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AvatarComments by pillsy in reply to Andrew Donaldson*

On “Vinyl On Pace to Outsell CDs: Here’s What That Means

It’s the privilege of talking about it in a post that was, ostensibly, about vinyl.

Huh?

Also: Kamala Harris is a Cop.

Double huh?

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OK I regularly spend time in places where I would answer both of these questions in the negative:

“I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me.”

“I can criticize our government and talk about how much I fear its policies and behavior without being seen as a cultural outsider.”

Guess I lack that MAGA privilege.

Or you're being silly.

On “Thursday Throughput: Nuclear Explosion Edition

Literally the most interesting part of the book.

On “Vinyl On Pace to Outsell CDs: Here’s What That Means

Ah yes. The privilege of, um, detesting Donald Trump?

Come on. This is silly.

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You really should try to refrain from gratuitously triggering the cons in an article like this, but it's still pretty funny seeing who's taking the bait.

On “Richard Spencer’s Mask Falls Off

What does that have do with what Mike said, or what I said?

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I don't see how it can be true that the Alt-Right can advocate for ethnic cleansing and that we should listen to the Alt-Right with an open mind, and people were definitely advocating the latter on this site within the last four years.

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Can be but aren't.

Really the norm against entertaining the ideas of people who advocate for white supremacy and ethnic cleansing was, in fact, good, and treating them with anything better than contemptuous dismissal is bad.

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There are articles in the archives where people approvingly cite Spencer.

Just saying.

On “Police Use Junk Science To Secure Convictions.

That's what you get for linking political stuff on FB.

OK, that's one of the many bad things that you get for linking political stuff on FB.

On “Nancy Pelosi: House to Vote on “Resolution Formalizing the Impeachment Inquiry”

Not a masterstroke, just basic strategy that requires a bit of discipline in our world of 24 minute news cycles.

On “Elizabeth Warren Releases Medicare For All Plan, Math Debate Ensues

Like one thing we should all be able to agree on, left, right, and center, is that the way we do professional licensing in this country sucks skunk farts.

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Yeah I get that.

Like I said, I think none of this is going to pass.

While I'm pulling for Warren that's not the reason I'm mostly defending her healthcare approach; her approach on trade, for instance, is very bad not only in terms of policy but politics. And unlike HCR of any stripe, that she could actually make happen just with the powers of the office she's running for.

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The Senate isn't going to do that either, and it's not really clear that the ACA is more popular than M4A when people think they won't have to pay for M4A.

On “The Outer Worlds: The Partial Review

Yeah TBF I’ve gitted gud enough that I really enjoyed the combat in Mass Effect and thought NV combat was a too-easy drag.

Still amazes me that NV is so good that the fact that its core mechanics bore me to tears is, like, a minor complaint.

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Really looking forward to having time for this one.

Someone I follow on the Twitters was complaining that The Outer Worlds was just like Fallout: New Vegas but with combat that was more like Mass Effect. Like how is that a complaint tho?

On “Kangaroo Court

I'm not sure how I'd react if the partisan alignment were reversed.

But it would definitely be harder to do the right thing.

Nonetheless, I generally think that you should definitely do the right thing when it's easy, and Dark Matter's argument is perverse. You'll at least be doing the right thing sometimes.

Also, if the situation comes up again and it is a harder case for you for partisan reasons, maybe you can look back and say, "Hey, when the tables were reversed I committed to these principles, and now it's time to stick to them even though it isn't so convenient."

On “Elizabeth Warren Releases Medicare For All Plan, Math Debate Ensues

Err.. I think his point is that if the wealth/corporate tax is hitting all the companies then all the companies will probably raise prices/cut wages by roughly the same amount. There won’t be any competitive pressure to prevent it because all the companies will be absorbing the same new tax cost.

Yes but even though they're all absorbing the same cost, if they raise costs or cut wages they can still be undercut or outbid by competitors.

The companies that do will be taking reduced profits as a result, but that's the basic mechanism of competition.

And that's why there's doubt. And I haven't seen actual studies that dispel that doubt; indeed what I have seen (not at all complete but more than anybody else has brought to the table) is more doubt.

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Also I'm not saying this because I'm convinced that Warren's plan outlines a realistic approach to funding M4A, 'cause I don't.

I'm saying this because I'm genuinely skeptical of the specific argument being made about corporate taxes.

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One key difference, which makes it harder to draw conclusions, is that these kinds of corporate income taxes are not increasing the costs of outputs (like the gas tax) or inputs (like a payroll tax) or both (like tariffs), or else your conclusion would follow pretty immediately, and for tariffs, and to a lesser extent the others, increasing prices of the goods in question is the point.

Doesn't mean it won't happen that way. Just that I don't think we know it will happen that way.

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Somewhere around 20-25% of people, when polled, identify as "strong supporters" of President Trump; that's roughly consistent with the fraction of Republicans who supported him in the primary.[1]

I think that's a decent proxy for the fraction of Americans who hold the kind of authoritarian views Chip describes, though I think they also tend to view things as punishing the out-group [1] more than they have Socially Darwinist views about poverty equating to sloth.

I don't think it's all that remarkable that so many people have this kind of view. Historically it's been pretty common in the US, and it's not exactly unknown in the rest of the world.

What differs now is that so many of those people have wound up in control of a major party in a political system that accords major parties astonishing power and durability.

[1] Rough proxy; there's likely some fraction of Trump faithful who genuinely reject that view, revealed preference aside, and some fraction of Trump non-faithful who support it but have other commitments that drive them elsewhere politically.

[2] Be it libs, members of other races or religions, foreigners, or some mix of the bunch.

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The ACA needed an actual filibuster-breaking majority to get through at all, and in order to do that they had to strip out a public option considerably softer than the one you suggested.

Winning the Senate isn't enough; you would need to win the Senate so that you either have 60 votes who are left of the ones that we had briefly in 2009-2010, or you need a smaller number who are willing to drop the filibuster.

Than means probably 53 or 54, given where Manchin, Sinema, et al. are going to land, and not only is this a long shot, how likely is it all the new seats (which are definitionally swingy) are going to be held by folks who are any more eager to use the nuclear option than Sinema?

As for running all the rural providers out of business in the short term? It's not crazy to think a single payer plan could do that if it weren't designed not to do that, but it is crazy to think a plan that actually got through Congress at all would do that. Avoiding it is a pretty hard political design constraint.

But yeah, since I think neither is going to pass, the question boils down to which plan is better politics. The actual plan will be designed in a very different political environment, if we ever get there, no matter who is elected.

On “Nancy Pelosi: House to Vote on “Resolution Formalizing the Impeachment Inquiry”

I don't know if that was the specific plan (it seems awfully precise), but I pointed out a while back when people were asking why Pelosi was delaying a vote, that by not holding the vote now, you leave open the possibility of having it later, which means if you won't really derive any advantage from the vote now, you should delay.

On “Elizabeth Warren Releases Medicare For All Plan, Math Debate Ensues

It wouldn't be harder to sabotage practically.

It would be much, much harder to sabotage politically because it would be much harder to ensure that the effects of the sabotage don't land on people who vote for you, not just people who vote for the other guy.

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