Friday Open Thread

“Race hate isn’t human nature; race hate is the abandonment of human nature.”

–Orson Welles


33 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ParkHill says:

    The speech laid out three central economic ideas. In Warren’s words:

    ·       First, too many big American corporations have hurt workers and our economy by focusing solely on the short-term interests of their investors.

    ·       Second, in market after market, competition has declined.

    ·       And third, stagnant incomes and rising costs have stretched family budgets past the breaking point.

    • MADCO says:

      "People of the same trade seldom meet together even for merriment and diversionbut the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public or contrivance to raise prices.”  
      Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith, 1776

      Same as it ever was.

  2. harrydobyharrydoby says:

    Trump and today's GOP alternate universe of values

    Political cartoons

    Is that Buck behind the mask?

    Political cartoons

  3. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    Britons elect a bellicose buffoon in a historic landslide because his opponent wants to return to old-time socialism, nationalizing railroads, electricity, etc.  Okay, Bernie Sanders fans.  This means we should empower the uber left in the Democratic Party because…

    • ParkHill says:

      I'm not sure that word means what you think it means.

      The Democratic Party in the US platform is to the RIGHT of the Conservative Party in Britain. Specifically, Britain's health insurance AND health care delivery are both socialized. This is extremely popular, and the Conservative Party fully supports socialized health care, which makes it an uber-uber left Party.

      Corbyn was very unpopular and ran a terrible campaign. Johnson ran a polished campaign that focussed on English nationalism, while promising not to cut back on the NHS.

      • MADCO says:

        Park, park, park. SMH

        Medicare is socialism.
        No one wants socialism. Anywhere. Ever. Because everyone knows it just doesn't work.

        I could go on – Social Security, Medicaid, Civil Rights, Voting Rights, Pell Grants, paid sick leave, 40-hour work week, federally guaranteed student loans, housing grants, TVA, Earned Income Tax Credit, food stamps – now SNAP, public schools, flood insurance, FEMA, and a hundred other things – but there's no point: Socialism is evil. Free stuff never works. Lower taxes and hating immigrants – that's the ticket.


         "Doctor, now is the time for you and every other ethical physician in the United States to individually and voluntarily pledge nonparticipation in HR-6675, the socialized hospitalization and medical care program for the aged."   AMA 1964

        "Having given our pensioners their medical care in kind, why not food baskets, why not public housing accommodations, why not vacation resorts, why not a ration of cigarettes for those who smoke and of beer for those who drink."
        Barry Goldwater 1964

        "I was there, fighting the fight, voting against Medicare . . . because we knew it wouldn't work in 1965."  Bob Dole, campaigning for president, 1996



        • Genghis says:

          Amen! The 40-hour work week and child labor laws are egregious violations of out freedom-of-contract rights and need to go!

          And fuck Medicare! Clever market-based solutions are the only answer! As Newsweek reported a couple of days back, smart free marketeers are buying and treating themselves with fish antibiotics. If that doesn't work and really huge medical expenses ensue, just start a GoFundMe page and let the Internet decide who truly deserves health care access.

          Trump in the U.S., Modi in India, Johnson in the U.K., Netanyahu in Israel … the people have spoken, and no one wants socialism! The only option is a race to the bottom. We simply rediscover1990s Clintonism, beating the Republicans by becoming Republicans. So what if it involves making sweet, sweet love down by the fire to fascism!

          • MADCO says:

            now do I start to see your wisdom.
            Adam Smith and market solutions are all that matter. Because they are all that ever worked. 
            Why I recall the free market building bridges acorss the Mississippi river. ANd putting satellites in orbit. Airplanes on commercial schedules. Why , even the Post Office only works at all cause of the free market. And it's in the Constitution. But mostly free market.

            • ParkHill says:

              And socialist super-highways. Maann. Talk about expensive – something like $5-10 MILLION dollars per mile. Multiply by all the miles in the US and we're talking Trillions of dollars. Who can afford that?

              What utopian socialist ever thought that the government could be trusted to just give away free roads for everybody to use? I say, we should sell them all at a deep discount to Republican insiders, and turn them all into toll-roads. That way, we could pay off the deficit, and lower taxes even more for the super-wealthy.

              Makers, not takers deserve all the money. 

              • Genghis says:

                Now yer talkin'! In fact, I'd posit that public highways, including without limitation the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, are a myth. There is not now, never has been, and never will be enough money to fund such socialist piggery. It necessarily follows that these alleged, supposed highways do not actually exist.

                • MADCO says:

                  A fair point, to be sure.
                  I was thinking that very thought about the Federal Aviation Administration and all the airports and air traffic control. Except- that FAA would benefit rich folks so I spose it would be ok.

                • The realistThe realist says:

                  I believe the highways exist, but Trump provided them for you. Thank him by calling him Dear Leader, and voting for Republicans forever.

              • MADCO says:

                You could be next Governor of Kansas if you want. Yes, you would have to move there.

                Or Arapahoe County Board of Supervisors.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      Interestingly enough, while Johnson's mantra was Get Brexit Done, Jeremy Corbyn's strategy was to vacillate on Brexit and talk about preserving the NHS. (The NHS, you know, that other single payer health care system which nobody on this site likes to talk about.)

      Corbyn at least had the good sense to announce his retirement as Labour leader although he was very unclear as to when. Last time this happened in 1983, it took Labour 14 years to claw its way back into power. Hopefully it doesn't take that long for the next Tony Blair (minus his Iraq War fuck up) to take over the party.


      • ParkHill says:

        Politically, Brexit is mostly an expression of English nationalism, fear of immigrants and anxiety over the long-term decline of Britain. That's why you had some working class English supporting it. 

