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Ten oz

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Posts posted by Ten oz

  1. 34 minutes ago, beecee said:

    Australia also has a debt/deficit, and I would say the same applies to many countries.

    The levy system in Australia is a two tier system, 1.5% for most wage earners, and those above a certain amount, pay a 1% surcharge. The two tier health levy system is also backed and supported by private health insurance if one so chooses,, which covers such things as gaps, private ward in hospital, and a Teddy bear in bed with you. 

    The system covers doctors visits, stays in hospital, Operations [other then cosmetic surgery] X-Rays and such, most prescriptions at a fixed subsidized price with a ceiling limitation after which it is free, some home care for retired seniors, eg: My Mother had her unit fixed out with safety rails in the toilet and bathroom, and other home services as prescribed by a doctor, eg; A mate of mine spent a month in hospital with a Staph infection, then a month at home with daily visitations from a nurse to change his continued anti-biotic treatment. All without personal cost and all without private health insurance.

    Yes but the other piece, private Healthcare being 18% of GDP, doesn't get addresses. We can raise taxes by a couple percentage points and still bring in less overall revenue if GDP declines. A couple percentage point increase in taxation can fill the gap for 18% of GDP. Profits and payrolls must be reduced which would reduce tax revenue. 

    $3 trillion wouldn't be raised by a 2% tax. Rather the govt would need to control costs and make it more affordable. That is good and needs to happen but will reduce the amount of money presently changing hand in the industry and reduce tax revenue over all as a result for several years until the industry finds equilibrium. The result could mean several trillion dollars of new debt. 

    8 minutes ago, John Cuthber said:

    Yes, but you can change taxes.

    Changing taxes might not increase revenue if GDP slumps as a result of the change. 

    26 minutes ago, John Cuthber said:

    healthcare expenditure is roughly twice that of most Western countries (without a noticeably better set of outcomes).
    So you just have to set up a "market" in health provision.

    Sadly here in the States the outcome the Healthcare industry cares about is money and not health. From that perspective the outcomes are far better in the States than they are in the U.K.. 

    The ACA requirement that everyone have coverage was a good compromise. It promised the industry more paying customers for plans that didn't discriminate against preexisting conditions, we're more affordable, and so on. It improved quality of care and cut costs without causing financial hardships to the industry. 

    Morally I think the private healthcare industry here in the states deserves hardship. They behave unethically. That said I don't think it is prudent to take the whole country down with them. 

  2. 8 minutes ago, beecee said:

    Coming into this late, but why not simply a 1.5% or similar levy on all wages and salaries? Is that really so hard or difficult for Americans to accept? I mean it works in other countries. 

    In theory it would be that easy, yes. However we (U.S.) currently run an annual deficit of over a trillion dollars a year. We can't afford the current spending levels we have with our current level of Taxation. 

    Also while it does work elsewhere it has also been in place in many areas since the end of WW2 when nations were rebuilding. Here in the U.S. private healthcare spending is over $3 trillion a year and accounts for 18% of GDP. It never should have gotten to this point but is at it all the same. Folding a $3 trillion dollar a year industry into a singular govt overseen program will impact jobs, 401k's, and etc. In time I believe it can be done. However I don't believe the way forward is obvious or simple. 

  3. 26 minutes ago, iNow said:

    GOP opposition to healthcare strikes me as pathological at this point, especially given the plan they're attacking is itself a watered down version of one authored by conservatives.

    Polling for individual portions of the ACA like pre-existing conditions and medicare expansion are extremely popular across all demographics and party affiliation. The hangover from the faux Obamacare outrage looms over this process. Everyone likes the ACA but people on the right hate Obamacare. 


    ***Disclaimer - I am aware Obamacare is a nic name for the ACA.

  4. Quote


    WASHINGTON — The still-secret report on Russian interference in the 2016 election submitted by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, last week was more than 300 pages long, according to the Justice Department, a length that raises new questions about Attorney General William P. Barr’s four-page summary.

    Mr. Barr wrote to Congress on Sunday offering what he called the “principal conclusions” of the report — including that Mr. Mueller had not found that the Trump campaign had taken part in a conspiracy to undermine the election. But he had notably declined to publicly disclose its length.



