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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#19001 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-October-16, 07:42

This will be a bit philosophical, inspired by listening last night to a PBS report on vaccines. A more detailed discussion is here.


Being 82, I got my first shot back in January. Becky is a bit younger and had to wait a month or two. I wanted the Pfizer, but would have taken the Moderna. I got the Pfizer without any trouble. When Becky's turn came, she could get the J&J immediately or the Pfizer by waiting a week. She waited a week.


Recently I got my booster. My regular doctor suggested I get the booster in his office, but it would take ten days or so and was Moderna. I signed up for it but explored getting Pfizer. I got it right away and canceled the Moderna appointment. Mostly, I wanted Pfizer if I could get it. Moderna had not yet gotten as far along in the approval process and although my doc said there were studies showing that mixing is better, I read about this a bit and thought the evidence was mixed at best. So I got the Pfizer.


Now we get to the philosophy. I listen to experts. But I also use my own judgment. Possibly this is at least slightly relevant in thinking about vaccine hesitancy. I think mostly the hesitancy is nuts, and the vast and deadly nature of the disease justifies mandates. Still, it would be good to get as many people as we can to come willingly to get their shot. It is both human nature and good sense to be skeptical. With me, and with Becky, it was wanting Pfizer, not J&J. And later, me wanting the Pfizer booster instead of the Moderna booster. Yes I think being so skeptical as to not get a shot at all is way overdoing it, and it seems to be at least partly ideological. If ideology says not to take the vaccine a person should look around for a different ideology.


I warned you this was philosophical. To quote Socrates "Gosh, all hemlock"
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#19002 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-October-16, 09:23

View Postkenberg, on 2021-October-16, 07:42, said:

This will be a bit philosophical, inspired by listening last night to a PBS report on vaccines. A more detailed discussion is here.


Being 82, I got my first shot back in January. Becky is a bit younger and had to wait a month or two. I wanted the Pfizer, but would have taken the Moderna. I got the Pfizer without any trouble. When Becky's turn came, she could get the J&J immediately or the Pfizer by waiting a week. She waited a week.

Recently I got my booster. My regular doctor suggested I get the booster in his office, but it would take ten days or so and was Moderna. I signed up for it but explored getting Pfizer. I got it right away and canceled the Moderna appointment. Mostly, I wanted Pfizer if I could get it. Moderna had not yet gotten as far along in the approval process and although my doc said there were studies showing that mixing is better, I read about this a bit and thought the evidence was mixed at best. So I got the Pfizer.

Now we get to the philosophy. I listen to experts. But I also use my own judgment. Possibly this is at least slightly relevant in thinking about vaccine hesitancy. I think mostly the hesitancy is nuts, and the vast and deadly nature of the disease justifies mandates. Still, it would be good to get as many people as we can to come willingly to get their shot. It is both human nature and good sense to be skeptical. With me, and with Becky, it was wanting Pfizer, not J&J. And later, me wanting the Pfizer booster instead of the Moderna booster. Yes I think being so skeptical as to not get a shot at all is way overdoing it, and it seems to be at least partly ideological. If ideology says not to take the vaccine a person should look around for a different ideology.

I warned you this was philosophical. To quote Socrates "Gosh, all hemlock"


Personally, I would think of the anti-vaxxer crowd there would be no more than 12-15% who had genuine concerns either due to a history of misuse by government programs or hesitancy due to medical uncertainties. The vast majority - IMO - are simply self-centered a-holes.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#19003 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-October-16, 09:30

Here is IMO the most important article published this week.

Quote

A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue stories and visuals of the week. None of these are legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked them out. Here are the facts:


Articles like this should be daily fare and should be repeated over and over to as many mainstream audiences as possible.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#19004 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-October-16, 09:53

Zeynep Tufekci said:

https://www.nytimes....vaccinated.html

The research and data we do have show that significant portions of the unvaccinated public were confused and concerned, rather than absolutely opposed to vaccines.

Some key research on the unvaccinated comes from the Covid States Project, an academic consortium that managed to scrape together resources for regular polling. It categorizes them as “vaccine-willing” and “vaccine-resistant,” and finds the groups almost equal in numbers among the remaining unvaccinated. (David Lazer, one of the principal investigators of the Covid States Project, told me that the research was done before the mandates, and that the consortium has limited funding, so they can poll only so often.)

