REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS

A thread for Democrats Only

POSTED BY: THGRRI
UPDATED: Tuesday, July 16, 2019 22:04
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Wednesday, February 6, 2019 10:34 AM

CAPTAINCRUNCH

... stay crunchy...


Quote:

Originally posted by second:
The government also spent nearly $400,000 protecting the president’s two older sons during three international trips they took in early 2018, the office found.



Uday and Qusay?

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Wednesday, February 6, 2019 10:56 AM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


Quote:

Originally posted by second:
Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:

No telling what the future holds.

Not a damn thing I could do about it any way it turns out, so I'll just sit back and enjoy the shit show.

Enjoy this: 4 Trump vacations cost $13.6 million

Four of President Donald Trump’s trips to his Florida home cost taxpayers nearly $13.6 million, the U.S. government’s watchdog reported Tuesday.

The federal government costs included $60,000 paid directly to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club, the Government Accountability Office said in its report, which examined Trump’s visits over four weeks in early 2017.

The GAO noted in its report that it didn’t include some expenses that are classified nor did it include salaries or benefits of Secret Service and Defense Department personnel.

The government also spent nearly $400,000 protecting the president’s two older sons during three international trips they took in early 2018, the office found.

http://time.com/5521886/trump-trips-mar-a-lago-cost/

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly



It's all a joke. It's all fiat currency. We're going to hear about these obscene amounts of money ballooning into the billions before we die, meanwhile, most of us are still dealing with thousands.

$13 Million for four vacations sounds like a bargain compared to $6 Billion for a wall, which in turn sounds like quite a bargain when compared to $60 Billion per year for Food Stamps, which sounds like nothing when compared to nearly $800 Billion per year spent on the military.



Come to think of it, that's all kind of dwarfing your own status in life, Second, isn't it?

Does it make you sad to realize that you're much closer to my end of the wealth spectrum than you are to the true elites?

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Wednesday, February 6, 2019 12:06 PM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:

It's all a joke. It's all fiat currency. We're going to hear about these obscene amounts of money ballooning into the billions before we die, meanwhile, most of us are still dealing with thousands.

$13 Million for four vacations sounds like a bargain compared to $6 Billion for a wall, which in turn sounds like quite a bargain when compared to $60 Billion per year for Food Stamps, which sounds like nothing when compared to nearly $800 Billion per year spent on the military.

Sounds like nothing compared to the $2 trillion for the Iraq War, which was a GOP brainstorm.
www.reuters.com/article/us-iraq-war-anniversary-idUSBRE92D0PG20130314

Sounds like nothing compared to, "We’ve spent $6 trillion" on the wars in the Middle East. — Donald Trump
www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/oct/27/donald-trump/d
id-us-spend-6-trillion-middle-east-wars
/

Sounds like nothing compared to $100 trillion for a nuclear war. Trump's John Bolton has helped put the knife into Ronald Reagan’s landmark treaty, one that broke the back of the nuclear arms race in 1987. It was the first time that the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to destroy, not just limit, nuclear weapons. Together they destroyed almost 2,700 perfectly good nuclear weapons that they had spent billions of dollars and many years building. It began the process of massive reductions in global nuclear arms that continued until the current administration.

Why is Bolton against these nuclear security treaties that Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, have championed? Because he thinks they make America weak. In 1999, he decried the liberal “fascination with arms-control agreements as a substitute for real non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.” A year later, he ridiculed “the Church of Arms Control.”

For Bolton and others like him, these agreements are part of the effort by the global Lilliputians to tie down the American Gulliver. In his mind, we must have maximum flexibility and multiple military options to preserve our security and interests around the world. We must protect our nation with military might, not pieces of paper.
www.washingtonpost.com/news/theworldpost/wp/2019/02/01/inf/?utm_term=.
f5bcf4a85d89


To give you an idea of the size of these trillion dollar numbers, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the United States was worth $19.4 trillion in 2017. Haven't worked out the number for 2018, yet.
https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/gdp

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Wednesday, February 6, 2019 2:00 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


So why is Trump getting his arm twisted by Bolton? More to the point, why did he appoint Bolt-on and Pompous to begin with? This wasn't what he campaigned on.

Some say that the pressure of the RUSSIA!!! smear campaign is forcing him to back down from his original goals; because any meetings, any agreements that he might make with RUSSIA!!! would - in the eyes of idiots who still think there's a grand conspiracy deeply hidden somewhere - confirm that he's a "Russian tool" or some such nonsense.

The non-binding votes in the Senate on NATO and Syria w/drawal show that there are still a lot of neocon GOPers in office, and the fact that the Dems have chosen to smear Trump with ridiculous allegations have weakened his position considerably in dealing with the AIPAC/neocons of both parties.

Of course, The Donald himself still is wedded to Israel, which doesn't give him much room to maneuver in the Middle East. He himself needs to square that circle, because- as I have pointed out more than once- as long as he believes that guaranteeing Israel's security rests on defeating Iran, several of his goals for the Middle East conflict with each other.

-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake

"The messy American environment, where most people don't agree, is perfect for people like me. I CAN DO AS I PLEASE." - SECOND

America is an oligarchy http://www.fireflyfans.net/mthread.aspx?tid=57876 .

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Wednesday, February 6, 2019 2:10 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

It's all a joke. It's all fiat currency. We're going to hear about these obscene amounts of money ballooning into the billions before we die, meanwhile, most of us are still dealing with thousands.
I heard an interesting point on Tom Luongo's show lately. He was talking about the intractability of our debt ... not only is the US government debt sky-high, but so is trade, personal and non-financial business debt. And the debts associated with financial speculation, especially in the hedge funds, is literally incalculable but estimated to be somewhere in the range of 10-60X WORLD GDP.

In other words, it's unpayable.

Some have speculated that TPTB will engineer a financial crash which will wipe out all of that theoretical "wealth" (debt). Others have speculated the TPTB will engineer a world war to cover up the coming economic crash, and to justify a whole new financial system - maybe even a new currency.

Others have speculated that the Fed will simply continue to backstop bad loans with even more bad loans. But to that thought, Luongo said The IMF won't let them. OTHER central banks will riot over having to respond to a constantly devaluing dollar. So ... hmmm...

It's interesting what will happen next.

-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake

"The messy American environment, where most people don't agree, is perfect for people like me. I CAN DO AS I PLEASE." - SECOND

America is an oligarchy http://www.fireflyfans.net/mthread.aspx?tid=57876 .

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Wednesday, February 6, 2019 5:58 PM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
So why is Trump getting his arm twisted by Bolton? More to the point, why did he appoint Bolt-on and Pompous to begin with? This wasn't what he campaigned on.

