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June 26, 2017, 12:21:21 am
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76  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Preet Bharara and 45 other U.S Attorney's fired by Trump Administration on: March 11, 2017, 06:52:05 pm
I don't understand why they wouldn't ask Bharara to continue staying on. The dude could potentially be a menace to the administration if a special prosecutor is ever needed.

I suggested elsewhere that this would free him up for exactly this role. Although I recall reading the law that empowered the appointment of special prosecutors was superseded in the late 1990s, meaning that Bharara (or anyone else) would have to serve as a Special Counsel rather than a Special Prosecutor.

Anyway, I would think it preferable for a formal inquiry into Russian interference in the election take the form of a Congressionally-mandated commission (ŕ la the 9/11 Commission) rather than any kind of prosecutorial arrangement, to deter perceptions of a witch-hunt. That way it could also be composed of distinguished elder statemen (and -women), as opposed to sitting members of Congress, as would be the case for a Joint Committee.
77  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Vx: Frustrated by liberal universities, conservatives aim to defund and destroy on: March 11, 2017, 06:39:24 pm
The people calling for this are a handful of backbenchers in state legislatures. This is nothing short of whataboutism trying to pretend as if "both sides" are equally hostile to free speech-- but on campus, it's abundantly clear who the people hostile to free speech (or at least desirous of placing onerous burdens on its exercise) are.

It's not all about trying to force universities to hire conservative professors. It's about conservatives trying to starve schools they don't like of funding. It's been happening in a lot of places.

Well, my understanding is that the reduction state funding for public universities and colleges is something that's been happening for for quite a while, more or less independent of any concern over universities' ideological outlook.
78  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Vx: Frustrated by liberal universities, conservatives aim to defund and destroy on: March 11, 2017, 12:22:35 pm
The people calling for this are a handful of backbenchers in state legislatures. This is nothing short of whataboutism trying to pretend as if "both sides" are equally hostile to free speech-- but on campus, it's abundantly clear who the people hostile to free speech (or at least desirous of placing onerous burdens on its exercise) are.
79  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: US private sector created 235K jobs in Feb. vs. 190K est BLS (UPDATED) on: March 11, 2017, 12:14:26 pm

Let's not pretend any mention of the labor force participation rate is merely right-wing concern trolling. The US is a genuine outlier in this regard, which precludes simply waving off the issue by mentioning demographic trends. There was a St Louis Fed report that made this point a while back.



Clearly this trend started around 2000, long before Obama, but the decline's picked up since 2008 and hasn't reversed since then.

All that said, there does appear to be some exuberance ("irrational" or otherwise) about Trump so it does not seem unreasonable to surmise that some of that has already manifested itself in hiring decisions.
80  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Will there be protests in U.K. during Trump's state visit? on: March 11, 2017, 05:57:40 am
When is it scheduled? I'm not convinced this is happening, at least as a full fledged state visit.
81  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: South Korean President Park Geun-hye Impeached, Removed from Office on: March 10, 2017, 11:04:06 am
"Your mistake was allowing independent institutions to remain!"
82  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Flynn also had ties to Erdogan regime in Turkey on: March 10, 2017, 07:11:26 am
Gullen pls coup

Nincompoop.
83  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Utah SEN:Hatch will run again in 2018 on: March 09, 2017, 08:38:35 pm
So this and the Huntsman appointment are mutually confirming, I suppose.
84  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Mnuchin has been asking for people viewed as liberals or HRC donors - WH shocked on: March 09, 2017, 12:39:01 pm
We need to trim the number of politically appointed posts considerably in favor of civil servants, the weakness of which in this country is a considerable contributing factor to the current state of government. Currently there are about 700 Senate-confirmed appointments and 2,000 in total, when should ideally go down to a quarter of that figure (ballpark estimates, of course). A more independent administrative apparatus would strengthen organizational unity, impartiality, and hem in executive overreach and patronage. The Pendleton Act was fine for its time, but that was 130 years ago.

A start would be to form UK-style Permanent Secretary posts in each Cabinet Department.
85  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Rep. Jason Chaffetz Suggests Dispersing Federal Agencies Across the Country on: March 09, 2017, 10:57:46 am
I mean, this does make a good amount of sense.

