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Everything posted by GeorgiaDon

  1. I'm confident in believing this is just as credible as all your other SHTF predictions. I have no doubt that this is what Trump is trying to pull off. I also am quite sure that if he were to succeed it would be the end of the USA. Republicans have proven themselves to be reduced to minority rule, using legislative tricks to hold on to power despite representing an ever smaller share of the population. This strategy would impose one-party rule on the country, where the current POTUS could use completely unsubstantiated allegations to deprive the entire population of any meaningful ability to vote so he could re-appoint himself as "dear leader". There is no way that several states would accept such an arrangement. I could see California+Oregon+Washington as their own country, maybe with a couple of adjoining states, the New England states+Pennsylvania (in part)+Virginia (in part)+Michigan (in part)+Wisconsin (in part) as another country, and the South and middle of the current USA becoming KingTrumpistan (or maybe New Israel, or just Butfuckistan). Not that Trump or his sycophants give an actual shit about the US.
  2. You are missing the point. If it worth it to society to invest that kind of money in fighter pilots or astronauts, why is it not worth it to invest in a skilled workforce who can do things that are useful to industry and to society in general (such as engineers, doctors, research scientists, teachers, etc). Especially considering the return the government would see on their investment, in terms of higher lifetime taxes paid and enhanced economic activity. You can't have an advanced IT industry, or pharmaceuticals, or (insert industry of choice here) without a skilled work force. In many industries employers have to rely on immigrants because the US is not producing enough trained US citizens, and yet we allow the price of entry to a career (i.e. the high cost of education) to exclude a large fraction of the potential work force. Other countries remove the economic barrier, and in exchange expect rigorous programs so that the people who get through and ultimately graduate are the ones who are the most determined, and so (presumably) are the most likely to make a real contribution to the economy.
  3. Here is an article from Forbe's that discusses the cost of training military pilots. A basic qualified F-16 pilot costs $5.6 million, an F-35A pilot costs $10.15 million, and an F-22 pilot costs $10.6 million. There are universities that specialize in aeronautical training. Why not let would-be fighter pilots pay for their training themselves? Why should the taxpayer have to pay for that? For the cost of a single fighter pilot I could train 20-30 PhDs in biotechnology, immunology, or infectious disease research. What would be the better deal for the economy? I can assure you the Covid vaccine was not developed by Donald J Trump tinkering in the White House bunker, it was developed by highly trained scientists. There's your reality.
  4. The majority of people with an education after high school, especially a university degree, earn significantly more than people who only finished high school, or who dropped out. Their major doesn't matter all that much (excepting a few areas such as accounting perhaps), many employers are mainly interested in knowing that a potential employee can stick with a program long enough to graduate. As a result they pay quite a bit more in taxes over their lifetime. You could look at it as an investment: put in tens of thousands up front, get back hundreds of thousands long term. If you tell everyone "you're totally on your own" the only people you will see becoming engineers (as one example) will be the people who have both the smarts to get through the degree, and the money to do it with. IOW your pool of potential engineers will be kids from well off families. Alternatively, if you take family wealth out of the equation you can open up the opportunity to select for ability and end up with a larger set of really talented engineers for the work force. BTW the main reason why college/university tuition has increased so much is that state funding has shrunk dramatically compared to 30 or 40 years ago. Also you don't want to limit your pool of potential faculty to people who are unable to get/hold on to a job in industry, which means universities have to compete with the private sector for talent. Speaking for myself, after putting myself through undergraduate, a Master's degree, a PhD, and 2 postdoctoral fellowships, I am not going to settle for a $25,000 salary for the privilege of teaching at a university (undergraduate and graduate courses, plus running a research lab to train grad students) when I could earn many times that amount in industry.
  5. Also, Biden is not being provided with the daily national security briefing he should be getting to ensure he is aware of threats to the country when he takes over. Of course, the biggest threat right now is Trump and everybody with any sense already knows that.
