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Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy

Eric Cantonese posted:

The Federal Reserve sticking with high interest rates is going to help Trump a lot. I'm not convinced that the kind of inflation we're seeing is going to be fixed by trying to do another Volcker shock



If we do reach the supposed goal of 2% inflation (which I'm not sure is really a realistic thing), I don't think any of us are going to like how we got there.
Inflation has pretty much fallen, and there is no indication in the forecast of anything that would push it back up. No Volker shock required.

https://twitter.com/paulkrugman/status/1712494317024026761

Medium-term forecasts show the rate returning to its 21st century average and interest rates, eventually, also falling. Global inflation is falling (and the US has been performing better than global inflation pretty much this whole time.)

Now, it’s extremely understandable that people are still upset because prices don’t fall, and people want them to fall, because they’re high. But the lost ground has to be made up through wage growth, which takes some time. Every month that goes by between now and Nov 24 is likely to see an improvement in people’s feelings about inflation (barring the usual gas price rage.)

I think given the actual CPI numbers Powell might be actually kind of hoping for a recession in continuing to raise rates, and I think Biden should absolutely fire him. But he might be done raising rates - it’s thought that if anything there will be one more. Many Fed governors don’t want increase rates again at all.

October CPI report comes out on Nov 14, it’s almost guaranteed to be below 3% YOY (Sept and Aug were a little elevated because of a gas price spike that has subsided.)

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Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy
There is also a theory that public opinion tracks with three year inflation more than YOY, and that figure has just tipped into falling in recent weeks. (YOY has been falling for about a year.)

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy
Congratulations to Speaker Mike Johnson, I loved him in the ‘96 Olympics.

Leon Trotsky 2012 posted:

That doesn't really change the political impact of the perception, though.

You mention it, but kind of glaze over that this is the primary problem:

Even if real wage gains are back on track and inflation is falling, it doesn't really matter if people still feel like prices are too high and won't come down.
Sorry, didn’t mean to glaze over it. It’s a key part of the politics of the issue. It’s why I said people would feel better over the next 12 months, not that they will feel good. If Biden can tie Trump in polls when his economic approval is 35 then it’s hard to imagine Trump making a run if it’s 40 or 45.

Bar Ran Dun posted:

Ex -food -shelter -energy -cars lol
That’s not about gaming the numbers, it’s about excluding volatile prices. The numbers that include those items have been going in the same direction.

Eric Cantonese posted:

we have been seeing a situation throughout the past couple of years where inflation has affected the purchasing power of a lot of people. While you are seeing wage increases, inflation is eating into how much those are helping.
Thus is true, but people also respond relatively positively when polled about their personal finances. There is absolutely a perception that is out of step with people’s actual experience. The political messaging problem is real, but we need to acknowledge that economic sentiment has become decoupled from economic performance in a profound way.

No, you’re not going to fix the political problem by telling people “your sentiment is decoupled from people’s lived experience,” but the perception being arguably incorrect is an important thing to take into account when figuring out what could fix it. (I have no clue what could, and it might very well be “time.”)

Misunderstood fucked around with this message at 18:30 on Oct 25, 2023

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy

FizFashizzle posted:

This is D&D so I'm not going to get into any salacious rumors or things I can't back up with evidence, but if you read this article...

https://www.the-sun.com/news/us-news/2321058/marjorie-taylor-greene-alleged-affairs/

This is a pro click right here. MTG had an affair with Zangief!

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy
Many interesting conversations. I think this is really at the heart of it:

Gumball Gumption posted:

"Do you support x candidate" is the general way to ask if someone is voting for a candidate. It's not weird to call voting for someone support.
Words can mean subtly different things in different contexts. "Support" in the sense of "help facilitate the election of" and "support" as in "endorse the character and complete set of policy positions of" are not exactly synonyms of each other/themselves.

Of the definitions of “support” I would say that voting for somebody does include these kinds of support:

- give material assistance to
- be actively interested in and concerned for the success of.
- endure; tolerate.

But others seem to think it also includes these kinds of support:

- give approval, comfort, or encouragement to.
- bear all or part of the weight of; hold up.
- suggest the truth of; corroborate.

And then there’s one, “enable to function or act,” and how you fall on that one depends on what definition of “enable” you’re using, so it starts to get fuzzy there.

But I feel like those who are considering the broader set of definitions to be implicit in voting are not thinking in a way that is consistent with the majority of the population, or the way voting has generally been thought of historically, or in a way that even practical given how many possible viewpoints there are among 300,000,000 people. Almost nobody gets to vote for exactly who they want and most of them are voting for themselves.

It seems like there is some conception of voting as some kind of a parasocial relationship, but as others have said, it is not difficult, and nobody knows if you did it, and you don’t have to think about or care about it any longer than it takes to do. It is the tiniest nudge, and most people do not consider it to be a reflection on their personality, or a declaration that the person they are voting for is a good person, or somebody they like, or whether they agree with their views. They consider it what it is - a drop in a bucket, and buckets are filled by drops.

The Top G posted:

How does this theory account for the illegal status of cannabis in the face of longstanding bipartisan majority support?
Bipartisan support for legal cannabis has pretty clear effects. Recreational weed is legal in…

ME MA CT NY NJ MD VA IL MO MN NM AZ CO CA NV OR WA MT MI

17 of those 19 states voted for Joe Biden in the 2020 election, and a majority of them have had Democrat-dominated governments for years or decades.

Public sentiment on marijuana is so well known that the government, even under the right wing party, does not exercise what is legally its right, which is for federal agencies to raid and shut down every dispensary in the entire country and put the people running them in prison for eleventy billion years. If people were pissed about weed being legal, and blaming crime on it, Republicans would 100% be arguing for a crackdown and it would be pretty scary. Public sentiment arguably matters even more than donor cash because, after all, you’re only using that cash to influence how voters feel, and sometimes you can’t convince them.

Skex posted:

Biden's stance and actions as little as they may be is different and frankly a huge shift from what has come before. There is way to much institutional inertia in US foreign policy for any President to make the kind of shift you are suggesting should be the litmus test. It's just not going to happen and if he tried we'd be watching impeachment proceedings before the week was out.
I'm a little skeptical that Biden is applying as much pressure as he could be, and the way he's approaching the conflict is certainly putting a lot of moral weight on the US and making us complicit in however far Israel goes (which is already way too far). But there is truth to this. There’s a limit to how much you can turn up the heat on a longtime ally when they haven’t ceased to be popular domestically, even if I think Biden could be turning it up more than he is. When you are 100% on the side of an oppressor in a conflict for decades*, there's no more difficult and more significant 1% than going from 100 to 99.

And of course we all know that Biden has played a role in maintaining that 100% support for decades. But there is a clear shift - and that’s because because it’s clearly what a significant chunk of Democratic voters want.

And to go back even farther in the discussion than I already am, it’s like Main Paineframe said - those voters want that because people passionately explained what was really happening in Israel to people who had been fed a cartoon cutout version and advocated for justice. Changing minds is where everything starts.

FLIPADELPHIA posted:

None because my single vote doesn't ever change an outcome.
It's a small thing that is done by a large number of people that makes a big difference. Voting fulfills at least as many definitions of "collective action" as it does "support."

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy

Digamma-F-Wau posted:

oh there's actually a term for that: Combined Approval Voting
Oh wow. I'm sure there are some horrible unintended consequences I'm not thinking of, but that idea is kind of appealing when it's already how most people are voting.

