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Thread: 2018 American Political Scene

  1. #916
    Senior Contributor antimony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    As you like to say, have you factored in the environmental cost? I already see the horse puckey in that article. Batteries. They are neither cheap, long lasting enough, nor environmentally friendly to disposed of.

    And no solar panel nor wind is going to power a blast furnance needed for steel. Without steel, all your industries come to a screeching halt. You're the one touting the renewable god without looking at the real world.
    Again with the blast furnace. Who said anything about that?
    Also, only 9% of coal produced energy is for the industrial sector

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    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    The idea now is to extract the CO2 and pump it into exhausted natural gas fields. Great in theory but in the real world, you need to know how much leakage is going to happen. None of this has been tried.
    Great, but what does this have to do with coal? Also, India's smog is not necessarily from coal power plants. There are lots of other factors, very few of them localized
    Last edited by antimony; 13 May 18, at 18:40.
    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" ~ Epicurus

  2. #917
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    Quote Originally Posted by antimony View Post
    Again with the blast furnace. Who said anything about that?
    The point remains that renewables is not going to replace nor even reduce hydro-carbon fuels to an insignifcant degree.

    Quote Originally Posted by antimony View Post
    Also, only 9% of coal produced energy is for the industrial sector
    Because gas and oil is cheaper.

    Quote Originally Posted by antimony View Post
    Great, but what does this have to do with coal?
    The complaint is that coal produces a lot more CO2 than other sources. Clean coal burning was developed as an answer to acid rain, not CO2 production. This new technique is the answer to that. You asked why someone would build such a thing. The answer is simple, if they can make a profit. If not, they won't.

    Quote Originally Posted by antimony View Post
    Also, India's smog is not necessarily from coal power plants. There are lots of other factors, very few of them localized
    Again, if it's economical to retrofit a coal plant for a cleaner burn or not. I doubt the CO2 solution is applicable to India since she lacks the exhausted natural gas fields to pump the CO2 into.

  3. #918
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    the genius of our 4-d chessmas- i mean, The Only Chess Player in the US.

    ====

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...o-one-of-them/

    China gave Trump a list of crazy demands, and he caved to one of them
    By Josh Rogin May 15 at 9:32 AM Email the author

    After top Trump officials went to Beijing last month, the Chinese government wrote up a document with a list of economic and trade demands that ranged from the reasonable to the ridiculous. On Sunday, President Trump caved to one of those demands before the next round of negotiations even starts, undermining his own objectives for no visible gain.

    The Chinese proposal is entitled, “Framework Arrangement on Promoting Balanced Development on Bilateral Trade,” and I obtained an English version of the document, which is the Chinese government’s negotiating position heading into the next round of talks. That round begins this week when Xi Jinping’s special economic envoy Liu He returns to town.

    Bullet point 5 is entitled, “Appropriately handing the ZTE case to secure global supply chain.”

    “Having noted China’s great concern about the case of ZTE, the U.S. will listen attentively to ZTE’s plea, consider the progress and efforts ZTE has made in compliance management and announce adjustment to the export ban,” the document states.

    Trump took a big step in that direction Sunday when he tweeted that he had instructed the Commerce Department to help get ZTE “back into business, fast,” only weeks after the Commerce Department cut off its supply of American components because it violated U.S. sanctions on sales to North Korea and Iran. Trump’s tweet set off a panic both inside and outside the administration among those who worry that Trump is backing down from his key campaign promise to stand up to China’s unfair trade practices and economic aggression.

    As Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) pointed out Monday, the problems with ZTE go well beyond sanctions-busting. The Federal Communications Commission has proposed cutting ZTE and other Chinese “national champion” companies off from U.S. infrastructure development funds because the U.S. intelligence community views their technology as a national security risk.

    White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters issued a rare tweet clarification, explaining that Trump wanted Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to “exercise his independent judgment” to resolve the ZTE case “based on its facts.” Ross told the National Press Club on Monday that the ZTE restrictions are “separate from trade.” Still, Ross added, he is looking at “alternative remedies” for ZTE and expects to find some “very, very promptly.”

    What the heck happened here? Some officials believe that the camp of Trump officials trying to avoid a trade war with China — led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow — are winning the never-ending battle for the president’s limited attention. Mnuchin is reportedly trying to control the China negotiations and elbow out U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Director Peter Navarro.

    My Washington Post colleagues reported that Trump may have gotten ahead of a brewing “mini-deal” whereby the United States provides relief for ZTE and, in return, China eases its restrictions on U.S. agricultural imports. If that’s the case, the Trump administration “just got blackmailed,” according to Derek Scissors, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

    “Our actions against ZTE might have been excessive, but what you can’t do is say, ‘Just kidding’ when the Chinese start complaining about it,” he said. “The idea that we did it and then reversed ourselves is awful.”

