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Old 01-02-2020, 05:37 PM   #1
Tyrone Slothrop
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Objectively intelligent.

Carry on.
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Old 01-02-2020, 06:25 PM   #2
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

I'm looking forward to the stories we can expect in 12-24 months about all the crazy stuff about Trump that insiders and journalists who cover the White House "couldn't" tell us when it was happening, i.e., now.
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Old 01-02-2020, 08:42 PM   #3
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

Brad Delong criticizes Obama for helping to cause the mess we're in:

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Barack Obama is not the biggest author of our current debacle. But he is an author. Every time I see his picture, I think of him in January 2010: "Families across the country are tightening their belts and making tough decisions. The federal government should do the same. (Applause.) So tonight, I'm proposing specific steps to pay for the trillion dollars that it took to rescue the economy last year. Starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years..." I still cannot find anyone willing to take ownership fo that policy proposal, so I suspect it same direct from Obama: Paul Krugman: The Legacy of Destructive Austerity: 'A decade ago, the world was living in the aftermath of the worst economic crisis since the 1930s. Financial markets had stabilized, but the real economy was still in terrible shape, with around 40 million European and North American workers unemployed. Fortunately, economists had learned a lot from the experience of the Great Depression. In particular, they knew that fiscal austerity—slashing government spending in an attempt to balance the budget—is a really bad idea in a depressed economy. Unfortunately, policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic spent the first half of the 2010s doing exactly what both theory and history told them not to do. And this wrong turn on policy cast a long shadow, economically and politically... helped set the stage for the current crisis of democracy.... The austerity years left many lasting scars, especially on politics. There are multiple explanations for the populist rage that has put democracy at risk across the Western world, but the side effects of austerity rank high on the list.... Beyond that, I’d argue that austerity mania fatally damaged elite credibility. If ordinary working families no longer believe that traditional elites know what they’re doing or care about people like them, well, what happened during the austerity years suggests that they’re right. True, it’s delusional to imagine that people like Trump will serve their interests better, but it’s a lot harder to denounce a scam artist when you yourself spent years promoting destructive policies simply because they sounded serious. In short, we’re in the mess we’re in largely because of the wrong turn policy took a decade ago...
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Old 01-03-2020, 10:51 AM   #4
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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Old 01-03-2020, 10:59 AM   #5
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Like that Amazon package that arrives two weeks late...

Bolton got his Christmas wish with that strike on the Iranian general.

God only knows how this will work out.
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Old 01-03-2020, 11:32 AM   #6
Hank Chinaski
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop View Post
Wasn't there an incoming R congress that forced "belt-tightening" anyway? President Obama might simply have been playing towards what he knew would be inevitable.
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:28 PM   #7
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Re: Like that Amazon package that arrives two weeks late...

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Bolton got his Christmas wish with that strike on the Iranian general.

God only knows how this will work out.
The one positive thing I had to say about 45 was the he seemed to be resisting influences like Bolton to avoid escalating against Iran. So much for that. I guess the opportunity to push his other problems out of the headlines, give a potential witness against him something he wanted, lure the media into it's usual war-backing and kill some bad guys was too strong.

Yeah, that isn't surprising.

Apparently these were actually bad - I'll admit to having never heard of them awhile they were alive - but this is going to get ugly in the best case scenario (i.e., Iranian retaliation that doesn't spark further escalation) and very ugly in the likely bad scenario (i.e., renewed regional war).
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:32 PM   #8
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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Wasn't there an incoming R congress that forced "belt-tightening" anyway? President Obama might simply have been playing towards what he knew would be inevitable.
Yeah, a lot of left-criticism of Obama seems to completely forget what he was dealing with in Congress (not saying that of Delong). But it's also true that if you're the sort of lefty who doesn't like the Dem establishment, you're right that Obama was very much of the Dem establishment.

Frustrating to see those people making the same mistakes as 2016 though. Yeah, Biden's the Dem establishment. Yeah, you find that disappointing. No, the other guy isn't the same thing on any of the metrics you purport to care about (again, save the war thing until yesterday).
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:39 PM   #9
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Re: Like that Amazon package that arrives two weeks late...

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The one positive thing I had to say about 45 was the he seemed to be resisting influences like Bolton to avoid escalating against Iran. So much for that. I guess the opportunity to push his other problems out of the headlines, give a potential witness against him something he wanted, lure the media into it's usual war-backing and kill some bad guys was too strong.

