Decision 2016

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Re: Decision 2016

Postby Heksagon » Sat Feb 13, 2016 5:45 am

Mister Tee wrote:Bob Woodward has been a Republican spinmeister/hack for many years; if you rely on his take, you're bound to get wrong information. And, no: spending on infrastructure projects would have pumped money far more quickly/directly into the economy than tax cuts. The only reason the tax cut part of the package was so large was to appease GOPers...wasted effort, since they were determined not to cooperate. (As they have continued to be for seven years -- if you honestly believe it's Obama's fault that negotiations so often break down, we share no common view of reality.)

Well, let's see what Tim Geithner says in his autobiography:

"I was fine with well-targeted tax cuts, which can quickly get money into people's pockets and the broader economy. I was also fine with public works projects, which are slower but pack more economic punch."

Maybe you consider Geithner to be a Republican hack as well. Although for the sake of fairness, Geithner does also mention that they were hoping for the large tax cuts to appeal to Republicans.

I'm not trying to say that it's specifically "Obama's fault" that the negotiations break down. I'm just saying that the idea that the Democrats are so eager to get Republican support, and willing to make substantial compromises to get it, is unconvincing. Maybe I expressed this position too crudely at some point.

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Re: Decision 2016

Postby Sonic Youth » Fri Feb 12, 2016 11:07 pm

taki15 wrote:
Sonic Youth wrote:Considering that my premise was:

"But as for 'How would we pay for single payer?' Well, that same question was asked about the Affordable Care Act. Obama didn't let that stop him. He found a way. That's the same question that should be asked about Hilary's financial reform package, or anyone else's ambitious projects. And are they being asked this?"

And you eventually got to:

taki15 wrote:Well, I guess then nobody should complain about Trump saying that Mexicans are rapists and murderers or that US should bar Muslims from entering the country, or Rubio saying that he wants to re-ban gay marriage.


....which is the exact opposite of what I was arguing..... well, you clearly jumped off the rails somewhere along the way.

Get back to me when you've regained your focus.


From what I've read Clinton's proposals have been praised by everyone, even those not supporting her, as detailed and well-thought. Nobody accused her of cooking the numbers or promising free ponies for everyone.
So your notion that people like Krugman or Ezra Klein criticize Sanders' proposals but don't do the same with Clinton's is false.


Could you show me these articles, please? I'm serious. I've probably read some of them already, if we're thinking of the same ones. (Krugman, Ezra Klein, etc.) I see a lot of Sanders' criticism - which is the point of the articles - but nothing other than a synopsis of Clinton's "more sensible" reform package as a brief point of comparison. I want to see how she intends to pay for it, and why her method is beyond reproach; and also - new question - how she intends to get the Republicans to go along with it. I'm telling you, i don't see that same level of scrutiny, but if there have been detailed articles explaining at least the method of how such a plan will pay for itself, I'd like to see it.

It's academic anyway, because if her plan really is what she says it is - that it's even tougher than Sanders' proposals - then it's not getting passed by Congress, either. And if that's the case, then it's equally "pie in the sky".
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Re: Decision 2016

Postby Sonic Youth » Fri Feb 12, 2016 10:38 pm

Mister Tee wrote:Does anybody see any element I'm missing?


Probably not, but I think you made a bit of a cheap shot in place of fair analysis....

They were Bradley voters in 2000, and with Jerry Brown in '92. Many of them have been voting Democrat since McGovern,


A subset of these would be Nader voters -- people for whom the purity of their ballot choice is always more important than any sticky detail like winning the election. I see Susan Sarandon, Michael Moore and Bill Maher have got the band back together and are all in for Bernie. Do you guys think we forgot about your last enthusiastic choice?


Why would this be a subset? Is there really a distinction between McGovern voters, Brown voters and Nader voters? In the latter two cases, the Democratic frontrunner/nominee couldn't make a convincing case that he'd be a substantially better president than the Republican candidate. McGovern WAS the candidate, so of course he received far more support than Nader. But if Nader were the Democratic candidate, he would have received at least McGovern's numbers. Because he ran as a third party, his vote totals were anemic. But they were not representative of the size of the left wing faction of the Democratic party, nor were Brown's, or Kucinich's etc. amount of support representative. They were always there, and now they're coming out for Sanders for multiple reasons, which I'm sure we could spend several more paragraphs analyzing...... All right, I'm overtired and rambling, but the point is, let's not have the advantage of retrospection slant who Nader's supporters were at the time. They were no different from the McGovern-Brown-Kucinich, etc. and now Sanders supporters.