    As I’ve written before, a short-term deal would a penny-wise, pound-foolish approach, because confronting China’s large-scale unfair and illegal practices should be an urgent strategic priority. The United States gets one shot to show China that we are serious about forcing it to change its behavior — and, if it won’t, that we are serious about defending ourselves.

    Trump is signaling he’s willing to give up the one piece of leverage that is actually getting the Chinese government’s attention before receiving anything concrete in return. That’s not only bad negotiating. It also sends the message that the United States doesn’t have the stomach for the larger economic battles with China to come.

    Nobody knows whether Trump will approve whatever “deal” Mnuchin and company put on his desk after the next round of talks. Trump may change his mind again. But here are some of the other demands in China’s proposal, to watch out for on Trump’s Twitter feed:

    The United States commits to eliminating the sanctions imposed after China’s crackdown on protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989
    The United States relaxes export restrictions on technology such as integrated circuits
    The United States allows U.S. government agencies to purchase and use Chinese information technology products and services
    The United States agrees to treat Chinese investment and investors equally to those from other countries and place no restrictions on Chinese investment
    The United States agrees to ensure Chinese businesses can participate in U.S. infrastructure projects
    The United States agrees to strengthen protection of Chinese intellectual property. (Seriously!)
    The United States agrees to drop its anti-dumping cases against China at the World Trade Organization
    The United States agrees to terminate its investigations into Chinese intellectual property theft and not impose any of the sanctions Trump already announced

    “They expect to be treated the same way our treaty allies are treated, which is ridiculous,” Scissors said. Many of the demands in the document are crazy, he said, “But we actually accepted one of China’s crazy demands.”

    If Trump concedes to Beijing’s other demands, he would be declaring the United States’ surrender in the economic struggle against China before the fight really begins. Trump administration officials are now saying that won’t happen. But Trump’s unforced error on ZTE undermines the entire effort.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  4. #919
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    After top Trump officials went to Beijing last month, the Chinese government wrote up a document with a list of economic and trade demands that ranged from the reasonable to the ridiculous. On Sunday, President Trump caved to one of those demands before the next round of negotiations even starts, undermining his own objectives for no visible gain.

    Bullet point 5 is entitled, “Appropriately handing the ZTE case to secure global supply chain.”

    Trump took a big step in that direction Sunday when he tweeted that he had instructed the Commerce Department to help get ZTE “back into business, fast,” only weeks after the Commerce Department cut off its supply of American components because it violated U.S. sanctions on sales to North Korea and Iran. Trump’s tweet set off a panic both inside and outside the administration among those who worry that Trump is backing down from his key campaign promise to stand up to China’s unfair trade practices and economic aggression.
    Hear that? That was the sound of my head exploding.

    Hey remember when the infant in the Oval Office repeatedly promised to declare China a currency manipulator?

    Whatever happened to that anyway?
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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    joe,

    Hear that? That was the sound of my head exploding.
    oh, i'm sure this was just puuuuuure coincidence.

    http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southe...-belt-and-road

    A subsidiary of Chinese state-owned construction firm Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) signed a deal with Indonesia’s MNC Land to build a theme park outside Jakarta as part of the ambitious project, the company said on Thursday.

    The deal is the latest to raise questions about the extent of Trump’s financial exposure to Beijing.

    The park – expected to be backed with up to US$500 million in Chinese government loans – is part of an “integrated lifestyle resort”, known as MNC Lido City.

    The project includes Trump-branded hotels, residences and a golf course, as well as other hotel, shopping and residential developments...

    In early 2017, Beijing approved almost 40 trademark applications Trump had long sought to protect his business interests in the country.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  6. #921
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Arthur Brooks isn't someone who has been on my radar, and the American Enterprise Institute aren't my cup of tea. That said, this is a brilliant interview about the state of America at the moment. Surprisingly upbeat, but also insightful on some of the problems with politics. If we can't find wisdom and points of commonality in the observations of people who we might otherwise disagree with ideologically we truly are lost.

    I hope Mr Brooks finds a way to continue preaching the gospel of civilized discourse and a 'free market of ideas'

    When you basically see a culture that's not trying to win competition vigorously and civilly and respectfully, but rather trying to shut down competition by any means necessary, that’s like an economy that's going from free enterprise to mercantilism. That’s basically what’s happened. We’ve gone from free enterprise of ideas to mercantilism of ideas. That’s what’s happening on both right and left today.
    When you’re shutting down the competition like this you don’t solve problems. You perpetuate problems, and you simply build up power structures. So all politics becomes a rent-seeking mechanism: my tribe, your tribe. I’m going to get power, I’m going to deny you power as opposed to colluding within the kind of the noble cause of solving ideas by competing at the head. What’s always disappointing to me is when we’re moving in the wrong direction and right now we’re moving in the wrong direction on that by moving to intellectual mercantilism. I want to move to intellectual free enterprise. That’s what I want.
    https://www.politico.com/magazine/st...terview-218364
    Last edited by Bigfella; 16 May 18, at 12:10.


