doesn't, well government still shouldn't interfere.

And didn't we just dissect Gary Johnson's proposed tax measures and spending cuts? Or was that a different thread?

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GM Niles wrote:
Man, if only there were a party that combined actual fiscal responsibility and individual liberties.

That's the Democratic Party.

Actual fiscal responsibility is not the same as austerity and tax cuts.

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GM Niles wrote:

I'm not a Republican, but I feel the urge to defend them, if only a little. BNW is kinda repeating what Vox, The Daily Kos etc have been saying for a while now. However, I'd like to point out that, like all political parties throughout American history, the GOP has kinda been hijacked by its more...extreme? wing. There are lots of Republicans who can't stand Trump and in fact its a big news topic right now that so many are staying home and not attending the convention.

You gotta remember, Trump was elected in a primary system that rewards going as nuts as possible to "bring out the base" and then when he had to split the vote he was pulling 15-20% of primary voters who in most cases are registered Republicans. It was only once most of his substantive opponents dropped out (super Tuesday) that he starting pulling 50+% of registered Republicans (who bothered to vote in the Primary).

TL/DR Trump is an a&&%!@+, and reflective of some Republican voters but not really reflective of the party's (supposed) stances and ideology.

*I use supposed because the last time a Republican was in the Oval Office he did so many non Republican things its kinda difficult to pin down exactly where their stances lay on non social issues..

Well, that's the trouble. If you discount the current party base and what the last Republican in the Oval Office did, you're left defending the Republican Party of 15 years ago. Maybe the party's (supposed) stances and ideology aren't really like that any more? From what I can tell from polling, there was a large exodus from the actual Republican Party to Independent (but still Republican leaning) at the end of the Bush years. The Tea Party movement drove more moderate Republicans away, but fired up the remaining more extreme base.

Honestly though, the shift has been gradual and has been going on for much longer than that. So what era of the Republican Party do you want to defend? Gingrich? Reagan? Nixon?

As for the primary, yeah, how you described it is basically accurate. But throughout the primary, the extreme wing was dominant. The "substantive" candidates who dropped out early couldn't keep up with the extremists. And it's not just that they were splitting the vote, because when they dropped out, that vote didn't consolidate behind the more substantive ones left. Most of it went to Trump. That's how he got to 50%.

It's as BNW said - the Republican Party built this. They've been pushing the anti-government sentiment since Reagan and race and other hatreds since Civil Rights and Nixon's Southern Strategy. They've finally got a demagogue who's willing to say openly what they've been hinting at for years. And a fired up base ecstatic to hear someone "tell it like it is".
The reason the Republican establishment politicians are running away from him isn't that they're horrified by what he's saying, it's that they're horrified he's saying it out loud. Which is also why they can't criticize him too strongly - they rely on the same voters who love him. They just that that being too open about it hurts them outside the base voters.

I'll quote Jeb Bush again back in the aftermath of 2104: A Republican candidate would need to "lose the primary to win the general".

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Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Terquem wrote:
who in my opinion is a narcissistic monster,
I just want to pop in and point out (a bit cynically) that that's not really different from other politicians either. :P

It's a different scale. It really is. It's fashionable to be cynical about politicians and much of it is deserved, but Trump isn't really a politician. He's a con man.

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bugleyman wrote:
Rednal wrote:
Personally, my guess is that a scriptwriter had copied the text from other speeches - maybe to analyze it, see what they could pluck out without SOUNDING like they plucked it out - and accidentally left it in because they got distracted.

Quite possibly. But at best that makes the plagiarism inadvertent.

In any event, if that is what happened, they should just say that, instead of doubling down on an obvious lie.

Well, if we're going by "should", Trump should fold his campaign now and apologize to the Republican Party, the American people and possibly the entire human race.

But we're well past "should".

And as CBDunkerson said, the plagiarism was the high point of the night. Many of the original speeches were far worse. If anything the furor over the plagiarism just distracts from the real problems.

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CrystalSeas wrote:
Fergie wrote:
Wait, wait wait! I can carry a real AR-15, but not a toy gun, tennis balls, or canned goods? This country is f!%&ing INSANE!

