BBO Discussion Forums: Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? - BBO Discussion Forums

Jump to content

  • 742 Pages +
  • « First
  • 721
  • 722
  • 723
  • 724
  • 725
  • Last »
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#14441 User is offline   y66 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 4,641
  • Joined: 2006-February-24

Posted 2019-December-13, 07:00

re: how things got this bad --

Citizens United + the accumulated effects of increasingly gigantic corporations using their economic power to buy votes and influence policy come to mind. So does this 1979 quote from Robert Pitofsky: "massively concentrated economic power, or state intervention induced by that level of concentration, is incompatible with liberal, constitutional democracy.” Ditto apparently for compatibility with life on Earth as we once knew it.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
0

#14442 User is offline   Winstonm 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 14,433
  • Joined: 2005-January-08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Interests:Art, music

Posted 2019-December-13, 10:23

We in the U.S.A. are on the brink of losing the Republic.
“It’s just so unfair that American companies aren’t allowed to pay bribes to get business overseas,” Trump whines
0

#14443 User is offline   barmar 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Admin
  • Posts: 19,123
  • Joined: 2004-August-21
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2019-December-13, 10:43

 Chas_P, on 2019-December-11, 19:48, said:

I don't. If they come here legally (meaning properly vetted and abiding by our current immigration laws) I'm all for them; their religion or country of origin is not significant.

Doesn't that presuppose that they can get into the vetting process in the first place? What do you think of Trump's changes to policies that impede this, like the "Remain in Mexico" policy for asylum-seeker? Or not doing anything to reduce the Immigration Court backlog?

And what about the travel ban, which isn't even about immigrants, it also blocks people travelling to the US for business or pleasure?

What did you think of this statement by Trump during his campaign:

Quote

When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.


#14444 User is offline   barmar 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Admin
  • Posts: 19,123
  • Joined: 2004-August-21
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2019-December-13, 10:51

 y66, on 2019-December-12, 21:52, said:

From Paul Krugman at NYT:


I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't fully understand how things got this bad.

Is there some hope from the number of GOP Congress members who have announced their retirement?

#14445 User is offline   y66 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 4,641
  • Joined: 2006-February-24

Posted 2019-December-13, 14:54

 barmar, on 2019-December-13, 10:51, said:

Is there some hope from the number of GOP Congress members who have announced their retirement?

23 Reps have said they plan to retire in 2020. That's 3 more than the number of Reps who retired before the 2016 elections so not a big increase.

According to Emily Cochrane and Julie Hirshfeld Davis at NYT:

Quote

Only a few, such as Representative Will Hurd of Texas, appeared likely to face a difficult re-election campaign. Most have explained their planned farewells at the end of their terms in 2021 in personal terms, citing health and family concerns or a general sense that “it’s time.’’

But former lawmakers and several political strategists said the departures were more likely a consequence of two dawning realities for Republican House members: Being in the minority is no fun, and their chances of ending Democratic rule next year are fading fast.

For some Republicans, the prospect of sharing a ticket with Mr. Trump is unappealing, especially after the midterm elections last year, when the president’s incendiary speech and divisive style saddled candidates with a brand that alienated politically crucial suburban voters, especially women and those with college educations.

But for others, Mr. Trump’s place on the ballot could help preserve some newly vacant Republican seats and help whittle away at the Democratic majority. In 2016, he won dozens of the districts where freshman Democrats now hold seats.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
0

#14446 User is offline   y66 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 4,641
  • Joined: 2006-February-24

Posted 2019-December-13, 17:11

From David Fickling at Bloomberg:

Quote

After almost two years of tariffs, counter-tariffs, meetings, bad-tempered tweets, and backroom maneuverings, we may finally be on the brink of the first part of a hoped-for trade deal between the U.S. and China. It wasn’t worth it.

President Donald Trump has signed off on an agreement to de-escalate his conflict with Beijing, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News. Discussions will focus on the U.S. reducing tariff rates on Chinese imports by as much as half and delaying pending ones, while Beijing will agree to purchase U.S. farm products and do more on intellectual-property theft, officials said.

The S&P 500 index closed up 0.9% at a record high on the news. Naturally, it’s a relief when a nation decides to stop punching itself in the face; how much better if it hadn’t started, though.

