How do we turn the country around?

BG9 said:
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/feb/28/the-grey-wall-of-china-inside-the-worlds-concrete-superpower
While they build, we talk. But then talk is cheap.

 I don't think you can compare China to US regarding construction.  They have slave labor and no concern for worker safety or environmental impact.  



terp said:


drummerboy said:
That's usually terp's bailiwick.
 One of many! ;-)  Considering the health spending trajectory, private charity might not be the worst outcome. 

funny that. The ACA, before the R's got their hands on it, was bending the cost curve down.

Though, on second thought, your statement doesn't actually make any sense.


BG9 said:
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/feb/28/the-grey-wall-of-china-inside-the-worlds-concrete-superpower
While they build, we talk. But then talk is cheap.

 This is because China was building from nothing. (Not to say we don't have our own infrastructure issues.) But you can't really compare young economies like China's to the US in that regard.


Red_Barchetta said:


BG9 said:
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/feb/28/the-grey-wall-of-china-inside-the-worlds-concrete-superpower
While they build, we talk. But then talk is cheap.
 I don't think you can compare China to US regarding construction.  They have slave labor and no concern for worker safety or environmental impact.  

 +10

Link to CBS News Story on Muslim Uighur and Kazakh Slaves Working in Chinese Factories:    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/china-internment-camps-forced-labor-us-sportswear-traced-to-factory/

PS Nothing says fashion and quality like clothes made by slaves.  See https://www.baseballsavings.com/badger-mens-b-core-digital-t-shirt-p57126?SITE_ID=B0019&CID=PLA&gclid=Cj0KCQjwt_nmBRD0ARIsAJYs6o0Nhb8KzCKnh8lHgoAVtjiFpasbpHftoEPEZP_e1YLomG2RmNVufkcaAv8sEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

Also see (explaining that Badger has cut ties with Hetian Tada in January 2019):  https://www.badgersport.com/service/sourcing-update/


drummerboy said:


lord_pabulum said:

drummerboy said:


lord_pabulum said:

Mitch McConnell rules the world.
That's funny
 
It's really, really not.
He remade the Supreme Court all by himself. As he's remaking the American judiciary.
Name me one other American who will have a more lasting effect over the next 30-50 years.

  Your world view is quite limited then.
 let's have your counterexample.

McConnell and Trump have been incredibly destructive to our country but Mitch has been at it for much longer than Trump.  He stole a SCOTUS seat from Obama and has help load the courts with scores of wacko conservative judges.


terp said:

  

Again, if you think things would be fixed if we just elected people from 1 party
 

Electing Dems may not make things better but electing Republicans will certainly make them worse.


terp said:


DaveSchmidt said:
In other words, basil, vote with your feet. It couldn’t be easier.
(Grandma, the relative who watches the kids while you’re at work? Put her in a suitcase and GO. The house that suits you all right but won’t fetch much? Just list it on Airbnb and BE FREE.) 
 Seems cruel to treat grandma like that.  I hope Basil isn't Muslim.  After all, you have to take large central governments with all of their trappings.

I am only trying to make the point that central government isn't all bad, and localizing all government will not solve all problems. There are many things that you have to do centrally: fiscal policy, military, trade agreements, etc. Because if you don't you might as well become 50 countries.

I think a much bigger problem is the corruption in politics that is brought on by the role of money in politics. And the next biggest problem is everything that overrides the popular vote (electoral college, two senators per state independent of size, the fact that DC and PR have no senate representation at all). t should be one-person-one-vote, everything else is just asking for problems. 


yahooyahoo said:
McConnell and Trump have been incredibly destructive to our country but Mitch has been at it for much longer than Trump.  He stole a SCOTUS seat from Obama and has help load the courts with scores of wacko conservative judges.

 So you also agree that Mitch McConnell rules the world.


lord_pabulum said:
 So you also agree that Mitch McConnell rules the world.