    I heard a legal commutator make an interesting point on the radio this morning. Under Trump it has been greatly argued that a President cannot be indicted. As a result Mueller's report did not seek to collude a criminal case for indictment. It is unclear if an indictment would even be constitutional. Rather the constitution clearly outlines impeachment proceeding via Congress as the way to remove a President. Not criminal charges.The commutator said Mueller Reports should be intended to make conclusions but rather lay out the case of the for for Congress to review and make a determination on regarding whether or not to proceed with impeachment. Basically it was argued that the Admin is distorting the purpose/nature of the report. 


  5. 27 minutes ago, zapatos said:

    Seems to be an ad hoc system where it is understood everyone has some security clearance otherwise they cannot do their jobs. Some Representatives do jobs requiring more security than others.

    It is a bit more complicated that as Congress is supposed to be an equal branch and do have some Intelligence oversight authority. 



    The White House has the power to control information classification, and even withhold access to information and operational details from certain members of Congress. In this way, the executive branch can directly control what Congress can or cannot see, indirectly influencing the legislative branch's overall ability to make decisions. Thus, despite members of the Intelligence Committees and their staffs holding appropriate security clearances, they may sometimes only have a limited view into specific intelligence activities.[2] Though the National Security Act of 1947 states that Congress must be kept "fully informed" of significant intelligence activities, many Presidents have interpreted this clause to mean they only need to notify the "Gang of Eight" rather than the full membership of the congressional intelligence committees. The Gang of Eight consists of the Senate and House Majority and Minority Leaders, and the Chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. 




  6. I am primarily drawn towards sports I can still do. Once one is out of school or other structured environment the costs associated with and availability to find peers for many sports become demanding.

    Baseball for example requires the participation of at least 14 people (pitcher, 3 bases, catcher,  and 2 outfielders per team at minimum) to successful play a game, because of the space involved it is nearly always played out doors making weather an issue, and requires numerous gloves and bats to accommodate people of different size. So I don't bother with playing Baseball or watching it. Similar situation with American Football. Requires many people and is mostly played outdoors. 

    Basketball only requires a single other person to get a game going. There are often places to play Basketball indoor or outdoor, and all that is needed is a ball. So I play Basketball and watch it. Likewise I am a huge Boxing fan. Only requires one other person to get mitt work or sparring in and can be done anywhere. 

    Most Olympic events are too niche for my taste. I don't follow Olympic sports. Also I am opposed to the manner in which many Amateur at treated here in the States.   


  7. On 3/22/2019 at 2:05 AM, SerengetiLion said:

    I ponder the thought of the reasoning of why us humans once puberty hits are able to produce offspring. In our society having a child at this young age is not ideal for many reasons. I can't help but think the reason is because one's DNA hasn't copied itself as many times as the DNA in anyone older in age, less copying thus less mutations, errors as well as epigenetic altered DNA. 

    The longer one must wait to reproduce the less likely they are to ever successfully reproduce. We humans have done a good job over the last few hundred years reducing the risks posed by disease, predators, weather, and etc but even still not everyone born doesn't safely makes it to 30yrs of age or whatever. The sooner one can have children the more likely they are to get a chance to do so before they die. The average human life span during antiquity was just 30 years. Before that it was even less. People having children at 13yrs old meant the child would probably get at least 10yrs or more with a parent before they were stuck fending for themselves. 

    In my opinion survival of the fittest is easier to understand if thought of as survival of those who reproduce. It doesn't matter to evolution how intelligent, strong, or other fit something is. Only genes passed down through reproduction continue. Evolution doesn't default toward progress in any specific aware other than survival. Having children young increases the likelihood one will live to have kids. It also increase the number of generations that fit a century. If Humans weren't able to reproduce until they were older there is a chance Humans would have gone extinct. Insignificant numbers and inability to reproduce (successfully) quickly enough surely played a roll in the extinction of Neanderthals and Denisovans .


  8. 8 hours ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

    Equivalent of.