Yeah, that isn't surprising.

Apparently these were actually bad - I'll admit to having never heard of them awhile they were alive - but this is going to get ugly in the best case scenario (i.e., Iranian retaliation that doesn't spark further escalation) and very ugly in the likely bad scenario (i.e., renewed regional war).
I think a more long range worst case scenario is the rulers in Iran finding a way to use the death of this figure to gin up nationalism and hatred for the US among a population that is not anti-US or anti-Western.

I'm all for killing the degenerate hard liners who rule Iran. Nobody anywhere wants them in power. The world hates them; most of their own people hate them. But the calculation Bush and Obama made was that to engage in aggression against the country in any manner could give the rulers an issue around which to rally the people. The rulers are currently pretty desperate, as we've really strangled their economy. They were praying for a reaction like Trump's. Lets hope the population sees through the propaganda of the rulers and rejects efforts to stoke up nationalism.

And let's hope Iran doesn't react in a manner that results in Trump inviting Wolfowitz and Perle to the White House to provide advice.
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:57 PM   #10
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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I think that's one half of it. The other half is the selective bailout. We made a decision to reinflate stock and r/e prices for investors and asset holders while ignoring the losses to workers. (Other than unionized auto workers, who were powerful enough to cut themselves a discrete deal.)

If the bailout had been structured so that Main Street received some of the money (recall, Bush did something along those lines), it would have worked much better and saved both Main Street and Wall Street at once. Wall Street would have received less, but the money given to Main Street would have been spent on mortgages and other debts that instead went bad. And who held that paper? Wall Street. Win/Win.

We could have at least tried to save Main and Wall. But we didn't. "Wise" men (including me... I argued the bailout made sense, and technically it did) said all we needed to do was shore up the financial system and it would in turn stabilize Main Street. Instead, it took all the money and did exactly what rational actors would in that situation. It speculated on assets outside the Main Street economy. And worse, it preyed on Main Street with aggressive foreclosures, and foreclosure abuses.

The 2008 Bailout will never be over. It destroyed Main Street's trust in govt and finance. And finance runs on trust. Without trust, money doesn't flow. Which it isn't. You can cite me any stat on subprime lending and floating home loan rates re-emerging as proof the lending spigot has opened to Joe Sixpack, but those are outliers. They might as well be credit card lenders, which have loaned freely through most of the entire crisis up to today. But the guy trying to borrow for a business loan, the little guy, he's still stuck in vicious cycle:
If you don't need money, you can borrow as much as you like at low rates. But if you need it, fuck you.
2008 was socialism for the affluent, period. It's defended by jackasses who'll say it's imperfect because it had to be done so fast, or that it saved the retirement accounts of millions of common people. Bullshit. We could have done all of that while allowing the people in those banks to lose their asses along with the little guys. We could have allowed investors to suffer on par with labor. But when the fuck did any govt anywhere do that, right? This is why Trump is in office and Bernie is surging. Obama bit his lip and kept the ship afloat for eight years, following the sage wisdom of those who above all else sought to maintain the status quo. Admirable work in some circles. But he never broke the fourth wall and told the little people what Bernie and Trump and Warren are: You're getting fucked in a rigged system. The little guy knows it. He gets it. And now that cat is out of the bag - openly discussed and admitted. I don't know how we ever go back to 2007. It appears impossible. Our democracy is permanently altered.
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Old 01-03-2020, 02:04 PM   #11
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Re: Like that Amazon package that arrives two weeks late...

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Originally Posted by sebastian_dangerfield View Post
I think a more long range worst case scenario is the rulers in Iran finding a way to use the death of this figure to gin up nationalism and hatred for the US among a population that is not anti-US or anti-Western.

I'm all for killing the degenerate hard liners who rule Iran. Nobody anywhere wants them in power. The world hates them; most of their own people hate them. But the calculation Bush and Obama made was that to engage in aggression against the country in any manner could give the rulers an issue around which to rally the people. The rulers are currently pretty desperate, as we've really strangled their economy. They were praying for a reaction like Trump's. Lets hope the population sees through the propaganda of the rulers and rejects efforts to stoke up nationalism.

