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Shadow1980 said:
JWeinCom said:

It is completely pointless to argue with conspiracy theorists. Their position was never based on evidence, so virtually no amount of evidence will persuade them. 

Evidence against the conspiracy is viewed as evidence for the conspiracy in the minds of the conspiracy theorists. They intentionally structure their claims to be unfalsifiable. We've all seen it. "Oh, that's just what they want you to think." "You must be on it as well, you shill!" They dismiss everything out of hand that doesn't reinforce their beliefs. It reminds me of Sagan's "dragon in my garage" thought experiment in his book "The Demon-Haunted World" where he imagines a scenario where he claims to have a dragon in his garage, and his friend, surprised to find no dragon, is told that it's invisible, but every other test his friend suggests to confirm the dragon's existence in other ways is met with some sort of special excuse saying why that test won't work. As Sagan said towards the end of it:

“Now, what's the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all? If there's no way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exists? Your inability to invalidate my hypothesis is not at all the same thing as proving it true. Claims that cannot be tested, assertions immune to disproof are veridically worthless, whatever value they may have in inspiring us or in exciting our sense of wonder. What I'm asking you to do comes down to believing, in the absence of evidence, on my say-so.”

Unfortunately, we now have an entire political party that operates largely on the basis of conspiracy theories. The GOP base has long been primed to accept stuff like this thanks to decades of sensationalist, scaremongering, red-baiting propaganda from right-wing talk radio and Fox News. I mean, look at how many of them have long thought that global warming is a literal communist hoax designed to take away their freedom. But it really hit critical mass in the Trump era and especially once the pandemic hit. It's going to be really hard to recover from this, as the conspiracy theories have become so integral to American conservatives' worldview that there's little hope of dissuading any substantial portion of them. If Trump or Tucker or OAN or whoever says it, they believe it, end of discussion.

Love Sagan, but I think Jonathan Swift said it more succinctly.

You cannot reason someone out of something he or she was not reasoned into.

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It's not just the GOP that is the issue with how things are run in the US, the "Moderates" have dominated politics for decades and left the country in this desperate state with the erosion of the social safety net, broken infrastructure and long term environmental damage, and they still want business a usual :/

Professor Eddie Glaude has great insight into US issues, and how poorly they have been managed under decades of "moderate" leadership 



Joe Rogan goes full ultranationalist nutjob:

I used to like this guy but he's consistently chipped away at that over recent years and I think this was the last straw for me. Fuck Joe Rogan.

Daily Show clip comparing fox news' reaction to football players kneeling, and football fans chanting fuck Joe Biden.

This is a perfect example of a point I've made several times about people who rant about political correctness or cancel culture or whatever. It's simply a way for them to try and shut down opposition without having to actually address the argument. They don't give a shit about something being political when it's their politics.

Drowning in the polls, immediately flipping on her campaign promises, gleefully sabotaging her party, what do you think Sinema's endgame is? Because it clearly isn't to get reelected. Is she going to try and switch parties or is she making the fastest beeline possible to some sort of lobbyist job after a one and done term? This b**** is bewildering.

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Hey! Just wanted to take a moment to praise the House Progressive Caucus tonight.

Earlier this year, I stirred up some controversy here by proposing that Congressional progressives should vote down the Covid relief bill that wound up passing in early March in order to reset the dynamics of that debate such that the minimum wage hike originally contained therein (of great personal importance to me, as someone living on $9.39 an hour) might be reinserted in the final bill, protesting that unless such a bold step were taken, the minimum wage increase would be dead and forgotten. Well what wound up happening is what usually happens when it comes to these economic policy debates: the right wing Democrats like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema got every concession they asked for and the progressives just got rolled, and the minimum wage increase President Biden and the Democrats promised on the campaign trail was forgotten at my expense because Senator Manchin is invested in companies that pay their workers well below $15 an hour and it's his personal return on investment that really matters here. The nation has since continued to struggle with the reality of price growth exceeding wage growth each and every month this year. Maybe, just maybe, a higher minimum wage might've helped remedy that situation for the poorest 30 million or so Americans while also minimizing the labor shortage that developed (the underlying reason why prices have risen so unusually quickly) by giving people more of a reason to go back to work amidst these new, riskier conditions. Just saying.

Anyway, same thing is what happened to the public option originally envisioned in the Affordable Care Act back in 2009-10 and lots of other debates held primarily amongst Democrats in situations like these before it. When it comes to economic policy, right wing Democrats always get whatever they want in these situations and left wing Democrats reliably capitulate on everything and just go along to get along. After all, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. A narrow Democratic majority is only as strong as the weakest link in the chain. It pays then, frankly, to be the weakest link! That's how you get political leverage! Yesterday (or the day before, depending on when you're reading this, as it's just past 11 PM my time right now) the House progressives did something genuinely groundbreaking in this connection: they decided to do something different and become the weakest link, and in so doing, gained the upper hand in the ongoing budget debate. It's a big deal!

