Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - DougMacG

Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 241
Politics & Religion / Re: 2020 Presidential election: Game on!
« on: February 03, 2020, 10:07:44 AM »
Iowa tonight.  State of the union Tuesday.  Acquittal Wed.  NH next week.  Super Tues one month away.

Polls say Bernie wins Iowa and NH.  Biden second, then wins SC, NV?  Then mixed results Super Tues.

Who falls, drops out?  Who survives, gains momentum?  Klob, Butti, Fauchahantas, will they all under-perform or will someone bump up?

It is not just who will prevail but will they re-unite a badly divided party?  Four years ago Hillary Clinton tried to unite and win by adopting Bernie's agenda in the general election, fearing an uprising or desertion of the Left.  This year we will either have the Left on the ticket in Bernie, or we will have someone who defeated the radical side of the Left.  Then perhaps we will see the uprising or desertion that the so-called moderates feared.

I've asked my liberal friends, which Dem?  I've only heard unenthusiastic "Biden" mutterances in response - except for one who works for Amy.  Nobody new has caught on.

Who do YOUR liberal friends and relatives like?

Politics & Religion / Re: Environmental issues
« on: February 03, 2020, 09:26:23 AM »
KISS-- aluminum cans instead of plastic bottles.

Yes, looks like recycling alum uses the least energy:

Fill the oceans with aluminum?  Big problem is cultures using rivers for garbage disposal.  The mess is tied to poverty.

I like re-using glass.  Single use, it seems to me, is not optimal.  Clean it and refill it.  Problem is I keep dropping and breaking them.  Also, freeze-ups are tough on glass.

Politics & Religion / Imagine Health Care Deregulation
« on: February 03, 2020, 09:08:51 AM »
I miss the posts from Venezuela and have wondered where Denny has gone.  I see he is still active at Motley Fool discussion board:

Here is a comment I like, with apologies to our own fully certified MD:

"I have read that part of AMA's unspoken mission is to restrict the number of doctors which is typically the function of all professional and artisan guilds. It's a form of restraint of trade to benefit the current guild members. Then, of course, the blame is placed on the "free" market which is not free from manipulation by the guilds (a. k. a. labor unions -- AMA being the US medical labor union).

Imagine deregulating medicine! ;)   

    - (our) Denny S  ?

Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: fusion
« on: February 03, 2020, 08:34:18 AM »

Gilder fusion report?     :-)

When we figure out fusion we will have energy we can't imagine now.

What defines "organic food"?

Seems to me: grown without man made chemicals,.  No roundup. Manure instead of chemical fertilizer? No insecticides, weed killers?  No hormones, steroids etc?

This rule change had to do with adding some sort of free range to that to be called organic.  It should be a different designation.  It should be a free choice.  The more efficient choice should not be eliminated, banned, but that of course is next, like fracking.

Government has some role in the labeling, in my view, even though they can't even get that right.  It is a fraud on the consumer if they say organic and grow with chemicals, whether there is any health benefit or not, that should be a choice.

Shouldn't it really be private industry group definitions, like UL or CE?

Politics & Religion / Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« on: January 31, 2020, 07:29:03 AM »
Roberts gets to make final call , , , if he wants.

Well then he will rule for witnesses if half want that.

This still could end today.

I am neutral on the issue of dragging this out forever now that it's started. 

Bernie should crossover and say something like he said with Clinton, I'm tired of hearing about your damn emails.

Politics & Religion / Re: 50-50 vote ?
« on: January 31, 2020, 06:05:35 AM »
Pence steps in to break the procedural tie?

Germany scrapped nuclear power and emissions spiked
« Reply #725 on: Today at 07:11:02 AM »

The math of this is kind of obvious.  End carbon free energy production and bad things happen.


Borders: Trump’s plan features a map of what Israel’s new borders will be, should it enact the plan fully. Israel will retain 20% of the West Bank and will lose a small amount of land in the Negev near the Gaza-Egypt border. The Palestinians will have a pathway to a state in the vast majority of territory in the West Bank, while Israel will maintain control of all borders. This is the first time a US president has provided a detailed map of this kind.
Jerusalem: The Palestinians will have a capital in east Jerusalem based on northern and eastern neighborhoods that are outside the Israeli security barrier – Kafr Akab, Abu Dis and half of Shuafat. Otherwise, Trump said Jerusalem will remain undivided as Israel’s capital.

Settlements: Israel will retain the Jordan Valley and all Israeli settlements in the West Bank in the broadest definition possible, meaning not the municipal borders of each settlement but their security perimeters. This also includes 15 isolated settlements, which will be enclaves within an eventual Palestinian state. Within those settlements Israel will not be able to build for the next four years. The IDF will have access to the isolated settlements. For the settlement part of the plan to go into effect, Israel will have to take action to apply sovereignty to the settlements, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he plans to do at the upcoming cabinet meeting on Sunday.

Security: Israel will be in control of security from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. The IDF will not have to leave the West Bank. No change to Israel’s approach to Judea and Samaria would be needed.
Palestinian state: The plan does not include immediate recognition of a Palestinian state; rather, it expects a willingness on Israel’s part to create a pathway toward Palestinian statehood based on specific territory, which is about 70% of Judea and Samaria, including areas A and B and parts of Area C. The state will only come into existence in four years if the Palestinians accept the plan, if the Palestinian Authority stops paying terrorists and inciting terrorism and if Hamas and Islamic Jihad put down their weapons. In addition, the American plan calls on the Palestinians to give up corruption, respect human rights, freedom of religion and a free press, so that they don’t have a failed state. If those conditions are met, the US will recognize a Palestinian state and implement a massive economic plan to assist it.

