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    1. "What should Bernie do when he drops out? Are there any potential drawbacks to doing so now?"

      From the NY times Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont was reassessing the future of his presidential bid on Wednesday after a crushing round of primary losses left him with no realistic path to the...

      From the NY times

      Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont was reassessing the future of his presidential bid on Wednesday after a crushing round of primary losses left him with no realistic path to the Democratic nomination and the 2020 race itself looked increasingly dormant because of the coronavirus outbreak.

      Mr. Sanders’s campaign has stopped actively advertising on Facebook and its campaign manager sent an email to supporters without asking for donations — the kind of steps that other candidates have taken before ending their campaigns. Mr. Sanders’s aides said he is not suspending his campaign at this point, even as some Democrats have become increasingly vocal that he should consider leaving the race.

      Even among Democrats who view Mr. Biden’s eventual triumph as inevitable, there is a belief that contested primaries are good for the party, making some of them reluctant to call for Mr. Sanders to withdraw. In Wisconsin, Democratic officials worry that if Mr. Sanders drops out before the state’s planned April 7 primary, it could dampen his supporters’ enthusiasm, depress turnout and hurt progressive candidates for state and local offices.

      Mr. Sanders also views the coronavirus crisis as a moment when the progressive agenda he has championed for years is especially vital, and he is eager to leverage his influence for good at a time when issues like health care and economic inequity are so resonant, some allies say.

      And top advisers see potential for him to continue to shape the narrative around how the country should be responding to the crisis and are holding out hope that they can harness existing virtual infrastructure to allow him to get his message out and keep his supporters engaged — a tacit admission that the campaign is no longer trying to win.

      The above paragraphs show that yes, Sanders knows his electoral situation is done for, despite never clearly indicating if he is dropping out.

      Some suggested Mr. Sanders should declare a moral victory — Democrats have moved broadly toward his progressive policy platform since he began his first presidential campaign — and throw his support to Mr. Biden.

      “It’s time to throw in the towel knowing that he has won the battle of issues,” said Wilbur Colom, a D.N.C. member from Mississippi. “The Democratic Party has moved within inches of his revolution on all major issues. We all are feeling the Bern.”

      From the Star

      Charles Chamberlain, chairman of the progressive group Democracy for America, said Sanders can play a potentially “critical” role in unifying the party by continuing his campaign.

      “Bernie has already made it clear that he will 100% support the Democratic nominee and that he’s going to campaign for Joe Biden if that’s who it is,” Chamberlain said. “The reality is, that’s not 100% true for all Bernie Sanders supporters. So there is a real value to Bernie staying in the race as long as possible to bring those people into the party deeper.“

      That underscores the sensitivity of how Sanders proceeds. Justin Bamberg, a South Carolina state representative and Sanders supporter, said it’s wrong to assume that, if the senator quickly drops out, his backers would unite behind Biden.

      “It’s a mistake for the party, regardless of whether the nominee is Biden or Bernie, to think that beating Donald Trump in and of itself will be enough motivation for the average person living their day-to-day life to come out and be excited about voting in November,” Bamberg said.

      I agree. Biden needs to emphasize that he can be trusted to keep his promises of endorsing and then carrying out Warren's plan despite their controversies and that the bernie or bust folks won't gain nothing from a Biden presidency.

      13 votes
    2. Washington debate discussion thread

      Admittedly I deleted and re-uploaded this because I was worried I had posted the original thread too soon. A'ight, here we are. Spreadsheet time. When will the debate be broadcasted? The debate...

      Admittedly I deleted and re-uploaded this because I was worried I had posted the original thread too soon.


      A'ight, here we are. Spreadsheet time.

      When will the debate be broadcasted?

      The debate will be recorded March 15th, 8-10 PM ET. (1-3 AM UTC)

      Where will it happen?

      In the CNN studio in Washington DC. Note that they moved it from Phoenix due to the Coronavirus.

      Who will moderate it?

      Dana Bash and Jake Tapper from CNN and Ilia Calderón from Telemundo.

      Where can I watch this?

      It will most likely be livestreamed in CNN's YouTube channel. it was livestreamed on CNN's website.

      So, what's new and how will this change anything?

      This is the first and possibly the last one-on-one debate in the primary between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden and (also due to Coronavirus concerns) It has no live audience. It will also occur before some of the largest states in the primary vote.

      So what do you think should happen? What questions should be asked? What should the candidates do and what should we talk about?

      12 votes
    3. If the US removed FPTP and the electoral college, what new parties would pop up?

      (You could replace FPTP with STV to keep the districts that elect representatives in the house intact.) I'll start. The Democratic party breaks up into the neoliberal and progressive parties. The...

      (You could replace FPTP with STV to keep the districts that elect representatives in the house intact.)

      I'll start.

      The Democratic party breaks up into the neoliberal and progressive parties.

      The neoliberal party is where centrist candidates like Joe Biden and Michael Bloomberg go.

      The progressive party is where progressive candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren go.

      The Republican party might lose a large part of their electorate to the libertarians, since many Republicans are more concerned about letting business prevail and don't really want cultural conservatism.

      Andrew yang maybe also leaves the Democrats and founds his own party, the party for online reform.

      The greens also become significantly more popular but they may have too much in common with the progressives.

      The Senate could be changed to include as many seats as the house for proper representation.

      18 votes
    4. Which US presidential candidate do you think has the best foreign policy?

      The nice thing about electability being uncertain is that you can choose the candidate you think is best. Unfortunately I have lost faith in my ability to decide that. Studying candidates'...

      The nice thing about electability being uncertain is that you can choose the candidate you think is best.

      Unfortunately I have lost faith in my ability to decide that. Studying candidates' policies seems useless since, after all, Congress makes the laws. We are likely to see either stalemate or centrist legislation regardless.

      Maybe I should decide based on foreign policy instead? Most people don't do that but I don't see why not. Any recommendations for interesting articles to read?

      12 votes
    5. Charleston Democratic debate Discussion thread

      New debate, new thread. (Unfortunately somewhat late as the debate was streamed right at the time I wrote this post.) The debate was being live streamed in CBS's channel in YouTube. Twitter is one...

