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    1. I think an excellent addition to tildes would be hiding the username while browsing, this way we can use our account and don't worry about people looking and finding our username. This could be an...

      I think an excellent addition to tildes would be hiding the username while browsing, this way we can use our account and don't worry about people looking and finding our username. This could be an option.

      11 votes
    2. What have you been watching and reading this week? You don't need to give us a whole essay if you don't want to, but please write something! Feel free to talk about something you saw that was...

      What have you been watching and reading this week? You don't need to give us a whole essay if you don't want to, but please write something! Feel free to talk about something you saw that was cool, something that was bad, ask for recommendations, or anything else you can think of.

      If you want to, feel free to find the thing you're talking about and link to its pages on Anilist, MAL, or any other database you use!

      6 votes
    3. good morning, tildes--this is not a test. we are 482 days and dropping away from possibly the biggest election day in recent american history. no opinion pieces or longform this week; this week...

      good morning, tildes--this is not a test. we are 482 days and dropping away from possibly the biggest election day in recent american history. no opinion pieces or longform this week; this week was pretty quiet, as was true of last week. a few polls also dropped, and they are included here.

      the usual note: common sense should be able to generally dictate what does and does not get posted in this thread. if it's big news or feels like big news, probably make it its own post instead of lobbing it in here. like the other weekly threads, this one is going to try to focus on things that are still discussion worthy, but wouldn't necessarily make good/unique/non-repetitive discussion starters as their own posts.

      Week 15

      News

      Polling

      Biden: 30%
      Sanders: 15%
      Warren: 15%
      Harris: 15%
      Buttigieg: 5%
      All others below 5%.

      Biden: 31%
      Sanders: 19%
      Harris: 14%
      Warren: 13%
      Buttigieg: 6%
      All others below 5%

      General Stuff

      Buttigieg: 24.8 million
      Sanders: 24 million (18 million fundraised, 6 million transferred)
      Biden: 21.5 million
      Warren: 19.1 million
      Harris: 12 million
      Bennet: 3.5 million (2.8 million fundraised, 700k transferred)
      Bullock: 2 million
      Hickenlooper: 1 million
      Swalwell (dropped out): 850k

      • from the Atlantic: The Most Critical Argument Democrats Will Have in 2020. healthcare is again going to loom pretty heavily over this race, consistently being one of the top issues for americans. the healthcare debate is part of what led to the democratic wave in the 2018 elections and, if republicans don't get better messaging in short order, is probably going to be one of the many things which leads to trump losing re-election in 2020. of course, what the democratic plan for healthcare looks like to the eventual nominee isn't set in stone either; most of the frontrunners define their plan as some form of medicare for all and would get rid of private insurance, most of the perennial 1%ers want something less "socialisty". given that the party is to the left of where it used to be and that biden is the only person really standing on the status quo who has a chance at winning at this point, i'd bet on M4A winning out ultimately.
      • from the Atlantic: The Long-Shot Candidacy Conundrum. one of the candidates in this piece has already dropped out (swalwell), but the weird slate of swalwell, seth moulton, and tim ryan as candidates in the presidential race is still interesting because they really have few if any compelling reasons to be running and most people have no idea why they're running at all. ryan perhaps has the best case: ohio, likely to lose a congressional district in 2020, will possibly redistrict him out and leave him having to run in a less friendly district; there are no such excuses for swalwell (now dropped out and committed to his house seat) or moulton (in a safe seat but almost certainly limited in his ability to climb the political rungs by his anti-pelosi posturing). nonetheless, running is almost certain to land them all more political capital or better positions than the ones they currently have, which makes the presidency pretty alluring even if they come nowhere near it.

      Elizabeth Warren

      • from the Guardian: 105 town halls and 35,000 selfies: how Warren has shaken up the 2020 race. warren's strategy which early on in the race seemed to be leading her down a road to inevitable failure has turned around quite significantly in the past few months, as this article by the guardian explores. in practice, this piece on warren's strategy is also a candidate profile, talking mostly about warren's policy focus and her eventual aims to save capitalism from itself.
      • from POLITICO: Elizabeth Warren shuns conventional wisdom for a new kind of campaign. warren's campaign is also crafting a new path by eschewing the standard model of campaigns where you just hire a shit ton of consultants who advise you on everything. warren's campaign has no consultants, no in-house pollster, plans to do its ad-making in-house, and has an extensive payroll of staffers, all of which is funded by the idea that her fundraising will continue as it has this quarter (19.1 million). this model has no guarantees of working, since it is entirely underpinned by warren continuing to raise absurd amounts of money, but if it manages to stay afloat, it could be quite formidable and serve as a future model for campaigns.
      • from CBS News: Elizabeth Warren proposes executive orders to address race and gender pay gap. warren has some policy that she intends to push through with executive orders on the race pay gap and the gender pay gap. per CBS: "...companies and contractors with historically poor records on diversity and equality [would be] den[ied] contracts with the federal government." also a part of this plan:

      To address the underrepresentation of women of color in leadership in the federal workforce, Warren says she would issue an order to recruit from historically black colleges and other minority-serving institutions; establish paid fellowships for federal jobs for minority and low-income applicants, including formerly incarcerated people; and require federal agencies to incorporate diversity into their strategic plans and mentorship efforts.

      • from Jacobin: Elizabeth Warren’s Next Step on Medicare for All. warren embraced medicare for all at the debates, which was not especially surprising; however, it remains to be seen how much warren makes talking about it a focus of her campaign. warren has been pretty silent on healthcare issues despite having polices on significantly more esoteric issues and her website still lacks a healthcare page as of now. jacobin makes the case here that warren would be smart, if she cares about medicare for all genuinely, to defend it at every opportunity and sell it to the american public, lest it be rendered unpassable in the future.

      Kamala Harris

      • from CBS News: Harris proposes 100 billion plan to increase minority homeownership. kamala harris has some new policy aimed at promoting minority house ownership. CBS reports that the plan "...calls for 100 billion Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant to provide homeowners or homebuyers who rent or live in historically red-lining communities, where minority home and business owners were largely blocked from accessing capital for investment, up to a $25,000 down payment in assistance and closing costs." there are some other fairly esoteric qualifications involved here, but i won't quote those because they're mildly confusing and don't necessarily contribute to an understanding of the policy.
      • from VICE: Iowa Is Getting Serious About Kamala Harris. unsurprisingly, harris's meteoric rise following the first set of debates continues. harris and biden both swung through iowa over the fourth of july and harris was immediately greeted to significantly more reception than she presumably would have gotten prior to the the debates. biden remains the slight frontrunner, of course, but despite harris prioritizing the more diverse early states of south carolina and nevada in her electoral strategy, she increasingly looks competitive in iowa.

      Everybody Else

      • from Jacobin: Bernie Is the Best Candidate on Palestine. jacobin makes the case for sanders being the best candidate on palestinian issues. this is relatively straightforward; sanders is probably the only candidate in the race currently who has consistently pushed for palestinian issues and really his only contemporary with a comparable record is warren, who used to be staunchly pro-israel before gradually moderating on the issue. sanders still has many rough spots around the edges when it comes to palestinians, namely the fact that he's anti-BDS (but against banning of the movement), but there are no perfect candidates.
      • from Jacobin: We Don’t Need Pete Buttigieg’s National Service Program. jacobin is also unsparing in its criticism of buttigieg's national service program which is, admittedly, pretty silly in its justification. in the article's words:

      But more to the point, the basic diagnosis behind Buttigieg’s proposal (and others like it) is simply incorrect. True enough, few would probably challenge the suggestion that America is a deeply fragmented and polarized society. Revealingly, though, Buttigieg thinks the causes are spiritual and cultural rather than material and political: people have different identities, backgrounds, income levels, religious beliefs, and party affiliations, with these differences being hardened by epistemological bubbles online; ergo, a divided country that might become more unified if people were brought together in common cause.

      It’s a tidy narrative, and one that conveniently sidesteps America’s maldistribution of wealth, its general dearth of quality public programs and services, and the numerous ways these injustices and others contribute to a coarsening of its social fabric.