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy

Tnega posted:

In much the same way that there is no ethical consumption under capitalism, there is no ethical voting in democracy. I have made peace with the death and misery my voting has caused, and I accept I am a monster for wearing clothes.
This is a terribly toxic attitude and not at all the correct way to think about global injustice, or a way of thinking about it that is going to make it improve. If you are willing to be more understanding of people who make complex choices, to have whatever influence they can on the effed situation they find around themselves, you will also be able to extend that kindness to yourself, and your life will be better for it.

Gyges posted:

Hell is filled with voters and non-voters in equal measure. All are guilty, and must be punished for their sin of being born in a Democracy.
I know that that's kind of a joke, but is it possible that a desire to avoid complicity in our nation's actions is a/the reason there are so many anti-Democratic impulses at the moment? Maybe on a subconscious level?

Owling Howl posted:

People seem mostly diinterested in whatever human misery takes place as long as the US is not in some way involved. Half a million people died in Ethiopia and Sudan last year. Haiti has descended into warlordism and low level civil war. No one cares. When the US was more actively involved in the Yemen war people cared a lot about Yemeni civilians dying but now Yemeni deaths are not interesting anymore.
Yes, the outsized amount of attention that is paid to Israel and Palestine - and I'm not saying that it's too much, per se, just that it's a lot more than similarly deadly and unjust conflicts worldwide - reflects a bunch of overlapping disturbing facets of US politics.

- The overextension of foreign influence, particularly in the Middle East, that has resulted in its politics having an inappropriately close relationship with those of the US,
- The public's general indifference to thinks that don't directly or secondarily impact the United States,
- People's general obsession with Bible Things

And those are just the problems with the prominence of the conflict in the discourse - the problems represented by the side we have taken are a much longer list.

Ms Adequate posted:

I mean, America could try something like spending all the effort and money currently put to the military on some kind of massive global relief corps-cum-development agency. Imagine how popular and beloved the US would be if they were spending nearly a trillion dollars annually on building infrastructure, providing clean water, running hospitals, clearing up after earthquakes, and so on.
We would be popular and beloved for the 18 months until the next election, when our extremely morally flawed populace brutally punished the administration responsible for spending money on Americans' most hated expenditure, foreign aid. People hate foreign aid when it's less than 1% of the budget; imagine if we were spending a quarter of our defense budget on it - a psychotic strongman promising to use that military capacity for conquest would be elected almost immediately. It's sad, and I loving hate it, but that really is how it is, and my not voting would have absolutely no effect towards changing it. Which is why it goes back to changing minds - activism, yes, but also the creation of art, and interactions and thought exchange between individual people.

The idea of the US military engaging with the world that way is a beautiful fantasy to us, but implausible as it is, it's a horrible nightmare to many. We have to make it so that there are decisively more of the former than the latter.

World Famous W posted:

that was clearly on regards to if ill vote for them, not only about what i think of them
In terms of moral character, and possibly real world impact depending on the way you engage with the world, how you vote for or against a politician is less important than how you "think of them."

If you think something a President is doing is 100% morally inexcusable, and you vote for them because of other issues, and because your vote wouldn't affect that thing, you still do honestly believe that the thing is morally inexcusable. You have not compromised that. You just checked a box on a form.

If you want to really feel like you have genuinely expressed an objection to this, you are not going to do it in a voting booth, or by making a big show online about not going into one.

FLIPADELPHIA posted:

Same. All electoral politics is Lesser of X Number of Evils, but that doesn't mean the least of the evils is acceptable.
If it's going to happen no matter what you do then you are not "accepting" it. We all "accept" it, because none of us are going and self-immolating on the National Mall to express our displeasure with it. We just continue living our lives in this country whose government and military are currently complicit in an active genocide, and a very unsubtle one at that. Not voting for Joe Biden doesn't mean you "didn't accept it" any more than anybody else, and giving yourself any "moral points" for that is a strange thing to do, in my eyes - and that also means that that no "points" are deducted by taking the other route and pulling the lever.

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy

OddObserver posted:

Yes, [without US backing, Israel] would completely lose the little restraint they have.
Yes, Israel (correctly) perceives that they would not have been able to maintain their state for as long as they have without the direct and unwavering support of the most powerful military in the history of the world. If they lost that support, I think they would view themselves as having "nothing to lose," and that's a pretty scary prospect. A scared animal in a corner that has nuclear weapons.

That puts the US in a situation where it must cover itself in the blood of Palestinian children, in full sight of the world, as the only means to possibly prevent further deaths of Palestinian children. That's the result of decades of US policy. Joe Biden played a small but integral part in those decades of policy, but there is little he can do now to reverse its effects immediately or in the short term.

theCalamity posted:

I don’t vote for people who support genocides so I don’t get where you think I support one
I don't think you support genocides, and I think it's weird that you think people who vote for abortion rights and wealth redistribution do, especially when voting against those people would have no effect on whether or not there's a genocide.

Gumball Gumption posted:

f you don't vote for the genocider there will be blood on your hands from the genocide
Yes. That's the sad reality of living in America in 2024, and literally nothing any of us do can change it. There is no reason to wallow in it when we can focus on doing whatever we can to improve that, or any other situation, which, for people with no official power, means convincing people that what's happening is bullshit and should be stopped.

Letting Israel twist in the wind, or making sweeping, immediate changes to our diplomatic relations, would absolutely be a political liability, and could directly empower Donald J. Trump - that's not something Biden is imagining. If that wasn't the case, he would be acting differently! Public sentiment is moving in Palestine's direction and that will only accelerate as long as Israel continues their atrocities - I hope both that the sentiment moves fast enough, and that the administration responds to it quickly enough, that the US will put a stop to what's happening soon. I'm not optimistic, though.

The funding we're currently sending doesn't have anything to do with Israel committing genocide against the Palestinians - they already have more than enough bombs and goons with guns to kill every last one and level every building in Gaza. It's a mostly symbolic act in the present, that will go towards making Israel's disproportionately powerful military more powerful in the decades to come - should Israel continue to exist in its current form for decades, which, Inshallah, it will not. Bear in mind I would be equally opposed to a genocide of Jews in Israel, because although they are the direct descendents of colonizers, they live where they live... but like, this "Jewish state" thing is clearly not working.

Obviously the Brooklynites in the West Bank need to GTFO immediately.

theCalamity posted:

I live in a very red state with a winner takes all system lol. My vote for president doesn’t really factor into who gets to win.
Arguably this is true, but I do think that governments respond to the national popular vote. If Trump had taken office with 54% of the vote in 2016 I think that Congress would've been far more aggressive in trying to implement his insane agenda than they were when he got 47%. Maybe it's a stretch but I would argue it matters enough to go over to the library for 15 minutes.

Gumball Gumption posted:

We've absolutely lost it as a country.
The country we live in has lost it. And we are part of it. But I think we can do ourselves the kindness of distinguishing that we have not lost it, and that if we could pull 5-10% of people to the side of doing the right thing (which, no, does not mean the same thing as getting them to vote for Democrats) then it will make our country much more likely to do the right thing. This is, to some extent, a real representative Democracy - which makes what the country is doing more terrible, not better, because that responsibility is more widely shared. But if we voice our opposition we are genuinely attempting to move the needle.

And like I said, that's not something that is done with voting. It's just definitely not something that is done by not voting, or by the Green candidate getting 1.1% instead of 0.8%.