Furthermore, its research finds that the unvaccinated, overall, don’t have much trust in institutions and authorities, and even those they trust, they trust less: 71 percent of the vaccinated trust hospitals and doctors “a lot,” for example, while only 39 percent of the unvaccinated do.

Relentless propaganda against public health measures no doubt contributes to erosion of trust. However, that mistrust may also be fueled by the sorry state of health insurance in this country and the deep inequities in health care — at a minimum, this could make people more vulnerable to misinformation. Research on the unvaccinated by KFF from this September showed the most powerful predictor of who remained unvaccinated was not age, politics, race, income or location, but the lack of health insurance.

The Covid States team shared with me more than a thousand comments from unvaccinated people who were surveyed. Scrolling through them, I noticed a lot more fear than certainty. There was the very, very rare “it’s a hoax” and “it’s a gene therapy,” but most of it was a version of: I’m not sure it’s safe. Was it developed too fast? Do we know enough? There was also a lot of fear of side effects, worries about lack of Food and Drug Administration approval and about yet-undiscovered dangers.

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#19005 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-October-16, 11:35

From Pramila Jayapal Won’t Let the Biden Presidency Fail by Michelle Goldberg at NYT:

Quote

JAYAPAL was born in the South Indian city of Chennai and raised mostly in Indonesia, where her father worked in the oil business. At 16, she moved to America by herself to attend Georgetown. Her parents had fairly conventional ideas about what immigrant success looked like. “To my dad, only three professions were worthy of his ambition for me: doctor, lawyer or business person,” she wrote in her 2020 book, “Use the Power You Have: A Brown Woman’s Guide to Politics and Political Change.”

For a time, she tried to fulfill her father’s hopes. After college she worked in the leveraged buyout department of an investment bank, then attended business school at Northwestern. The experience, she said, left her “extremely comfortable with numbers and spreadsheets,” which has likely proved useful in hashing out the reconciliation bill.

But Jayapal didn’t find the business world fulfilling, and an internship at a nonprofit in Thailand put her on a different path. In her book, she describes visiting Site 2, an enormous refugee camp on the Thai-Cambodian border, in 1989. It was, she said, her “first exposure to the travails, trauma, and the dire situations that cause migration.” Risking her parents’ disappointment, she eventually took a job at a Seattle-based international development nonprofit. Then, after Sept. 11, she began organizing on behalf of immigrants targeted by both bigoted civilians and the federal government, whose agencies regularly harassed innocent Muslims in the name of combating terrorism.

It was this work that brought Jayapal into contact with her congressman, Jim McDermott. He was the first politician she’d ever met, and she recalled that he carried a copy of Martin Niemöller’s “First They Came for the Socialists …” in his jacket pocket. In him, she wrote, “I saw what real leadership in an elected office looked like.”

When Jayapal started thinking of running for office herself, it was with the idea of doing essentially what she’s doing now — forcing the system leftward. “For years, I had believed that if politics is the art of the possible, then our job as activists is to push the boundaries of what is possible, but from the outside,” she wrote. “Why couldn’t that pushing also occur from the platform of an elected office?” In 2014, when she was 49, Jayapal was elected to the Washington State Senate, becoming that chamber’s only woman of color. Two years later, after McDermott announced his retirement from Congress, she won the race to succeed him.

Jayapal brought her decades of organizing experience to the work of fortifying the House Progressive Caucus, which has grown from 78 people in 2017 to 96 today. “When I came into Congress, I was kind of stunned by the lack of foundation for the progressive caucus,” she said, though she credits her predecessors with starting to reform it. “There was really no organization. It was more of a social club.”

When she and Mark Pocan, Democrat of Wisconsin, took over the caucus’s leadership in 2019, they sought to create a stronger structure, raising dues and hiring more staff. They instituted requirements that members attend meetings and sign on to a certain number of flagship bills.

Jayapal and Pocan professionalized the caucus’s political action committee. “I think when I came in we were raising maybe $300,000 to elect progressive candidates,” she said, referring to the 2016 cycle. In the most recent cycle, they raised $4.4 million. They built up an outside organization, a nonprofit called the Progressive Caucus Center, which does research, develops policy and coordinates with labor and social justice organizations.

