Linky Friday: Lawyers, Guns, & Money

Labor:

goats photo

Image by ohefin

[Lr1] This could well be the challenge going forward: If robots do displace human workers, will the latter be compensated? A look at what economists think.

[Lr2] Chelsea Follett on the costs of closing sweatshops. For my part, if we’re going to try to intervene on their behalf, I’d want to focus our efforts almost 100% on safety.

[Lr3] Robert Samuelson isn’t so worried that the labor shortage is going to be a problem.

[Lr4] As if we didn’t have enough to worry about with robots, now goats are taking our jobs.

[Lr5] A new Harvard study says that higher minimum wages are bad for small businesses.

Law:

bar exam photo

Image by mikecogh

[Lw1] Rick Horowitz is concerned about California dumbing down the bar.

[Lw2] Make legal alternatives available, and piracy falls. Gerry Daly has some additional thoughts.

[Lw3] When Big Porn stands with you, can you possibly fail?

[Lw4] One does not expect them to make such threats so publicly.

[Lw5] A Brit recently acquitted on rape charges wants the ability to name his accuser.

Economics:

Yukon photo

Image by Chris Hunkeler

[Ec1] If you care about the welfare of the native northerners, go thank Amazon today.

[Ec2] Oliver Wiseman wonders if globalism can be rehabilitated.

[Ec3] Ad repetition on streaming sites really is quite irritating. I can imagine it resolving itself with more advertisers, but can also imagine it getting worse with more targeting (I get 10,000 ads for shoes, you get 10,000 ads for eyeglasses).

[Ec4] I am learning to sit back, relax, and hope that targeted advertisers get better. {More} {But uh oh}

[Ec5] Water, water, everywhere, but not a drop to drink.

Technology:

pay phones photo

Image by i_yudai

[Te1] The FCC has declared that pay phones are no longer worth regulating.

[Te2] Brilliant.

[Te3] In 2017, an argument has to be made against sex robots.

[Te4] And next they came for the transcription jobs

[Te5] This was made to be a terrorist plot in a season of 24.

Crime:

From Pixabay

[Cr1] Google Home (or a similar device) appears to have called the sheriff and prevented a domestic conflict from turning into something far worse.

[Cr2] It wasn’t just Rotherham.

[Cr3] A look at why it’s so difficult to keep problem cops off the street, and to keep them from getting back on the street somewhere else.

[Cr4] Hatery, fakery and 4chan: The dark side of the web.

[Cr5] 400 defendants, $1,300,000,000 in alleged healthcare fraud.

War:

exoskeleton photo

Image by brownpau

[Wa1] What is Russian for Stormtrooper?

[Wa2] There are no good answers for the North Korea problem.

[Wa3] Hillary’s hawkishness may have cost her the presidency.

[Wa4] At the rate we’re going, I’m going to be disappointed if the F-35 doesn’t fart gold out of its exhaust.

[Wa5] Allegedly, a Navy whistleblower was fired for his whistleblowing.


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Will Truman is a former professional gearhead who is presently a stay-at-home father in the Mountain East. He has moved around frequently, having lived in six places since 2003, ranging from rural outposts to major metropolitan areas. He also writes fiction, when he finds the time. ...more →

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145 thoughts on “Linky Friday: Lawyers, Guns, & Money

  1. Lr1: This is more of a political issue than an economic issue. Policy and law will determine whether humans displaced by robots will be compensated and not economics. Based on past displacements, the answer is a solid no.

    Lr5: Big businesses have more money and staff to deal with regulations than small businesses.

    Lw1: Lawyers seem split on this. Some believe that California had an abysmal pass rate because the California Bar Association kept it absurdly high and others believe its because law schools lowered their admission standards. It really depends on where you fall on the law school crisis.

    Lw3: Yes.

    Lw4: One does expect them to make such threats openly because they have done so in the past. They authoritarians without respect for democratic norms or the rule of law.

    Ec2: The globalists forgot that everything has a price. NAFTA was supposed to come with retraining for displaced workers and increased welfare. It did not. Whatever benefit was in lower costs. To the more right-leaning globalists this was supposed to be enough of a pay off. It was not. To redeem globalism you need to offer people a real concrete economic pay off besides lower prices and new exciting restaurants and goods.

    Te3: Sexbots are a tool of the patriarchy because they allow heterosexual men to have sex without going through the self-improvement necessary to get a real woman to sleep with them. There, an argument against sexbots.

    Cr1: I’m divided on this. On the one hand less crime, on the other less of a right to privacy.

    Cr2: The British police really dropped the ball on this one. Between this and Jimmy Saville, I’m surprised anybody trusts them.

    Cr5: Thats a lot of money.

    Wa1: Cossack.

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    • Te3: It’s not like there are ways for guys to pleasure themselves at this very second without another human involved.

      One of the things i learned from reading lots of philosophy was that an argument can be made for anything.

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      • There is no shortage of “sex negative” feminists, who frequently overlap with the anti-trans feminists, the anti-sex-work feminists, etc. They exist. They are in many ways the “old guard” compared with the “3rd wave/social justice” set. On the other hand, every variation exists. There are no bright line boundaries.

        Anyway, sexbots are interesting, and a vituperative scold is way more interesting than a thousand others with measured opinions. So you will hear from the vituperative scold. Articles will appear. We will comment.

        Obviously some really gross stuff will happen with sexbots. There will be pedo-bots, rape-bots, etc. People will do things with bots that will be shocking and awful.

        They’re bots. Who cares. They have no feelings.

        That said, the people who do this stuff have a problem. Just because a thing is legal and (in isolation) harmless does not mean we should have no opinion of what is happening. Obviously people will desire sexbots because they resemble real people. To rape a bot is to simulate rape. That is different from simulating kindness and love. Those who desire the first differ from those who do not.

        Myself, I am kink-positive. I have no desire to interfere with the sex lives of others, provided everything is consensual. That said, if you’re a man who likes to dress of as a slave plantation owner and beat willing black women (it happens), then you’re a racist and I don’t want to be your friend.

        Of course, if you keep it secret, then fine. Whatever. I have my life, you have yours.

        If you’re a socially dysfunctional weirdo who cannot relate to real women, but clings to his “waifu” robot — well that’s sad I suppose. On the other hand, it’s your life. Enjoy. I won’t stand in your way.

