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Thread: Biden Thread

  1. #241
    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden Thread

    Populist politics is certainly not the exclusive domain of the right - as we can see by the speed being anti Trans / Gay / [insert thing] occurs with it now reaching the level of "thought crimes" on both extremes - the terms Right and Left does rather over simplify things.

    Accusations are as good as proof and lead to people being as far as possible edited out of a group for Intolerance. Gender? Utterly subjective and up to the person; race? Utterly subjective and up to the person (unless you are too white it seems then you're just "white") and if you disagree you are wrong. Probably Evil. And ideally should be sacked and ostracised. With some very odd boundaries: each person is individual and themselves and should be valued for them being themselves at all times and so on and so forth. But if they so much as looked at a (generally) female under 18 then they are still a monster who is preying on innocent children. End of story.

    Another good one is the Thought Crime of being Silent (or even just too quiet) - in something that Stalin would be proud of, not declaiming your approval of the current thought is itself evidence of a Crime. So you can't just not be racist - you should be "anti-racist", or more generally an Ally - whilst still not being overbearing of course. If you are a non white and hold a view that is wrong, then you are a Coconut or a Banana or to be less subtle a race traitor since inclusion for some means choosing to hold the correct views.

    Clearly there is a massive power disparity between the two "sides" with persons on one (in the USA at least) able to kill people with relative impunity with the other mainly having the ability to hurl a torrent of abuse. But I personally think that there is an equal will to enforce the power if it was there.

    Frankly, apart from on here I mainly find myself not risking holding an opinion since whilst it is highly likely no one cares what I think or say why take the risk?

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
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  2. #242
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden Thread

    "Mitch McConnell" 2.0 is at it again:

    https://www.wvgazettemail.com/opinio...2d0af870f.html

    The right to vote is fundamental to our American democracy and protecting that right should not be about party or politics. Least of all, protecting this right, which is a value I share, should never be done in a partisan manner.

    Unfortunately, we now are witnessing that the fundamental right to vote has itself become overtly politicized. Today’s debate about how to best protect our right to vote and to hold elections, however, is not about finding common ground, but seeking partisan advantage. Whether it is state laws that seek to needlessly restrict voting or politicians who ignore the need to secure our elections, partisan policymaking won’t instill confidence in our democracy — it will destroy it.
    While partisan politics is indeed destroying democracy here in the States, Manchin is most certainly helping that along.

    So what might be another reason that Sen Manchin is so dedicated to the BS line of bi-partisanship, his resistance to so much of what Democrats want to get done, and this latest thumbs down to the For The People Act?

    This could be a good reason:

    https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-...half-a-century

    A recording obtained by The New Yorker of a private conference call on January 8th, between a policy adviser to Senator Mitch McConnell and the leaders of several prominent conservative groups—including one run by the Koch brothers’ network—reveals the participants’ worry that the proposed election reforms garner wide support not just from liberals but from conservative voters, too. The speakers on the call expressed alarm at the broad popularity of the bill’s provision calling for more public disclosure about secret political donors. The participants conceded that the bill, which would stem the flow of dark money from such political donors as the billionaire oil magnate Charles Koch, was so popular that it wasn’t worth trying to mount a public-advocacy campaign to shift opinion. Instead, a senior Koch operative said that opponents would be better off ignoring the will of American voters and trying to kill the bill in Congress.

    With so little public support, the bill’s opponents have already begun pressuring individual senators. On March 20th, several major conservative groups, including Heritage Action, Tea Party Patriots Action, Freedom Works, and the local and national branches of the Family Research Council, organized a rally in West Virginia to get Senator Joe Manchin, the conservative Democrat, to come out against the legislation. They also pushed Manchin to oppose any efforts by Democrats to abolish the Senate’s filibuster rule, a tactical step that the Party would probably need to take in order to pass the bill.
    “The filibuster is really the only thing standing in the way of progressive far-left policies like H.R. 1, which is Pelosi’s campaign to take over America’s elections,” Noah Weinrich, the press secretary at Heritage Action, declared during a West Virginia radio interview. On Thursday, Manchin issued a statement warning Democrats that forcing the measure through the Senate would “only exacerbate the distrust that millions of Americans harbor against the U.S. government.”
    So it appears that Manchin CAN be pressured---but fellow Democrats just are choosing not to---because many of them are taking the same millions from corporate/industry donors, which, surprise, is part of what HR 1/SB 1 is attempting to address.

    Even Fox News shredded Manchin:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6Vz3OXIavo

    “You said you oppose scrapping the filibuster,” Wallace said. “The question I have is whether or not—and you say that you hope that will bring the parties together—the question I have is whether or not you’re doing it exactly the wrong way?” Wallace questioned whether it wouldn’t be a smarter strategy for Manchin to say he might consider getting rid of the filibuster because it could “give Republicans an incentive to actually negotiate.” Instead, the anchor said, “by taking it off the table, haven’t you empowered Republicans to be obstructionists?”

    Manchin said he doesn’t agree with Wallace’s point of view because there are “seven brave Republicans that continue to vote for what they know is right and the facts as they see them, not worrying about the political consequences.” Seven Republicans voted to convict former President Donald Trump. Manchin went on say that he was “very hopeful” and that he sees “good signs.”
    Even when pressed by Wallace (yes Fox News actually doing real journalism!) Manchin continued his line of bi-partisan BS which is fooling noone anymore:

    But Wallace again pushed back, pointing out that Republicans blocked the independent commission to investigate the Capitol riot and that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has outright said he wants to block President Joe Biden’s agenda. “Question,” asked Wallace. “Aren’t you being naive about this continuing talk about bipartisan cooperation?” Manchin responded by saying he wasn’t naďve and criticized McConnell for “trying to block all the good things that we’re trying to do for America,” but he insisted he will “continue working with my bipartisan friends” and expressed optimism that “hopefully we can get more of them.”
    Except that Republicans haven't given squat since the elections, and not a single one voted to pass a "must-pass" COVID relief bill, they want the 6 Jan assault on democracy to just go away without digging into it, and will most certainly vote to defeat HR1/SB1 and the Infrastructure Bill...

    I'm going to be curious how Manchin's response to the GOP assault on democracy is going to be viewed when our current governmental debacle is a part of history...
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 06-08-2021 at 17:02.
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  3. #243

    Default Re: Biden Thread

    @Seamus

    It's been pointed out that we basically no longer accept racial discrimination as religious practice with any religion or denomination, yet continue to tolerate (legally and socially) formal restrictions on women in clergy and the like, or anti-abortion and anti-contraceptive policies in religiously-aligned institutions. If mainstream society has already agreed to reject racism in religion, is there any logical justification against targeting sexism in the same spaces? To put it one way, why doesn't anyone care that Biden attends a gender-segregated church?


    This person estimates around a third of all homicides by stranger in the United States are by police officer. It's probably in the ballpark given that most murders are done by friends, family, colleagues, or other non-strangers, but to really make it work you would have to categorically exclude most sorts of manslaughter (such as killing by traffic collision).


    Responsive to the earlier discussion of the regulation of voting (Herblock):




    One of the great flaws of the Democratic leadership remains, in practical terms, their lack of expressive urgency. It isn't to say that they must be constantly screaming into the media in the most intemperate language - they have, after all, failed up to this point to work themselves into that stance organically - but if nothing else then...



    Last I heard the Congress has confirmed like one federal judge so far. Many ways for this session to turn out as 'The Tragedy of Senator Manchin the Blowhard.'



    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    Populist politics is certainly not the exclusive domain of the right - as we can see by the speed being anti Trans / Gay / [insert thing] occurs with it now reaching the level of "thought crimes" on both extremes - the terms Right and Left does rather over simplify things.

    Accusations are as good as proof and lead to people being as far as possible edited out of a group for Intolerance. Gender? Utterly subjective and up to the person; race? Utterly subjective and up to the person (unless you are too white it seems then you're just "white") and if you disagree you are wrong. Probably Evil. And ideally should be sacked and ostracised. With some very odd boundaries: each person is individual and themselves and should be valued for them being themselves at all times and so on and so forth. But if they so much as looked at a (generally) female under 18 then they are still a monster who is preying on innocent children. End of story.

    Another good one is the Thought Crime of being Silent (or even just too quiet) - in something that Stalin would be proud of, not declaiming your approval of the current thought is itself evidence of a Crime. So you can't just not be racist - you should be "anti-racist", or more generally an Ally - whilst still not being overbearing of course. If you are a non white and hold a view that is wrong, then you are a Coconut or a Banana or to be less subtle a race traitor since inclusion for some means choosing to hold the correct views.

    Clearly there is a massive power disparity between the two "sides" with persons on one (in the USA at least) able to kill people with relative impunity with the other mainly having the ability to hurl a torrent of abuse. But I personally think that there is an equal will to enforce the power if it was there.

    Frankly, apart from on here I mainly find myself not risking holding an opinion since whilst it is highly likely no one cares what I think or say why take the risk?

    You sound hysterical. Take a step back. No one is coming for you.

