Politics

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chingon
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Re: Politics

Postby chingon » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:36 pm

The fact that McCaskill will run unopposed in the primary (or that she is being allowed to run at all) tells you just about everything you need to know about the immediate future of the Democratic Party in Missouri.

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Re: Politics

Postby bobbyhawks » Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:20 pm

chingon wrote:The fact that McCaskill will run unopposed in the primary (or that she is being allowed to run at all) tells you just about everything you need to know about the immediate future of the Democratic Party in Missouri.

Do most multi-term incumbent senators get primaried? Even when they do, isn't it normally just a token gesture?

chingon
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Re: Politics

Postby chingon » Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:47 pm

bobbyhawks wrote:
chingon wrote:The fact that McCaskill will run unopposed in the primary (or that she is being allowed to run at all) tells you just about everything you need to know about the immediate future of the Democratic Party in Missouri.

Do most multi-term incumbent senators get primaried?


Nope. As you know, I’m sure. But McCaskill is an albatross.

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Re: Politics

Postby KCtoBrooklyn » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:20 pm

Courtland Sykes is starting make Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin look like a sensible candidate. Unfortunately, he will probably win.

phuqueue
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Re: Politics

Postby phuqueue » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:46 pm

McCaskill isn't running unopposed, she's got a challenger hitting her from the left. I don't imagine she'll have much trouble securing the Dem nomination anyway though.

chingon
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Re: Politics

Postby chingon » Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:28 am

phuqueue wrote:McCaskill isn't running unopposed, she's got a challenger hitting her from the left. I don't imagine she'll have much trouble securing the Dem nomination anyway though.


I did not even realize that.

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Re: Politics

Postby phuqueue » Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:29 am

Flynn flips and ABC News reports he'll testify that Trump directed him to make contact with Russia

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Re: Politics

Postby phuqueue » Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:31 am

chingon wrote:
phuqueue wrote:McCaskill isn't running unopposed, she's got a challenger hitting her from the left. I don't imagine she'll have much trouble securing the Dem nomination anyway though.


I did not even realize that.

It's some lady I think from STL area, used to work on ACA health exchange or something, has no govt experience from what I'm aware of. So it's not likely to be a tough fight for McCaskill, but she is, technically, opposed, at least until this lady drops out.

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Re: Politics

Postby grovester » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:12 pm

phuqueue wrote:Flynn flips and ABC News reports he'll testify that Trump directed him to make contact with Russia


The lengths that they will go to distract from their shitty tax bill!

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Re: Politics

Postby phuqueue » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:00 pm

It sounds like that report might have overstated some, could just be a "senior official" who directed the Russia contact, but more details will surely become available

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Re: Politics

Postby phuqueue » Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:05 pm

And this morning our fine president admits to obstruction of justice in a twitter post

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Re: Politics

Postby mean » Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:28 pm

He'll just deny tweeting that or something, the dude has lost it.

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Re: Politics

Postby Highlander » Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:28 pm

mean wrote:He'll just deny tweeting that or something, the dude has lost it.


Never seen anything quite like the Trump presidency. He pretty much believes the laws of both the nation and common sense do not apply to him. Having both the senate and house (ostensibly) on his side makes it all that much worse. His only sane and semi effective cabinet member is Tillerson who will soon be forced out for having at least some integrity and honesty (and for calling his boss a moron, which he is).

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Re: Politics

Postby phuqueue » Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:37 pm

Tillerson may be sane, may have some integrity and honesty, but hard to call him even semi-effective when he's been intentionally and systematically crippling the State Department.

And in other news: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/02/us/r ... mails.html

On Dec. 29, a transition adviser to Mr. Trump, K. T. McFarland, wrote in an email to a colleague that sanctions announced hours before by the Obama administration in retaliation for Russian election meddling were aimed at discrediting Mr. Trump’s victory. The sanctions could also make it much harder for Mr. Trump to ease tensions with Russia, “which has just thrown the U.S.A. election to him,” she wrote in the emails obtained by The Times.

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Re: Politics

Postby mean » Sat Dec 02, 2017 11:42 pm

To be fair, given that crippling if not outright dismantling the State Department is his intent and consistent with the wishes of some in the Trump/Bannon anti-state base, it kinda depends on what you mean by effective.

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Re: Politics

Postby phuqueue » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:04 pm

Oh hey look at that https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/won ... -security/

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said Wednesday that congressional Republicans will aim next year to reduce spending on both federal health care and anti-poverty programs, citing the need to reduce America's deficit.

"We're going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit," Ryan said during an appearance on Ross Kaminsky's talk radio show. "... Frankly, it's the health care entitlements that are the big drivers of our debt, so we spend more time on the health care entitlements -- because that's really where the problem lies, fiscally speaking."

