US General Election 2016

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Post by halfwise on Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:51 pm

Complete cave! cheers

I thought Pelosi was overplaying, but she's a better poker player than I realized, and won flat out. End of shutdown, and democrats have the upper hand. Let's see if they actually negotiate now rather than just play games of chicken.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:56 pm

{{Smartest thing the Dems can do now is negotiate- meet Trump in the middle, agree to some extra 'border protection' call it slats, fencing whatever, bung some drones in there so everyone saves face and only agree to it in return for some movement on DACA and more border centres and staff to speed up processing with better facilities for immigrants held there while they are processed, and they will look like a party ready to govern in a compassionate but effective manner, not just an opposition to Trump party. }}

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Post by halfwise on Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:23 pm

I agree, and am very worried the Democrats will hold to their silly "not one penny for the wall" statement.

I see now they were right to refuse to talk until the shutdown was over: Trump won't try that again. But the package he offered was actually reasonable. They can tweak it, but shouldn't reject it out of hand.

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Post by halfwise on Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:59 pm

I realized this morning that Trump will almost certainly win the next election.  

Not on his perceived merits by those who voted for him last time, but by the split decisions offered by his opposition: moderates versus what can only be called socialists.  I see this as a nearly 50-50 split, and if Starbucks founder Schultz enters as the moderate independent candidate, there can be no majority against Trump.  Even if he doesn't enter, whichever faction wins out on the democratic side will engender protest voting and a likely loss.

The only hope is if Trump doesn't get enough to win a majority of the electoral college, and the vote devolves to the House of Representatives which will vote by state following Electoral college rule. In this case the only hope is if the House remains in democratic control by state. This is a bit iffy: the parties tend to clump within each state, and the electoral college voting allocation (which favors small states by population) favors the Republicans, which gets many rural voters and it what put Trump in office even as he lost the popular vote.

I don’t know if it would be the present House or the newly elected House. I don’t have the time to work out which way the current House would fall under electoral college voting, but harbor doubts.

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Post by Lorient Avandi on Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:56 pm

halfwise wrote:I realized this morning that Trump will almost certainly win the next election.  

I agree that the biggest thing going for Trump is similar to the biggest thing going for both of Obama's elections, the opposition can't make up their mind on what they want. However unlikely it may be as well, if any Republican decides to run, depending on their support it could get real interesting.

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Post by halfwise on Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:00 pm

There will be no opposition candidate from within the party: the Republicans rolled over and showed their bellies to Trump long ago. There may be a protest candidate or two that will sputter and fizzle out, and Trump will have the nomination clear as day.

With no Democratic figure who can bridge the split, it's game over. Maybe a Bernie Sanders figure who attracted some of the disgruntled lower class who eventually fell to Trump may do it, but the entrenched Democratic machine won't let that happen.

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Post by Lorient Avandi on Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:52 pm

You're probably right, though rumor has it Romney is considering another go at it (likely one of the biggest reasons he went for the Utah Senatorship) and he HATES Trump, so I wouldn't put it past him.

As far as Democrats though, that Beto O'Rourke seems to be getting some traction among a lot of different classes of Dems

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Post by halfwise on Fri Feb 01, 2019 9:07 pm

All of us (including my many accounts, Trump) were wrong about the last election, so we'll have to see. I don't feel Beto has the national presence to make a real run.

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Post by David H on Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:57 am

halfwise wrote: and the electoral college voting allocation (which favors small states by population) favors the Republicans, which gets many rural voters and it what put Trump in office even as he lost the popular vote.

Not so fast Halfy. My rural farming and fishing corner of the world put quite a bit of faith in Trump to fix things in 2016. But since all the farm bill stuff and the recent shutdown I've been hearing phrases like "not very impressed" from people who used to have Trump signs out by the road. Still no love for Hillary, but that doesn't seem to translate automatically into support for Donald like it used to. From what I'm seeing, I think there's definitely room in the primaries for a Republican challenger with a better handle on rural values than a rich New York real estate mogul/ playboy could be expected to have...

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Post by halfwise on Sat Feb 02, 2019 2:07 pm

We can hope.