The Police Officers Union has asked the governor of Ohio to suspend the Ohio open carry law. He's said he doesn't care if that's unconstitutional.

Any bets on how long it will take for the NRA to figure out how to handle the police asking to shut down the 2nd amendment?

Is this the "government tyranny" they've been warning us about?

Nah. This is the police not wanting to get shot at more than necessary. And not wanting too many excess shootings during the convention.

No guns are allowed at the actual convention itself, of course. It's only the idiots wandering the streets they're worried about.

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Hitdice wrote:
From the reports I've heard, there's no evidence of ideology playing any part in this aside from Daesh claiming credit for the attack. I'm not saying we should deny evidence when it's there, but let's not assume a very troubled guy who committed suicide by cop had any other agenda.

Or even he does turn out to have been radicalized and acting in the name of Daesh, that the particular doctrine of die on jihad => go to heaven had any real impact.

Islam is far from the only religion (or other kind of ideology) that's inspired followers to give their lives.

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Orfamay Quest wrote:

The problem is that the fuse is already burning. Or, if you prefer, the pebbles are already starting to fall at the beginning of what will be an avalanche.

However, this time the pebbles have already voted.

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HeHateMe wrote:

The only issue I have with any of these "re-imagined" characters is how whiny and entitled people are now. People just seem to think comic writers OWE them an A-list superhero that's their race/gender/religion/sexual orientation and it's absolute bullcrap.

Writers write because they're artists and they enjoy it. They are not public sector employees, their services aren't paid for by tax dollars and they owe no one anything. If someone doesn't like what a comic writer/artist/company is doing, they can simply choose not to buy their books. But now, people seem to think that any writer who doesn't change an A-list character's race/gender/religion/sexual orientation is some kind of evil nazi. Sorry people, but a writer isn't an evil person just because he doesn't change Superman to match your exact demographic. You may want Superman to match your demographic, but those are just creative differences, not part of some villainous agenda.

In addition to what Rysky said: I've never seen this entitlement you're talking about. I've never seen a writer attacked for not changing an A-list character. I've seen plenty of attacks for changing one, from the fairly minor ones in this very thread to the screaming and death threats over Miles as Spider-man.

There maybe individual crazies out there saying this, it's a big world, but I've never seen the internet blow up over "I just picked up Action Comics 815 and Superman is Still White! You're a Nazi!!!!"
But every time there is such a change, there is exactly that backlash.

Admittedly, I have seen outrage when the original character takes his title back from a replacement minority character. That's the closest I've seen.

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CrystalSeas wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
How much do these various options cost?

I use CharlesScwab. There are a number of others, but at the time I was setting up to do this, they were the cheapest.

online brokers

You're talking too different things. You're suggesting killing Social Security entirely and talking about how people might invest on their own.

Irontruth is talking about the usual Social Security "privatization" proposals, which involve the government still collecting the money and doing something with it for you: Possibly letting you control where the account is invested, possibly managing it for you.
Who's going to do that? What are the costs? What are the risks?

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Kolokotroni wrote:
CrystalSeas wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
And people need to understand that.

The most effective way to get people to understand is not to lecture and preach.

What is effective is to start running for local township and city councils. To elect candidates to the school board, to elect like]minded people to the county commission.

At the local level, people are much more likely to ignore party labels and to vote for the person they've met and talked with, even worked with on community projects and charity organizations.

Once you've got a bunch of like-minded people in office at the local level, they can then build up to the state and national level seats based on their ideas and effectiveness in actually making a difference at the local level.

Posting comments on an international forum is not going to effect change. If you can't run yourself, find someone who will and manage their campaign for them. But the only way you're going to get a 3rd party on the national ballot is to have that party have plenty of support precinct by precinct at the local level

Yes you will need support at the local level, but all the support in the world will be meaningless if you don't change the voting at the national level. That literally has to happen first. Or your third party will be born, grow a little and eventually die. All the local groundswell in the world wont change the fact that Bernie HAS to try to get his supporters to support Hilary even if in reality he and his following is a 3rd party when compared to the 'mainstream' democratic party.