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  7. #922
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    So what does a free enterprise in speech mean? Because the reason we have private agent censorship is because of the battle of ideas, not because of government censorship. The typical refrain goes "free speech doesn't mean protection from the consequences of that speech."

    Not entirely sure what we're aiming for here. But if you take a hot button issue like immigration, a lot of people (nearly the majority) want America to have less immigrants. In some cases a LOT less immigrants. Opponents of this then play the syllogism game, so if you want less immigrants, it means you don't like immigrants, which means you are racist, and then you lose! Or we play the rhetoric game, and if you say "chain migration," that means you are insensitive to the legacy of slavery, even though chain migration is an actual sociological term.

    That's even before going into REALLY touchy stuff, like genetic inheritance of traits and distributions among different races, which flies in the face of blank-slatism (which is not REQUIRED for liberalism, but somehow got totally wrapped in it and are basically identified as the exact same).

    On the flip-side, drug deaths. Oh, come on. You want to stop your opioid overdoses? How about you stop doing the drugs? That's what we would tell the black users, so why is it different when they happen to be from New Hampshire or Iowa or the South? Yeah, your cultures kind of suck and you cope by using drugs, maybe change your culture a bit so it isn't so crappy?
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

  8. #923
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    joe,
    oh, i'm sure this was just puuuuuure coincidence.

    http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southe...-belt-and-road
    Like a banana republic kleptocracy...

    And people complained about Obama "changing" America.

    Good god, did I just say something even slightly favorable about Obama?
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    Arthur Brooks isn't someone who has been on my radar, and the American Enterprise Institute aren't my cup of tea. That said, this is a brilliant interview about the state of America at the moment. Surprisingly upbeat, but also insightful on some of the problems with politics. If we can't find wisdom and points of commonality in the observations of people who we might otherwise disagree with ideologically we truly are lost.

    I hope Mr Brooks finds a way to continue preaching the gospel of civilized discourse and a 'free market of ideas'





    https://www.politico.com/magazine/st...terview-218364
    Political discourse has basically turned into a gigantic Internet Forum at a national level and all the same rules apply. In any heated discussion with divergent viewpoints, sooner rather than later, both sides will stop addressing the arguments and start addressing the person or persons making that argument. This quickly devolves into attempts to invalidate the other side's arguments and shut them down with namecalling. And someone somewhere will mention Hitler.

    Unfortunately, unlike many Internet forums, there are no moderators here and people who are supposedly the leaders will be the first ones to indulge in the worst behaviors seen on 4Chan and Reddit.
    Last edited by Firestorm; 16 May 18, at 19:00.

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    https://www.washingtonpost.com/power...9ab_story.html

    The Senate Intelligence Committee has determined that the intelligence community was correct in assessing that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. election with the aim of helping then-candidate Donald Trump, contradicting findings House Republicans reached last month.

    “Our staff concluded that the [intelligence community’s] conclusions were accurate and on point,” the panel’s vice chairman, Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), said Wednesday in a joint statement with Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), its chairman. “The Russian effort was extensive, sophisticated, and ordered by President Putin himself for the purpose of helping Donald Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton,” Warner continued...
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Arthur Brooks isn't someone who has been on my radar, and the American Enterprise Institute aren't my cup of tea. That said, this is a brilliant interview about the state of America at the moment. Surprisingly upbeat, but also insightful on some of the problems with politics. If we can't find wisdom and points of commonality in the observations of people who we might otherwise disagree with ideologically we truly are lost.

    I hope Mr Brooks finds a way to continue preaching the gospel of civilized discourse and a 'free market of ideas'
    my disagreement with brooks is that this is not a "culture" issue, this is a political structure issue.

    American politics has always been winner-takes-all. we soften the blow via civil norms-- stuff like talk about unity, dual responsibilities by the majority to accept input from the minority, in return for the minority not stonewalling the majority.

    but these are norms without institutional backing, the "it's-just-not-done-old-chap" principle. its primary backing is a long-term appreciation that the political wheel will turn.

    things like ideological sorting, urban clumping, and to a somewhat lesser extent gerrymandering makes political compromise costly, while rewarding confrontation. iconoclasts, especially iconoclasts with no sense whatsoever of the long-term...like a certain sitting President...can furthermore break the very fragile trust that underpins the norms.

    so now we have straight winner-takes-all. the only way to break this cycle is not by nebulous and worthless appeals to "change the culture", whatever that means, but to reform the structure and change political incentives.

    we see evidence of this working in the recent court cases breaking up gerrymandered districts; suddenly candidates in safe districts stop appealing to the fire-eaters and start talking about all the practical bipartisan cooperation they've been up to.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  12. #927
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    The strongest political coalitions we can build from citizens aren't really the kind of structural changes we want. Like, term limits and eliminating "pork-barrel" spending. That's the scary part about building coalitions (particularly populist coalitions) for structural change.

