Author Topic: USA Politics (redux)  (Read 71701 times)

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Offline SimonNZ

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #2440 on: May 03, 2021, 03:09:27 PM »


And in addition to that, accusing someone of whataboutism while not addressing their point is doing the same exact thing the person who is doing the whataboutism is doing-

No. Whataboutism is at best disingenuous deflection and is something quite distinct from pointing to examples of hypocrisy. Addressing the points would be indulging the distraction, would be letting the distraction work.  (Though in practice people usually do address the points at least long enough to show why its a false comparison).

Its not "in the eye of the beholder". You've either constructed a logical argument well or you haven't. If not, that's on you.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2021, 03:12:17 PM by SimonNZ »

Offline Stürmisch Bewegt

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #2441 on: May 03, 2021, 03:12:55 PM »
Thanks, Daverz, I was quite dumbfounded (and encouraged) by the results.  My neighborhood, according to the database, is 66% Democrat, which is news to me.  I thought this a Republican stronghold (the state is red, certainly).  It would seem, then, that I have had the misfortune of mostly meeting (and talking to) pro-Trump Republicans on my and neighboring streets...
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Offline greg

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #2442 on: May 03, 2021, 03:34:27 PM »
No. Whataboutism is at best disingenuous deflection and is something quite distinct from pointing to examples of hypocrisy. Addressing the points would be indulging the distraction, would be letting the distraction work.  (Though in practice people usually do address the points at least long enough to show why its a false comparison).

Its not "in the eye of the beholder". You've either constructed a logical argument well or you haven't. If not, that's on you.
Ok, so basically the definition given by wikia, "the charge of hypocrisy" means that the charge is either incorrect or irrelevant (and that there is no double standard being pointed out)?

Would this be a good example of "whataboutism?"
ex: CCP China saying in response to the US about their Uyghur concentration camps: "Well, you have racial problems in the US, what about you?"

If it is...
First off, it's ridiculous for China to even mention it, of course.
But they are trying to make a point, too. They are saying the US should practice what it preaches with equality, etc.
The problem seems to be more that the general intentions and attitudes are way different. They think whataboutism will let them off the hook, when in reality, the US is trying to live up to these ideals, while China doesn't. And trying to live up to the ideals but not totally getting there isn't hypocrisy, just imperfection.
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Offline SimonNZ

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #2443 on: May 03, 2021, 03:44:41 PM »
A more common example from recent months would be Trump supporters turning discussion of the January 6 insurrection attempt to the BLM protests.

Offline Daverz

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #2444 on: May 03, 2021, 04:30:36 PM »
Thanks, Daverz, I was quite dumbfounded (and encouraged) by the results.  My neighborhood, according to the database, is 66% Democrat, which is news to me.  I thought this a Republican stronghold (the state is red, certainly).  It would seem, then, that I have had the misfortune of mostly meeting (and talking to) pro-Trump Republicans on my and neighboring streets...

There are many islands of blue in the red states.

San Diego County used to be heavily Republican.  It's a Navy town, and this was probably the influence of the military and defense industries in their heyday, but the area has diversified a lot.  I had never lived in a blue Congressional district in CA until 2012 after redistricting.  The rural areas are still Republican.  The congressional district just to the east of us went from being represented by Duncan Hunter to Darrell Issa.  They just traded one crook for another.

Offline drogulus

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #2445 on: May 04, 2021, 09:23:17 AM »

     Treasury secretary suggests Biden plans may require interest rate hikes, spooking investors

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in remarks aired Tuesday that the economy could be at risk of overheating if the Biden administration’s spending proposals are approved. She raised the prospect of future interest rate increases, which appeared to cause a sell-off in the stock market.

     Good one, Janet. She knows how the game is played. We can have our market mini-hiccup without a commitment to any shrinkonomic measures.

     In order to act responsibly one has to fend off the shrinksters with a little carefully chosen "responsibility theater". In Fedspeak you talk about "inflation expectations", an insiders term for inflation you don't really expect. It's much easier to expect "expectations" than the thing itself. We've learned that with brutal clarity. It's hard not to notice, so we better get started.

