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Old 07-06-2017, 04:44 AM   #181
kirant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thane of Cawdor View Post
Yay I won, debating is tiring.
Did KC edit his post or something?
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Old 07-06-2017, 03:02 PM   #182
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Two articles by Mike Lofgren in The Washington Monthly:

From May 29: When Should We Use the "T" Word?

And its sequel, from June 28: Mitch McConnell's Sinister Role in the Russian Hacks

Lofgren, by the way, is a disgruntled former Republican. I wish more of them would follow his example of putting country above party.
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Old 07-06-2017, 06:21 PM   #183
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This is directed to nobody in particular, but a fascinating look at the shifting base of the energy consumption in the USA.

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=31892

Of interesting note is the absolute devastation of the coal industry since 2000. It's really disheartening that the government isn't going to cushion the entire counties which rely on it.

Also interesting is that people are pinning this on Obama. It seems like economics killed the industry, not regulation.

Edit - Not worth another post, so I thought I'd just paste this in my old post.

This is a truly fascinating chart. Basically, the value is the correlation between income of a parent against income of the child. A higher number means there's a stronger correlation (that is, "old money" from the parent will strongly influence how much "new money" the child makes).

Of fascinating value is how high many typically perceived "socially liberal" societies provide high social mobility. Worst places of all are obviously countries well known for corruption.

Unusually, USA and UK are high on the "lack of economic mobility" standard.



It led me to an interesting Wiki Walk to the "Great Gatsby Curve", a recent naming for the existence of a positive correlation between social immobility (being stuck in the "income bracket" your parents were in) and income inequality (variance between how much two random people make). The simple version is that the more income becomes unequal, the less likely it is a person will be able to "make it big" and make income based purely on their merits as oppose to established money.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...tsby_Curve.png
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Old 07-10-2017, 12:18 AM   #184
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Tsar Putin and his lapdog.

Spoiler: show




Different subject.

Spoiler: show
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Old 07-10-2017, 03:49 AM   #185
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So...honestly...I'm not sure there's anything I can disagree with this video on.

The comments are from Chris Uhlmann, a heavily conservative reporter in Australia. He's a little hard to pin for comments online but you can find traces of his stances (anti-wind power, political work with a Republican-esc independent party).



Copied below for those without YouTube capabilities.

Quote:
We already knew [...] that the President of the United States has a particular skill set; that he's identified an illness in Western democracies but has no cure for it and seems intent on exploiting it. And we've also learned that he has no desire and no capacity to lead the world.

The G20 became the G19 as it ended. On the Paris climate accord, the US was left isolated and friendless. But given that was always going to happen, a deft president would have found an issue around which he could rally most of the leaders. And he had the perfect one - North Korea's missile tests.

So where was the G20 statement condemning North Korea which would have put pressure on China and Russia? Other leaders expected it. They were prepared to back it. But it never came.

There's a tendency among some hopeful souls to confuse the speeches written for Trump with the thoughts of the man himself. He did make some interesting, scripted observations in Poland about defending the values of the West. And he's in a unique position. He's the one man who has the power to do something about it.

But it's the unscripted Trump that's real; a man who barks out bile in 140 characters, who wastes his precious days as president at war with the West's institutions like the judiciary, independent government agencies, and the free press.

He was an uneasy, lonely, awkward figure at this gathering and you got the strong sense that some of the leaders are trying to find the best way to work around him. Donald Trump's a man who craves power because it burnishes his celebrity. To be constantly talking and talked about is all that really matters and there is no value placed on the meaning of words. So what's said one day can be discarded the next.

So, what did we learn?

We learned that Donald Trump has pressed fast forward on the decline of the United States as a global leader. He managed to isolate his nation, to confuse and alienate his allies, and to diminish America.

He will cede that power to China and Russia - two authoritarian states that will forge a very different set of rules for the 21st century. Some will cheer the decline of America. But I think we'll miss it when it's gone.

And that's the biggest threat to the values of the West which he claims to hold so dear.
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Old 07-10-2017, 02:11 PM   #186
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Too bad Diana's not real.
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Old 07-10-2017, 04:11 PM   #187
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Damn kirant, that clipping from the youtube video is from people who are just jealous. As an American let me state something you cannot see. Most of us don't care what the world thinks. As the UK was being dragged down by the EU, so is America by spending SO much of our resources throughout the world, funding the entire marine protection and spending more on charities than any other country. If you read your history books to when America became the global dominant country, I think you'll see we've got the ambition to take that spot again, and forget what all the socialist countries think. You guys can laugh at us, we don't care. Time to rock again.

P.S. lots of your links are to articles that are just people's opinions, don't take rhetoric and advertizement as fact so much.
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:52 PM   #188
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Originally Posted by Thane of Cawdor View Post
Damn kirant, that clipping from the youtube video is from people who are just jealous.
Or spoken by a man who worried that the USA is hastening its diminishing relevance and leaving the world for groups with more authoritarian beliefs...the more literal interpretation of his report.

Support your non-obvious argument. You've got the full text so you can pick and choose quotes to explain exactly how you get to that conclusion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thane of Cawdor View Post
Most of us don't care what the world thinks.
No, but he also speaks exactly what approximately 2/3s in the USA think (excluding those with "I don't know" as an opinion).

https://poll.qu.edu/national/release...ReleaseID=2456

About the only positives people seem to agree on is that the economy is improving...though even then, most voters seem to attribute that to Obama.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thane of Cawdor View Post
If you read your history books to when America became the global dominant country, I think you'll see we've got the ambition to take that spot again, and forget what all the socialist countries think.
I think if you research more intensively, you'll find the USA went from "strong nation" to "international powerhouse" occurred when the other "strong nations" bombed the hell out of each other and fought through two wars on their soil.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thane of Cawdor View Post
P.S. lots of your links are to articles that are just people's opinions, don't take rhetoric and advertizement as fact so much.
I typically link to data. The post before the video was three graphical presentations of data.