Refugees: A limited number of Palestinian refugees and their descendants will be allowed into the Palestinian state. None will enter Israel.

Triangle: The plan leaves open the possibility that Israel will swap the area known as the “Triangle” – consisting of Kafr Kara, Arara, Baka al-Gharbiya, Umm el-Fahm and more – into the future Palestinian state. According to the plan, “the Vision contemplates the possibility, subject to agreement of the parties, that the borders of Israel will be redrawn such that the Triangle Communities become part of the State of Palestine.”

"The more the people are discontented with the oppression of taxes, the greater the need the prince has of money to distribute among his partisans and pay the troops that are to suppress all resistance and enable him to plunder at pleasure."

Shall we give him his own thread if he hits 10% of Dem support?

I think his importance to the electorate is overestimated outside of the NYC awareness sphere.  I see his ads bragging he is 100% pro-choice.  They all are so it strikes me as being a little bit defensive. 

Latest from Calif, where money should make the most difference:

Sanders 26, Warren 20, Biden 15, Buttigieg 7, Bloomberg 6, Klobuchar 5, Yang 4, Steyer 2

Politics & Religion / Germany scrapped nuclear power and emissions spiked
« on: January 29, 2020, 07:11:02 AM »

The math of this is kind of obvious, end carbon free energy production and bad things happen.

Politics & Religion / Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment, Trump Defense
« on: January 28, 2020, 08:44:26 PM »
Andy McCarthy says don't build the foundation on quicksand.  Other than that I thought they did a good job.

To Crafty's point, McCarthy writes:  "There is a good-faith basis to suspect the Bidens were involved in corrupt self-dealing."

Our nation had an interest in getting to the bottom of it - just like he said on the call.  Doesn't that alone settle it?

Politics & Religion / Re: Small world-Big Deep State
« on: January 27, 2020, 12:51:05 PM »

Politics & Religion / Re: Mitt
« on: January 27, 2020, 12:49:23 PM »
Somehow I doubt Bolton will have shoot the silver bullet that brings down President Trump.  Plus there are legitimate Ecxecutive privilege issues.

If enough Senators want witnesses and the Democrats get to look further for evidence, then the defense gets unlimited access as well.  Let the next act of the circus begin.

I notice that no broadcast network is covering this, not even the main PBS channel.  No one is watching but the people want to hear more?

American technology, coverage on it in Europe and Asia, concern everywhere, action nowhere.
From the article:
"Would it not be more rational, if we believe that human emissions of CO2 are destroying the planet, to expand nuclear energy as quickly as possible, rather than shut it down?"

Does anyone have a different answer, a better answer?  Hydro power is perhaps best but there isn't enough of it.  Solar and wind commitments lock in fossil fuel use and CO2 emissions forever.  Nuclear has massive potential, the waste issue is solved, it's by far the safest, and it's carbon free.  Who knew?  When do we want to get started?  Where's Greta?
Google translate:  Spiegel Germany, December 2019
New reactor
concepts: Does nuclear power save us from climate collapse?
Top researchers from the USA are developing the nuclear reactors of the future. Allegedly safe nuclear power plants are supposed to stop global warming.
By Philip Bethge
13.12.2019, 6 p.m.

The reactor core is almost completely filled with nuclear waste, which is practical, so that it comes away immediately. The machine should run for 60 years without refueling. The spent fuel rods from US nuclear power plants alone would be enough to cover the world's electricity needs for centuries.

Is this the solution to all energy problems? Lindsey Boles believes in it. The engineer from Terrapower is standing next to a blue steel frame, which is supposed to hold nuclear fuel rods, in a white lab coat with protective glasses made of plastic on her nose in a workshop in the US state of Washington. Color markings on the floor show the planned location of heat exchangers and pumps - it is the model of a reactor.

"Where we are now would be liquid sodium, heated to more than 500 degrees Celsius," explains Boles. "We believe that this type of system can generate climate-neutral electricity more reliably and safely than with any other power plant in the world."

Terrapower is one of a growing number of start-ups that are giving new hope to the power of the atom. The company's headquarters are in Bellevue, a suburb of Seattle. The US West Coast hubris pairs with technology optimism and fairytale financial strength.
(registration needed to read further)

Politics & Religion / Re: Common Sense Abortion Control
« on: January 27, 2020, 06:16:49 AM »
Besides the intended analogy, the proposals are perfectly valid.

The correct analogy (IMO) of guns to abortion would to legalize the shooting of immediate family for any reason, not just the owning of the gun for self protection.

My mom believed in the mother's right to choose until the child reaches age 18.  It's a more informed and thought through decision than aborting before birth.

"Anyone who has seen real intel, or who is capable of critical thought, recognized that Steele’s work was probably Russian dezinformatsiya."

Yes.   We all here knew it was false at first mention without any special training or inside information.