From what we can see, there is nothing in this tentative deal that wouldn’t have existed in the absence of the past two years of wrangling. Intellectual property reform has been a long-standing project for President Xi Jinping. China’s first dedicated IP courts were established back in 2014 and have generally dealt fairly with non-Chinese litigants.

Penalties, the most glaring weakness in the post-2014 system, are already being toughened. Perhaps that’s come as a result of U.S. pressure — but it fits just as well with China’s domestic priorities, and the general path of industrializing nations who switch from flouting to protecting IP the moment they start generating some of their own worth protecting.

The phase one deal’s commitments on farm purchases — which, according to one report, won’t even be in writing — were similarly predictable. This was the main plank of the earlier proposed deal that fell apart in May, and since then the devastation of China’s pork herd from African swine fever has left it even greater need of more imported protein. If you think China’s increased appetite for U.S. farm exports is a result of Beijing buckling before American economic might rather than an inevitable outcome of trade economics, then consider Brazil. Chinese leaders have swallowed their pride and made vigorous efforts to mend fences with the South American country, a far less powerful exporter of meat and oilseeds.

That’s not even getting to the concessions being made by the U.S. On the currency front, officials told Bloomberg News that there’ll be an agreement from both sides not to manipulate their currencies. Such an accord is absurd on multiple levels. China doesn’t meet the U.S. Treasury’s own criteria for currency manipulation, though it was placed on its latest list of malefactors for reasons you can more or less sum up as “Just Because.” The U.S., with a half-trillion dollar current account deficit, is an even more unlikely candidate for currency manipulation. Commitments in this area will be meaningless words.

The bigger issue is around what Washington is giving up. The argument that will be made in favor of this deal is that it’s only a phase one agreement, and further benefits will be extracted from Beijing as the process goes on. But the $50 billion-odd commitment on farm purchases will be matched with an agreement by Washington on tariff reductions with a similar-sized price tag, plus further delays to planned tariff increases, the officials told Bloomberg News.

If you thought the trade war was a bad idea in the first place, that’s a welcome development. But if you went into this arguing that Washington was going to extract concessions from the Chinese government using the leverage of its export market, this is a problem. If little has been achieved when leverage was at its highest, even less is going to be achieved once that leverage is ratcheted back down.

Looking at the bullish state of markets, it’s tempting to think that none of this really matters. But it’s worth reflecting on how much of this positive mood is attributable to the more active stance adopted by central banks, which have cushioned a deteriorating geopolitical picture. Global growth in 2019 will be the weakest since the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, according to the International Monetary Fund, and China and the U.S. will both slow next year. With paralysis at the World Trade Organization, we could be closer to the beginning than the end of the troubles in the global trading system.

Washington began this trade war with no clear idea of its objectives, how it would achieve them, or what sacrifices it was prepared to make. It’s now on the brink of a ceasefire that allows it to quit the field with a few shreds of dignity intact. It would have been far better had the battle never been joined.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
0

#14447 User is offline   y66 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 4,641
  • Joined: 2006-February-24

Posted 2019-December-13, 20:49

From Josh Dzeiza at The Verge:

Quote

Whatever Foxconn is building in Wisconsin, it’s not the $10 billion, 22 million-square-foot Generation 10.5 LCD factory that President Trump once promised would be the “eighth wonder of the world.” At various points over the last two years, the Taiwanese tech manufacturer has said it would build a smaller LCD factory; that it wouldn’t build a factory at all; that it would build an LCD factory; that the company could make any number of things, from screens for cars to server racks to robot coffee kiosks; and so on.

Throughout these changes, one question has loomed: given that Foxconn is building something completely different than that Gen 10.5 LCD facility specified in its original contract with Wisconsin, is it still going to get the record-breaking $4.5 billion in taxpayer subsidies?

Documents obtained by The Verge show that Wisconsin officials have repeatedly — and with growing urgency — warned Foxconn that its current project has veered far from what was described in the original deal and that the contract must be amended if the company is to receive subsidies. Foxconn, however, has declined to amend the contract, and it indicated that it nevertheless intends to apply for tax credits.