Some say that the pressure of the RUSSIA!!! smear campaign is forcing him to back down from his original goals;

Trump’s split personality on foreign policy
www.vox.com/2019/2/6/18213706/state-of-the-union-trump-foreign-policy

Trump is hawkish in the sense that he adores military power, letting his military run roughshod in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. During the campaign, for example, he famously said he would “bomb the shit” out of ISIS in Syria and Iraq. That pleases those in his party who champion America’s military ability to fight terrorists or potentially stop human rights abuses.

But Trump is also wary about overextending the United States in foreign wars, and has criticized his last two predecessors for invading Iraq, escalating the war in Afghanistan, and sending troops into Syria in the first place.

But was Donald Trump against the Iraq War from the beginning? No. He said "it looks like a tremendous success from a military standpoint." Trump’s first published remarks critical of the Iraq War appeared almost a year and a half after the military action began.
www.snopes.com/fact-check/donald-trump-iraq-war/

His reticence to reach for the military option in some cases has made him a champion of the anti-interventionist right, who have also found strange bedfellows in the antiwar left. But you know this guy can turn 180 degrees overnight without a real explanation of why he changed directions.

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Thursday, February 7, 2019 10:37 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Throughout the 1932 Presidential campaign, Hoover had attacked what he considered a “social philosophy very different from the traditional philosophies of the American people,” warning that these “so-called new deals” would “destroy the very foundations” of American society. As Hoover later put it, the promise of a “New Deal” was both socialistic and fascistic; it would lead the country on a “march to Moscow.”

In January 1933, President Herbert Hoover found himself in a position familiar at that point to millions of Americans: He was about to lose his job. Unsure of what the future might hold, he considered whether to accept an offer of a regular appearance on a weekly radio program sponsored by the Old Gold tobacco company. Hoover found the idea distasteful — becoming a speaker on a show whose ultimate purpose was to advertise cigarettes seemed to him a debasement of the presidency — but it was a desperate time. As he wrote to his press secretary, Theodore Joslin, “It is probably something I cannot do, but, well, I hate to say it, but I need that $150,000, Ted.”

Meanwhile, the financial structure of the United States was approaching collapse. At the start of Hoover’s presidency, 24,000 banks had been open for business throughout the country. By 1933, 10,000 of these had shut their doors. One state after another — Nevada, Iowa, California — was suspending normal bank operations in order to keep frightened depositors from withdrawing their cash. Publicly, Hoover insisted that the solution to the panic was a recommitment to the gold standard by nations that had recently abandoned it, such as Great Britain; he blamed the impending Roosevelt administration for sowing fear and discord. But privately, only a day before Michigan declared a bank holiday to protect its faltering financial system, he told Edgar Rickard, an old friend from Hoover’s days as a mining engineer and executive, to withdraw “$10,000 in bills” for emergencies.

The story of an angst-filled Hoover quietly squirreling away funds while lecturing the country about the moral necessity of keeping the banks open is one of the pleasures of life.

More at www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/03/fdr-herbert-hoover-big-go
vernment/580456
/

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Friday, February 8, 2019 6:03 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


In 1961, America faced what conservatives considered a mortal threat: calls for a national health insurance program covering senior citizens. In an attempt to avert this awful fate, the American Medical Association launched what it called Operation Coffee Cup, a pioneering attempt at viral marketing.

Here’s how it worked: Doctors’ wives (hey, it was 1961) were asked to invite their friends over and play them a recording in which Ronald Reagan explained that socialized medicine would destroy American freedom. The housewives, in turn, were supposed to write letters to Congress denouncing the menace of Medicare.

Obviously the strategy didn’t work; Medicare not only came into existence, but it became so popular that these days Republicans routinely (and falsely) accuse Democrats of planning to cut the program’s funding. But the strategy — claiming that any attempt to strengthen the social safety net or limit inequality will put us on a slippery slope to totalitarianism — endures.

And so it was that Donald Trump, in his State of the Union address, briefly turned from his usual warnings about scary brown people to warnings about the threat from socialism.

More at www.nytimes.com/2019/02/07/opinion/trump-socialism-state-of-the-union.
html


Trump Versus the Socialist Menace: The Commies are coming for your pickup trucks.

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Saturday, February 9, 2019 6:50 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Liberals and Conservatives React in Wildly Different Ways to Repulsive Pictures

To a surprising degree, our political beliefs may derive from a specific aspect of our biological makeup: our propensity to feel physical revulsion to a photo of reality.

www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/03/the-yuck-factor/580465/

Part I of IV. “My Jaw Dropped”

Why do we have the political opinions we have? Why do we embrace one outlook toward the world and not another? How and why do our stances change? The answers to questions such as these are of course complex. Most people aren’t reading policy memos to inform every decision. Differences of opinion are shaped by contrasting life experiences: where you live; how you were raised; whether you’re rich or poor, young or old. Emotion comes into the picture, and emotion has a biological basis, at least in part. All of this and more combines into a stew without a fixed recipe, even if many of the ingredients are known.

On rare occasions, we learn of a new one — a key factor that seems to have been overlooked. To a surprising degree, a recent strand of experimental psychology suggests, our political beliefs may have something to do with a specific aspect of our biological makeup: our propensity to feel physical disgust.

In the mid-2000s, a political scientist approached the neuroscientist Read Montague with a radical proposal. He and his colleagues had evidence, he said, that political orientation might be partly inherited, and might be revealed by our physiological reactivity to threats. To test their theory, they wanted Montague, who heads the Human Neuroimaging Laboratory at Virginia Tech, to scan the brains of subjects as they looked at a variety of images — including ones displaying potential contaminants such as mutilated animals, filthy toilets, and faces covered with sores — to see whether neural responses showed any correlation with political ideology. Was he interested?

Montague initially laughed at the idea — for one thing, MRI research requires considerable time and resources — but the team returned with studies to argue their case, and eventually he signed on. When the data began rolling in, any skepticism about the project quickly dissolved. The subjects, 83 in total, were first shown a randomized mixture of neutral and emotionally evocative pictures — this second category contained both positive and negative images — while undergoing brain scans. Then they filled out a questionnaire seeking their views on hot-button political and social issues, in order to classify their general outlook on a spectrum from extremely liberal to extremely conservative. As Montague mapped the neuroimaging data against ideology, he recalls, “my jaw dropped.” The brains of liberals and conservatives reacted in wildly different ways to repulsive pictures: Both groups reacted, but different brain networks were stimulated. Just by looking at the subjects’ neural responses, in fact, Montague could predict with more than 95 percent accuracy whether they were liberal or conservative.

Only the reaction to repulsive things correlated with ideology. “I was completely flabbergasted by the predictability of the results,” Montague says.
(We’re not talking about reality. It’s about photos. You should see how Republicans over-react when they are faced with the real thing.)

More at www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/03/the-yuck-factor/580465/

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Saturday, February 9, 2019 7:22 AM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


Pffft...

Who needs a lab coat. The last two years in the RWED have been a prime example of liberal overreaction.



