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July 01, 2016, 10:27:16 am
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News: Election 2016 predictions are now open!.

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1  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Is Bernie staying in, in the hopes Clinton is indicted? on: Today at 09:51:07 am
Guys, believe it or not, I am aware I was too pessimistic over the primaries and have already taken that into account. However, this is not the same thing as a primary election. Unlike an election, which is a transparent event with virtually unlimited data points, including polls that you can use to say, 'Beet's prediction is a longshot/outlier', the law enforcement elite is a secretive cabal of bureaucrats. There are no direct data points here. The people this forum studies - politicians - are the prey of these people. Studying the prey does not tell you anything about the predator.

Think about this from Loretta Lynch's perspective. If there is no indictment recommendation coming, you're as happy as a peach. You're as high as a kite. Why? Because the FBI make a recommendation and Democrats would be happy and Republicans would have to accept it - the FBI would be the point of focus. Bill Clinton comes over and talks to you - you give him a few positive wink wink, nod nods, knowing that everything is rainbows and butterflies, and that's that.

Now suppose the opposite - the FBI recommends indictment. Now you're sweating like Homer Simpson after being accidentally locked in a sauna for 3 hours. Water is pouring down your shirt like Usain Bolt's after a 100m dash. Because all the heat is going to be on you. You will piss off either Republicans or Democrats on an epic level. So you're looking for any excuse - any. To recuse yourself.

Enter Bill Clinton.

The guy (who should really take a vacation to Tahiti for the rest of the campaign) still wracked with guilt over decades of infidelity and damaging Hillary's career up till now, still can't help himself and goes over to talk to you in your private plane. This obviously, highly inappropriate, egregious breach of ethics gives you the perfect excuse to out yourself. So you do.

The public only sees the end outcome of this. But think like a detective. Today's action suggests that Clinton is finished.

Anyway, want to keep this thread about Bernie. After the indictment he will look vindicated for keeping his campaign going, and that's what he's counting on. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if he had a 'mole' somewhere. Before today, his decisions made no sense. Now, his decisions do make sense.
2  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Is Bernie staying in, in the hopes Clinton is indicted? on: Today at 09:25:37 am
The AG has moved to recuse herself from the case - after meeting with Bill privately, the meeting was "leaked" to the press - a move that was guaranteed to cause a firestorm and give the AG pretext for today's decision.

Which would not be necessary if the FBI was not going to recommend to indict. Today's move only makes sense if an indictment recommendation is coming. Otherwise, Lynch's decision does not logically follow, as there would be no conflict of interest between her political loyalty and her job. Before today,I would have said odds of 1 in 3. But today it's been signaled that an indictment is coming.

Bernie's case is stronger if he hasn't "conceded" because it shows continuity of his argument from the primaries until the post-indictment convention. He has never accepted the verdict of the primaries makes his case going forward, that the delegates should hand it to him, more consistent.
3  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Is Bernie staying in, in the hopes Clinton is indicted? on: Today at 09:16:08 am
If it's after the convention, the VP pick steps up, that's easy.

If it's before the convention, if Clinton has made a VP pick, it would go to an open convention, but the VP pick would have a stronger claim than Biden or Sanders. Hence, why she must make a VP pick ASAP.
4  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Is Bernie staying in, in the hopes Clinton is indicted? on: Today at 09:11:14 am
Yup. Bernie can read the writing on the wall, so why should he drop out now?

Pretty much.

Come to think of it, Hillary shouldn't wait until her interview. She should announce her VP pick as soon as possible, then get her allies to say that, that person will take over in the event she loses delegate support for her person, for any reason. This would be the quickest way to shut the door on Bernie, and unite the party.
5  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Is Bernie staying in, in the hopes Clinton is indicted? on: Today at 09:00:52 am
Yes, pretty much. It makes it logistically easier for him to claim the nomination (Let's be real here, no one gives a ___ about the frickin' platform, least of all Bernie. Even jfern admits no one reads it).

If Clinton feels she may be indicted after her interview, then she must announce her VP pick immediately. That way, that person can then be a backup to potentially take over, just as Gerald Ford took over for Richard Nixon. It's logistically easier than bringing in Joe Biden.
6  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Should Loretta Lynch recuse herself from the Clinton case? on: Today at 08:59:19 am
I've always said that Loretta Lynch is an ultra-objective prosecutor with titanium levels of immunity against political pressure. The Republicans and Clinton critics on here disagreed with me. But once again those people have been proven wrong, as Lynch has removed herself from the case. It's possible her own people even leaked the meeting upon Bill's approach in order to send him a clear signal and use this as a pretext for recusing herself. Bill has screwed up on this one.
7  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Overall, has the trend of globalization been a net positive or negative for the on: June 28, 2016, 05:31:53 pm
Somewhat of a net positive, but well known problems due in large part to the fact that it doesn't work the way it's "supposed" to.