    Just apply rationality and empathy.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    So it appears that Manchin CAN be pressured---but fellow Democrats just are choosing not to---because many of them are taking the same millions from corporate/industry donors, which, surprise, is part of what HR 1/SB 1 is attempting to address.
    I'm pretty confident Manchin isn't in this for the donations, not to mention that it's not credible that conservative lobbyists have something to offer him that liberal ones, or the DSCC, or the White House, don't. The likelier scenario is he's a true believer in what he's propounding, the ideology of the status quo. (It doesn't hurt that he is now the most-sought and most-valuable Senator in the country.)

    If Manchin had a pecuniary motive from any angle (for himself, for his office/campaign, for his state, what-have-you), and Sinema along with him, then legislation would already have been signed by Biden.
    Vitiate Man.

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  4. #244
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    @Seamus

    It's been pointed out that we basically no longer accept racial discrimination as religious practice with any religion or denomination, yet continue to tolerate (legally and socially) formal restrictions on women in clergy and the like, or anti-abortion and anti-contraceptive policies in religiously-aligned institutions. If mainstream society has already agreed to reject racism in religion, is there any logical justification against targeting sexism in the same spaces? To put it one way, why doesn't anyone care that Biden attends a gender-segregated church?
    Don't know how different it is in the US, but here in the UK it would be because religion is seen as irrelevant, so no one gives a toss what the churches do. The impression I get of religion in the US is that it's not very organised, but is centred around the individual and their local church.

  5. #245
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden Thread

    I'm pretty confident Manchin isn't in this for the donations, not to mention that it's not credible that conservative lobbyists have something to offer him that liberal ones, or the DSCC, or the White House, don't. The likelier scenario is he's a true believer in what he's propounding, the ideology of the status quo.
    Couldn't disagree with this more. One has to ask why Manchin is taking his stance on bi-partisanship the way he has.

    Either he's just totally ignorant of the facts, which is highly unlikely, or he has his own agenda to pursue, that includes demolishing his own party's chances at continuing to hold executive and congressional power. I choose the latter. When poll after poll show overwhelming popular support, even from Republicans (at times) for much of the legislation being proposed by the Biden Administration (including in his own state of W. Virginia), he continues to bloviate about this notion of bi-partisanship which isn't there.

    About conservative lobbyists not having anything to offer? How about this:

    https://aninjusticemag.com/senators-...i=86f57dd2c9e8

    Syndicated journalist and former top Bernie Sanders advisor David Sirota, along with Andrew Perez and Joel Warner report that after their vote to kill the $15 minimum wage amendment in Biden’s must pass Covid relief bill, the two will join disgraced Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to headline a conference for an anti-Union corporate lobbying group, the National Restaurant Association. A group that just so happens to have been lobbying intensely against a minimum wage increase.
    Do you really think that the above mentioned Heritage Action et al, didn't offer up bribes...errr I mean campaign donations, when they made their appearances in West Virginia?

    It doesn't hurt that he is now the most-sought and most-valuable Senator in the country
    You can't really believe that as a reason? Because his value will greatly diminish if the Dems get swept out of Congress in 2022. He would be furthering his own personal case if he voted for legislation that would enhance the Democrats staying in power, rather than helping the GOP by blocking changes to the filibuster, and voting against important pieces of legislation. If/when the GOP reclaims Congress in 2022, Manchin will be relegated to being just another conservative Democrat in the Senate...just like he was before the 2020 elections.

    Nah....in the end, Manchin is just another dirty corporate politician taking millions from lobbyists and business while screwing the people of this country in the process.
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 06-09-2021 at 13:58.
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  6. #246
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden Thread

    @Montmorency

    Our Bill of Rights prohibits Congress from making laws establishing a religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Biden is free to worship, or not, as his conscience dictates. The voters are free to find this comforting, annoying, disqualifying, or irrelevant and may exercise their franchise with this assessment factored into their decision.

    If enough of the public chooses to avoid the Catholic Church, over time that will have an impact. Feel free to call for the Church's castigation as a sexist organization -- you would not be the first. At a minimum, my daughter has beaten you to it.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

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    Member Member Xantan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden Thread

    DOJ seized information from Apple & other sources about Congress Democrats

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/10/u...istration.html

    WASHINGTON — As the Justice Department investigated who was behind leaks of classified information early in the Trump administration, it took a highly unusual step: Prosecutors subpoenaed Apple for data from the accounts of at least two Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, aides and family members. One was a minor.

    All told, the records of at least a dozen people tied to the committee were seized in 2017 and early 2018, including those of Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, then the panel’s top Democrat and now its chairman, according to committee officials and two other people briefed on the inquiry. Representative Eric Swalwell of California said in an interview Thursday night that he had also been notified that his data had been subpoenaed.

    Prosecutors, under the beleaguered attorney general, Jeff Sessions, were hunting for the sources behind news media reports about contacts between Trump associates and Russia. Ultimately, the data and other evidence did not tie the committee to the leaks, and investigators debated whether they had hit a dead end and some even discussed closing the inquiry.

  8. #248
    Hǫrđar Member Viking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    You sound hysterical. Take a step back. No one is coming for you.

    Just apply rationality and empathy.
    This appeal to trust the program is not an appeal to rationality, but an appeal to faith disguised as an appeal to rationality.
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  9. #249

    Default Re: Biden Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    Nah....in the end, Manchin is just another dirty corporate politician taking millions from lobbyists and business while screwing the people of this country in the process.
    In my opinion this is a deeply-flawed attitude among much of the Left, this assumption that other people don't just believe things (which is, frankly, an assumption at least as common among the far-Right in my experience).

    The theory that Manchin is bought off by right-wing lobbying groups entails the causal effect of an inducement in the first place, which is to say that Manchin was going to vote to implement Biden's agenda until he was brought against it. But why would Manchin need financial inducements (that he never even sees as an individual) to perform as he evidently already wants to and always has, in keeping with his whole political career, style, and orientation? And why wouldn't it be far easier to sway him with blandishments in the other direction, with the far greater fiscal reserve of the federal government at hand?

    If Manchin were merely venal, a few billion dollars in infrastructure investment to his state would be enough to secure his vote. And in parallel, it has often been noted that if Republicans were merely venal then the country wouldn't be so dysfunctional and on the precipice of a delusional fascism.



    You don't do that for the money.

    Also look at Stephen Breyer refusing to retire because he fears his retirement will be the event that politicizes the Court. Look at all the garden-variety liberals out there who agree exactly with him (and with Manchin for that matter). Are they all getting an inducement? Well then, maybe if George Soros stopped wasting all his funds on protesters and climate researchers he could compete...


    Here is what it looks like when it's for the money:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Earlier this week, the Food and Drug Administration overruled—to much criticism—its own scientific advisory committee and approved the Alzheimer’s treatment Aduhelm. The agency made this decision despite thin evidence of the drug’s clinical efficacy and despite its serious side effects, including brain swelling and bleeding. As a result, a serious risk now exists that millions of people will be prescribed a drug that does more harm than good.

    Less appreciated is how the drug’s approval could trigger hundreds of billions of dollars of new government spending, all without a vote in Congress or indeed any public debate over the drug’s value. Aduhelm’s manufacturer, Biogen, announced on Monday that it would price the drug at an average of $56,000 a year per patient, a figure that doesn’t include the additional imaging and scans needed to diagnose patients or to monitor them for serious side effects.

    The federal government will bear the brunt of the new spending. The overwhelming majority of people with Alzheimer’s disease are eligible for Medicare, the federally run insurance program for elderly and disabled Americans. If even one-third of the estimated 6 million people with Alzheimer’s in the United States receives the new treatment, health-care spending could swell by $112 billion annually.

    To put that figure in perspective, in 2020, Medicare spent about $90 billion on prescription drugs for 46 million Americans through the Part D program, which covers prescription medication that you pick up at your local pharmacy. We could wind up spending more than that for Aduhelm alone.

    Most of the costs will be borne by taxpayers. But Medicare beneficiaries will take an additional hit. Because Aduhelm is an infusion drug that will be administered in doctors’ offices and clinics, not taken at home, it will be covered by Medicare Part B—not Part D. Under Part B, beneficiaries pay 20 percent of the costs of their care, which, for a single year of Aduhelm treatment, will be at least $11,200. Although most seniors have supplemental plans to cover these out-of-pocket expenses, prices for those plans are sure to spike, whether they’re on Aduhelm or not. That would be quite hard on seniors, many of whom live on fixed incomes.

    States will also come under pressure. Some patients prescribed the drug will be under 65 and won’t be eligible for Medicare. But they may be eligible for Medicaid, which state and federal governments jointly fund. Plus, about 12 million people nationally are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid (they’re called “dual eligibles”), meaning that the states are responsible for covering much of their out-of-pocket costs. As a result, states could face hundreds of millions of dollars in unanticipated Medicaid spending.

    That’s an especially big problem because, unlike the federal government, states aren’t allowed to run a budget deficit. To pay for Aduhelm, they’ll have to either raise taxes or (more likely, given today’s political environment) cut spending on education, infrastructure, and health care. That dynamic played out after the 2013 FDA approval of Sovaldi, a cure for people with chronic hepatitis C. Despite Sovaldi’s stunning efficacy, its price tag and the prevalence of hepatitis C in the Medicaid population posed severe budgetary challenges for states, many of which rationed access to the drug. The similarly priced Aduhelm is approved for an even larger patient population, but unlike Sovaldi, it’s not a cure. States could be stuck paying for a patient’s Aduhelm year after year, rather than simply once.