And no, I'm not at all "flabbergasted" by the predictable posts in here either.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Saturday, February 9, 2019 10:58 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:
Pffft...

Who needs a lab coat. The last two years in the RWED have been a prime example of liberal overreaction.

And no, I'm not at all "flabbergasted" by the predictable posts in here either.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

6ixStringJack, Republicans are hardwired to act this way (or if you want the flip side, liberals are not, because they recognize it's just a goddamn photo, not the real thing):
Quote:

Why in the world would your reaction to photos, not the real thing, of mutilated animals, vomit, and other unwelcome things somehow be associated with your views on transgender rights, immigration, or anything else stirring debate in the news? Researchers have theories rather than answers. At a deep, symbolic level, some speculate, disgust may be bound up with ideas about “them” versus “us,” about whom we instinctively trust and don’t trust. In short, this research may help illuminate one factor — among many — that underlies why those on the left and the right can so vehemently disagree.

There is nothing inherently political about disgust. It evolved not to guide us at the ballot box but rather, it is widely theorized, to protect us from infection. As we move about in the world, a sizable volume of research shows, our minds are constantly searching our surroundings for contaminants — moldy leftovers, garbage spilling out of trash cans, a leaky sewage pipe — and when the brain detects them, it triggers sudden feelings of revulsion. Confronted, we withdraw from the threat. The mechanism is part of what’s known as the “behavioral immune system,” and it is as vital for survival as the fight-or-flight response. Our pathogen-tracking system does its job largely beneath our conscious awareness — and pays close attention to those walking germ bags we call human beings.


www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/03/the-yuck-factor/580465/

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Sunday, February 10, 2019 5:33 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Could a predilection toward revulsion indicate how we vote?

A team led by Cornell’s David Pizarro and Yoel Inbar, at the University of Toronto, set out to answer that question by conducting an online study during the 2008 U.S. presidential contest between Barack Obama and John McCain.

In the run-up to the election, the researchers assessed the contagion anxiety of 25,000 “demographically and geographically diverse” Americans and then surveyed the attitudes toward the candidates held by a random subset of the larger group. Those with the highest germ fear reported that they were more likely to vote for McCain, the Republican nominee and the more conservative candidate.

Further, the actual proportion of votes that went to John McCain in each state directly scaled with that state’s level of contagion anxiety. The researchers eventually extended studies of this kind to 121 countries and found that disgust sensitivity correlated with a conservative ethos basically everywhere there were sufficient data for analysis.

As Pizarro, Inbar, and the other authors of the study write in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, this result suggests that disgust sensitivity “is related to conservatism across a wide variety of cultures, geographic regions and political systems.”

More at www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/03/the-yuck-factor/580465/

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Sunday, February 10, 2019 10:00 AM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


Some blame Trump on Russia. Second's going to take a over engineered scientific approach.

Still can't come to terms that Hillary was just that horrible.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Sunday, February 10, 2019 1:42 PM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:
Some blame Trump on Russia. Second's going to take a over engineered scientific approach.

Still can't come to terms that Hillary was just that horrible.

I'm taking the approach that makes money. The smartest people I know voted for Trump, but they did it only for a tax cut. (The dumbest people I know also voted for Trump, but they did not get the money, which went to the smart ones.)

Hillary wouldn't have been any good at the job, which takes creative thinking to get things done when a President is opposed by Republican majorities in both houses of Congress. Hillary thinks like a small town lawyer. She is not mean enough. She is not tough enough. She should have kicked Trump in the balls during one of those debates, and I do mean kick, to humiliate that loud-mouth coward.

Hillary would not have amounted to anything if she had won. She wouldn't have got any of her Federal Judges or Supreme Court nominations approved unless she picked Republicans. What kind of plans would she come up with when she needs help from people who aren't completely on her side? She is worse at that than Trump.

It would have been sad watching Hillary be a failure in the White House. Sad for me to not get my tax cut, either, but Trump was looking after my interests.

In 2027, 82.8 percent of Trump tax cuts will flow to the top 1 percent. The top quintile actually receives 107.3 percent of the tax changes — because taxes actually increase for the folks in the lowest, second-lowest and middle quintiles. It’s right there on Page 5 of the report.
www.taxpolicycenter.org/publications/distributional-analysis-conferenc
e-agreement-tax-cuts-and-jobs-act/full


The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Sunday, February 10, 2019 2:12 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


My taxes went down.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Monday, February 11, 2019 8:06 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:
My taxes went down.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

So did my taxes, by about million times more. Do you see how Trump is my best friend? None of my other friends have ever given me a birthday gift that big. (My birthday is close to tax-filing day.)
www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=tax+filing+day

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Monday, February 11, 2019 8:07 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


China is creating its own version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership without US participation, as well as expanding into sub-Saharan Africa and cutting a deal with Nicaragua for another isthmian canal.

The drift of global events may eventually require the United States to acknowledge the reality of a multipolar world. Yet Trump and his opponents in the Washington consensus still envision a unipolar world, where the United States can ignore the legitimate claims of rival nations and do pretty much whatever it wants, whether because of its sheer greatness (Trump) or its exceptional goodness (Clinton et al.). Obama was cautious about intervening in Syria and eager to negotiate with Iran, but his administration maintained or intensified commitments to global military supremacy, blanket surveillance, targeted drone assassinations, and modernization of nuclear weapons, as well as engagement in the Middle East and East Asia. Fundamental policies persisted despite Obama’s misgivings.

These policies cannot continue without potential catastrophe. And it is not be in the US’s interests for them to continue. As Bulmer-Thomas reminds us, “Imperial retreat is not the same as national decline, as many other countries can attest. Indeed, imperial retreat can strengthen the nation-state just as imperial expansion can weaken it.”

More at www.nybooks.com/articles/2019/02/07/imperial-exceptionalism/

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Monday, February 11, 2019 10:46 AM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


Quote:

Originally posted by second:
Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:
My taxes went down.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

So did my taxes, by about million times more. Do you see how Trump is my best friend? None of my other friends have ever given me a birthday gift that big. (My birthday is close to tax-filing day.)
www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=tax+filing+day

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly



So what? I'm not a whore for money.


The only reason these days I even really hope there is a god is so that your type of people get that bad Karma that you've spent a lifetime building up taking a huge chunk out of your ass on the other side.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Monday, February 11, 2019 10:49 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Every now and again I check in to see if SECOND is making more sense, or at least being more honest. I see today is not that day.

-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake

"The messy American environment, where most people don't agree, is perfect for people like me. I CAN DO AS I PLEASE." - SECOND

America is an oligarchy http://www.fireflyfans.net/mthread.aspx?tid=57876 .

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Monday, February 11, 2019 11:39 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:

So what? I'm not a whore for money.


