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AvatarComments by Stillwater in reply to JoeSal*

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Externalities and collective action problems aren't constructs.

On “The Most Insidious Viral Marketing In The World

And 2. The left is losing the cultural war. Badly. Oh, they are winning the battles, but much like Vietnam, that isn’t the important part.

I guess I have to ask if you're equating electoral politics and culture here, since it seems pretty clear - obvious, almost - that the left is winning the culture war (most of the left's views on major issues enjoy majority support nationally and within most states) but losers elections, and I think a non-negligible part of the latter is a result of structural issues like gerrymandering and voter suppression. I mean, polling consistently shows that even self-identified conservatives support policy positions advocated by the left but which are consistently opposed by the GOP Congresscritters they elect to represent them. Which suggests a third option here: that the left isn't losing the culture war, but the Party-branding war.

On “Wait. Gillibrand Is Running?

Here's my super hot take: the Franken thing in isolation wouldn't have hurt her.

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Exactly. Anyone who's followed Gillibrand's career arc understands that she adheres to no principles.

On “Maybe Forgiveness After All

3. The willingness of students to pay those higher prices.

On “The Hedgehog Who Won

Don’t we have an obligation to each other to at least not support (if only by denying trade) this kind of regime?

Welcome to the BDS movement Joe.

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Ooops. Ya got me. That Monty Python skit was people bitching about Rome, not China, wasn't it.

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FTR what was the upside in supporting a murderous communist regime

"Apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?"

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It wasn’t a random twitch, it was strategic and economic genius

Trump can't fail, he can only be failed.

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As an aside, I find it interesting that all three sides in this discussion have adopted, apparently without any reflection, Donald Trump's phrasing of the issue. From his perch atop the bully-pulpit, he declares that The Squad is the face of the Democratic party, and everyone falls in line.

It's amazing to watch.

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But honestly how long can the GOP run on a platform of supporting everything Trump wants and denying everything to the Dems?

Four More Years!

The GOP has been running on a "whatever we want and nothing for the Dems" platform for 10 years now and it/they seem to be doing alright. THey're locked in. If Trump loses what are the odds that McConnell says something like the primary goal of the GOP-controlled Senate will be to make Joe Biden a one term president? Obstruct, obstruct, obstruct.

On “2019 Time Capsule

Here's why Biden keeps polling so well:

July, 29 Quinnipiac: Biden has the best chance of beating President Donald Trump in the general election, 51 percent of Democrats say, with 10 percent for Sanders and 8 percent each for Harris and Warren.

So you see those numbers moving much over the next few months?

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I *DO* think that if Biden isn’t the nominee, it’s going to be Buttigeig in the VP seat.

Let's go down the list:

Bernie. He doesn't pick Pete, he picks a woman.
Warren. She most likely doesn't pick Pete (she'll pick a hetero male with manly bonafides on foreign policy and etc.
Harris. Most likely doesn't pick Pete, opting for a very white hetero male with manly bonafides and etc
Pete. He also doesn't pick Pete...

From my perspective, the best VP pick for either Warren or Harris is Sherrod Brown; Bernie would be wise to pick someone like Amy K.

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I've read some 11-D explanations for Harris's poor performance - that she's positioning herself for a future lane change - which, even if true (something I doubt) reveal the problem inherent in her campaign: indecision. Couple that with the perception she's a tough-on-crime institutional-insider Dem and you have a her poll numbers plummeting. Personally, I think she's toast, primarily because the only thing which could resuscitate her campaign is what she so clearly lacks. Retail political skills.

On “Ben Shapiro Works Those Feelings

I think what bothers me about all these “I don’t know anything about him but he’s a jerk” comments I’ve been reading is that he’s exactly the kind of conservative so many of you have been calling for.

Uhhh.....

So your view is that Shapiro is what liberals want in a conservative so they should stop criticizing him?

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Apparently this person isn't familiar with Ben Shapiro either.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/12/opinion/ben-shapiro.html

On “Epstein Dead

Conspiracy theories thrive on mystery, not clarity.

Exactly. I mean, no one's explained why Acosta made a deal with Dershowitz in violation of law as well an agreement with the plaintiff's attorneys back on '06. The idea idea he was engaging in some sort of conspiracy is delusional nonsense.

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If real life, how likely is it that rich and powerful people could arrange to kill a man in jail and get away with it?

Compare the above to: In real life, how likely is that a rich and powerful man could arrange to plead guilty to prostitution instead of facing charges of statutory rape, have the evidence sealed, and grant immunity to everyone involved in the child sex ring?

Now, I'm not saying affirmatively that Epstein was murdered while in jail because like you, I think we just don't know enough yet. But I *do* think the likelihood that he was murdered is at least a 50/50 proposition at this point. The bigger problem here, seems to me, isn't finding evidence to confirm our priors, it's trusting evidence which doesn't, and that means trusting institutions which have already been shown to be untrustworthy. (Not the media, but the justice department.)

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Unlike Epstein, prosecutors could offer her a pretty sweet deal to spill the beans on the whole operation. One she very well might take. They must have some pretty compelling legal reasons for not charging her as a co-conspirator in Epstein's crimes....

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Bill Barr on December 25: "The failure to hold Ghislaine Maxwell in protective custody is an embarrassment to the Department of Justice, and as we've learned, serious irregularities in department procedure have been discovered."

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So I guess the question is whether (or more accurately why) you think the type of protection preventing powerful men from being prosecuted and seeing jail-time is different than the type of protection they'll receive from the media. It's like Ronan Farrow and Harvey Weinstein never happened.

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Like I posted elsewhere here, there is a massive paper trail, an army of potential witnesses whose testimony could be valuable in bringing the many men who did this to justice

Just to be clear here, are you *predicting* that powerful men will be charged and convicted despite Epstein's death?

On “Pushed Over the Edge

Those typically don’t exist in towns with populations of 200, or 2000.

This is the point Sam was making above.

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