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy

Misunderstood posted:

Yes. That's the sad reality of living in America in 2024, and literally nothing any of us do can change it. There is no reason to wallow in it when we can focus on doing whatever we can to improve that, or any other situation, which, for people with no official power, means convincing people that what's happening is bullshit and should be stopped.
To follow up on this,

The fact that US public sentiment, particularly on the left and among liberals, has started to tilt against Israel's atrocities is starting to seep into the discourse of the highest levels of media that directly influence the actions of politicians, and are influenced themselves by the opinions and desires of those same politicians.

Here are some New York Times opinion columns and op-eds from the last two days:

quote:

‘We Are Overpaying the Price for a Sin We Didn’t Commit’ - Israel has every right to defend itself and fight terrorists. But is this really the best way?

I'm a Pediatrician from Gaza. Please Save us From the Horror.

I Fought for the IDF in Gaza. It Made me Fight for Peace.

A Man Orphaned by Hamas Calls on Israel: Stop the 'Cycle of Blood'.

A Dispatch From The Muslim Girl Scouts of Astoria: A young activist in Queens supports Palestinian aspirations
It is hard to overstate how much this is not the way the conflict has been covered in the past. It feels like the Times is attempting to stop this war every bit as much as they were trying to start the Iraq war - and I think that comes directly as a result of government encouragement, just as it did in the case of Iraq.

edit: IOW, I think Joe Biden thinks it is the right thing morally for the war to end as quickly as possible, and I think he is the thinks it is the best thing for him politically for the war to end quickly, and I think he is doing everything he can to make it end quickly. It's just that, because of hundreds of decisions that have been made since 1948, we have put ourselves in a position where this sorry display may actually be the best effort we can practically make at doing so, at least without directly empowering fascists in our country, who would then be in control of the same gigantic military. They would let Israel do whatever they wanted and then go do their own damage elsewhere.

Misunderstood fucked around with this message at 19:49 on Oct 29, 2023

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy

Tnega posted:

I will support for things that I will support, when I support them, and because where and when I do this is effectively random due to not having a say as to where my existence began I have no delusions that anything I do is moral.
OK, well if you want to argue that being a "monster" is part of the human condition, I'm not going to fight you on that one. We are an extremely bizarre and terrifying animal and it seems like a good word. You monster!

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy

Fister Roboto posted:

And I don't even think that will happen, because he's probably made the mathematically correct decision that any votes he loses from pro-Palestinian voters won't outweigh the votes he would lose from pro-Israel voters (or more likely the money he would lose by pissing off AIPAC)

This is kind of a tangent, but because I've been trying to demonstrate the power of voter sentiment, I just wanted point out that this overly cynical. The votes matter more than the AIPAC money, by a lot.

AIPAC donates about $13,000,000 a year to political candidates. These contributions are not terribly tilted towards party or the other. That means if the Democrats told AIPAC to go pound sand, they'd lose $7,000,000. The total spending in the 2020 election was 14.4 billion (almost $50 per American.) The loss of AIPAC funds would be 0.01% of that amount. (And of course they wouldn't lose all funding, there are extremely pro-Zionist Democrats who would continue to receive funding no matter what the President did.)

Meanwhile, we're talking about an issue that people are so passionate about that it has completely dominated the news for three weeks and generated more strong public opinion than any foreign policy event since arguably the beginning of the war in Iraq.

The political calculations the administration makes are based on how voters feel, not campaign contributions, and it's not even close. While I do not think Ilhan Omar was being anti-Semitic when she said it was all about the Benjamins, I don't think she was right. (And I think she was mostly just making a pun about the PM's name while also calling attention to fundraising ethics issues, not literally saying US support for Israel was 100% bought.)

Fister Roboto posted:

This isn't doomerism or nothing matters
If "I am 100% sure that the system is going to fail completely and nothing can be done that will change that" isn't "doomerism" then "doomerism" has no coherent meaning. You are literally saying the country has a fate that cannot be changed. That's what doom is!

Fister Roboto posted:

Everything loving sucks but I don't think any good can come out of yelling at each other over
I think the tone of the conversation has been appropriately measured, at least over the last few pages. It's good to think critically about complex moral issues, and talking them out helps, even if everybody isn't on the same page.

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy

Fister Roboto posted:

That's only if you think that we're doomed if the American political system falls apart.

I guess I was pulling a :goonsay: and using "doom" to mean "an inescapable destiny." But that's semantics. Sorry for the brief silly derail. Anyway...

I think there is still a gigantic variability in outcomes in the extremely near-term future, and also no reason that the low point of the medium- or long-term future has to be at any particular level. The world could be slowly healing or a smoking crater in 2025 based on the vagaries of the oil market in October 2024. That's scary as hell, but it's how it is. I just don't think there's any particular reason that the range of future outcomes doesn't include "the system limps along, indefinitely," or "the situation improves at a frustratingly slow pace." Today's administrative centers of global power came all the way back from two world-rending global wars in a 30 year span, and things have not gotten anywhere near as bad as they did that era, to say the least, or even the late 1960s.

I'm sure there were plenty of people in any of those eras, perhaps even a majority of educated people, who would've strongly doubted you if you would've told them that the world map was basically unchanged in the year 2023 (outside of the USSR losing 20% of its territory), or that we'd still be tracking the "Dow Jones", or that global population and GDP would still be increasing apace, in the wake of a pandemic no less, or that the same three corporations (bloated with decades of acquisitions) would still control American mass media. In the early 1950s half of scholars believed civilization would have been totally extinguished by now. The world order has proven much, much more stable than people have tended to expect.

In any case, I think as long as the step between "better world" and "collapse of existing global order" remains "????" then preferring the existing global order not collapse, or that it slowly break apart rather than implode spectacularly, doesn't really require some ideological fealty to the status quo.

Fister Roboto posted:

That is absolutely not true considering the problems that I already pointed out: voting on the national level is infrequent (every other year at best); you can't vote on specific issues on the national level; and the representatives that you do elect aren't necessarily bound to do the things that they promised to do.

I mean, just look at the Civil Rights movement. Did they get what they wanted by just voting the right people into office? Hell no, they got out and marched.
Representatives aren't "bound" to constituent sentiment and there is actually a pretty robust track record of politicians getting walloped in elections if they piss off the electorate, so I can't really understand acting like there's no accountability for misrepresenting yourself. (I also think a lot of people consider trying to do something and failing to be equivalent to not actually intending to do it, which I think is not sensible for a lot of reasons, but whatever. There are also a lot of districts where you don't want Representatives to be bound to constituent sentiment... 😬)

Voting does not change things on its own and it's weird how many times people have to keep saying that when nobody has said that it does. But what would have happened if everybody let conservatives win all the elections in the 1960s, and put fierce opponents of LBJ's policies in office? Would the protests have worked even better, or would those protests have been brutally put down? In the political system that is currently dominant in most of the world, voting is not sufficient, but it hard to imagine how it is not a prerequisite for major change.

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy
I suppose I could imagine a political force in the US making an impact without an electoral process but it's the one whose followers average like six guns a head, not us.

FlamingLiberal posted:

Climate change has already begun to have an effect on the global status quo, and it's just going to increase as the climate becomes more unstable.
Ayup. There's no way to know what the future will bring, but I am not exactly clamoring to buy "the next 100 years" stock right now. Although the price is really low... the bigger point is, you don't have to smash the status quo to keep it from persisting, you can rest assured that it will not persist, no matter what. What the next status quo looks like, or what the transition to it looks like, has yet to be determined.

Misunderstood fucked around with this message at 23:46 on Oct 29, 2023

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy
It's really hard to believe that somebody could think they weren't hurting trans people by refusing to vote for Democrats when the other party, upon winning, has promised and demonstrated that they will impose the harshest laws possible to punish trans people and refuse them healthcare. If you are still somehow finding a way to say to yourself that you aren't hurting them by withholding your vote, I really, really don't understand how.