The only reason these days I even really hope there is a god is so that your type of people get that bad Karma that you've spent a lifetime building up taking a huge chunk out of your ass on the other side.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

The only chunk I take out of anybody's ass is out of cows. Did you not pay attention to what business I am in? It is natural gas and cattle and only the cattle complain. I pay every human who works for me at least 50% more than they could make doing the same work anywhere else. (Come to think of it, I might be accumulated weriously bad karma with Hindoos holy cows.)

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Tuesday, February 12, 2019 7:42 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


There has been little coverage of one of the most revealing aspects of the SOTU: what Trump said about the menace of America’s historically large government debt.

But wait, you may object — he didn’t say anything about debt. Indeed he didn’t — not one word. But that’s what was so revealing.

After all, Republicans spent the entire Obama administration inveighing constantly about the dangers of debt, warning that America faced a looming crisis unless deficits were drastically reduced. Now that they’re in power, however — and with the deficit surging thanks to a huge tax cut for corporations and the rich — they’ve totally dropped the subject. Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s acting chief of staff, explained to G.O.P. members of Congress why debt wouldn’t get a single mention in the SOTU: “Nobody cares.”

And you know, he’s kind of right. It’s not just Republicans who suddenly seemed to stop caring about debt. For years deficit scolds dominated discourse inside the Beltway; much of the news media treated the urgency of fiscal austerity as an unquestioned fact, abandoning the usual rules of reportorial neutrality and plunging into outright advocacy. Yet since Trump’s election those voices have become oddly muted.

Republicans just pretended to be deficit hawks as a way to hamstring Obama’s agenda. And "centrists" reserve passionate concern about debt for times when Democrats hold power.

Three times since 1980, Republicans railed against budget deficits when they were out of power, then dropped all their concerns and sent the deficit soaring once they were in a position to cut taxes. Then when it’s the Democrats’ turn, they’re expected to clean up the Republicans’ red ink rather than address their own priorities.

https://twitter.com/tarapalmeri/status/1092865402034634754
www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/10/16/government-spending-ho
w-rising-federal-debt-deficit-impact-americans/1589889002
/

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Tuesday, February 12, 2019 9:47 AM

CAPTAINCRUNCH

... stay crunchy...


Quote:

Originally posted by second:
The only chunk I take out of anybody's ass is out of cows. Did you not pay attention to what business I am in? It is natural gas and cattle and only the cattle complain. I pay every human who works for me at least 50% more than they could make doing the same work anywhere else. (Come to think of it, I might be accumulated weriously bad karma with Hindoos holy cows.)




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Tuesday, February 12, 2019 10:39 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


My Firefly personality test said that I am Jayne. I have lived the following scene between cattle and Jayne:

Simon is walking down the cargo bay ramp. The ramp's covered in cow pies. Simon's carefully picking his way around them, but Jayne herds some cattle past him, and Simon stumbles into some cow poo.

JAYNE: 'Bout time you broke in them pretty shoes.
(to cattle)
Yah! Get along!

Simon ignores Jayne, walks off the ramp.

MAL: You know, they walk just as easy if you lead 'em.

JAYNE: I like smackin' 'em.

http://firefly.shriftweb.org/scripts/107.shtml

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Tuesday, February 12, 2019 11:10 AM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


Quote:

Originally posted by captaincrunch:
Quote:

Originally posted by second:
The only chunk I take out of anybody's ass is out of cows. Did you not pay attention to what business I am in? It is natural gas and cattle and only the cattle complain. I pay every human who works for me at least 50% more than they could make doing the same work anywhere else. (Come to think of it, I might be accumulated weriously bad karma with Hindoos holy cows.)






We knew that CC would like that.


He was all but sucking Bezos's dick the other day.

He loves his rich betters, as long as they pet his head and tell him that Twump is a vewy bad man.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Wednesday, February 13, 2019 7:11 PM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:

He loves his rich betters, as long as they pet his head and tell him that Twump is a vewy bad man.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

6ixStringJack, did it bother you that Republicans attempted to repeal health insurance protections for people with preexisting conditions? Did you laugh out loud at all those sick people that almost lost their insurance? The GOP protects insurance companies, but Democrats stopped the GOP:

Speaking privately to his donors, Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy squarely blamed Republican losses in last year’s midterm elections on the GOP push to roll back health insurance protections for people with preexisting conditions — and in turn blamed his party’s right flank. McCarthy’s comments, made in a Feb. 6 conference call from which The Washington Post obtained partial recordings, represent a vindication of Democratic efforts to elevate health care as an issue in last year’s campaign.

….“When we couldn’t pass the repeal of Obamacare the first way through, an amendment came because the Freedom Caucus wouldn’t vote for” the original House bill, McCarthy said. “That amendment put [the] preexisting condition campaign against us, and so even people who are running for the very first time got attacked on that. And that was the defining issue and the most important issue in the race.”

To McCarthy, this is about a feud between the Freedom Caucus and the rest of the Republican Party. But it’s more than that: it’s an admission that Republicans did, in fact, try to repeal protections for preexisting conditions. This is something they have routinely denied ever since they did it.

www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2019/02/mccarthy-yeah-we-tried-to-kill-
protections-for-preexisting-conditions
/

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Wednesday, February 13, 2019 8:18 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]




Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Thursday, February 14, 2019 7:44 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Consider the biggest ticket on progressives’ wish-lists: Medicare for All. This could mean different things, and if it’s basically allowing private-sector buy-in then there’s no problem. But if it means replacing private insurance with free public coverage, you need offsetting revenue.

Why? In 2017, private insurance paid about a third of America’s medical bills — $1.2 trillion, or 6 percent of GDP. Having the government pay those bills directly, without a revenue offset, would therefore be a spending increase – a fiscal stimulus – of 6 percent of GDP.

Suppose that interest rates nonetheless didn’t rise. Then this stimulus would have a multiplier effect, probably raising GDP, other things equal, by 9 percent.

Unemployment would fall somewhat less than this, because tighter labor markets would pull more people into the work force. That’s why “Okun’s Law”, the relationship between growth and changes in unemployment, has a slope less than 1 – usually estimated at around 0.5, although when I run the regression on recent data I get around 0.8. But even so, to increase GDP by 9 percent we’d have to see the unemployment rate fall by more than 4 points, that is, go negative – which of course isn’t possible.

And don’t tell me that we can pull lots of people who were previously out of the work force into employment; Okun’s Law already takes that effect into account.

But if the economy can’t expand as much as a multiplier says it “should” after an unfunded introduction of Medicare for All, what would happen? Inflation. Big time. Either that or the Fed would have to raise interest rates by a lot, crowding out a lot of private investment. That might be justifiable if the public spending itself takes the form of investment, say infrastructure. It’s less defensible if it’s for social insurance, no matter how pressing the need.