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Re: Politics

Postby flyingember » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:05 pm

This will backfire on their constituency and support denser areas or less facilities per capita.

As we know the government provided insurance model is a subsidy. The goal of course is to reduce this subsidy. The well known economic problem is this subsidy provides the "customers" that give the rural through to edge suburb market the money needed to support a less dense healthcare market.

The cost of equipment requires a certain number of users at a certain rate. So if you remove individuals from the subsidized market it will not reduce the cost but reduce the number of choices or capabilities. Couple that with the removed requirement to hold insurance, this reduces the assurance a customer will be able to afford a service's costs.

So I would expect rural facilities will continue to close, suburban areas will serve rural areas, requiring greater distances. Lower income communities will see dramatic service quality cuts since price increases don't work. Equipment will be older or there will be less staff. And urban areas or richer areas will be the centers of medicine. So you'll see a spike in people who have to travel hours for certain specialized medicine in a large city.

And since medical offices and hospitals are some of the best paying jobs in communities, it's going to hurt the middle class in small towns deepening the economic divide and help increase the rural to city transfer of people. This will change the makeup of congress even more.

We can see this already. Children's Hospitals are concentrated in a few places as is specialized cancer care. What will be next? Imagine having only one psychiatrist for an entire county and they can dictate the price as cash only or you must drive two hours to the city.

The really bad part is we already know that hospitals are some of the few decent paying jobs for large parts of the country. Imagine a town reliant on sales taxes where the top 10% of income just disappears.

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Re: Politics

Postby bobbyhawks » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:09 pm

I'm afraid things that people expect to backfire still won't until people are genuinely hurt by the decisions. Often, that can take a number of years to realize. Right now, the Republicans can do whatever they want because they have constituents more focused on supporting things that aren't liberal/Democratic than they are on core principles like fiscal conservatism and less petty goals for limited or simplified government. Aka, if it makes liberals angry, they seem to support it as of late, regardless of what it is.

The great failure in my mind of the tax plan is that it needed to happen in two phases. If they had started with a single plan for tax simplification that tried to remain somewhat revenue neutral, they would have laid the groundwork for a way simpler tax cut later in the game (and earned support from some skeptics). Instead, the system appears to be on track to remain equally complicated, and actually more confusing than it was before. The problem is, nobody on either side is willing to tell their base they have to give up a tax deduction, even if the tax system is actually made much more fair and straightforward. Unfortunately, even the good deductions for good people who need it contribute to making our system terrible overall. It is just amazing the lack of vision in our country at the moment. We are too busy frothing at the mouth over the most recent thing we heard about to make any sort of rational decision.

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Re: Politics

Postby Highlander » Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:17 pm

bobbyhawks wrote:I'm afraid things that people expect to backfire still won't until people are genuinely hurt by the decisions. Often, that can take a number of years to realize. Right now, the Republicans can do whatever they want because they have constituents more focused on supporting things that aren't liberal/Democratic than they are on core principles like fiscal conservatism and less petty goals for limited or simplified government. Aka, if it makes liberals angry, they seem to support it as of late, regardless of what it is.


The tax plan as it stands now is simply retaliatory in nature. The proposal to exclude state tax as an exemption targets California. Little worries about hurting individual republicans in California because the republicans are never going to carry that state. So much for one of the republican tenants of faith - national government is too big and things need to be pushed down to the state level and state rights and all that. Just blatant hypocrisy.

Another great one is the proposal to tax tuition waivers for graduate students. Yea, that's going to raise a lot of money (actually no) but it will really hurt the advancement of sciences in the US. Of course, the republicans are more than ok with this, in fact, that's the intended outcome of the proposal (all that pesky climate research will end). Of course, there is no measure out there to tax the monetary value of an athletic scholarship, too many republicans in the south would be offended by losing college football.

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Re: Politics

Postby phuqueue » Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:10 am

bobbyhawks wrote:I'm afraid things that people expect to backfire still won't until people are genuinely hurt by the decisions. Often, that can take a number of years to realize. Right now, the Republicans can do whatever they want because they have constituents more focused on supporting things that aren't liberal/Democratic than they are on core principles like fiscal conservatism and less petty goals for limited or simplified government. Aka, if it makes liberals angry, they seem to support it as of late, regardless of what it is.