If you don't want to vote because you think it somehow upholds the status quo in a way that not voting doesn't, then at least have the courage of your convictions to say that the horrors inflicted on trans people and unwillingly pregnant women are worth it, because of the bigger picture. Don't try to pretend you aren't directly refusing to help those people.

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy

Elephant Ambush posted:

the difference between what Democrats deliver and what Republicans deliver is almost imperceptible.
There is discussion on this very page of major gains being made in the union movement, and massive concessions won by the UAW, with plans to expand. This was done with the direct support of the President, who has supported unions for his entire 50-year career and walked the picket line with workers.

Do you think this would be happening if Republicans controlled the Department of Labor right now? Or is it "imperceptible"?

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy
I get a sense that the arguments that are made against voting for Democrats in online leftist spaces can (and would) be extended to the point where, as long as any problems or injustices exist, Democrats are responsible for them, and so are those who vote for Democrats. (I'm not ascribing that behavior to anybody here; just noting that it's the direction these conversations tend to go in.) So I'm afraid I'm going to have to agree with those who are questioning the fruitfulness of the discussion. It appears to be an inflexible decision, made out of emotion, searching for its own intellectual justification. I may be misunderstanding, but if that's the case, I think I am probably not going to ever understand. It's just yet another new front of mutual unintelligibility on the American political spectrum... :/

Misunderstood fucked around with this message at 03:54 on Oct 31, 2023

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy

Best Friends posted:

there’s simply a lot more right republicans
Right. Do you... not see how this is relevant to the discussion we're having? I know that things get forgotten as pages go on, but some posters were really trying to emphasize the idea of political persuasion. And I realize that it's unsatisfying that, especially for those without the time or personality for activism, a major part of politics is just going out into the world and representing your values well, and hoping millions of others do the same.

If you think there are more right Republicans than left Democrats (which, of course, you are completely correct about), insisting that we must have a leftist government, and completely refusing to participate otherwise, is just a wholesale rejection of democracy.

Neurolimal posted:

Pretty much. By design Leftism in the West has been constructed to be extremely divisive, fragmented, terrified of success, and without a history. That its ideas have as much support as it does is a testament to how enduring those ideas are, even when they're watered down and delegitimized. It's been built around make-work solutions and stripped of understanding of what actually makes change happen; Threat.
If "leftism" has "been constructed by design," in the passive voice like that, then there's not really any surprise that it's not politically effective. Real political movements are self-motivated and self-directed. If you want to say "leftism can't work because of oppression," that's an oversimplification I can't really agree with, but if you're going to say "leftism can't work because 'they' made us all mad at each other" then you're just saying that your political project sucks at everything and needs to get its act together.

Even if the left was "constructed" to be divisive, you don't have to indulge that "construction" by telling people not to vote for politicians that are to the left of the ones they are running against.

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy

Gort posted:

leftism in the West is 30% secret policemen by weight which also doesn't help
Do you have a citation for this?

And no, anecdotes about the Cold War CIA don't count. It's 2023.

In any case, we know for a fact that Feds embed themselves in far right groups (remember those idiots who went along with a "kidnap Gretchen Whitmer" plot some FBI guy roped them into?), and it doesn't stop the far right from being politically effective.

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy
I don't vote in that country, and that country is not what this thread is for discussing, and it's pretty glaringly obvious that the US Democrats are better than (the extremely low bar set by) Labour. I think it's pretty off-base act like they're equivalent.

Kalit posted:

If all of these groups only have a collective of ~500 people since 1968, I think they just might have a recruiting problem…
Yeah, I wasn't really questioning whether federal agents infiltrate leftist groups; of course they do. It's just the "30%" figure, while kind of obvious hyperbole, is probably misrepresenting a number like 0.3%, and is making the problem of government interference seem far more significant, and more impossible to overcome, than it is.

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy

Gort posted:

"leftism in the West" is what was discussed. But I'm sure there's plenty of similar stuff in the US.
You did cite "the left in the West" and not "the US left" so you're right, and you didn't redirect the conversation as much as I thought you did, at least not in that post. Sorry.

But the larger conversation is about voting in the US, and Democrats (and their contrast with Republicans, who we should be sure to mention in these discussions). Being "sure" there's "plenty of similar stuff in the US" is not really a demonstration thereof.

One thing that makes a difference in the way the US and UK treat protest groups is the first amendment. No, the first amendment isn't (and can't be) treated as an absolute, and no, the government is not always appropriate with their restrictions on it, but it does make a huge difference in how law enforcement handles dissent.

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy
E: quote not edit.

Misunderstood fucked around with this message at 12:51 on Oct 31, 2023

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy

Gyges posted:

Here's an Intercept article about a 2020 FBI op

All of FBI history has shown that they're far more interested in spying on and destroying anyone even vaguely extra-liberal. Meanwhile their efforts to infiltrate the right are hamstrung by themselves being comprised of fascists and whores of capital. The number of domestic activists and organizers who have been killed by the US Government vs domestic right wing agitators is so unbalanced that to say it's exponentially greater is to under sell.
Again, my dispute was with the idea that it's nigh-ubiquitous, and that it is impossible to overcome, not that it happens. But thank you for the interesting link.

Also, people should remember that the FBI acting that way is not something that is written in the stars (well, ACAB, but bear with me) - does anybody remember Obama redirecting DHS resources towards fighting domestic right-wing terrorism and Congress having a shitfit about it? That means it's yet another situation that can improved by voting - even if it is at the discretion of the executive and frustratingly slow.

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy

Heck Yes! Loam! posted:

Cops investigating right wing terror is kinda like letting the fox investigate the missing chickens.
socialsecurity is right, the preemptive and day-of response to Jan 6 would have been very different and it’s near-certain that more than one participant would be killed. (And the higher percentage of minorities among the crowd, the more brutality.) That’s the nature of having cops and military be the ones who respond to such things - bear in mind that this tendency is more pronounced under a Republican administration (like we had on Jan 6.) But who should be investigating domestic terrorism? You want muckrakers trying to infiltrate heavily armed militias, or something?

I mean, it is pretty clear that the FBI, by and large, sucks. Giuliani loyalists in the Southern NY office are arguably responsible for Trump’s entire presidency. But the problem is not the letters “FBI,” or the idea of federal investigative agencies; it’s the people who run it and their priorities that are the problem. And you can’t just clear it out overnight, especially when the president has pledged to let the DOJ operate independently.

It’s unsatisfying*, but I think the proper course of action is working on improving the conduct of the FBI, and its transparency, so as to make sure it is holding itself to those standards. It is not to abolish the FBI, which is currently a goal of the far right, who can see clearly that the (highly educated, professionalized) FBI is hostile to their goals, because their goals include doing lots of crimes.

The FBI is run by “cops,” but without it the American public would absolutely be subject to more right wing terror, more scams, more organized crime, more wage theft, more civil rights violations. The FBI is not the people out kneeling on black men’s necks until they die, and it does valuable things. Unless you are insistent that all forms of “law enforcement” need to go in a single bucket, it is pretty clear that they are distinct from cops on the street and have different (and arguably fewer) moral weaknesses.