  6. Well OK, but that has more to do with avoiding prosecution in New York than it does being humiliated about losing.
  7. Better than being a Republican. They always go low.
  8. Tough choice: an intelligent, articulate, accomplished woman, or an elf on a shelf.
  9. I live on a small farm on a dead end dirt road in rural north Georgia. Many of the properties on the road have Trump signs, most have multiple signs along with multiple American flags and crucifixes, making kind of a shrine. The crucifixes do double duty, as many people around here believe putting a cross in your yard keeps away "the Rona" (Covid-19), especially if you decorate it with Christmas lights. Go figure! A few weeks ago we put a Biden/Harris sign on our pasture fence along the road. It is the only democratic sign in the area. Within a few days it was spray painted with "Juses". After pondering it for a bit my wife realized it was supposed to say "Jesus" but it was misspelled. Says something that they couldn't spell Jesus. My wife made and put up a sign that said every time our sign was vandalized we would make a donation to the Biden campaign, and she added a new Biden/Harris sign to the fence. For the next couple of weeks the signs were left alone, but every day more and more garbage was dumped along the roadside in front of our property, over a distance of several hundred yards. Unfortunately none of the trash contains anything with an address on it. More disturbing, we found one of our goats with a noose made of electric fence tape cinched tightly around it's neck. Fortunately it was still alive and we were able to cut the noose off. Last Friday my wife came home from work at lunch to find that someone had cut out a large section of fence containing the signs, and dumped it in a neighbor's yard up the road. Our horses and goats were in that pasture, so I assume whoever cut the fence intended for our livestock to get out on the road and perhaps get run over or disappear into surrounding properties, most of which are forest. Luckily the animals were in a different part of the pasture and they are all accounted for. So don't try to tell me Trump supporters believe in free speech or political discourse. Some, including some on my road, are thugs. I have a strong suspicion about who is responsible but I can't prove it. Of course the local police basically throw their hands in the air and say they can do nothing without more evidence, which is probably true. My wife is determined to show we won't be pushed around so she went out this evening and put two new signs on the fence. We have set up security cameras around the house and barn, and my son, his wife, and I spent a couple of hours on the shooting range we built here. Hopefully the shooting will let whoever is responsible for the vandalism know we are well armed. But, we are off at work for most of the day and I am concerned about how things might escalate. Even if we get good photos from the security cameras an get a conviction it won't compensate if my dogs or livestock are killed, or my house is.burned down. My wife says no-one would take it that far but I am not so sure. Just life in Trumpistan I guess. It does seem that the mood has changed in this country, or at least around here, over the last few years.
  10. It would only have taken 4 Republican Senators to show some integrity after the lies they spouted in 2016. Clearly as far as the entire Republican Party is concerned, to a person, integrity is a quaint old-fashioned notion compared to the exercise of raw power. In Trump's party keeping your word is for suckers and losers.
  11. Barrett: law school (Notre Dame) professor, 2 1/2 years on court of appeals. Kagan: law school (Harvard) Dean, Solicitor General of the United States It's not clear to me how less than 3 years as a judge on the court of appeals outweighs Kagan's experience, but obviously YMMV.
  12. So being Dean of the Harvard Law School, and Solicitor General of the United States, doesn't count as experience? I guess they hand those jobs out to random people getting a latte in Starbucks.
  13. Donated to Biden/Harris, local senate candidates, and the Lincoln Project.
  14. What, chop him up? Not a bad idea...
  15. Since Biden has now committed to making some sort of a statement about expanding* the court, I was thinking about what he could say that would be reasonable, not piss off progressives in the party too much, and not scare away voters who don't like Trump but don't want to mess with the court too much either. Here is what I came up with; I'm curious what others think. 1. Say he will give it 2 years to see if this court is determined to take a wrecking ball to civil rights (and replace them with a fundamentalist Christian theocracy), environmental law, consumer protections etc. 2. If the court acts in a reasonably balanced way, leave it as is. 3. If the court is clearly trying to push the country back to the 1800s, propose adding 2 seats and make that an issue for the next Senate election. People would be able to vote on the proposal by choosing senators who support or oppose the idea. By promising to wait to see how the Court behaves, and to leave the choice to voters in the next election, he can defuse the issue for this election while still leaving expansion of the court on a short fuse. *The press likes to use the term "packing the court" when they talk about expanding it. I think the term is perhaps intended to gin up an emotional (i.e. negative) response. What the Republicans have done is "pack the court" by removing the filibuster and using their minimal majority (only 1 seat in the case of Kavanaugh) and naked hypocrisy to seat the most extreme conservatives they could find. Increasing the number of justices only modestly and only moving the balance back towards the middle (6 conservative, 5 liberal) would not be "packing the court" by any reasonable definition.