    The House could go a long way into electing the Speaker by the majority party, instead of electing speaker by majority vote.

    I'm really an elitist and feel pretty comfortable with the way the Elite has been running the country, though. Even that idiot Bill Clinton who accidentally won wasn't bad. Dubya was a bit of an idiot but his biggest mistake still had some positives. Obama is the first generation of ideology I don't like, but he had enough of a sense to defer to his advisers. Trump's just a buffoon. Sanders would be even worse. I shudder to think what might be coming down the pipeline. I really don't trust the big names on either side right now, unless Jeb! decides to run again. Cruz in the White House? Fuck no, that's barely better than Trump. Rubio seems like an empty suit pretty boy idiot. The big names on the left are nightmares. Maybe if Schumer or Durbin ran?
    Last edited by GVChamp; 16 May 18, at 21:20.
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  13. #928
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    The strongest political coalitions we can build from citizens aren't really the kind of structural changes we want. Like, term limits and eliminating "pork-barrel" spending. That's the scary part about building coalitions (particularly populist coalitions) for structural change.

    The House could go a long way into electing the Speaker by the majority party, instead of electing speaker by majority vote.

    I'm really an elitist and feel pretty comfortable with the way the Elite has been running the country, though. Even that idiot Bill Clinton who accidentally won wasn't bad. Dubya was a bit of an idiot but his biggest mistake still had some positives. Obama is the first generation of ideology I don't like, but he had enough of a sense to defer to his advisers. Trump's just a buffoon. Sanders would be even worse. I shudder to think what might be coming down the pipeline. I really don't trust the big names on either side right now, unless Jeb! decides to run again. Cruz in the White House? Fuck no, that's barely better than Trump. Rubio seems like an empty suit pretty boy idiot. The big names on the left are nightmares. Maybe if Schumer or Durbin ran?
    IIRC David Brooks (pretty much the champion of genteel elitism) pointed out that while our government is more representative and meritocratic than its ever been, it's not clear that things are being run better on the national level than it was in the days of the smoky cloakroom and the good ol' boys club.

    but regardless, the idea that water will flow back in the bottle is not realistic. even if, for instance, gerrymandering is limited at the national level and Citizens United is repealed, we're never going to approach circa-1940s disciplined Party structure. for that matter, even back then there were some issues that the parties couldn't hold back. FDR could not actively confront the Southern Democrats and when LBJ did, it broke the party.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  14. #929
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    Quote Originally Posted by GVChamp View Post
    Even that idiot Bill Clinton who accidentally won wasn't bad. Dubya was a bit of an idiot but his biggest mistake still had some positives. Obama is the first generation of ideology I don't like, but he had enough of a sense to defer to his advisers. Trump's just a buffoon. Sanders would be even worse. I shudder to think what might be coming down the pipeline. I really don't trust the big names on either side right now, unless Jeb! decides to run again. Cruz in the White House? Fuck no, that's barely better than Trump. Rubio seems like an empty suit pretty boy idiot. The big names on the left are nightmares. Maybe if Schumer or Durbin ran?
    Really good summation, especially of our future options. Only thing to do is grab the popcorn and hold on for dear life.

    I wonder if Uncle Joe will run?

    Ted Cruz.... *shudder*
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    my disagreement with brooks is that this is not a "culture" issue, this is a political structure issue.
    Totally disagree.


    When you basically see a culture that's not trying to win competition vigorously and civilly and respectfully, but rather trying to shut down competition by any means necessary, that’s like an economy that's going from free enterprise to mercantilism. That’s basically what’s happened. We’ve gone from free enterprise of ideas to mercantilism of ideas. That’s what’s happening on both right and left today.

    When you’re shutting down the competition like this you don’t solve problems. You perpetuate problems, and you simply build up power structures. So all politics becomes a rent-seeking mechanism: my tribe, your tribe. I’m going to get power, I’m going to deny you power as opposed to colluding within the kind of the noble cause of solving ideas by competing at the head. What’s always disappointing to me is when we’re moving in the wrong direction and right now we’re moving in the wrong direction on that by moving to intellectual mercantilism. I want to move to intellectual free enterprise. That’s what I want.
    We see this in a certain "science" every day. Where websites are run for the sole purpose of attacking and slandering opposition. Where editors are threatened if they publish certain works. Where universities are pressured to remove those with "wrong" views... anything but engage in reasoned debate with those who disagree. We see the same mentality on college campuses all the time... shout down the opponent and protest and riot... anything but engage in civil discourse, or even let them speak.

    It's very much a cultural issue.

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