     On Earth, my favorite planet, we might get some inflation if spending goes up as much as Biden wants. It's good to know that inflation tends to be a bottlenecky thing, and that squeezing the whole economy to fight it can do more harm than good. Often it's better to just let the rabbit pass through the snake than raise unemployment to control the effects.
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Offline Herman

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #2446 on: May 04, 2021, 11:13:08 PM »
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/04/opinion/gop-trump-2020-election.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

Even though there is no chance Trump is going to come back to power, accepting and propagating The Big Lie is the sine qua non in the Republican Party. Otherwise you'll get primaried.

Offline drogulus

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #2447 on: May 05, 2021, 05:23:09 AM »
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/04/opinion/gop-trump-2020-election.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

Even though there is no chance Trump is going to come back to power, accepting and propagating The Big Lie is the sine qua non in the Republican Party. Otherwise you'll get primaried.

     McCarthy is a pathetic weakling who makes Mitch look like Pericles. That said, I can't see the percentage for him in doing anything differently.
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Offline drogulus

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #2448 on: May 05, 2021, 06:44:24 AM »
     Judge Orders Release of DOJ Memo About the Mueller Report’s Obstruction Case

In a 35-page opinion issued on Monday, a federal judge in Washington, D.C. concluded that the Department of Justice under former Attorney General William Barr made blatant misrepresentations to the court about an internal DOJ memorandum relating to Barr’s decision to preempt Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report with a summary of Mueller’s “principal conclusions.” Mueller delivered his report on March 22, 2019, but as the court explained, “the Attorney General did not share it with anyone else.” Instead, “before the weekend was over,” Barr sent to the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate judiciary committees a now-infamous four-page memo. On the basis of that March 24, 2019 memo, President Donald Trump, in the judge’s words, “declared himself to have been fully exonerated.” Barr then proceeded to delay for three weeks DOJ’s release of Mueller’s actual report of his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible criminal obstruction of justice by President Trump.

     Barr sought to prevent the release of the OLC memo on the grounds that it concerned internal deliberations. But wait, there's more:

Barr claimed in his March 24 memo that “the Special Counsel’s decision to describe the facts of his obstruction investigation without reaching any legal conclusions leaves it to the Attorney General to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime.” But as the judge noted, Barr had drawn his conclusion from “what he’d hardly had time to skim, much less, study closely.” Moreover, “the excised portions [of the Engel memo] belie the notion that it fell to the Attorney General to make a prosecution decision or that any such decision was on the table at any time.” Whereas Barr had been “disingenuous,” therefore, the DOJ had submitted affidavits to the court that “are so inconsistent with evidence in the record, they are not worthy of credence.”

     So, did Barr actually "deliberate" about the ultra-criminality of the Orange Former Guy or not? The judge suggests massive dishonesty on that point, that Barr tried to bury a strong obstruction case he never actually deliberated.  Barr lied about the Mueller case, just as we all thought he did.
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Offline Fëanor

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #2449 on: May 05, 2021, 07:03:21 AM »
     Treasury secretary suggests Biden plans may require interest rate hikes, spooking investors

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in remarks aired Tuesday that the economy could be at risk of overheating if the Biden administration’s spending proposals are approved. She raised the prospect of future interest rate increases, which appeared to cause a sell-off in the stock market.

     Good one, Janet. She knows how the game is played. We can have our market mini-hiccup without a commitment to any shrinkonomic measures.

     In order to act responsibly one has to fend off the shrinksters with a little carefully chosen "responsibility theater". In Fedspeak you talk about "inflation expectations", an insiders term for inflation you don't really expect. It's much easier to expect "expectations" than the thing itself. We've learned that with brutal clarity. It's hard not to notice, so we better get started.

     On Earth, my favorite planet, we might get some inflation if spending goes up as much as Biden wants. It's good to know that inflation tends to be a bottlenecky thing, and that squeezing the whole economy to fight it can do more harm than good. Often it's better to just let the rabbit pass through the snake than raise unemployment to control the effects.