I can't leave "for whom the purity of their ballot choice is always more important than any sticky detail like winning the election" untouched. I was under the silly impression that that's what the purpose of democracy was. My vote, my voice, my opinion.... don't talk me out of giving that up for some perceived "greater good", please.
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Re: Decision 2016

Postby Mister Tee » Fri Feb 12, 2016 8:14 pm

Heksagon wrote:
Mister Tee wrote: Hexagon, your take on how Obama related to Republicans, especially regarding the stimulus, could not be further from the truth. It's well-documented that, the night before Obama's inauguration, GOP luminaries like McConnell and Paul Ryan got together and agreed that, since Obama would get credit for anything achieved during his presidency, they would see to it their party withheld votes on any proposal -- McConnell's well-known quote was "Our main goal is to make Obama a one-term president". The economy was in such turmoil, the need for economic stimulus so great, that nearly everyone (even right-wing pundits) assumed the parties could come together and pass something, but the GOP made it clear they would not only provide virtually no votes (except the few remaining actual moderates, in blue states), they would even filibuster any proposed plan. (It's since become routine to filibuster everything that comes up in the Senate, but that was NEVER the case before this radical GOP crowd.) And the plan Obama came up with didn't ignore Republican wishes; it was in fact something like 40% tax cuts, meant specifically to appeal to the GOP (a purely Democratic package would have focused more on infrastructure spending, and aid to the states). As it was, Dems had to cut some of what they wanted to get Susan Collins & Olympia Snowe on board.

Well, the negotiations on the stimulus are pretty well documented in Bob Woodward's The Price of Politics, which I imagine is a fairly reliable source. A random comment from one Senator means nothing. I'll reconsider my take if you can provide some stronger documents.

I am under the impression that the reason why such a large part of the stimulus was tax cuts is because they were faster to implement than spending increases.

Bob Woodward has been a Republican spinmeister/hack for many years; if you rely on his take, you're bound to get wrong information. And, no: spending on infrastructure projects would have pumped money far more quickly/directly into the economy than tax cuts. The only reason the tax cut part of the package was so large was to appease GOPers...wasted effort, since they were determined not to cooperate. (As they have continued to be for seven years -- if you honestly believe it's Obama's fault that negotiations so often break down, we share no common view of reality.)

A lot is being written about the Sanders supporters, and I think it's important to separate out the groups doing the supporting -- some are responsible for bad behavior on the Internet, but others are not; they're simply for another candidate right now, but will vote for whoever the nominee is.

I'd guess the largest Sanders blocc is simply the most liberal chunk of the Democratic electorate. They tend to be white, upper middle class or higher, very left on social issues, concentrated in cities. Ron Brownstein of the LA Times calls them the wine track voters (as opposed to the beer track working class and minority voters). They were Bradley voters in 2000, and with Jerry Brown in '92. Many of them have been voting Democrat since McGovern, and, depending on your mood, you could describe them as courageously devoted to their beliefs, or pig-headedly resistant to adjustment after multiple electoral poundings. This group WAS largely for Obama in '08, but, crucially, Obama's race was able to bring massive numbers of black voters to his side, making for a hybrid coalition. Also worth noting: this group overrated (or over-hoped-for) Obama's leftiness, apparently confusing him with Dennis Kucinich; they were the first to declare themselves let down, starting with the Inauguration ("How could he invite Rick Warren!"). Even today, many of them will begin any conversation about Obama by declaring what a disappointment he's been.

(EDITED TO ADD: I'm probably being a little ungenerous on the above. In fact, I see from my Facebook feed that a number of friends of mine or my wife's fall into this category. They're all good people, and we usually end up in the same place on Election Day. I just think they're a bit over-exuberant right now.)

A subset of these would be Nader voters -- people for whom the purity of their ballot choice is always more important than any sticky detail like winning the election. I see Susan Sarandon, Michael Moore and Bill Maher have got the band back together and are all in for Bernie. Do you guys think we forgot about your last enthusiastic choice?

Then there are these young voters -- college students or recent grads. I tend to be sympathetic to them, because at one time I WAS them. In 1972, I voted for McGovern twice, in the primary and on Election Day. And even until the returns started coming in, I believed McGovern was going to beat Nixon, simply because it was the right and proper way for the universe to behave. McGovern's campaign, like Sanders', offered a top-to-bottom change in how politics was run, and that had enormous appeal to me, as I assume it does these young folk. When you're that age, you have few roots or things to lose; you've also just started to notice the world is more bland/boring than you'd like it to be. So, the idea of revolution isn't threatening -- it's thrilling! The idea that someone middle-aged, with a mortgage or kids to put through school, would not be as enthusiastically on board is one that doesn't even cross your mind. We'll win because we have right on our side!