        It remains true that such a man is socially stunted, that his relationships with women (say at work or online) might be adversely affected, that he definitely needs to “work on himself.”

        Etcetera. Blah blah blah. Sex is messy and complicated.

        Bring on the bots.

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  2. Cr4,
    4chan is dead. I’m bored. How many of those posts were done by AIs?
    I cringe to think how much of his research is absolute, total bullshit.

    /b/ was a true troll board. I know significantly less about /pol/ (perhaps people are significantly more sincere). But on /b/, you could get honest, coherent discussion of rape culture, and a relatively high level of discourse. Occasionally. Between the CP posts, at any rate.

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  3. Lr1: I think Lee is right here. This is fundamentally about human nature and politics, not economics.

    Lw1: The whole thing is a fascinating study of the lengths people go to save themselves. When the law school crisis hit, people wondered when law schools would shut down (like Dentistry schools shut down in the 1980s). Many years on and there have been a few mergers but only one real shut down and that took until 2017 with Whittier College closing their law school. But most law schools outside of the T10 or 15 saw a real decline in admissions and responded by lowering their admission standards. Students who are going to my law school and most law schools today have much lower LSAT scores and GPAs than people attending a few years ago. This has led to California’s radical decline in Bar Passage rates. And California’s Supreme Court just took away the Bar’s right to set the passing score.

    http://abovethelaw.com/2017/07/california-bar-examiners-stripped-of-authority-to-determine-passing-score-on-state-bar-exam/

    Ec2: You would need a globalism that is both for trade but also pro-worker and I don’t see the CapX people or the people who give them sinecures being able to do that. They still firmly in the laps of the Investor-class and the Investor-class is very good at complaining about everything going to Labor despite all evidence to the contrary.

    Wa3: The lengths people will go to deny that Russian collusion had any effect on the election. There is a frequent complaint on LGM that the media (and partisan press) treat Democrats as the only ones with agency and I’m starting to see truth in this.

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    • Wa3: Hey, Saul. Did you see this article?

      Long-time Clinton family ally Paul Begala on Wednesday evening seemingly suggested President Trump should consider bombing Russia in response to the Kremlin’s meddling in the 2016 election. Speaking with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, the former adviser to Bill Clinton lamented how Trump supporters don’t seem particularly outraged about Russia’s meddling in American affairs. “We were and are under attack by a hostile foreign power,” he said, “and… we should be debating how many sanctions we should place on Russia or whether we should blow up the KGB, GSU, or GRU [Russia’s foreign intelligence agency].” He continued: “If I was Trump, I would be mad because it has tainted his victory.”

      Let me bold my favorite part of that:
      we should be debating how many sanctions we should place on Russia or whether we should blow up the KGB, GSU, or GRU

      We should be debating whether we should blow up the KGB.

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    • There is an argument that the type of jockeying for influence by foreign powers and other interests is corrupt, and part of whats wrong with our government. The problem in this instance is that no evidence has come out to show that the Trump administration did anything outside of the norm (drain the swamp indeed).

      Nnevertheless people are right to be skeptical when all of the assertions are based on innuendo reported by sources that continuously discredit themselves.

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      • Bubbles are amazing. Just the meeting Donnie Jr took with a Russian spy and lawyer was waaaaaay out of the norm. And he admitted it after the NYT was going to publish. I’m fine with media criticisms but saying nothing out of the norm has happened or that the media hasn’t uncovered things that the admin admitted were true is just wrong.

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        • Jonah Goldberg on NPR this morning did make a salient point about this. It’s sleazy, a political bomb, and possibly illegal in some way, but it is not Treason, and the left really needs to stop tossing that word around so casually.

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          • Yeah the word treason should not be thrown around casually ( thinks about how many times Clinton was accused of treason or D’s in general were called traitors since the 80’s no..no….focus on now). But yeah i agree. However the actual admitted facts and highly suspicious events coming out about Trump and his fam on an almost daily basis are huge. The press has found lots of these things which are soon admitted to by the players involved. Complaining about the “traitor” thing while true is also a bit of distraction from the things happening in front off our eyes.

            Jonah is also more than a bit of hypocrite to complain about vicious hyperbole.

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          • I don’t think it is treason in the legal sense and I largely agree. However, there is a bit of a shoe on the other foot because the Right has been accusing the left of being traitors for years because of things like saying going to war in Iraq might not be the best of ideas. They walloped us hard for being Iraq II doubters so why can’t we do the same to them for meeting with a foreign government and trying to collude in elections?

            My main point is that there is evidence of sleaziness and wrongdoing but you still have people disclaiming that it did nothing to influence the election because that would make them uncomfortable. Bashing HRC and the Dems is much easier.

            2016 was a really freak election because Trump lost the popular vote by a wide margin but won the electoral college fairly easily for a variety of factors including a lot of people doing things that put party above their responsibility like Comey’s October letter, this new evidence of Russian interference along with the rest, etc.

            I personally think that the “bubble” is so big that there can be evidence of Russia and Trump discussing how to hack electronic voting machines in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and you will still see people saying “HRC’s X caused her to lose the election.”

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            • Oh FFS…..Don’t call people traitors or un-american….it’s all bad. I don’t’ like it when D’s do it to Trump and i don’t like it when it’s been done to me. But don’t’ single out one side which is what i hear people like Jonah doing. If you don’t like the viciousness thats great and call everybody out on it, not just the other side.

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              • It was a quick bit on NPR in the final moments of the interview. Jonah was talking about the moment, it would be unfair to expect him to qualify things with some kind of BSDI statement.

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                • I’m not celebrating anything. The incessant vicious hyperbole has been bad for the country. Just bad. It’s been to much of a feature of our discourse for to long. Just stop. If we are talking Trump there are a double bucket load of majorly problematic actions to yak about without calling anybody a traitor.

                  FWIW i have no doubt Trump and has family love the US. And i’ve had a very low opinion of him for decades and its only gotten worse. I never doubted that Bush or Cheney loved the US. And i thought they were disasters.

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          • The left is badly over selling this, at least from a legal perspective. It’s obvious that Trump Jr. is lying and it looks like some really sleazy stuff went on, but if you think there’s enough to convict anybody of anything here, you’re crazy.

