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Mueller indictments (split from Collusion with Russia)

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3 hours ago, Alex_Krycek said:

Can you answer my question, please, before we go any further?  What is so unrealistic about asking for universal healthcare?

You're from Canada, or at least you live there.  Would you be willing to trade your healthcare system for the system in the United States?  Yes or no.

I never made the claim universal healthcare is unrealistic. Some level of universal health care is affordable and desirable.

Canada has a 2 tier universal healthcare system. The second tier includes private payments and insurance and includes, in part, going to the US to access services that would not otherwise be available or to avoid waiting for services that are.

It's far from perfect, but I wouldn't trade it. We certainly wouldn't have it if we also wanted free university education for all and some of the other "generous offers" many of the Dem candidates are espousing.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

It's far from perfect, but I wouldn't trade it.

That's what I thought you would say.  Do you also think that eligible Canadian citizens should receive elderly benefits? 

Quote

We certainly wouldn't have it if we also wanted free university education for all and some of the other "generous offers" many of the Dem candidates are espousing. 

It depends what your priorities are, and how intelligently the program is structured.  In the US, we could provide free public college quite easily by knocking 50 billion USD off the Defense budget.  It would be a more productive long term investment as well.     

What I find interesting is that conservatives in places like Canada, France, the UK etc, are still considerably to the left of American right wingers, and yet they still espouse the same deep seated fears about expanding new social programs (in our discussion free public college).  An American right winger would fight tooth and nail against the healthcare system you wouldn't give up, despite it being "far from perfect". 

It seems to be a deficiency of sociological imagination - the person can't imagine a solution on such a massive scale working properly in a productive way, and sees only the negative impact.  Yet, when that solution has already been implemented by others (such as universal healthcare), they're quite happy to take advantage of it, and integrate the system deeply into their own lives, such that it becomes almost indispensable to them.  However, if that system were not already in place, they would revert to the position of the American conservative, and once again be dead set against it, for the aforementioned reasons.

Edited by Alex_Krycek

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5 hours ago, Alex_Krycek said:

What I find interesting is that conservatives in places like Canada, France, the UK etc, are still considerably to the left of American right wingers, and yet they still espouse the same deep seated fears about expanding new social programs (in our discussion free public college).  An American right winger would fight tooth and nail against the healthcare system you wouldn't give up, despite it being "far from perfect".

All the while pointing fingers at liberals for their far left views as though it's a slippery slope to socialism.

You know it's gotten insidious, when even moderate conservatives in foreign countries use it as the ideological basis for their talking points.

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28 minutes ago, rangerx said:

All the while pointing fingers at liberals for their far left views as though it's a slippery slope to socialism.

You know it's gotten insidious, when even moderate conservatives in foreign countries use it as the ideological basis for their talking points.

Although, as Alex says, the UK is to the left of the US Cons (and Dems to a degree, I think) it has a distinct capitalist-flavoured party and socialist-flavoured party, yet it never slippery-slopes too far in either direction. Over decades, there is a fairly narrow range which we move either way. Undoubtedly fear-mongering on the US Cons part.

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9 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

Over decades, there is a fairly narrow range which we move either way. Undoubtedly fear-mongering on the US Cons part.

We've moved further right than that though. The left still regards what it always regarded as core issues. Health care, education and pollution, for example.

The right on the other hand, has deregulated or otherwise defunded all those things while signing themselves up for huge tax breaks, fighting minimum wage (no less providing perks), buying back shares and laying off employees.

More than ever from a sense of entitlement and a right, than fairness or privilege.

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56 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

Although, as Alex says, the UK is to the left of the US Cons (and Dems to a degree, I think) it has a distinct capitalist-flavoured party and socialist-flavoured party, yet it never slippery-slopes too far in either direction. Over decades, there is a fairly narrow range which we move either way. Undoubtedly fear-mongering on the US Cons part.

Over the years and decades, the UK has drifted significantly to the Right

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31 minutes ago, John Cuthber said:

Over the years and decades, the UK has drifted significantly to the Right

Yes, it is to the right more but I don't think in an extreme way. I think it might be to you in a greater way  because you seem to be more leftist than myself. Having said that, I think we need a bit more socialism in the foreseeable future but preferably not under Corbyn. 

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

Yes, it is to the right more but I don't think in an extreme way.

I think that only an American could say that. (Yes, I know...)

 

20 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

preferably not under Corbyn. 

Why not?
Which of his policies do you object to?

Edited by John Cuthber

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1 hour ago, rangerx said:

We've moved further right than that though. The left still regards what it always regarded as core issues. Health care, education and pollution, for example.