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Post by Bluebottle on Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:35 am

Eldy wrote:Bungo did not exactly make a secret of the fact that he was struggling with depression. I don't recall him ever saying so explicitly (though I may be forgetting something), but it was pretty clear to see that he had his personal demons. That's not a complaint or judgment; I wouldn't want people to think they have to hide their feelings on here. Unfortunately, a lot of relationships were frayed by the time he made his final few returns to the forum last fall. The last thing I ever said to him was not said in a terribly conciliatory manner, but as I noted at the time, he seemed to be miserable every time he departed the forum and there didn't seem to be a clear path to return to more amicable relations short of people just never disagreeing with him about politics. Clearly, though, he had a ton going on beyond the context of discussions on here, and I have done a lot of ruminating today over the posts Forest refers to and others.

I didn't take bungo's final comments about killing himself in response to Petty criticizing Trump seriously; like Petty says, I considered it hyperbole. I don't know now (and never will) how seriously those comments were meant in the moment, though as per bungo's brother's account that exchange was more than a month before the end of his life. It seems undeniable, though, that they were--at the very least--an expression of something weighing on him. Questioning what could or should have been done differently is a common reaction in cases like this, and while I don't know what different actions I might have taken (I never knew bungo's real name and had no way of contacting anyone he knew IRL even if I'd been concerned for his immediate safety), it will always be an open question whether saying something different might have made an impact. That's ultimately a two-way street, though. I hope he had people he felt able to talk to IRL, but regardless, I have no criticism or judgment of people who don't want to talk or ask for help about their mental health struggles, whether that's in general or only in certain circumstances.

Of the 17 core members of Forumshire who have made the most posts on the new forum, bungo is the second who is no longer with us. The first was Ally, who most likely died in the same fashion back in 2013. In her case, the not knowing for sure was--and in some ways still is--the hardest part. While I've been pretty shaken up today after getting this news (in part because it comes a day after similar news from another quarter), I am very grateful to bungo's brother for letting us know. There are many other people who haven't posted here in a long time, but none who gave any red flags that I can recall. Most of them drifted away gradually and I know some are still active elsewhere online (GB, for example, continues to flourish as a fanfic writer). Tin's activity here broke off very abruptly and I was worried about her for some time, but she'd shared her real name and enjoyed a fairly successful career in DIII college golf, which left an online footprint of its own. I don't know why she stopped posting, but it was reassuring to know it wasn't because she'd died.

I'm not a good person to try to say anything about bungo on a personal level. I'm not going to try to overwrite some of the stuff that happened in recent years, but I considered him a friend for a long time and I'll try to focus more on the happier memories. He dabbled in Photoshop and a couple of the images he shared (the Beorn-as-a-metalhead concert poster and the Christmas card with people's avatars) have been saved in the "Forumshire" folder of my hard drive since ... shit, in the former case, two laptops ago. Most of his creative energy was directed toward music and therefore went over my head, but he shared several stories in the Creative Corner and was very gracious in his response when I asked for permission to include them in the fanfic collection last year. He seemed to feel very strongly about the Hobbit movies, as he did everything, which produced some memorable crabbit rants. In retrospect, it's hard not to wonder if the feeling too strongly was bad for him (he'd be far from alone in that), and I think it contributed to the some of the tension over politics. But that's bungo all over, and his net contributions to the forum over his five years with us are very much in the positive.

This post might not belong here--I swear I didn't intend for it to be this long when I started typing out a response to Forest--but as this thread was, for better or worse, bungo's main hangout towards the end of his time with us, perhaps it's fitting. I hope he is at peace now. I don't know if he would have wanted me to say this, but he will, as a key part of Forumshire for much of its existence, always have a special place in my memories: the good, the bad, all of it. I don't know what exactly he was like IRL, how different he might have been, or what his relationships with other people were there. It is not my place nor my wish to infringe on any of that. But he left a mark here, more than most people do when they join an Internet forum, and I have to believe that counts for something.

Hard news. Death is a terrible toll, especially in close relations, I hope his family is dealing with it as well as they can. I remember me and Bungo having some political argument way back that everyone seemed to take very seriously apart from me, to me it was simply another discussion, as I did not treat any of it as personal to any degree. Perhaps it is good to note that others might take it differently. If Bungo was here, I think I'd give him a copy of Jaron Laier's 10 reasons to quit social media right now. To understand how the social media ecosystem functions, what it does to us, and that perhaps the best you can do is to step away, I think it needs to be basic learning for anyone growing up in the times we live. One of Lanier's chapters, each giving name to a reason to quit social media RIGHT NOW, is called Social media makes you an ashole. It somehow seem very pertinent to the way internet debates seem to go down. (Lanier notes he used to have this experience about himself in online forums on rare instruments way back when..) Adéu i bona sort.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:23 am

{{ I've noticed in the past week Fox news have been going after the idea of a single payer health care system in an attempt to shoot it down.
Their four main arguments appear to be- it will cost to much and bankrupt the country-it is impossible to implement-it will 'take' your health insurance plan away - it doesn't work in countries that have it.