Foxconn has “refused by inaction” to amend the deal, says Wisconsin Department of Administration Secretary Joel Brennan. “They were continuously encouraged. It’s a relatively recent development, where they have said, ‘No, we don’t want to do anything with the contract.’ Our expectation has been, and continues to be, that they should want to come back and have discussions about this.”

The documents show it was Foxconn that first proposed amending the contract in a meeting on March 11th, 2019. Over the following months, various officials from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and Gov. Tony Evers’ administration urged Foxconn to formally apply to revise its contract to reflect whatever it is actually building, a process that would involve describing Foxconn’s current plans, its expected costs, employment, and other basic details.

Foxconn never did.

Instead, a Foxconn representative wrote a brief letter asking the then-CEO of WEDC to make the current factory eligible for subsidies under the original contract. The company later claimed it has a right to apply for subsidies no matter what it builds in Wisconsin. Negotiations appear to have completely broken down in late November, after Foxconn director of US strategic initiatives Alan Yeung accused the Evers administration of being unfriendly to business, and saying that “discussions regarding immaterial matters are a misappropriation of our collective time and energy.”

Despite the impasse, Foxconn vice chairman Jay Lee told reporters as recently as last week that the company had hired more than the 520 workers required by the contract to receive subsidies for 2019, a surprising turnaround, given that Foxconn ended last year with only 156 employees and has yet to manufacture anything in Wisconsin. If Foxconn’s application for subsidies were to be certified by the state, Wisconsin would potentially pay the company more than $50 million in cash next year.

But unless something changes dramatically in the coming weeks, Foxconn’s application is more likely to result in a tense legal showdown with Wisconsin and the Evers administration. And to amend the deal, Foxconn will have to specify exactly what it plans to manufacture in Wisconsin, something the company has all but refused to do.

“It’s time to get some answers,” says Wisconsin State Assembly Rep. Gordon Hintz. “Wisconsinites deserve better than having Donald Trump show up in May, pulling back a curtain on a bunch of people assembling flat panel TVs and saying, ‘look what we’ve done.’”

Don't we all.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
0

#14448 User is offline   Chas_P 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Yellows
  • Posts: 1,070
  • Joined: 2008-September-03
  • Location:Gainesville, GA USA

Posted 2019-December-13, 21:05

 barmar, on 2019-December-13, 10:43, said:

What did you think of this statement by Trump during his campaign:


Quote

They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.


I agree with him 100%. Some are good people; some are bad people. The problem is figuring out which is which. But the solution is not to let them all in and figure it out later.

#14449 User is offline   hrothgar 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 14,291
  • Joined: 2003-February-13
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Natick, MA
  • Interests:Travel
    Cooking
    Brewing
    Hiking

Posted 2019-December-13, 22:25

 Chas_P, on 2019-December-13, 21:19, said:

Ya know, Richard, you are really nothing more than an egocentric foul-mouthed little dipshit. I'm sure it's ok for me to say that because Barry advised me privately that "In the Water Cooler we are very liberal about language."


No Chas,

I am far more that an egocentric foul mouthed little dipshit.
I am quite capable of having reasoned constructive discussions with individuals who deserve it.

However, you're an odious little piece of ***** whose only purpose in coming to the forums is to act like an asshole.
You go out of your way to antagonize people.

Case in point: Last month when you made your ridiculous claim that you were walking away from the forums until 11/3/2020 you shifted right over to sending me abusive private messages.

The difference between you and me is that I am capable of something other than trolling and do so all the time...
How often do your posts generate any kind of response other than ridicule and / or abuse?
Alderaan delenda est
0

#14450 User is offline   y66 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 4,641
  • Joined: 2006-February-24

Posted 2019-December-14, 09:28

Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to my fellow posters and a heart full of love for the BBO WC, today I am asking our mods to ban chas_p and hrothgar from this thread until they apologize for personally attacking each other which is ungentlemanly and a clear violation of Article 1 of the WC policy:

Quote

1) No personal attacks. Insults are a No-No. You can have issues with someone else's opinion and attack that (in a civilised manner hopefully), but don't go after anyone personally.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
0

#14451 User is offline   y66 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 4,641
  • Joined: 2006-February-24

Posted 2019-December-14, 10:07

From Abigail Spanberger (D-VA)'s weekly wrap-up of what she's working on which she emails to her constituents. Spanberger is one of the 4 moderate Virginia Dems who flipped districts in the 2018 election.