If you'd like to dispute the presentation or the analysis, go right ahead.
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Old 07-10-2017, 07:24 PM   #189
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(2nd item may be Borderline NSFW for barnyard word)

Meanwhile, back at Chez Clinton:
Spoiler: show
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Old 07-18-2017, 08:59 PM   #190
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So...uh...that was a week.

In that time, the USA decided it was going to be the headline in most of the news (which is amazing since it absolutely enveloped the fact that China just made massive sweeping internet censorship, prohibiting any searches of what it calls "deviant" sexuality as well as Winnie the Pooh of all things...if you're curious on the latter, it's because there's a meme comparing its president to Winnie the Pooh)

Anyways, the USA managed to go a little nuts recently. I'll try to keep it brief, but it's a massive explosion of stories and this is pretty much my reaction to trying to understand why anybody rational would do any of the above:



So...:

Spoiler: show
- The Washington Post got a hold of e-mails by Donald Trump Jr regarding a meeting held last June. They let him know they were going to publish it. Under council of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, Trump Jr decided to release the e-mails publicly ( https://twitter.com/JulianAssange/st...53347815235584 ) as to scoop the story from The Washington Post.

- The e-mails can be found here: https://twitter.com/DonaldJTrumpJr/s...953413/photo/1 and https://twitter.com/DonaldJTrumpJr/s...89839522140166

-- Of particular interest is the first e-mail chronologically. It explicitly states that they wanted to have a meeting "as part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump" and directly references that they would be looking to provide information that would incriminate Hillary Clinton. In the e-mail, Trump Jr can be clearly seen identifying that he "loves it" if it is what they say it is.

-- Trump Jr also forwards the e-mail to Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner, two individuals who failed to disclose the existence of such a meeting previously.

-- Some argue that this is a violation within and of itself. The part they often quote is below (though you can argue what "other thing of value" really entails...I'm on the fence for the whole "smoking gun" line of thought). Quote is below from CFR 110.20, the most commonly argued point.

Quote:
(b) A foreign national shall not, directly or indirectly, make a contribution or a donation of money or other thing of value, or expressly or impliedly promise to make a contribution or a donation, in connection with any Federal, State, or local election.
- Now, this is where things get stupid. The line of defence from the Trump side has shifted very quickly with each ongoing information dump.

-- The first line was that the meeting was about Russian adoption policy. This changed after the e-mails above broke out.

-- The next line was that they got nothing out of it and were only met by Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and a translator. Veselnitskaya is well known for lobbying for removal of Russian restrictions imposed by the USA due to human rights violations.

-- So the second line of defence was the meeting was not wrong as nothing was gained out of it. This quickly fell out as the same lines above were quoted discussing the fact that there were implied promises of election interference.

- About the same time, it was discovered that, despite claims that the meeting with only with Veselnitskaya, more individuals attended the meeting. In specific, Rinat Akhmetshin, along with the forwarded Manafort and Kushner (who never disclosed having attended such a meeting in security forms), was there. Akhmenshin is an individual known to have excellent abilities to gather intelligence on e-mails and passports, even bragging about it previously ( https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/15/w...lnitskaya.html ).

- This is when the line of argument changed to "well, anybody would have done it" and "secret service never stopped us". The former doesn't make it right (additionally, previous instances have ended with FBI being notified) while the latter only applies to Donald Trump at this point in time. All we can really say is that Trump himself didn't sit in on such a meeting.

- As of right now, the meeting itself is now being looked at by the special investigator for Russian interference (Mueller). There is also strong interest by the Senate committee on the same subject to call in Trump Jr and Manafort, something Mueller said the committee can do if they so desire.

- By the way, all this came out after Trump Jr claimed he was being transparent on the matter. Looking at the above, it seems like he omitted a lot of details.

-- Just to add insult to injury, the reasons Manafort and Kushner claim they didn't reveal the meetings previously include: "not reading the e-mail to the end of the chain" and "my aides accidentally submitted the document by hitting send instead of save".


Oh, by the way, we're not done yet. That's how stupid the last ~10 days have been.

Spoiler: show
- In the same time, the USA's Senate has been working a copy of the ACA's replacement. This, similar to the previous attempt, has significant dislike from the general voting public, with 10-15% typically in favour of the bill "as is".

- As of last night, Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pulled the plug on the ACA's replacement and suggested that they cannot win. It was publicly stated that 4 Republican Senators refused to vote for the bill. With 52/100 seats, this meant the Republicans couldn't win.

- Today, the Republicans opted to move forward on plan B: just repeal ACA with no replacement. But even that seems to be dead in the water as 3 Republicans all announced they could not support such a move. With only 49 votes, it appears dead as well.

Which means it's likely back to the drawing board for the Republicans, barring that they can somehow coerce their colleagues to change their mind.


So, tl;dr: Trump Jr and the Trump inner circle are changing their story multiple times (and have handed out to the public the most damning documents yet of foreign interference in the 2016 election) and any attempt to replace (or just repeal) ACA seems dead in the water and needs to get re-drafted.
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