* Re: dissatisfaction: sometimes things are unsatisfying, but we have to live with them. We all accept this in our day to day, non-political lives. It sucks that I have to go to work every day. It sucks that most people can’t take transit to work. It sucks that parents can’t spent more time with their kids. It sucks that some people get fat way more easily than others. It sucks that people get cancer. I am not saying this to say that we should give up on improving things, and I think it’s extremely important that people maintain their ideals, even if they must vote in a way that does not fully represent them. It’s just that there is no plausible reason to expect nothing about a government for and by 300,000,000 people to be inefficient, ineffective, or inexcusable.

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy

Elephant Ambush posted:

All of their kids can get abortions if necessary with no problems. If any of them have LGBTQ family members they're perfectly safe because of money and power.
You know who else can get an abortion with no problems, and what other LGBT kids can feel safe?

People in states with governments run by the Democratic Party…

Main Paineframe posted:

The libertarians took over towns (not cities) by voting in elections, while the leftists set up a tent camp on public property and put "no cops allowed" signs on the entrances like it was a cartoon.
Cop, refused entry: ”But you let Officer Johnson in!”
CHAZ leader: “It says no cops. We’re allowed to have one.
Officer Johnson: “A-hyuck!”

Misunderstood fucked around with this message at 14:57 on Oct 31, 2023

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy
I don’t want to come across as excusing everything Democrats do, but I do want to talk about that bill Newsom vetoed, just to put it in context and explain how the law didn’t really do anything.

- Trans status is already a protected class in CA.
- This means that parents who deny their kids’ identities are, legally, being abusive, and that is already held against them in custody disputes, just as much as if you were a dick to your kid because they were a cis girl or gay or half black.
- The law directed judges to consider parental recognition of trans status. It didn’t actually mandate any action whatsoever. Which is to say, it did literally nothing, and was purely a messaging bill/would have been a “messaging law.” The fact that the bill didn’t actually do anything probably has a lot to do with the legislature not bothering to overturn the veto.

Newsom’s stated reason for vetoing the bill is a concern for the complexity of the state code. That would be a super weak excuse for actual denial of rights, but none has occurred. I don’t doubt that Newsom’s veto was cynical triangulation to appear “even handed” on trans issues, because that’s kind of his whole thing, and it’s pretty gross. But he did also sign the most sweeping trans rights package in the country at the same time, so…

Contrast with Republicans. I hope that after Dobbs people are not under the impression that they don’t mean it when they talk about outlawing trans people and forcing them into the shadows, or into a prison for the opposite gender, where they will be literally tortured. That is, the ones who don’t commit suicide.

Misunderstood fucked around with this message at 16:05 on Oct 31, 2023

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy

the_steve posted:

I wonder if we'll get a new take on the "For every voter we lose to X, we'll gain 2 from Y" logic that worked so well in Hillary's favor.
Just because you don’t want to believe that there would be a political cost for shutting down the war machine doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be. Israel is really popular among older people, who vote at a higher rate. 60% of Americans approve of Israeli air strikes. I do not blame Arab voters for taking this stand right now, but they are relatively few in number and lovely Americans who reflexively root for the whiter team are far, far, far more common, and they don’t all vote GOP. (Not to mention that even absent white supremacist attitudes, an ignorant person could easily be brainwashed by US propaganda to think Israel is just.)

I am really worried that stopping Israel can only be done at this point through use of US force against the IDF, because Israel seems too far gone to stop just because of US threats to withdraw support (and they absolutely do not need our $symbol in aid right now to kill everybody.) Bibi is desperate to improve his popularity and nothing is more popular in Israel right now than genocide. Biden going out and demanding a ceasefire, or even threatening to pull the funding package, is probably not going to cut it.

Misunderstood fucked around with this message at 21:24 on Oct 31, 2023

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy
To add onto my last post I want to say that the potential political fallout of doing the right thing gets smaller every day as it becomes more and more obvious that Israel is the villain here, and that Biden could accelerate that recognition by saying what he thinks, which is that this is bullshit and Israel should stop immediately.

Some reporting from the Times about the steps Biden is taking to calm things down, in the absence of a political will to get appropriately aggressive.

I am grateful to those in the state department and at organizations like AAI to pressure Biden to move along to the stage where he officially opposes and condemns Israeli atrocity.

NYT posted:

Biden’s Support for Israel Now Comes with Words of Warning

Three days after Hamas terrorists slaughtered more than 1,400 people, President Biden offered Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu support in the wake of the vow by Israel’s leader to “avenge this black day” and to turn Hamas hide-outs “into a ruin” from the air and on the ground.

“I told him if the United States experienced what Israel is experiencing, our response would be swift, decisive and overwhelming,” Mr. Biden recalled saying during a call between the two leaders on Oct. 10.

But the president’s message, in which he emphatically joined the mourning that was sweeping through Israel, has shifted dramatically over the past three weeks. While he continues to declare unambiguous support for Israel, Mr. Biden and his top military and diplomatic officials have become more critical of Israel’s response to the terrorist attacks and the unfolding humanitarian crisis.

The president and his senior aides still cling to the hope that the new war between Israel and Hamas might eventually give way to a resumption of talks about normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and could even offer some leverage for a return to negotiations over a two-state solution in which Israel and Palestine exist side by side. Mr. Netanyahu has long resisted such a move.

“Though it may seem a little bit more illusory now, we still believe it’s the right thing to do for the region, for the world, certainly for the Palestinian people,” John F. Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said on Monday.

But in the short run, American officials have grown more strident in reminding the Israelis that even if Hamas terrorists are deliberately intermingling with civilians, operations must be tailored to avoid nonmilitary casualties. Last week, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said at the United Nations that “humanitarian pauses must be considered,” a move that Israel has rejected.

“While Israel has the right — indeed, the obligation — to defend itself, the way it does so matters,” Mr. Blinken said, adding that “it means food, water, medicine and other essential humanitarian assistance must be able to flow into Gaza and to the people who need them.”

On Sunday, just a day after Israeli military leaders said Hamas terrorists were using a hospital in Gaza as a command center, Jake Sullivan, the president’s national security adviser, was more blunt. Mr. Sullivan said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that Hamas’s use of civilians as human shields “creates an added burden for the Israeli Defense Forces.”

He added, “This is something that we talk about with the Israelis on a daily basis.” He then noted that hospitals were not legitimate military targets just as Israel was warning that another major hospital in Gaza had to be emptied out before the next round of bombing.

Administration officials said the shift in tone and substance was the result of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where the health ministry says more than 8,000 people have been killed, provoking outrage in the United States and around the world.

The change has occurred against the backdrop of global denunciations of Israel’s actions and an explosion of divisive protests in the United States. The campus police at Cornell University, in Ithaca, N.Y., were guarding the university’s Center for Jewish Living on Sunday after online posts threatened violence against Jewish students, according to a statement by Cornell’s president, Martha E. Pollack.

Mr. Biden “is acutely aware of not only how polarized our country is, but how polarized the world is,” said Timothy Naftali, a historian and faculty scholar at the Institute of Global Politics at Columbia University. “That is the line he’s trying, I think, to follow, and it’s difficult in a polarized world, because it’s a very logical approach in a moment that provokes emotionalism.”

Mr. Biden has long been an ardent defender of Israel and in the past several weeks has repeatedly referred to meeting former Prime Minister Golda Meir when he was a first-year senator in 1973. But the president has also been a fierce critic of Mr. Netanyahu’s government, which he has called the most extreme in the country’s 75-year history.

In the first days after the Hamas attacks, Mr. Biden drew praise for his unreserved support for Israel, describing the wave of killings as “an act of sheer evil” and vowing to ensure that Israelis “have what they need to respond” to the worst attack on Jews since the Holocaust. Mr. Biden has sent to Congress a request for $14.5 billion in military aid for Israel.