    Can you explain the rational behind the law and guidelines as to why the report won't be released verbatim if not unfairness?

    Information that could give away govt intelligence secrets, expose undercover agents, reveal sensitive business secrets, private information of citizens, and etc. 

    8 hours ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

    No. They are asking for the complete report. Are they not?

    "to the extent the public disclosure of any portion thereof is expressly prohibited by law". Something in the report will have to be redacted per privacy and security concerns.

    9 minutes ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

    They don't know what's in it.

    And never will if it isn't released to them. 

    10 minutes ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

    What I'm suggesting is there might be something that reasonably should not be disclosed.

    What could possibly be reasonably without from Congress? 

  9. 5 hours ago, Ten oz said:

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blocked a resolution that called for special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election to be publicly released for the second time this week. 

    "I have consistently supported the proposition that his report ought to be released to the greatest extent possible, consistent with the law. … I think we should be consistent in letting the special counsel actually finish his work and not just when we think it may be politically advantageous to one side or the other," McConnell added. 

    It's the third time Democrats have tried to pass the House resolution, which argues there is “overwhelming public interest” in the government releasing the contents of the high-profile report. The resolution calls on the Justice Department to fully release the report to Congress and to release it to the public “except to the extent the public disclosure of any portion thereof is expressly prohibited by law.”




    1 hour ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

    Trump is a somewhat obnoxious human being to put it mildly. That is not a reason to release all the information in the report unredacted. There are obvious legal reasons, and I think guidelines for special council not to IMO (I am hardly a legal expert, so grain of salt).

    Democrats are asking for what is acceptable under law. 

    1 hour ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

    It could be the equivalent of allowing libel if it's not indictable or worthy of it. Essentially nuisance allegations, most of which would be directed at someone other than Trump.

    Libel? This was an official investigation which led to over 30 indictments and several guilty pleas. It investigated real crimes real criminals and people have been sentenced to years in prison. The report isn't school yard gossip. 

    Moreover Trump and his people have chosen to speak about what is or isn't in the report. 

    29 minutes ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

    Some allegations they may not care that much about. It may have come about during investigating something else. So a judgement call is required...is it really worth suggesting John Cuthber may have done such and such along with so and so without clear evidence...especially if, at worst, what John Cuthbert did isn't even indictable?

    How many times did Hillary Clinton sit under oath before Congress and publicly answer questions about allegations her opponents made against her? As POTUS Obama could have claim executive privilege and prevented Clinton, Lynch, Holder, and etc from having to testify. Hiding away or avoiding discussion about "allegations" isn't how a public official in a free country where leaders are accountable to their constituents should behave. It isn't how administrations behaved in the past. 

  10. Quote


    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blocked a resolution that called for special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election to be publicly released for the second time this week. 

    "I have consistently supported the proposition that his report ought to be released to the greatest extent possible, consistent with the law. … I think we should be consistent in letting the special counsel actually finish his work and not just when we think it may be politically advantageous to one side or the other," McConnell added. 

    It's the third time Democrats have tried to pass the House resolution, which argues there is “overwhelming public interest” in the government releasing the contents of the high-profile report. The resolution calls on the Justice Department to fully release the report to Congress and to release it to the public “except to the extent the public disclosure of any portion thereof is expressly prohibited by law.”



    After Benghazi there was an FBI investigation, Five House Committee investigations,  Senate Select Committee on Intelligence investigation, State Department Accountability Review Board review, Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs investigation, and a House Select Committee investigation. There were 33 public hearing held. Hillary Clinton and the Sec. of Defense testified under oath publicly. Nothing was discovered.

    Hillary Clinton's emails saw a FBI investigation, Internal State Department investigation, a Senate probe into possible interference by the Attorney General, and a Senate Judiciary Committee inquiry into the Attorney General. Hillary Clinton, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and the FBI Directory all testified publicly under oath. Nothing was discovered.

    The Mueller Investigation was initiated by Trump's own DOJ. Not by Democrats. It has led to over 30 indictments including members of Trump's team (Flynn, Cohen, Manafort, Gates, etc). Several individuals have plead guilty to felonies. Trump was never directly questioned by Mueller and has provided squat in the way of public testimony of any kind. 

