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Post 15 Mar 2019, 9:53 am

If Dukakis beats Bush in 1988, he would have lost to the Republican in 1992 (war, economy). If so, we have no Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich is just another congressman. Maybe Bob Dole or some other sensible Republican for 8 years to close out the 20th century, and I expect that we are in a completely different place as a nation and world today.

The Clinton's were so polarizing. I don't fully understand it, but they clearly have been, and I think we can draw a straight line from the 1990s to the deep divisions we see today.

Lots of great alternative histories can be written about that guy! Oh, if only he didn't put on that helmet!
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Post 16 Mar 2019, 5:51 am

I don't think that 1988 or Bill Clinton has anything to do with today's polarization. This is something that many western democracies are experiencing. We have Brexit, white supremacist terrorism from New Zealand to Norway, rightist undercurrents in Eastern Europe; Putin and many others longing for the former Soviet Union. This is not just the US, and certainly not about the 90's.

Economies, technologies, and cultures change; politicians ride the currents as best they can.

Getting to the topic at hand, I'll take Biden or any moderate democrat. I fear the Democrats will nominate someone who I find more scary than Trump. They will be even more scary if the Democrats control both houses of Congress. This left wing anti-capitalism movement is very dangerous.
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Post 16 Mar 2019, 6:29 am

Ray Jay wrote: I fear the Democrats will nominate someone who I find more scary than Trump. .


Name one.
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Post 16 Mar 2019, 7:25 am

geojanes wrote:
Ray Jay wrote: I fear the Democrats will nominate someone who I find more scary than Trump. .


Name one.


Harris
Warren
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Post 16 Mar 2019, 8:33 am

Ray Jay wrote:
geojanes wrote:
Ray Jay wrote: I fear the Democrats will nominate someone who I find more scary than Trump. .


Name one.


Harris
Warren


To be clear, you would support Donald Trump over Harris or Warren?
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Post 16 Mar 2019, 8:47 am

geo
If so, we have no Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich is just another congressman. Maybe Bob Dole or some other sensible Republican for 8 years to close out the 20th century, and I expect that we are in a completely different place as a nation and world today.

A linch pin in the increasing inequality, and in the undermining of investment regulation that largely created the crash of 08 was the Gramm-Leach-Bleiley Act.In your scenario, this would probably still have happened.
Nothing in your scenario precludes an invasion of Iraq as a reaction to 9/11 either... And there's little change in the conditions that motivated the 9/11 terrorists... Which launched the geopolitical uncertainty that continues..
Those two things (the reaction to 9/11 and the crash) are the major recent events that have shaped the current.
Again, in your scenario, there's little liklihood that things would have been different... unless you want to argue a brighter more able President in place than Bush II at the point of the crisis. (Without Cheney and the neocons near power.)
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Post 16 Mar 2019, 9:38 am

geojanes wrote:
Ray Jay wrote:
geojanes wrote:
Ray Jay wrote: I fear the Democrats will nominate someone who I find more scary than Trump. .


Name one.


Harris
Warren


To be clear, you would support Donald Trump over Harris or Warren?


Hmmm … can I get back to you on that in 19 months and 15 days?
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Post 17 Mar 2019, 5:50 am

If I can be more helpful in my answer.

It's true that Trump is a terrible jerk and that brings us all down. I also abhor is stance on immigration. Other than that, there hasn't been great harm in what he has done. He hasn't gotten us in to any disastrous wars ala Bush II, Johnson, or Nixon. He hasn't armed and abetted terrorists with $2 billion USD of cash like Obama. He's given North Korea unearned legitimacy, but so what? It's really no worse than the prior 4 Presidents who hadn't stopped his nuclear progression.

Russia has tried to take advantage of us and the world in Syria and Ukraine, but again, no worse than the last couple of presidents. He's abetted the serial human rights violator Saudi Arabia, but so had his predecessors, and for the same reasons. China continues to flex new muscles that it didn't know it even had, but again, Trump is no worse than his predecessors. I agree with tough negotiating on trade with China which he is very good at. I don't agree with overly tough negotiating with our allies, but some is okay, and that seems to be largely behind us. I wish he approved the Pacific Trade Deal; however, both Hillary and Bernie were going to say no as well.