She became the caucus’s sole chair in January. The decision to jettison the caucus’s co-chair structure led some anonymous sources to grouse to Politico about a “power grab,” but Pocan insisted that it made the caucus more nimble. With two co-chairs, he said, decision-making could be agonizingly slow: “Every press release had to be approved by two offices.”

Jayapal has a reputation as a tough boss; a recent BuzzFeed News article featured former staff members accusing her of running a “dysfunctional and volatile workplace” with grueling and unrealistic standards. But to many of her peers, she’s an effective leader.

Ro Khanna, a Democrat from California, said that Jayapal and Mike Darner, the caucus’s executive director, “have brought an extraordinary amount of structure to the caucus, and purpose. I can’t imagine if you call around that others wouldn’t share my view that she’s done an extraordinary job.”

NOW, Jayapal has a lot of power to determine if whatever Manchin and Sinema eventually agree to — assuming they eventually agree to something — is good enough.

Ever since Pelosi canceled the vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill, some pundits have compared the House Progressive Caucus to the Freedom Caucus, the claque of far-right representatives whom the former Republican House speaker John Boehner once described as “anarchists” who want to “tear it all down and start over.” Chris Stirewalt wrote in The Dispatch, “Perhaps both parties in Congress will be held captive by a clutch of performative cable news and social media stars who use their voting bloc’s power to seek attention more than legislation.”

This is a bad analogy, for a few reasons. First and foremost, the House Progressive Caucus is desperate to pass legislation. In the past, said Jayapal, progressives in Congress were seen as ineffectual: “They’re obstructionist, they don’t really know how to drive power. And honestly I kind of felt that way too when I came in.” The last thing Jayapal wants is for progressives to imitate the right in turning politics into a brand-building exercise devoid of policy content.

Further, the House Progressive Caucus isn’t pushing Biden to go beyond the proposals he himself has outlined; Jayapal is always careful to talk about their demands in terms of what the president has said he wants. “This is the president’s agenda, that he delivered in a speech to Congress and told us to bring him legislation that gets that done,” she said. “He himself said he wrote the damn bills.”

Nor is the caucus totally at odds with moderates in the House. Yes, plenty of centrists would have liked to pass the infrastructure bill last month, and some have objected to parts of the reconciliation package. But many also see elements of Build Back Better as crucial to their own re-elections.

Last month, the House Democrats Colin Allred, Cindy Axne, Sharice Davids, Andy Kim and Abigail Spanberger, each of whom flipped a Republican district in 2018, published a Washington Post op-ed essay calling for Congress to give Medicare the power to negotiate prescription drug prices. That’s a part of the reconciliation package that Sinema reportedly objects to. Allred joined with another group of so-called frontline members to argue for Build Back Better in Newsweek. “We may represent swing districts, but we are firm in our conviction that the passage of both of these bills is what’s best for our constituents,” they wrote.

Speaking of the House Progressive Caucus, Susan Wild, one of the co-authors of the Newsweek piece, told me, “I commend them for being relentless — and I mean that in the kindest possible way — in their pursuit of goals that I do believe will advance this country.”

Wild, a moderate who represents a district in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, bonded with Jayapal when they were trapped together in the gallery of the House chamber on Jan. 6. They live in the same apartment building and see each other often. Their politics are different, but Wild says that Jayapal “has been very focused on bringing some frontliners into the conversation and understanding what our priorities are that are compatible” with the progressive caucus.

For Wild, those priorities include dental, hearing and vision benefits for Medicare recipients, in addition to price negotiations for prescription drugs. “I would say, we’ve probably never seen the frontline and the progressives as aligned as they are right now, and a lot of that is because many of us are very much aligned with the Biden administration’s agenda,” she said.

The divide in Congress, then, isn’t really between progressives and moderates. It’s between the vast majority of Democrats and a few holdouts in both chambers. Indeed, it’s precisely because Democrats aren’t divided that some progressives find the need to make major concessions to Manchin and Sinema galling.

“If you have a caucus which is divided — you’ve got 25 people who want to do one thing, 25 people who want to do the other thing — you know what you do? You compromise,” said Sanders. But “when you’ve got 48 people who want to do something and two who don’t,” as well as the overwhelming majority of Democratic voters and the president of the United States, “it is not a 50-50 compromise.”

