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AvatarComments by George Turner in reply to Jaybird*

On “The Socialism of Bernie Sanders

If humans are irrational actors, what makes you think humans in government wouldn't act with equal irrationality, and on a larger scale? Indeed, the worst disasters in the 20th century all came from government ideas about how to "rationally" re-order societies or economies. Part of the purpose of government's law-enforcement function is to stop people who action rationally in their own self-interest - to the detriment of others. People rob banks because that's where the money is. Cops pursue bank robbers because the rest of us suffer if such cheating occurs.


I think he'd get more votes if he said he was going to make beer free for everybody.


The socialism in "nationalism plus socialism" was real socialism, focused on banking reform, price controls, rationalization of trade, aid to the poor, pensions, health care, minimum wage, workers holidays, youth camps, road construction, infrastructure development, massive jobs programs, etc. It was really popular in most circles, not just because public support was mandatory, with non-supporters hauled off to re-education camps for morale-boosting exercises.

We could have had all that with Hillarys "happy fun camps", but Bernie's staffers are also talking up the positive aspects of gulags, so the opportunity to achieve true socialism is still there!


But did that result in a any government owned farms, or did it just give money to farmers?

Truman tried to nationalize the steel industry to meet the governments needs in Korea, and the Supreme Court ruled in Youngstown Sheet & Tube that the President doesn't have the authority to seize property without express Congressional action.

Many of Elizabeth Warren's plans would die on the same hill.

Of course one of the underlying problems that would crop up is "If you think the people who built the booming industry are incompetent, wait till you see the drooling and corrupt political hacks the government puts in charge of it!"

On “From Fox News: Bernie Sanders projected to win Nevada caucuses

A woman in Wuhan posted videos of her Internet-controlled food-delivery all-terrain toy truck zipping through the city. She will probably own much of the city, if not most of China, before it's over.


Don't forget beans! I'm thinking that it might be wise to pick up a case of Zatarain's rice and beans, plus a bunch of Lipton pasta sides (along with butter and ultra-pasteurized milk).

But I'm betting most people will forget those little things they usually buy every couple of days at the gas station, like snacks, beer, and tobacco products.

In most ways the US should be the most able to skip the store for a month, but we also have a generation of young people who couldn't cook a can of soup, and who have never gone three consecutive days without ordering a pizza.


Nope. The GOP will waste very little time on Pete's sex life because he doesn't have one. They'll focus on Pete being as much a communist as Bernie, though one who isn't as up front about it and who at least can sound reasonable. But he also talks in empty platitudes.

Pete's big problem is that he apparently won't get any minority votes because he doesn't resonate at all, plus BLM absolutely hates him. A large swath of minorities might jump to Trump and then go GOP for a couple generations, in which case the Democrats are going to go the way of the UK Labour Party under Corbyn, or the way if the Israeli Labor party which dropped from it's dominance with 55 seats down to its current six.

Both paths are bad, if not disastrous, which is why Hillary is no doubt plotting nefarious maneuvers and Blumberg is looking to blow even more money to buy the nomination.


And gulags, if you ask the right campaign staffers.


The PM doesn't actually have to be an MP, but it's very rare. Sir Alec Douglas-Home would be an example. He was Lord Home (serving in the House of Lords) while PM, and then stayed PM after giving up his title. Not having a seat in Parliament was considered really odd, so an MP stood down to let him win their seat in a quick by-election.


Jimmy Carter is still eligible to run, and is it too early to urge Damon/Affleck 2020?

The nation has already spent billions rescuing Matt Damon from every conceivable situation, so putting him in the White House and surrounding him with Secret Service agents would probably produce a net savings, or at least allow us to rationally budget Matt Damon protection/rescue expenditures.


Well, politically, the GOP was a team of Ivy League white guys from the 40's encountering their first orange player, one who could dunk the ball leaping almost from the foul line. They all pretty much just stood there as he ran the court on them. Kasich and Cruz just argued with each other over who should go sit on the bench to give the other one more floor time.

Last night Trump held a rally in India with about 100,000 people in the stadium and perhaps several million coming out to see him. The speech was so gushing with praise for them that you could've thought he was running for Indian PM. He could probably pick up three or four hundred million votes there pretty easily. He's a natural at it.

The appearance is likely to be of historic significance because he's pulling India further into the American embrace, and the amazing closeness he and Modi shared about our two countries will probably send cold chills down China's spine.


If you want your team to win, you have to know when to pass the ball to someone in a better shooting position instead of standing there running out the shot clock.


Yeah. One wants to keep the economic boom going, and the other wants to turn us into the next Cuba or Venezuela where we end up eating our pets within the first three years. Sander's first SOTU speech. "My fellow Americans, we're out of bread."

This is not lost on older Democrats who remember communism, and it's not lost on all the American immigrants who came her fleeing a "socialist paradise."

Things like that are why Chris Mathews and James Carville are in full freak-out mode. They're seeing what they think is the death of the Democrat party and modern liberalism, as its taken over by Russian-backed communist revolutionaries who will hand the GOP 70-30 and 80-20 victories from here on out.

Given that, the party elite's opposition to Bernie might be incandescent, where they're will to throw out the entire rule book to stop him, or have Hillary arrange a convenient accident. There may not be any healing from the rift that would cause.


In the most recent Quinnepac poll (Feb 20), Trump beats every Democrat in Wisconsin by 7 to 11 points. Recall that he beat Hillary there by less than a point.

Remember, Trump hasn't tried to destroy Bernie yet. The voters will get a big dose of Trump railing against "the idiocy of electing an avowed Marxist who is being backed by Vladimir Putin because they're ideological soul mates."