    The thread is on point:

    People keep looking for materialist reasons for these things.

    What I've learned from 20 years in politics is that while corruption is a thing, most of the time people genuinely believe in what they're doing.

    And many of them are vain, ego-driven and horribly misguided.

    If Sinema were acting on behalf of corporate paymasters she would be much more circumspect.

    She glories in this stuff because she has a libertarian individualist worldview, doesn't like party loyalty or partisanship and enjoys flaunting that as part of being quirky. /2

    People keep hoping it's somehow deeper or darker than that because there would be order to the universe. But it almost never is.

    Think back to high school. Think about the incredibly stupid reasons your friends did things.

    Nothing changes from HS. Not even for Senators. /end

    Coda: ironically, this means when it comes to picking primary candidates you should select less for structural things than for personality types.

    Risk-taking team players make the best legislators. Careful operators make mediocre ones. Vain, quirky ones are the worst.
    Manchin (and Sinema) has some level of party loyalty though, as he could become even more notorious, sought-after, and influential by keeping his affiliation mercenary - and thus putting the Senate majority in play. Another example of ideological and social rather than pecuniary factors at play.


    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    @Montmorency

    Our Bill of Rights prohibits Congress from making laws establishing a religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Biden is free to worship, or not, as his conscience dictates. The voters are free to find this comforting, annoying, disqualifying, or irrelevant and may exercise their franchise with this assessment factored into their decision.

    If enough of the public chooses to avoid the Catholic Church, over time that will have an impact. Feel free to call for the Church's castigation as a sexist organization -- you would not be the first. At a minimum, my daughter has beaten you to it.
    What I'm really asking here is why is it now considered - as I perceive it to be - socially-proscribed for a religion to be openly formally racist, while this is not the case with open formal sexism? (I mean, I think I know the answer, but it's an interesting thought exercise in the primordiality of sexism.)


    Quote Originally Posted by Viking View Post
    This appeal to trust the program is not an appeal to rationality, but an appeal to faith disguised as an appeal to rationality.
    Trust what program? It's an appeal to recognize the illusory and knee-jerk nature of the plaintively-stated anxieties.
    Last edited by Montmorency; 06-14-2021 at 03:32.
    Vitiate Man.

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    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Member thankful for this post:



  10. #250
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    In my opinion this is a deeply-flawed attitude among much of the Left, this assumption that other people don't just believe things
    Joe Manchin does believe in things...those things have the depiction of dead presidents on them. What he doesn't believe in is keeping our democracy alive by voting for legislation that benefits the common citizen rather than his corporate donors.

    The theory that Manchin is bought off by right-wing lobbying groups entails the causal effect of an inducement in the first place, which is to say that Manchin was going to vote to implement Biden's agenda until he was brought against it.
    Whoever said it was right-wing lobbyists? I merely brought up a single individual case where the National Restaurant Association influenced Manchin and Sinema both to give them what they wanted...a defeat of the $15/hr minimum wage. I would hardly call the NRA (not THAT NRA) a right-wing lobbyist group.

    But why would Manchin need financial inducements (that he never even sees as an individual) to perform as he evidently already wants to and always has, in keeping with his whole political career, style, and orientation? And why wouldn't it be far easier to sway him with blandishments in the other direction, with the far greater fiscal reserve of the federal government at hand?
    Here's about 822,000 reasons why:

    https://www.jacobinmag.com/2021/04/j...law-tax-breaks

    In total, lawyers and law firms represent the second largest source of donations to Manchin’s campaign committee and leadership PAC after securities and investment businesses, totaling more than $822,000 in contributions since 2015, according to data compiled by OpenSecrets. And all of these lawyers have a major stake in what happens with Biden’s new tax plan.

    Biden’s new tax proposal would undo the Republican tax breaks — at least partially. The plan would raise the corporate rate to 28 percent, but it appears the other fringe benefits enabled by the GOP’s tax code would remain in place. Compared to Obama-era rates, many firms would still enjoy a significant tax break, and for lawyers earning more than $163,000, the corporate tax rate will remain much lower than the marginal tax rate.

    But even this limited attempt to undo the Trump tax breaks could fail if Manchin succeeds in his opposition — a development that would benefit the lawyers and law firms that have bankrolled his campaign.
    Manchin isn't the only one, of course:

    The legal services industry has become one of the top contributors to Democratic lawmakers and candidates, especially in 2020, as lawyers abandoned the Republican Party. President Biden received more than $57 million from the industry in 2020. Thirteen Senate Democrats, including former presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, each received more than $1 million that same year, and the top twenty recipients of law firm cash in the House are currently all Democrats.

    That group includes Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), a conservative Democrat who has sided with Manchin in opposition to Biden’s tax overhaul, telling Axios, “We need to be careful not to do anything that’s too big or too much in the middle of a pandemic and an economic crisis.” Since being elected to Congress in 2017, Gottheimer has received more than $1.5 million in contributions from lawyers and law firms, more than almost any other member of the House.
    But it doesn't stop there:

    https://www.commondreams.org/news/20...obbies-against

    A dark money group funded by right-wing billionaire Charles Koch has been actively lobbying Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin to keep up his opposition to the For the People Act, a sweeping voting rights bill that would expand ballot access and crack down on the kind of secretive spending that has made the deep-pocketed Koch network such a powerful force in U.S. politics.

    CNBC reported Tuesday that Americans for Prosperity recently "launched a website titled West Virginia Values, which calls on people to email Manchin 'to be The Voice West Virginia Needs In D.C. — Reject Washington's Partisan Agenda.'"

    "It then lists all of the items Manchin has promised to oppose, including the idea of eliminating the filibuster, the For the People Act, and packing the Supreme Court," CNBC noted. "It then shows everything the group believes Manchin should oppose, including Biden's infrastructure plan and the union-friendly PRO Act."

    Judging by Manchin's strident Sunday op-ed vowing to vote against the For the People Act when it reaches the Senate floor later this month, the Koch-backed group's lobbying efforts are having their intended impact.

    Ted Ellis, director of coalitions for Americans for Prosperity's government affairs team, praised Manchin as courageous for refusing to join every other Democratic senator—and a majority of the U.S. electorate, including Republican voters—in supporting the For the People Act.
    Who are the AFP, you might ask, and why is the director of said AFP giving such high praise for Joe Manchin?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Americans_for_Prosperity

    Americans for Prosperity (AFP), founded in 2004, is a libertarian conservative political advocacy group in the United States funded by David Koch and Charles Koch. As the Koch brothers' primary political advocacy group, it is one of the most influential American conservative organizations.
    But let's continue:

    The legislation [For the People Act] is also backed by more than two-thirds of West Virginia voters, according to a recent survey conducted by Represent.US.

    "A wise man once said that it takes a lot of courage to stand up to your enemies but that it takes even more courage up to stand up to your friends," said Ellis. "And that's what Joe Manchin is doing right now. He's displaying, I think, a lot of courage and we should applaud that."
    High praise indeed from the Koch Bros...

    Manchin (and Sinema) has some level of party loyalty though, as he could become even more notorious, sought-after, and influential by keeping his affiliation mercenary - and thus putting the Senate majority in play. Another example of ideological and social rather than pecuniary factors at play.
    Mercenary. Exactly. Those two, and the rest of the corporate Democrats are motivated by one thing----money.
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 06-14-2021 at 16:12.
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  11. #251
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Risk-taking team players make the best legislators. Careful operators make mediocre ones. Vain, quirky ones are the worst.
    Ha ha ha. I wonder what personality type our PM is. At least you've got Trump out.

  12. #252
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Trust what program? It's an appeal to recognize the illusory and knee-jerk nature of the plaintively-stated anxieties.
    Essentially, you seem to not recognize that societal and political developments related to 'social justice' present any risks to 'good people'. In actual reality, people generally present a risk to other people in one form or another.

    It becomes strongly ironic when a lot of relevant ire is directed at the police, an organisation with a core purpose of supressing antisocial behaviour and facilitating delivery of justice. An organisation that is furthermore funded by the state and not run in accordance with capitalist ideals of maximizing profit.

    What would a good person have to fear from an organisation that has such noble goals and that can not make profit? It's not coming for you (plural), is it?
    Last edited by Viking; 06-14-2021 at 21:53.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    <snip>
    None of the above makes for a case that Manchin has been externally influenced in his filibuster stance.

    On minimum wage, for example, we can expect Manchin, like a typical politician, to be influenable on the question of the minimum wage because: the minimum wage is a single narrow issue that can be amended on a sliding scale rather than as a binary; Manchin has himself proposed or claimed to support modest increases; his arguments against larger increases refer to the financial health of certain low-wage industries and their workers. On the latter, it is a fair hypothesis that a lobbying group, whether with cover letters or with financial sticks and carrots, could reinforce talking points against a minimum wage increase in his mind.

    Whereas the discussion around the filibuster is of a procedural change with no direct implications to any interest group outside the US government, a change that is a party consensus by now and is really necessary to have any hope of stopping the Republicans from fucking us all (and not just in terms of petty partisan advantage).