When wealthy (developed countries, in our case) and poor areas (developing countries) join together in a single market (globalization), the starting premise should ideally be that the operative difference is that developed countries are capital-rich whereas developing countries are capital-poor. This is just an extension of the most common sense instinct that to be rich means having more stuff. However, the return on capital from a low base is generally higher than the return from a high base: therefore, the kickoff point of globalization should be capital migration from developed countries with low returns on capital to developing countries with high returns. The owners of capital thus he higher returns, whereas people in poor countries get needed capital. In the meantime, poor countries use their capital to purchase things from rich countries; material which is then used to develop their own productive capacity. Hence, workers in rich countries benefit as well since their countries are running current account surpluses (but capital account deficits). Everyone benefits and things are in balance.

The problem with globalization in practice is that it doesn't work this way. Due to floating currency regime, capital cannot safely migrate from developed countries to developing countries; I never know what when the Developistan peso will suddenly depreciate and its entire financial system will melt down, in which case I lose my investment. The Developistan authorities are also naturally paranoid about this, since financial crises also lead to political turmoil. Hence, instead of capital flowing from rich to poor, it goes the other way- perverse! Developistan builds up huge foreign reserves of dollars, euros, yen, and other "safe" currencies to protect its own financial stability. It can only do this by earning them through net exports, maybe putting them in a sovereign wealth fund, and then ploughing them back into debt instruments of developed countries. The capital-gluttons developed countries are then so bloated with excess capital that interest rates fall to zero, debt levels skyrocket, and asset prices continuously rise. Money that in a healthy world economy would go towards building up Africa instead goes into the Dow Jones or speculative gold or mortgage-backed securities. Meanwhile workers in rich countries are screwed because the poor counties' net export policies cannibalize their own labor and "factories move overseas."

If only the world had followed Keynes' original ideas for the postwar order, of fixed currencies backed by a much stronger IMF/World Bank, the global economy would have worked much better.
8  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Who will the Slient majority vote for? on: June 27, 2016, 04:54:03 pm
Well the MSM and elites are certainly doing everything in their power to make sure it's Trump. Even I want the Washington Post to cool it with their 24/7 wall-to-wall anti Trump/Brexit propaganda just so Trump supporters feel like they can make themselves known. We don't want another situation where Trumpeteers are shamed into silence and you get a 45-42 false lead poll like with Brexit, where people were afraid to say a woman's murder didn't change their vote. These 44-39 style swing state polls make me nervous.
9  General Politics / Economics / Re: Un-skewed economic data on: June 26, 2016, 03:41:57 pm
This site has been around since at least 2009. Its statistics are bunk, but there's some truth to the notion that excluding the cost of owned housing from official CPI artificially depresses it.
10  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: China vs. Japan on: June 26, 2016, 03:32:49 pm
Japan: A country that distinguished itself for its fascism and mass murder, and attacking countries without a declaration of war. Currently in an endless economically depressed funk. Major achievements in the past decade include getting hit by a massive tsunami, allowing five nuclear reactors to melt down, and losing 5-2 to the U.S. in the women's world cup.

China: One of the big four allied powers of WWII, overcame the century of humiliation, liberated peasants and women, helped end the Cold War by switching sides to the U.S., achieved the largest and fastest poverty reduction in human history. Despite recent slowdown still has a dynamic economy. First non-Western country to have a higher GDP (by purchasing power) than any Western country since the industrial revolution. Through 30-year one child policy which prevented 300 million births, has contributed more to environmental conservation than any other nation. Also the world's oldest continuous civilization. Demerits: Suckiness of the current government.
11  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Remain supporters, would you have been comfortable if Remain won on the backs of on: June 26, 2016, 02:09:36 pm
London and Scotland winning out over everywhere else would have been a nightmare scenario both politically for the Remain camp and ideologically for me personally, so no, I would not have been comfortable.

Did you vote in the poll?
12  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Trumpism on: June 26, 2016, 12:19:37 am
There are some good points in this article.

As a son of Chinese immigrants and strong Hillary supporter, you would expect me to hate Trump more than anyone, but I don't-- and it's not just because he's polling so poorly in the GE (although he is-yay Hillary!), Bill Kristol lost his mind on twitter (he did!) or he made a few sick burns against Bush in the debates (although he did, schadenfreude fest!).