Note the post title of its first mention on the forum, before inauguration:

The Deep State uses Pravda on the Hudson to continue its subversion of Trump
« Reply #152 Trump Transition on: January 19, 2017, 10:38:31 PM »  Crafty_Dog
Intercepted Russian Communications Part of Inquiry Into Trump Associates

"The Deep State uses Pravda on the Hudson to continue its subversion of Trump"

   - It turns out that's exactly what was happening.

Anyone of close to average intelligence could see on first glance it was make believe.  So what did the FBI and MSM do with it, knowing it was bunk?  Run with it at full speed.

I said to one of my liberal friends after the Mueller report, a Trump hater and subscriber of the NYT, "hard to believe the NY  Times turned out to be less honest than Trump." 

The NYT's use of it was subversive.  The FBI's use of it was criminal.

Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Water quality PFAS
« on: January 26, 2020, 03:24:57 PM »

...results are not peer-reviewed and the group is looking for chemicals at such low levels, it's unclear if there would be any impact on human health
Calling for more research is one thing; demanding the government figure out and enforce safe levels of these chemicals is another.

Politics & Religion / Re: Dems getting even gloomier; Yang?!?
« on: January 25, 2020, 06:03:33 PM »

8% of Democrats only is still next to nothing but I'm glad he is the one gaining ground. As my old boss said about my division doubling its sales, two times sh* is still sh*t.

Funny that the two the NYT picked dropped coincidental to that news. 

Some good aspects to Yang's rise: He would be a better President than Butti, Klob. or Warren.  He will probably cap out below Biden and Bernie but split the delegate field if he rises enough.  If he won the nomination he would make for a better campaign and general election for the nation than the others mentioned.

From the Trump or Republican view, that looks like a Biden Bernie tie, both miserable candidates in different ways.

A few people like Steve Hayward seem to mirror a side of my brain.  His rambling here matches my thinking and saves me the from trying to put it to words.  Dems are screwed if they do and screwed if they don't - choose Bernie - or Biden - or whomever.  [Meanwhile Republicans are united for the moment.]

Politics & Religion / Re: Pete Buttplug's hollow military bragging
« on: January 24, 2020, 08:31:31 AM »

I don't like criticizing his or almost anyone's military experience.  Trump's attack on McCain on that score was bad form.

On the first point which I think is how he got in, his background in analytics is as valuable in combat as a sharpshooter or pilot IMHO. 

The second point is fully valid and stands separate from his service.  Praising Kerry's false, anti-American testimony is disgraceful.  That he believes Kerry's testimony is revealing of a number of things.  He doesn't get outside the liberal bubble.  He doesn't read the sources that debunked that.  That explains his poorly thought out economic ideas as well.

Third point reveals something about Butti and his ambition.  He made up his own statistic about how many times he was outside the confines the presumed safe confines of his desk and monitor.   It means he mostly served in a protected area.  I'll grant him that he put himself in harms way to serve his country.  His motives of personal ambition in serving are an acceptable part of anyone's or everyone's military experience.

We are not getting a General Eisenhower, Colin Powell or Petreus in the Butti deal and that's okay.  He served and got to think about how to approach conflicts like Afghanistan.  We are mostly better off without having our country run by the upper echelons of military. 

More importantly, his foreign policy ideas don't show any more wisdom than his rivals Biden, Sanders, Warren etc.

Politics & Religion / Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« on: January 24, 2020, 08:03:07 AM »
"OF COURSE HE WANTED BIDEN & SON INVESTIGATED."  (Not shouting, just emphasis)

Yes and it was okay for him to do so because his personal interest was aligned with our national interest. He knew he had staffers and deep staters on the call.  Releasing the transcript immediately upon questioning doesn't fit the accusation of criminal intent - or obstruction. 

The Biden-Ukraine thing OTOH doesn't pass the corruption smell test.  The merits of the specific act of firing the prosecutor can be debated, but the relationship of his immediate family receiving unexplainable amounts of money from a known corrupt source where then VP Joe Biden had direct responsibility is corrupt by design.

The investigation called for could lead to exoneration or no charges, but "make up dirt" is a direct projection of Schiff's party hiring Christopher Steele, prostitutes peeing on beds because someone black once slept there.  The Trump-Russia thing started with nothing.  The Biden-Ukraine is crooked on its face.

The allegation is that Trump just wanted an official announcement of an investigation.  House Managers in effect are admitting that the act of drawing attention to it would hurt Biden because - - - the relationship was crooked on its face.

Politics & Religion / Re: Islamic immigration in Sweden
« on: January 24, 2020, 07:28:29 AM »

I remember being (properly) questioned for putting a Swedish immigration story in our healthcare thread.  Open borders?  Generous welfare state?  Choose one, or neither, never both.

Question for the Left, Sander et al:  Is Sweden better off without the (unassimilated) immigrants, better off without the welfare state, or better off bankrupt?  [And why do you want that here?]

Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics, Milton Friedman
« on: January 24, 2020, 07:03:17 AM »
Years ago I saw this as a joke in Playboy  :-D

Now that you mention it, it does look familiar.

Couldn't find the citation but here is a Playboy interview with Milton Friedman, 1973.  On the issue of the day, inflation and price controls, he argues for a rules-based Fed, like Stanford Prof. John Taylor argues now.  Interview covers minimum wage, financial aid scandal to higher education, pollution tax,negative income tax, health insurance, racial justice regulatory failure, 1973.  So little has changed.