But as Israel began pounding Gaza from the air in preparation for a ground invasion that began in earnest over the weekend, Mr. Biden settled into a pattern of delivering increasingly critical messages to the Israelis — in private first, and then in public.

The United States has kept a rotating list of senior officials in front of Mr. Netanyahu — each being careful not to tell the Israelis what to do, but to ask a series of questions intended to communicate the administration’s concern. How do you handle the tunnels in Gaza? If you are successful, who administers Gaza? Have you thought through how public opinion will turn if civilian casualties mount, or whether the crisis in Gaza might draw in Hezbollah or other militias?

Mr. Blinken has visited Israel three times. Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III met with his counterparts there, along with Gen. Michael E. Kurilla, the commander of Central Command, and then Rishi Sunak, the British prime minister. A European official said their visits were not coordinated with the United States but that everyone had the same idea that it would be hard to start a ground invasion while senior officials were in the waiting room.

On Oct. 15, eight days after the attacks, Mr. Blinken had a frank call with Mr. Biden after flying out of Cairo, where America’s top diplomat had met with the president of Egypt. Mr. Blinken’s trip across the Middle East, in which Egypt was the last stop among Israel and six Arab nations, gave the administration the first stark glimpse of the growing opposition in the Arab world.

Few Arab nations issued statements of support for Israel at the time of the Hamas attacks on Oct. 7. But administration officials had initially believed they could get more backing for the Jewish state from those governments and from other countries around the world, given the level of atrocities Hamas committed against Israelis.

Then Mr. Blinken briefed Mr. Biden daily during his travels, conveying to the president the deep anxieties he was hearing. Mr. Biden told Mr. Blinken during the Oct. 15 call to return to Israel to try to persuade the leaders there to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza, even though Israeli leaders appeared ready to start their ground invasion, U.S. officials said.

It became evident to U.S. officials that Israeli leaders believed mass civilian casualties were an acceptable price in the military campaign. In private conversations with American counterparts, Israeli officials referred to how the United States and other allied powers resorted to devastating bombings in Germany and Japan during World War II — including the dropping of the two atomic warheads in Hiroshima and Nagasaki — to try to defeat those countries.

Publicly, Mr. Biden’s language began to shift.

On Oct. 14, at an event in Philadelphia, Mr. Biden emphasized that “the overwhelming majority of Palestinians had nothing to do with Hamas and Hamas’s appalling attacks, and they’re suffering as a result as well.”

Four days later, during a brief visit to Israel, Mr. Biden pushed Mr. Netanyahu and his war cabinet to stop bombing the area of the Rafah gate between Gaza and Egypt to allow aid to flow in. Eventually, Mr. Biden announced that 20 aid vehicles, a tiny fraction of what was needed, would be allowed in.

“I was very blunt with the Israelis,” Mr. Biden told reporters aboard Air Force One as they traveled back from Israel. “Israel has been badly victimized. But, you know, the truth is that if they have an opportunity to relieve suffering of people who have nowhere to go, that is what they should do.”

He said that if Israel did not follow that advice, “they’ll be held accountable in ways that may be unfair,” but he added: “If you have an opportunity to alleviate the pain, you should do it, period. And if you don’t, you’re going to lose credibility worldwide.”

After Mr. Biden’s trip, the reservations inside the U.S. government about a ground invasion only grew. Israeli leaders did not appear to have an endgame for the invasion, American officials said. And Mr. Netanyahu and his war cabinet had no plans for what to do with Gaza once Israeli troops went in and began occupying, at least temporarily, some or all of it.

In late October, Mr. Austin advised Israeli officials to hold off on the ground invasion. He argued that both the Americans and the Israelis needed more time for hostage negotiations, to get more humanitarian aid into Gaza, to do better war planning and to strengthen defenses around U.S. troops in the region, who were coming under increasing attack from Iran-backed militias in Iraq and Syria.

In some ways, the Americans were pushing on an open door. They had detected signs that Mr. Netanyahu was reluctant to proceed with a ground invasion.

U.S. officials have also realized that there is virtually no way for them to win over more diplomatic support for Israel. If anything, countries around the world, especially developing nations, are moving the other way as the Palestinian death toll grows. Even European allies of the United States are divided on Israel’s war. U.S. officials say they realize that what they were able to do with Ukraine — building a coalition of international support — will be impossible to do with Israel.

“The grievances of the Palestinian people cannot justify the appalling attacks by Hamas. And those appalling attacks cannot justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people,” António Guterres, the secretary general of the United Nations, said last Tuesday, drawing calls for his resignation by Israel’s ambassador.

Saudi officials have warned top American officials and lawmakers in recent meetings and calls that a ground invasion by Israel could be catastrophic for the region.

Many governments around the world have voiced the need for an immediate cease-fire. A growing number of U.S. lawmakers, including ones who in statements have emphasized their Jewish American backgrounds, say Israel should commit to “humanitarian pauses” to address the crisis in Gaza.

For Mr. Biden, the tightrope walk continues.

On Sunday, Mr. Sullivan signaled that the United States would continue to press Israel, publicly and privately, for restraint.

“Those conversations happen multiple times a day. They happen between the president and the prime minister,” he said.

“Sitting here in public,” Mr. Sullivan added, “I will just say that the United States is going to make its principles and propositions absolutely clear, including the sanctity of innocent human life. And then, we will continue to provide our advice to Israel in private.”

Misunderstood fucked around with this message at 21:38 on Oct 31, 2023

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy

A big flaming stink posted:

the reason that the polling is so alarming is that arab americans are a big part of michigan and georgia's voting population, and there isnt a path to 270 without those states for biden
He won 306 electoral votes and those two states together are 32, so he can win without them. But I know that’s not your main point and yes, of course it’s a concern. AZ would tip you at that point, or NV and the weird Nebraska district. (269-269, oh boy…)

I really doubt Biden is going to lose 75% of his Arab support while running against Donald Trump but it is clear he has lost many, at least absent a prompt change of course (and for many it’s too late already.)

Misunderstood fucked around with this message at 21:43 on Oct 31, 2023

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy

A big flaming stink posted:

he's lost 11% approval amongst dems this month alone!
If he had come out forcefully against Israel “prematurely” (in the eyes of the electorate) it would’ve gone down more. Sometimes you really are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. (Also be careful about overconfidence in one poll result - there’s been a hit but we can’t say it’s “11 points” with any confidence. It could be 5 [or 15!])

It’s not enough to tip me into “disapprove” personally, because I understand his dilemma and his concern for civilians seems genuine, but the unwillingness to say the truth and enforce justice is certainly the most I’ve disapproved of any action Biden has taken in office.

I don’t know if his political calculus is correct and I am increasingly doubtful it is. But it is not wrong to consider the political implications because Biden losing in 2024 would remove any checks on Israel completely. If you save people in 2023, you don’t want them to be doomed in 2025. And there is a difference in how far Biden and Trump are willing to let them go.

But geez, Israel was winning “Body Count” in this war, by what, day two? Day three? It’s been three weeks now. It’s well past time to at least attempt an argument that they have already done too much and they must stop. I would guess that the president is carefully observing public reaction to the few Democrats who have been willing to call for a ceasefire.

Misunderstood fucked around with this message at 21:57 on Oct 31, 2023

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy

koolkal posted:

There's a spectrum of positions between "no red lines for Israel" and "Israel must be eliminated".