Except the issue isn’t what’s fair, but who has power. Which leads to the question of whether Jayapal will be able to unite her caucus behind something that Manchin and Sinema can accept, even if it seems inadequate.

Reaching a compromise is complicated by the fact that Manchin and Sinema aren’t coordinating their demands, some of which don’t overlap. Manchin has said he wants to undo some of the Trump tax cuts, while Sinema, who has revealed almost nothing publicly about her position, has reportedly said that she won’t accept any corporate or income tax increases.

Manchin has offered a top line number of $1.5 trillion for the reconciliation package, which is far less than the $3.5 trillion in the Build Back Better Act but at least offers a starting point for talks. Sinema hasn’t released a figure, and though she’s speaking to the White House, outsiders are largely in the dark about where she stands. “I think Senator Sinema is in negotiations, I just think we don’t know about it,” said Jayapal. “I know enough to know that she is at the table.”

So far, the progressives have shown flexibility. Jayapal has rejected Manchin’s $1.5 trillion figure, but according to Politico, when Biden told her and several other House progressives that the final figure would likely be $1.9 trillion to $2.2 trillion, the progressives didn’t push back. At the same time, while others worry about the price of progressive intransigence, Jayapal is determined not to concede too much preemptively. She’s there to push.

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#19006 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-October-17, 08:36

The Tufekci article quoted above by Y66 is extremely interesting. For example:

Quote

Finally, consider something hidden amid all the other dysfunction that plagues us: fear of needles.


Don’t roll your eyes. Prepandemic research suggests that fear of needles may affect up to 25 percent of adults and may lead up to 16 percent of adults to skip or delay vaccinations. For many, it’s not as simple as “suck it up”: It’s a condition that can lead to panic attacks and even fainting. During the pandemic, a study in Britain found that as many as one in four adults had injection phobia, and that those who did were twice as likely to be vaccine-hesitant. Research by Covid States shows that about 14 percent of the remaining unvaccinated mention fear of needles as a factor.


When I was 18 or maybe 19 someone from my former high school called to tell me that our principal had been hospitalized and was seeking blood donations. Sure, I'll do it. I went in, they started the procedure, I fainted. I was surprised and embarrassed. Later I went back tried again, same result. They told me not to come back. It's no longer a problem, I can't explain why it was a problem, but it was.

Y quotes

Quote


Furthermore, its research finds that the unvaccinated, overall, don’t have much trust in institutions and authorities, and even those they trust, they trust less: 71 percent of the vaccinated trust hospitals and doctors “a lot,” for example, while only 39 percent of the unvaccinated do.



How would I answer such a poll?




I take Lisinopril, a bit of a problem with blood pressure, I am no longer young. My cardiologist explained that a bit of coughing is sometimes a side effect, I said I sometimes have a bit of coughing, he prescribed a new blood pressure medicine. My pressure started going up. I called in, talked to a nurse, he talked to the doc and called me back and said I should continue for two weeks to give it a chance. The pressure kept going up. I switched back to Lisinopril. The doc had said the new stuff was basically the same as the old stuff, but w/o the side effects. I looked up the new stuff on the web and it was not the same as the old stuff. I am thinking of changing docs, obviously. But here is how I got to him in the first place. About ten years back I had a TIA and some surrounding problems I was hospitalized for a few days and the hospital doc put me on a new medicine. When I got out I looked it up and thought "I don't think I want to take this unless I really must". I found this current doc wh was shocked by what I had been given in the hospital and yeah, I got off it.


I could go on with many more stories such as this, and almost anyone I know of my age can do the same. So do I trust docs and hospitals "a lot"? That might be overstating it. It's more like "Well, I have to choose, and listening to the doc is a good place to start, but maybe not the last word". Call me paranoid but I can't help wondering if this doc got invited to a ski resort for a conference paid for by the company that makes the alternative blood pressure medicine. So "a lot" is definitely an overstatement.


As mentioned before, I also do not trust polls. When I have been polled and asked about A, B, C, or D, my first thought is usually "Those are my choices? Really?"


The article is great. It covers far more than I have mentioned here.