The bottom line is, all else equal, as a progressive, Trumpism-as-conservatism is closer to my politics than say, Cruzism-as-conservatism. Compared to the hardline conservative positions on religion, guns, abortion, neocon-hawkish foreign policy and economics, Trump is a moderate. He's a moderate on all of the three traditional major areas of political contention. Most important of these three is economics. I sorely hope that the GOP moderates on economics towards a more working-class message.

The Obama years have proven that the only way you can get something done in this country's political system is either by (a) winning big, which only happens rarely, or (b) getting both parties to agree. While the ACA passed for instance, it was only by the skin of its teeth, and had Arlen Specter stayed with his party or Al Franken gotten 500 fewer votes, or if John Roberts had woken up on the other side of the bed one morning, it would not have gotten done. And it's still not safe. This is no way to get change. The major pieces of 20th century progressive legislation that have endured were bipartisan. All areas of the country except the Dixiecrat South agreed on them. So one of the pathways to getting meaningful policy change to address income inequality (a huge concern for progressives such as myself) is for the GOP to eject the hard core small-government ideology that has dominated it since 1980, and adopt some populist pro-working class messages. The Democrats and Republicans can then find some common ground. If Trumpism is a vehicle to this, so be it.

It's true that Trump's racism is beyond the pale. But at the same time, I'm comfortable that America is not going to turn racist. The very backlash against Trump reassures me of this. In fact, part of me is relieved that the country is talking about real racism again, instead of the 'cultural appropriation' and 'microaggressions' that dominated 2015 and, IMO, trivialized and misrepresented the serious nature of racism. Wearing the wrong Halloween costume is not racism. And if 9/11 and a guy pledging allegiance to the Islamic State massacring 50 people in a nightclub doesn't cause this country to somehow ban Muslim immigration, even temporarily, I'm not worried that it will ever happen. I don't see Trump repealing the Civil Rights Act, or America's universities, employers, and major institutions suddenly denying opportunities to POC en masse. I just don't. If immigrants of color can be promoted to head companies like Google and Microsoft, I see them doing quite well in corporate America. Boris Johnson is the old mayor of London, yes. Sadiq Khan is the new one. So if some f__ker in a trailer park wants to hate on me, it's no skin off my back. I have no plans to visit Arkansas anyway. I would still rather he has health insurance and a good job.

None of this is to say I'm supporting Trump in the General, or even close, but I see some silver linings with him compared to other Republicans, that's all.
13  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Remain supporters, would you have been comfortable if Remain won on the backs of on: June 25, 2016, 12:28:00 pm
Absolutely. Are Leave supporters comfortable that Leave won on the back of non-London England - with disapproval from London, Scotland, and Northern Ireland?

Well Scotland and Northern Ireland can always leave themselves. That leaves mainly London and non-London. Of the two, Londoners already have more economic opportunity, whereas non-London has suffered more by globalization and neoliberalism. So yeah, the latter is important.
14  General Politics / International General Discussion / Remain supporters, would you have been comfortable if Remain won on the backs of on: June 25, 2016, 11:40:07 am
No. The global economy clearly isn't working for a lot of people living outside of London and Scotland, particularly some of the more depressed Labour areas, and it's been this way for a very long time. Although I support Remain from afar, I'm not British and can completely understand why working class people living in these areas -- who normally would have nothing in common with the right wing of the Conservative Party-- would vote this way. It's a cry for help, a desperate appeal to finally get the attention of the elites. A Remain victory for on the back of only London and Scotland would have given said elites excuse to get ignore these "hicks" and slam the door shut on their place in a globslizing future. They said no.
15  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: What the hell is wrong with Florida democrats? on: June 24, 2016, 09:45:16 pm
Warning to state parties: Never, ever, ever, ever, ever lose a national election by 537 votes. 536, if you must. 538 perhaps. But never 537. The PTSD will last 15 years and counting.
16  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Mr. Illini's Chicagoland Township Map Thread on: June 24, 2016, 05:57:37 pm
2016 Democratic Primary for Cook County, IL State's Attorney

A pretty high-profile race. Alvarez was incumbent and criticized for her handling of the Laquan McDonald case.

She was soundly defeated by very strong progressive challenger Kim Foxx (by margins that even Foxx probably didn't expect). Foxx was a Preckwinkle (also known as a reformer) favorite while Alvarez was presumed to be Rahmbo's candidate (although he was fairly mum on the race, avoiding controversy).