Politics & Religion / Political choices, Thomas Sowell 2008
« on: January 24, 2020, 06:17:08 AM »
Thomas Sowell 2008:

"People ask me why I'm going to vote for McCain rather than Obama.  It's because I prefer disaster to catastrophe."   23:00

Current politicians (cf. Elizabeth Warren) want to address corruption by expanding the size and power of government.  The right answer is just the opposite.
A 2012 study, titled “Live Free or Bribe,” looked at the number of government officials convicted in a state for crimes related to corruption and found that the more economic freedom there was in the state, the less corruption resulted.

“Economic freedom,” the study found, “has a negative impact on corruption.”

These studies point to two possible root causes of corruption: the bigness of government and the smallness of economic freedom.

Economist Milton Friedman was once traveling overseas and spotted a construction site in which the workers were using shovels instead of more modern equipment like bulldozers. When his host responded that the goal was to increase the number of jobs in the construction industry, Friedman replied, “Then instead of shovels, why don’t you give them spoons and create even more jobs?”

Politics & Religion / Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« on: January 24, 2020, 05:15:22 AM »
Unlike the House Managers, I believe the Defense is ready to present its case. 

This prosecution of Trump is a hodgepodge of tidbits compiled by haters who keep concluding the only reason he could have done any of this was to further  his own reelection.  Whether it was choosing his ambassador, setting his policies or deciding with whom to meet, it is all personal with no legitimate public purpose underlying his decisions.  It is not true and very easy to present another side to it. 

Getting reelected is part of his job, a necessary part of 'making America great again' as he sees it.  What he is not allowed to do is take official actions in his personal interest that are AGAINST the national interest.  If "inter-agency consensus" is opposed to Trump's decisions or methods, or if a liberal media outlet says that theory is "debunked", that does not make Trump's action wrong, a crime or an impeachable offense. 

The Biden arrangement and Barisma does not pass the smell test.  Looking into it is his job.  "Make up dirt", "on my opponent", "to aid in my reelection", these are quotes of Adam Schiff, not Donald Trump.  It was all made up; we have the transcript.  In the sentence that asks for favor, the favor is for "us" and he goes on to clarify the us is "our country".  If you don't like that, vote for someone else.  Don't remove the President you don't like from office and ban him from appearing on all future ballots in a free country.


*it rewards people who were financially irresponsible, and it punishes those who avoided racking up overwhelming student loan debt.*

I am afraid he was at the wrong party's event.

Politics & Religion / Re: Media: PJ Media UP 312% year-over-year
« on: January 23, 2020, 04:52:04 PM »
PJ Media UP 312% year-over-year

We should partner with them.
In December,
 posted a whopping 312% year-over-year rise in unique visitors, more than any other #conservative website. & it wasn't just #ImpeachmentHearings that drove its gains. Read our exclusive chart:

Politics & Religion / Re: Libya
« on: January 23, 2020, 04:27:40 PM »
"Wasn't there a Libya-Turkey arms running connection underlying the Benghazi attacks?"

As stated here or on the Benghazi thread, I am of the opinion that the CIA annex was there to keep an eye on a gun running operation to the Sunnis in Syria (including Al Nusra?) against Assad masterminded by Hillary with some other country (Turkey?) handling the actual logistics.

Politics & Religion / Re: Environmental issues
« on: January 23, 2020, 09:58:20 AM »

Great post, great points made.  This is not denial; it is realism.

* Main points
1 Natural as well as anthropogenic factors cause warming.
 2. Warming is far slower than predicted.
 3. Climate policy relies on inadequate models.
 4. CO2 is not a pollutant. It is a plant food that is essential to all life on Earth. Photosynthesis is a blessing. More CO2 is beneficial for nature, greening the Earth: additional CO2 in the air has promoted growth in global plant biomass. It is also good for agriculture, increasing the yields of crops worldwide.
 5. Global warming has not increased natural disasters.
 6. Climate policy must respect scientific and economic realities.
 7. There is no climate emergency. Therefore, there is no cause for panic.

I would add that fracking has reduced emissions more than wind and solar and that new nuclear power along with greater world prosperity could virtually end man-made emissions - if anyone really cared.

More than half the reported problem is falsified, "adjusted" or manipulated data.  You will change behavior voluntarily after you gain people's trust.  So far, they are only trying to change behavior coercively.

Politics & Religion / Eli Lake: The FBI Scandal
« on: January 23, 2020, 09:43:11 AM »
Definitive, by one of the best reporters out there.

"Here is what happened."

Politics & Religion / Re: Erdogan pushing Muslim Brotherhood in Libya
« on: January 23, 2020, 09:12:10 AM »

Wasn't there a Libya-Turkey arms running connection underlying the Benghazi attacks? 

Turkey is our ally?  MB is our ally??


Were these unsolicited millions or should we indict the candidate who solicited foreign interference in our election?  Are 'high crimes' legal if you end up losing?

Bribery, treason, high crimes and misdemeanors, when do they get to these?

I have a pet peeve about liberal attempted logic that I call "and another thing".  They make false, inconclusive or insignificant first, second, third points and then think it is icing on the cake to add more and more points to a point already proven before anyone can stop them to point out they still have not made a valid first point.  So it goes with the 24 hour presentation of why Trump should be removed from office.  Yawn.

They need ONE valid point from the House impeachment to remove him from office.  Why does this take 24 hours?