Things like that are why Chris Mathews will probably vote for Trump.


As I once pointed out, in Parliamentary elections nobody can just run for Prime Minister because the job is like being the Speaker, or perhaps the DNC or RNC chair. People in a parliamentary system are already intimately familiar with the various party leaders because they will have been in prominent party positions, and covered intimately by the press, for many years. The equivalent here would be an election where the only people on the ballot were Mitch, Nancy, and Chuck Schumer. They wouldn't need a long campaign to let voters know who they are, quite unlike Klobuchar, Buttigieg, Beto, and a bunch of other candidates people have hardly heard of. Who is Steyer? Who are Bennett, Patrick, Gabbard, Yang, and Delaney? What are their views? Were do they come from? Do they have voting records?


Yeah, but we'd be screaming it at the Democrat in the White House, instead of having the guy in the White House trolling the pack of left-wing also-rans on Twitter. ^_^

The current field is so far left that I'm not sure Obama would have a shot at the nomination this time around. Bernie, who is leading the pack, just won the all-import endorsement from Maduro in Venezuela.


I've watched Carville's appearance with the governor of Colorado and think he makes some very good points. He argues that the heart of the party (or a big section of it) isn't woke millennials, socialists, or communists or Twitterati. It's old folks on Social Security. It's union workers. It's black folks who go to church.

I suppose he's harkening back to Carter, Bill Clinton, and even Obama, and how they held the Democrats' vast coalition together. You could consider him an anchor point marking where the party used to be, and that party was pretty close to center. That was back when for most Democrats, being a Democrat wasn't necessarily an identity but a logical choice.

From that perspective, most of the current field aside from Biden (and Bloomberg and the governor of Colorado) is way to far to the left to win a national election. Hillary and Obama would be to the right of Biden and probably to the right of Bloomberg. Obama won twice and Hillary beat Trump in the popular vote, so that's evidence that Carville's position is backed by past results. The current field is positioned more like Ralph Nader, Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel, and Lyndon LaRouche, leading Carville to ask "Are you people crazy?!"


I mean the horse-race finishing order isn't really as meaningful as it should be. If Bloomberg had been in it, would it have flipped the Buttigieg vs Biden order? Would it have sank Klobuchar or Warren even further, or perhaps affected one but not the other? Could Bernie have even gotten a boost from voters who wanted to send a message to the Democratic or media establishment that's determined to stop both Bernie and Bloomberg? With Bloomberg not available, perhaps some folks opted for Bernie as a slam against the machine.

Or perhaps Bloomberg would instead siphon off support from the centrist lane instead. So many questions could have been answered by better exit polling that included lots of questions about Bloomberg and people's 2nd and 3rd picks if he'd been it. What I found a bit sloppy about the press is not asking those questions when there's absolutely no qualification requirements for an exit poll, as if certain somebody's decided the questions should best be left unasked.


Without Bloomberg as an option on the ballot or the exit polls, I'm not sure the data tells us as much as we'd like.

On “Getting to Ten Times Better

I'm sure plenty of muggers use the same logic. "It's not like they can take it with them when they go!"

On “Corn Dog: The Beef Wellington of Common Folks, On a Stick

Korean corn dogs. Instead of corn they use wheat flour, and instead of hot dogs they use cheese. But the stick - the stick is the same.

On “The Truth Behind Dresden

In theory, half the evil blamed on the Anglosphere comes from Saxony.

On “Getting to Ten Times Better

There's no way around the Pareto distribution when small differences in talent, initiative, knowledge, or luck can affect outcomes. Equality is easy in a herd of grazers, but the more complicated a system becomes, the more unequal the outcomes will be. Marxism and other schemes don't even touch the fundamental problem that skills and success won't evenly distribute, and the more important skill becomes, the more unequal the distribution of outcomes is going to be.

On “President Trump Commutes Blagojevich Sentence, Pardons Others

Considering how we basically sell ambassadorships to major donors, should selling Senate seats even be a misdemeanor, other than the crime of straight up bribery for personal gain?

As a hypothetical, suppose some governor came out and said he give the Senate seat to whoever donated the most to the ASPCA, or whatever charity floats your boat (that isn't called the Clinton Family Foundation or some other entity that's basically a slush fund or front). I could see progressives or conservatives regarding that as some kind of merit based test, a simple contest measuring some kind of moral worth. It's non-democratic, yet the alternative seems to be having a governor flip through his Rolodex of personal friends and political backers.

If you wanted to give the contest an air of democratic input, you could set it up like a talent show and have people text their votes to 1-800-SENATOR.

For background, five states avoid the issue entirely by not allowing the governor to make an appointment at all, leaving the seat vacant until a special election is held, and nine other states only allow the governor to make an interim appointment until a special election is held (or regular scheduled major election, such as for the House). 36 states allow the governor to appoint someone to finish the existing Senate term.

There are probably better ways to handle the interim, such as having a state's oldest serving House member take over the role, but of course that just moves the vacant hole somewhere else.

On “About Last Night: Democratic Debate Live From Las Vegas

I've read pieces from lifelong Democrats who went and they say they're a blast, and everybody there gives Democrats extra hugs. Based on the data from recent rallies, about 25% of the turnout is probably Democrats.

Also, Trump rallies might be some of the last large public gatherings before corona virus turns the country into an apocalyptic B movie staring Sandra Bullock, Emily Blunt, Woody Harrelson, and featuring Sissy Spacek as the wise old woman who warned everybody that hugs would be the death of us all.

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