Quote

Good morning friends,

We had a packed week in the House, passing four major pieces of legislation on defense and national security, prescription drugs, voting rights, and the agricultural workforce. I was pleased to be able to make tangible progress on these important issues and to send more legislation to the Senate for a vote. Please keep scrolling for a brief update on this week's work and thank you, as always, for sharing in the work I'm doing for Central Virginia.

WHAT I'M WORKING ON

This week, the United States, Mexico, and Canada reached a final agreement on the USMCA trade deal. I'm very pleased that this agreement, which will bring much-needed trade stability to Virginia farms, manufacturers, and businesses, is now in its final stages. Last Friday, I met with Vice President Pence at the White House to discuss the negotiations and maintain an open, bipartisan dialogue. The House just received implementing legislation from the administration, and I'll continue pushing for a fast floor vote.

The House passed a major, bipartisan defense spending bill this week. This legislative package included three of my provisions, including my border security bill with Texas Republic Rep. Will Hurd, and is expected to be signed into law by President Trump. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) also includes the largest pay raise for our troops in a decade.

I also voted to pass the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, a landmark bill that would empower Medicare to negotiate drug prices and put a $2,000 cap on out-of-pocket drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries. There is absolutely no reason why Virginia seniors and families should pay two, three, or even ten times the price for the same medications as citizens in other nations. I'm proud that we were able to pass a bill with practical measures that work to lower the astronomical costs facing our neighbors.

Earlier in the week, the I joined a bipartisan majority of the House to pass the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. This bill, supported by Republicans, Democrats, and hundreds of agricultural organizations from across the country, would help give farms, greenhouses, and agribusinesses access to the reliable workers they need, while also establishing a program for agricultural workers to earn legal status through continued agricultural employment.

Within the last week, I also helped pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act, introduced a bipartisan education and workforce training bill with Congressman Rob Wittman (R-VA-01), and introduced a measure that would help more Central Virginian students who are interested in STEM fields.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
0

#14452 User is offline   awm 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 8,064
  • Joined: 2005-February-09
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Zurich, Switzerland

Posted 2019-December-14, 10:22

 y66, on 2019-December-14, 10:07, said:

From Abigail Spanberger (D-VA)'s weekly wrap-up of what she's working on which she emails to her constituents. Spanberger is one of the 4 moderate Virginia Dems who flipped districts in the 2018 election.


Sadly, these are probably dead on arrival in the Senate, despite some of them being bipartisan bills that are quite popular with the electorate. After all, Mitch McConnell has judges to confirm (and an impeachment trial to rig).
Adam W. Meyerson
a.k.a. Appeal Without Merit
0

#14453 User is offline   jjbrr 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 3,523
  • Joined: 2009-March-30
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2019-December-14, 17:16

I, for one, will NOT be voting for Hunter Biden in the 2020 election. I encourage you all to do the same.
OK
bed
0

#14454 User is offline   johnu 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 3,195
  • Joined: 2008-September-10

Posted 2019-December-14, 18:20

 y66, on 2019-December-14, 09:28, said:

Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to my fellow posters and a heart full of love for the BBO WC, today I am asking our mods to ban chas_p and hrothgar from this thread until they apologize for personally attacking each other which is ungentlemanly and a clear violation of Article 1 of the WC policy:

I place a lot of the blame on barmar and diana_eva for enabling a troll who also also represents BBO. I don't think they did this intentionally, but the troll has warped their inaction as tacit approval of his postings.
0

#14455 User is offline   Chas_P 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Yellows
  • Posts: 1,070
  • Joined: 2008-September-03
  • Location:Gainesville, GA USA

Posted 2019-December-14, 19:07

 y66, on 2019-December-14, 09:28, said:

Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to my fellow posters and a heart full of love for the BBO WC, today I am asking our mods to ban chas_p and hrothgar from this thread until they apologize for personally attacking each other which is ungentlemanly and a clear violation of Article 1 of the WC policy:


I had the following private discussion with Barry beginning on November 18:

Quote

hrothgar has complained that you're harassing him in private messages since you decided to leave the Trump thread in Water Cooler. This is not acceptable, and if it continues we will suspend your account.