Let's start with how we got here.

After the Covid relief bill passed, President Biden's next major legislative priority was passing a slate of public works programs and economic reforms, a far more advanced version of which was once known as the Green New Deal and the much watered-down Biden version of which was known as "building back better" because politics. A logical problem with this next step emerged immediately though when President Biden cynically split the "building back better" goals into two separate bills rather than a single budget bill. One only does that, frankly, if there's one set of proposals they're prepared to sacrifice. This set the tone. So the problem here began with none other President Biden himself and everything else stems from this original act of cynicism.

Subsequently ordering his priorities, Biden proposed that the Congress take up the infrastructure bill to repair the nation's crumbling roads and bridges and improve its broadband internet access and so forth immediately and that the family programs bill encompassing such goals as paid family leave, child allowances, more universal child care, universal preschool  education, substantial expansions of both Medicare and Medicaid, free community college, climate change initiatives, etc., could be taken up after the aforementioned infrastructure bill had been passed into law. This made it clear which propositions were of greater importance to the administration: the ones, quite frankly, that would mainly benefit men. (I mean unless you figure a raft of new, manual labor-intensive jobs in manufacturing and construction would mostly go to women, that is.) The stuff that mainly benefits women, as the main caregivers of our society and also as most providers of such services as health care and education, on the other hand, was secondary and non-essential. What followed was months of debate with Republicans over the terms solely of that first, infrastructure bill yielding a final version that was barely one-third of its original scale and devoid of any tax increases on wealthier people. Passage of this proposition to spend an average of just $120 billion a year for ten years repairing about 10% of the nation's $10 trillion worth of disrepair was hailed as an important victory even though, especially after adjusting for inflation, it's tantamount to but a fraction the level of investment passed under Obama in the form of the Recovery Act; a scale so small relative to that of the problem that most Americans frankly wouldn't even notice the difference.

Enter the progressives.

Intervening in this situation, the House Progressive Caucus refused to accept the division of the "building back better" program into two parts and insisted instead that the family bill must pass both chambers of Congress before this sorry excuse of an infrastructure bill or else the latter wouldn't get their votes. Right wing Democrats in both chambers of Congress objected, in fact objecting to the whole idea of the family bill, and insisted that ONLY the infrastructure bill should pass at all. House Speaker Pelosi, being capable of doing math as to which group was larger, sided with the progressives, thus forcing President Biden himself -- not known for taking the lead much in general -- to effectively abandon his original two-stage approach. This implied agreement held until this week.

The trade-off made to right wing Democrats was a deadline of September 27th by which a floor vote in the House of Representatives on the infrastructure bill was promised. Implied in this logic was that, in the interim, the details of the family bill would be hashed out between the factions, allowing both propositions to pass simultaneously in late September. No such debate occurred. Right wing Democrats instead stonewalled on the family bill in the hopes that Speaker Pelosi would abandon her commitment to it. And indeed they got their wish this week, as Pelosi agreed to hold her promised floor vote on the infrastructure package despite zero progress having been made on the family bill in the interim. A promise kept to the party's tiny right wing and a promise broken to its larger left wing. Shocker. Be shocked! The presumption was that the Progressive Caucus would just do the same thing it did during the Covid relief bill debate; the same thing they always do in the end: capitulate. Go along to get along. Not make waves. They finally decided to do something different this time though!

The House progressives yesterday did something revolutionary by actually holding firm on their pledge for once and thus successfully blocked a vote on the infrastructure bill in order to preserve the leverage they needed to ensure that something other than JUST that "bi-partisan" bill actually gets passed in the end. I place the much-touted term 'bi-partisan' in quotation marks here because, in reality, barely a dozen House Republicans planned to vote in favor of the infrastructure bill while, by contrast, some 60 progressive Representatives planned to vote against it if it came to the floor, and this difference proved sufficient for House Speaker Pelosi to abandon her plans to bring the bill to the floor at this time, separately from the much-larger family bill. It goes to show that, far from enjoying "bi-partisan" support, the infrastructure bill hardly even enjoys single-party support as a standalone bill! And lo and behold that today, the very next day, the dynamics of this whole debate have shifted fundamentally: President Biden met with Congress today and insisted that some version of the family bill must pass and Senator Manchin has produced a dollar amount ($1.5 trillion) he's willing to vote for when it comes to the family bill while Senator Sinema also claimed she'd produced a similar proposed price tag to the White House. Together, these developments provide the basis for further negotiations that are likely to yield compromises on everyone's part, but ultimately the passage of some version of both bills, NOT just one! We were headed down a track to see just one bill get passed before yesterday. Now we are on a track to see both get passed, as the right wing Democrats have finally been forced to start negotiating in good faith concerning the family bill for the first time rather than dishonestly, transparently toward the aim of sinking it entirely as before.