I know that some economists like Paul Krugman have long advocated for a looser financial policy and a bit more inflation.  I no economist and I don't know the answer.

However too high inflation, whatever the percent may be, will end the era of the almighty USD.  That would mean an end to a the huge capital surplus the USA enjoys -- and what that would mean would that the USA could not longer sustain the huge negative goods & services trade balance it now "enjoys".  I say "enjoys" because it would mean an end to low prices for foreign goods, (e.g. from China), American consumers now enjoy.  (It would be interesting to see China's response to that eventuality.)

Historically rich countries have experienced the opposite, i.e. trade surpluses and capital deficits, (they are always exactly equal and opposite).  An example would be the UK in the 19th century when British investors invested their profits in the USA and other countries.  Can the USA's current, anomalous situation persist forever?

Offline drogulus

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #2450 on: May 05, 2021, 07:35:01 AM »
Can the USA's current, anomalous situation persist forever?

     I don't count forever persistence as anything other than a consequence, not a cause. The US conscripts foreign labor because US productivity is enormous, as is the size of our market. If we stop being buyers the world won't save as many dollars, and they will instead save in another currency, the one used by the biggest market for their products. Bursts of inflation don't change this all that much. We've run a goods and services surplus (current account deficit) for many decades. We won't run out of dollars because the US is the monopoly manufacturer of them. China is not our banker. China banks with us. Of course, they could decide not to sell goods to us because inflation spikes, or because they hate us, or another reason. But then, would that persist?

     I think we should run the economy hot enough for full employment and rising purchasing power. Monopoly market power is a more consistent producer of inflation than excess demand. Pure uncut demand side inflation is not easy to maintain, so by the time the monetarists get around to responding to it all they manage to do is crash the economy, solving the problem by creating a bigger one.
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Offline Fëanor

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #2451 on: May 05, 2021, 08:14:22 AM »
     I don't count forever persistence as anything other than a consequence, not a cause. The US conscripts foreign labor because US productivity is enormous, as is the size of our market. If we stop being buyers the world won't save as many dollars, and they will instead save in another currency, the one used by the biggest market for their products. Bursts of inflation don't change this all that much. We've run a goods and services surplus (current account deficit) for many decades. We won't run out of dollars because the US is the monopoly manufacturer of them. China is not our banker. China banks with us. Of course, they could decide not to sell goods to us because inflation spikes, or because they hate us, or another reason. But then, would that persist?

     I think we should run the economy hot enough for full employment and rising purchasing power. Monopoly market power is a more consistent producer of inflation than excess demand. Pure uncut demand side inflation is not easy to maintain, so by the time the monetarists get around to responding to it all they manage to do is crash the economy, solving the problem by creating a bigger one.

Well OK.

"We won't run out of dollars because the US is the monopoly manufacturer of them":  sure, but the problem isn't running out of USDs but having too many of them.

China as striven to keep the Renminbi low vs. the US dollar obviously in order to make it easier to sell US consumers good, (for instance, by buying US Treasuries with their trade surpluses).  They won't refuse to sell you goods but if the USD weakens significantly, US consumers might be much less willing to buy Chinese, (that's aside from tariffs).

Offline drogulus

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #2452 on: May 05, 2021, 08:43:33 AM »
Well OK.

"We won't run out of dollars because the US is the monopoly manufacturer of them":  sure, but the problem isn't running out of USDs but having too many of them.



     All I'm saying is that's easier said than done. Most dollars will tend to spur production until we run out of room. I think inflation theory should be more securely based on when it shows up for real, and less on fantasies about "monetary inflation".
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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #2453 on: May 05, 2021, 12:54:03 PM »
Well, and why did you suppose the disgraced former president planted him in that job?

A Federal Judge Finds That Bill Barr Was a Fixer and Corrupter of Justice
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Offline drogulus

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #2454 on: May 05, 2021, 01:27:45 PM »
Well, and why did you suppose the disgraced former president planted him in that job?