To which I replied

Quote


LOL. It's impossible to "harass" anyone with a hide as thick as his. And I assume it's acceptable for him to call me "asswipe" on the message board. Anyway, don't worry. I've said all I intend to say to him.

Then I asked

Quote


I do have a follow-up question and I’m not looking for a fight…just enlightenment. Does Richard have a financial interest in BBO? He has openly ridiculed you as an ineffective board administrator, yet when he feels he’s been “harassed” he comes whining to you and you jump to his defense. He can post any vulgarity he likes….”asswipe”, “***** for brains”, etc. and he’s never admonished nor the vulgar posts deleted. I know you’re on BBO’s payroll; is Richard your boss? It doesn’t really affect my life one way or the other; I’m just curious. Please respond. Thanks.


To which he replied

Quote


Richard and I know each other casually (we're both in the Boston area, and we've played bridge together in the past), and we've even worked for the same companies, but we have no business relationship (we've occasionally worked for the same companies, unrelated to BBO, and with no overlap in duties).

In the Water Cooler we are very liberal about language. He didn't complain to me until you said you were leaving the thread and then took your attacks to private conversation.

I showed him how to block PMs from specific users.

To which I replied

Quote


Just for the record, I didn't consider my message to him an attack. I simply told him privately what I think of him and I assure you it was much more civil than "asswipe". I also told him he wouldn't be getting any Georgia pecans for Christmas (I sent him some last year). :) Anyway, thank you for your response.

To which he replied

Quote

The word he actually used was "harassment", a bit milder than "attack".

He apparently considers any direct communication from you to be harassment. Considering his posting style, he should probably should have a thicker skin and maybe he's being a bit hypocritical.


To which I replied

Quote


Here's the thing I don't get Barry. From Rain's post, "Water Cooler Rules" on February 13, 2003:


"This is meant to be a place to engage in dialogue, share your views and perspectives on global events, anything that can't fit into the other forums. However, we'll still follow some basic rules:

1) No personal attacks. Insults are a No-No.

3) No obscenities.


Posters who engage in hateful, vulgar, threatening, knowingly illegal and inaccurate posts may be suspended not just from forums, but also our related websites.

If you aren't comfortable emailing a post to your grandmother/mother/colleague, then it probably shouldn't be posted here."

Yet Richard gets away with stuff like "eat ***** and die", "go ***** yourself", etc. while you scold (and threaten) me for telling him that multiple college degrees don't immunize him from abject stupidity. I readily acknowledge that "fair" is a very subjective term; you are the board administrator, therefore holding the hammer and determining what is "fair". I understand that you and Richard are personal friends and that if you want to cut him the slack to which he seems to feel entitled that is your prerogative. As previously stated, it doesn't really affect my life one way or the other. I'm sitting down here in the sunny South eating pecans, drinking fine whiskey, and completely happy. But at times I do question your judgment.


I am now ashamed for lowering myself to Richard's level. As Mark Twain said, "Never argue with a fool; the spectators can't tell the difference." I apologize to you, y66, and to you all; I have deleted the post.

#14456 User is offline   hrothgar 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 14,291
  • Joined: 2003-February-13
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Natick, MA
  • Interests:Travel
    Cooking
    Brewing
    Hiking

Posted 2019-December-14, 19:59

As usual Chas, you miss the basic point: You participate in these forums in order to be annoying.
You've openly stated as much and your pattern of behaviour shows this to be true.

Case in point: Are you honestly going to claim that there was any reason to send me private messages other than to play the gadfly.

If you want to play these stupid little games, fine...

Just don't start whining when people treat you with the respect that you deserve
Alderaan delenda est
0

#14457 User is offline   kenberg 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 9,707
  • Joined: 2004-September-22
  • Location:Northern Maryland

Posted 2019-December-14, 19:59

 y66, on 2019-December-14, 09:28, said:

Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to my fellow posters and a heart full of love for the BBO WC, today I am asking our mods to ban chas_p and hrothgar from this thread until they apologize for personally attacking each other which is ungentlemanly and a clear violation of Article 1 of the WC policy:





It will probably not surprise you to hear that I disagree. This is not in support of anyone, just a wish that no one is banned.I would like posters to not put Barry and others with moderator responsibilities into difficult positions.