    There is only one remaining - backdoor - argument, which is that Manchin actually doesn't want to pass anything that's in Biden's agenda or that his colleagues have advanced, and is covering for himself by pretending to lean on procedural and meta-political objections. But I don't see even this tack as credible because such a Manchin may as well have refused to cooperate on so much as the pandemic recovery legislation, or just defected to the Republican Party outright and reaped immediate rewards from them. At any rate, Dems have only 50 votes on paper, so there's nothing stopping Manchin from conditioning a filibuster-break on legislation being stripped of anything that offends his "corporate masters." That he doesn't take that approach, the one where he gets billions for West Virginia and a 'win' for his party WHILE defending any special interests he might want to defend, should be conclusive against the theory that he is corrupt in this regard.

    I continue to rest my case that Manchin is a true believer in the ideology of the bipartisan Senate.


    Quote Originally Posted by Viking View Post
    Essentially, you seem to not recognize that societal and political developments related to 'social justice' present any risks to 'good people'. In actual reality, people generally present a risk to other people in one form or another.

    It becomes strongly ironic when a lot of relevant ire is directed at the police, an organisation with a core purpose of supressing antisocial behaviour and facilitating delivery of justice. An organisation that is furthermore funded by the state and not run in accordance with capitalist ideals of maximizing profit.

    What would a good person have to fear from an organisation that has such noble goals and that can not make profit? It's not coming for you (plural), is it?
    Bewildering.

    As far as I can reconstruct, you seem to be saying:

    1. Social justice movements are a threat (to whom? how?).
    2. They are sometimes not perceived as a threat because the goals are noble.
    3. This is misguided because police have noble goals and they are perceived as a threat.

    (3) is obviously a wrong premise, but it is also irrelevant to any conceivable discussion of contemporary politics, which must revolve around something called "facts of the matter." Saddam Hussein had some potentially-noble goals in invading Iran and Kuwait, if we're being selective.

    I will also point out that people who dislike state violence dislike it because it is violence and in a given case unjust violence at that; the source of the violence being the state does not somehow relieve just because the people in question tend to like eusocial state investment and facilitation of healthy relations and environments. Indeed, it would be just the opposite for them, because the state has a higher burden of trust and responsibility to satisfy as a basis of its authority; when it engages in oppressive behavior it is violating that trust and responsibility in a way that norm-bound or legally-bound private individuals, or even organizations, really can't. (This may or may not be constructed in terminology of a social "contract", but that's neither here nor there.)
    Last edited by Montmorency; 06-15-2021 at 00:21.
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  14. #254
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    I continue to rest my case that Manchin is a true believer in the ideology of the bipartisan Senate


    Here's my case---[from Manchin's op-ed a little over a week ago]:

    The right to vote is fundamental to our American democracy and protecting that right should not be about party or politics. Least of all, protecting this right, which is a value I share, should never be done in a partisan manner.

    As such, congressional action on federal voting rights legislation must be the result of both Democrats and Republicans coming together to find a pathway forward or we risk further dividing and destroying the republic we swore to protect and defend as elected officials.
    Lie. Currently, there have been 22 states that have passed restrictive voter legislation, and there are 21 more states with similar legislation that is pending. The list is exclusively Republican...if not a state that went to Trump, then one with a Republican controlled legislature:

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-states-where-efforts-to-restrict-voting-are-escalating/

    So therefore Senator, you should be in favor of the For the People bill because it seeks to defend those voting rights you so fervently claim to be in favor of...

    With that in mind, some Democrats have again proposed eliminating the Senate filibuster rule in order to pass the For the People Act with only Democratic support. They’ve attempted to demonize the filibuster and conveniently ignore how it has been critical to protecting the rights of Democrats in the past.
    Lie. In fact, if one took just 5 minutes you'd find that, in the past, the filibuster was used mainly to block civil rights legislation. You'd also find that the filibuster has become more and more frequent, and more and more partisan:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine...jority/307230/

    By 1975, the Senate was finally prepared for reform. But rather than eliminate the filibuster entirely and return to majority rule, the members merely diluted it, reducing the number of votes required to end debate from 67 to 60.
    Since then, filibustering has only grown more frequent. In the 1960s, no Congress had more than seven filibusters. In the early 1990s, the 102nd Congress witnessed 47, more than had occurred throughout the entire 19th century. And that was not an especially filibuster-prone Congress—each subsequent one has seen progressively more. The 110th Congress, which just ended, featured 137.
    Manchin knows this so "protecting the rights of Democrats" is nothing but pure bloviation.


    Do we really want to live in an America where one party can dictate and demand everything and anything it wants, whenever it wants? I have always said, “If I can’t go home and explain it, I can’t vote for it.”
    Pure BS. Dictating and demanding everything and anything it wants is precisely what the current Republican Party is trying to do. Anyone with a pair of eyes can see that. I'm pretty sure the senator has those...

    But it's the last sentence of the above quote that's the most ironic...“If I can’t go home and explain it, I can’t vote for it.”

    Well Joe, let's go to your home state of West Virginia and have a good look around:

    https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/...l-114456133748

    What pieces of legislation EVER gets that kind of voter support? Maybe he IS just that ignorant that he can't go home to his own constituents and explain it, even though those very same constituents support these upcoming pieces of legislation by overwhelming majorities............................OR.......................he's voting the way his donors want him to vote.

    Based on the significant reporting of others, I've laid out the connection between his nay vote on $15/hr minimum wage and the National Restaurant Association, I've laid out how his opposition to current proposed legislation will significantly help the bank accounts of major law firms (who rank second on his donation list), and I've shown that he seems to be caving to pressure from the Koch Bros to oppose important portions of Biden's infrastructure bill......because, like many legislators in Washington, he is corrupt and catering to his donors.

    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 06-15-2021 at 16:21.
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  15. #255

    Default Re: Biden Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    Based on the significant reporting of others, I've laid out the connection between his nay vote on $15/hr minimum wage and the National Restaurant Association, I've laid out how his opposition to current proposed legislation will significantly help the bank accounts of major law firms (who rank second on his donation list), and I've shown that he seems to be caving to pressure from the Koch Bros to oppose important portions of Biden's infrastructure bill......because, like many legislators in Washington, he is corrupt and catering to his donors.

    'Joe Manchin receives campaign donations and PAC support like any politician' is not a non-underpants-gnome explanation for why he purports to believe things about the filibuster that he's claimed to believe for years, that millions of ordinary liberals believe, that life-tenured Supreme Court justice Stephen Breyer believes, that were the Democratic consensus until a few years ago ("When they go low, we go high"!!!), and that most of his colleagues have stopped believing (or affirming) despite also receiving campaign donations and PAC support.

    I can't help but note that you're not addressing any of my attempts to problematize your theory, such as all the behaviors that a corrupt and self-interested Manchin could be displaying about now, or the lack of differences in his behavior over time.

    The parsimonious account is that he believes what he says because he and most of the country were taught to believe in the sanctitude and integritation of "the greatest deliberative body in the world", to put stock in the sanctified bipartisan example of Tip 'n' Ronnie, and he's very stubborn, in his pride feeling self-justified for standing up to his party and gratified at all the attention and approval he gets from media.

    "You stabbed me!"
    "Correct."
    "Are you going to stab me again?"
    "Yes."
    "Well, I have a knife too!"
    "..."
    "But I am going to put down my knife, in a spirit of cooperation."
    "Okay."
    "What are you going to do after I put down my knife?"
    "I'm going to stab you."
    There are truly a lot of people who still believe according to this parody of them. Before 2016 - hell, before January - it was the majority of the party and the base. You've never encountered any?

    A significant faction of liberal America thinks we're still in a civic game, though the game has long ended and the country exists in a state of conflict. Yet we need everyone on the same page to have any chance. Maybe this is a lot harder to assimilate than resting on the age-old presumption that it's all about the benjamins. How many benjamins do you suppose it would take for Mitch McConnell to advocate socialism?

    Let's look again at Manchin's own words from the op-ed you linked:

    Democrats in Congress have proposed a sweeping election reform bill called the For the People Act. This more than 800-page bill has garnered zero Republican support. Why? Are the very Republican senators who voted to impeach Trump because of actions that led to an attack on our democracy unwilling to support actions to strengthen our democracy? Are these same senators, whom many in my party applauded for their courage, now threats to the very democracy we seek to protect?

    The truth, I would argue, is that voting and election reform that is done in a partisan manner will all but ensure partisan divisions continue to deepen.
    These are not the words of a bought man. Was Gilrandir a paid shill?

    The Gang of 14 would like a word as well...
    https://twitter.com/AJentleson/statu...33540359979012
    Last edited by Montmorency; 06-15-2021 at 23:49.
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  16. #256
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    We'll just have to agree to disagree...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Bewildering.

    As far as I can reconstruct, you seem to be saying:

    1. Social justice movements are a threat (to whom? how?).
    2. They are sometimes not perceived as a threat because the goals are noble.
    3. This is misguided because police have noble goals and they are perceived as a threat.

    (3) is obviously a wrong premise, but it is also irrelevant to any conceivable discussion of contemporary politics, which must revolve around something called "facts of the matter." Saddam Hussein had some potentially-noble goals in invading Iran and Kuwait, if we're being selective.