The better approach, as I've said before, is not to try to grow a third party, but to do what the Tea Party did: co-opt an existing one. That's essentially what Sanders tried to do, but I'd take Koloktroni's advice and work from the bottom up. Get those Sanders supporters together and get them to run for local offices. Volunteer to work for the party - help get those local candidates elected. Even work for Clinton too, even if it's just to get your foot in the local door, so you can have your people running the local Democratic party operation by the next cycle. Primary your establishment politicians, local and national. Even if you can't beat them, make them worry about primaries if they step out of line.

Just don't go too far and get too crazy, like the Tea Party did. It'll be harder, since you won't have the same kind of support, but it's far more feasible than a new party or quixotic Presidential runs.

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thegreenteagamer wrote:

When 2/3 of the people don't vote because they're dissatisfied with the two options in front of them, I'd say 3rd parties have a place in our system. So many people say they don't vote for a third party because they can't possibly win - but considering how many Americans are independent, they actually can.

Whether in the long term they will remain, frankly, I don't care. (Okay, I do care, but not nearly as much as I care about this particular election having a third option.) All I care about is right now, I have two choices in front of me that are, to be blunt, horrible, and I absolutely, vehemently, and totally refuse to give a vote to either one of them. I'm absolutely not going to vote for someone I find a villain just because their opponent is a super villain.

You can do as you please. Just understand it's a protest vote with no practical effect.

I think you're fundamentally wrong, not just about Clinton, but about the American public. I'm not sure where you got the 2/3 don't vote from. In 2012 it was around 43% of eligible voters that didn't vote. Far too high, but not two thirds, either. I'd be shocked if turnout was nearly that much lower this time. The primary turnout was lower, but it always is.

That's also not necessarily because "they're dissatisfied with the two options in front of them", either. People have many reasons for not voting. Don't push your motivations on them. Nor assume that they'd find your third party better. Maybe they're just not paying attention (most likely). Maybe they're happy with the status quo and just don't care. Who knows.

More generally, as has been said here before, third parties not having a chance isn't a conspiracy and isn't because people think they can't win, it's a practical consequence of the system the founders set up, ironically partly to avoid the problems of parties.

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Kryzbyn wrote:
How about we don't charge sales tax on food/groceries?

Well, that's a third of a poor family's spending not taxed. Everything else pretty much is. Including rent and health care. Under Johnson's FairTax proposal at least.

Frankly, anyone who thinks the way to address the increase in health care costs in this country is to throw a 30% tax on all of it, is just disqualified.

Since the Fair Tax supposedly replaces FICA taxes as well, I'm not at all sure how his privatizing Social Security plan fits in. There is no separate track of SS money to privatize.

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Irontruth wrote:

I'm not opposed to modifying the retirement age based on the type of work we do. I'm starting up school again this fall, with plans to become a teacher. Partly because I've been super poor the past 10 years, I know I'm going to need to work until I'm at least 70, so part of my decision was going after a career that will let me do that. I had considered some more physically demanding careers, like pipe fitter pays well and is in very high demand, but I'd probably destroy my body much faster, meaning I could only get in another 15-20 years of work. It just wouldn't be enough time for me to build up what I'll need.

I think modifying the retirement age based on the kind of work done would be fine. The exact details and numbers I don't know, but letting people who have to do physically demanding work retire at 60 with full Social Security benefits sounds reasonable. If something happens on the job, they would be eligible for Disability Insurance. Then push the age to 70 for those who's bodies aren't broken down by the work they do.

We live longer lives than we did 50 years ago. Part of that might mean we have to work longer to earn the money we need for the last part of our lives.

As you say, raising the retirement age is fine for the office workers, but hell on those with more physical jobs. I really doubt any kind of job based differences in retirement age would fly, politically. It's not that simple either. I know people who took early retirement because they lost their tech jobs in the recession and couldn't get hired again. How does that fit in?

The simpler solution is just raising the cap.

The better, but more difficult solution is fixing the economy, reducing income inequality, so that the social security tax captures more income without actual raising rates. Not an easy goal, but it fixes so many more problems with the country it's needed.

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:

If he's seriously doubled down with Pence, I can't vote for that kind of draconian social policy.

Johnson it is.

That's a heck of a regressive tax scheme he's got.

Even the 12% (or what it is today) likely aren't really looking at his policies, but are just making protest votes.