 Mitch is a human nutcracker. 


nohero said:


BG9 said:

China has its problems, like all countries.
However, new infrastructure, they are head and shoulders above us:
Since 2003, China has poured more cement every two years than the US managed in the entire 20th century. Even after a dip in recent years, China uses almost half the world’s concrete. The construction sector – roads, bridges, railways, urban development and other concrete-and-steel projects – accounted for one-third of the expansion of the Chinese economy in 2017.
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/feb/28/the-grey-wall-of-china-inside-the-worlds-concrete-superpower
While they build, we talk. But then talk is cheap.
China's "top down" approach leads to what are called "ghost cities", developed areas with no people there.  
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Under-occupied_developments_in_China

One of the oldest Hong Kong companies has the name "Green Island Cement" and the swing-and-miss slogan: "Working together to build a green island."


s.ummerboy said:
We're in the worst shape of my 60 years on this earth, and going downhill fast.
States are passing draconian anti-abortion laws.
They're passing more and more voter suppression laws.
People can't afford insulin, fer gawd's sake.
The country's wealth flows up and up.

The judiciary is full of right-wing whackos.
The Supreme Court is in the bag for corporations, the Christian right and the GOP.
Mitch McConnell rules the world.
We're engaged in endless wars.
The deplorables are ascendant.

And I haven't even mentioned Trump.

How do we turn it around?
Is electoral politics enough?

You're entitled to your opinion and you cite important non-economic problems (but you don't mention climate change?), but the percentage of Americans who believe the country is on the on track is lower than it was a few years ago, and, I presume, a lot lower than it was in the 1970s.

For most Americans, right-track/wrong-track is based on the economy.


https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/direction_of_country-902.html

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/top_stories/right_direction_wrong_track_may13


South_Mountaineer said:


annielou said:
Yes, but how to get them to actually vote??
 One thing to do is tell the people who say voting doesn’t matter to STFU. 
Stuff like this - -

I believe in voting and never miss an election, but as New Jerseyans, our votes are not going to be decisive since we aren't a swing state in presidential elections and our two Senators are already part of the Senate Democratic caucus.  

If you care enough about politics to follow this thread, you know that the United States isn't very democratic, either in its Constitution or in its para-constitutional institutions (eg unlimited political spending by plutocrats, the Senate filibuster, primary election process, the Congressional leader's monopoly on legislative calendar control).

Although the US has always had undemocratic Constitutional features, in the past these features were not as consequential as they are now.  Donald Trump is only the second president since the 19th century to win the presidency despite losing the popular vote and Republicans control the Senate despite representing millions fewer people than the Senate Democrats do.  With their unified control of the presidency and Senate, Republicans have been able to add two very conservative judges to the all-powerful Supreme Court, despite the lack of a mandate to do so.

The filibuster was not used as commonly in the past too as it is today.

I always vote, but when I look at how disempowered the majority of America's electorate is in terms of representation and then how disempowered it would be to have majoritarian public policy enacted, I sometimes ask "why vote if public preference is never translated into public policy?"  

And if the Supreme Court can just gut whatever is enacted?  

I haven't given up hope yet on voting, but I refuse to call the United States a democracy.  It's something else for which we don't have a word, like "constitution-ocracy," "veto-ocracy," or "Senate-ocracy."  

Anyway, in America our democratic problem is that it's not whom you vote for, it's WHERE YOU VOTE.  




Runner_Guy said:

You're entitled to your opinion and you cite important non-economic problems (but you don't mention climate change?), but the percentage of Americans who believe the country is on the on track is lower than it was a few years ago, and, I presume, a lot lower than it was in the 1970s.

That’s an odd presumption. I don’t know what there was about the “crisis of confidence” decade that would lead anyone to make it.


If we are thinking globally and acting locally, we could start by giving Joey D the boot.


DaveSchmidt said:


Runner_Guy said:

You're entitled to your opinion and you cite important non-economic problems (but you don't mention climate change?), but the percentage of Americans who believe the country is on the on track is lower than it was a few years ago, and, I presume, a lot lower than it was in the 1970s.
That’s an odd presumption. I don’t know what there was about the “crisis of confidence” decade that would lead anyone to make it.