    I will also point out that people who dislike state violence dislike it because it is violence and in a given case unjust violence at that; the source of the violence being the state does not somehow relieve just because the people in question tend to like eusocial state investment and facilitation of healthy relations and environments. Indeed, it would be just the opposite for them, because the state has a higher burden of trust and responsibility to satisfy as a basis of its authority; when it engages in oppressive behavior it is violating that trust and responsibility in a way that norm-bound or legally-bound private individuals, or even organizations, really can't. (This may or may not be constructed in terminology of a social "contract", but that's neither here nor there.)
    Any movement can present risks. That is basic stuff.

    A single and relevant case study is the firing of Google engineer James Damore. His memo might not have been a smart thing to write as an employee of a company, especially not as an employee in a country with weaker protection against 'wrongful termination', but his autism probably contributed to a poor understanding of what he was doing. That said, any Google employee posting something similar on the internet without commenting on Google specifically could probably still be at risk from termination if the leadership became aware of their text.

    At any rate, it is merely an example of what it can look like in practice. The more a certain ideology (or religion) takes hold in the public sphere, the more clear-cut and egregious such examples can become.

    E.g.: merely voicing scepticism to some types of new company policies linked to politics could be enough to get terminated, or significantly increase the odds of getting terminated. So if you are cunning (unlike Damore), you know that in such a society, you have the choice between safeguarding your income and staying quiet, or speaking your mind and be prepared to face consequences, even when your opinion is completely rational and empirically grounded.
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  18. #258
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Ooops

    https://theintercept.com/2021/06/16/...ors-no-labels/

    Manchin told the assembled donors that he needed help flipping a handful of Republicans from no to yes on the January 6 commission in order to strip the “far left” of their best argument against the filibuster. The filibuster is a critical priority for the donors on the call, as it bottles up progressive legislation that would hit their bottom lines.
    When it came to Sen. Roy Blunt, a moderate Missouri Republican who voted no on the commission, Manchin offered a creative solution. “Roy Blunt is a great, just a good friend of mine, a great guy,” Manchin said. “Roy is retiring. If some of you all who might be working with Roy in his next life could tell him, that’d be nice and it’d help our country. That would be very good to get him to change his vote. And we’re going to have another vote on this thing. That’ll give me one more shot at it.”

    Regarding Blunt, Manchin appears to be suggesting — without, perhaps, quite explicitly saying so — that the wealthy executives on the call could dangle future financial opportunities in front of the outgoing senator while lobbying him to change his vote. Senate ethics rules forbid future job negotiations if they create a conflict of interest or present even the appearance of a conflict of interest. Manchin, notably, doesn’t suggest that the donors discuss a job, but rather says that people who Blunt may later be working with would be likely to have significant influence, reflective of the way future job prospects can shape the legislative process even when unspoken.

    During the Zoom event, Manchin’s Senate office appeared in the background. It is against campaign finance ethics rules to solicit funds while in a federal building, but Manchin did no solicitation beyond the broad suggestion that donors help out Republicans who switch their votes on the commission. Rather, the group talked openly about how much money it planned to raise, and how — and on whom — it would spend that cash.
    The vote against the federal $15/hr wage minimum:

    “We’ve been working hard to build a coalition. Most recently, the Chamber of Commerce has agreed to lock arms with us,” said Bursky. “We’re building out the No Labels Team One Thousand,” he said, referencing a group of donors who could be tapped to give anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 a year in support of No Labels candidates.
    Which side of the $15/hr legislation did the CoC stand?

    With all of this money being thrown at Congressional members, any wonder why the Voting Rights bill has no chance of passing?
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  19. #259

    Default Re: Biden Thread

    Amusing photo:




    The latest on the vaccination gap, attitudes around which have also been known since at least the beginning of the year (Happy Midyear!) to overwhelmingly correspond with Trump support, at least as well as partisan affiliation.




    This guy with all the hits (5-second clip):
    https://twitter.com/midnucas/status/1399958857028227072

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	FueraLUMA 🇵🇷 on Twitter.jpg 
Views:	4 
Size:	36.0 KB 
ID:	24939



    Quote Originally Posted by Viking View Post
    Any movement can present risks. That is basic stuff.
    Such a vacuous statement can be used by anyone to justify anything. If I'm being polite, I'll leave it at "echoes of Robespierre."

    Also, just to be clear, whatever one's opinions on any relevant issue from policing to civil rights and on, that argument was - I don't even know what it was. Some kind of fallacy of the undistributed middle maybe? You can believe that black people need a boot on their faces forever and still recognize what you posted as totally invalid reasoning.

    A single and relevant case study is the firing of Google engineer James Damore. His memo might not have been a smart thing to write as an employee of a company, especially not as an employee in a country with weaker protection against 'wrongful termination', but his autism probably contributed to a poor understanding of what he was doing. That said, any Google employee posting something similar on the internet without commenting on Google specifically could probably still be at risk from termination if the leadership became aware of their text.
    What Damore specifically did - essentially identify a class of his colleagues as inferior in his consideration - could be expected not just to interfere with his work collaboration but - more importantly from an American company's perspective - to open Google to civil liability from employees who may have been discriminated against. Google engineers, after all, as upper-middle class professionals, are relatively well-poised to pursue such redress.

    As for the last part, journalists and lecturers in American media and higher education are frequently fired for expressing private left-wing viewpoints. What do you propose be done?

    even when your opinion is completely rational and empirically grounded.
    Ah, there we go!


    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    This is just the place to pause and review the Intercept article's reported facts for how they comport with either the account where Manchin is induced by financial support to resist filibuster reform, or the account where Manchin is an American exceptionalist. The determination here is a meaningful one to pursue because it matters as to legislative strategy. When dealing with ideological actors one will never move them with non-ideological inducements.


    Manchin told the assembled donors that he needed help flipping a handful of Republicans from no to yes on the January 6 commission in order to strip the “far left” of their best argument against the filibuster. The filibuster is a critical priority for the donors on the call, as it bottles up progressive legislation that would hit their bottom lines.

    When it came to Sen. Roy Blunt, a moderate Missouri Republican who voted no on the commission, Manchin offered a creative solution. “Roy Blunt is a great, just a good friend of mine, a great guy,” Manchin said. “Roy is retiring. If some of you all who might be working with Roy in his next life could tell him, that’d be nice and it’d help our country. That would be very good to get him to change his vote. And we’re going to have another vote on this thing. That’ll give me one more shot at it.” Regarding Blunt, Manchin appears to be suggesting — without, perhaps, quite explicitly saying so — that the wealthy executives on the call could dangle future financial opportunities in front of the outgoing senator while lobbying him to change his vote.
    Seems kind of pointless to try to convince Republicans and billionaires to change their behavior in order to protect the filibuster if you're consciously working with Republicans and billionaires in the first place. Everyone involved presumably has better things to do than attend an equivocal Zoom meeting on a settled matter.

    The commission, Manchin tells No Labels, is important in its own right, necessary to determine how security failed and what former President Donald Trump’s role was in the riot, if any. But it’s also critical to maintaining support for the filibuster. The January 6 commission got 56 votes, four short of the 60 needed to overcome a filibuster — a thorough embarrassment for those like Manchin who claim bipartisanship is still possible in the divided Senate chamber.

    Manchin told the donors he hoped to make another run at it to prove that comity is not lost. He noted that Sen. Pat Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican who missed the vote, would have voted for it had he been there, meaning only three more votes are needed. “What I’m asking for, I need to go back, I need to find three more Republican, good Republican senators that will vote for the commission. So at least we can tamp down where people say, ‘Well, Republicans won’t even do the simple lift, common sense of basically voting to do a commission that was truly bipartisan.’ It just really emboldens the far left saying, ‘I told you, how’s that bipartisan working for you now, Joe?’”
    The Manchin in this leak cares a whole lot about the sanctity of the filibuster and the conceit of bipartisanship. Almost like he's staked his worldview on it, the way we know millions of private citizens have and still do.

    (Tangentially, if there were 56 votes for the 1/6 Commission, and the cloture threshold were reduced to 55, does anyone believe that there would still be at least 5 Republican votes for it?)

    As an example, Manchin said that he was prepared to specify his objections to S. 1, the For the People Act. In the voting rights and democracy reform bill, he said, he opposed automatic voter registration because some rural voting locations don’t have internet access to check a voter’s eligibility.
    What the . What a dog excuse.

    Manchin concurred, saying that the government never built gas filling stations for the rollout of Henry Ford’s Model T automobiles. The shift to electric cars should be no different, Manchin argued. The government, he said, should instead offer low-interest loans and other tax incentives to the private sector to build out infrastructure.
    While there a many misgivings to be had about the government keeping its eggs in the personal (electric) vehicle basket - especially if one envisions a radically less automobile America - this is also stupid reasoning.