More at www.nytimes.com/2019/02/12/opinion/how-much-does-heterodoxy-help-progr
essives-wonkish.html


The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Thursday, February 14, 2019 7:52 AM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


You will definately have to draw a line in the sand and say who you believe is and who is not "progressive" in the Democratic party.






You and I both know why Democrats continue to lose to Republicans, and you've said it yourself before. Republicans, at least for the most part, have a single direction, where Democrats are a hodge podge of a bunch of miscellaneous crap these days that are usually at odds with each other.

I do hope that you're not saying that "Democrats" in general are in favor of Med4All, because that simply is not true at all.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Thursday, February 14, 2019 7:59 AM

CAPTAINCRUNCH

... stay crunchy...


He's funny alright! File it under: "Drunk loudmouth at a bar knows how to fix America." He's a living breathing Onion story.

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Thursday, February 14, 2019 8:03 AM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


Quote:

Originally posted by captaincrunch:
He's funny alright! File it under: "Drunk loudmouth at a bar knows how to fix America." He's a living breathing Onion story.




Anything in particular you don't agree with on these videos, or are you just spewing diarrhea of the mouth again?

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Thursday, February 14, 2019 8:45 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:

You and I both know why Democrats continue to lose to Republicans, and you've said it yourself before. Republicans, at least for the most part, have a single direction, where Democrats are a hodge podge of a bunch of miscellaneous crap these days that are usually at odds with each other.

I do hope that you're not saying that "Democrats" in general are in favor of Med4All, because that simply is not true at all.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

The richest, the top 50% of American voters are doing fine, they like the system the way it is, and most Democratic politicians know that the top 50% don't want change in how they get their health insurance. So the Democrats have to work around that and the fact that it only takes 41 Senators to kill any Medicare-for-All bill. The result is gridlock in Congress that stretches back decades and far into the future. There is nothing Democrats can do to permanently end gridlock, other than rewrite the Constitution, but the top 50% of American voters like the Constitution as it is. So we are stuck with what George Washington, Jefferson, and Madison designed. Other countries with constitutions modelled after America's have major problems that we have. The design is bad and it always causes noisy chaos and disfunction. (You might have noticed that the last 230 years of American history did not go smoothly, if you were paying attention in class.)

When, in 1985, a Yale political scientist named Juan Linz compared the records of presidential and parliamentary democracies, the results were decisive. Not every parliamentary system endured, but hardly any presidential ones proved stable. “The only presidential democracy with a long history of constitutional continuity is the United States,” Linz wrote in 1990. This is quite an uncomfortable form of American exceptionalism.
www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/10/our-fragile-constitution/
403237
/

Linz’s findings suggest that presidential systems suffer from a large, potentially fatal flaw. In parliamentary systems, governmental deadlock is relatively rare; when prime ministers can no longer command legislative support, the impasse is generally resolved by new elections. In presidential systems, however, contending parties must eventually strike a deal. Except sometimes, they don’t. Latin America’s presidential democracies have tended to oscillate between authoritarianism and dysfunction.

Even if we discount the failures of other presidential democracies, though, we should not dismiss the fact that the U.S. Constitution was modeled on a system that collapsed into civil war, and that it is inherently fragile. “This is a system that requires a particular set of political norms,” Eric Nelson told me, “and it can be very dangerous and dysfunctional where those norms are not present.” Once those norms have been discarded, the president or either house of Congress can simply go on strike, refusing to fulfill their responsibilities. Nothing can compel them to act.

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Friday, February 15, 2019 6:30 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


I don’t imagine that many people have heard about Trump’s nomination of David Malpass, currently an under secretary at the Treasury Department, to lead the World Bank.

The Malpass nomination highlights the remarkable character of Trump’s economic appointments.

Remarkable in what way? Every economist gets it wrong sometimes. But Trump only seems to choose men who have been wrong about everything.

Much press commentary has noted Malpass’ 2007 insistence, as chief economist at Bear Stearns, that there was no reason to be worried about the financial system. A few months later his own firm imploded.

But I think his most revealing piece of commentary was a 2011 screed against low interest rates and what Malpass considered a “weak dollar” policy. A low rate policy, he declared, hurts the economy because it “discourages thrift,” while the weak dollar was bad for confidence, or something.

This was really bad economics. At the time, America had 9 percent unemployment, entirely because of inadequate private spending; to the extent that low interest rates were discouraging thrift and making people spend rather than save, that would have been a good thing, not a problem. And Malpass’s argument for a weak dollar was just incoherent.

What’s really striking, however, is that the policies Malpass attacked were precisely the policies Donald Trump now demands: low rates and a weaker dollar ( a "weak" dollar makes American exports look cheaper to foreigners, who then buy more American goods than when the dollar is "strong"). So why would Trump want to promote him, and people like him?

Why does he do this? You’re not gonna like the reason: Right-wing hack economists are, with hardly any exceptions, hard-money, hyperinflation-is-around-the-corner types. So Trump ends up with officials whose past views are diametrically opposed to what he says now. This is Trump creating his own Deep State opposition, secretly bringing him down.

More at www.nytimes.com/2019/02/14/opinion/trump-david-malpass.html

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Monday, February 18, 2019 6:15 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


As a former U.S. attorney and state attorney general, I have spent my share of time in the courtroom before state and federal judges whose commitment to neutral principles and fairness made even losing parties respect their decisions. Today, that confidence is undermined by the Roberts Court’s undeniable pattern of political allegiance. Under Roberts, justices appointed by Republican presidents have, with remarkable consistency, delivered rulings that advantage big corporate and special interests that are, in turn, the political lifeblood of the Republican Party. The “Roberts Five” are causing a crisis of credibility that is rippling through the entire judiciary.

Several decisions have been particularly flagrant and notorious: Citizens United v. FEC wrongly held that unlimited special-interest spending couldn’t corrupt, or even appear to corrupt, American politics, unleashing torrents of corruption and public disdain. Shelby County v. Holder wrongly declared racism over, disabling key sections of the Voting Rights Act and prompting a surge of racist state voting legislation. District of Columbia v. Heller elevated as constitutional doctrine a Second Amendment argument once described by a former chief justice as a “fraud.” After a bald invitation from a Republican appointee, right-wing lawyers rushed to lose cases in lower courts so a friendly Supreme Court majority could deliver a blow to the labor movement in Janus v. AFSCME.

Dig a bit, and a pattern emerges far worse than just that handful of bad decisions. Since Roberts ascended to chief justice in 2006, the court’s bare 5-4 majority of Republican appointees has delivered such rulings not three or four times, not even a dozen or two dozen times, but 73 times in civil cases. There are 79 5-4 decisions with no Democratic appointee joining the majority since Roberts became chief justice; and 73 of them implicate issues important to powerful Republican political interests. The score in those 73 cases for the big Republican interests is 73-0.

The Roberts Five have been cavalier with any doctrine, precedent or congressional finding that gets in their way.