So one at a time then- it costs too much. Americans pay more per head of population currently for their health care than anyone in a country with a form of single payer does. Health care is more expensive  in the US than in other similar modern nations. And then when you do get ill you'll probably get charged again for stuff your insurance doesn't cover and if you need medicine you will be paying some of the highest prescription costs in the western world.
Given single payer in other countries works out cheaper for everyone at every stage its difficult to see why America would be the only country to ever have a single payer system that cost more.

It is impossible to implement. The why of this seems rather nebulous. And I can see no reason why it should be the case, not like there are not plenty of models and examples of varies forms of free at point of need health care systems around the world to choose from.

It will take your health insurance away- yes it will, that's the point, you won't need it. No more insurance bills, no more medical bills, ever. And if your worried about having to pay a fortune in tax instead don't be, remember people in countries with single payer are paying less than you already in tax and health costs, not more. However much your employer currently takes from you to give to an insurance company is almost certainly more than what you will pay in extra tax for single payer.

It doesn't work in countries that have it- Fox tends to highlight where there are issues with single-payer, particularly in the UK and in Canada- they cite waiting times, 'death panels' (still don't know what those are, they seem to have made the mup!) and other calamities. But  if you were say to judge the entirety of the US medical profession on the basis of malpractice lawsuits it would probably not look great either.
Its not a very full picture, particularly as Fox of course make no differentiation between England and Scotland who have separate health services. In England satisfaction levels with the NHS sits between 68-70%  but in England there has been some quasi-privatization of the NHS which most agree has seen a poorer service. In Scotland where this has not happened, and which is arguably therefore a better comparison in terms of being a purer single payer system, satisfaction is in the 80% and over 60% say they would be happy to pay more in tax for NHS funding.
And even in England where there is larger dissatisfaction with their service there are no calls to get rid of the NHS, or replace it with private sector, rather the opposite when people complain its to say they want more funding, more services, more staff paid for through taxation. There is and since it was introduced has never been any public appetite for anything other than support of the NHS.
In terms of outcomes single payer in general globally either equals or outperforms the US health system.

I cannot speak to the Canadian health service, but nor do I ever recall hearing of any mass movement in Canada to get rid of theirs. And perhaps if you are hesitant still that's the major factor to consider- in countries who have a form of single payer the people never want to get rid of it, and any party standing on a platform to do so will guarantee a loss. To the point even right of centre parties will support it.
This I think is the great fear of the Republican party and all their insurance company friends- that once Americans have single payer they will guard it as jealously as every other country that has it does. And they will never get rid of it.

And in this internet age, when Americans, especially young Americans talk with people all over the world on a daily basis, the old lies about single payer from the American right will not stick forever when personal testimony from around the globe is telling them otherwise. }}

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Post by malickfan on Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:07 pm

My father was watching Trump giving a speech announcing his plan to declare a national emergency for the wall funding...we lasted about a minute before I insist he change the channel, I was already getting a headache watching that malicious senile idiot rambling on, feel sorry for the staff who have to put up with him for entire weeks on end.


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Post by azriel on Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:23 pm

he is completely different from Obama. Trump to my ears sounds like hes acting in a bad comedy family film. I cant take him seriously. Barack Obama had a more "human" voice that was at least easy to listen to. Trump reminds me he must be a left over Oompa Loompa that's still sulking OR, one of the Munchkins all grown up but thinks the Wizard of Oz was only good because of him

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:45 am

{{Was reading as piece today about how US farmers are reacting to the continued stalemate in trade deals.
It basically reaffirmed that the farmers remain behind Trump, but it had an extra caveat I had not heard before added, 'if he continues to show progress on trade'- given I cant see what progress has been made to continue I'm not sure about that- but seemed to me there was a little less enthusiasm there and a little less trust he really was the master deal-maker he has claimed to be and maybe a little uncertainty that Trump will actually get a good deal done.