Ken
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#19007 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-October-17, 10:32

I have a fear of needles. It's controlled now (thanks to socialized medicine), and I was able to get my vaccines with a minimum of fuss (and health care delivery that listened, which is getting much less unusual these days). But I have no idea what will happen if I ever need an IV, especially one that is put in me when I am not conscious.

I'm twitching just typing this.

When it wasn't controlled:
  • *After* trying NO2 and having it be too painful, it took 6 people to hold me down to get a blood test for the anaesthetic to fix a broken arm. With, I remind you, a broken arm.
  • I have no idea what my childhood vaccinations were, because I know I skipped the line on at least one of them, but no idea what it or they were (it was the "okay, Class 8B to the infirmary, line up and wait" drill. They were *supposed* to keep an eye on the line (and class 8B had 20 people in it, so it should have been possible), but if you're particularly determined...)
  • I had 7 years of dental work (and there was a lot of it) done with only Iron Maiden as anaesthetic. The pain I could take (the metal was to cut the sound of the drill), the needles I couldn't.

I know I'm incredibly privileged to be able to say this, but the worst part of the pandemic for me was *every day*, in *every newspaper*, for 6 months, the head picture on state-of-play was somebody getting injected with the vaccine.

But I *still* signed up for it the day I was allowed.

Having said that, please "don't roll your eyes". For some, it really is as bad as that.
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#19008 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-October-17, 12:11

View Postmycroft, on 2021-October-17, 10:32, said:

I have a fear of needles. It's controlled now (thanks to socialized medicine), and I was able to get my vaccines with a minimum of fuss (and health care delivery that listened, which is getting much less unusual these days). But I have no idea what will happen if I ever need an IV, especially one that is put in me when I am not conscious.

I'm twitching just typing this.

When it wasn't controlled:
  • *After* trying NO2 and having it be too painful, it took 6 people to hold me down to get a blood test for the anaesthetic to fix a broken arm. With, I remind you, a broken arm.
  • I have no idea what my childhood vaccinations were, because I know I skipped the line on at least one of them, but no idea what it or they were (it was the "okay, Class 8B to the infirmary, line up and wait" drill. They were *supposed* to keep an eye on the line (and class 8B had 20 people in it, so it should have been possible), but if you're particularly determined...)
  • I had 7 years of dental work (and there was a lot of it) done with only Iron Maiden as anaesthetic. The pain I could take (the metal was to cut the sound of the drill), the needles I couldn't.

I know I'm incredibly privileged to be able to say this, but the worst part of the pandemic for me was *every day*, in *every newspaper*, for 6 months, the head picture on state-of-play was somebody getting injected with the vaccine.

But I *still* signed up for it the day I was allowed.

Having said that, please "don't roll your eyes". For some, it really is as bad as that.


I'm far from rolling my eyes, I think it is useful to hear first-hand accounts. You can imagine that fainting while attempting to give blood did not fit in at all well with my (desired) macho self-image. But after a couple more tries at other venues I came to think of it as "That's me, so what". I have no idea why this problem went away, it just did.

I'm glad you got the vaccine. A challenge met.

I had my tonsils out when I was 5. First they put me under with ether. I still remember my panic as the ether started to get to me. They told me to count. Ok, I knew how to count. 1, 2, 3 scream. And then I woke up w/o tonsils.

This does show that widespread vaccinations do need to deal with all sorts of issues.

Thanks for sharing.
Ken
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#19009 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-October-17, 17:28

Stephen Wertheim, Author @TomoTheWorld, Aug 25 said:

Suppose Joe Biden told Congress: you have six months to issue a formal declaration of the wars you want to keep, or else the troops (and planes and drones) are coming home.

In @nytopinion, I wrote about how to change the way America chooses war or peace:

Quote

If Congress is to be effective in declaring war, it should specify not only the enemy but also the military objective and geographical scope of the conflict. After a stipulated period of time, Congress should have to declare war again or let the war end.

This summer, an unlikely trio of senators advanced a similar proposal. Introduced by Chris Murphy, a Democrat; Mike Lee, a Republican; and Bernie Sanders, an independent, the National Security Powers Act would tightly define new interventions, sunset authorizations after two years and automatically defund unlawful campaigns. Going further than simply repealing the two authorizations passed after Sept. 11, their new framework would change the very way we go to war — and, hopefully, prevent unnecessary conflicts altogether.