      New debate, new thread. (Unfortunately somewhat late as the debate was streamed right at the time I wrote this post.)

      The debate was being live streamed in CBS's channel in YouTube.

      Twitter is one of the debate partners so expect a few questions from there.

      The south Carolina primaries are due February 29th and ther willl be no debates until after super tuesday so this debate is pretty important.

      16 votes
    6. Las Vegas Democratic Debate Discussion Thread

      So it has been awhile since we had Democratic Debate threads here and I thought it would be nice to have a discussion topic for tonight's debate. I am really interested to see what everyone's...

      So it has been awhile since we had Democratic Debate threads here and I thought it would be nice to have a discussion topic for tonight's debate.

      I am really interested to see what everyone's thoughts are going into the debate tonight as far as expectations, what you are hoping to hear, and what outcome you think will come from this.

      Please share your thoughts below!


      What time is the debate?

      The debate will air live at 9 p.m. ET from the Paris Theater in Las Vegas.

      How can I watch it?

      The second February Democratic debate will be live-streamed on NBCNews.com, MSNBC.com, the Nevada Independent’s website, and on the NBC News app. The Noticias Telemundo Facebook page will also stream the night’s events, as will the NBC News and MSNBC Facebook pages. You will also be able to stream the debate live on NBC’s own streaming app, NBC News Now, on devices like Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.

      What is new?

      Wednesday's debate will feature the first appearance from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who met the DNC's mandating polling threshold this week.

      Who is moderating?

      NBC's Lester Holt, Chuck Todd, Hallie Jackson, Noticias Telemundo's Vanessa Hauc and The Nevada Independent's Jon Ralston will moderate the event.

      29 votes
    7. How could we regulate biased/lying media outlets and aggregators without encroaching on good ones?

      I find this to be a pretty important question when news organizations like Fox News are literally aiming to help the Republican Party to stay on power, CNN and MSNBC promote centrist candidates...

      I find this to be a pretty important question when news organizations like Fox News are literally aiming to help the Republican Party to stay on power, CNN and MSNBC promote centrist candidates and media aggregators ranging from r/the_donald to r/chapotraphouse banning anyone who opposes them. Thing is, these are the most well known examples. How could we tell faulty media sources and aggregators apart from good ones in mass? Do you think that's possible?

      15 votes
    8. What's the deal with meta advertising?

      I don't watch T.V very often, but do - when I'm up (which is infrequent given I'm outside the U.S) - watch the NBA. Recently I've had a little time so have watched a few games live. Doing so, I...

      I don't watch T.V very often, but do - when I'm up (which is infrequent given I'm outside the U.S) - watch the NBA. Recently I've had a little time so have watched a few games live. Doing so, I was quite taken aback at how commonplace humour and meta advertising are nowadays. Is this just a U.S thing?

      Is there any research out there on when and why advertisers started doing this? Seems like every other ad shoots for either humour or "we know you know this is an ad, you're clearly smart enough to realise that, so smart in fact you might want to buy into our brand". Whatever the case, as ever, grateful for resources/discussion from those more in the know than I.

      EDIT: A good example that is equal parts humour/meta is LeBron James' Super Bowl Sprite Ad.

      10 votes
    9. Federal Reserve buybacks - Possible usage as UBI?

      So the Federal Reserve has recently handed out billions of dollars to banks in recent months by buying back bonds. I've heard that it is now about $3 trillion in total, but I can't confirm that...

      So the Federal Reserve has recently handed out billions of dollars to banks in recent months by buying back bonds. I've heard that it is now about $3 trillion in total, but I can't confirm that because I cannot figure out the federal reserve's website. It is $120 billion nightly though apparently [Source].

      This is a huge sum of money to be handed out, and I don't really understand what happens with it. But my question is if it would be possible (not talking about the chances of it happening, just possibility) that the money could be applied as a UBI, since if the $3 trillion approximation for the past three months, and we assume 330 million people in the US [Source], then that means it could be given as $9090 to each American?

      I'm tired btw, and this is just a random idea that popped into my head as a source for money for UBI plans, as trickle down economics clearly isn't working.

      11 votes
    10. Should some of these republicans start to recuse themselves from the impeachment of donald?

      Just a question. Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, and the rest of them saying they already have a vote against removal of Donald before a court appearance. Sorry if this is the wrong sub tilde for...

      Just a question. Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, and the rest of them saying they already have a vote against removal of Donald before a court appearance.

      Sorry if this is the wrong sub tilde for this. It just pisses me off.

      "'I'm not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here': Graham predicts Trump impeachment will 'die quickly'" in Senate https://edition.cnn.com/2019/12/14/politics/lindsey-graham-trump-impeachment-trial/index.html

      17 votes
    11. Free-Wheeling Hypothetical: President Pelosi ... how would that work?

      Admittedly highly unlikely ... but also becoming less inconceivable by the day. She is 2nd in line after Pence. So, let's just say, 3-5 months from now, They swear in Pelosi as the next POTUS....

      Admittedly highly unlikely ... but also becoming less inconceivable by the day. She is 2nd in line after Pence.

      So, let's just say, 3-5 months from now, They swear in Pelosi as the next POTUS. What does that do to both Repub and Dem Primaries? What does it mean for the next election? Does the US keep itself together long enough to have an election?

      Heck, while I'm asking, what about a President Pence in 3-5 months. That's at least an order of magnitude less unlikely. How would that play out?

      PS: Somebody recently started a 'what do you daydream about' thread ... so, you-know ... this.

      8 votes
    12. Discussion: Top 10 Stupidest Things US Fed Govt has done

      Okay, so this notion is still a bit undefined in my head, kind of figuring it out now, as I type. I want to come up with a list (doesn't actually have to be 10) of the worst things the US...

      Okay, so this notion is still a bit undefined in my head, kind of figuring it out now, as I type.

      I want to come up with a list (doesn't actually have to be 10) of the worst things the US government has done, to undermine the ideals and principles that the United States was (at least nominally) founded on ... truth, justice, baseball and mom's apple pie - kinda stuff.

      You can go back as far in history as you like (so Civil War, Dred Scott, things like that are absolutely open for consideration) ... but it has to be something that continues to significantly impact US govt, US society and/or the world, to this day ... something they have not remedied.