But then I could start most any post that I make with "It will probably not surprise you to hear that " I think I pretty much can anticipate what will be said on any topic by seeing who sent it.


In post 1440 you quote a column by Krugman. I agree with a fair amount of it, but there is something missing. He offers no suggestions. Well, he thinks the GOP should be replaced by a new party. Surely he understands that the GOP will not first read this column and then decide to disband. So he offers no suggestions with practical content.


Forget Krugman. The problem is how to move in a better direction. Much of what is said is that there are many people who are evil, stupid, or both evil and stupid. In order to have any hope at all, we must assume or at least hope that this is not the case. And then, if we are willing to work on that basis, we must see what can be done. We have very severe problems. Assuming the population is too evil/stupid to respond is to give up on democracy, assuming that everyone is a wonderful person just hoping to be of service to humanity.is naive.


I'm in no rush to ban anyone. Mostly that's on general principles, but I also don't think it is effective.

Ken
1

#14458 User is offline   y66 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 4,641
  • Joined: 2006-February-24

Posted 2019-December-14, 21:24

 kenberg, on 2019-December-14, 19:59, said:

In post 1440 you quote a column by Krugman. I agree with a fair amount of it, but there is something missing. He offers no suggestions. Well, he thinks the GOP should be replaced by a new party. Surely he understands that the GOP will not first read this column and then decide to disband. So he offers no suggestions with practical content.

Forget Krugman. The problem is how to move in a better direction. Much of what is said is that there are many people who are evil, stupid, or both evil and stupid. In order to have any hope at all, we must assume or at least hope that this is not the case. And then, if we are willing to work on that basis, we must see what can be done. We have very severe problems. Assuming the population is too evil/stupid to respond is to give up on democracy, assuming that everyone is a wonderful person just hoping to be of service to humanity is naive.

re: what can be done? Krugman and more than 2600 other economists offered this suggestion in 1997:

Quote

The most efficient approach to slowing climate change is through market-based policies. In order for the world to achieve its climatic objectives at minimum cost, a cooperative approach among nations is required – such as an international emissions trading agreement. The United States and other nations can most efficiently implement their climate policies through market mechanisms, such as carbon taxes or the auction of emissions permits. The revenues generated from such policies can effectively be used to reduce the deficit or to lower existing taxes.

No doubt, Krugman has repeated this suggestion a few times since then although not in his December 12th rant as you noted. You may know that one of your two senators, Chris Van Hollen, and my congressman, Don Beyer, have worked on several pieces of legislation since 2015 that attempt to slow carbon emissions using a market-based approach including, most recently, the Healthy Climate and Family Security Act which they introduced earlier this year and which, I believe, is similar to the Carbon Dividends Plan proposed by the Climate Leadership Council which has bipartisan support. If you talk to Van Hollen and Beyer, they will tell you that there is a fair amount of support for this approach among some of their Republican colleagues who are not stupid or naive or in denial. They will also tell you that bills like theirs are DOA under current White House and Senate leadership and, I suspect, agree completely with Krugman that passing their legislation or similar will require dismantling the Republican Party as it now exists and replacing it with something better or, at a minimum, something with considerably less influence on policy.

I suspect they would agree that while Krugman often gets it right when it comes to policy, he frequently does more to hurt his causes than help which happens to the best of us here in the water cooler.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
1

#14459 User is offline   y66 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 4,641
  • Joined: 2006-February-24

Posted 2019-December-14, 22:29

From the NYT Editorial Board:

Quote

IN THE END, the story told by the two articles of impeachment approved on Friday morning by the House Judiciary Committee is short, simple and damning: President Donald Trump abused the power of his office by strong-arming Ukraine, a vulnerable ally, holding up hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid until it agreed to help him influence the 2020 election by digging up dirt on a political rival.

When caught in the act, he rejected the very idea that a president could be required by Congress to explain and justify his actions, showing “unprecedented, categorical and indiscriminate defiance” in the face of multiple subpoenas. He made it impossible for Congress to carry out fully its constitutionally mandated oversight role, and, in doing so, he violated the separation of powers, a safeguard of the American republic.

To quote from the articles, “President Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law.”

The case now moves to the full House of Representatives, which on Wednesday will decide, for just the third time in the nation’s history, whether to impeach a president.