More at www.law.com/nationallawjournal/2019/02/15/sen-whitehouse-theres-a-cris
is-of-credibility-at-the-u-s-supreme-court
/

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Monday, February 18, 2019 8:20 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Texas Republican John Cornyn sent out a personal message through his 2020 U.S. Senate re-election campaign:

“Texas stands with President Trump.”

For Cornyn, seeking a fourth term in the Senate, the message underscored some of the central challenges of his re-election bid: For better or worse, his fate is inextricably tied to that of a famously polarizing and unpredictable president, with whom he will share a ballot.

Cornyn said, “I look at the things I can control, and I can control my preparation for what I think will likely be a fairly serious opposition in 2020. The president is at the top of the ticket, and I believe he will be responsible for nearly 100 percent of the turnout, about half of the voters for him, and half against him.”

www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/texas/article/Cornyn-faces-new-
threats-in-2020-re-election-bid-13618254.php


The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019 10:44 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Trump isn’t the first president, or even the first Republican president, who has sought to define his legacy in part with a big construction project. Abraham Lincoln signed legislation providing the land grants and financing that created the transcontinental railroad. Theodore Roosevelt built the Panama Canal. Dwight Eisenhower built the interstate highway system.

Why isn’t Trump building anything? During the 2016 campaign he didn’t just promise a wall, he also promised a major rebuilding of America’s infrastructure.

But month after month of inaction followed his inauguration. A year ago he again promised “the biggest and boldest infrastructure investment in American history.” Again, nothing happened.

Last month there was reportedly a White House meeting to game out a new infrastructure plan. This time they mean it. Really.

More at www.nytimes.com/2019/02/18/opinion/trump-infrastructure.html

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Friday, February 22, 2019 8:18 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Why has it taken us so long to see Trump’s weakness?

That weakness has been evident from the beginning. For last the two years, it hasn’t been a Democratic House but a GOP Congress that refused to give Trump money for his wall. Even with total control of the federal government, Trump never got an inch of that wall built. Nor was he able to get any legislation to restrict immigration.

The declaration of emergency is a desperate act of a desperate man who is becoming increasingly irrelevant in Washington. Trump’s announcement, claimed The New Yorker’s John Cassidy, shows that “he is a fundamentally weak and isolated President.”

Since Trump’s election, we’ve not heard much about the weakness of the presidency. All the things presidents were supposed to be unable to do — reshape the public, their parties, and the polity — journalists and pundits now believe a president can do. Through words alone. Everyone’s a Green Lanternist now. (That’s the bizarre notion that it is willpower, alone, that makes an effective, competent President. Also, a Green Lantern president with strong willpower, and a loud mouth, will beat a weaker-willed Lantern from Congress or North Korea in a duel. Green Lantern President doesn’t need help from anybody. He does it alone.)

More at https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/02/corey-robin-on-the-historovox-
what-we-missed-about-trump.html


The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Sunday, February 24, 2019 7:19 PM

JAYNEZTOWN


Jussie Smollett’s sisters, actresses and activists, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, and Jazz Smollett-Warwell, worked as leading campaign surrogates for former President Barack Obama, and less than a year ago, videos of Jussie dancing with Michelle Obama went viral.

https://canadafreepress.com/article/jussie-smolletts-sisters-worked-fo
r-barack-obama



Jussie Smollett
?Verified account
'With my big bro Jojo'

https://twitter.com/jussiesmollett/status/965781389261070337

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Monday, February 25, 2019 7:28 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Some have suggested that the U.S. is actually two countries in one -- a developed nation for the rich and a developing one for the poor. But recent trends like the fall in construction productivity and the rise in health costs suggest that inequality isn't the whole story here. The U.S. is simply becoming less efficient along a broad spectrum of measures.

How long can this loss of efficiency go on without hurting the country’s overall wealth? Nobody knows, but if the U.S. does eventually backslide in terms of gross domestic product, it wouldn’t be the first rich country to have done so in recent years. Italy has already traveled that path:

Italy constant gross domestic product per capita (2010 dollars)

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=mTpD
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Italy has been politically dysfunctional and divided for a long time. For almost a decade, a corrupt, divisive, populist president, Silvio Berlusconi, made the situation worse. The comparison with the U.S. certainly doesn’t look encouraging.

The U.S. shouldn’t wait and see if current trends persist. Instead, there needs to be a national focus on reducing excessive costs in key industries, improving the population’s health, increasing density in the country’s sprawling cities, upgrading public transit, and reducing corruption and waste in both the public and private sectors. If the U.S. wants to remain a developed country, it should try to look and act more like one.

More at www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-02-21/u-s-is-a-rich-country-wi
th-symptoms-of-a-developing-nation


The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Thursday, February 28, 2019 10:28 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Texans’ life expectancy varies wildly depending on zip code

Life expectancy varies by as much as 30 years in some parts of the state and 20 years in some parts of Harris County, according to a new report that breaks down the time Texans will likely live by race and geography. “[Even] a 10-year difference within a region is insane,” said Sandi Pruitt, a UT Southwestern Medical Center professor of population and data science and the research’s lead investigator. “We know that where you live is predictive of health, but the degree of variation in this study was quite striking.”

www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Texans-lif
e-expectancy-varies-wildly-depending-13647558.php


By the way, the state is controlled by Republicans. If the GOP ever loses control, life expectancy can, at best, only climb by 1 year per year, but you can expect Republicans to immediately blame Democrats for not raising it by 30 years in one year.

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Friday, March 1, 2019 8:42 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Trump, a brave and noble man, fights a lonely battle . . .
www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/2/25/1837372/-Cartoon-The-traveler


The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Monday, March 4, 2019 11:55 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


People ask for what politicians cannot possibly deliver

Q: Given the widespread disenchantment with political institutions that you describe, does it seem paradoxical that, in the United States, people are still intensely passionate about candidates and elections?

A: The public makes demands of politics that are crushingly existential. Many of us used to be more religious, or more community-minded, and we used to have bigger families that we were more closely involved with. I think that today, instead, we find a lot of empty spaces in our lives. We then turn to politics and ask that it provide meaning for our lives somehow. Unfortunately, political institutions have repeatedly shown that they cannot even deliver many of the practical goals that they were designed to fulfill. Modern societies are extremely complex and there are a host of unintended consequences to even well-intended policies. To expect that politics will be able to overcome this complexity and deliver predictable results — while also providing people a sense of meaning and identity — is asking for what cannot possibly be delivered.

The dilemma is that politicians still talk as though they can deliver whatever the public wants. After all, they want our votes. We force politicians who wish to be elected to promise the impossible — to offer us utopia. Once they are elected, when it becomes clear that utopia isn’t coming, the public feels betrayed and is driven to negation and revolt. We treat government like a divinity that has failed, yet we still continue badgering it for existential guidance that it cannot provide. The end result is disenchantment with every form of modern government.