      Off the top of my head, the main thing that comes to mind is the Citizens United case, which I believe has fundamentally broken the US political system (which was, previously, already seriously frayed). I'd also consider the non-consideration (by the Senate) of Merrick Garland's Supreme Court nomination (by Obama), and the US (both the govt and the public) collective "whatever" to the news that Russia interfered in the 2016 US elections (and continues to do so, now joined by China and assorted others).

      I may edit this to refine the idea. But the basic goal is to create a really high-level list of "First Things" the US needs to fix, to have any hope of returning to a state of democracy (okay, democratic republic), and/or normalcy.

      5 votes
    13. So I went along.

      Time for a story. Some of you might remember that I was planning on going abroad. I intended to visit New York City with one of my best friends, setting foot in the United States for the first...

      Time for a story.

      Some of you might remember that I was planning on going abroad. I intended to visit New York City with one of my best friends, setting foot in the United States for the first time in my life. I have had reservations about the actions and the state of politics of the US for a while, but I'm by no means an activist; I largely settle for small discussions regarding this topic, online or among friends. This means that I had not considered the current administration as a deterrent to my week-long trip.

      For the sake of what I'm about to talk in the rest of this post, some additional personal details are needed for context. I am a EU citizen and a second-generation immigrant, child of a parent born in North Africa. I was fortunate enough not to have to go through having to acquire a "real" visa as my country is part of the ESTA program. This program is a fast track of sorts that allows a non-citizen to get clearance to get into the US by providing information through an online form. As I went through that automated process, I arrived at one step that worried me: they asked about being a citizen of another country. Now, I have both an EU ID and passport but I have double-nationality from my parent and so I also have ID and (an expired) passport from that country.

      That country is not unstable or known to host terrorists or extremist organizations but I was wondering if I would be lumped in with immigrants from more troubled countries and so I hesitated to put that information at all. But then I figured that it would be a bad idea to lie and then have to explain why I lied if they figured out. And I didn't visit that country for a decade. So in the end I did input that info. This decision stayed with me and caused me anxiety until the end of the 72 hour waiting period. I thought about being denied while having already spent roughly a thousand bucks on the airplane ticket and the hotel. Fortunately in the end everything went through. That put my fears at ease.

      Let us fast forward to the day of the trip. My friend and I had the good idea to stay up really late the night before even though our flight was outrageously early. I think I slept for 3 hours if that. And during the 8 hour flight I absolutely could not sleep despite my best efforts. This is just me setting the stage for some heavy sleep deprivation.

      Arriving at JFK, we eventually stumble upon the horribly long queue for customs. When we got to an officer, my friend went first, giving his passport and scanning his fingerprints. I went just after him, doing the same. However, the officer seems to have an issue. They close their booth and ask me to follow them. My friend's watching and is like "wtf is going on", the only thing I manage to say is "welp later I guess", maybe not realizing what is going on.

      My passport withheld, I'm led to a waiting room... and told to wait there, no reason given. The officer tells me that "it" should be quick. As I scan the room, I mostly see Arab or Asian people with an additional one or two white-passing people. I sit and get my phone out to message my friend where I am and what I was told, when an agent immediately tells me that no phone is allowed. I can only imagine how panicked my friend was getting at that point.

      An hour passes.

      With still no reason given for what I'm going to call an arrest, I then had had time enough time to see people go through, leave and for others to take their place all the while I listened to the officers talk to each other and interact with the visitors.

      The ratio of people stayed mostly the same, meaning the majority was comprised of Arab and Asian people, roughly half didn't speak English at all. There were two types of processing. The first one was people waiting 20 minutes and getting called to a counter in the same room, getting their passport back and being allowed to leave. The second one was people waiting at least half an hour and getting summoned to go with an officer to an ominous corridor, staying at least half an hour and then being allowed to leave.

      The officers at the counter chatted within themselves in a friendly manner, typing on their computer at the same time, a nice front immediately shattered by how they talked down to everyone. One elderly person went to get something in their luggage placed at the opposite end of the room when two officers yell at them to sit back down. An asian person was using their phone unaware of the restriction when an officer warns them: "Don't use your phone. Don't use your phone! Hey! Don't use your phone! Oh for the love of- DON'T. USE. YOUR. PHOOONE." Apparently talking slowly to a visitor in a foreign language means they can obviously understand what the office is saying and that they're just acting like they don't understand. And more variations of cliché American cop tropes.

      A half hour passes - still no reason given.

      My friend tries to approach the room to get information and I hear an officer asking firmly for him to go away. (Un)fortunately an officer finally summons me. They lead me into a room and I'm invited to sit down. The officer apologizes for the wait, and then begins an hour long interview. They are very friendly and ask what places I intend to visit, they ask me about my childhood, my parents, my relation to my other country, my education, my hobbies, my jobs. Then I'm asked to unlock my phone. They go through every app and ask me to explain what they all do. They capture my Facebook name, contact names, what is open in my browser, and more stuff that I can't see.

      I cannot describe how distressing it is to see an officer of the law go through your phone. I could not predict if they would stumble problematic material or if they would interpret things the wrong way. This is why I hate people that say "oh I don't care about privacy, I've got nothing to hide". You think I have anything at all to hide?! I am a law-abiding citizen of my country, I have never harbored any intention of committing a crime in my entire life, I can't harm a fly for heaven's sake!

      And finally after all of this I am allowed to go. I get to my friend and hug them and try to get out of this place as fast as possible.

      Maybe you're wondering if I tried to oppose any of this? Hell no. Not using my phone, waiting without reason, giving an ungodly amount of personal information and give access to my phone to a stranger, I did not fight through any of this. Why? I was afraid. I was an alien going through customs in the Patriot Act era. It was very clear to me that if I tried to block any of this process I would not go out of that airport to the US. I have my principles in privacy, but I did not want to waste a literal thousand bucks and more of my time.

      So I went along.

      50 votes
    14. Polite vs Helpful

      I've noticed an interesting cultural difference between New Yorkers and Californians. Lets say I am a bumbling tourist, inconsiderately impeding foot traffic, yet clearly lost and in need of help....