The map looks a lot like the Clinton-Sanders map, with Clinton and Foxx largely lining up and Sanders and Alvarez the same. This a tad ironic because Sanders and Foxx were the outsiders in the primary.

It makes sense, though, seeing as though both Sanders and Alvarez were more attractive to Hispanics and middle/working class whites. Sanders for reasons the forum already knows. Alvarez was more popular with Hispanics likely because of her status as a Hispanic individual and more popular with middle/working class whites because of her strong stances against crime.

Clinton and Foxx, meanwhile, more popular with African-Americans and wealthier whites. Clinton, again, for reasons the forum already knows. Foxx was more popular with the black community because she made criminal justice reform her #1 issue, and it helps that she is black herself. I get the feeling that Foxx was more popular with wealthier whites because these areas are more isolated from crime and Democrats in these areas tend to be more progressive on social issues than some of the old-school blue collar white Dems.

Hope you all enjoy! I get the feeling that our Illinois posters will especially. I remember Green Line said he was voting in the Dem primary and voting for Alvarez. Too bad -- bye Anita.

In the Maryland primary, there was something similar with a lot of black Clinton voters going for the outsider candidate, Donna Edwards and Sanders' strongest areas being for Chris Van Hollen.
17  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Sam Spade Memorial Good Post Gallery on: June 24, 2016, 05:52:56 pm
A solid majority of working class whites (outside of the South) are loyal Democrats, and most have more liberal views in general (but particularly on economic issues) than middle and upper class whites (which are the bulk of this forum's posters, so...).

This might be true if you set the income level low enough - it really depends on what constitutes "working class" - but even among the $50k and less crowd, whites are quite surprising in some states.

And holy crap: look at those "white working class" states that are supposedly voting said way because of racism. Look at West Virginia. Of course Atlas doesn't get it:

Romney was a terrible candidate for the white working class, whereas Trump may be a good one.
18  General Politics / Economics / Re: What would happen if a central bank bought and forgave sovereign debt? on: June 24, 2016, 05:48:46 pm
I mean, functionally there would not be much difference than what happens now, when a central bank returns the income it earns from interest back to the nation's treasury.
19  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Military Industrial Complex Debate on: June 24, 2016, 05:28:27 pm
December 7, 1941 irrevocably forced the hand of the United States into world affairs, and the military-industrial complex exists and is a consequence of this forcing (although it was developing before this point as well).

Is it good for American society, domestically? Probably not, although military Keynesianism had some role in stimulating economically underdeveloped parts of the American West and South.

Another underappreciated aspect of the military-industrial complex is that it gives the U.S. reserve currency status, which means that the dollar will always be overvalued relative to what its market value as determined solely by the U.S.'s current and capital accounts would be. That means that structurally, the U.S. is doomed to constantly run trade deficit unless we continually depreciate our currency. The moment we stop depreciating, the currency will jump to a level that will induce a trade deficit.

We also run world monetary policy.
20  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Worst area of the world? on: June 24, 2016, 05:20:41 pm
What - no option for North Korea?

I voted Syria/ISIS territories of course, but I've heard it's actually tolerable in the government-controlled areas. It's the rebel controlled areas that got it hard.

Outside of this probably Central Africa, due in part to the climate - although the Congo River basin is ripe for economic development, in theory.

AfPak - During the 1980s, Pakistan was said to be doing well economically; but it collapsed after U.S. Cold War aid was withdrawn.

During the Ebola crisis, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and eastern Guinea were undoubtedly the worst.
21  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: What to do about the Olympics? on: June 24, 2016, 05:07:31 pm
It's too late to do anything about it now, but people should be advised to stay away, tbh. I would say Chicago should have gotten it, but some Chicago residents circa 2009 weren't too enthusiastic about the prospect, either.
22  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do you miss elementary school? on: June 24, 2016, 05:04:17 pm
I enjoyed it, but I don't miss being four feet tall and having no rights or freedoms, except to roam around the schoolyard.
23  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Name your future children on: June 24, 2016, 04:59:28 pm
I won't have any future children.
24  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Chicago vs. Madison on: June 24, 2016, 04:58:46 pm
Chicago is a beacon of big city life for all those who live in the Upper Midwest and want a taste of it, while still remaining within relative shouting distance of family and friends they grew up with it. So it serves a good purpose. Madison I won't comment on since I've never been there, but it helps keep Wisconsin blue so that's good. And it looks nice.
25  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: bundestag officially recognises the armenian genocide on: June 24, 2016, 04:55:49 pm
Well at least there's some good news from Europe this week.
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