Huge National Sales Tax? privatize Social Security?

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NobodysHome wrote:
ChucklesMcTruck wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
As a skilled chef you could get any result you wanted from filet mignon to burnt to a crisp.
That actually makes a lot more sense to me. You'd be skilled enough to fake being terrible.

As a lifelong cook, I'll have to politely disagree, and go with the "Bluff" crowd.


Because it's not just about making something taste bad, or cooking it too long. It's about handling the knife poorly. About bumping into people, and pretending you don't hear the "music of the kitchen". It's about being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and pretending that you don't know where to look to find an ingredient, or pretending you don't even know what the ingredients are.

In my mind, to my somewhat-trained eye, the difference between watching a professional chef pretending to be bad and a true novice would be palpable and obvious. But it's because I know my way around a kitchen.

I'd give the professional chef a significant bonus to his/her Bluff if none of the observers had "Profession: Cook". +4 maybe?

It also depends even more on whether you're being judged by someone watching you cook or just by the finished product.

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Or in the case of the original, hypothetical, and non-existent "tragedy of the commons", the community.
Ours is run by the person with the most money, so... the person who cut their workforce by 40%.

Well yes. Now that we've long discarded the social structures that worked for centuries, we need more formal legal government structures to handle the things we hold in common.

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Turin the Mad wrote:

Automation will have to balance against income. Automated McDogmeat's are going to sell burgers to no one if there's no income to be had from customers wanting to eat a tasty McDogmeat's sammich because no one can afford to eat anything but their state dispensed Sustenance Allowance.

In a planned economy sure, but we don't have one of those.

What happens is that it WOULD be in everyone's best interest if there were workers with enough pocket change to buy burgers.

But the optimum strategy for any individual company is to give it's workers as little money as possible and let the OTHER businesses pay their workers more to buy your stuff.

Tragedy of the commons

if you can cut half your white collar work force and don't you'll be out of business competing against people who do.

And thus, government.

Or in the case of the original, hypothetical, and non-existent "tragedy of the commons", the community.

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Aranna wrote:
Tormsskull wrote:
Aranna wrote:
But the chance of some catastrophe destroying the amulet approaches 100% as you get closer to infinity.
Until you add in magic, then the chance goes down really low.
Does it? Is there a spell that makes something indestructible? Say a war starts that sees the use of nuclear weapons, if your amulet is in one of the vaporized cities then it's gone. Say in a million years the sun goes supernova Earth (and your amulet) are gone.

Make yourself a demiplane and stick it in there. Especially if no one else has magic, nothing else can get to it.

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BigNorseWolf wrote:

I don't think the judicial branch was supposed to be nearly as powerful as it is: the original constitution didn't grant the feds the power to override the states on anything really (So new york could stifle free speach but the federal government could not) , and the supreme court pretty much gave itself the power to declare things unconstitutional.

Washington only veto'd things he thought were unconstitutional.

The court may have officially given itself that power, but the power really was implicit in the combination of a Supreme Court and a written Constitution as the highest law of the land.

It became explicit when someone first walked into a courtroom claiming a law conflicted with the constitution. Once that happens, the court has to decide whether it's true and what to do in that case.

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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Fergie wrote:
thejeff wrote:

But that's not the general election electorate. Now we can look at general election polling and we can see the same kind of data that predicted (or at least hinted at) a Trump primary win clearly shows him well behind in general.

Depends where you look:

"The broad discontent is reflected in the head-to-head contest, which has Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton tied at 40 percent. Mr. Trump’s standing has held steady for weeks at around 40 percentage points, while Mrs. Clinton has polled in the mid-40s in most public surveys."
Poll Finds Voters in Both Parties Unhappy With Their Candidates

Anyone who thinks that the Presidential election is sewn up for the Democrats, is severely out of touch with reality.

"Sewn up" is stronger than I'd want to say. Anything can happen in politics. The election is still more than 3 months away.

Still, Clinton is in a far better position than Trump. In general, she's polling better, despite some cherry picked examples. The swing state polling is more important and also quite good. Polls of the "Who do you think will win?" question, which has been more reliable this far out, are even more strongly in her favor, as are the betting markets.
Practically, any Democrat has strong structural advantages these days. Irontruth pointed out some, as well as the flaws in Trump's campaign organization and strategy.