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not always on the side of the progressives. They are, however, the clear heroes of this story and the only characters whose position has made any sense or had any moral standing in my eyes throughout this whole ridiculous episode. Their position on this program has NOT been unreasonable at all. The progressives have NOT insisted on their own program -- not on the passage of the Bernie Sanders presidential platform of Medicare for all, tuition-free college across the board, etc. etc. -- but rather on the passage of the program the public voted for last year: the one Biden ran on, calling for an expansion of the Affordable Care Act, tuition-free community college, etc. They have asked the president and the Democratic Congress simply to do as they promised to do last year, nothing more. It's NOT too much to ask! What's more, the progressives have been willing to make compromises and come down on their preferred levels of expenditure by quite a lot. The $3.5 trillion family plan (actually just $350 billion a year of investment on average since it's spread out over a decade) was originally envisioned as a $6 trillion investment, and the progressives have already voiced a willingness to go lower still on this. It's granted that as much is a simple necessity, given that that right wing 4% of the Democratic caucus must vote for the final bill to pass after all. But whereas I dislike Senator Manchin's ideas for how to do so, like imposing means testing for a bunch of these programs that are supposed to be universal, I'm encouraged by an alternative proposal suggested today by progressive Representative Jamie Raskin:

"Maybe not everything can be funded for ten years; maybe it's going to be a lesser period of time. At least we'll be able to develop these programs and make a commitment to the American people. Then we'll be able to make a judgment after four years or five years about the programs and whether they are working."

The fact is that once people get a taste of a new public benefit, they tend to like it and not want it subsequently eliminated. This is the smart thinking behind Raskin's position. That's the sort of vision that I hope prevails in the end because these are the sorts of new programs and reforms that the public will definitely notice and like. In fact, the public already does like them. For as beholden to their properties and wealthy campaign donors as Senators Manchin and Sinema clearly are, they might do well to note that both the infrastructure and family bills poll better than they do even in their less-than-blue states. Their political careers hence might be helped by foregoing their loyalties to the Business Roundtable for a change and instead concerning themselves with what real people in this country want and need.

Last edited by Jaicee - on 02 October 2021

TallSilhouette said:

Drowning in the polls, immediately flipping on her campaign promises, gleefully sabotaging her party, what do you think Sinema's endgame is? Because it clearly isn't to get reelected. Is she going to try and switch parties or is she making the fastest beeline possible to some sort of lobbyist job after a one and done term? This b**** is bewildering.

It's Queen Sinema. And everybody likes her.

She's fighting for what she believes in. According to this article from Nytimes, Sinema doesn't support corporate or individual tax increases

"Ms. Sinema has said she cannot support a bill that large, and has privately told Senate Democratic colleagues that she is averse to the corporate and individual tax rate increases that both the House and Senate tax-writing committees had planned to use to help pay for the measure."

The democratic leadership is aware of her positions.

She might be my favorite Senator atm as progressives don't like her :)

Edit: Forgot about your video, Sinema is clearly marketing herself as a moderate so most criticism are just about policy, but I agree she probably could be more public about her exact positions for this bill. But every politician has their own style.

Last edited by Trumpstyle - on 02 October 2021

6x master league achiever in starcraft2

Beaten Sigrun on God of war mode

Beaten DOOM ultra-nightmare with NO endless ammo-rune, 2x super shotgun and no decoys on ps4 pro.

1-0 against Grubby in Wc3 frozen throne ladder!!

That's just her not playing by anybody's rules. What a go getter.

Trumpstyle said:

It's Queen Sinema. And everybody likes her.

While the findings of your poll are certainly interesting and worth noting, I find your dependence on a single poll indicating that 46% of Arizonans like Senator Sinema as a person (which is quite far from "everybody") amusing. This is much too big a leap of logic to draw from such limited evidence. For example, here's another survey of Arizonans conducted early last month (i.e. at a similar point in time to the one you showcased) that 1) evaluates her actual job approval rating, which is more important than her personal favorability rating, and 2) finds Senator Sinema to be dead even at 30% job approval and 30% disapproval, which stands in contrast to the other Democratic Senator from Arizona, Mark Kelly, who is above water by 15 points (45% approve, 30% disapprove). Sinema, in this survey, is notably better-liked by Donald Trump voters than by Joe Biden voters. And that I find somehow believable, as her sole enthusiast here seems to be a contributor named Trumpstyle who joined the forum shortly before the 2016 presidential election.