Move:
Agriculture to Des Moines
Commerce to Detroit
(NOAA to Kansas City)
Justice to Chicago (Including FBI, ATF)
Interior to Denver
Education to Milwaukee
Energy to Atlanta
Health and Human Services to Nashville
HUD to Los Angeles
Treasury to Cleveland
Transportation to Little Rock
Homeland Security to Houston
Veterans Affairs to Charleston W.Va.
Labor to Las Vegas
Defense can stay in Virginia

I mean... its 2017, Cabinet officers can have two offices, one in DC, one at headquarters... the rest of the staff doesn't have to fly that often.
 

This doesn't make sense.  Moving cabinet departments out of DC would be extraordinarily wasteful and only encourage further consolidation of power in the White House Office and weaker accountability. Moving subsidiary agencies is what makes sense.
86  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Rep. Jason Chaffetz Suggests Dispersing Federal Agencies Across the Country on: March 09, 2017, 09:05:18 am
I don't see fault with this: not when Yglesias first proposed it and not now. The DMV has grown to be, what, the fourth or fifth largest metro in the country? I don't see the Federal Reserve moving (at least anywhere other than possibly New York), but for Trump this is an easy way to kill multiple campaign pledges with one stone, although the long-term political effects of moving thousands of highly educated federal employees into the Midwest are unlikely to work in the Republicans' advantage.

That said, the agencies themselves are likely to resist this fiercely, on the grounds that proximity equals access equals influence-- and the thought of having to move to places like, say, Detroit or Columbus. But as Averroes said, the inefficiencies this'll produce are bearable.
87  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: US private sector created 298K jobs in Feb. vs. 190K est.: ADP on: March 09, 2017, 08:58:12 am
Let's not cherry-pick, and let's wait for the official Labor Department report tomorrow. Reuters:

Quote
The ADP report, developed with Moody's Analytics, has a poor track record predicting the private payrolls component of the Labor Department's more comprehensive jobs report. Still, some economists raised their February nonfarm payrolls forecasts.
88  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: BREAKING: Trump claims Obama wire tapped Trump Tower. on: March 09, 2017, 08:46:56 am


Your people are in power and you're still peddling conspiracy theories?
89  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Good news for Donald Trump: Your poll numbers are now better than Hillary's on: March 09, 2017, 08:44:19 am
These are the FAKEST polls that I ever seen.  You should be banned for even posting them.  She's had a huge recovery.

It's a Suffolk poll.
90  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Brownback may soon quit as Kansas governor to become ambassador to UN on: March 09, 2017, 08:42:41 am
After ruining the state and destroying public schools...Brownback decides to call it quits and bail

Quote
At a time when Kansas is facing a serious budget deficit and a court order saying school funding is inadequate, Governor Sam Brownback may be preparing to leave the state for a job in Italy. A former high-ranking government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, tells Kansas Public Radio that Brownback will be named the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations agencies for food and agriculture in Rome. The last person to hold the job also said he's heard Brownback may be selected for the position.
 
The governor's office did not confirm or deny the appointment, but a source tells Kansas Public Radio that the appointment is "a done deal." If Brownback leaves his post, Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer would become governor.
 
“Governor Brownback is focused on working with the Kansas Legislature to balance the budget and pass a modern school funding system,” said Brownback's Communications Director Melika Willoughby when asked for comment.

http://kansaspublicradio.org/kpr-news/source-governor-brownback-leaving-kansas-rome-will-become-ambassador-un-food-and

Since when is the FAO more than one agency? For that matter, the FAO has in many ways been the poster child of all that is wrong with the UN for decades.  It has improved a little in the past few years, going from horrendously abominable to merely abominable, but that Brownback is willing to take the job indicates how desperate he is to cease being Governor or that he has no idea what he's getting himself into. Maybe both.

There's also the WFP and IFAD.
91  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Tender's megathread on crime in Austria on: March 04, 2017, 12:25:32 pm
Yep. People will say this isn't a big deal but it is actually making life worse for people in a small way and it's part of what will undoubtedly become a larger trend.

Because of third world immigration and homelessness (two problems that are very much connected), New York City lacks a lot of amenities that other cities have. Public bathrooms had to be closed. Not as many businesses offer wifi. Public parks close at night. Supermarkets close at 8 or 9pm because they can't afford to pay people due to high rents.