To resist the pull of partisanship, Republicans and Democrats alike ought to ask themselves the same question: Would they put up with a Democratic president using the power of the White House this way? Then they should consider the facts, the architecture and aspirations of the Constitution and the call of history. In that light, there can be only one responsible judgment: to cast a vote to impeach, to send a message not only to this president but to future ones.

By stonewalling as no previous president has, Donald Trump has left Congress with no choice but to press ahead to a Senate trial. The president insists he is innocent of any wrongdoing, yet he refuses to release any administration documents or allow any administration officials to testify — though, if his assertions are in fact true, those officials would presumably exonerate him. He refused to present any defense before the House whatsoever, asserting a form of monarchical immunity that Congress cannot let stand.

It’s regrettable that the House moved as fast as it did, without working further through the courts and through other means to hear from numerous crucial witnesses. But Democratic leaders have a point when they say they can’t afford to wait, given the looming electoral deadline and Mr. Trump’s pattern of soliciting foreign assistance for his campaigns. Even after his effort to extract help from Ukraine was revealed, the president publicly called on China to investigate his rival. Asked as recently as October what he hoped the Ukrainians would do in response to his infamous July 25 call with their president, Mr. Trump declared: “Well, I would think that, if they were honest about it, they’d start a major investigation into the Bidens. It’s a very simple answer.”

BARRING THE PERSUASIVE DEFENSE that Mr. Trump has so far declined even to attempt, that simple answer sounds like a textbook example of an impeachable offense, as the nation’s framers envisioned it.

A president “might pervert his administration into a scheme of peculation or oppression,” James Madison said of the need for an impeachment clause. “He might betray his trust to foreign powers.”

Madison and his fellow framers understood that elections — which, under normal circumstances, are the essence of democratic self-government — could not serve their purpose if a president was determined to cheat to win.

As the constitutional scholar Noah Feldman testified before the Judiciary Committee last week, “Without impeachment, the president would have been an elected monarch. With impeachment, the president was bound to the rule of law.”

At the same time, the framers were well aware of the dangers inherent in impeachment. That’s why they made it a two-step process: First is the House’s vote on impeachment, which is akin to an indictment and requires only a majority to pass. Second is a trial in the Senate, which decides the president’s ultimate fate, and thus has a much higher bar to clear — two-thirds of senators must vote to convict and remove the president from office.

So far, Republicans legislators have shown little sign of treating this constitutional process with the seriousness it demands.

Instead, they have been working overtime to abet the president’s wrongdoing. They have spread toxic misinformation and conspiracy theories to try to justify his actions and raged about the unfairness of the inquiry, complaining that Democrats have been trying to impeach Mr. Trump since he took office.

No doubt some Democrats were too eager to resort to impeachment before it became unavoidable. Mr. Trump has been committing arguably impeachable offenses since the moment he entered the Oval Office, including his acceptance of foreign money at his many businesses; his violations of campaign-finance law in paying hush money to a woman who claimed to have had a sexual affair with him; and, of course, his obstructions of justice in the Russia investigation, which were documented extensively by the special counsel, Robert Mueller.

Democrats could have pursued impeachment in any or all of these cases, but for various reasons decided not to. That changed in September, when a whistle-blower’s complaint, initially suppressed by the Justice Department, revealed the outline of Mr. Trump’s Ukraine scheme. That made it impossible to ignore the president’s lawlessness because it sounded an alarm that he was seeking to subvert the next election, depriving the voters of their right to check his behavior.

The Republicans’ most common defenses of Mr. Trump’s behavior fall flat in the face of the evidence.

There is, above all, the summary of the July 25 phone call between Mr. Trump and Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president. Mr. Trump still insists that summary exonerates him. It doesn’t — which is why White House officials promptly locked it in a special computer system.

Then there is the sworn testimony of multiple government officials, including several appointed by Mr. Trump himself, all of whom confirmed the essential story line: For all the recent claims about his piety regarding Ukrainian corruption, Mr. Trump did not “give a ***** about Ukraine.” He only wanted the “deliverable” — the announcement of an investigation into the Bidens, and also into a debunked theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election.