On the domestic front, the economy is humming. I'm very worried about deficits, but economic growth gives us a chance to grow out of it. Stagnation is very dangerous, particularly in these hateful times. If the economy stagnates, all the problems get worse, and the finger pointing gets much worse.

Which brings me to Warren and Harris. They do not have good instincts as it relates to capitalism. Warren wants to break up Facebook, Amazon, and Google. That's insane since they are all competing with each other in many ways. Many of the Democratic nominees support the green new deal. We can be fully green in 10 years? We are going to guarantee lifetime pay to those who are unwilling to work?

If the Democrats control both houses and this nonsense becomes the law we will have huge economic problems and our society will continue to polarize. That's way more dangerous than the latest stupid tween made by the current POTUS.
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Post 17 Mar 2019, 9:57 am

I think what is happening is a fall-out of the break-up of the Soviet Union. You can look at 1918-1990 as a result of the final destruction of feudal aristocracy. And then from 1918-1990 you have competing economic/political systems fight it out (fascism, communism, capitalism) with capitalism eventually (fortuntately) prevailing. And in the 1970s you had conservative economic grouos starting to try and swing economic policies to a more laissez-faire economic system (funding think tanks, lobbying, supporting politicians who supported their views, etc.).

The collapse of communism ended a existential threat (which was great), but it also allowed simmering racial, social and religious antagonisms to resurface with a vengeance (which was bad). And of course with the exponential increase of communication caused by the internet, people with like-minded extremistd views had a much easier time finding each other and reinforcing each other's views. And without communism as a threat, capitalism was allowed to become a system where labor became a cost that had to avoided and the rewards of the economy mainly went to a favored few.

So I don't think the candidates who are putting plans to rein in capitalism are the problem. A status quo candidate like Biden would be worse. We need to do whatever needs to be done to make more people benefit from the system and more people are vested in the system. That's the glue that holds society together. When 80% of the country is living pay-to-check, people might be willing to look for more radical alternatives. The concentration of wealth and seemingly more corrupt political system (there has always some amount of "legal" corruption but it's worse now) due to billionaires having vast amounts of wealth they can use to get the political system to do what they want also causes people to lose faith in the system.

Which brings me to Trump. The damage he has done is enormous and Republicans don't care because "their side" is in power. The attacks on our institutions, the attacks on what is factual truth, the attacks on the media, the erasure of political norms, the declaring of an emergency when there is no emergency, the stoking of religious and racial tensions--all these things are chipping away at our democracy. We have a strong base after almost 250 years, but he is doing damage. Whether at the behest of Putin or not...he has acted like a Russian agent in trying to undermine faith in the tenets of democracy. He has an approval rate of 4% among Democrats and 90% among Republicans--the largest gap ever. The tolerance of Republicans for someone who is literally helping to destroy our system is unsettling.

The challenge is to come up with reforms to make sure the benefits of society don't mainly just got to to the top 20% (mostly to the top 5 or maybe 10%) and go to a wider swath of the population. If there are no reforms...tensions will continue to rise.
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Post 17 Mar 2019, 10:16 am

ray jay
He hasn't armed and abetted terrorists with $2 billion USD of cash like Obama.


This is such BS rayjay...

https://www.politifact.com/georgia/stat ... r-support/

On the other hand Saudi Arabia continues to get arms to bomb Yemenis... (And not just from the US)

Otherwise I think you are making the argument that the Trump administration is
corruption tempered by incompetence...

We have yet to see the entire bill for the incompetence of Trump. Ask Midwest soybean farmers how they feel about Trump tariffs by the end of the year. If they still give him a pass because of special cash subsidies ...welcome to Soviet style agriculture... We'll pay you to grow something we can't find a market for...
Ask future generations how bad the climate has become ... and wonder how much of a contribution did the Trump years add?

The US and world economy is now slowing down, but wealth and income inequality is growing ...(And his policies on taxation and corporate governance are really just decades old right wing policies that have failed before).
And US trade exports have generally been hurt..
Within a few more months it'll be tougher to equivocate.
https://talkmarkets.com/content/economi ... ost=213363

And if you think
that Trump is a terrible jerk and that brings us all down.