It's possible all the conventional wisdom is wrong. That campaign organization and ground game don't matter in the face of Twitter and big rallies. That Trump can win in Democratic strongholds. I sure wouldn't put money on it though.

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bugleyman wrote:
Rosita the Riveter wrote:
The way I see it, the House isn't going Blue...
I was under the impression that was a real possibility?

There's an outside chance, if Trump drags the GOP down far enough. It's not likely. It would need to be a huge wave to overcome the gerrymandering.

More likely, Clinton will beat Trump by historic margins, but that won't translate to the same level of success downticket because it's so heavily based on Trump being a horrible candidate.

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Zhangar wrote:
Sundakan wrote:


Trump: "He always says what's on his mind! He tells it like it is! ..."


I cringe whenever I see that.

Because in a campaign season containing the likes of Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz, Trump still manages to be the most dishonest candidate in the running.

Though I'm more inclined to think that it's less deliberate lies and more that he just spouts off what he thinks his supporters want to hear (with the horrible ramifications of that) without any regard to reality.

I do not understand this concept of "lies". Speech has a use value. Do the things you say get you what you want? That's the only relevant question. If saying "A" gets you what you want now and saying "not A" gets you what you want from some other group, that's what you do.

<snark off>The real reason I cringe when I see that isn't so much that I know Trump is dishonest as the mindset so often behind it: Trump has just said something bigoted and awful and the listener assumes he's saying what he really believes and that other people are just hiding those same awful beliefs. They think everyone hates like they do and is just pretending not to.

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Rednal wrote:
One note: Yes, Hillary has more delegates and such, enough to vote to get her way... but, clearly, a very sizable part of her political party has other ideas. You don't bring a party together by running roughshod over people just because you can, and she'd probably do well to address the concerns of Sanders' supporters on at least some issues. If you can't find a good balance between the people who currently agree with you and the people you don't, you're probably not fit to be President in the first place.

Which, to some extent, she already has and continues to do. Her proposed policies have shifted towards Bernie's over the course of the campaign. The platform is more progressive than it has been in a long time.

Obviously the question of how she'll actually live up to that is an open one, but it's also one that can't be answered until after the election, probably well after.

OTOH, if as much of the current rhetoric has it, their concerns are with her being corrupt and in the pay of Wall Street or a sock puppet for whoever has influence or "really a moderate Republican" or other things along those lines, there's really nothing she can do at this point to address those concerns.
She can change her proposed policies, but if they just think she's lying, that's not going to help.

And frankly, despite the Sanders support, a sizable part of the party is behind her. Even many of those who voted for Sanders aren't opposed to her. Liking his ideas better doesn't mean you're against Clinton. I voted for Sanders. I'm not happy with everything Clinton has done or has proposed, but that's always been true of every politician.

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Kryzbyn wrote:

Saw this on FB:

Random Starnger on the Interwebs wrote:

FAQ time:
Q. Why did Bernie endorse Hillary now?
A. They threatened to completey shut him out of the convention if he didn't.
Q. Couldn't he have said screw them and go and fight at the convention anyway?
A. No. Hillary has more delegates, Superdelegates, and supporters on the DNC rules committee. They would have voted down every one of our platforms, denied Bernie the opportunity to speak, and basically shut him out of the entire process. All the leverage he has gained up to this point would be gone.
Q. So wait, Bernie DIDN'T quit today?
A. No. He had to say she won the primary, he endorses her and will help the party defeat Trump, yadda yadda but he DID NOT concede. There is a very big and important difference. Had he conceded, all of his delegates would go to Hillary and he would no longer be an option for nominee.
Q. So Bernie can actually still win??
A. YES. And if he wasn't still TRYING to win, he would have conceded. The ONLY option he had to get to the convention with his delegates behind him and have a chance to still win was to do what he did today. He is not a traitor. He didn't sell us out. He did the only possible thing he could have done to keep fighting for the nomination.
Q. So how can Bernie still win if he's losing the delegate count and he just said he will help Hillary win the election?
A. By far the most important thing to the DNC, even more important than making sure Hillary beats Bernie, is making sure the Democratic nominee beats the Republicans in November. They scrutinize every poll, every opinion of the public, every event to judge whether a candidate is strong enough to win in November. There are A LOT of things going on right now that show how weak of a general election candidate Hillary Clinton is:
-66% of the country sees her as untrustworthy
-60% thinks she should have been indicted for the email scandal
-A lot of Bernie supporters won't vote for her
-Congress has requested the Department of

No. It doesn't look feasible at all. In theory, if Clinton was actually arrested or something drastically horrible came out, that would be his chance. But people have been waiting for decades for Clinton (Bill or Hillary) to be arrested for the latest overhyped scandal.