Biden has chosen to take an extreme position but that doesn't mean his alternative is another extreme and it's silly to think that anything less than "reduce Palestine to rubble" will cause him to immediately lose all Jewish American support. His current loss of support is largely due to how extreme his position is, not just because he is simply supporting Israel.
His position is not considered "extreme" at all by the electorate, unfortunately. There are a shocking number of people who somehow consider anything but uncompromising, blank-check support for Israel "extreme." At least in the short term, there was no winning for Biden.

His calculus was that putting his arm around Israel while whispering in their ear to chill the gently caress out was the way to go. But the problem with that - well, besides the fact that it might very well be wrong, at great human cost - the political problem with that is, when you're keeping your criticism on the DL to avoid pissing off pro-Israel voters... you're also keeping your criticism on the DL and making yourself look like you fully support the genocide to pro-justice voters.

I am hopeful that Biden has red lines - although I feel like the red lines are shifting around based on public opinion within and without the Democratic party. And I am definitely afraid they are still pretty far off, when we should already be past them. I do not doubt for a second that he wants this war to end immediately, all his reported private actions are consistent with wanting the war to end immediately, and anybody interpreting these events as Joe Biden being gleeful about the deaths and starvation and collective exile of brown people is not understanding the situation. It is his sincere belief that calling for a ceasefire would not deter Israel, and bear in mind that he is the one who is in communication with their leaders. They're telling him they won't stop, and he doesn't think they're bluffing.

If softening his support for Israel causes domestic political problems, one can only imagine what putting the US military between them and Gaza would do, and alarmingly it may be the only way to stop them. Netanyahu is a crazy motherfucker. I mean, he pretty much intentionally engineered this entire situation by intentionally empowering and provoking Hamas. I don't doubt he was positively rapturous on October 7 for finally having an "excuse" to annex all that sweet, sweet Mediterranean coastline. It is irrational for him to alienate the US, but he will do it if it means he can kill his enemies. I believe that unlike our current president, Netanyahu is a man who greets the death of "the other" with glee, and how do you stop someone like that without, you know... stopping them?

This poo poo sucks for Biden politically, and it sucks for him morally, and based on actions like pulling out of Afghanistan and massively scaling back drone operations from Obama and Trump, he really does seem like a person who prefers innocent people not die, prefers the US not be responsible, and is somewhat less blasé about it than any recent president. His rhetorical support for Israel has been consistently softening as the war has gone on, and he has spent more time talking about the humanitarian crisis. He wants it to end, but he is not, and can't be, in total control of the situation, and how to end things is not clear to anybody.

You could theoretically defend his strategy, considering that perhaps that he's privately wearing Israel down in a way that has not shown up in their statements to the press, but Biden is often patient to a fault with his political strategies. With the scale of death we are seeing right now it is morally imperative that he rush a little bit.

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy
Anybody with the slightest awareness of authoritarian thinking and how one idea leads to another could easily tell that "build the wall, ban the muslims, beat up the criminals, execute the Central Park Five, look how rich I am" guy was right wing as poo poo, but he did pay a lot of lip service to implementing liberal policy. (Given his unique mental profile he might have even believed it when he said it.)

I think a way that Trump kind of fooled everybody, including those who loathed him, was that he really did give an impression that he was going to operate outside the normal Republican policy agenda, or at least that any overlap with it would be at his own discretion. But instead he just wound up doing whatever Ryan and McConnell told him to, because coming up with his own ideas, or even paying somebody to do it, would've been hard, and he's lazy as poo poo.

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy
I don’t think anybody was under the impression there are 10 million suicides annually in the US.

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy
Tuberville has basically discredited his whole profession. People went around thinking college football coaches were smart because they draw a bunch of X's and O's but now we know for sure they just throw shady off-the-books money at the biggest, fastest poor kids and then yell at them until they win a championship.

I'm sure there are smart college football coaches, it's just totally incidental to their jobs.

edit: Discredited his former profession, I should say. "U.S. Senator" was already discredited.

Misunderstood fucked around with this message at 13:38 on Nov 3, 2023

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy
Still another three years until Toob's seat is up but it will be interesting to see how things shake out for him. What he is doing is not all that popular with anybody except maybe some fundie ministers advisors or something. In August 58% of Alabamas opposed his maneuver, and that is only going to get worse for him now that the GOP is openly attacking him for it.

But at the same time, it's hard to imagine him losing a primary when he checks all the boxes the right wing media demands, and stays on the good side of the Trumpists, for the most part. Like... if 58% of Alabamas oppose his policy, consider that that likely includes basically all of the 40% who voted for Doug Jones in 2020, perhaps minus a small handful of pacifists, leaving Tuberville's own voters roughly 72% in favor... he would probably have success in a primary propping himself up as the guy who was willing to pull out all the stop to protect the fetuses when the big mean rich men north of Richmond wouldn't.

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy

Dubar posted:

Just because they oppose him on one thing doesn't mean they won't vote for him
Not in a general, no. Minus another pederast being nominated that seat isn’t going to be competitive for a long time, if ever. But Republicans lose primaries over one issue all the time. Sometimes voters don’t even disagree with the incumbent on anything and just want harsher rhetoric about their perceived enemies.

The good thing for Tubby is that what Republicans usually lose primaries for is not being fanatically, destructively committed to social conservative goals, and he’s doing the exact opposite of that.

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy

Combed Thunderclap posted:

Tuberville’s stunt does reveal just how much power the Senate, and a single Senator, has over the civil and military service.
It does. But it's may very well also end up revealing how much Senate rules are made up, extraconstitutional BS and how a majority can overturn them at any time. Because they're probably gonna do that pretty soon.

(Actually - since Dems have 51 Senators, I'm kind of confused as to why Schumer hasn't done this? Would Sinema and Manchin not allow a rules change to let these promotions through?)

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy

Eric Cantonese posted:

I got a little criticized for this before, but I think the combination of inflation and the effects of interest rates is a big drag on Biden. He's in the hot seat now and he gets the blame whether or not that's totally warranted. I don't think it's losing the plot as much as Biden having to pay for the struggles people are going through.
I think this is actually a very mainstream sentiment, and I think I've "criticized" you for this in the past, but it's not really a criticism - those are definitely huge political liabilities and messaging on them needs to be one of the campaign's top priorities. But it's not a policy issue. Current inflation isn't high - prices are, because of the inflation that happened, and can't unhappen. People are mad about prices, but the situation with prices is improving, albeit at a slow rate, because we are back to positive wage growth.

There is a year to go, and if things continue on their current trajectory sentiment should improve somewhat, but like you I worry that the narrative is set, and that even if we have an entire year of 2.5-3% inflation before the election people will be cutting Biden no slack, even though the entire actual policy response has already been made (partially by the Federal Reserve, partially by global supply chains, very tinily partially because of the Inflation Reduction Act). And that response was wildly more successfully than any economist predicted (considering it was faster than expected and didn't require any recession or significant increase in unemployment).

Eric Cantonese posted:

Whatever matters to the Paul Krugmans of the world as they tell you the big picture isn't necessarily going to help everyday voters with big grievances.
You're right, of course. But isn't it absurd to not talk about the numbers? Like, we just have to sit around and be sad that voters are blaming Joe Biden for inflation, and Joe Biden just has to go around apologizing for it, without noting that the inflation has largely been addressed?

The current issue, high prices, can only be solved with time. Financial aid to voters is nearly out of the question because it would be successfully attacked as inflationary. Yes - it sounds insane, but voters would be pissed if Biden offered them free money. The argument would be that it would all be inflated away in a matter of months/weeks/hours anyway, and it would work.