            I don’t get why everybody is so eager to jump the gun, either. If there’s one thing we’re learning, it’s that this stuff always seems to get worse with more digging. It’s clear that these guys are into some embarrassing stuff and they’re terrible at lying and covering it up. Odds are that we’re nowhere near the bottom and evidence is just going to keep piling up. Shouting “treason” at the top of your lungs right now is just going to contribute to nonsense fatigue and make the ultimate slow playout of this stuff look like a letdown rather than the complete horror show it really is.

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            • The left is badly over selling this, at least from a legal perspective. It’s obvious that Trump Jr. is lying and it looks like some really sleazy stuff went on, but if you think there’s enough to convict anybody of anything here, you’re crazy.

              This seems to be assuming that ‘the left’ is some entity doing something. When in reality it’s just a bunch of people on the internet.

              Where the actual personalities on the left are pointing at are a) pointing out that attempted but failed collusion is not particularly better, b) the Trump campaign did not even seem slightly startled by the open admission in the email that the Russian Government was helping them, which rather implies there are places where the government actually helped them, and c) why the fuck is anyone believing the Trump Jr. when he says nothing came of that meeting? He literally lied about it through all of human history prior to this point, denying it happened, denying it was about the campaign, one lie after another, why are we suddenly required to believe him at this point?

              We are at the point where nothing the Trump campaign says as exculpatory evidence should be considered at all. We should, literally, just ignore it. We should put the trumpet sounds from Peanuts cartoons over their mouth noises. ‘Donald Trump Jr. responded to new allegations with ‘Wah wah, waaaah-wah-wah, wah.’

              Although, personally, what I think the left should be shouting from the rooftops is that: For the past six months, the current administration was lying about events that the Russian government knew the truth about.

              Which means they were trivially blackmail-able. That, right there, disqualifies them from the presidency.

              We don’t need any more evidence of anything, we don’t actual instances of collusion with the hack and release of information or participation in anything. We now know, for a fact, that this administration is willing to lie about facts that the Russian government knows the truth about and can presumably produce documentation of.

              That’s it. That’s removal from office. By itself. They have proven they were so stupid as to put themselves in a position to be blackmailed by Russia for the past year, just with that one example. It’s not a question of criminal activity, it’s a question of national security and the dumbfucks we somehow elected utterly compromising it by rendering themselves able to be blackmail…and then proceeding to act as if they were, so who even knows at this point.

              Granted, I’ve pointed out that Trump already should be disqualified from office due to foreign financial entanglements, and since then we’ve learned that over three quarters of the condos sold by the Trump Organization since he took the nomination have been to faceless shell corporations (As opposed to 4% sold before) that clearly just exist to funnel money to him, which is even more disqualifying.

              It truly is astonishing the sheer number of things that literally would be unthinkable in a president that now just fall though the cracks because the Republicans really really want their tax breaks.

              So complaining that the left keeps misusing ‘treason’ seems a bit absurd, or complaining that there’s not enough to ‘convict’ someone. Trump’s level of corruption and ineptitude is almost inconceivable at this point.

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              • a) pointing out that attempted but failed collusion is not particularly better

                Again, collusion isn’t a crime. Not even a minor one.

                b) the Trump campaign did not even seem slightly startled by the open admission in the email that the Russian Government was helping them, which rather implies there are places where the government actually helped them.

                That’s not a crime either. In fact, we do that all the time. Obama will go campaign with foreign officials. Heck, Trump had Nigel Farage up on stage with him celebrating Obama’s defeat on Brexit.

                Which means they were trivially blackmail-able. That, right there, disqualifies them from the presidency.

                This just in: Putin has evidence that Hillary’s husband is a serial rapist. He could’ve blackmailed her. Of course he probably knows everything that was on her illegal server, which is also an opportunity for blackmail. And Putin also knows what was really involved in the Uranium One deal, which is also an opportunity for blackmail.

                In fact, Putin probably knows the sordid details of how the Clinton’s raked in $2 billion dollars from foreign countries, foreign oil companies, and foreign politicians.

                What Putin has on Trump is a big nothing burger, because collusion isn’t a crime and because there wasn’t any collusion or we wouldn’t be talking about Donald Jr’s oh so pointless meeting to hear if Russia had any dirt on Hillary. If they were colluding, Donald Jr would already have known the details.

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                • It was so easily predictable that conservatives would quickly find a foreign government tampering with our elections and secretly working with one party for Russia’s own interest when it suits them.

                  But on the other hand i have it from reputable sources that the Trump campaign has no contacts at all with the Russians.

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                  • Exactly how did the Russians tamper with our election?

                    Oh, I remember. When I went into the polling booth this guy with a funny accent and a Putin ball cap told me that the buttons got reversed and that I had to click Trump to vote for Hillary.

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                      • Oh, so you fell for it too!

                        Remember all those stories right after the election about the Russians in the polling booths?

                        Remember how they hacked Google maps to delete Wisconsin and Michigan from Hillary’s campaign planning meetings?

                        Remember how Putin said he wanted Trump to drop the price of oil, which would of course cut the funding for most of the Russian military programs?

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                          • It’s not a tap dance, it’s an end zone dance after we spiked the ball.

                            Democrat campaign officials have admitted they were colluding with the Ukrainian government, getting information right from the Ukrainian embassy from a Ukrainian official appointed to be their government’s interface to the Hillary campaign. This information was shared with the press, and the press gleefully used it to attack Trump.

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                            • Democrat campaign officials have admitted they were colluding with the Ukrainian government, getting information right from the Ukrainian embassy from a Ukrainian official appointed to be their government’s interface to the Hillary campaign. This information was shared with the press, and the press gleefully used it to attack Trump.

                              That is not even vaguely what happened.

                              Democratic officials, in fact, were presented with the possibility of some information from an American consultant who had gotten it from the Ukrainian embassy. Which is perfectly legal. (1)

                              Those officials said ‘We can’t use this unless it is public information’ and didn’t use it anyway.

                              The actual damaging Ukrainian information to Trump’s campaign was discovered by Ukrainian newspapers in public court records, and printed there first, and the Clinton campaign had nothing to do with it, as far as anyone knows. If it was, they managed to do it over backchannels that will never be proven.

                              1) The fact that that is perfectly legal very clearly demonstrates how utterly idiotic the Trump campaign was, in addition to doing things over email. There was absolutely nothing stopping them from (Hopefully not over email!) pointing at a Republican operative who wasn’t with the campaign, having that guy take the information, and pass it to the campaign, or, even better, release it himself!