Legal procedures are no substitute for shrewd decisions and effective missions. But requiring Congress to choose which wars we fight could make positive outcomes more likely. As it stands, presidencies define war, and war defines presidencies. Lyndon Johnson sent 548,000 troops into Vietnam even though he doubted that they could win, because he believed he would personally be blamed if he stood by while Communists took over. Each of the 535 members of Congress has less to gain through martial glory and less to lose if unfavorable but unstoppable events transpire overseas. And only Congress can impose time limits on conflicts through its declarations, forcing the country to re-evaluate its wars before they become endless.

A long-supine Congress will not acquire a backbone on its own. Its members clearly prefer to shirk their duty so long as presidents and voters scarcely object. So it’s the rest of the political system that must act to make Congress do its job — by refusing to conduct wars that Congress won’t declare, or by punishing representatives who won’t hold essential votes.

Two decades after Sept. 11, many Americans would prefer to put global policing to rest. They should hardly have to depend on the self-restraint of their commander in chief, whether Donald Trump, Joe Biden or whoever comes next. Congress can and should decide whether we go to war. If it did, it might just deliver some peace.


Quote

Most of the international military obligations that we assumed were once important are now outdated. Our alliances should be alliances of equals, with equal risks, burdens, and responsibilities. It is time to give up the dubious benefits of superpower status.

Quote

Secretary Gates should be more sickened by a decade of unnecessary war that he supported while Biden was looking for an exit.

Robert Gates says watching the Afghanistan withdrawal sickened him @cbsnews

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#19010 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-October-17, 17:39

Matt Yglesias said:

Back in the day when politics was sane, you’d just add $100 billion for hypersonic missile research split between West Virginia, Arizona, and Georgia to the bill and everyone could go home.

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#19011 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-October-17, 20:12

There is a great deal of concern in Arizona and Virginia about spending too much money.
But not on nuclear weapons.https://www.brooking...oject-findings/

Quote

First, what did nuclear weapons cost the United States? From 1940 through 1996, we spent nearly $5.5 trillion on nuclear weapons and weapons-related programs, in constant 1996 dollars. This chart shows what the total is when estimated future-year costs for dismantling nuclear weapons and disposing of surplus nuclear materials, and for managing and cleaning up some 50 years of nuclear waste resulting from nuclear weapons production are added in. If we could represent $5.8 trillion as a stack of dollar bills, it would reach from the Earth to the Moon and nearly back again, a distance of more than 459,000 miles.


You can see that the majority of funds were spent not on building the nuclear explosives themselves?that proved to be relatively inexpensive given the scale of the program?but on the myriad delivery vehicles used to carry them to their targets. These included not only the well known strategic bombers and ballistic missiles, but also artillery shells, depth charges, and nuclear land mines. In fact, when we add the cost of deploying offensive delivery systems to those of defensive weapons, along with the costs associated with targeting and controlling the arsenal, we find that 86 percent of what was spent was spent on building a variety of launch systems and ensuring that not only could they be fired when ordered to do so but, more important, that they would not go off unless valid launch orders were issued.


As large as this total sum is, I want to stress that despite our best efforts it remains only a conservative estimate, a floor rather than a ceiling. The Government has never tried to track all nuclear weapons costs either annually or over time and as a result records in this regard are extremely spotty and in numerous instances non-existent. We know, for example, that in the early-to-mid-1950s, nuclear weapons were thoroughly integrated into what became known as conventional forces. This was done for two key reasons. One was that nuclear weapons were perceived to offer a “bigger bang for a buck.” Seeking to do more with less, this reputed benefit appealed to the Eisenhower administration, which authorized a massive expansion of the nuclear stockpile; when Eisenhower entered office in 1953, the stockpile consisted of some 1,400 bombs; by the time he left in 1961, the total had risen to more than 24,000, with the majority of these being for battlefield use.

non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#19012 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-October-18, 07:27

View Postpilowsky, on 2021-October-17, 20:12, said:

There is a great deal of concern in Arizona and Virginia about spending too much money.
But not on nuclear weapons.https://www.brooking...oject-findings/



This looks like a serious and useful source of information. For the moment, I will just make a brief reply to " when Eisenhower entered office in 1953, the stockpile consisted of some 1,400 bombs; by the time he left in 1961, the total had risen to more than 24,000, with the majority of these being for battlefield use."