The bigger danger is not that things aren't going to backfire, but that they will backfire and it won't matter. Polls already show that the tax bill is almost as overwhelmingly unpopular as the health care repeal bill was. Even majorities of Republicans and Trump voters expect it to raise their taxes (and most of them will be correct). I don't think we have to wait for people to actually see their tax bill rise (or actually lose their health insurance, as with ACA repeal) for them to get angry. But it's much harder to say how much of that anger will actually translate into electoral problems for the GOP. The first issue is extreme partisanship, where you have, e.g., anecdotes of Alabama voters who openly loath Roy Moore and think that Doug Jones seems like a really good guy, who will nonetheless not vote for Jones because of the D next to his name. Alabama is one of the most solidly partisan states in the country, so it's an extreme example, and I do think in general the "polarization" in our politics is a much bigger problem among our politicians than in the electorate in the aggregate, but there will be some voters who will stick with the GOP even as they understand and are angry that the GOP is affirmatively harming them.

The other issue is, of course, the GOP's great success in this decade at cementing single party rule. They fully control half of the states, while the Dems have only six or seven. They've used that power to pass things like voting restrictions and extreme gerrymanders to further perpetuate their control. In Virginia, a purple turning increasingly blue state, the Dems' statewide margin for the House of Delegates was +8 over the GOP and they did far better than even they had dared to dream they might, but they will likely still fail to take control of the House (pending recounts in three districts). The Democratic waves that swept them into power in the House of Representatives in 2006 and then expanded their margin in 2008 were +8 and +11 margins, respectively. Now the general thinking is that they'll need to run at least +10 next year to even put the House potentially in play, and at +10 it merely moves from likely Republican control to tossup.

I think, though, that it's important to separate Republican voters from Republican politicians when you talk about things like "core principles." It is likely that "fiscal conservatism" was never a core principle for a lot of Republican voters. The electorate as a whole -- including the Republican electorate -- is, in general, to the left of our government on economic issues. This is exactly why Trump was able to run the campaign he did. He exploited cultural wedge issues to fire up his base while he promised not to touch things like Medicare or Social Security, to pass a tax cut that would take money away from rich people like him to return it to middle class workers, to launch a trillion dollar infrastructure plan, etc. It was all a lie, but people believed it, and that's what matters. It's easy to call politicians like Paul Ryan hypocrites (and they are), but what Paul Ryan stands for is not really what the majority of Republican voters stand for. I mean, we're talking about millions of people here, so obviously this is a very broad brush that doesn't include everyone, but by and large, Republican voters are not against, e.g. social spending programs in general -- they're just against social spending on "them" (immigrants, blacks, etc) without cutting in the Republican voters themselves. Thirty years later, Reagan's "welfare queen" continues to be an incredibly damaging lie.

The great failure in my mind of the tax plan is that it needed to happen in two phases. If they had started with a single plan for tax simplification that tried to remain somewhat revenue neutral, they would have laid the groundwork for a way simpler tax cut later in the game (and earned support from some skeptics). Instead, the system appears to be on track to remain equally complicated, and actually more confusing than it was before. The problem is, nobody on either side is willing to tell their base they have to give up a tax deduction, even if the tax system is actually made much more fair and straightforward. Unfortunately, even the good deductions for good people who need it contribute to making our system terrible overall. It is just amazing the lack of vision in our country at the moment. We are too busy frothing at the mouth over the most recent thing we heard about to make any sort of rational decision.

While our tax code does have a lot of problems that should be addressed and a lot of deductions that shouldn't exist, the idea that it's too "complicated" is a total red herring. We shouldn't conflate "fair" and "straightforward." Republicans do this all the time as part of their calculated strategy to make the tax code more regressive, their most extreme proposals being a flat tax (which would certainly be "straightforward") or even the total replacement of the income tax with a national sales tax or VAT. That's not to say you couldn't craft a tax code that is both "fair" and "straightforward," but Republicans are not interested in fairness and I'm not really aware of any serious Democratic proposals toward straightforwardness, so "fair and straightforward" together are not really on the menu. But the reason this is all a red herring is that ordinary taxpayers shouldn't have to grapple with the complexities of the tax code anyway. This is not how things work in other advanced countries. In other countries, the local equivalent of the IRS does the work that we pay accountants to do for us. In Japan you literally just get a postcard in the mail (Paul Ryan's dream!) that lays out your earnings, your tax liability, and how much was withheld, and then you can dispute it if you want to. European countries have somewhat similar systems. Typically the IRS already has all the information on us anyway, so it's not like this is beyond the IRS's ability, and politicians from both parties have occasionally proposed legislation to have the IRS pre-populate our forms for us with the information they already have, as other countries do. But we're stuck with this system, which the GOP tax bill doesn't even attempt to address, because guess why? Companies like H&R Block and Intuit have a large financial stake in people who have to do their own taxes but can't or don't want to. (I also suspect a lot of Republicans don't really want to lose the "we need to simplify the tax code!" arrow from their quiver.)


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