    Manchin’s openness for filibuster reform on the call is notable given it flew in the face of many attendees’ hopes. Asked about a proposal to lower the threshold to beat back a filibuster to 55 votes, he said that it was something he was considering, but then quickly referred back to his earlier idea of forcing the minority to show up on the Senate floor in large enough numbers to maintain a filibuster. “That’s that’s one of many good, good suggestions I’ve had,” he said of lowering the cloture total from 60 to 55. Manchin went on to discuss the last time the cloture threshold was lowered, in the 1970s. “I looked back … when it went from 67 votes to 60 votes, and also what was happening, what made them think that it needed to change. So I’m open to looking at it, I’m just not open to getting rid of the filibuster, that’s all,” he said. Manchin acknowledged that publicly he had drawn a line at 60, but said that he was open to other ideas. “Right now, 60 is where I planted my flag, but as long as they know that I’m going to protect this filibuster, we’re looking at good solutions,” he said. “I think, basically, it should be [that] 41 people have to force the issue versus the 60 that we need in the affirmative. So find 41 in the negative. … I think one little change that could be made right now is basically anyone who wants to filibuster ought to be required to go to the floor and basically state your objection and why you’re filibustering and also state what you think needs to change that’d fix it, so you would support it. To me, that’s pretty constructive.”
    Depending on how seriously one wants to take this, I think either theory has a hard time interpreting it. Substantively though, I'd just like to reiterate my opinion (contrary to some perspectives previously in the Backroom) that I don't expect a switch to a 41-member blocking echelon requirement to enable Democrats to pass any of their agenda, EVEN stipulating unanimity within the Democratic caucus. Who wants to be known as the Republican that permitted the advent of socialism just because they wanted a break or to visit their state?


    Having skimmed this Intercept podcast transcript discussing the article, it looks good.


    I don't totally buy the following hypothesis, but it is more plausible than the vulgar corruption one.

    A depressing thread:

    I think the best explanation of Manchin's behavior -- his waffling, contradictory statements, & nonsensical arguments -- is that he has basically been elected point person (& primary shit-taker) for a reasonably substantial group of conservative D senators.

    They don't want to vote for voting reform or a big infrastructure bill. They're not on board with Biden's ambitious agenda.

    And most importantly: they are fucking cowards.

    They don't want to get rid of the filibuster because they don't want to defend their positions publicly. And so they've basically appointed Manchin to be The Obstructor, because he, more than any of them, benefits from being seen pushing back against Ds. He's saying he won't vote for shit or change the filibuster because *they* won't vote for it. And he's just making up reasons. What this means is, "how can Biden/Schumer pressure Manchin?" is probably the wrong question. He's not expressing idiosyncratic preferences that might change. He's running cover for a group. And because they're too chickenshit to identify themselves, they *can't* be pressured. To be clear: this is not exculpatory for Manchin. He's awful; please continue hating him. But it's probably not worth hating Biden or Schumer for this. They have limited leverage over Manchin personally; they have virtually no leverage over a semi-anonymous cabal of cowards. The distal problem is the manifold dysfunctions of the US system of government. The proximate problem is conservative Democratic senators -- the *exact same problem* that ended up hobbling Obama's presidency. There are fewer conservative Ds now, but the majority is narrower, so. This is, to say the least, a super unsatisfying situation. US democracy is going to slip under the waves, but the senescent invertebrates responsible will do everything possible to slough off responsibility, to hide their knife hands, to leave Biden exposed to all the blame. Anyway, fuck Manchin. But I don't think he's acting alone, which means he probably can't be moved unless as part of much larger movement in the caucus. I have no idea what could produce that, if the evidence so far hasn't.

    What a stupid way for a great country to go out.</fin>
    Take, for example, Dianne Feinstein. While she has evinced less active devotion to the filibuster than some, there is no reason to expect that she's responsive to the urgency of the moment (to the extent that she's still substantially aware of her surroundings these days).


    Finally, as far as vulgar motivations can be discerned, this reflects very poorly on many of the people of West Virginia (not that they had much going for them).
    https://thefga.org/wp-content/upload...uster-Poll.pdf
    Last edited by Montmorency; 06-21-2021 at 03:33.
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  20. #260
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Such a vacuous statement can be used by anyone to justify anything. If I'm being polite, I'll leave it at "echoes of Robespierre."
    You are taking it out of context. Do you dispute that a movement for 'social justice' can pose risks to 'innocent'/'good'/'fair' people (or however you want to phrase it), like any other movement (while a movement started in opposition to construction plans is less likely to result in construction of gulags than a movement trying to overthrow the government, one could think)? If no, we can move on.

    Also, just to be clear, whatever one's opinions on any relevant issue from policing to civil rights and on, that argument was - I don't even know what it was. Some kind of fallacy of the undistributed middle maybe? You can believe that black people need a boot on their faces forever and still recognize what you posted as totally invalid reasoning.
    I did not present an argument involving the police, that was an analogy in response to your, should we say vacuous, instruction to use empathy. Almost anything can be justified with an appeal to empathy. In and of itself, it is a pretty useless instruction.

    What Damore specifically did - essentially identify a class of his colleagues as inferior in his consideration
    He didn't. I challenge you to quote any part where he did; I suspect that you haven't read his memo (or not particularly carefully).

    As for the last part, journalists and lecturers in American media and higher education are frequently fired for expressing private left-wing viewpoints. What do you propose be done?
    Requiring that people with the wrong opinion should be fired in other cases might not reduce the odds of what you describe here happening, for starters.
    Last edited by Viking; 06-23-2021 at 22:59.
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  21. #261

    Default Re: Biden Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Viking View Post
    You are taking it out of context. Do you dispute that a movement for 'social justice' can pose risks to 'innocent'/'good'/'fair' people (or however you want to phrase it), like any other movement (while a movement started in opposition to construction plans is less likely to result in construction of gulags than a movement trying to overthrow the government, one could think)? If no, we can move on.
    The context, or in other words your target, was not in question. The warning of jeopardy is in itself still trivial, unless you have something to put up. Anything is possible.

    I did not present an argument involving the police, that was an analogy in response to your, should we say vacuous, instruction to use empathy. Almost anything can be justified with an appeal to empathy. In and of itself, it is a pretty useless instruction.
    It was an invalid analogy in terms of what you were trying to convey. The scope of what can be justified with an appeal to empathy is, pedantically, more restrictive than other sorts of appeals (e.g. liberty, security, happiness) just by its nature - or at least compared to the less-bounded denotations and allusions of many other concepts. I do admit that an appeal to empathy isn't instructive if the audience doesn't know or understand what to do with it, but I'm not here to hold hands and I don't perceive that anyone is reaching out for mine. One place to start...

    He didn't. I challenge you to quote any part where he did; I suspect that you haven't read his memo (or not particularly carefully).
    If you're going to sealion me, at least offer a more recent or a less well-trod controversy.

    Requiring that people with the wrong opinion should be fired in other cases might not reduce the odds of what you describe here happening, for starters.
    OK. As it happens, only Republicans are suggesting and passing laws to this exact effect, right now. I really don't care what conservatives have to say on this topic, as they never make a credible offer of neutral principles and why they are worthwhile, they just present a naked assertion of their own entitlement to immunity from criticism, which is something they have always enjoyed in outsize proportion throughout history, and something they have never extended. This is a very polite summary.
    Last edited by Montmorency; 06-24-2021 at 02:58.
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  22. #262
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden Thread

    Will infrastructure week finally happen? Lets find out!

    Biden announces a $579 billion bipartisan infrastructure plan

    President Joe Biden celebrated his tentative deal with a group of Democratic and Republican senators on a $579 billion infrastructure plan, saying it would create millions of jobs while fulfilling a major piece of his economic agenda.

    The group of senators, who had been negotiating among themselves and with the White House for weeks, “has come together to forge an agreement that will create millions of American jobs and modernize our American infrastructure,” Biden said at the White House.

    He called the investments “long overdue” and said that “this agreement signals to the world that we can function, deliver and do significant things.” He also said it was a “huge day for half of my economic agenda.”

    The bipartisan legislation is expected to move through Congress alongside a separate Democrats-only bill that would spend trillions more on what Biden called “human infrastructure” that the GOP opposes. It’s not yet assured that either measure will muster enough support to clear the House and Senate, given the split between the two political parties and differences between progressive and moderate Democrats.
    Both Manchin and Sinema seem to be onboard with this plan so we will see how this fares, especially as they would still need another 5 Republicans on board which is not assured. The physical infrastructure part is sorely needed so hopefully that might gain enough support. Mitch seems to be pretty mad about the human infrastructure part of this plan obviously so I could see him try to tank the physical infrastructure part just to stick it to the Dems. If they cant get the 10 GOP senators on board, I wonder if Manchin and Sinema would agree to reduce the filibuster to 55 votes instead of 60. Which honestly makes mores sense to me than an outright removal of the filibuster since it prevents havoc from occurring the next time the GOP has the trifecta, which isn't an if, its a when unfortunately.

    July is definitely going to an interesting legislative month... especially since yours truly might be able to have some input on the human infrastructure part...
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  23. #263
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    President Joe Biden celebrated his tentative deal with a group of Democratic and Republican senators on a $579 billion infrastructure plan, saying it would create millions of jobs while fulfilling a major piece of his economic agenda.
    Typical Democratic weak-sauce...start with a moderately high number, then cave to GOP pressure to then consider an figure 1/4 of Biden's original proposal.

    Yes, something is better than nothing...but letting Republicans (and conservative Democrats) dictate the terms of a major bill when Democrats have the WH, the Senate, and the House...pathetic.