Clearly you're familiar with a different New York City than I. First off, the case for linking "third world immigration" (see also: my post responding to CountryClassSF on AAD) with homelessness is extremely tenuous, to put it mildly. A majority of the homeless in NYC are black (i.e.: not immigrants), and an overwhelming majority street homeless. The proportion of Hispanics is broadly in line with their share of the overall city population.

Obviously, there's a homeless problem, and it's been getting worse in recent years. If you were acquainted with the actual New York, you'd know about those kiosks they put up last year at which the homeless setting up camp and watching porn until they blocked the websites, and now they've basically been disabling them except for emergency use. The street homeless seem to be getting more aggressive, and while it's still not as bad as San Francisco, it's likely "progressive" interests will continue to work against enforcement of existing laws. Again, this doesn't have much to do with migration!

But what really struck was the claim that groceries close at 8-9pm (!), which bears no relation to my experience; the two groceries nearest to me are open 24/7 and others are open until 10-12. I also don't get what high commercial rents have to do with homelessness.
92  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Six Russian Ambassadors have died 'Unexpectedly' since election day on: March 04, 2017, 11:49:29 am
Please, let's be precise. Three ambassadors have died, one consul, and two other diplomats. One was shot in public. We don't even know if this is an unusual rate-- no one has compared it to other periods.

Let's not potentially "Bannon-ize normalcy" yet again.


(Title modified for accuracy - Kalwejt)
93  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Breaking: Trump to propose permanent residency for millions of illegal immigrnts on: February 28, 2017, 07:08:40 pm
"Trump to propose permanent residency for millions of illegal immigrnts (sic)"

"Bannon is reportedly trying to talk Trump out of repealing Obamacare"

PIVOT! PIVOT! PIVOT!
94  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: President Trump orders his steak well done with ketchup on: February 28, 2017, 04:37:28 pm
Getting snooty about to eat steak is like getting snooty about how to drink soda. It's garbage food anyway, so who could possibly care! The cultural faults on display here are bizarre. Narcissism of small differences, I guess.

It pains me to say this to you, of all people, but this is nonsense, and it's hardly snooty. Your Joe Six-Pack in Tallahassee is probably just as likely to feel strongly about this as an executive on the Upper East Side.
95  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The free markets war on coal continues:Largest coal plant in W US shutting down on: February 28, 2017, 04:32:37 pm
West Virginia is pretty enough that, even absent structural changes to the American economy to better distribute opportunity throughout the country, it could probably develop a reasonably vibrant tourism economy provided the remaining coal barons stop blowing all the mountains to smithereens.

West Virginia: the new Berkshires! Maybe one should start buying land for country estates now while it's still cheap.
96  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: President Trump orders his steak well done with ketchup on: February 28, 2017, 03:32:30 pm
Smash the barbarians! It's not about being cosmopolitan or elitist. It's about eating your steak like a sane, normal human being. The archetypical Texas everyman Hank Hill understood this perfectly well:

...Not a single Hank Hill quote?  Sad!





If you order a $60 steak only to have it burnt to a puck and then slather it with ketchup, you simply don't know what you're doing, and no amount of money in the world can change that. And if you don't know that, one can hazard there's a lot of other things you don't know how to do properly, or rather-less-than-subtle details you're incapable of picking up on.

A wise(r) man who insists upon burning his meat would at least have the sense not to waste a decent cut and use, I don't know, a chuck steak.
97  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: 63% of African Americans feel taken for granted by the democratic party on: February 28, 2017, 03:24:14 pm
I have been saying for years and years that the Democratic Party has taken the African American vote for granted for generations.

Let me ask the powers that be in the Democratic Party

In spite of the fact that African Americans have been your most loyal constituency for generations, not once have you seen fit that an African American should be on the Presidential ticket.

Why?

Winfield, my friend, you've lost me here.
98  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: 63% of African Americans feel taken for granted by the democratic party on: February 28, 2017, 03:23:24 pm
The way to not feel taken for granted by one party is to become swing voters.

Gee, if only the Republicans had an outreach programme that encouraged black people to vote for th-

99  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Trump/USA considering joining the British Commonwealth on: February 28, 2017, 11:30:47 am
This is amazing yet terrible.
100  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Second Jewish cemetary vandalized, this time in Philadelphia on: February 28, 2017, 11:15:36 am
I'll also note that every Jew doing that would be tantamount to ethnic cleansing, there would thus be no Jews remaining in the US.

Voluntary migration is now "ethnic cleansing"? This is a new level of illogic, even for you.
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