 I made a language mistake. I meant to say "the percentage of Americans who believe the country is off-track is lower than it was a few years ago."

Anyway, it underscores how central the economy is to Americans' belief about how well or how badly the country is doing.  



lord_pabulum said:
 So you also agree that Mitch McConnell rules the world.

 Putin rules the World. McConnell and Trump are just his lackeys.


We haven't hit rock bottom yet.  Until then and the deporables die off our downward trajectory will continue. There is plenty of stupid out there.  


Red_Barchetta said:
We haven't hit rock bottom yet.  Until then and the deporables die off our downward trajectory will continue. There is plenty of stupid out there.  

 You're going to wait for "rock bottom"?

It's probably not true but I once heard that a saying among the German Social Democrats in 1933 was "After Hitler, us".


LOST said:
 You're going to wait for "rock bottom"?
It's probably not true but I once heard that a saying among the German Social Democrats in 1933 was "After Hitler, us".

 I don't know what you mean by wait.  I will vote, give money where appropriate, and continue to stay informed.  But I don't expect much to come from any of it.  Say Biden or any of the other Dems wins 2020.  How exactly will anything be substantially improved?  Will any of the extreme abortion legislation turn any states blue?


Until people stop voting against their own best interests it's all theater. 


Red_Barchetta said:
 I don't know what you mean by wait.  I will vote, give money where appropriate, and continue to stay informed.  But I don't expect much to come from any of it.  Say Biden or any of the other Dems wins 2020.  How exactly will anything be substantially improved?  Will any of the extreme abortion legislation turn any states blue?


Until people stop voting against their own best interests it's all theater. 

 If Biden or any other Dem wins, one substantial change will be the possibility of getting a SCOTUS pick or two, which may help us hold onto Roe v Wade, assuming it hasn't already been overturned.


we need to start by teach personal responsibility and rewarding people for doing the right thing and taking responsibility for themselves.


jmitw said:
we need to start by teach personal responsibility and rewarding people for doing the right thing and taking responsibility for themselves.

 er, what? You think this is the main problem we're facing today?


Morganna said:
 If Biden or any other Dem wins, one substantial change will be the possibility of getting a SCOTUS pick or two, which may help us hold onto Roe v Wade, assuming it hasn't already been overturned.

 Right, but we would have to take the Senate also.  And thinking about the Justices, the next two likely to leave age wise are Ginsburg(86) and Breyer(80) so replacing either of these will not tip the balance in favor of Dems.  Of the 5 conservatives, Thomas is the oldest at 70.  


terp said:

if you think things would be fixed if we just elected people from 1 party

We're east of Eden here -- there's no "fixing." There are, however, choices with differences that are better or worse, and in our current time and place I believe voting for Democrats results in better differences. I think this is true even in the realm of foreign policy.

You say that Syria "is is a disaster because of [Obama]", though this seems a claim that far outreaches its support. Syria is a civil war, and the primary actors are Assad's regime (a "centralizing power," if that phrase means anything at all, and a particularly brutal one at that) and Syrian's opposed to it, with ISIL's attempts to seize territory within Syria for their own as a third major front.

The United States, Russia, Turkey, Iran and others play their parts, but they are not the central players. To claim that Obama is responsible for Syria is to give the US credit and blame at the expense of erasing Syrians from their own story. It's an ironically imperial impulse to find in a critique of US imperialism, though a common one.

The same impulse shows up in your comments on Libya. America air support was arguably crucial, but it certainly was not central. I suppose you refer to the conflict in North America between 1775–1783 as the French War of Regime Change?

No, there's a clear difference between playing an ancillary role in other nation's conflicts, and instigating such a conflict by means of invasion and occupation. It's a very large difference, not a subtle one, and if US involvement in Syria did not "fix" things, it's unarguably a thousand times better than what Bush did in Iraq, or what Bolton is pushing for in Iran.