    Here's the original proposal:

    https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/31/polit...ner/index.html

    Now compare that to the current proposal... Yes, you can't always get what you want, to quote from a famous Rolling Stones song, but will America get what it needs? That remains to be seen.

    Financing even this watered-down version will be interesting:

    The cost of the expenditures would be offset by a variety of revenue-raising provisions, including stronger enforcement of tax collections from the wealthy, sales from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, unspecified “public-private partnerships” and assumptions that the infrastructure investments would lead to greater economic growth.
    That's pretty vague, IMHO, and counting on "greater economic growth" is especially risky when that future growth is pretty unpredictable. And what are these unspecified "public-private partnerships", and sales from the SPR means what?

    I find this comment by Indiana GOP Senator Mike Braun interesting:

    “The main question among the rest of us Republicans would be is how big is the secondary package going to be and how you’re going to pay for that,”
    Funny how GOP Congressmen & women have no trouble voting for a tax cut that benefitted mostly the rich (and themselves), and might likely raise the national debt by almost 2 trillion dollars over an 11 year span:

    https://publicintegrity.org/inequali...ofit-congress/

    If the voting record in Congress plays out the way it has since Biden got elected, I don't see how even this meager attempt passes the Senate, especially since Dr. No has gone on record as opposing anything the Biden Administration tries to do...
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 06-25-2021 at 07:28.
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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    Typical Democratic weak-sauce...start with a moderately high number, then cave to GOP pressure to then consider an figure 1/4 of Biden's original proposal.
    You did see the bit about a much larger part 2 to the bill passed by reconciliation that covers what the bipartisan bit doesn't, right?
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    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden Thread

    I did. And what are the chances for that to pass?
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    Default Re: Biden Thread

    Well its by reconciliation, and with Sinema and Manchin seemingly on board, likely higher than the bipartisan part.
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    Default Re: Biden Thread

    What you label "weak sauce" is, as you are probably well aware, part of the normal give-and-take haggling and deal-making engaged in by legislatures throughout human history. Albeit with some exceptions, the more unilateral the action, politically, the more likely it is to engender a backlash from the minority over time.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

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  28. #268
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    with Sinema and Manchin seemingly on board
    Neither has committed to the reconciliation package, only that they want to see details. Fair enough. The question is if the current bi-partisan package passes (which is still uncertain), and conservative Dems like Manchin and Sinema get their roads & bridges, will they go on to support the larger reconciliation package?

    It will be interesting to see how the financing of both/either shakes out. Republicans are steadfastly against raising corporate taxes (of course).

    you are probably well aware, part of the normal give-and-take haggling and deal-making engaged in by legislatures throughout human history
    Of course I am. But the weak-sauce comes in because Democrats almost always cave to the GOP so easily without much of a fight, and legislation ends up being much closer to what the Republicans want than what the Democrats want, more often than not...
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    Hǫrđar Member Viking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    The context, or in other words your target, was not in question. The warning of jeopardy is in itself still trivial, unless you have something to put up. Anything is possible.
    If you're going to sealion me, at least offer a more recent or a less well-trod controversy.
    So you want something specific, until you get something specific. What should we call that - seaturtling?

    It was an invalid analogy in terms of what you were trying to convey. The scope of what can be justified with an appeal to empathy is, pedantically, more restrictive than other sorts of appeals (e.g. liberty, security, happiness) just by its nature - or at least compared to the less-bounded denotations and allusions of many other concepts.
    I suspect you are making things much more complicated than they need to be.

    I do admit that an appeal to empathy isn't instructive if the audience doesn't know or understand what to do with it, but I'm not here to hold hands and I don't perceive that anyone is reaching out for mine. One place to start...
    A text written by a self-righteous author, seemingly very pleased with her own ethical splendour. The text really is very illustrative of the US political climate and its polarized nature.

    As for its content: if you don't extend the mantra of caring about others to people that live abroad (where there are far more people living in far worse conditions than most of the people alluded to in the text), then the manner in which she is limiting the scope of people she cares about is on an abstract level the same as that of the people she criticizes. The scope is seemingly larger, but still very limited.

    The line of reasoning that she is using (caring about other people) could lead her to a vast range of different places, and she ends up at, amongst other things, minimum wage, without explaining why. As an intellectual endeavour, the article is feeble and of minor interest, about what one would expect from a self-righteously written text, I suppose.

    On another note, if you don't volunteer in your spare time, do you care enough about other people?

    OK. As it happens, only Republicans are suggesting and passing laws to this exact effect, right now. I really don't care what conservatives have to say on this topic, as they never make a credible offer of neutral principles and why they are worthwhile, they just present a naked assertion of their own entitlement to immunity from criticism, which is something they have always enjoyed in outsize proportion throughout history, and something they have never extended. This is a very polite summary.
    Your continuous rambling, thread after thread, about "the conservative" bogeyman is getting really absurd. "Der ewige Konservativer" comes to mind. Just publish a book on the topic already.
    Last edited by Viking; 06-25-2021 at 19:26.
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  30. #270

    Default Re: Biden Thread

    On tens of thousands of Americans (not real Americans) being traitors who fixed the election.
    https://twitter.com/willsommer/statu...000365057?s=19 [video]



    Joe Biden has vowed that Afghans who helped the US military “are not going to be left behind” as his administration stepped up planning to evacuate thousands of Afghan interpreters while their applications for US entry are processed.

    Planning has accelerated in recent days to relocate the Afghans and their families to other countries before the US military completes its withdrawal from Afghanistan, according to officials.

    The evacuation of the at-risk Afghans will include their family members for a total of as many as 50,000 people, a senior Republican lawmaker said.

    [...]

    Congressman Mike McCaul, speaking to Reuters after discussing the plan with administration officials, said the evacuees will comprise about 9,000 interpreters who have applied for special immigration visas and their families.
    Same time:

    Concerns over the safety of former staff, most of them interpreters, prompted the MoD and the Home Office in May to expand the eligibility criteria of a relocation scheme for Afghans seeking to flee.

    [...]

    More than 3,000 Afghans are expected to take advantage of the offer, on top of some 1,300 who have already made the journey under a previous, more restrictive policy. They are expected to be flown to the UK in groups.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hooahguy View Post
    I wonder if Manchin and Sinema would agree to reduce the filibuster to 55 votes instead of 60. Which honestly makes mores sense to me than an outright removal of the filibuster since it prevents havoc from occurring the next time the GOP has the trifecta, which isn't an if, its a when unfortunately.
    They could just lower it to 50 whenever they wish, upon retaking the Senate. Though keep in mind that gutting mandatory spending like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid only takes 50 votes via reconciliation currently, so they wouldn't even need to mess with the filibuster. And recall the Gang of 14 story I posted earlier, where Bush-era Republicans were about to nuke the judicial filibuster until Dems surrendered (and the main reason they didn't need to amend the legislative filibuster was repeated Dem compliance with major Republican legislative pushes). Maintenance of the filibuster is really all upside for the GOP.

    This whole deal is definitely a 'believe it when you see it' affair, since it implies consecutive cooperations between Dems, on top of a prerequisite cooperation from Republicans with game-theoretical awareness of the former. We have to hope the leadership has something to back up their words.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    Albeit with some exceptions, the more unilateral the action, politically, the more likely it is to engender a backlash from the [opposition] over time.
    True in abstract - as visible in the (limited) liberal awakening to the threat of the Republican Party - but the Republican reaction is and has been to the 1960s, 1930s, and 1860s, on which account they have declared war on their opposition. So from our perspective the only acceptable outcome is their unconditional surrender, followed by Truth and Reconciliation.



    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    Neither has committed to the reconciliation package, only that they want to see details. Fair enough. The question is if the current bi-partisan package passes (which is still uncertain), and conservative Dems like Manchin and Sinema get their roads & bridges, will they go on to support the larger reconciliation package?

    It will be interesting to see how the financing of both/either shakes out. Republicans are steadfastly against raising corporate taxes (of course).

    Of course I am. But the weak-sauce comes in because Democrats almost always cave to the GOP so easily without much of a fight, and legislation ends up being much closer to what the Republicans want than what the Democrats want, more often than not...
    Hooah has a point in that if Biden and Pelosi are both claiming a deal has been reached, and drawing a line in the sand over its fulfillment, then if they're wrong and Manchin/Sinema are betraying them, they will have made career-defining political miscalculations (much worse than just losing Republican votes they were counting on).

    So while I too am skeptical that the filibuster-lovers have been persuaded to, it's tempered by the public commitments made by Biden and Pelosi that rest on having secured unanimity among the caucus.

    To put it simply, if they're jumping the gun it's more likely on Republican support than on Democratic.


    And you're going to love this one, but I would just activate the proceed-with-caution alert on such a prior-flattering story. Though I do bemoan every day the Democrats have lost in (not) comprehensively escalating their messaging on Republicans to red alert.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...iking-answers/

    As Democrats face a 2022 midterm landscape that could cost them the House, they are grappling with hard strategic challenges. Democrats in tough districts with many Republican voters in them feel twin pressures: one is to emphasize their bipartisan outreach. The other is to refrain from prosecuting the case against GOP radicalization too forcefully.