The right on the other hand, has deregulated or otherwise defunded all those things while signing themselves up for huge tax breaks, fighting minimum wage (no less providing perks), buying back shares and laying off employees.

More than ever from a sense of entitlement and a right, than fairness or privilege.

Yes the US administration is very rightist at the moment... and very ugly.

Just now, John Cuthber said:

I think that only an American could say that.

 

Why not?
Which of his policies do you object to?

Well, I'm English. I've voted for both parties in the past based on prevailing policies, so, I would say I'm middling in ideology between the two. I'm pragmatic more than ideological. The last part of your question: I don't like his attitude to the royal family, nuclear policy or trade unions who would run rings  around him.... to name three.  In a nutshell he's too old school Labour, for me. Let's not derail the thread with more posts on my political beliefs.

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2 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

Yes the US administration is very rightist at the moment... and very ugly.

Likewise, I'm sure you'd you would take offense in having any of your policies framed as fascist by default.

The right is pigeon-holing every and any policy in that manner. In fact nowadays, you don't even need to express a policy to be called a socialist.

It's desperation, intolerance and bigotry when one's core values go out the window to support the party, leadership and ideology. Or to demean others entirely whether by preemptive character assassination, fear mongering, scarlet lettering or racism.

Americans always vote the party, not the candidate. It's the biggest flaw in their system. The third party system lets you vote for the man, then coalesce into forming the government.

This thread is about Mueller, so I'll close up by saying Mueller was bound by the policy that no sitting president may be indicted. It has no foundation in law, but he went along with it anyway as a matter of direction from the terms of reference laid upon him and look where it left him and the country. No better off, worse even because the gaslight is cranked up to the max as to the outcome.

You'd think America was talking about entirely different things. The left claims corruption while the right says witch hunt and hoax, even though they know the former to be true.

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58 minutes ago, rangerx said:

Likewise, I'm sure you'd you would take offense in having any of your policies framed as fascist by default.

The right is pigeon-holing every and any policy in that manner. In fact nowadays, you don't even need to express a policy to be called a socialist.

It's desperation, intolerance and bigotry when one's core values go out the window to support the party, leadership and ideology. Or to demean others entirely whether by preemptive character assassination, fear mongering, scarlet lettering or racism.

Americans always vote the party, not the candidate. It's the biggest flaw in their system. The third party system lets you vote for the man, then coalesce into forming the government.

This thread is about Mueller, so I'll close up by saying Mueller was bound by the policy that no sitting president may be indicted. It has no foundation in law, but he went along with it anyway as a matter of direction from the terms of reference laid upon him and look where it left him and the country. No better off, worse even because the gaslight is cranked up to the max as to the outcome.

You'd think America was talking about entirely different things. The left claims corruption while the right says witch hunt and hoax, even though they know the former to be true.

See bold. I think the worst flaw is the corruption of the judiciary on partisan lines. The system is fucked when politics invades it. It's how countries fall to aspiring autocrats because they can fiddle the system in their favour. Just look around the world.  Turkey is notable at the moment.

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8 hours ago, Alex_Krycek said:

  In the US, we could provide free public college quite easily by knocking 50 billion USD off the Defense budget. 

You think 50 Billion (in addition to current public expenses) will cover that? Do you not think more people might choose to go if it's free?

How do you ensure equal access to this "free education", which I would assume by your number would not include living expenses?

Would your answer require any additional funds?

 

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Posted (edited)

You’re right. We shouldn’t even try. We’re too busy not caring at all about the details for areas where we spend at least an order of magnitude more.

Let’s cut taxes again, too.After all, that pays for itself. An uneducated public locked into lifelong debt like serfs in a feudal system are far easier to control, ta boot. 

Even better if you can turn them against one another as scapegoats. 

Edited by iNow

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You guys are not talking about the same thing.

Sure, a universal health care system is something to strive for; most other countries ( Canada and Europeans ) already have some form of it. It has a few problems but none of us would trade it away.
Free education is also something to strive for, as it is an investment in the future. I'm not sure about European countries, but Canada already subsidizes a large part of post secondary education. It might not happen in my lifetime but I can see the day that we'll have free education in Canada.
Other suggested left policy is also desirable. Things like UBI and real pensions, reparations for groups that have been, and still are, disadvantaged in the past, so that everyone has equal opportunity ( NOT equal outcome, that is a personal responsibility ).
And a lot of these things could be election platforms in places like Canada or Europe, and I wouldn't be a bit surprised if we voted to at least attempt them.