      I've noticed an interesting cultural difference between New Yorkers and Californians.

      Lets say I am a bumbling tourist, inconsiderately impeding foot traffic, yet clearly lost and in need of help.

      New Yorkers, in my limited experience, will bluntly say "hey moron, get outa the way," but then there is always one willing to help me out if I ask.

      Californians, in general, will be very polite, but typically get a little nervous if a complete stranger asks for help.

      Disclaimer: I've lived in California, but have only visited New York, so my observations are a little biased.

      8 votes
    15. Worst weather experience?

      Since it's the peak of tropical storm season again, this thread is open for all to share stories and thoughts about weather experiences. Not necessarily concerns about climate change, but the...

      Since it's the peak of tropical storm season again, this thread is open for all to share stories and thoughts about weather experiences. Not necessarily concerns about climate change, but the incidents you've had personally, and whatever you've learned about preparation, resilience, and recovery.

      I'm no longer a Florida resident, but my contacts are blowing up with concern over Hurricane Dorian.

      I've been watching the storm on this nifty site, which has great tools and visualisations to satisfy the most avid weather geeks.

      Dorian is likely to be another devastating, small-region, high-intensity buzzsaw, like last year's Hurricane Michael, which practically erased towns in the Florida panhandle, or the 1935 Labor Day hurricane. [I'm not really a good person - I'm having more than a little schadenfreude that Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort is near the center of the storm's predicted path. But I'm not the only person who thought of that.]

      According to the Insurance Information Institute, Florida has nearly $600 billion dollars of single family housing at risk from a Category 5 hurricane, leaving aside loss of life and injury.

      My stories, compressed for those who've read this before

      Some of my friends and colleagues have families still recovering from the impacts of 2017's Hurricanes Irma, Harvey, and Maria.

      While I had to deal with these storms' impacts to infrastructure professionally, the hurricanes didn't have enormous personal impact. I was mainly supporting friends or covering for colleagues struggling to help family in Texas, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean Islands. Our house was eight miles from the coast, so we only dealt with a downed tree and other cleanup, a few hours without power, and some blocked roads.

      Because I have dumb hobbies, the most extreme weather dangers I ever encountered were while kayaking and canoeing. Five years ago, I was on a guided ocean kayaking trip that ran into an unpredicted storm squall. Perfect blue skies and calm one minute; near darkness, huge waves, practically solid rain, and 40-knot winds the next. The party got scattered all over half a dozen of the 10,000 Islands. I struggled to get off the windward side of a long isle, so the wind banged my kayak into mangroves for an hour, then I was paddling furiously to avoid being swept into the Gulf of Mexico. But we all survived without major harm, the guide managed to reconnect us without calling for rescue, and we arrived at our destination with good stories. I can only imagine what it's like to be exposed to worse conditions in a hurricane.

      Up to that time, the most dangerous weather I'd run into was snow and ice storms. When I was a kid, the Blizzard of 1978 left my family stranded, without phones, power or heat, for five days. We had a fireplace, plenty of hardwood, and an ample store of dried and canned provisions, so it felt more like a rustic adventure than the dire situation it could have been. My brother and I thought 10-foot snowdrifts were the greatest fun ever - we spent more time outside than in, "helping" to dig out by making snow forts and tunnels with the neighbors' kids. Of course, it was followed with a spring of chores like putting up half a kilometer of snow fences, learning to drive a 40-hp farm tractor, and setting up a ham radio antenna and generator, as my city-raised parents had come to grasp what rural life really entailed.

      14 votes
    16. Tildistas in the US, who do you support in the 2020 Democratic Primary?

      supplementary condorcet voting poll, if you'd like to answer in more nuance and provide some data to compare against when i ask this question later on down the road. poll has been closed as the...

      ~supplementary condorcet voting poll, if you'd like to answer in more nuance and provide some data to compare against when i ask this question later on down the road.~ poll has been closed as the week i said it'd be open has elapsed. thanks folks, and of course feel free to continue replying to this thread,

      (foreigners are also welcome to chime in on who they'd vote for if they were eligible)


      it's still 200 days to the iowa caucuses, but since this election cycle began literally six months ago already and we already have one debate under the belt, we're probably far enough along in the primary at this point that at least some of the billion candidates trying to run for the coveted position of democratic nominee for president in 2020 are making an impact on you, and nobody has actually asked this on here recently, weirdly enough.

      i'll probably ask this question again in... i dunno, three months (so mid-october)? and see what changes between threads (if anything does).

      47 votes
    17. Should the US and the states create their own Sovereign Wealth Fund?

      I think a Sovereign Fund is where Yang should move his focus to. Its a long-term approach that requires a focus. In 30 years the Norway fund has become the largest fund in the world The Norway...

      I think a Sovereign Fund is where Yang should move his focus to. Its a long-term approach that requires a focus. In 30 years the Norway fund has become the largest fund in the world

      The Norway Fund has been the receiver of all of Norway's Gas Taxes and Profits but has not paid out anything, so its only grown. But its intend purpose is to supply a form of a UBI (or subsidize Gov't tax revenues if the taxes were to ever fall short enough)

      To Fund it, in the US, we need the Gas tax to be quadrupled. Double ($1/gal) it to properly pay for road maintenance and to pay for properly funded and expanded metro development, Greener metro lines, bike lanes, double it again ($2) to pay for Wealth Funding

      This gas tax funding of $1/gal would contribute 175Billion in investments

      After 40 years the wealth Fund would provide $7 Trillion Annually to pay for a UBI for as long as the US were to want it. Without any additional tax revenue

      I think we can look at other jobs and industries where there is a boom and bust cycle, casinos, and where future income should be considered

      Mississippi Gambling Revenue and therefore taxes has fallen 31% in 2018 (tax revenue $234 million) vs 2008's (345 million) best year numbers.

      If Mississippi had contributed it's taxes to a Sovereign Wealth Fund instead of using it as a Substitute to Government taxes what would the effect have been.