    A new analysis of House Democratic losses in 2020 done by a progressive donor and strategy group — which is circulating among Democratic strategists — suggests some counterintuitive answers for Democrats navigating these pressures.

    The analysis — which was done by the group Way to Win and was provided to me — suggests large TV-ad expenditures on emphasizing bipartisan outreach do not appear to have paid dividends for House Democrats in the 2020 elections.

    The analysis also finds that Republicans spent a lot more money on casting Democrats as extremists than Democrats did in making the case against Republican extremism.

    Democrats, of course, lost a net dozen House seats, underperforming victorious Joe Biden all over the place. The findings suggest Democrats need a rethink of their approach to those conundrums, the analysts conclude.

    This is also more pressing now that Republicans are radicalizing in a way that poses a threat to future democratic stability, raising questions about how Democrats can highlight this to the public.

    The study by Way to Win — a group distinguished by its big expenditures on turning out the Democratic base — attempts a comprehensive look at all the TV ads that ran in House races in the 2020 cycle. Some findings:

    Democrats spent three times more than Republicans on ads that touted bipartisan outreach. Democrats spent $21.8 million on ads about “bipartisanship” or “working across the aisle,” while Republicans spent $6.2 million on them.
    Democrats spent six times as much on positive ads than Republicans did. Democrats spent $18.6 million on positive ads that also happened to mention Republicans (say, by touting the ability to work with them), while Republicans spent $2.9 million on positive ads mentioning Democrats.
    Republicans spent more than 10 times more on ads with the words “extremist” and “radical” than Democrats did. Republicans spent $51 million on such ads, while Democrats spent $3.4 million.
    Overall, Republicans spent more than $87 million on ads with one or more of the following words in it: “AOC,” “Ocasio,” “Pelosi,” “socialism,” “socialist,” “defund,” “radical,” “extremist,” “extreme.”
    GOP ads were more likely to use words with “emotional punch,” such as “taxes,” “radical” and “jobs,” while Democratic ads featured words like “insurance,” “voted” and “work.”

    Jenifer Fernandez Ancona, the vice president of Way to Win, said that, in sum, Democrats in 2020 sent mixed messages: They touted their willingness to work with Republicans, even as Republicans called them socialists and extremists.

    “By far their biggest spend,” Ancona told me, speaking of Republicans, was “on vilifying us as extreme in all kinds of ways."

    Meanwhile, Ancona said, by constantly touting bipartisanship, Democrats were “effectively normalizing their attacks,” because Democratic messaging essentially said: “We want to work across the aisle with people who are painting us as extreme villains.”

    “We should be painting them as the extreme outlier that they are,” Ancona told me.
    All this comes as Democrats seem to be edging toward a more forthright condemnation of GOP radicalization. They have run ads highlighting the GOP dalliance with QAnon, but as Democratic strategist Simon Rosenberg argues, there’s much more to do in getting the language right on the GOP’s descent and making it central to the 2022 conversation.

    To cite one example, Ron Brownstein demonstrates that senior Democrats seem oddly blasé about the extraordinary GOP campaign underway to restrict voting and take control over voting machinery in the states. You don’t often hear Democrats calling out Republicans as a threat to fundamental democratic stability.


    Quote Originally Posted by Viking View Post
    So you want something specific, until you get something specific. What should we call that - seaturtling?
    You gave me something specific that undermines your own case, unless your case is that conservatives must enjoy exorbitant privilege over all they survey. Which I would naturally decline.

    Rather:

    After banning public schools from teaching “critical race theory” two weeks ago, Florida is reshaping civics lessons and addressing what its governor says parents worry about when they send their children to college — indoctrination.

    Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) says he is concerned about the free flow of ideas on campus and whether higher education stifles free speech from conservatives. Under a law he signed Tuesday, which will take effect July 1, public universities must assess “viewpoint diversity” on campus each year through a survey developed by the State Board of Education, a requirement that a free-speech expert predicted as a model for other conservative-led states.

    Although the Florida law does not address penalties for schools where the survey finds low levels of “intellectual freedom” and “viewpoint diversity,” DeSantis has hinted at the potential for budget cuts at universities that do not pass muster.
    Gebru, a researcher at Google, had just clicked out of a last-minute video meeting with an executive named Megan Kacholia, who had issued a jarring command. Gebru was the coleader of a group at the company that studies the social and ethical ramifications of artificial intelligence, and Kacholia had ordered Gebru to retract her latest research paper—or else remove her name from its list of authors, along with those of several other members of her team.

    The paper in question was, in Gebru’s mind, pretty unobjectionable. It surveyed the known pitfalls of so-called large language models, a type of AI software—most famously exemplified by a system called GPT-3—that was stoking excitement in the tech industry. Google’s own version of the technology was now helping to power the company’s search engine. Jeff Dean, Google’s revered head of research, had encouraged Gebru to think about the approach’s possible downsides. The paper had sailed through the company’s internal review process and had been submitted to a prominent conference. But Kacholia now said that a group of product leaders and others inside the company had deemed the work unacceptable, Gebru recalls. Kacholia was vague about their objections but gave Gebru a week to act. Her firm deadline was the day after Thanksgiving.

    Gebru’s distress turned to anger as that date drew closer and the situation turned weirder. Kacholia gave Gebru’s manager, Samy Bengio, a document listing the paper’s supposed flaws, but told him not to send it to Gebru, only to read it to her. On Thanksgiving Day, Gebru skipped some festivities with her family to hear Bengio’s recital. According to Gebru’s recollection and contemporaneous notes, the document didn’t offer specific edits but complained that the paper handled topics “casually” and painted too bleak a picture of the new technology. It also claimed that all of Google’s uses of large language models were “engineered to avoid” the pitfalls that the paper described.

    Gebru spent Thanksgiving writing a six-page response, explaining her perspective on the paper and asking for guidance on how it might be revised instead of quashed. She titled her reply “Addressing Feedback from the Ether at Google,” because she still didn’t know who had set her Kafkaesque ordeal in motion, and sent it to Kacholia the next day.

    On Saturday, Gebru set out on a preplanned cross-country road trip. She had reached New Mexico by Monday, when Kacholia emailed to ask for confirmation that the paper would either be withdrawn or cleansed of its Google affiliations. Gebru tweeted a cryptic reproach of “censorship and intimidation” against AI ethics researchers. Then, on Tuesday, she fired off two emails: one that sought to end the dispute, and another that escalated it beyond her wildest imaginings.

    The first was addressed to Kacholia and offered her a deal: Gebru would remove herself from the paper if Google provided an account of who had reviewed the work and how, and established a more transparent review process for future research. If those conditions weren’t met, Gebru wrote, she would leave Google once she’d had time to make sure her team wouldn’t be too destabilized. The second email showed less corporate diplomacy. Addressed to a listserv for women who worked in Google Brain, the company’s most prominent AI lab and home to Gebru’s Ethical AI team, it accused the company of “silencing marginalized voices” and dismissed Google’s internal diversity programs as a waste of time.

    Relaxing in an Airbnb in Austin, Texas, the following night, Gebru received a message with a �� from one of her direct reports: “You resigned??” In her personal inbox she then found an email from Kacholia, rejecting Gebru’s offer and casting her out of Google. “We cannot agree as you are requesting,” Kacholia wrote. “The end of your employment should happen faster than your email reflects.” Parts of Gebru’s email to the listserv, she went on, had shown “behavior inconsistent with the expectations of a Google manager.” Gebru tweeted that she had been fired. Google maintained—and still does—that she resigned.

    What more do you think we need to hear about your ox?

    A text written by a self-righteous author, seemingly very pleased with her own ethical splendour. The text really is very illustrative of the US political climate and its polarized nature.

    As for its content: if you don't extend the mantra of caring about others to people that live abroad (where there are far more people living in far worse conditions than most of the people alluded to in the text), then the manner in which she is limiting the scope of people she cares about is on an abstract level the same as that of the people she criticizes. The scope is seemingly larger, but still very limited.
    I'm glad you're on board with fewer international restrictions on freedom of movement, as well as wealth transfer from the rich world to the poor. Otherwise the above could be dismissed as a hostile red herring of no diminution to the principles affirmed in the article.

    The line of reasoning that she is using (caring about other people) could lead her to a vast range of different places, and she ends up at, amongst other things, minimum wage, without explaining why. As an intellectual endeavour, the article is feeble and of minor interest, about what one would expect from a self-righteously written text, I suppose.
    If you need a detailed explanation of the concept of the minimum wage any time it is invoked, then you aren't interested in intellectual endeavor.

    On another note, if you don't volunteer in your spare time, do you care enough about other people?
    I don't in fact, guess I'll become a fascist now. Or do you mean that you'll gay marry a Somalian refugee if I help shelve some books at my local library on weekends?

    Like, how bloody tedious for someone who advocates quasi-radical redistributive and democratic policies to be mocked with an ancient canard about volunteer work by someone who holds this ideology:



    Your continuous rambling, thread after thread, about "the conservative" bogeyman is getting really absurd. "Der ewige Konservativer" comes to mind. Just publish a book on the topic already.
    You get exactly one chance to specify your substantive disagreement.

    Here's the newest book on Der ewige Konservativer meanwhile.
    Last edited by Montmorency; 06-28-2021 at 04:25.
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