  16. I have no doubt there would be some of that. It would be fun to see Mitch McConnell given an office in a toilet stall. It would be even more fun, though, to see him tossed out of office. If the Democrats are smart, in the event they keep the House and win in the Senate and the White House, they would do well to realize their time in power is likely to be short (the next election is only 2 years away and Americans tend to blame whoever is in power for every problem) and get to work right away passing good laws. Firstly, many of the things Republicans really hate (reproductive choice, same-sex marriage, LBGTQ rights such as they are) are based on court decisions but they are not backed up by legislation. Well crafted laws, written to survive constitutional and textualist scrutiny, would go a long way to shoring up those rights. Secondly, if Democrats could show that they are the party that can actually govern by passing laws that address real problems and help people they might be able to retain power for a while longer. Cleaning up the ACA would be a good place to start, and (in my opinion) add a medicare for all buy-in option. They should remember that revenge is a dish best served cold, and stick it to the Republicans by showing the Republican platform for what it is, mean spirited and designed to subjugate the bottom 90% to the top 10%. Demographics are changing, the elderly white uneducated evangelical "base" of the Republican party is dying off; give it another few election cycles and we will be able to stick a fork in the present incarnation of the GOP. That being said, single party rule is always bad, no matter who is in charge. Maybe the GOP will reinvent itself and come roaring back, or maybe another party (Green party?) will come to the fore. Even better if it is 2 or 3 parties that come foreward so Americans can have some real choice. If a reinvented GOP emerged that rejected the anti-immigrant, anti-civil rights, anti-environment, pro-unrestrained capitalist/anti-consumer platform of the current version of the party, maybe they could bring something useful to the table. Parties do change: the modern Democratic party is very different than the Southern Dixiecrats of the 1960s and before. Don
  17. So do actions. There was a time (it seems long ago) when elections were bitterly contested, but when the survivors made it to Congress they would roll up their sleeves and try to get some work done, and this meant working across the aisle. Hard though it may be to believe, Republicans and Democrats often socialized together and even had some pretty solid friendships. For some time now though, Republicans have adopted a scorched-earth strategy of total obstructionism when they are the minority, and ram-it-up-your-ass policy making when they are in the majority. This policy has been carried to the ultimate extreme by McConnell, who has pretty much destroyed the Senate as a deliberative body. Once upon a time the Senate required 60 votes to confirm Cabinet appointments and senior judgeship's including the Supreme Court. In Obama's first term McConnell was minority leader but still pushed the Republicans in the Senate to block several of Obama's nominees for his Cabinet, and also many nominees the judiciary. He was not coy about using the filibuster to try to castrate the Obama administration, so that Obama could not seat a full cabinet or fill judicial appointments in a timely manner. This forced the majority leader, Harry Reid, into a Hobson's choice. A Hobson's choice is where you have to make a choice but you only have one option. He eliminated the filibuster (the 60% rule) for most positions that required Congressional approval, but he did not eliminate it for Supreme Court appointments, arguing that such an important appointment should require more than a bare 51 votes to confirm. Leaving the Supreme Court at 60 votes meant any nominee would need to attract at least a few votes from the minority party, so they could not be too extreme. The problem with the Democrat's approach is that they still assumed some measure of good faith on the part of the Republicans. Instead, when the Republicans gained control of the Senate, McConnell blocked almost all of Obama's judicial nominees, creating a huge backlog of empty positions and also a huge backlog of cases waiting to be heard, and ultimately of course he blocked Obama's nominee for a Supreme Court seat. Then when Trump nominated Gorsuch, McConnell eliminated the 60 vote rule for the Supreme Court so he could ram through Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and now Barrett with not one Democratic vote. What I meant by "actions have consequences" is that McConnell's legacy will be a Congress in which Democrats will have learned the lesson to never allow the Republicans one inch, because if you do they will fuck you. The Senate is dead as "the world's greatest deliberative body". It will for a long time be focused far more on screwing over the other side than on doing any actual bipartisan legislation. Good job, Mitch. I have voted for Republicans in the past, when I thought they were the best candidate. Not for president it is true, but I would not have been too alarmed if McCain or Romney had won as I was confident they actually had the best intentions for the country. No longer. The Republican "party" has shown itself to be interested only in cementing their own power in place, establishing one party rule, and prostrating themselves before Trump and their corporate masters. Even if I think a particular individual is OK the party is so corrupt I can never again consider a Republican for any level of government.