      A year after gambling was Legalized in Mississippi, skipping the first years taxes, the state of Mississippi has received Gaming Taxes, Starting in 1994, a total of $6.3 Billion in tax revenues

      If those same taxes had been invested in a Wealth Fund its current value would be ~$29.6 Billion

      Of course this would have required Mississippi to create 6 Billion in alternate tax Revenues, and this is the stump speech Yang needs to create.

      Because in 5 years when Gaming Revenues have dropped another 50% its time for Mississippi to be ready, and in this case you're sitting on a $50 Billion Wealth Fund. That can pay out $4 billion a year to its 2.9million residents or fund the government services instead of deep cuts

      14 votes
    18. Are the Democrats too meek?

      Shouldn't there be loud and clear opposing voice to Trump overstepping historical boundaries? When Trump declares emergency to expedite arms sales to Saudi Arabia and UAE or when he approves...

      Shouldn't there be loud and clear opposing voice to Trump overstepping historical boundaries?

      When Trump declares emergency to expedite arms sales to Saudi Arabia and UAE or when he approves secret nuclear power tech sales to Saudi Arabia

      When Trump urges US Fed to cut interest rates

      When Trump lifts sanctions on firms linked to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and when Trump conceals face-to-face encounters with Putin

      20 votes
    19. Looking for insight in to Trump's Taxes

      So what I want to know is whether or not this is that unusual for someone in real estate. The discussion on r/politics is myopic and the discussion on /r/tax lacks detail. From the NYT article:...

      So what I want to know is whether or not this is that unusual for someone in real estate.

      The discussion on r/politics is myopic and the discussion on /r/tax lacks detail.

      From the NYT article:

      The numbers show that in 1985, Mr. Trump reported losses of $46.1 million from his core businesses — largely casinos, hotels and retail space in apartment buildings. They continued to lose money every year, totaling $1.17 billion in losses for the decade.

      Trump's statement/tweet:

      “You always wanted to show losses for tax purposes....almost all real estate developers did – and often re-negotiate with banks, it was sport,

      Now my very limited understanding of real estate and taxes is this:

      • You can depreciate the building but not the land
      • Depreciation can be carried over multiple years
      • When you sell property you can roll those proceeds into the purchase of another property, thus delaying income tax

      Are those accurate? If so, do they explain Trump's taxes?

      I'm thinking not (I suspect Russian money laundering is the real source of income). However, I have yet to read a good discussion of the specifics. Has anyone read such a discussion or have insight to add?

      Main story from NYT:
      https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/05/07/us/politics/donald-trump-taxes.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

      CNBC's article about Trump's response:
      https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/08/trump-defends-tax-tactics-after-nyt-story-says-he-racked-up-more-than-1-billion-in-losses-it-was-sport.html

      EDIT: As an aside, I got into a wee bit of trouble because my wife's (very) small business lost money three years running. The accountant that I worked with informed me that if a business losses $ three years in a row, the IRS considers it a "hobby" and you can't subtract those losses from your personal taxes. Is that in play with Trump at all? If not, why not?

      EDIT2: I'm going to answer my own question I think. I heard a good segment on NPR yesterday that addressed my question. You can read the transcript here: https://www.npr.org/2019/05/08/721552462/president-trump-defends-himself-against-report-he-did-not-pay-taxes-for-8-years

      The bottom line is it's not so unusual but it doesn't exclude the possibility of him running his businesses poorly either. So I think it's not really what the headlines have made it out to be.

      14 votes
    20. IMO, Trump 2020 is better than a non-progressive Democrat

      In 2016, I was an ardent supporter of Bernie. But come the general, I voted 3rd party, because I was "Bernie or Bust." Many people accuse me of indirectly voting for Trump, allowing "the worst...

      In 2016, I was an ardent supporter of Bernie. But come the general, I voted 3rd party, because I was "Bernie or Bust." Many people accuse me of indirectly voting for Trump, allowing "the worst thing ever" to happen (esp since I'm in a swing state that went Trump). But here's the truth as I see it: Voting Democrat regardless of candidate, with their only qualification being "Not Trump," will only increase the USA's slide (deeper) into fascism.

      The reality I see is that even if Trump had never entered the 2016 race, 90%+ of the policy, judicial appointments, and everything else that he has done since being elected would be identical no matter which "R" candidate won the race, because all of these things are exactly what the GOP has been doing for decades. In that regard, I consider Trump more favorable than any other R candidate, because he is at least failing to do his "real" job: Hiding fascist, imperialist policy behind a charismatic smile and some clever words.

      Ultimately, this is the reason why I don't generally support Democrats either. Hillary's policy wouldn't have been as immediately destructive as the GOP agenda, but it also would not have stopped the march towards fascism. I voted my conscious in 2016, and will do so again in 2020. I just hope there are more people willing to do the same this time around.

      I like to picture that the government of the USA is digging a hole. With every shovelful, we're sliding ever closer to a fully authoritarian fascist regime, and the destruction of our planet. While Trump (and the GOP as a whole) has been calling in for backhoes and drills to speed the process....as far as I can tell, only two candidates in the 2020 primary are calling to stop the digging: Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. At best, the other candidates are conveying messages akin to: "We need to compromise with the GOP and maybe slow down the rate at which we allow new backhoes to be brought to the pit."

      In my mind then, it makes more sense for 4 more years of Trump, than to allow another center-right candidate for his opposition. Because at least Trump isn't able to pull off the charismatic smile and/or intelligent language that the Regan's, Bush's, Clinton's, and Obama's of the world have that allow terrible things to continue behind a cloak of "incremental change." It wakes up those who would otherwise tolerate these horrendous acts, and perhaps inspires them to become more active. By allowing for the political discourse to end with "Anything is better than Trump", it just permits the overall platform to gradually, but continually shift to the right.

      And in my mind, it is the total death of real, dissenting voices in public discourse that is far, far worse than Trump winning another term could ever be.

      I would love to hear if anybody else in this community has had feelings akin to what I've described here, as I've only been described as "insane" by most of the people I've discussed this with in person.

      30 votes
    21. Something has changed, and, thankfully, those trying to manipulate us haven't recognized it yet.

      The one thing people didn't learn regarding Trump and is repeating itself with AOC. When you consider a politician stupid, it actually empowers them to be crafty. I think Trump would love for you...