The argument that Mr. Trump cared about anything other than hurting Joe Biden and helping himself is undercut by several facts. Even though calling on the Ukrainians to fight corruption was part of his prepared talking points, he never mentioned the subject in his calls with Mr. Zelensky; he also didn’t hold up the military aid in 2017 or 2018, even though everyone knew about Hunter Biden’s Ukraine connection at the time. (What changed this year? Joe Biden emerged as his leading Democratic opponent.) By the time Mr. Trump intervened to block the money for Ukraine, the Defense Department had already certified that Ukraine had made enough progress fighting corruption to qualify for this year’s funds.

Without any substantive defense of Mr. Trump’s behavior, several Republicans have taken to arguing that he committed no actual crime, and so can’t be impeached for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Putting aside a strong case that Mr. Trump has, in fact, broken at least one law, this isn’t how impeachment works. “High crimes” refers to severe violations of the public trust by a high-ranking official, not literal crimes. A president can commit a technical crime that doesn’t violate the public trust (say, jaywalking), and he can commit an impeachable offense that is found nowhere in the federal criminal code (like abuse of power).

Republicans’ sole remaining argument is: “So what? It wasn’t that big a deal.” Or, as acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney said in October, “Get over it.” This stance at least has the virtue of acknowledging the president’s vice, but that doesn’t make it O.K.

ASSUMING MR. TRUMP IS IMPEACHED, the case will go to the Senate, where he will have the chance — on far more friendly territory — to mount the defense he refused to make to the House. Rather than withholding key witnesses, he should be demanding sworn appearances by people like Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, and John Bolton, the former national security adviser.

As recently as a few weeks ago, some Republicans seemed to want to get to the bottom of things. Even Trump’s footman, Senator Lindsey Graham, said, “If you could show me that, you know, Trump actually was engaging in a quid pro quo, outside the phone call, that would be very disturbing.”

The time for such expressions of public spirit has, apparently, passed. “I’ve written the whole process off,” Mr. Graham said during the impeachment hearings. “I think this is a bunch of B.S.”

Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, says there will be “no difference between the president’s position and our position in how to handle this,” as he told Sean Hannity of Fox last Thursday. Before the House had cast a single vote on impeachment, Mr. McConnell said there was “no chance” the Senate would vote to convict.

For now, that leaves the defense of the Constitution, and the Republic, to the House of Representatives.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
0

#14460 User is offline   kenberg 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 9,707
  • Joined: 2004-September-22
  • Location:Northern Maryland

Posted 2019-December-15, 07:57

 y66, on 2019-December-14, 21:24, said:

re: what can be done? Krugman and more than 2600 other economists offered this suggestion in 1997:


No doubt, Krugman has repeated this suggestion a few times since then although not in his December 12th rant as you noted. You may know that one of your two senators, Chris Van Hollen, and my congressman, Don Beyer, have worked on several pieces of legislation since 2015 that attempt to slow carbon emissions using a market-based approach including, most recently, the Healthy Climate and Family Security Act which they introduced earlier this year and which, I believe, is similar to the Carbon Dividends Plan proposed by the Climate Leadership Council which has bipartisan support. If you talk to Van Hollen and Beyer, they will tell you that there is a fair amount of support for this approach among some of their Republican colleagues who are not stupid or naive or in denial. They will also tell you that bills like theirs are DOA under current White House and Senate leadership and, I suspect, agree completely with Krugman that passing their legislation or similar will require dismantling the Republican Party as it now exists and replacing it with something better or, at a minimum, something with considerably less influence on policy.

I suspect they would agree that while Krugman often gets it right when it comes to policy, he frequently does more to hurt his causes than help which happens to the best of us here in the water cooler.


Perhaps we should look at two classes of "What can be done?"

There are policy issues and for this we need experts. We can try to evaluate expert opinion as best we can, looking at what they have said in the past and how that worked out, trying to look at the technical arguments, keeping an open mind, and so on. But he, in his article, was looking at a different issue. How do we get better people in Congress? Or: Why on Earth would anyone support the Senators who kowtow to him? As we move toward elections I think the Dems need to take this latter question very seriously, and if the best answer they can come up with is that people are evil and/or stupid, I think the election might not go very well.

Ken
0

Share this topic:


  • 742 Pages +
  • « First
  • 721
  • 722
  • 723
  • 724
  • 725
  • Last »
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

31 User(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 31 guests, 0 anonymous users