  11. 1 hour ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

    Isn't there information in it that lacks reasonable collaboration? Why should a bunch of allegations considered unprovable be made public?


    Starting in the summer of 2016 it was popularly known that Russia was trying to influence the election in Trump's favor. There was numerous media reporting on it. Here is a Wired report From June of 2016 detailing the DNC hack. As the media were reporting on what was happening Trump aggressively denied the reports. Repeatedly Trump publicly argued that China or anyone else may have been responsible for the hacks. During this same time, summer of 2016, Trump won the nominee and was provided Secret Service protection well as security briefs. Candidate Trump was briefed by U.S. intelligence that the Russia was responsible for cyber attacks against Democrats. Candidate Trump continued to publicly claim it could be China. On Oct. 7th 2016 the Intelligence community released a Joint Agency statement saying Russia had cyber attacked Democrats in an attempt to influence the election. Trump continued to deny it. As President Trump continued to deny Russia's involved and pushed back against attempts by Congress to apply sanctions against Russia in response. Trump even stood at a podium just several months ago next to Putin and said he did not see any reason why Russia would have interfered and that he believed Putin

    The Mueller report, which we have not seen, isn't claimed to exonerate Trump of lying to the U.S. public for years about Russian interference. It is claimed that Trump himself didn't knowingly coordinate his efforts with Russia. Do you not believe there are any other relevant ethical questions left to be answered? You  honestly do not believe that Trump lying about the intelligence aided in Russia's operation? Do you honestly think it is acceptable for a candidate or President to so brazenly ignore National Intelligence and lie to the public? 

    Under Trump's leadership nothing has been done to educate the public about Russia propaganda. Nothing has been done to protect against further attack. You characterize the Mueller Report as "unprovable" allegations yet it investigated real crimes. Whether or not Trump was knowingly involved in conspiracy doesn't negate that the attacks happened, by design were meant to help Trump, and that Trump and his team knowingly have misled the public about it for years. 

  12. 12 minutes ago, CharonY said:

    I think the easiest way is to describe dossier as a simple smear job with no foundation in facts and weaponize its existence and wither not referring to details or just repeat the mantra that it is fact free. As long as there is not deeper analysis in the Muller report (or if it those details are not released) it is easy to refer to the Barr summary to discredit it wholesale. After all, the lines are drawn and those that go with it, most likely will not be bothered by details or context.

    I have some doubts that the Mueller Report gets released. It is being treated as such huge win for Trump currently that releasing it could only dull the shine. Any blowback from not releasing it almost has to be easier to deal with than blowback from the details it contains would be. 

    At least that is what I worry. 

  13. 1 hour ago, CharonY said:

    I do not think that it is about the content of the dossier. Rather, it is about how it was handled. There is a conspiracy theory around that the dossier triggered scrutiny of the Trump campaign and a FISA warrant against Carter Page. The actual chain of events were quite a bit different but folks have tried their hardest to build it as a powerful narrative in order to tie the Clinton campaign into every investigation against Trump and his campaign. Thereby they can claim that it is not only a hoax, but an actual attack against the administration in a huge anti-Trump conspiracy. Folks love these stories. Too bad that this is actually not (just) on TV.

    I understand but don't see how that could be flushed out without opening the door to what was in the Dossier. 

  14. 5 minutes ago, CharonY said:

    Oh, don't you worry. Graham has announced that they now want to investigate the FBI and the Clinton campaign and the Steele dossier. The latter is a bit funny as apparently McCain delivered the dossier to the FBI after advise from Graham. Graham has also argued for another special counsel to this end, so the drama is far from over (even before the report has been fully viewed by folks). I think we are stuck in a perpetual re-run of 2016.

    I would be surprised if the GOP actually start anything related to the Dossier. Currently they have convinced most it is a hoax. That Clinton seeking it invalidates it. Investigating it might reveal it is true or reveal other skeletons. 

  15. 22 minutes ago, swansont said:

    Isn't that a huge part of he problem? If you are in an area where there isn't a lot of income, then your community doesn't have money to pay for education, which perpetuates the problem of poverty.