                              The reason the campaign didn’t do that is either that they are complete morons, or that they were expecting to have to offer something in response to Russia. Pick one: They are very stupid, or they had to meet in person to work out an agreement.

                              Then again, this was the campaign that decided to try to set up backchannels via…requesting to use the encryption equipment at the Russia embassy.

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                • Again, collusion isn’t a crime. Not even a minor one.

                  No, but lying about meetings with foreign officials to get a security clearance is a crime.

                  That’s not a crime either.

                  It is, however, something that the Trump campaign spent a year denying.

                  Also, uh, hacking email servers literally is a crime. As is releasing the information. If the Trump campaign worked with the timing of the release of that information, yes, they committed a crime.

                  In fact, we do that all the time. Obama will go campaign with foreign officials. Heck, Trump had Nigel Farage up on stage with him celebrating Obama’s defeat on Brexit.

                  Campaigning with foreign nationals is something that happens in public, and is not any sort of crime.

                  A foreign government committing a crime to sway an election is entirely different, as would be a campaign working with them in regard to that. (Which, I will say clearly, we do not have evidence happened, but it seems clearer and clearer is what happened.)

                  This just in: Putin has evidence that Hillary’s husband is a serial rapist. He could’ve blackmailed her.

                  This just in: George Turner has decided the best defense of Trump’s unfitness for office is to make up stuff.

                  Hey, George: If the Russian government had evidence that Bill Clinton had committed felonies, Hillary shouldn’t be president either.

                  Of course, there’s no evidence that that is true.

                  Of course he probably knows everything that was on her illegal server, which is also an opportunity for blackmail.

                  a) Her server was not illegal, and b) there is no evidence that it was hacked, and c) we have all politically relevant information from her server as determined by lawyers.

                  And Putin also knows what was really involved in the Uranium One deal, which is also an opportunity for blackmail.

                  So basically you think just insinuating criminal activity is, itself, evidence of blackmail. You think that not only did crimes actually happen, but Russia has evidence, neither of which are, let’s be clear, known as true facts.

                  You’re making a supposition of a crime, and then additionally guessing that Russia knows about them.

                  And I will point out that Putin hates Hillary, so it seems rather absurd he hasn’t now released evidence of these crimes.

                  Whereas the current administration making repeated known lies about their behavior, which we know Russian has contradictory evidence about, are not a cause for concern.

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                  • Also, uh, hacking email servers literally is a crime. As is releasing the information. If the Trump campaign worked with the timing of the release of that information, yes, they committed a crime.

                    Cool. We can arrest everyone at CNN who released hacked information almost daily. In fact, they claimed it was illegal for anyone but them to read the hacked e-mails at Wikileaks.

                    Hey, George: If the Russian government had evidence that Bill Clinton had committed felonies, Hillary shouldn’t be president either.

                    They do have evidence – from Bill Clinton’s many accusers. Such evidence was presented in his trial for sexual assault, which is where he perjured himself, which cost him his law license. And that led to the whole “meaning of is” and his impeachment over Monica Lewinsky. Putin knows all this. In fact, everybody seems to know this but you.

                    Now, how about we discuss Hillary’s collusion with Ukrainian officials during the campaign? They really did that, coordinating the release of information to hurt Trump.

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                    • Cool. We can arrest everyone at CNN who released hacked information almost daily. In fact, they claimed it was illegal for anyone but them to read the hacked e-mails at Wikileaks.

                      CNN did not release any emails. Wikileaks released emails. CNN talked about them.

                      I do not know why you are confused about this.

                      They do have evidence – from Bill Clinton’s many accusers. Such evidence was presented in his trial for sexual assault, which is where he perjured himself, which cost him his law license. And that led to the whole “meaning of is” and his impeachment over Monica Lewinsky. Putin knows all this. In fact, everybody seems to know this but you.

                      So your assertion is that the Russians could blackmail Hillary Clinton over information that everyone already knows?

                      I do not think you know how blackmail works.

                      Now, how about we discuss Hillary’s collusion with Ukrainian officials during the campaign? They really did that, coordinating the release of information to hurt Trump.

                      Hey, look, you wandered into an actual claim. Too bad it is garbage.

                      While there is plenty of supposition that the Ukraine did release information to hurt Trump (1), there are several points of difference:

                      a) The closest connection to the Clinton campaign was a contractor who was try to get public documents from the Ukraine embassy, which she did publicly and there is no legal problem with whatsoever.

                      b) The document release didn’t have anything to do with that. The documents that hurt Manafort were apparently released as part of a (totally justified) criminal investigation into the previous Ukraine administration.

                      It is possible that (b) was deliberately leaked as a way to hurt Trump, or, rather, Manafort. You want to allege that, fine. Hell, I believe that.

                      But there is no evidence the Clinton campaign had anything at all to do with that. The closest to Ukraine that the campaign got was having a contractor involved in asking for some completely unrelated public documents from a foreign government.

                      1) Although I will point out that there is much less evidence of this than the actual intelligence investigations have concluded that Russia did the same to hurt Clinton, which is a thing you and others on the right are still randomly disputing.

                      Now, it is a valid point that, under the completely absurd idea that some on the left are pushing that campaigns cannot receive ‘anything of value’ from foreign government, that this information reception might be illegal…except this is an idiotic reading of the law that some people on the left have latched on to. (And unneeded. If the Trump campaign coordinated with the release of the emails, that is, itself a crime, and not a ‘campaign crime’ but, like, a real one.)

                      Although it’s worth pointing out that this reading is why intelligent campaign hire consultants so they aren’t dealing directly with foreign governments!

                      And you’re thinking ‘Oh, that’s just a loophole’, but it’s not really. The problem with dealing with foreign government is a problem of influence. If a campaign can use consultants and cutouts to keep foreign governments at arm’s length, they have presumably kept influence at arm’s length. (Or, alternately, involved more people in the influence peddling, so it’s much harder to keep secret.)

                      The Trump campaign, of course, is too fucking stupid to understand any of this, so the campaign dealt directly with foreign governments, in fact, dealt directly with foreign governments via people they were negotiating with in other contexts, so there can’t help but be influence peddling.

                      Or, to put it another way: It is possible, under a certain interpretation of the law, and making a few assumptions about the Clinton campaign we do not have evidence of (and almost certainly won’t ever have evidence of) that both the Trump and Clinton campaign broke the law in the same way: They both got something of value from a foreign government. (Like I said, that’s not really how that law works, but let’s pretend.)