Here is the bribe. Not alleged, didn't happen.  Here is the Treason. Not alleged, didn't happen.  Here are the high crimes. Not even alleged, didn't happen.  So on they droll about whatever it is they are talking about when you tune in, in this case the size of the Old Testament. 

Last time I checked in there was a smear campaign against the never-Trumper, now fired Ambassador.  Why?  Trump doesn't need a reason to fire her or to re-assign her.    Somebody was out there saying something bad about someone in politics, OMG, right while they are doing it themselves.  We don't know who was saying it, what they said or whether or not it was true, but EVERYONE knows it isn't impeachable.  Getting her out of the way for whatever reason was easy and they did it.   Clinton fired 100 US Attorneys and no Democrat objected.  This ambassador hated Trump and had her own agenda.  Out she went.  Bitter?  Yes, so what?

When they ramble on and on about something insignificant with 100 Senators chained to their desk, isn't everyone correctly thinking they don't have a main point or they would be talking about that?

7 million people reportedly watched (some of it) in prime time - in a nation of 330 million where more than 130 million voted.  Close to zero watched in non-prime time.  The biggest audience of was on Fox, likely conservative, leaving the liberal audience not much larger than their usual evening of hate broadcasting.  The undecideds were not watching.  How could they, it's horrible.  115 million watched the Super Bowl, a 16-fold more significant event in their eyes.   

Frankly, days 1 and 2 of the impeachment trial could be called slow news days.  Nothing new came out.

When does Alexander Butterfield take the stand and tell us about the tapes? I know where I was July 13, 1973 watching live hearings when he revealed  we could just check the tapes. Tapes?  Gasp!

In this case the accusations aren't impeachable so proving them is meaningless.  Trump didn't hide what he did, perhaps with political motives, because his political interests were aligned with the official interests of the United States.  Root out corruption. If you don't like the way he does it, vote for someone else.  If 'the tapes' ever come out, it doesn't matter because Trump already - immediately  -released the transcript of the call that triggered this and it shows no wrong doing - unless you are a hateful leftist reading something into it that isn't there.

Victims don't think the government is doing enough.

“In the light of the current developments and the circumstantial facts surrounding the prevailing upsurge of attacks against the church, it will be difficult for us to believe that the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari is not colluding with the insurgents to exterminate Christians in Nigeria
“We once again call on the International community and developed world like the US, the UK, Germany, Israel and others to please come to the aid of Nigeria, especially, the Nigerian Church so that we might not be eliminated one by one.”

I post it here for the record so you don't have to enrich them with your click to see such drivel.  My test of leftists is to see if they can make their point without lying - usually in the first sentence.  In this case, their first point about Trump is that he is pushing "white nativism".  When did he say that, or did they just make it up?  Bragging abut lowest black and Hispanic unemployment ever is white nativism??Talk about bunk.

Amy has charisma?  Where??

They endorse because they have different approaches, different policies.  Is that an endorsement?  Or just Orange Man bad?

The Choice The Endorsement Bernie Sanders Tom Steyer Cory Booker Elizabeth Warren Andrew Yang Amy Klobuchar Pete Buttigieg Deval Patrick Joe Biden
In a break with convention, the
editorial board has chosen to endorse two separate
Democratic candidates for president.
Amy Klobuchar
Elizabeth Warren
The Democrats’ Best Choices for President
By The Editorial Board
Published Jan. 19, 2020

American voters must choose between three sharply divergent visions of the future.
The incumbent president, Donald Trump, is clear about where he is guiding the Republican Party — white nativism at home and America First unilateralism abroad, brazen corruption, escalating culture wars, a judiciary stacked with ideologues and the veneration of a mythological past where the hierarchy in American society was defined and unchallenged.
On the Democratic side, an essential debate is underway between two visions that may define the future of the party and perhaps the nation. Some in the party view President Trump as an aberration and believe that a return to a more sensible America is possible. Then there are those who believe that President Trump was the product of political and economic systems so rotten that they must be replaced.

The Democratic primary contest is often portrayed as a tussle between moderates and progressives. To some extent that’s true. But when we spent significant time with the leading candidates, the similarity of their platforms on fundamental issues became striking.

Nearly any of them would be the most progressive president in decades on issues like health care, the economy and government’s allocations of resources. Where they differ most significantly is not the what but the how, in whether they believe the country’s institutions and norms are up to the challenge of the moment.
Many Democratic voters are concerned first and foremost about who can beat Mr. Trump. But with a crowded field and with traditional polling in tatters, that calculation calls for a hefty dose of humility about anyone’s ability to foretell what voters want.
Choosing who should face off against Mr. Trump also means acknowledging that Americans are being confronted with three models for how to govern this country, not two. Democrats must decide which of their two models would be most compelling for the American people and best suited for repairing the Republic.
The party’s large and raucous field has made having that clean debate more difficult. With all the focus on personal characteristics — age and race and experience — and a handful of the most contentious issues, voters haven’t benefited from a clarifying choice about the party’s message in the election and the approach to governing beyond it.
It was a privilege for us on the editorial board to spend more than a dozen hours talking to candidates, asking them any question that came to mind. Yet that exercise is impossible for most Americans, and we were left wanting for a more focused conversation for the public. Now is the time to narrow the race.
The history of the editorial board would suggest that we would side squarely with the candidate with a more traditional approach to pushing the nation forward, within the realities of a constitutional framework and a multiparty country. But the events of the past few years have shaken the confidence of even the most committed institutionalists. We are not veering away from the values we espouse, but we are rattled by the weakness of the institutions that we trusted to undergird those values.
There are legitimate questions about whether our democratic system is fundamentally broken. Our elections are getting less free and fair, Congress and the courts are increasingly partisan, foreign nations are flooding society with misinformation, a deluge of money flows through our politics. And the economic mobility that made the American dream possible is vanishing.
Both the radical and the realist models warrant serious consideration. If there were ever a time to be open to new ideas, it is now. If there were ever a time to seek stability, now is it.
That’s why we’re endorsing the most effective advocates for each approach. They are Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar.
At the dawn of 2020, some of the most compelling ideas are not emerging from the center, but from the left wing of the Democratic Party. That’s a testament to the effectiveness of the case that Bernie Sanders and Senator Warren have made about what ails the country. We worry about ideological rigidity and overreach, and we’d certainly push back on specific policy proposals, like nationalizing health insurance or decriminalizing the border. But we are also struck by how much more effectively their messages have matched the moment.