Easy....make a left and another left...


Red_Barchetta said:
 Right, but we would have to take the Senate also.  And thinking about the Justices, the next two likely to leave age wise are Ginsburg(86) and Breyer(80) so replacing either of these will not tip the balance in favor of Dems.  Of the 5 conservatives, Thomas is the oldest at 70.  

 Replacing Ginsburg or Breyer with a "conservative" seals SCOTUS far into the future.

If a Dem is elected President his or her first SCOTUS pick must be Anita Hill. Or maybe Barack Obama.


Morganna said:
 If Biden or any other Dem wins, one substantial change will be the possibility of getting a SCOTUS pick or two, which may help us hold onto Roe v Wade, assuming it hasn't already been overturned.

 What can be overturned by SCOTUS can be reinstated by SCOTUS. If the current Court overturns Roe a future Court can do the opposite.

My fear is that there is enough of an authoritarian tendency among Trump and his advisers and supporters That if he is re-elected in 2020 there may not be an election in 2024. 

Trump accuses his opponents of "Treason". What prevents him from ordering the Dem House leadership, like Schiff or Nadler, arrested? He is "stonewalling" the House. With control of the Senate he may be able to ignore the House entirely or call the election of Dems to the House fraudulent and illegitimate.

I see a strong possibility of serious civil strife and possibly violence.


lord_pabulum said:


yahooyahoo said:
McConnell and Trump have been incredibly destructive to our country but Mitch has been at it for much longer than Trump.  He stole a SCOTUS seat from Obama and has help load the courts with scores of wacko conservative judges.
 So you also agree that Mitch McConnell rules the world.

He doesn't rule the world but he's doing his best to destroy it.


STANV said:


Morganna said:
 If Biden or any other Dem wins, one substantial change will be the possibility of getting a SCOTUS pick or two, which may help us hold onto Roe v Wade, assuming it hasn't already been overturned.
 What can be overturned by SCOTUS can be reinstated by SCOTUS. If the current Court overturns Roe a future Court can do the opposite.
My fear is that there is enough of an authoritarian tendency among Trump and his advisers and supporters That if he is re-elected in 2020 there may not be an election in 2024. 
Trump accuses his opponents of "Treason". What prevents him from ordering the Dem House leadership, like Schiff or Nadler, arrested? He is "stonewalling" the House. With control of the Senate he may be able to ignore the House entirely or call the election of Dems to the House fraudulent and illegitimate.
I see a strong possibility of serious civil strife and possibly violence.

Trump will not leave the White House quietly, whether it's in 2021 or 2025.

He will test the boundaries of our democracy on his way out.


yahooyahoo said:


STANV said:

Morganna said:
 If Biden or any other Dem wins, one substantial change will be the possibility of getting a SCOTUS pick or two, which may help us hold onto Roe v Wade, assuming it hasn't already been overturned.
 What can be overturned by SCOTUS can be reinstated by SCOTUS. If the current Court overturns Roe a future Court can do the opposite.
My fear is that there is enough of an authoritarian tendency among Trump and his advisers and supporters That if he is re-elected in 2020 there may not be an election in 2024. 
Trump accuses his opponents of "Treason". What prevents him from ordering the Dem House leadership, like Schiff or Nadler, arrested? He is "stonewalling" the House. With control of the Senate he may be able to ignore the House entirely or call the election of Dems to the House fraudulent and illegitimate.
I see a strong possibility of serious civil strife and possibly violence.
Trump will not leave the White House quietly, whether it's in 2021 or 2025.
He will test the boundaries of our democracy on his way out.

Yes, he will test the boundaries of our democracy and our system of rule of law, not just in 2021 or 2025, but constantly. He is a thug. And he may break our system, or maybe not, hard to predict.

But what goes around comes around. He is going to set all kinds of precedents for a President breaking the process or perhaps even breaking the law. And at some point there will be a Democratic President who can use these precedents to do good things. So I am thinking rather than fighting all his nonsense, maybe we should codify his behavior instead.



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