                      One of them, the Clinton campaign, broke the law competently, in the sense that if they did so, they did so very indirectly, with cutouts, and vagueness, and third-parties, and no provable American criminality, much less anything that can be proven in the court of law.

                      The other, the Trump campaign, totally fucked their conspiracy up from top to bottom, communicating by very incriminating emails, meeting directly with representatives of foreign governments, involving top campaign officials. And they got themselves involved in an actual American crime. (Hacking servers, if only after the fact, and releasing hacked information, possibly at the level of active conspiracy if they made suggestions about it.)

                      And, on top of it, their guy literally urged the Russians to do it.

                      …and that’s just what we know so far.

                      It’s like Republicans are claiming that Hillary Clinton is mafia don who always has an alibi and deliberately phrases things in a non-incriminating manner and the FBI can’t catch her with an entire army of wiretaps….and Donald Trump is the methhead who drives his own car into his own bank, gives them a ransom note written on his own deposit slip, takes his mask off halfway through the robbery, and then goes home and posts about it on Facebook.

                      They’re exactly the same!

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                      • This just in: Politicians can work directly with foreign governments. It’s part of the job we hire them to do.

                        Second, the Trump campaign wasn’t meeting with representatives of the Russian government. They were meeting with a private Russian lawyer who claimed to be the crown prosecutor, which I suppose is a prosecutor who works for the Russian royal family.

                        Hillary’s campaign was coordinating directly with a foreign government via that government’s embassy.

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                        • This just in: Politicians can work directly with foreign governments. It’s part of the job we hire them to do.

                          This also just in: Campaigns have rules about who they can accept money and services from.

                          Second, the Trump campaign wasn’t meeting with representatives of the Russian government.

                          A denial which would be much more plausible if the email hadn’t said that the meeting was ‘part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump’.

                          Hillary’s campaign was coordinating directly with a foreign government via that government’s embassy.

                          Uh, no, they weren’t ‘directly’ doing that. If they were doing that, they were doing it indirectly, via Alexandra Chalupa. Because they are not total morons and know how bad that looks, unlike Trump. Additionally, thanks to the hacked DNC emails, we know they basically rejected her offer of that information and just filed it away. (Everyone seems to conflate this with stuff the Ukraine press stumbled upon much later that got Manaford in trouble, but there’s no evidence that is connected to the Clinton campaign at all.)

                          THIS PART IS IMPORTANT:

                          Moreover, as I pointed out, you seem to be operating on the assumption I am one of those people who thinks a campaign accepting any information from foreign government is illegal.

                          I do not think that, at all. That theory of the law, which has been promoted a lot by the left and to why your point is a valid rebuttal to, is not what I think. I do not agree with that theory.

                          To repeat in case that is not clear: I do not think campaign officials blatantly walking up to a foreign government and saying ‘Give me all the information you have about the other candidate’ would technically be illegal.

                          I do however, think that various people in the administration repeatedly and consistently lying about that not only is more of indication of other, worse behavior (Such as coordinating the release of hacked emails, which would flatly be illegal to participate in.), but the omissions of the meetings might be illegal WRT security clearances, or at least mean they should be revoked. (Which doesn’t impact Donald Jr, but would impact the other two at the meeting.)

                          I also think the email saying how the Russian government was supporting Trump’s campaign, and how apparently everyone who got it was entirely on board with that, looked bad, not only for itself, but also because they then proceeded to lie about that for, again, an entire year. I do not think any part of that was illegal on the part of the campaign, but it looks really bad.

                          And, finally, as I pointed out, my major concern here, the one the media is ignoring, is that the Russian government, for six months, had information that the Trump administration did not want out, and did not want out enough to repeatedly desperately lie about it…which clearly let the Trump administration open to blackmail.

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                          • They weren’t lying about it for a year. The girl wasn’t with the Russian government. She was just making that up, and used her unsupported claims to get a meeting that went nowhere.

                            If Trump’s campaign had been colluding with the Russians, that meeting would never have happened. If they were colluding with the Russians, they wouldn’t have been willing to hear from a Russian lawyer who claimed she had information from the Russians, they’d already have had any such information.

                            Meanwhile Hillary’s campaign was getting real dirt from a real foreign government, via its embassy. Obama then made sure that information was spread all over Washington, along with a lot of other illegally unredacted information, and leaked to the press.

                            And of course Trump Jr’s meeting was most likely a set up by the Hillary campaign, as the woman was working with Fusion GPS, the same DNC affiliated outfit that produced the fake Russian dossier that Comey used to open an investigation into the Trump campaign so Obama could leak all kinds of rumors to the press.

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                            • They weren’t lying about it for a year. The girl wasn’t with the Russian government. She was just making that up, and used her unsupported claims to get a meeting that went nowhere.

                              Meeting with any sort of foreign national is supposed to be reported. (Not only would this include Natalia Veselnitskaya, but also Robert Goldstone.)

                              Again, I admit there are such things as forgetting meetings. Although at that point all three of the people involved were presumably looking towards security clearances (Even if Donald Jr. didn’t eventually try to get one.) so, you know, might have wanted to actually pay attention to what foreign nationals they were meeting with!

                              And likewise, considering that Trump Jr., apparently had all those emails still in his email client and could produce them on a few days notice, perhaps, I dunno, looking those up at some point after being repeatedly asked about them (But before they were about to released) would have been clever.

                              Second, saying she is not ‘with’ the Russian government is nonsense. Natalia is not technically an employee of the Russian government, but she has explicitly said she was in contact with the prosecutor’s office in Russia. She was, indeed, sent by the prosecutor’s office in Russia, exactly as the email said. (Except the guy writing that was Rob Goldstone and thus British and mistakenly called them the ‘Crown prosecutor’.)

                              Natalia used to work for Russian government as a prosecutor. She switched to defense and took to defending close allies of the government in other courts. Basically her entire career is wandering around the world doing Putin’s bidding.

                              The fact that the Trump administration has wandered down conspiracy theories about Fusion GPS is not particularly relevant here. Fusion GPS is an American firm with many deep ties to Russia, and will work for whoever hires them, which means they have both produced anti-Trump stuff and anti-Magnitsky law stuff.