  18. Examples please of Democrats refusing to even meet with or hold hearings for any Supreme Court nominee. Also I am unaware of any examples of Democrats ramming through a Supreme Court nominee while people are actually voting in a national election. Can you provide an example or two?
  19. I think they are probably covered in his "immune glow".
  20. All the talk about judges "having no agenda" and just "calling balls and strikes" is just so much crap. Every case that is accepted by the Supreme Court comes up because lower courts are unable to agree, so the issue must be more complicated than "a plain reading of the statute". Appeals court judges are quite able to read. Nominees to the Supreme Court cannot, of course, promise in advance how they would rule on specific cases such as the ACA or Roe v Wade. However they are nominated because their judicial history makes it clear that they are highly likely to vote a certain way. Judge Barrett has a track record that makes it almost unthinkable that she would vote to uphold Roe v Wade, to do so she would have to repudiate her entire judicial philosophy. She does not have to promise Republicans that she will vote that way, so she can maintain a veneer of "judicial impartiality" while still being a vote they can take to the bank.
  21. The legitimacy of the court is being destroyed by the Republicans, who are using deceitfulness, hypocrisy, and naked power grabbing to install a Supreme Court that is far more conservative than the American public. I have read some analysis that suggests this court, with Judge Barrett on board, will be more conservative (as in, more hostile to civil rights and more friendly to business interests) than any court since the 1930s when the court was busy invalidating every New Deal program that came before it. Any court that seeks to turn the clock back almost a century will be seen as an enemy of the people by most of the population. If adding to the court is the only way to restore some balance, that would be (in my opinion) less damaging than the current direction. The question the Republicans are demanding that Biden answer is similar to the old "when did you stop beating your wife" canard. It is designed to have no correct answer, and to take attention away from the way Republicans are stacking the court with extremist Federalist Society alumni. Republicans have literally no platform (at least, that they are willing to disclose to the public) other than King Trump, so they have abdicated any right to demand any answers on policy matters from the Democrats.
  22. Punishable by 2-4 years in prison. I hope they all get the max.
  23. Agreed, except a blow-up sex doll in Trump's chair would be a nice touch. Maybe write "Stormy Daniels" on its forehead.
  24. I think most people would like abortion to be available (within limits, such as before viability) but rarely chosen. Of course for that to happen, effective birth control would have to be readily available and inexpensive, people would have to know about it (sex education in school), and the economic cost of having a child would have to be dramatically lowered. Society would have to be willing to shoulder some of the burden of paying for medical care, day care, etc. so having a child (especially when Daddy takes off or is otherwise unavailable) would not be such an economic calamity for Mom. There are such places, where people have access to universal health care and day care (so Mom can have a job and a child). Canada and the Scandinavian countries, and I presume much of the EU, are like that. I think the USA is pretty unique among developed countries in the lack of support it offers to parents. There isn't even universal access to maternity leave from your job. It seems contradictory to me, and more than a little cruel, to expect women to always "choose life" and then condemn them to poverty if they end up a single parent. I wonder why conservatives lose interest in children the minute they are born. It seems they want to punish women for life for making a human mistake (sometimes) or just having bad luck (sometimes). My oldest daughter had a child when she was in high school. She turned out fine, finished University and owns her own business, and we have a wonderful grand-daughter, but that was only because my wife and I were able to step up and take care of a lot of the cost, and a fair share of the child care. Many women do not have that level of support. Don
  25. Cute, but unlikely to constrain the mango Mussolini. I like the idea of having each debator standing inside a water-tight plexiglass tube, with 1 foot of water added for each interruption or going overtime. Don