      The one thing people didn't learn regarding Trump and is repeating itself with AOC.

      When you consider a politician stupid, it actually empowers them to be crafty. I think Trump would love for you to think he is stupid.

      When you constantly attack a politician, you actually give them more followers. It's strange, but the Streisand Effect is real, especially in this Internet era.

      The biggest weapon in someone's arsenal is to actually just talk about what they are for. Not attack their opponent and give them press. The rules have changed.

      5 votes
    22. Would you pay higher taxes for better government services?

      In the US the tax rate on the bottom 78% of earners taxes was less than 7% England has a tax rate for the same income of 11.5% The top 6% (Avg Adjusted Gross income 514,000) paid $840 Billion of...

      In the US the tax rate on the bottom 78% of earners taxes was less than 7%

      England has a tax rate for the same income of 11.5%

      The top 6% (Avg Adjusted Gross income 514,000) paid $840 Billion of the income taxes

      The Bottom 49.1% (Earning less than 45k AGI) paid $97 Billion of taxes, but 27.4 Million Households filled for $66.7 Billion in EIC tax credits

      If the taxes on the bottom 78 percent were increased 6% to a level similar to England the USA could have universal health care

      The US Spends 3.4 Trillion on Healthcare.

      Just 5% of Americans Account for 50% of U.S. Health Care Spending. So taking away the top 5% means the US spends about 5,500 per person. More than UK, but with a long term approach we can tackle that.

      1. Saying no to covering all issues. See above. Total cost down to 1.8T

      2. Accepting a tax increase

      • Doubling the Medicare withholding will provide 500B
      • Down to 1.3T
      1. Reallocate state spending In 2015, state governments across the country spent a combined $605 billion on health care
      • Down to 700 Billion
      1. Increase taxes 6% across the board, like those of countries that provide healthcare. 600B in Funding
      • Down to 100 Billion
      1. 1/3 of expenses in 2017 was payable for hospital room rentals and 21% was to doctor's office billable hours
      • Increase utilization to make hospitals & Doctors more efficient so cost can be cut
      • 1% reduction in billable hours and room rates Down 100B
      • Adjust pricing based on cost savings
      • Repeat

      If the US had higher taxes for gas we could have a better Infastructure. Using rough math we in 2017 underfunded the highway dept about $21.5 billion

      • 40 Cents per Gallon vs 18.4 cents currently
      • 33 Cents vs 17.5 cents for Highway maintenance at fully funded for at least the next 5 years
        * 1 Cent vs 0.9 cents Gas Safety and storage. Round it up to a full penny better saftey funds for better clean up
        * 4 cents a new Green energy tax for Green projects
      • 2 Cent New Metro Projects tax

      $5.5 Billion annual funding for projects, plus using funding not going to covering the underfunded highway dept means who doesn't want to announce a 10 year $250 Billion Green Deal Project. Get States to match it 40/60 and its a $600 Billion Project

      $96 a person more and With this Major Cities can tackle major projects and Rural cities can apply for the Metro Funding. $1.5 Billion each state gets on average can be applied however but that's encouraging moving to a Green plan.

      The U.S. combined gas tax rate (State + Federal) is According to data from the OECD, is the second lowest (Mexico is the only country without a gas tax).

      The average gas tax rate among the 34 advanced economies is $2.62 per gallon. In fact, the U.S.’s gas tax a rate less than half of that of the next highest country, Canada, which has a rate of $1.25 per gallon.

      We want to have the European advanced economy of our peers but we arent wanting to pay for it

      26 votes
    23. Did you watch the State of the Union? Or the Democratic Response? What did you think?

      First let me say that I long considered myself an independent until I realized I always voted Democrat a number of years ago because I find they best represent my interests, so that's my POV...

      First let me say that I long considered myself an independent until I realized I always voted Democrat a number of years ago because I find they best represent my interests, so that's my POV coming into this. I consider myself generally liberal on most issues with a few exceptions (gun rights, against college for all, etc)

      Some observations:

      • There was much there to please Republicans regarding the economy, etc
      • There was much there that I'm not sure will play well with Trump's base: economic programs for women in other countries (Ivanka's influence?), criminal justice reform, lots of praise and visuals of black Americans including several guests, seeming to waffle a bit on the "wall" - I think he reduced it to fencing, did I get that right?, he stated several times he was in favor of legal immigration (something his actions have indicated otherwise and his base seems to be against)
      • We're going to make peace with the Taliban - that was a jaw-dropping moment for me and I could tell from the reaction of the Rs in the crowd that it didn't play well with them
      • Democratic women wearing white - smart political move and I didn't catch they did it during his first speech
      • Pelosi was great to watch. Calm as a cucumber. She had several little subversive moments where instead of immediately sitting down after clapping she shuffled some papers or pretended to read something, sending a clear message of what she thought of POTUS' remarks
      • Trump's anti-immigration push still isn't focusing on any facts...sigh.
      • Russia investigation was only mentioned once or twice so he didn't succumb to temptation there
      • I thought this was by far his best and most presidential speech
      • The Rs at work were not impressed so I thought that was interesting

      Regarding Stacy Abrams' response:

      • I was totally disappointed
      • She completely lacked energy and I had a hard time following along because of it
      • Kennedy was 100x better in his response (even with the excessive lip balm)
      • I don't have much else to say...it was bland

      What did you think?

      EDIT: Forgot he announced we're back in a nuclear arms race with Russia and China. And what was up with bringing in all of the Holocaust survivors and WWII vets? Was that a blatant appeal to the oldest members of his base or simply to recall the last "good" war the US fought?

      19 votes
    24. Dear US-Americans of Tildes, is West Virginia really that bad?

      I am a Russian and recently I started to really like the song “Take Me Home, Country Roads”. I searched for images of things mentioned in the song, like Blue Ridge mountains and Shenandoah river,...

      I am a Russian and recently I started to really like the song “Take Me Home, Country Roads”. I searched for images of things mentioned in the song, like Blue Ridge mountains and Shenandoah river, and they do look pretty. Definitely somewhere I would like to hike. I've also heard that the local BBQ is good, which is relevant to my interests.