    Yes that is a problem. The growth in the privatization of public schools and the publics appetite for tax cuts are also factors worth taking a look at. However I think voters should be looking locally for those solutions. The problem is far from singular and varies greatly locality to locality. 

    22 minutes ago, swansont said:

    OTOH, if you think that access to a basic education is or should be a right, then it is.

    It is worth a discussion. As it currently stands throughout the country teacher's are local govt employees. Their pay varies throughout the country. In some locations pay is good relative to the cost of living and in others it is poor. 

  16. Kamala Harris proposed a plan to increase teacher pay. While I think teachers should be paid more I oppose the plan. Teachers are not federal employees and their salaries are not derived from federal income taxes. They are local employees and their their salaries are primarily derived from property tax dollars. 

    Local teacher pay isn't a problem for the President to solve with federal money in my opinion. 


    The proposal outlines how the financial benchmarks of the plan would be reached. The federal government would provide the first 10% of funding needed, and states would be incentivized to close the remainder of the teacher pay gap. For every dollar a state contributed toward increasing a teacher's salary, the federal government would invest $3. Link


  17. 11 hours ago, MigL said:

    Also the US owes China trillions of dollars.
    In case of war, this would all be lost.

    Total National debt in the U.S. is about $22 trillion (:eek:) China has purchased U.S. bonds totally about $1.2 trillion, Link. So while it is true that China owns trillions in U.S. debt the amount is actually small relative to the total amount of debt U.S. owes. Also China purchases those bonds as investments from themselves. They are loans from China to the U.S.. China's annual GDP is nearly $13 trillion. They could take a single $1.2 trillion loss in U.S. bonds without too much pain. That much changes hands per year in trade between the nations. However such a loss would hurt the U.S. Dollar. 

  18. 10 hours ago, iNow said:

    Just to be clear, nobody has yet seen the Mueller report. We’ve seen the Barr letter. For now, that ought to matter

    You are 100% correct. Sadly the media broadly is ignoring that. Far as I can tell Trump is receiving a full victory lap. Even news source I generally consider pretty good are running headlines with word like exonerated in them.

    It is shocking to me.We have all seen Trump's administration outline lie about things  in the past. We have seen them come out is official statements and say things that we all know are untrue. It has happened so much many of the lies have already been forgotten. Lies about crowd size, lies about whether certain cabinet members are staying or going, lies about phone conversations with world leaders, lies about how Kushner got his clearance, and etc. Trump has even said things on camera and later claimed to have said something else despite it being on camera for us all to see. Trump stood in front of a room full of reports with a table full of stacked blank printer paper and proclaimed it was evidence he had signed over control of his businesses. The list goes on and on. It astonishes me that given this administration track record with the truth the media is so free running Barr's words absent of heavy skepticism or context. 

    Moreover the Mueller investigation has already led to more criminal indictments than every Congressional probe and investigation into Obama and Hillary Clinton combined. Members of Trump campaign were proven to have committed felonies during the campaign and lied to congress and FBI about it. Lots of nasty stuff has already come out. Trump Jr publicly lied about the Trump tower meeting, Trump lied about Daniels, Trump lied about his Moscow real estate deal, and there are numerous questions regarding contacts with wikileaks and other payments to social media firms who circulated Russian propaganda. Yet Trump is taking a victory lap. What a crazy world. Mueller never even got to interview Trump.

  19. 44 minutes ago, studiot said:


    I assume you actually meant 

    "In previous eras war was often a means of economic growth. Nations Victors were able to security   secure resources, labor, land, or the needed leverage to influence others was won via war."

    What did the loosers secure?

    So let us look at a few victories in previous times and ask what economic growth they brought about, for either victors or loosers.


    The Armada

    The Punic Wars (since Rome was mentioned) 

    The 30 years war

    The Crusades

    The breakup of Yugoslavia

    The American Civil War




    I said "often". It wasn't an absolute statement encompassing all. Many nations lost a lot. It doesn't impact my point however. I wasn't claiming war is good or useful. Rather I was pointing out that it is something nations how often entered into for gain. That is a motivation not present currently between the U.S. and China. There is nothing to superficially gain and much to lose. 