      • from CBS News: Tulsi Gabbard says Kamala Harris hatched "political ploy" to "smear" Joe Biden on race. y'all remember tulsi? she's still around, and she's making headlines for the wrong reasons yet again. for some reason, she's decided to die on the hill of kamala harris smearing biden on race issues, saying harris was "leveling this accusation that Joe Biden is a racist — when he's clearly not — as a way to try to smear him." this is interesting: harris not only never said that biden was a racist, but in fact immediately prefaced her comments with "I do not believe you are a racist"; i suppose tulsi is trying to argue that harris was lying or something similar here. either way, it's a bizarre line of attack that doesn't really make a lot of sense, not least because gabbard has literally nothing to do with the whole situation.
      • from CNN: 2020 Democrats Klobuchar and Inslee unveil education plans ahead of summit. jay inslee and amy klobuchar meanwhile unveiled some education plans. here are the highlights:

      klobuchar:

      • would end the Trump administration's push for a school choice tax credit
      • proposes a federal-state partnership program under which states would tackle education funding equity and recommend how school services can better meet the needs of working parents

      inslee:

      • will end the diversion of federal funds to private charter schools
      • would provide universal preschool, double funding for magnet schools and fully fund the federal Title I program for schools that serve low-income areas
      • promises to help states fund pay increases for educators, providing student loan forgiveness for educators and protecting teacher pensions
      • supports giving federal funds to districts that switch to zero-emission buses and investing in climate change education and STEM programs at K-12 schools and historically black colleges and universities

      both:

      • promise to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and to provide protections for the LGBTQ community
      • want to ban the use of federal funds to arm teachers or for firearms training
      • from NBC News: Swalwell ends presidential campaign less than two weeks after first debate. eric swalwell, one percenter extraordinaire and man whose name is impossible to spell correctly on the first try, is hanging up his presidential campaign after lackluster polling and fundraising. swalwell's most recognizable moment for people will probably be his tagline "pass the torch"; unfortunately, it does seem that he's passed the torch himself to candidates who can actually gain traction with the american public. swalwell remains a house representative, and will be seeking reelection in 2020.
      • from Vox: “I call her a modern-day prophet”: Marianne Williamson’s followers want you to give her a chance. marianne williamson remains the media's token "wacky candidate", for which she receives occasional media attention including this article focused on the people who support her. broadly, her main demographic is wine moms, but williamson also has a number of younger supporters to her campaign and message. williamson supporters are, unsurprisingly, not "williamson or bust" types: just as other candidates's supporters, they're more than happy to get behind other people and the eventual nominee, whether that's marianne or not. williamson's supporters will probably remain behind her for the duration of her campaign, though.

      anyways, feel free to as always contribute other interesting articles you stumble across, or comment on some of the ones up there. see also: Why America is Ignoring Kirsten Gillibrand, Warren Rising: Massachusetts Progressive Announces $19 Million Fundraising Haul, Any Democrat Who Wants to Be President Should Reject War with Iran, Not Hide Behind Process Criticisms

      15 votes
    4. No genre restrictions, so a tell-all memoir is as valid a response as a high-fantasy tome. Maybe you want to dive in deep on an anthropological topic, or maybe you want to pen a full book of...

      No genre restrictions, so a tell-all memoir is as valid a response as a high-fantasy tome. Maybe you want to dive in deep on an anthropological topic, or maybe you want to pen a full book of contemporary political commentary. Any and all options are on the table, with the only caveat being that you'd have to write enough to fill a book, so it would have to be an area of knowledge or passion for you--likely both.

      Also, for those here that have already written books, feel free to talk about those if you like, or one you hope to write in the future.

      For those that haven't, don't feel constrained by real-world concerns/inhibitions. Pretend you have the time and resources to adequately devote to the book to fully see your vision through.

      Make sure you give us:

      • A summary of what the book would be about
      • An explanation of why you'd want to write that specific book
      • And, most importantly, a good title!
      13 votes
    5. After watching this and this, and dealing with the cringe and shock, I wondered about whether these things, including this but also stuff like sex robots or other robots whose purpose is some sort...

      After watching this and this, and dealing with the cringe and shock, I wondered about whether these things, including this but also stuff like sex robots or other robots whose purpose is some sort of affection, will ever take off. I know the phenomenon where in Japan adult males date handheld gameboy-like computers (wut?), but apart from that, I'm not sure anybody will prefer these stuff instead of the real thing. It also feels deeply weird, bizarre and cringy. What do you think of these tech?

      20 votes
    6. This is a place for ongoing discussion about the things you plan to do or have accomplished recently, even if that's nothing at all. Or, if you want to just talk about how you're feeling, this is...

      This is a place for ongoing discussion about the things you plan to do or have accomplished recently, even if that's nothing at all.

      Or, if you want to just talk about how you're feeling, this is a good place to do that too.

      You can find last week's topic here.

      9 votes