And let's hope Iran doesn't react in a manner that results in Trump inviting Wolfowitz and Perle to the White House to provide advice.
Here's my long-term worst case scenario: Somewhere along the way, the autocrats in Turkey, Iran, and Arabia decide to carve up the Middle East among themselves and to hell with it. Iran gets Iraq, Kuwait, and Azerbaijan, and a green light to do what they will in Central Asia, the Sauds get Yemen, Oman, the gulf states, and Jordan, and get a free hand in Sudan, Eritrea, and Djibouti, and Turkey gets Syria, Lebanon, Armenia and Georgia, and a free hand in the Caucuses' and the Black Sea basin in general, as well as Cyprus, and then Turkey and the Saud's split Egypt (Turkey gets Alexandria and Cairo but the Saud's have the Suez and lower Egypt).

Each of those countries would be roughly as populous or more populous and at least as wealthy as Russia to the North and otherwise all would be bordered by significantly weaker countries in the Balkans, Africa, and Central Asia.

Sykes and Picot aren't the only ones with crayons.
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Old 01-03-2020, 02:55 PM   #12
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Re: Like that Amazon package that arrives two weeks late...

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I think a more long range worst case scenario is the rulers in Iran finding a way to use the death of this figure to gin up nationalism and hatred for the US among a population that is not anti-US or anti-Western.
That would be whom?? I mean, we've done kinda a ton to the people of the region to earn that for ourselves.

Quote:
I'm all for killing the degenerate hard liners who rule Iran. Nobody anywhere wants them in power.
I'm not. When have we ever been able to kill our way to foreign leadership that we liked better? Post-WW2 Japan, I guess, but are you ready for that scale of effort?
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Old 01-03-2020, 03:01 PM   #13
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Re: Like that Amazon package that arrives two weeks late...

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That would be whom?? I mean, we've done kinda a ton to the people of the region to earn that for ourselves.
Iran is not a hard line society. It's a diverse group of normal people governed by hard liners. They're not anti-West. Quietly, socially, most of them behave like westerners.

Quote:
I'm not. When have we ever been able to kill our way to foreign leadership that we liked better? Post-WW2 Japan, I guess, but are you ready for that scale of effort?
I was talking perfect world scenarios. It'd be great if we could just kill the hard liners and see them replaced by moderates. But that's not possible. I also meant it in the sense that I'm happy to see hard liners of any country who repress their people die. Preferably more slowly than by drone strike.
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Old 01-03-2020, 03:04 PM   #14
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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You can cite me any stat on subprime lending and floating home loan rates re-emerging as proof the lending spigot has opened to Joe Sixpack, but those are outliers.
Wait, you think returning to the bubble years' lending would be (a) good and (b) a sign of improvement for Joe Sixpack? Um, no. That was Wall Street preying on the vulnerable. We want that reined in.

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We could have done all of that while allowing the people in those banks to lose their asses
No we couldn't and trying to would have gone an immense amount of damage to the little guys. See, every bank run ever. Whose mortgages and savings do you think are on the bank's balance sheets?

Quote:
We could have allowed investors to suffer on par with labor.
How? In your (moronic) morality tale, investors were "bailed out" with low interest rates and loose monetary policy. You think labor is better off without those measures? Because they aren't.
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Old 01-03-2020, 03:06 PM   #15
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Re: Like that Amazon package that arrives two weeks late...

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Here's my long-term worst case scenario: Somewhere along the way, the autocrats in Turkey, Iran, and Arabia decide to carve up the Middle East among themselves and to hell with it. Iran gets Iraq, Kuwait, and Azerbaijan, and a green light to do what they will in Central Asia, the Sauds get Yemen, Oman, the gulf states, and Jordan, and get a free hand in Sudan, Eritrea, and Djibouti, and Turkey gets Syria, Lebanon, Armenia and Georgia, and a free hand in the Caucuses' and the Black Sea basin in general, as well as Cyprus, and then Turkey and the Saud's split Egypt (Turkey gets Alexandria and Cairo but the Saud's have the Suez and lower Egypt).

Each of those countries would be roughly as populous or more populous and at least as wealthy as Russia to the North and otherwise all would be bordered by significantly weaker countries in the Balkans, Africa, and Central Asia.

Sykes and Picot aren't the only ones with crayons.
Each of those countries sounds fractured, unstable and prone to civil war. You think the autocrats believe they can manage them?
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