Q: What I found interesting about your book is that in addition to criticizing the elite, you’re also quite skeptical of this newly vocal public.

A: When this new wave of information began to rise, I initially thought that I was on the side of the public. But on analyzing the statements and pronouncements of many of the new popular movements, I began to see that they had a distinctly nihilist streak. They were mired in negation towards the status quo, but rarely proposed clear alternatives to the order that they were bashing away at. The Arab Spring, as well as the Occupy movements and the Spanish “indignados,” among others in the West, were movements united on the basis of what they were against. They were far less clear about what they were in favor of or how they were going to build that future. The 2016 Brexit referendum and election of Donald Trump — both of which were based primarily on the angry repudiation of the status quo — provided further compelling evidence of this public sentiment.

Q: Do you think that this was a reflection of naiveté on the part of the public?

A: My favorite philosopher, José Ortega y Gasset, talked about “mass man,” or modern man as being the end product of a long historical process. Previous generations struggled to put him in a place of relative affluence and education, with material comforts and freedoms that were achieved at tremendous cost and usually involved bloodshed at some point. Mass man doesn’t see it that way. He feels that all these material gifts are as natural as the air he breathes. The good things in life are taken for granted. Meanwhile, the smallest desire that goes unfulfilled is a source of outrage. Much of the public’s sentiment today — that impulse to negation — is driven by a failure to understand or remember history. Or if they do remember history, to see it purely as the mother of all injustices and a source of problems that must be now be abolished. If there is one thing I would ask people to do, it would be to study history. When you abolish history, you lose your memory and it’s like you’ve had a stroke. That condition can lead you to do crazy things.

More at https://theintercept.com/2019/03/03/revolt-of-the-public-martin-gurri/

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Tuesday, March 5, 2019 6:20 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


On Monday, the New Yorker's Jane Mayer published an explosive expose on "the Fox News White House". The story makes clear in vivid detail that the headline question about Fox News — "Is it propaganda?" — is a resounding yes.

More at www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/03/11/the-making-of-the-fox-news-white
-house


On one level, everybody knows that television news is a big deal, everyone knows that Fox News is the most widely viewed cable network, and everyone knows that there is a complicated interrelationship between Fox and the GOP that is qualitatively different from the relationship between the Democratic Party and any media outlet.

But this relationship is rarely taken seriously enough in the analysis of American — or even global — politics.

It’s commonplace, for example, to treat the contemporaneous and narrow electoral victories of Donald Trump and Brexit in the United States and United Kingdom as revealing some important, deep-seated truth about the nature of global capitalism. An alternative explanation, however, is that Fox’s chairman, Rupert Murdoch, is a very powerful person in both US and UK media and he intervened decisively to put the Trump and Brexit phenomena over the top.

A study by Emory University political scientist Gregory Martin and Stanford economist Ali Yurukoglu estimates that watching Fox News translates into a significantly greater willingness to vote for Republican candidates.

Specifically, by exploiting semi-random variation in Fox viewership driven by changes in the assignment of channel numbers, they find that if Fox News hadn’t existed, the Republican presidential candidate’s share of the two-party vote would have been 3.59 points lower in 2004 and 6.34 points lower in 2008. Without Fox, in other words, the GOP’s only popular vote win since the 1980s would have been reversed and the 2008 election would have been an extinction-level landslide.

More at www.vox.com/2019/3/4/18249847/fox-news-effect-swing-elections

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Wednesday, March 6, 2019 4:01 AM

SHINYGOODGUY


So come right out with it. What are you trying to say?


SGG


Quote:

Originally posted by JAYNEZTOWN:
Jussie Smollett’s sisters, actresses and activists, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, and Jazz Smollett-Warwell, worked as leading campaign surrogates for former President Barack Obama, and less than a year ago, videos of Jussie dancing with Michelle Obama went viral.

https://canadafreepress.com/article/jussie-smolletts-sisters-worked-fo
r-barack-obama



Jussie Smollett
?Verified account
'With my big bro Jojo'

https://twitter.com/jussiesmollett/status/965781389261070337


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Thursday, March 7, 2019 6:29 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Trump’s nuclear policy could get us all killed

https://qz.com/1566325/

Drastically reducing America’s nuclear arsenal will strengthen US national security, nonproliferation expert Bruce Blair, a former US Air Force nuclear launch officer, told Congress today (March 6).

The MacArthur “genius grant” recipient said Donald Trump’s plan to expand US nuclear capabilities (pdf) will make the world a more dangerous place—and leave America more vulnerable to attack.

Appearing before the House Armed Services Committee, Blair called for the US to “return to the original, and generally accepted, basic premise of nuclear weapons”—using them solely for deterrence. Fighting war should be left to conventional forces, Blair insisted, according to prepared testimony he shared with Quartz.

“Our hair-trigger launch posture, which the Russians matched, continues to run the risk that fear, misperception, miscalculation, accident or false warning could trigger a nuclear exchange,” Blair said. “This risk of blundering into a nuclear war, rather than a cold-blooded sudden attack, presents what is by far the greatest immediate physical threat to the United States today.”

Trump’s proposed overhaul of nuclear forces would cost at least $1.7 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Blair lays out plans for a dramatically scaled-down version of current US capabilities, which he described in a phone interview as “massive overkill.”

Blair, a research scholar at Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security, told Quartz he hopes his alternative gets traction in the Democrat-controlled House. It will face opposition from the Republican Senate, the White House, and Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton, whom Blair characterized as a “one-man wrecking ball when it comes to arms control.”

“As you consider funding a makeover of our nuclear forces, it is a good time to choose between these competing worldviews. Should dangerous and unrealistic notions of warfighting continue to shape our nuclear posture and drive our investments, or should we pivot to a secure second-strike deterrent posture and leave warfighting to other weapons?”

More at https://qz.com/1566325/

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Friday, March 8, 2019 6:46 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


When problems reached Obama in the White House, he said, it was because they were unsolvable. He generally was being asked to choose between bad options. “By definition, if it was an easily solvable problem, or even a modestly difficult but solvable problem, it would not reach me, because, by definition, somebody else would have solved it,” he said. “So the only decisions that came were the ones that were horrible and that didn’t have a good solution. They said, ‘Let’s send this to Obama, I don’t know what to do.'” That way, he joked, “when things got all screwed up,” people could blame him.

Examples at https://qz.com/work/1567301/

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Friday, March 8, 2019 7:49 AM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


Quote:

Originally posted by second:
When problems reached Obama in the White House, he said, it was because they were unsolvable. He generally was being asked to choose between bad options. “By definition, if it was an easily solvable problem, or even a modestly difficult but solvable problem, it would not reach me, because, by definition, somebody else would have solved it,” he said. “So the only decisions that came were the ones that were horrible and that didn’t have a good solution. They said, ‘Let’s send this to Obama, I don’t know what to do.'” That way, he joked, “when things got all screwed up,” people could blame him.