Senator Sanders has spent nearly four decades advocating revolutionary change for a nation whose politics often move with glacial slowness. A career spent adjacent to the Democratic Party but not a part of it has allowed him to level trenchant criticism of a political party that often caters more to rich donors than to the middle class. Many of his ideas that were once labeled radical — like paid family leave, a higher minimum wage, universal health care and limits on military intervention — are now mainstream, and may attract voters who helped elect Mr. Trump in 2016.
Mr. Sanders would be 79 when he assumed office, and after an October heart attack, his health is a serious concern. Then, there’s how Mr. Sanders approaches politics. He boasts that compromise is anathema to him. Only his prescriptions can be the right ones, even though most are overly rigid, untested and divisive. He promises that once in office, a groundswell of support will emerge to push through his agenda. Three years into the Trump administration, we see little advantage to exchanging one over-promising, divisive figure in Washington for another.
Good news, then, that Elizabeth Warren has emerged as a standard-bearer for the Democratic left.

‘All I Can Do Is Get Out and Tell You What I’ll Fight For’

This video excerpt has been edited by “The Weekly.”
Senator Warren is a gifted storyteller. She speaks elegantly of how the economic system is rigged against all but the wealthiest Americans, and of “our chance to rewrite the rules of power in our country,” as she put it in a speech last month. In her hands, that story has the passion of a convert, a longtime Republican from Oklahoma and a middle-class family, whose work studying economic realities left her increasingly worried about the future of the country. The word “rigged” feels less bombastic than rooted in an informed assessment of what the nation needs to do to reassert its historic ideals like fairness, generosity and equality.
She is also committed to reforming the fundamental structures of government and the economy — her first commitment is to anti-corruption legislation, which is not only urgently needed but also has the potential to find bipartisan support. She speaks fluently about foreign policy, including how to improve NATO relations, something that will be badly needed after Mr. Trump leaves office.
Her campaign’s plans, in general, demonstrate a serious approach to policymaking that some of the other candidates lack. Ms. Warren accurately describes a lack of housing construction as the primary driver of the nation’s housing crisis, and she has proposed both increases in government funding for housing construction, and changes in regulatory policy to encourage local governments to allow more construction.
She has plans to sharply increase federal investment in clean energy research and to wean the American economy from fossil fuels. She has described how she would reduce the economic and political power of large corporations and give workers more ability to bargain collectively. And she has proposed a sweeping expansion of government support for Americans at every stage of life, from universal child care to free public college to expanded Social Security.
At the same time, a conservative federal judiciary will be almost as significant a roadblock for progressive change. For Ms. Warren, that leaves open questions — ones she was unwilling to wrestle with in our interview. Ms. Warren has proposed to pay for an expanded social safety net by imposing a new tax on wealth. But even if she could push such a bill through the Senate, the idea is constitutionally suspect and would inevitably be bogged down for years in the courts. A conservative judiciary also could constrain a President Warren’s regulatory powers, and roll back access to health care.
Carrying out a progressive agenda through new laws will also be very hard for any Democratic president. In that light, voters could consider what a Democratic president might accomplish without new legislation and, in particular, they could focus on the presidency’s wide-ranging powers to shape American society through the creation and enforcement of regulations.
As an adviser to President Barack Obama, Ms. Warren was the person most responsible for the creation of a new regulatory agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In her interview with the editorial board, she demonstrated her sophisticated understanding of the different levers of power in an administration, particularly in the use of regulation in areas such as trade, antitrust and environmental policy.
When she first arrived in Washington, amid the Great Recession, Senator Warren distinguished herself as a citizen-politician. She showed an admirable desire to shake off the entrapments of many Washington interests in favor of pragmatic problem-solving on behalf of regular people. In her primary campaign, however, she has shown some questionable political instincts. She sometimes sounds like a candidate who sees a universe of us-versus-thems, who, in the general election, would be going up against a president who has already divided America into his own version of them and us.
This has been most obvious in her case for “Medicare for all,” where she has already had to soften her message, as voters have expressed their lack of support for her plan. There are good, sound reasons for a public health care option — countries all over the world have demonstrated that. But Ms. Warren’s version would require winning over a skeptical public, legislative trench warfare to pass bills in Congress, the dismantling of a private health care system. That system, through existing public-private programs like Medicare Advantage, has shown it is not nearly as flawed as she insists, and it is even lauded by health economists who now advocate a single-payer system.
American capitalism is responsible for its share of sins. But Ms. Warren often casts the net far too wide, placing the blame for a host of maladies from climate change to gun violence at the feet of the business community when the onus is on society as a whole. The country needs a more unifying path. The senator talks more about bringing together Democrats, Republicans and independents behind her proposals, often leaning on anecdotes about her conservative brothers to do so. Ms. Warren has the power and conviction and credibility to make the case — especially given her past as a Republican — but she needs to draw on practicality and patience as much as her down-and-dirty critique of the system.
Ms. Warren’s path to the nomination is challenging, but not hard to envision. The four front-runners are bunched together both in national polls and surveys in states holding the first votes, so small shifts in voter sentiment can have an outsize influence this early in the campaign. There are plenty of progressives who are hungry for major change but may harbor lingering concerns about a messenger as divisive as Mr. Sanders. At the same time, some moderate Democratic primary voters see Ms. Warren as someone who speaks to their concerns about inequality and corruption. Her earlier leaps in the polls suggest she can attract more of both.
The lack of a single, powerful moderate voice in this Democratic race is the strongest evidence of a divided party. Never mind the talented, honorable politicians who chose to sit this fight out; just stop and consider the talents who did throw their hat into the ring and never got more than a passing glance from voters — Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Steve Bullock, Michael Bennet, Deval Patrick, Jay Inslee, among others.
Those candidates who remain all have a mix of strengths and weaknesses.
Pete Buttigieg, who is 38 and who was elected mayor of South Bend, Ind., in 2011, has an all-star résumé — Harvard graduate, Rhodes scholar, Navy veteran who served in Afghanistan, the first serious openly gay presidential candidate. His showing in the lead-up to the primaries predicts a bright political future; we look forward to him working his way up.
Andrew Yang, an entrepreneur and philanthropist, is an engaging and enthusiastic candidate whose diagnoses are often thought-provoking. He points to new solutions to 21st-century challenges rather than retrofitting old ideas. Yet he has virtually no experience in government. We hope he decides to get involved in New York politics.
Michael Bloomberg served three terms as New York’s mayor (and was endorsed twice by this page). A multibillionaire who built his namesake company from scratch, he is many of the things Mr. Trump pretends to be and would be an effective contrast to the president in a campaign. Mr. Bloomberg is the candidate in the race with the clearest track record of governing, even if that record has its blemishes, beginning with his belated and convenient apology for stop-and-frisk policing.