                              If they were colluding with the Russians, they wouldn’t have been willing to hear from a Russian lawyer who claimed she had information from the Russians, they’d already have had any such information.

                              Interesting fact: In George’s universe, collusion can never start, it must always be going on.

                              Another interesting fact: We are supposed to believe Trump Jr’s version of events this time, as opposed to how he repeatedly lied about the meeting over and over.

                              And of course Trump Jr’s meeting was most likely a set up by the Hillary campaign, as the woman was working with Fusion GPS, the same DNC affiliated outfit that produced the fake Russian dossier that Comey used to open an investigation into the Trump campaign so Obama could leak all kinds of rumors to the press.

                              The information that she was representing the Russian government was, in fact, provided by Emin Agalarov, a friend of Trump’s and that information was passed along by Rob Goldstone, another friend of Trump.

                              As the email chain we are talking about clearly explains.

                              There is literally no evidence at all that Fusion GPS had anything to do with it.

                              Additionally, the idea that Natalia was able to very badly trick Trump’s staff just makes them look even stupider and incompetent, and her behavior doesn’t even make sense in your own conspiracy theory.

                              If she was secretly working against the Trump administration, than why the hell did she not feed them false information? Or false assurances of support? Or (While recording things) try to propose a criminal tit-for-tat?

                              You can’t assert ‘She tricked them into a meeting to lobby for a law’ and at the same time assert she was working for their opposition. That doesn’t make any sense at all.

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                            • Meanwhile Hillary’s campaign was getting real dirt from a real foreign government, via its embassy. Obama then made sure that information was spread all over Washington, along with a lot of other illegally unredacted information, and leaked to the press.

                              This is just total gibberish.

                              The only relevant information to the entire campaign from the Ukraine was ledgers showing how Paul Manafort was paid to lobby for the pro-Russian ‘Party of Regions’ in the Ukraine.

                              This information was published in Ukraine newspapers, after being discovered by the criminal investigation into one of Manafort’s client, former President Viktor F. Yanukovvch.

                              This was not, in any way, ‘spread’ over Washington by Obama, nor does that make any sense at all.

                              There is also no evidence that Obama spread ‘illegally unredacted’ information, and the entire concept of ‘illegally unredacted’ is nonsense because, as I have pointed out, redaction is not any sort of law anyway, but merely a policy of intelligence services that Obama is not subject to.

                              The information you are talking about, the fact that Manafort worked for certain people, also did not originate in an embassy. The embassy ‘intelligence’ was merely a former Ukrainian, now American, citizen, making public records requests, and getting not much in return.

                              But even if she had, as I have pointed out, the law does not actually say that foreign governments cannot provide information to campaigns. They cannot provide things of real value as gifts, but we have no evidence that the information had value (The DNC did not think so.), nor do we have any evidence the Ukraine government was not paid for those things. (As people pay for most public records…via just paying for copying.)

                              I am aware there are some idiots on the left screaming that getting anything at all from a foreign government is a crime. I am not one of those people.(1)

                              Natalia Veselnitskaya could have shown up to that meeting with detailed photos of Clinton taking bribes from people in Red Square, and turned those over to the campaign, and that almost certainly would have been entirely legal. I mean, to be safe, if I was there, I would have said, ‘Hey, take those to the newspaper, not us! And then we can use them in our campaign ads free and clear!’, but whatever…we already knew the Trump people were morons.

                              The problems with the meeting are not that. The meeting, itself, is not illegal.

                              The problems with the meeting is that the entire Trump campaign has repeatedly, for more than a year, denied working with Russians, and now we have them…trying to work with Russians, and claiming they failed. (Which, again, we have no evidence of except their lying mouths.) We have them leaving meetings out of places they were required to document them, we have them lying about things that foreign governments knew otherwise, exposing them to blackmail, we have all sorts of evidence they have had interactions with Russia and have been lying about it.

                              Which presents two possibilities:

                              a) This is the only thing that happened, and the Trump administration is so damn stupid they’ve lied for a year and committed obstruction of justice to cover up absolutely nothing.
                              b) Or they’re still lying. Possibly about this very meeting, possibly about other meetings. (We still have that completely idiotic backchannel Kushner tried to set up.)

                              1) I will however, yet again, point out that releasing stolen emails is a crime (In addition to the actual hacking, which is another crime.), and thus coordinating with someone as to what time that would happen would make that person an ‘accessory’ under the law, even if the crime itself happened in another country.

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                  • “lying about meetings with foreign officials to get a security clearance is a crime.”

                    So is copying information from a classified server to an unclassified one without security review.

                    “lol, BUT HER EMAILZ” look, if you want criminal sanctions to be enforced for security violations, then you must admit that they didn’t start with Donald Trump Junior.

                    “no seriously BUT HER EMAILZ” The director of the FBI had to bend over backwards to justify not prosecuting her.

                    “so, what, you’re saying that because they didn’t prosecute Clinton they can’t prosecute Trump?” I think Trump Junior should be prosecuted over this. If it’s found that he knowingly and intentionally colluded with a foreign power for the purpose of obstructing justice and causing harm to the United States, then he should go to jail for it.

                    But to answer your question: Yes, that’s what I think. I think if they found a reason to not prosecute Clinton then they should use that same reasoning to not prosecute Trump. Because if it’s Different Because It’s Different Now then you aren’t governing by laws, you’re governing by personalities, and we’ve heard for the past nine months that it’s a rotten awful thing to govern by personalities.

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                    • So is copying information from a classified server to an unclassified one without security review.

                      No one even slightly did that.

                      I am very tired of having to explain this over and over, but classified information is not transmitted by public email, and thus it is completely irrelevant what servers are used…it is just as illegal to transmit copies of classified material via two people using .gov address as it is .com addresses, but of course you can’t do either because classified information is, in fact, locked up and not accessible from the internet.

                      The actual allegation, the ‘crime’ you are pretending happened, would be ‘talking about classified things with people authorized to know those things, over a channel that is not secure’…which is, of course, not technically a crime at all. It is a security breach, a very very minor one, but still a breach, but not a crime.

                      You need to do some research on what happened, because what sort of server it happened over would have no bearing on anything. The second you mention an ‘unclassified server’ you demonstrated you literally no idea what you are talking about, as no internet-facing email servers are secure.