Examples at https://qz.com/work/1567301/

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly



Sounds to me like he is whining about the job he did for 8 years.

He's so eloquent though. I really admire his ability to so expertly pass the buck here.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Friday, March 8, 2019 8:21 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:

Sounds to me like he is whining about the job he did for 8 years.

He's so eloquent though. I really admire his ability to so expertly pass the buck here.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

6ix, it is as plain as day that Obama is saying "The Buck Stops Here". That you misunderstand that, 6ix, says everything about your understanding. Informal definition: the responsibility for something cannot or should not be passed to someone else. Example: "in the past you could spread the blame, but now the buck stops here"

Maybe I should quote more from https://qz.com/work/1567301/

Moving forward, and fairly quickly, with impossible decisions about wars or a global financial crisis required, Obama said, “being comfortable with the fact that you’re not going to get a 100% solution, and understanding that you’re dealing with probabilities, so that you don’t get paralyzed trying to think that you’re going to actually solve this perfectly.”

“If I had set up a good process in which I could get all the information, all the data, all perspectives, if I knew that I had around the table all the angles…then I could feel confident that even if I didn’t get a perfect answer, that I was making the best decision that anybody in my situation could make,” Obama explained.

“Probably the last piece of this that was most critical was having the confidence to have people around you who were smarter than you, or disagreed with you, or have perspectives that were different than yours,” he said. This helped keep him from wasting time thinking he had reached solutions when he hadn’t.

“I think one of the problems with people who are in big jobs is they start feeling as if they have to project that ‘I have every answer,'” he said, “when, in fact, most of the time, you may not.”

https://qz.com/work/1567301/

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Friday, March 8, 2019 8:40 AM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


Quote:

Originally posted by second:
Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:

Sounds to me like he is whining about the job he did for 8 years.

He's so eloquent though. I really admire his ability to so expertly pass the buck here.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

6ix, it is as plain as day that Obama is saying "The Buck Stops Here". That you misunderstand that, 6ix, says everything about your understanding.



That is ABSOLUTELY NOT what he was saying. Especially when he "joked" about how everyone could blame him when things went wrong.

What he was saying was that he got all the impossible decisions that nobody else wanted to deal with, and since they were impossible he obviously didn't have to be held accountable for any of them.

The fact that YOU don't recognize that says everything about YOUR ability to understand the way con men... AHEM!... Politicians work.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Friday, March 8, 2019 9:11 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:
Quote:

Originally posted by second:
Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:

Sounds to me like he is whining about the job he did for 8 years.

He's so eloquent though. I really admire his ability to so expertly pass the buck here.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

6ix, it is as plain as day that Obama is saying "The Buck Stops Here". That you misunderstand that, 6ix, says everything about your understanding.



That is ABSOLUTELY NOT what he was saying. Especially when he "joked" about how everyone could blame him when things went wrong.

What he was saying was that he got all the impossible decisions that nobody else wanted to deal with, and since they were impossible he obviously didn't have to be held accountable for any of them.

The fact that YOU don't recognize that says everything about YOUR ability to understand the way con men... AHEM!... Politicians work.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

Compare Obama to Trump. Trump's chief of staff John Kelly and his Secretary of State and dozens of Trump's staff have said Trump understands nothing, knows nothing, but yet he feels the need in meetings to pretend he is the smartest guy in the room. Trump also felt the need to call Obama a dumb nigger that would have flunked out of school if Obama had been white, but it was Trump who has hidden his own report-cards and would have flunked out if his daddy had not been rich.

John Kelly Unloads: Working for Trump Was Awful, and His Wall Is Stupid
www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/03/john-kelly-unloads-working-for-trump-w
as-awful-his-border-wall-is-stupid


Trump’s Report-Card Threats: How bad could those Penn grades have been, yo?
www.phillymag.com/news/2019/03/02/best-thing-donald-trump-college-grad
es
/
You’d think a guy who once tweeted, “Sorry losers and haters, but my IQ is one of the highest — and you all know it!” would be more, how shall we say this? Secure.

Was Trump really a top student at Wharton? His classmates say not so much.
www.thedp.com/article/2017/02/trump-academics-at-wharton
Trump, who graduated from Wharton in 1968, claims he "graduated first in his class". He did not. Nor did he come in 2nd, 3rd, 4th or even 54th. He had zero honors.

Trump flaunts Wharton degree, but his college years remain a mystery
www.thedp.com/article/2015/08/donald-trump-wharton-classmates

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Friday, March 15, 2019 9:14 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


These days, when people talk about the robot apocalypse, they don’t usually think of things like strip mining and mountaintop removal. Yet these technologies utterly transformed coal mining: Coal production almost doubled between 1950 and 2000 (it only began falling a few years ago), yet the number of coal miners fell from 470,000 to fewer than 80,000.

Or consider freight containerization. Longshoremen used to be a big part of the scene in major port cities. But while global trade has soared since the 1970s, the share of U.S. workers engaged in “marine cargo handling” has fallen by two-thirds.

Technological disruption, then, isn’t a new phenomenon. Still, is it accelerating? Not according to the data. If robots really were replacing workers en masse, we’d expect to see the amount of stuff produced by each remaining worker — labor productivity — soaring. In fact, productivity grew a lot faster from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s than it has since.

So technological change is an old story. What’s new is the failure of workers to share in the fruits of that technological change.

I’m not saying that coping with change was ever easy. The decline of coal employment had devastating effects on many families, and much of what used to be coal country has never recovered. The loss of manual jobs in port cities surely contributed to the urban social crisis of the ’70s and ’80s.

But while there have always been some victims of technological progress, until the 1970s rising productivity translated into rising wages for a great majority of workers. Then the connection was broken. And it wasn’t the robots that did it.

What did? There is a growing though incomplete consensus among economists that a key factor in wage stagnation has been workers’ declining bargaining power — a decline whose roots are ultimately political.

Most obviously, the federal minimum wage, adjusted for inflation, has fallen by a third over the past half century, even as worker productivity has risen 150 percent. That divergence was politics, pure and simple.

The decline of unions, which covered a quarter of private-sector workers in 1973 but only 6 percent now, may not be as obviously political. But other countries haven’t seen the same kind of decline. Canada is as unionized now as the U.S. was in 1973; in the Nordic nations unions cover two-thirds of the work force. What made America exceptional was a political environment deeply hostile to labor organizing and friendly toward union-busting employers.

And the decline of unions has made a huge difference. Consider the case of trucking, which used to be a good job but now pays a third less than it did in the 1970s, with terrible working conditions. What made the difference? De-unionization was a big part of the story.

And these easily quantifiable factors are just indicators of a sustained, across-the-board anti-worker bias in our politics.

More at www.nytimes.com/2019/03/14/opinion/robots-jobs.html

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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