Eisenhower took office when I was 14. I was more interested in cars, physics and math than I was in politics but I recall some of it. A good part of Ike's appeal was that people thought he could bring the war (aka police action) in Korea to an end. He did. He refused to get involved in the French struggle in what would become Viet Nam, he angered Europeans by stying out of the Suez crisis, he warned against getting involved in a land war in Asia, and so on. But there was considerable fear of the USSR and not just in the US. Hence NATO, for example. The US, the French, the British occupation of Germany was in the past, the Russian occupation was not. In the 30s there was much belief that the US could stay out of Europe's troubles, in the 50s that was much no longer such a popular view. {These comments are from memory, but I think it is largely right.]


I supported (in a 13-year-old's way of supporting) Adali Stevenson in the '52 election but I thought, and I still think, Eisenhower was a good president. I don't doubt that the data above about the number of bombs is are ( caught it myself this time) correct. It occurred in a context. Contexts change with time.
Ken
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#19013 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-October-18, 16:04

What irks me is the endless amount of money that all governments are spending on an arsenal of weapons and yet Rand Paul waxes lyrical about the importance of paying for your own education.
If you compare the national expenditure of the largest economy on blowing ***** up compared to offering education to as many citizens as possible, A always seems to outrank B.


1996 is not that long ago.
Neither was 1940.
I'm still amazed that after the 'flu pandemic lawmakers have the gall to say "well this is a 100-year event - not our fault we didn't expect it"


Unfortunately, 100-year events happen nearly every year.


It's the millennial events that are harder to spot - like climate change.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#19014 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2021-October-18, 16:37

View Postpilowsky, on 2021-October-18, 16:04, said:

What irks me is the endless amount of money that all governments are spending on an arsenal of weapons and yet Rand Paul waxes lyrical about the importance of paying for your own education.

That's really easy to explain. One of the most basic ideas of Republican "small government" philosophy is that the federal government shouldn't do things that can be done by states and individuals. But states don't have armies, and they can't protect the country as a whole. So there's no more fundamental job for the federal government than raising and funding the armed forces.

#19015 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-October-18, 17:51

Yes, it's explicable, but it still makes no sense.
Having a well-educated, healthy and highly skilled workforce that doesn't have to be worried about their elderly parents or children dying for lack of adequate healthcare is also "in the national interest".
There are two ways to improve individual sectors in the common wealth.
1. Allow individuals to garner as much of the pie as possible (the American dream).
2. Make the pie bigger by enabling as many of the residents as possible and leaving no one behind (democratic socialism).

Australia oscillates between the two.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#19016 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-October-18, 19:10

View Postbarmar, on 2021-October-18, 16:37, said:

That's really easy to explain. One of the most basic ideas of Republican "small government" philosophy is that the federal government shouldn't do things that can be done by states and individuals.

Things like states condoning owning people and individuals owning slaves?
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#19017 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-October-19, 09:15

I see that about 1/3 of the Chicago police force is refusing to take the Covid-19 vaccine. I hope these guys are discharged from the force - at least those who do not have a legitimate health reason to resist - as we do not need people with guns who have the force of law on their side and whose basic instinct is that they have no responsibilities to society.

When these types say, I don't want the government telling me what I have to put into my body, I want to answer, Can you afford your own island? No. Well, then welcome to the reality of society. Now take the damn shots.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#19018 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-October-19, 15:42

The largest cohort of police officers in the USA are ex-military.
The largest proportion of which come from the southern states.


Less surprising in context.


The same thing in Australia but occupational health and safety trumps everything else here.
You cannot work in a hospital in Australia unless you are fully vaccinated against everything.
The same applies to all health care workers and multiple other sectors.