I guess I have to ask if you aren't simply ignoring the damage he has done by being
a terrible jerk.
Which, (terrible jerk) other people would say is a pretty soft description of a man who has been a demonstrable racist, and misogynist, who has demeaned, diminished and attempted to discredit many important American institutions for political gain and who has promoted incompetence and ignorance through his entire administration ...
You may be right in the end. That in 20 years Trump will be seen as a bump in the road...
But is that because he has helped to discredit conservative policies and thus helped prepare the electorate for a swing way left?
If so, I'm guessing your personal view of him would harden. No?
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Post 19 Mar 2019, 2:14 am

Ricky:
ray jay
He hasn't armed and abetted terrorists with $2 billion USD of cash like Obama.



This is such BS rayjay...

https://www.politifact.com/georgia/stat ... r-support/


This is the substance of what you posted.

In August 2016, many news organizations reported the delivery of $400 million of that $1.7 billion in cash. As part of that exchange, an unmarked cargo plane delivered the money after American officials were certain that three Americans held in Iran were on their way home.
It is not known how the remaining $1.3 billion made its way to Iran. Given the isolation of Iran’s banking system, it is possible that the payment was made in cash and flown to Iran, but neither we nor Handel’s staff could point to any report that said that definitely took place.


So, $400 million IN CASH was sent to a terrorist regime and maybe as much as $1.7 billion was sent there. The issue to me is that is was sent in cash which provides them with an amazing opportunity to fund terrorism. International banking systems are one of the most effective ways to fight terrorism, and Obama circumvented that.

Ricky:
I guess I have to ask if you aren't simply ignoring the damage he has done by being
a terrible jerk.


I'm not ignoring it. I think it is very real and very important.

Ricky:
But is that because he has helped to discredit conservative policies and thus helped prepare the electorate for a swing way left?
If so, I'm guessing your personal view of him would harden. No?


Yes, he has been a disaster for the Republican brand.

But people on these pages asked me, a swing voter, my position on Trump vs. certain democratic candidates. I was asked to explain my thinking on the choice between two poor options. If democrats will control Congress, then some of the democratic presidential candidates can be very harmful.
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Post 19 Mar 2019, 2:20 am

freeman3 wrote:And without communism as a threat, capitalism was allowed to become a system where labor became a cost that had to avoided and the rewards of the economy mainly went to a favored few.

So I don't think the candidates who are putting plans to rein in capitalism are the problem. A status quo candidate like Biden would be worse. We need to do whatever needs to be done to make more people benefit from the system and more people are vested in the system. That's the glue that holds society together. When 80% of the country is living pay-to-check, people might be willing to look for more radical alternatives. The concentration of wealth and seemingly more corrupt political system (there has always some amount of "legal" corruption but it's worse now) due to billionaires having vast amounts of wealth they can use to get the political system to do what they want also causes people to lose faith in the system.

...

The challenge is to come up with reforms to make sure the benefits of society don't mainly just got to to the top 20% (mostly to the top 5 or maybe 10%) and go to a wider swath of the population. If there are no reforms...tensions will continue to rise.


I think you should focus on median income, labor force participation rates, and unemployment rates as opposed to what the rich have. Then you are talking about what most people actually have and can they make a good life for themselves by working hard. Are they benefiting? Under those measures Trump has been fine.
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Post 19 Mar 2019, 3:53 pm

ray
This is the substance of what you posted.


I disagree. The following is the key point....

The money was legally due to Iran. The country had paid America for military equipment in 1979, but then the Iranian revolution came and the hardware was never delivered
.

As part of the deal, to which Iran continues to adhere even today, the money that had been frozen. was returned. What a country does with their own funds ..... is up to them.
I agree that Iran's Mullahs are supporting organizations that use terror. They are also are involved in military interventions in Syria and Yemen. I believe a large number of nations are also involved in these places. Its a messy place
The point is that based on the desire to denuclearize Iran ... paying the debt made sense.
Characterizing as you did is what I think is BS. And ignoring the basic point that had the US not returned the money it would have ended the treaty before it began and been in it self, nothing more than theft.
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Post 20 Mar 2019, 3:31 am

But why in cash instead of wiring funds. Cash is easily distributed to gun runners,etc and is used to fund terrorist infrastructure which can not penetrate the banking systems.
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Post 20 Mar 2019, 8:48 am

"US officials said cash had to be flown in because existing US sanctions ban American dollars from being used in a transaction with Iran and because Iran could not access the global financial system due to international sanctions it was under at the time. "--CNN

https://www-m.cnn.com/2016/08/03/politi ... gle.com%2F

Though the whole thing leaves a bad taste.