Still, Mr. Bloomberg’s current campaign approach reveals more about America’s broken system than his likelihood of fixing it. Rather than build support through his ideas and experience, Mr. Bloomberg has spent at least $217 million to date to circumvent the hard, uncomfortable work of actual campaigning. He’s also avoided difficult questions — going so far as to bar his own news organization from investigating him, and declining to meet with The Times’s editorial board under the pretext that he didn’t yet have positions on enough issues. What’s worse, Mr. Bloomberg refuses to allow several women with whom he has nondisclosure settlements to speak freely.
Few men have given more of their time and experience to the conduct of the public’s business than Joe Biden. The former vice president commands the greatest fluency on foreign policy and is a figure of great warmth and empathy. He’s prone to verbal stumbles, yes, but social media has also made every gaffe a crisis when it clearly is not.
Mr. Biden maintains a lead in national polls, but that may be a measure of familiarity as much as voter intention. His central pitch to voters is that he can beat Donald Trump. His agenda tinkers at the edges of issues like health care and climate, and he emphasizes returning the country to where things were before the Trump era. But merely restoring the status quo will not get America where it needs to go as a society. What’s more, Mr. Biden is 77. It is time for him to pass the torch to a new generation of political leaders.
Good news, then, that Amy Klobuchar has emerged as a standard-bearer for the Democratic center. Her vision goes beyond the incremental. Given the polarization in Washington and beyond, the best chance to enact many progressive plans could be under a Klobuchar administration.
The senator from Minnesota is the very definition of Midwestern charisma, grit and sticktoitiveness. Her lengthy tenure in the Senate and bipartisan credentials would make her a deal maker (a real one) and uniter for the wings of the party — and perhaps the nation.

‘I Am Someone That Has a Record of Bringing People With Me’