Like, I realize these are technical arguments that won't resonate with voters in a direct way, but there are people who are capable of understanding these things who do not know that inflation has decreased dramatically, and if nobody ever tells them because of some political guilt over "ignoring" the price issue - which it really doesn't - then how are they ever going to know? When campaigning, you are allowed to argue you have done a good job!

Now, I like to read Times comments (some wild stuff in there sometimes) - if you go by the comments Krugman gets on his columns then a major messaging issue is that it's hard to even point out that inflation has come down without it making people feel like the price issue is being ignored. Some kind of acknowledgement of intractable high prices has to be included in the pitch, so people know you give a poo poo. Like every other political issue it has been carefully whittled by years of partisan politics and media framing to have basically no response that won't piss off at least 40% of the electorate.

e: Oh yeah, and the interest rates are a legitimate concern, and it's weird that they haven't had a huge depressive effect on consumer spending yet. I mean, I know they have already affected my spending.

I started favoring the idea of firing Powell two rate hikes ago; it seems like a great idea, you can get somebody in with better policy, and also blame him for contributing to inflation on his way out the door. Voters don't know that he was actually very aggressive, they just know he's The Guy in Charge of Inflation. It wouldn't be "fair" to Powell per se but lol at caring about being fair to somebody of that strata.

Misunderstood fucked around with this message at 18:55 on Nov 4, 2023

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy
Yeah, it's kind of serendipitous that we have these super major elections coming up in VA and OH this week, at the apparent bottom of Biden's popularity, so we can see if people's feelings about Biden are pushing votes one way or another. That could shine a lot of light on how seriously we should take polls like this (or any poll) over the next year.

Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy

Gyges posted:

the Democratic candidate is one of the very few people who could actually lose to Donald Trump.
I don't understand why people still think this after Trump's complete domination of the 2024 GOP primary. We don't like what it says about the country, but he's clearly just as "good" to people on the right, and to a lot of apolitical people, as anybody else, and has just as good of a chance against anybody. Continuing to attribute Trump's popularity to the alleged unpopularity of his opponents really ignores what he is doing "right" in terms of getting Americans on his side. Which, I don't know what it is. But I am pretty sure it's past time for "can you believe these CLOWNS can't beat Trump?" and time to start to wonder why so few clowns are able to beat Trump.

JosefStalinator posted:

Wonderful, another group Democrats will bend over backwards for, and who will end up voting GOP anyway.]
Do people not understand the concept of a "no-win situation"? I'd love, love, love to see the world where Joe Biden reacts to the war in Israel in a way that doesn't hurt his popularity. If you want to argue against how he has supported Israel, I'm totally there with you, but can people stop pretending "this is an easy political situation, that could have been spun to Biden's advantage by doing what I, specifically, wanted"?

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Misunderstood
Jan 19, 2023

by Fluffdaddy
This guy thinks that it's the most important election of our lifetimes.

I haven't seen much attention paid to this "loss and damages" fund that was recently created, which is a mechanism for developed countries to subsidize the green development of countries that are "skipping over" the heavily carbonized phase of their economic growth. Seems incredibly important for getting resistant players like India to cooperate, as well as emerging African economies.

Michael Mann (famous climate researcher, the "hockey stick graph" guy) posted:

In The Hill

Back in the home stretch of the 2020 presidential election, I stated that a second Trump term would be “game over for the climate.” That hasn’t changed in the years since. In fact, it’s become even more true.

We are three years further down the carbon emissions highway, and the devastating consequences of the 1C (1.8F) warming we have already caused are now apparent in the form of unprecedented dangerous, damaging and deadly extreme weather events. As yet, we have not taken the exit ramp needed to avoid a far worse planetary warming of 1.5C (3F).

...

What is needed for further progress? For one, developing countries must also agree to ramp down emissions — a last-minute holdout by India was an obstacle to a more aggressive agreement at COP26. But diplomacy and leadership by the U.S. is required to make that happen.

Consider what happened during the Obama era. Stymied by Republicans in Congress, President Obama nonetheless used his executive authority to promote incentives for renewable energy and tighter emissions restrictions on polluters, bringing China to the table and achieving a bilateral agreement that set the stage for the successful Paris summit. China ended up exceeding its commitments and began decommissioning coal-fired power plants.

But that all came to an abrupt halt with Trump. When he was elected, he turned over the reins of our government to fossil fuel interests and promised — and eventually made good on — a unilateral pullout from the Paris climate agreement. That signaled to other countries, like China and India, that the U.S. was no longer willing to keep up its end of the bargain, and in turn, they slacked off in their own efforts.

It is clear that the U.S. must lead — and that when we do, other nations join us.

What does leadership mean here? As the world’s largest cumulative carbon polluter, an average effort won’t cut it. We have an obligation to achieve something closer to 60 percent reductions in emissions by 2030. The climate provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act, if fully implemented — and not blocked by GOP-stacked courts — get us only partly there (around 40 percent). We will need further climate legislation — and a president and Congress willing to pass it.

Leadership also means helping out other nations that have had a far lesser role in creating the climate crisis and are already suffering the consequences. While the 2022 COP27 summit in Sharm El-Sheikh was disappointing from the standpoint of decarbonization, it did pave the way for progress at COP28 next month in Dubai by establishing a historic loss and damage fund.

Critical to getting countries like India to do more is getting industrial nations, like the U.S., to provide funding and assistance to poorer nations to help them both deal with the devastating consequences they are already experiencing and to encourage them to leapfrog past fossil fuels to clean energy as they seek economic development. That’s what the “loss and damage” agreement does, and it could lead to a greater willingness by India and other developing countries to ramp up their own commitments to decarbonization.

All of this progress is in jeopardy, however, if Trump wins the presidency again, particularly if Republicans hold or, worse, expand their control of Congress. Congressional Republicans have already indicated their intent to eliminate loss and damage funds.
And this speaks to an even larger problem. While we have seen renewed leadership on climate by the Biden administration, other nations are wary of what a second Trump presidency could portend, particularly on climate where they fear he will refuse to honor our commitments to the rest of the world and derail four years of progress on climate.

The GOP has threatened to weaponize a potential second Trump term against domestic climate action. In the event they also keep the House of Representatives and retake the U.S. Senate, they will fast-track the most climate-averse policy agenda in the history of our nation to be signed into law by Trump.

Republicans have already written a climate plan for a prospective second Trump term with the innocuous title “Project 2025.” This radical plan would block efforts underway to scale up renewable energy and create a clean energy grid. It would defund climate programs at the Environmental Protection Agency and clean energy efforts at the Department of Energy. It would also bar other states from adopting California’s clean energy policies and put the fossil fuel industry fox in the environmental henhouse by turning over regulation of polluters to Republican state legislatures.

So, we are truly at a “fragile moment.” Global climate action lies on a knife edge, hinging upon American leadership that is threatened by a prospective Trump second term and a radicalized GOP intent on undermining climate progress both here and abroad.

It is not an overstatement to say, one year out, that we face an American election unlike any other. It will determine not only the course of the American experiment but the path that civilization collectively follows. On the left is democracy and environmental stewardship. On the right is fascism and planetary devastation. Choose wisely.
Considering that the clock ticks louder every day on the climate, and that the problem still isn't fixed, I don't see any reason we should really find the idea of each election being more important than the last ridiculous.

Reminder that the most consequential election of our lifetimes, 2000, was the one where everybody made jokes about how little it mattered for the entire campaign. There's not really anything good that can come out of minimizing a presidential election.

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