But this is a US election we are talking about.
You remember the push-back B Obama got with his health care proposal ?
And not just from the Republican party, but from regular citizens ( even some who leaned Democrat ).
It was push-back from American people and disenfranchisement with a government which didn't listen to them, that got an idiot like D Trump elected President.
Some  in the Democratic party ( and some members of this forum ) think that its a good idea to push even harder for policies like health care, free education, UBI and reparations. I foresee increased push-back from the American people and anger at an aloof government who isn't addressing their ( perceived ) needs.
...and another 4 years of D Trump.

Myself, I would be happy with a presidential candidate who has some experience with foreign policy and trade, and who will restore the reputation of the US around the world. One who promised to modify or replace the current mess of a health care system with a truly universal one. One who, in his next term, or a few years down the road, might even start looking at subsidized education.
But most importantly, one who isn't DONALD TRUMP.
( don't hand him the election by going too left, too quickly )

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, MigL said:

this is a US election we are talking about.
You remember the push-back B Obama got with his health care proposal ?
And not just from the Republican party, but from regular citizens ( even some who leaned Democrat ).
It was push-back from American people

This gets at the heart of another key issue, namely the unrestrained, anonymous, unlimited shadow campaign contributions allowed from massive corporations and their leaders (all made worse by the Citizens Unitied SCOTUS ruling).

That, when coupled strategically with obvious distraction and demagoguery, leads our “elected” officials to legislate in ways polar opposite to what the public actual wants and supports. 

Note: It’s made worse when state sponsored foreign actors put their proverbial fingers on that same scale, via contributions and hacking the minds of the public via designed social media microtargeting  

That “pushback” you cite from the American people is IMO better described as astroturfing, and it worked due in large part to another phenomenon known as gaslighting. 

Elections now are about activating the previously dormant. 

Edited by iNow

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12 hours ago, iNow said:

That “pushback” you cite from the American people is IMO better described as astroturfing, and it worked due in large part to another phenomenon known as gaslighting. 

That is an interesting point. The public opinion was actually always slated at least somewhat slanted towards more government actions :

FT_18.10.01_GovtHealthCare_linechart1.pn

So looking at the graph it clearly seems that since 2008 there was a change in opinion (coinciding with Obama's government) which then normalized again in 2016. I.e. it does appear that the massive campaign to sway public opinion did indeed work and we see a normalization to pre-Obama opinion right now. It also could mean that the opinion is volatile and hence vulnerable to above mentioned influences. Nonetheless, ignoring the electoral college, it does seem that more government responsibility in ensuring health care is more accepted (again), and Pelosi and others have pretty much said as much. The biggest hitch probably is the question whether it should be a single national program or a mixed model. As the public is somewhat risk averse those with existing (good) employer plans are probably less likely to be in favour of big changes. That being said, it seems only a tiny minority would effectively be in favour of reducing government aid (i.e. slashing medicare)

13 hours ago, MigL said:

Free education is also something to strive for, as it is an investment in the future. I'm not sure about European countries, but Canada already subsidizes a large part of post secondary education.

In some countries, such as Germany, it is subsidized to a degree that it is virtually free. I.e. semester payments are a few hundred euros at most, mostly for covering things like public transport tickets. Even with subsidies, education is still rather  expensive in Canada. But then, US tuition are also subsidized but at least on average still more expensive.

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18 hours ago, MigL said:

( don't hand him the election by going too left, too quickly )

So that is an interesting point, and one that we have discussed earlier on. It is a bit difficult to find the balance as there is often a disconnect between what folks want, what they think they want and what is presented to them. As a whole I found that there is a lot of erroneous or misinformation (and the example provided by iNow is one of them). For example, in the Obama era, folks (especially Republicans) were strongly against government-controlled health care, but at the same time were highly in favour of medicare. In fact, some opposition was due to the fear that for some reasons government influence would somehow erode medicare (which is a government-run system in the first place). Often times the phrasing or branding alone is sufficient to change polling outcomes. For example, if the question asks whether one is in favour of medicare for all and describe medicare as a system to get health insurance through the government, support is high (65%, and Republicans are essentially split), rest are significantly in favour). However, if the same question asks the same, but describes it as eliminating all private health insurance companies, the support drops. This volatility of voter perception is what defines strategy among the different candidates. Moderates are afraid that because voters can be easily swayed, despite the overall support, it is not good to build a platform of "Medicare-for all" or equivalent, even if technically voters are in favour of such a system. More progressive Dems see it as a way to create enough political will to build something that voters seem to want. Were Dems and Reps are split regarding what universal health care  should achieve (and that term alone could be loaded, depending on political leanings). For Reps it is mostly about cost reduction and least regarding access, for Dems access is high priority and independents are somewhere in the middle of it.

Reps are somewhat mum on the issue as their platform mostly used to be Obamacare bad and it kind of imploded during the midterm elections. And Trump's position is mostly unicorn sprinkles for all.

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