Curious for a more ground level view of it though- you about Dave to provide some farmers insight into the general mood? }}

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Post by David H on Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:04 am

I'd say the mood on the ground is basically that there's an implied agreement that we don't talk politics with each other right now. We need to stick together as a community through the tough times and not get sucked into pointless partisan political BS.

There's nobody I know who's singing Trump's praises any more. He's broken a lot of promises and told a lot of lies. Costs have gone up and profits have gone down, and good skilled farm help is harder to find now than ever before in all my memory.

But all of that doesn't mean that folks who voted for Trump in 2016 won't vote for him again in 2020, especially if the Dems can't find somebody to run this time who can speak our language better than Hillary. Rolling Eyes

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Post by halfwise on Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:14 am

I'm pretty solidly convinced Trump will win the next election.  The economy is humming (at the expense of a ballooning national deficit from lower taxes, among other things) and all the democrats have to put up against him are young socialists, young politicians with perhaps as little experience as Obama had but not nearly as much charisma or moderation, and a couple old white guys who each would have had a chance of beating Trump 4 years ago but now are pushing 80 years old and I think folks are leary.

Even if Bernie Sanders were younger it's a hard sell to completely reverse economic course when the economy is in fact doing well.  I wish Biden was a few years younger.  Years ago I would have supported Elizabeth Warren, but she's going off the deep end with wanting to break up large tech companies and offer reparations for slavery.  Nice thoughts perhaps, but moderation is needed to win the next election, not the far side of a pendulum swing.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:28 am

{{ Thanks Dave. Always good to hear a bit closer to the ground.

Halfy I agree, barring Mueller coming up with something fatal on the legal side I can see Trump winning, partly for the same reasons he got in in the first place- a lack of credible opposition.

For example medicare for all seems popular enough in general, but rather than try to undermine a booming economy and going on about and after the rich, they should be talking about how a good economy can be used to better help the average American in a fairer way.
As whilst overall your economy is booming, it has little to do with Trump (unless he is claiming credit for everyone economy) the UK economy is booming and were in a fucking mess- its nothing to do with what either May's or Trumps economic policies are its just the usual currents of global economy going up and down.
Instead of focusing on chattering class nonsense- sexism, racism, gender equality etc that no one outside middle class liberal cities cares much about they should instead be focusing on good solid working class policies- minimal wage, union representation, European style workers rights, holidays and maternity leave, universal health care.

And the dems need someone who can appeal beyond urban centres into rural areas. With the trade issues and the other pressing issues on farmers right now they are ripe for preaching a change of direction to that secures overseas markets not risks them and someone who wont see farmers as a handy and expendable bargaining chip in trade talks.

The big risk for the dems right now as I see it is their front runners are either too old or too young and inexperienced and they risk startling the horses by focusing solely on hot button social issues from the far left end of things rather than sticking to more moderate left of centre policies.}}

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Post by halfwise on Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:27 pm

Our workers rights are not bad and wouldn't be a topic with legs. Fixing healthcare (but without destroying the private insurance the middle class and influential enjoy) would have legs. Coming up with a refocused yet humane immigration policy would have legs.

The reason getting rid of private healthcare is a problem is because most of the middle class gets it through their employers, who typically use their clout to negotiate really nice contracts. People who have these plans really don't want this to be threatened, and the unknown (like single payer healthcare) is always threatening.

The most common change people want to make to immigration is to one based more on merit, with less of the "chain immigration" that favors family relationships outside the nuclear family. The biggest sticking point is asylum and refugee immigrants. Liberals want the country to be more open to these, conservatives would often want it gone altogether. This is a purely emotional mind-set, and can not be decided by logical debate.

Joe Biden is probably the only one who could walk these tightropes in a satisfactory fashion. Seeing a clip of him recently he seems vigorous, so I'm hoping he'll run.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:29 pm

{{Its such a weird idea- that your employer- who you only have anything to do with to get money and do work for and for whom you might not work for for long before moving on, should have to provide your healthcare, whilst the government who constantly take money off you for stuff dont give you anything back!

Ive never really understood what it is Americans think a government is for- they give it money all the time but seem quite happy for the government to then keep their money and not provide anything back to the people for it. Its weird.