I think there are two other elements to the current Sanders vote (and, I emphasize, the size of it may well be overstated by the demographics of the two states that have so far cast ballots; come Super Tuesday, we may not care about any of this), and I'd guess the worst of the sexist jibes and "corporate tool!" accusations are coming from one of these. The first is just Karl Rove's rat-fucking operation. He's spent millions advertising against Hillary/pro-Sanders in the first two states, and one presumes he's put at least some operatives into voting booths (as well as on Interney posting boards).

The second, it seems to me, is people who a few years back were hanging with Ron Paul. It's an almost exclusively male contingent, drawn from the Reddit and Gamer ranks. These people are not, clearly, ideologically consistent (since Paul and Sanders are so far apart on economics they can't even see one another), but they're big on being pissed off and wanting to turn over the table and wreck the game. These people, I'd guess, are the source of the worst Hillary-bashing going on, and even Sanders has seen fit to admonish them to cut it out.

Does anybody see any element I'm missing?

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Re: Decision 2016

Postby flipp525 » Fri Feb 12, 2016 12:46 pm

At last night's debate, Bernie Sanders looked like an old, finger-wagging scold. And then he started coughing. Hillary looked calm, composed and walked circles around Sanders on foreign policy and the budget. On the topic of foreign policy in particular, Sanders was rambling and talking about things that happened in the '50s and '60s without ever really making a solid point. He doesn't comprehend the intricacies involved in dealing with the Middle East of 2016. He seemed tired and out of his depth on virtually every topic. This was his worst showing.

Hillary's closing statement was very strong. And the WI audience was enthralled by her. Bringing a local focus with the unions and Scott Walker talk was a great move. I think her performance in this debate will secure South Carolina for her.

Fun fact: I know Gwen Ifill through mutual NPR friends and she's a very lovely person. I once named a late-summer salad of hers for her at a Labor Day gathering.
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Re: Decision 2016

Postby Big Magilla » Fri Feb 12, 2016 12:09 pm

OscarGuy wrote:Perhaps he is going Medicare for All, but while there are gaps that people have to pay for out of pocket, those costs are negligible compared to what private insurance companies typically charge. And deductibles on the exchanges are astronomically high.


Original Medicare has a deductible of $166 for doctor's visits - after the deductible is met, there is still a 20% fee owed. Medigap coverage including AARP has a $500 deductible plus large monthly premiums before full insurance kicks in. However, there are Medicare Advantage plans which take the place of Medicare that offer no monthly premium and only a minimal co-pay ($5 last year, $15 this year for me). The catch is you have to see a doctor in the insurance company's network but most doctors who accept Medicare accept the insurers.

My problem two years ago was that I went to an opthalmologist (the closest, as well as best in my area) who wasn't covered and ended up having to pay $2,500 out-of-pocket for my cataract surgery plus the cost of a non-generic lens in one eye which I would have had to pay for anyway, because it isn't covered by Medicare. Fortunately the hospital was covered even though the doctor wasn't.

The vision, dental and hearing support within Medicare is practically non-existent.
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Re: Decision 2016

Postby OscarGuy » Fri Feb 12, 2016 11:20 am

I may misunderstand the standard definition of elective. I'm referring to surgeries that aren't medically necessary, such as most Lasik vision surgeries, cosmetic surgery and the like. Now, a burn victim getting cosmetic surgery would certainly be covered, but a facelift?

Perhaps he is going Medicare for All, but while there are gaps that people have to pay for out of pocket, those costs are negligible compared to what private insurance companies typically charge. And deductibles on the exchanges are astronomically high.
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Re: Decision 2016

Postby Big Magilla » Fri Feb 12, 2016 9:46 am

I think it's a matter of semantics. Elective surgery means any surgery that doesn't have to be performed in 24 hours. Types of elective surgeries that are medically necessary should definitely be covered. Types of elective surgery that are not medically necessary such as most cosmetic surgeries may not be.
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Re: Decision 2016

Postby mlrg » Fri Feb 12, 2016 9:13 am

OscarGuy wrote:Bernie isn't proposing medicare for all. He's proposing what other countries have and it is true universal health care. The citizens pay a higher tax rate and get free medical care without deductibles, without co-pays and with nothing out of pocket. Elective surgeries, however, will likely not be covered and will be the responsibility of the patient.


Elective surgeries are always included in an universal health care system. Otherwise it's not really a full health care system. Also, at least in my country, there is always a co-payment although the amount is pretty ridiculous (like 5 dollars). One interesting thing that happened in my country two weeks ago was that a change was introduced in the co-payments system: the one and only medical intervention without a co-payment is.... an abortion, which on my point of view (and I'm a pro-choice person) is a complete abomination!