Other than that, the pledged delegates are bound to vote, mostly for Hillary. If he wants to change that, he needs to convince the superdelegates he's been attacking as corrupt, establishment hacks that he's their best chance. He tried that publicly earlier and got nowhere. An impassioned plea on the convention floor won't change that.

And Bernie's smart enough to know it. He's done. He's backing Hillary. Like he said he would, from the beginning.
Barring some unexpected outside change in the situation, he's not going for a convention fight. He's not going to run as a third party. He's backing Hillary Clinton.

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Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
For example, Obama's got six pages of broken progressive promises.

... as well as seven pages of compromises achieved and twelve pages of promises kept.

If you're going to show numbers, please show all of them.


In the five minutes that I looked after Citizen Everything mentioned it, I read on the Promises Kept page things like "Extend Bush Tax Cuts" and "Send Two More Brigades to Afghanistan."

Those aren't progressive promises.

Have you checked that all the Promises Broken are progressive?

Same argument. But yeah, I'm sure Progressive issues are harder to get through. That's not really a surprise.

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Kazuka wrote:

Do I really think it's happening? After the Ficus Campaign and a dog being elected mayor that did end up getting covered, I really would not be surprised if there are a lot of elections where organized write-ins for ordinary people have a good chance of winning.

Also, it's indicative of one of the bigger problems: The two-party system controlling the elections. Let's say we have two primary party candidates who pretty much come down to Stalin vs. Hitler as far as how good they'll be for the nation. I mean, you pretty much don't want these people to even remain in the nation, let alone win a political office. But there's this highly popular, non-party guy who would do a good job, but isn't popular with the political parties. What are the chances of Mr. Write-in actually winning?

The reason why the write-in system even exists is for when the party-backed candidates are pretty much the same shade of terrible. And yet, the system itself is set up to make this option into a joke.

Joke write in candidates winning is evidence the system is set up to stop write in candidates from winning? I can't follow your logic.

File the paperwork. Declare yourself a candidate. Take the one simple little step and the objection goes away. If someone's actually serious about running, even as a write in, there's so much other work to do that one little step is such a trivial hurdle it's not worth worrying about.

As for your hypothetical: If they're really Hitler and Stalin and voters don't actually want Hitler or Stalin - well it's still an uphill battle, but there's nothing in the process to stop the write in from winning. It's just harder to persuade millions of voters that they need to write your name in than to persuade them to check one of the boxes. You're better off trying to get on the ballot as a third party candidate, which in most cases isn't hard for anyone with a campaign that has a chance of winning. If you've got the money, the resources and the support, you'll get on the ballot.
The only real exception would be if for one reason or another you didn't decide to run until too late. Often that's someone who lost a primary wanting a do-over for the general election. In this case I guess we could assume that our Stalin and Hitler didn't tear off the masks and rant about how they were going to destroy the country until well after the primaries - which would explain how they got the nominations without actually having support.

Stepping away from the hypothetical here: The real problem with a candidate like Trump isn't that the system is corrupt and set up for him to win, but that the system is working and far too many people actually like what he's spouting. Throughout the process, the polling pointed to him as the winner. By a plurality of the Republican primary voters, not an actual majority, admittedly. That scares me far more than any problems with the system. There are a lot of people out there who are seriously behind him.

And if you think Hillary is just as bad (or even close to it) then the same should worry you on the other side. Though at least there you can just pretend she's fooled them all into thinking she's not whatever it is you're sure she is. Apparently even Bernie. Either that or the whole Sanders movement was a ploy all along. Since he started by praising her and ending by endorsing her ...

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