                      If it’s found that he knowingly and intentionally colluded with a foreign power for the purpose of obstructing justice and causing harm to the United States, then he should go to jail for it.

                      No one is accusing Donald Jr. of obstructing justice. (Or of harming the US in any legally prohibited sense.)

                      They are accusing people in the Trump campaign of colluding with a foreign government in releasing stolen emails, which is a felony. (Not the hacking, which we don’t know if the Trump campaign had anything to do with. But the release of, which it is looking more and more like they did.)

                      I, meanwhile, am pointing out that,m based purely on what the administration itself has admitted, they insanely left themselves open for blackmail by the Russians for a year (By denying meetings the Russians knew happened.), and there appears to be no possible way for anyone to dispute this.

                      : Yes, that’s what I think. I think if they found a reason to not prosecute Clinton then they should use that same reasoning to not prosecute Trump.

                      No one in all of American history has even been prosecuted for discussing classified information (Which is entirely different from ‘copying classified information’) over insecure channels with people who were authorized to have that information.

                      Meanwhile, I have no idea what you mean that they shouldn’t prosecute Trump. I didn’t say they should. Trump was not issued a security clearance by the government, so can’t possibly have lied on it.

                      I said they should prosecute the people who not only left meetings with foreign nations off their security clearances but then proceeded to repeatedly lie about those meetings, over and over, for a year, to everyone, even when everyone was asking ‘Are you sure you didn’t meet with…’

                      Just leaving meetings off could be an honest mistake. But it is very clear we are way way way past ‘honest mistake’ at this point.

                      Politicians are allowed, legally, to intentionally deceive the American people. But people with security clearances are not legally allowed to intentionally deceive the FBI about material facts WRT those security clearances. (In fact, no one is legally allowed to deceive the FBI!)

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                      • You never really followed the Hillary e-mail story, did you. She moved material from classified systems to non-secure systems as a matter of routine. She ordered her underlings to do it. She failed to report the exposure of classified information. She used non-secure personal devices like her Blackberry to access classified information. After she left, the entire State Department system was found to be compromised. They had to shut it down for a while.

                        All communications with her were being conducted via her personal unsecure server that virtually anyone could hack. It didn’t have security updates installed. She deleted information from it that was under subpoena. She altered documents that were turned over to the State Department and to Congress.

                        She was a massive security breech in a pantsuit.

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                        • Literally none of that is true, George. None of that is even alleged by anyone except you making up stuff.

                          There are no allegations that classified stuff was ‘copied’ to unsecured servers, the allegation is that classified things were said over email. Referencing something classified is very different from improperly taking a classified document and sending it over email.

                          …which, as I have pointed out, is utterly indifferent to whether or not it’s a government email server or not. Government email servers are not for classified information either.

                          There is also no allegations she didn’t ‘report’ anything she knew about, which is something I think you just literally made up here.

                          The only true thing you mentioned that happened was the fact that the State Department email server was indeed hacked, but that had nothing to do with her. In fact, it happened after she left office. (Which is, of course, why public email servers are not supposed to be used to transfer classified information.)

                          Kinda weird to blame her for getting servers hacked…because she didn’t use them? What sort of idiotic logic is this? Are you asserting she passed malware in? You do know those state department addresses are mostly public and that foreign adversaries had them, right, and could email in?

                          And I’m not going to keep talking about this, as a lot of people here have show the ability to completely make up facts about Hillary Clinton’s email that aren’t only are unproven, but literally never alleged by anyone, and it is not worth my time to keep having to explain the actual events that happened in the place we call the ‘real world’.

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                          • She had classified documents right on her server. She claimed she didn’t know that “(C)” mean a paragraph contained classified information. According to the New York Times, the inspector general for intelligence said two of her illegal e-mails were marked “TOP SECRET//SI//TK/NOFORN.”

                            SI is special intelligence. TK is Talent Keyhole, and NOFORN is no foreigners allowed to see it.

                            She was handing the information to Platte River Networks, which has no security clearance at all, and she also handed them to her lawyer, who also had no security clearance, and she almost certainly handed them to every foreign intelligence service that actively probes the US, which is probably all of them.

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                            • I’m calling it now. When the Mueller investigation is done it will be found that someone in the Trump admin or campaign deleted a big ol pile of e-mails.

                              Corollary. George will defend it.

                              Query: So what did you think of the Bush II e-mail scandal?

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                            • She had classified documents right on her server.

                              No, she didn’t.

                              I know the right desperately is trying to conflate mishandling classified information and classified documents, mostly because they are trying to use the rules about stealing classified documents because they are much much stricter…

                              …but they are much much stricter for a reason. Stealing or copying classified documents requires someone taking a classified document (which can only be viewed in secured areas) and taking it or a copy of it and smuggling it out. Doing that is very very illegal, because stealing a classified document require a lot of intent and planning and active subversion of security systems, and we give absolutely no benefit of the doubt there.

                              This is…not even close to anything that happened WRT Clinton.

                              Classified information, things people have learned that is classified but isn’t a direct stolen copy of a document, is held to a much loser standard. To commit a crime with that, you have intentionally give classified information you know is classified to someone you know, or should know, isn’t authorized to have have it.

                              Just being lax about handling classified information is not a crime. It can result in a revoked security clearance, but that’s it.

                              She claimed she didn’t know that “(C)” mean a paragraph contained classified information.

                              And it would be a crime if she had passed that paragraph off to someone without a security classification. Which she did not.

                              Meanwhile, it is a slight security breach to be transmitting that information over email, full stop. Again, it is literally just as wrong to do that over State Department email servers as her own.

                              According to the New York Times, the inspector general for intelligence said two of her illegal e-mails were marked “TOP SECRET//SI//TK/NOFORN.”

                              Wrong.

                              The IG said that two of the emails had information of that level, not that they were marked at that level.

                              Please note this means she was sent classified information over the public email system, not that she committed any wrongdoing.

                              She was handing the information to Platte River Networks, which has no security clearance at all

                              And by ‘she was handing them’, you mean ‘You are attempting to assert that she committed a crime because other people emailed her classified information.’ That’s…a weird legal theory.

                              As I have pointed out several times, this sort of low-level carelessness of classified information happens all the time, and pretty much every evidence of it happening is her staff obliquely referring to classified things over public email, which a) is not suppose to happen regardless of the server, b) happens all the time, c) is literally not a crime, and d) wouldn’t be a crime committed by Clinton anyway.