        Anyway, Johnson breaks it, and nobody will be able to put humpty back together again. It only can only get worse from here on. Immigrants are one of the vibrant aspects of Britain today. Kick out the Italians, Poles and Ukrainians, and you just continue the British decline.

        Like Trump promising everything to everybody, Johnson will claim victory and that any setbacks will be the fault of others – Europe, Soros, Bankers, etc.


        • RepealAndReplace says:

          Brexit is mostly an expression of English nationalism, fear of immigrants and anxiety over the long-term decline of Britain. That's why you had some working class English supporting it. 

          So true. I was surprised Johnson didn't promise to board over the Chunnel entrance and make France pay for it.

        • harrydobyharrydoby says:

          And Brexit is likely to trigger a break up of the UK. Scotland will almost certainly hold yet another referendum on separating from the UK.  Brexit still has yet to solve the trade border issue between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

          Between the economic costs of Brexit and the ongoing Trump trade wars stifling longterm business investments, it is going to be yet another rough start to the decade (we've had recessions at the beginning of each decade since at least the '70's — I was lucky to dodge layoffs in 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2010).

          • Conserv. Head Banger says:

            And then there are the not fully documented rumors that the Russians put money into the original BREXIT referendum to damage the EU. That boy Putin is smarter than the average authoritarian.

            Of course, there was no collusion at all in the 2016 campaign between the Trump camp and Russia. No need for collusion because Putin already owned Trump, lock, stock, and barrel.

  4. NOV GOP meltdown says:

    because everyone knows Republicans care more about ideological purity than winning as well ?

  5. ParkHill says:

    WOTD Podcast at Vox by Ezra Klein with Paul Krugman: "Three Part test on when to use Deficit Spending."

    Ezra Klein 

    Republican spending on Medicare Part D or the Iraq War or Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cuts are of a comparable size to something like significant investments in clean energy. And they didn’t destroy the economy. So, how worried should Democrats be about paying for their plans?

    Paul Krugman 

    I’ve been proposing a three-way division of progressive proposals. First is stuff that is investment — a lot of the Green New Deal stuff is investment. On that stuff, don’t worry about paying for it. Debt as an issue is vastly overstated, and a lot of these things pay for themselves. Go ahead and just deficit finance it. 

    There’s a second range of stuff — like universal pre-K or some expansion in health benefits short of Medicare-for-all — which probably should be paid for. But, because they’re fairly modest they can be paid for with fairly narrow taxes on the wealthy. 

    Then, there’s the really big stuff like conversion to a government-provided health care system, which is too big to deal with in those ways. 

    For a long period of time, elites thought that debt was the greatest threat to the US economy. Now, I think we’ve largely come around to the correct view, which is that debt is just not a serious problem for the United States currently.

    • itlduso says:

      $984 Billion budget deficit in FY19.  $1.1 Trillion budget deficit forecast for FY20.  When was the last time you were reminded of this? 

      If Repugs were out of office it would be pounded out each and every day.  Instead, Repugs tout the "great" economy while bankrupting our future. 

      Dems, sigh, are pathetic at messaging.

      • ParkHill says:

        Krugman's point is that it matters what the deficit is used for.

        Deficits are a bad idea for services, which should be covered by taxes.

        If it's for investment (bridges & ,infrastructure smart-grid & transition to solar economy), then the economy grows.

        If it is to give a tax break to rich people of which 1/3 goes to foreigners, then the deficit is a bad idea. (Trickle Down doesn't work because rich people pocket the money rather than investing it.)

        Krugman would also say that in the midst of a recession, the deficit becomes higher, but that is a good thing because it counters the lack of investment because all the big money is fleeing to safe havens. (Trickle Up works because low-paid workers and unemployed spend any extra money, which pumps up the economy.)

  6. harrydobyharrydoby says:

    Somehow I don't find this at all reassuring:

    Supreme Court will hear case over Trump’s finances and his broad claims of protection from investigation

    A New York prosecutor and three Democratic-led congressional committees have won lower-court decisions granting them access to a range of President Trump’s financial records relating to him personally, his family and his businesses. Trump’s lawyers have said those rulings were wrong, and that prosecutors and congressional committees should not be allowed to launch wide-ranging investigations of the president, especially without Supreme Court review.

    I wonder if they will hold the coronation ceremony afterwards with Chief Justice Roberts leading the cheer "Hail Caesar!"

    • ParkHill says:

      They probably had to take the case because it refers to the balance between two branches of government.

      Note that it will be heard in March 2020 (i.e. they didn't delay it).

      I expect them to find against Trump, either on the merits, or because it enables the Republicans to find for him in some other case.

      • harrydobyharrydoby says:

        The lower courts all are in agreement that it is an open and shut issue (Trump loses), so there is no disagreement to resolve between the various court rulings.  And since the subpoenas aren't directed to Trump, but to third parties, the balance between the two branches of the government isn't the real issue (other than can the President inject himself into this legal dispute — thus claiming near-monarchial powers).

        In none of the cases are the subpoenas directed at Trump. Instead, House committees want records from Deutsche Bank and Capital One, as well as the Mazars USA accounting firm.

        In each case, Vance and House Democrats have argued there is no compelling legal issue at stake, because they are seeking records from third parties, not Trump himself.

        Given the leanings of both AG Barr and the Trump-appointed justices, I fear their position is to favor His Majesty.


    • Genghis says:

      Remember back in October 2018 when Newt Gingrich did that interview and accidentally said the quiet part out loud (if the Dems go after Trump's tax returns or other financial information, “we’ll see whether or not the Kavanaugh fight was worth it")?

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