There are always some that claim religious exemptions but that still means they can't work. - Religious exemption is bogus anyway - it is basically code for "I've run out of stupid ideas" and I don't wanna.
Then we have "medical exemption" these are vanishingly rare.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#19019 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-October-20, 06:56

Jonathan Bernstein at Bloomberg said:

All of a sudden, it appears that the Democrats’ two-bill strategy to pass as much of their agenda as possible is … working as planned? Lots of caveats apply, nothing is agreed to until everything is, and the whole thing could still come apart. But Senate Democrats are talking about reaching a deal this week, with Bernie Sanders meeting with Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema and no apparent deal-breakers identified at this point. That’s only the Senate, of course, but all along it’s been hard to believe that House Democrats would reject anything that Sanders and Manchin both supported.

Let’s take a step back. What was always hard about this approach was that the party’s agenda was ambitious and the gap between the most and least liberal Democrats was large. That meant that all wings of the party, and especially the most liberal group, were going to have to give up a lot of things they strongly cared about. The size of the bill also meant that there were going to be a lot of potential landmines, some of them buried deep in the text. Those could still blow things up; all that Senate Democrats are hoping to get done this week is an overall agreement (a “framework”), with the details to be filled in later — leaving room for someone to object once a final deal is reached. And as always, there’s almost no room for error given the party’s narrow majorities.

But two big factors suggest eventual passage is likely.

For one, in contrast with the bipartisan infrastructure deal that passed the Senate in August, everyone negotiating this bill is a Democrat. And given the way elections work these days, with presidential popularity more important to a lawmaker’s re-election than his or her own popularity, all those Democrats have a stake in making President Joe Biden look good. The other thing? The two bills address issues — such as health care, climate, child care and so on — that Democrats have compromised on numerous times in the past. Seriously: Does anyone think that New York and New Jersey Democrats will ultimately vote against the entire Democratic agenda if relief for state and local taxes isn’t included? Sure, that’s what they’re saying now. And sure, they’ll fight for their districts’ interests. But surely when push comes to shove they’ll accept commitments for the future or some other verbiage from leadership. After all, their districts will benefit from items in both bills, even if they don’t get exactly what they want.

It’s even possible that the public focus on the total cost of the bill, which everyone seems to agree was a communications nightmare, is playing a helpful role. If there’s one thing that legislators can do, it’s find a compromise between two numbers; that’s a lot easier than haggling over the programs generating the numbers. Meanwhile, since almost no one knows what’s supposed to have been in the bills, Democrats can start talking up whatever they pass, rather than making excuses for what they didn’t.

Again: There’s no agreement yet; all they’re working on is a framework, not the full legislative language with all the details; and things could easily still collapse. But I’ve been saying for a while that the eventual outcome to these negotiations is a complete unknown, and I don’t think that’s the case any more. Now the most likely outcome is that both bills pass and are signed into law. If that happens, the total size is going to be a lot lower than originally proposed, and a lot of Democratic priorities won’t be included, but it would still cap off an impressive legislative start to Biden’s presidency.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#19020 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-October-20, 07:24

Heather Cox Richardson said:

After yesterday’s report recommending that the House of Representatives hold Stephen K. Bannon in criminal contempt of Congress for his refusal to honor a congressional subpoena, the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol tonight voted to hold Bannon in contempt.

Both committee chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and vice-chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) spoke before the vote. Thompson called out Bannon as the only witness who was stonewalling the committee, and he warned that the committee would not excuse anyone. “No one in this country, no matter how wealthy or how powerful, is above the law,” he said.

Republican Cheney was more pointed. She noted that Bannon appears to have had “substantial advance knowledge of the plans for January 6th and likely had an important role in formulating those plans.” She also suggested that the arguments Bannon and Trump were making “appear to reveal one thing: they suggest that President Trump was personally involved in the planning and execution of January 6th. And we will get to the bottom of that.”

Cheney went on to “add one further thought, principally for my Republican colleagues.” “You all know that there is no evidence of widespread election fraud sufficient to overturn the election; you all know that the Dominion voting machines were not corrupted by a foreign power. You know these claims are false. Yet former President Trump repeats them almost daily.”

She asked her colleagues to “consider the fundamental questions of right and wrong here. The American people must know what happened. They must know the truth. All of us who are elected officials must do our duty to prevent the dismantling of the rule of law, and to ensure nothing like that dark day in January ever happens again.”

The issue now moves to the House floor for a vote.

https://heathercoxri...-xx4Gqz5gyARkrQ

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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