This video excerpt has been edited by “The Weekly.”
She promises to put the country on the path — through huge investments in green infrastructure and legislation to lower emissions — to achieve 100 percent net-zero emissions no later than 2050. She pledges to cut childhood poverty in half in a decade by expanding the earned-income and child care tax credits. She also wants to expand food stamps and overhaul housing policy and has developed the field’s most detailed plan for treating addiction and mental illness. And this is all in addition to pushing for a robust public option in health care, free community college and a federal minimum wage of $15 an hour.
Ms. Klobuchar speaks about issues like climate change, the narrowing middle class, gun safety and trade with an empathy that connects to voters’ lived experiences, especially in the middle of the country. The senator talks, often with self-deprecating humor, about growing up the daughter of two union workers, her Uncle Dick’s deer stand, her father’s struggles with alcoholism and her Christian faith.
Ms. Klobuchar promises a foreign policy based on leading by example, instead of by threat-via-tweet. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, she serves on the subcommittees responsible for oversight of the Department of Homeland Security, as well as the nation’s borders and its immigration, citizenship and refugee laws. In 13 years as a senator, she has sponsored and voted on dozens of national defense measures, including military action in Libya and Syria. Her record shows that she is confident and thoughtful, and she reacts to data — what you’d want in a crisis.
All have helped Ms. Klobuchar to be the most productive senator among the Democratic field in terms of bills passed with bipartisan support, according to a recent study for the Center for Effective Lawmaking. When she arrived in the Senate in 2007, Ms. Klobuchar was part of a bipartisan group of lawmakers that proposed comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship for 12 million undocumented immigrants, before conservative pundits made it political poison. Her more recent legislative accomplishments are narrower but meaningful to those affected, especially the legislation aimed at helping crime victims. This is not surprising given her background as the chief prosecutor in Minnesota’s most populous county. For example, one measure she wrote helped provide funds to reduce a nationwide backlog of rape kits for investigating sexual assaults.
Reports of how Senator Klobuchar treats her staff give us pause. They raise serious questions about her ability to attract and hire talented people. Surrounding the president with a team of seasoned, reasoned leaders is critical to the success of an administration, not doing so is often the downfall of presidencies. Ms. Klobuchar has acknowledged she’s a tough boss and pledged to do better. (To be fair, Bill Clinton and Mr. Trump — not to mention former Vice President Biden — also have reputations for sometimes berating their staffs, and it is rarely mentioned as a political liability.)
Ms. Klobuchar doesn’t have the polished veneer and smooth delivery that comes from a lifetime spent in the national spotlight, and she has struggled to gain traction on the campaign trail. In Minnesota, however, she is enormously popular. She has won all three of her Senate elections by double digits. In 2016, Hillary Clinton carried nine of Minnesota’s 87 counties. Ms. Klobuchar carried 51 in 2018. And it’s far too early to count Ms. Klobuchar out — Senator John Kerry, the eventual Democratic nominee in 2004, was also polling in the single digits at this point in the race.
There has been a wildfire burning in Australia larger than Switzerland. The Middle East is more unstable at this moment than at any other time in the past decade, with a nuclear arms race looking more when than if. Basket-case governments in several nations south of the Rio Grande have sent a historic flood of migrants to our southern border. Global technology companies exert more political influence than some national governments. White nationalists from Norway to New Zealand to El Paso use the internet to share ideas about racial superiority and which caliber of rifle works best for the next mass killing.
The next president will shape the direction of America’s prosperity and the future of the planet, perhaps irrevocably. The current president, meanwhile, is a threat to democracy. He was impeached for strong-arming Ukraine into tampering with the 2020 election. There is no reason patriotic Americans should not be open to every chance to replace him at the ballot box.
Yet, Mr. Trump maintains near-universal approval from his party and will nearly certainly coast to the nomination. Democrats would be smart to recognize that Mr. Trump’s vision for America’s future is shared by many millions of Americans.
Any hope of restoring unity in the country will require modesty, a willingness to compromise and the support of the many demographics that make up the Democratic coalition — young and old, in red states and blue, black and brown and white. For Senator Klobuchar, that’s acknowledging the depth of the nation’s dysfunction. For Senator Warren, it’s understanding that the country is more diverse than her base.
There will be those dissatisfied that this page is not throwing its weight behind a single candidate, favoring centrists or progressives. But it’s a fight the party itself has been itching to have since Mrs. Clinton’s defeat in 2016, and one that should be played out in the public arena and in the privacy of the voting booth. That’s the very purpose of primaries, to test-market strategies and ideas that can galvanize and inspire the country.
Ms. Klobuchar and Ms. Warren right now are the Democrats best equipped to lead that debate.
May the best woman win.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the most votes Mayor Pete Buttigieg previously won. It is roughly 630,000 votes in his loss in the 2010 race to be Indiana state treasurer. He won roughly 11,000 votes to become mayor of South Bend, Ind.

A recent working paper by Gerald Auten and David Splinter, economists at the Treasury and Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation, respectively, reaches a striking new conclusion. It finds that, after adjusting for taxes and transfers, the income share of America’s top 1% has barely changed since the 1960s (see chart 1).
This corrects errors made by alarmists like Piketty Saez who ignore taxation, redistribution and most of the income of the poor. 

Before tax reforms like Reagan's, the income of the rich was more hidden in tax shelters, harder to measure so other studies (see above) didn't count it.

If you're not going to count the income of the rich then or of the poor now, then don't make conclusions about how inequality is changing.

Politics & Religion / Re: Environmental issues
« on: January 22, 2020, 05:37:38 AM »
I agree.  Like some of my tenants, you shouldn't be allowed to use plastics if you can't successfully land them in a garbage can.

More than a hundred usages of these inflammatory terms in the House report.

the report accuses the president of pushing a “discredited conspiracy theory alleging Ukrainian interference in the 2016 United States Presidential election.”

the report says that Giuliani was hoping to chase down not just claims about the Bidens but “discredited claims about the Bidens.”
Someone once said its not true therefore its forever "debunked", no matter where the facts may fall?  Doesn't that make both Nadler and Schiff debunked?  Can't we just argue on the merits?

Politics & Religion / Clinton Foundation
« on: January 21, 2020, 07:07:28 PM »
I wishI could re-size this.  Need to see it all the way across:

Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 241