I also will never understand what is threatening about single payer healthcare- dont Americans know they are only modern advanced country on the entire planet who doesn't have it? Don't they know they are already paying more in taxes for healthcare you dont get than the rest of us are paying for full coverage? That you pay more in prescriptions than any other major nation? That you pay more in insurance than any other nation- to the rest of us the thought you might have to sell your home, declare bankruptcy because your child is sick and need medicine is abhorrent, disgusting, immoral and horrific. And thats without even mentioning that you have millions of folk with no medical coverage at all, almost all the poorest and most vulnerable in society- that's mindboggling cruel and immoral in the modern world.

And yet it seems millions of people seem to think this obscene system is worth defending and fighitng for. There is a reason not a single other country in the world has ever followed the US example of private insurance only medicine- its fucking horrendous and immoral from every angle. Mad I will never understand the US position defending such an abhorrent state of affairs.}}

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Post by David H on Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:33 pm

Jeb Bush is calling for Republican challengers in 2020. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/jeb-bush-trump-should-be-challenged-by-a-republican-in-2020

“I think someone should run just because Republicans ought to be given a choice,” Bush said on CNN's "The Axe Files." “It’s hard to beat a sitting president, but to have a conversation about what it is to be a conservative, I think it’s important.”
.....

"And our country needs to have competing ideologies that people -- that are dynamic, that focus on the world we're in and the world we're moving toward rather than revert back to a nostalgic time," he said on CNN, seeming to take aim at Trump's "Make America Great Again" 2016 slogan.

.....

"We haven't had a major crisis to deal with, but this unilateralism or going-alone-ism I think is really dangerous," Bush said of Trump's foreign policy moves, according to The Hill.

"Our friends no longer believe they can trust the United States and our enemies, in many cases, feel emboldened by this approach," he reportedly added. "I think it defies the...bipartisan kind of consensus on foreign policy that has, by and large, kept America safe."

....

“You can honestly say he’s done good things in terms of policy and applaud them,” Bush said. “I think the symbolic, you know the kingly duties of the presidency, that’s where he falls short, and it’s important.”

{{{wait...KINGLY?????? scratch }}}

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:36 pm

{{This is why its handy to keep a monarch about the place Nod they make a better Head of State than a politician and symbolic gestures and words are their bread and butter. }}

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Post by David H on Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:46 pm

Jeb probably chose the term as a scion of the House of Bush Nod

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Post by halfwise on Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:52 pm

Going back to healthcare - employers started offering it as incentive to hire good employees. It's not all employers, just the larger ones - but it's become ingrained. Slightly more than half of employees get insurance this way, and since it's offered for competitive reasons the tendencies have been for benefits to improve over time. I'm not sure if the recent trend of only staying at one job for a few years has tended to improve or degrade benefits.

So more than half the population has a great health package, and since their employer is pretty much paying for it and we don't pay extra taxes for universal health care, those who have this are pretty damn pleased with it.

But those who are either self employed or have jobs that don't have health benefits are out in the cold. Obamacare did a lot to help many of these, but at the cost of raising the cost of health insurance for the higher earners. I don't completely understand the economics of it, but for many people the cost of health care went up under the influence of Obamacare, and for this reason there is a distrust of socialized fixes.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:12 pm

we don't pay extra taxes for universal health care- Halfy

{{No, worse you already pay more in tax towards healthcare than we do! On your behalf your govenrment spends a fortune on healthcare then you dont get any!

' the US spent 17.2% of its GDP on healthcare in 2016, compared with 9.7% in the UK. In pounds per head, that's £2,892 on healthcare for every person in the UK and £7,617 per person in the US.'

How can you be spending 5000 more of tax payer money per person for healthcare- and still not be getting any healthcare?

'or many people the cost of health care went up '- Halfy

Thats because it was neither one thing or anohter, it was half-arsed through the compromises needed to get is passed at all.

Your standard of healthcare, your right to be not in pain or dying when treatment exists to help you being dependent nm how wealthy you are is just immoral and disgusting.

Worse because its a capitalist system companies are profiteering off the misery of US citizens,I dont know why you'd allow that-

'U.S. citizens pay more than twice as much for common prescription drugs than in countries like Canada, Germany and Australia. For instance, the acid reflux drug Nexium costs the average British person $782 a year. However, Americans pay much more than that, $2,710.'

And not like you get anything special for all that money- ion fact its pretty poor according to Americans-

'The US health think tank the Commonwealth Fund ranked the UK number one, closely followed by Australia, then the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, Germany, Canada, France, and the US. This is the second time in a row that the UK has come at the top of the ranking, carried out every three years.
The US came last, despite spending by far the most on health.' }}}

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