A Federal Judge Finds That Bill Barr Was a Fixer and Corrupter of Justice

     I though the story might slip through the cracks. The Former Guy got away with it, we should stop "wallowing in Watergate" blah etc. There'd be consequences for Barr if he had a reputation above "ant in the afterbirth". He'll be fine.
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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #2455 on: May 05, 2021, 04:39:28 PM »
Liz Cheney: While embracing or ignoring Trump’s statements might seem attractive to some for fundraising and political purposes, that approach will do profound long-term damage to our party and our country. Trump has never expressed remorse or regret for the attack of Jan. 6 and now suggests that our elections, and our legal and constitutional system, cannot be trusted to do the will of the people. This is immensely harmful, especially as we now compete on the world stage against Communist China and its claims that democracy is a failed system.

The GOP is at a turning point. History is watching us.
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Offline drogulus

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #2457 on: May 06, 2021, 06:04:28 AM »
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who famously vowed (and failed) to make President Barack Obama a one-term president, now insists: “One hundred percent of my focus is on stopping this new administration.”

McConnell’s candor is at least refreshing. He does not care about stomping out the coronavirus or strengthening U.S. leadership around the world or securing our democracy. His goals are all about — and only about — holding power. When Republicans refuse to support voting rights or infrastructure spending, remember that this is not about any argument on the merits. This is “100 percent” about “stopping this new administration.”


     It's called bipartisanship. Mitch wants to force Dems to be bipartisan with each other while he sits back and watches.

     The game is actually fun to watch if you don't care about the consequences. Repubs offer a compromise so paltry it doesn't even contain much of what they "want", Dems respond by lowering their bid, then Repubs vote no anyway. Angry voters punish the Dems because they know Dems are the active ingredient. There's no point in punishing scorpions for stinging, yes? It's what Mitch is for!

     
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Offline drogulus

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #2458 on: May 06, 2021, 06:38:16 AM »

     China Is a Paper Dragon

      Frum discusses a book that says things about China.

The book argues that China’s economic, financial, technological, and military strength is hugely exaggerated by crude and inaccurate statistics. Meanwhile, U.S. advantages are persistently underestimated. The claim that China will “overtake” the U.S. in any meaningful way is polemical and wrong—and wrong in ways that may mislead Americans into serious self-harming mistakes. Above all, Beckley pleads with readers not to focus on the headline numbers of gross domestic product. China may well surpass the United States as the largest economy on Earth by the 2030s. China was also almost certainly the largest economy on Earth in the 1830s. A big GDP did not make China a superpower then—and it will not make China a superpower now, or so Beckley contends.

     My argument is a little different, but I come to the same conclusion. The builder of yachts for billionaires can get richer without becoming richer than the customers. Chine builds things for us. We'll know China has become really rich when we build things for them and save in Chinese money. I don't think my fictional grandkids will ever have an account at the Chinese central bank.

     The danger is something I call Thucydides Trap 2.0. The first version has the established power fearing the rising one. Version 2.0 has the rising power fearing its rise is almost over so it better act now. The near term danger is greater.

     Biden’s Taiwan Policy Is Truly, Deeply Reckless

When it comes to defending Taiwan from a Chinese attack, Washington’s official policy is “strategic ambiguity”: The United States won’t say how it would respond. Nonetheless, the Biden administration has said that America’s support for Taiwan is “rock solid,” and calls for a more formal commitment to the island’s defense are growing. But whether or not the United States officially pledges to come to Taiwan’s defense, it is deeply reckless to believe that it can both provoke Beijing by undoing the “one China” compact and deter it with the threat of military force.

It’s reckless because deterrence requires power and will, and when it comes to Taiwan, the United States is deficient in both. According to Fareed Zakaria, “The Pentagon has reportedly enacted 18 war games against China over Taiwan, and China has prevailed in every one.”


     
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Offline MusicTurner

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #2459 on: May 06, 2021, 06:49:26 AM »
Interesting post, thank you.