      At the same time, almost every time I see West Virginia mentioned on e.g. Reddit, there is always someone pointing out that WV is, for lack of a better term, a shithole. I've seen that occurring several times on several different subreddits. What is up with that? Is that just a thing where the people from one US state always feel the need to throw crap at other states? Are there economical reasons? Is it too conservative/racist/what-have-you?

      Just in case, I am not trying to start something, I am genuinely curious, how can one place be called “almost heaven” by one group of people and at the same called a “shithole” by another.

      35 votes
    25. Americans here: what is right wing, what is left wing?

      I know that I might be opening a can of worms, so please allow me to start my post with a request to not create deep comment chains with back-and-forth unproductive discussion. Let's do it...

      I know that I might be opening a can of worms, so please allow me to start my post with a request to not create deep comment chains with back-and-forth unproductive discussion. Let's do it scientific-ish, and share our answers as top-level comments that expose our perception, thoughs and answer. If you disagree an answer, post a toplevel comment that exposes your view, instead of direct refutals to individual comments. I believe that's a more productive approach.

      The right-left distinction in US politics is quite different to what it is in other parts of the world. Your right wing politics supports free speech for example, which in most parts of the world is an oxymoron. Could you explain me which ideas and stances are classified as right wing and which left wing in the US politics? Please read the above request before responding, I really don't want to start a political flame war and would be sorry if this turned into such a thing and became a burden on the mod(s).

      20 votes
    26. U.S. Jobs Report - The numbers we do NOT talk about

      I almost posted this in ~news but wasn't really sure so feel free to move the post if I got it wrong. The new jobs report is out: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm I consistently...

      I almost posted this in ~news but wasn't really sure so feel free to move the post if I got it wrong.

      The new jobs report is out:
      https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

      I consistently feel like the media just runs with the unemployment rate and ignores the other very important numbers. I think that the economy isn't really "booming" for ordinary Americans and I think that the numbers in the job report that aren't widely talked about are eye-opening.

      These numbers used to be talked about a LOT more immediately after the 2008 recessions and during the OWS protests.

      To be clear, I'm happy the stock market is up but I don't think it's "trickling" down all that much.

      Some examples:

      Long-term unemployed are not finding work:

      The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 1.4 million over the month; these individuals accounted for 22.9 percent of the unemployed. (See table A-12.)

      There are ~4.5 million people who are working part-time who want to work full time, and that number is rapidly growing with ~250,000 added since last quarter:

      The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) increased by 263,000 to 4.6 million in September. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs. (See table A-8.)

      More than 1.5 million American's gave up looking for work:

      In September, 1.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (Data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

      19 votes
    27. So I'm going to be in NYC with my mom for a week.

      For my mom's 80'th birthday we're spending a week in the place she grew up: New York City. We're going to spend some time wandering her old neighborhood and seeing how it's changed, and we'll do...

      For my mom's 80'th birthday we're spending a week in the place she grew up: New York City. We're going to spend some time wandering her old neighborhood and seeing how it's changed, and we'll do some of the touristy stuff since I haven't been to NYC since I was a kid. We have general plans about where we'll be, but a lot of open time to do whatever strikes us as cool.

      Tildestrians, is there anything you think really shouldn't be missed? We're going to Coney Island and the Museum of Natural History for sure, but if there's anything you think is amazing I'd love to hear about it.

      14 votes
    28. Discussion: Internet Piracy: ISPs tracking every your move

      Sorry for the minor clickbait title Let's talk about ISPs in USA. In my personal opinion, they do so much "bad" things to their clients, as opposed to, most noticeably, Europe (I guess it's...

      Sorry for the minor clickbait title

      Let's talk about ISPs in USA. In my personal opinion, they do so much "bad" things to their clients, as opposed to, most noticeably, Europe (I guess it's because, (at least in my country, IDK about another European states) much bigger competition, even in village with 500 people, there are about 3-4 ISPs, but there are even more of them in bigger cities). They throttle websites (even before they destroyed Net Neutrality), they track that you use your network too much and throttle you because of it ("they may send you a warning for excessive internet usage and throttle your bandwidth for awhile.").

      Now, they track that you download/upload too much and/or pirate movies and can throttle your account, downgrade your account, or completely refuse to provide you any service.

      Why? Why are they allowed to do this? Why they can track users and throttle them just because they download too much (I've read article about it, downloading too much, ISPs slowing down internet for few hours, link soon) or they suspect you of pirating. How they dare intercept your packets, read them and throttle you because of this? Why is it wildly accepted as completely normal behaviour?

      And I could continue on things like them publicly buying votes to remove Net Neutrality from the way, and so on.

      I honestly do not know why so much people are OK with this. Could we start a discussion on this?


      Throttling because of piracy sources: 1 2 3 4
      Pre-NetNeutrality-End websites throttling: 1 2

      29 votes
    29. Tildes, I'm going on a 10 day road trip with my s/o, what are some things I should prepare for?

      It's been about a decade since I had a vacation and I have a wedding to attend, so to kill two birds with one stone we will be traveling from Florida to New York by car. Me and my girlfriend of 7...

      It's been about a decade since I had a vacation and I have a wedding to attend, so to kill two birds with one stone we will be traveling from Florida to New York by car. Me and my girlfriend of 7 months will be taking the trip together and its both of our first times taking a vacation in forever.

      Aside from the more obvious stuff like toothbrushes, clothes and condoms (humble brag), what should I think about? After the wedding we'll have nearly a full week to do anything we want or go just about anywhere within reason/distance.

      Here's what I have covered so far:

      • Trip route is planned for there and (somewhat) back.
      • Car oil changed, tires replaced, cleaned & roadside assistance available 24/7.
      • Cat is taken care of, will be well fed and spied on via a security cam.
      • Got lots of good snacks for the road, small cooler with water etc.
      • Will be using airbnb or a somewhat affordable hotel most nights, we're not scraping by but we want to try and spend money on fun stuff instead of rooms.
      • Got plenty of phone charges, plugs, etc for all our electronics.
      • Got an emergency medical kit and a paper US map in the car (For fun, and just in case.)

      So any suggestions, anything I am missing? Anything I can do to make the trip more fun for me and my girlfriend? Any fun road trip things to do between FL to NY would be nice as well!