  20. 38 minutes ago, studiot said:

    When was that golden era?

    Most eras. It is essentially how the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Chile, and etc, etc came to exist for example. 

    2 minutes ago, zapatos said:

    In the days of Imperialism certainly. I believe England was much involved in that era.

    The Middle Ages of course. Again, England periodically did quite well economically waging war on the Continent.

    Right but not merely England of course. Most people in Japan trace their ancestry to Korea. The native population, Ainu, was forcibly displaced. 

  21. The U.S. needs goods produced in China. Without them consumer prices would be several times higher and our own production would be stifled. China needs the U.S. purchasing their goods for similar reasons. Without the U.S. China's production would collapse, wages would fall, and etc. 

    War between China and the U.S. wouldn't merely create recessions in each nation's economy it would create long depression which would fundamentally change how each economy operates. Technology sector in particular would possibly be set back decades. 

    In previous eras war was often a means of economic growth. Nations were able to security resources, labor, land, or the needed leverage to influence others was won via war. It is hard for me to imagine a way war between the U.S. and China could improve either's position above the current quid que pro in place. Both sides can only lose. 

    Between the U.S. and China the total population is 1.8 billion people. The U.S. is the wealthiest nation the world has ever seen and China the fastest developing the world has ever seen. Each controls armament capable of literally rendering the whole planet uninhabitable (to Humans). The situation is unique and has no historical comparison in my opinion. 

    I suspect there will be increased tension in the coming decades. Power is seldom yielded quietly and China does threaten the the position of global power and influence the U.S. has held since the end WW2. I suppose there may be racial tension as well. The modern world hasn't dealt with a non-European global super power. I think outside of terrorism most clashes will be cyber and economic based where the nation chip at each other's edges careful not to go further than able without violence. 

    That is how I see the next 15-20yrs anyway. 

  22. 7 minutes ago, swansont said:

    If he is exonerated, as he is claiming, there is no reason not to release the report. And, as you point out, the report concludes that Russia interfered, and the administration has done precious little to protect future from interference.

    Right. Whether or not Trump specifically colluded isn't where this conversation started. It started during the campaign when numerous people including Clinton herself pointed out Russia was interfering and Trump denied, denied, denied. It is now undeniable Russia interfered, undeniable Trump was made aware of the interference throughout, and as you point out Trump has done nothing about it but obfuscate the issue. 


  23. 4 minutes ago, swansont said:

    That's a summary written by someone hand-picked by the president, and also, the Mueller investigation apparently only proceeded along a specific line of inquiry. IOW, there was no evidence of a specific form of collusion.


    "We are now being told that *Mueller never investigated* the collusion allegation Trump was facing—on a money-for-sanctions-relief quid pro quo—and *instead* investigated the allegation *as Trump saw it*, which was whether he struck an agreement with the IRA or Russian hackers."



    In part, because it was not Mueller's job to conclude guilt. It was to gather evidence, and let others do their job. IOW, it is up to Congress to decide if he obstructed justice.

    Right. We have seen this time and time again. Trump's team gets out in front of a story claiming victory and then over the course of weeks as more information is learn the narrative evolves. We have not seen the report, the media has not seen the report, and Congress has not seen the report. What we've seen is a statement written by Trump's new Attorney General. Not for nothing when it was about Hillary Clinton's emails the  Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Directory James Comey, and Clinton herself all testified publicly before a GOP-led Congress. 

    In Barr's letter he outlined that Russian intelligence did work to influence the election and Mueller had not founding evidence that members of Trump campaign knowingly coordinated with those Russian efforts. This leaves the door open that Trumps campaign did coordinate with Russia but do so unwittingly. 

    Ultimately we all need to wait to see the report. I think Trump and his defenders have done a excellent job moving the goal posts on this whole thing. During the campaign and for a year plus after they argued maybe it was China or some fat guy or whatever. They argued Trump won and Democrats are just sore losers. Now they are conceding Russia influenced in Trump's favor but are celebrating that there is no proof Trump's team knowingly helped. 


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