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Re: Decision 2016

Postby Big Magilla » Fri Feb 12, 2016 8:44 am

I know that's the impression he gives, but in the last two debates, including the one last night in Milwaukee, she referred to his plan as "Medicare for all" and he did not contradict her as he does on other things. That leads me to believe that either that is his plan or he doesn't understand the difference between Medicare and what other countries have.
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Re: Decision 2016

Postby OscarGuy » Fri Feb 12, 2016 6:29 am

Bernie isn't proposing medicare for all. He's proposing what other countries have and it is true universal health care. The citizens pay a higher tax rate and get free medical care without deductibles, without co-pays and with nothing out of pocket. Elective surgeries, however, will likely not be covered and will be the responsibility of the patient.
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Re: Decision 2016

Postby Big Magilla » Fri Feb 12, 2016 2:41 am

If what Bernie is proposing for universal health care, as Hillary keeps saying, is Medicare for all, I'm afraid we're still going to have a problem. Medicare doesn't cover everything. Most Medicare patients have some form of supplemental insurance to pay for some of (not all) of what Medicare doesn't. Fixes have to be made to the current system but throwing it all out and starting all over is not a good approach whether it comes from the left or the right.
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Re: Decision 2016

Postby taki15 » Fri Feb 12, 2016 1:57 am

Sonic Youth wrote:Considering that my premise was:

"But as for 'How would we pay for single payer?' Well, that same question was asked about the Affordable Care Act. Obama didn't let that stop him. He found a way. That's the same question that should be asked about Hilary's financial reform package, or anyone else's ambitious projects. And are they being asked this?"

And you eventually got to:

taki15 wrote:Well, I guess then nobody should complain about Trump saying that Mexicans are rapists and murderers or that US should bar Muslims from entering the country, or Rubio saying that he wants to re-ban gay marriage.


....which is the exact opposite of what I was arguing..... well, you clearly jumped off the rails somewhere along the way.

Get back to me when you've regained your focus.


From what I've read Clinton's proposals have been praised by everyone, even those not supporting her, as detailed and well-thought. Nobody accused her of cooking the numbers or promising free ponies for everyone.
So your notion that people like Krugman or Ezra Klein criticize Sanders' proposals but don't do the same with Clinton's is false.

What's even worse for Sanders, when he was roundly criticized for his health care plan instead of explaining himself or trying to fix it, his official campaign put out a statement calling his critics shills for the insurance industry. Sorry but that's not a sign of a serious campaign ran by a serious candidate.

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Re: Decision 2016

Postby Heksagon » Fri Feb 12, 2016 1:45 am

Mister Tee wrote: Hexagon, your take on how Obama related to Republicans, especially regarding the stimulus, could not be further from the truth. It's well-documented that, the night before Obama's inauguration, GOP luminaries like McConnell and Paul Ryan got together and agreed that, since Obama would get credit for anything achieved during his presidency, they would see to it their party withheld votes on any proposal -- McConnell's well-known quote was "Our main goal is to make Obama a one-term president". The economy was in such turmoil, the need for economic stimulus so great, that nearly everyone (even right-wing pundits) assumed the parties could come together and pass something, but the GOP made it clear they would not only provide virtually no votes (except the few remaining actual moderates, in blue states), they would even filibuster any proposed plan. (It's since become routine to filibuster everything that comes up in the Senate, but that was NEVER the case before this radical GOP crowd.) And the plan Obama came up with didn't ignore Republican wishes; it was in fact something like 40% tax cuts, meant specifically to appeal to the GOP (a purely Democratic package would have focused more on infrastructure spending, and aid to the states). As it was, Dems had to cut some of what they wanted to get Susan Collins & Olympia Snowe on board.

Well, the negotiations on the stimulus are pretty well documented in Bob Woodward's The Price of Politics, which I imagine is a fairly reliable source. A random comment from one Senator means nothing. I'll reconsider my take if you can provide some stronger documents.

I am under the impression that the reason why such a large part of the stimulus was tax cuts is because they were faster to implement than spending increases.

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Re: Decision 2016

Postby Sonic Youth » Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:05 pm

Considering that my premise was:

"But as for 'How would we pay for single payer?' Well, that same question was asked about the Affordable Care Act. Obama didn't let that stop him. He found a way. That's the same question that should be asked about Hilary's financial reform package, or anyone else's ambitious projects. And are they being asked this?"

And you eventually got to:

taki15 wrote:Well, I guess then nobody should complain about Trump saying that Mexicans are rapists and murderers or that US should bar Muslims from entering the country, or Rubio saying that he wants to re-ban gay marriage.


....which is the exact opposite of what I was arguing..... well, you clearly jumped off the rails somewhere along the way.

Get back to me when you've regained your focus.
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