      13 votes
    30. Emergency medical services in America

      This comes from an article in Current Affairs, which to be upfront is an openly leftist publication. I thought it was an interesting anecdote, especially with the news from a few weeks ago about...

      This comes from an article in Current Affairs, which to be upfront is an openly leftist publication. I thought it was an interesting anecdote, especially with the news from a few weeks ago about the woman in Boston begging for people not to call an ambulance for her because she wouldn't be able to afford it (which is also mentioned in the article).

      I was in a New York City diner two nights ago and something disturbing happened. It was about 2am, and a woman was sitting alone in the next booth. She was disheveled and possibly homeless, and looked unwell. She had been eating a plate of food, but then sprawled herself along the seat and fell asleep. Someone in the restaurant must have called 911, because an ambulance showed up. They parked directly in front of the entrance and left the flashing lights on, and through the large windows the lights filled the restaurant and were overwhelmingly dazzling. The two paramedics approached the woman and told her to sit up. She mumbled a refusal. They insisted. As she finally sat up, bleary, they told her she would need to leave with them and that she should pay her bill. She replied that she had no money. The paramedics became upset, one of them asking her why she would order food if she couldn’t pay for it, and telling her she’d need to pay before they left. While the paramedics stood issuing her instructions as she muttered and fumbled, a young man at the front of the restaurant quietly approached a server and paid her bill. He then told the paramedics he had paid for her. They looked vaguely annoyed, and told her she should be grateful that a stranger just paid for her. The woman did not seem to comprehend, and just made a noise. Then the paramedics took her out to the ambulance. In the hour or so I stayed in the restaurant, the ambulance didn’t leave, and kept its lights on.

      Here’s why I was disturbed: the paramedics did not act like health professionals. They acted like cops. At first, I thought they were cops. Their uniform was similar, and the dazzling flashing lights were like police lights, and had the same bewildering effect. They were more concerned with whether the woman had paid her debts than whether she was okay. They had very clear contempt for her, treating her as a nuisance who was bothering restaurant patrons and needed to be removed. She wasn’t actually bothering anyone, of course; I was sitting in the next booth and had barely noticed her, and there were plenty of spare booths in the diner. But the paramedics were aggressive and unsympathetic in the way that many cops are. Incidents like the one I saw must happen constantly all across the country: homeless people and drug addicts (I don’t know whether the woman was intoxicated or on drugs, though it seemed somewhat likely) not being cared for with compassion, but being “policed” even by those who are supposed to be selflessly devoted to the improvement of health. The flashing lights were totally unnecessary, and made the whole diner feel like a police raid. And, of course, how typical of America that the issue of whether you can pay the bill is more important than whether you will live or die.

      What do you think of this? If you've had an experience with emergency medical services, how did it compare?

      11 votes
    31. The amount of neighborhood fireworks this year in Las Vegas is much less than in years past.

      Used to sound like a war zone from the end of June on. Now almost nothing until the the 4th, and even then nothing like in the past years. Rents have been slowly climbing, maybe that has pushed...

      Used to sound like a war zone from the end of June on. Now almost nothing until the the 4th, and even then nothing like in the past years. Rents have been slowly climbing, maybe that has pushed out the young and reckless. Maybe it is facebook. How about your neck of the woods?

      5 votes
    32. How come 7 people (the supreme court) can have so much power?

      I am not American but it seems to me that it is an incredibly broken system that 7 judges can essentially halt an entire country's progress. They decided that corporations have rights like a...

      I am not American but it seems to me that it is an incredibly broken system that 7 judges can essentially halt an entire country's progress. They decided that corporations have rights like a person, they can decide if gay marriage is legal, they can decide basically anything if they wanted as I understand it.

      So why does this even exist? Surely such gigantic decisions should be left to a parliament or something.

      19 votes
    33. Who here is eligible to vote but not registered to vote?

      The USA in particular has one of the lowest voter turnouts and the lowest registration levels of most developed countries....

      The USA in particular has one of the lowest voter turnouts and the lowest registration levels of most developed countries.

      http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/05/21/u-s-voter-turnout-trails-most-developed-countries/

      In 2016 only 61% of eligible citizens voted and only 70% were registered.

      https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/voting-and-registration/p20-580.html

      And that was a good year.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_turnout#Trends_of_decreasing_turnout_since_the_1980s

      10 votes
    34. venting: health insurance in the US sucks rocks

      In case you don't live in the US and don't know, it is very common for health insurance to be tied to employment. I've held four jobs over the last twelve months. Health insurance has been the...

      In case you don't live in the US and don't know, it is very common for health insurance to be tied to employment.

      I've held four jobs over the last twelve months. Health insurance has been the most frustrating part of it. I'm married, I have kids. I don't want to go months without health insurance. My wife is self-employed so no employer subsidized insurance for her. We live comfortably so no option for government subsidized insurance.

      The cheapest plan with insanely high annual "deductible" of something like $10,000 (the money you have to pay before insurance will pay) I can get independently is around $1000 / month. For comparison, with my current employer, my part of the insurance is around $440 month with a $3000 / year deductible.

      During the past year I've four different insurance companies, one of them paid entirely out of my own pocket, no coverage for dental care for a while, no coverage for eye care for a while. Really WTF? Why are teeth and eyes so different from other medical care?

      I'm now three weeks into my current position, insurance coverage with this employer began on the first of the month (so after about one week of working) — another gripe, the waiting periods to start coverage; my position before this had me working six weeks before coverage began; this time I had no idea when it would begin until I spoke to HR on my first day. I finally got my new insurance cards yesterday.

      So today I decided to try to cancel my out-of-pocket coverage. I have until the sixteenth to cancel for this month. Haha, no. I can't. Not only are the human operators not working today (which granted is a Saturday), but the website is shut down for the weekend. I can't make any changes until Monday.

      If the cost to me was the same, or close, I'd just buy my own insurance all the time instead of dealing with the hassles of constant change. But the costs are no-where near close. And I've got college tuition costs coming up very soon, so it's not like I'll have money to spare.

      I feel like health insurance in the US is the worst of all possible worlds.

      27 votes