                              and she also handed them to her lawyer, who also had no security clearance

                              Her lawyer did, in fact, have a security clearance.

                              and she almost certainly handed them to every foreign intelligence service that actively probes the US, which is probably all of them.

                              Yeah! She should have left them on the State Department servers, which we know were hacked by Russia, instead of on her servers, which, uh, there’s no evidence of that.

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        • Replace Russian with Israeli, or even Saudi, and ask yourself if the media narrative would be remotely so hysterical. The only thing abnormal are the players, not the conduct (which in principle, I agree is terrible).

          Bubbles indeed.

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          • InMD,
            Israel is for all intents and purposes a vassal state, and we have cordial relations with the Sauds.

            No, I don’t know why Clinton decided to hire a spy and wife of a spy for her campaign, but the media really isn’t howling like a banshee about it.

            Might have something to do with her not winning.

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  4. Lr1 – Question 2 in that survey is almost a tautology. If robots didn’t generate more wealth than workers in each particular circumstance, then companies wouldn’t be installing robots.

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  5. Lw4 = If Trump said this, it would indeed be awful, but we wont learn it from New York Mag. The article has zero quotes from the administration, let alone anything that shows this intent. And considering the editorial stance towards Trump, if there was a good quote we would get it, front and center. There are Buzzfeed and NYT quotes and the summarized thoughts of sad beard. But no relevant quotes from the trump admin. Instead there is a Trump quote from the campaign about how media companies are getting too large. And if that is what the got, they have nothing but innuendo.

    This is how you get called fake news.

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  6. [Wa3] This appears to a very similar analysis that was performed on the 2008 election that found military enlistment and casualties to be the most important and probably determinative factor in the Presidential election. Btw/ 2004 and 2008, counties with high proportions of military enlistment / casualties moved the furthest from Red to Blue, and did so significantly in states that those shifts could change the outcome. (In contrast, counties w/ high percentage of African-Americans increased votes, but did not make much difference because their votes were in deep blue or red states)

    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~herron/HHL2008.pdf

    Army enlistment rates tend to be highest in white, less urban areas. What it looks like is that by 2008 (if not 2006), communities holding parades for each returning servicemen had grown wary of the engagement, critical of the competency of the Bush team, and even warier of McCain’s foreign policy preferences. If so, we should reconsider precisely who is the white-working class that has shifted back and forth since 9/11.

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    • I don’t mind that the new building is all luxury development personally.

      My thesis is that humans care about symbolism a lot for a variety of reasons and this causes the attitude that building luxury condos does not lower rents (even though it does). People look at Yuppie Luxury Condos and wonder “why won’t anyone building housing for me?” and then they protest.

      The reasons people want “affordable” housing built is also about feelings of inclusion.

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      • If cities really want affordable housing, they are either going to have to relax the local ordinances, or find a way to develop sustainable alternative codes for housing that is to be designated low income.

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        • I concur but has been discussed before this is a tough fight. I’ve posted articles before about the growing YIMBY movement and their clashes with the NIMBY movement.

          The issue is that property owners make up a disproportionate amount of the voters, even in cities where an overwhelming majority rents. The owners combine with the more strident of the symbolism set of affordable housing advocates to stop development.

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          • Which just tells me that all those supposed liberal city council members in these big liberal cities are more interested in protecting their jobs and contributions, than they are in addressing an issue that they claim is Very Important (TM).

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              • It’s irksome when I hear city council members going on and on about stuff like affordable housing, and then they turn around and do everything they can to make it next to impossible to build it.

                Is it too much to ask that our leaders, you know, lead?

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          • Property owners make up a disproportionate amount of voter turnout because this maters a lot to them. They are very invested in the community because for many of them their future is riding on these laws financially. I am a property holder and about to become a landlord. I pay very close attention to any laws coming down that might affect the value of my holdings.

            We are the share holders in the city, literally.

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            • All citizens are “share holders” in their city. When i rented years ago i never felt less invested or part of my city. I was just as much a citizen and part of the city.

              Often times landlords don’t’ live in the community where they own property. So they very much have an interest in a community but the actual residents also have an interest in the place they live.

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              • And those landlords, who don’t live there, can’t vote there. What I said was a bit inflammatory, but the point stands. They have a huge, vested interest, in that locale. My little college town has free bus service. To pay for it they increased property taxes. Renters loved it, owners hated it. In the end rents went up to pay for it, but that is a second order effect, one that is mitigated if you have rentals. If you just own a home you got the shaft. If you rent you can try to find a cheaper place, maybe outside town.

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                • Well if an owner lives in the same city but a different neighborhood they can vote but not live in that specific community.

                  I don’t really disagree with your point. But while some renters can move, especially if it’s young people in a college town, poor people often lack the resources to move far way. Often for some good reasons poor people are committed to a neighborhood so they are invested in that area but their concerns are given less concern because they aren’t property owners. Also property owners can sell their property so it’s not like they are committed to an area for the long term.

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                  • As I am sure you know, a portion of the properties value is due to the value of neighboring properties. And that stems from perception of value. And as important is affordable housing is, it is seen as lowering a neighborhoods value.

                    When my wife and I sold a condo years ago, we were very fortunate that the neighboring complex wasn’t declared section 8 until after signing, as that would have (and eventually did) drop the value of the place. Sad, but we had a lot of money riding on that.

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                    • Oh man, a few years back, this grand old craftsman down the street from my house in Everett went on the market, and after about a year, it finally sold (the owners had fully refinished it, and it was big, but what they were asking for would just never fly in that neighborhood). Four months later we figured out it had been turned into a halfway house for sex offenders. No public notice, and the notifications we got that a sex offender was living in the area just gave us the block, not the address (but it wasn’t hard to figure out which house it was).

                      And these weren’t the “18 year old sleeping with his 16 year old girlfriend” sex offenders either, no. A whole lot of violence and crimes against kids.

                      Talk about a hit to the property value. A spot of affordable housing hits values like what, 5%?

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    • That was a really interesting link, but if the cost structure is so dependent on the requirement to provide parking, I’m not sure that parking is an unreasonable regulation. When a “new large” development is built in a neighborhood, it reduces the common pool of existing parking spaces. A lot depends on the existing conditions for parking, but I think this issue is one which is reasonable for planning purposes.

      Do people disagree?

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        • I don’t understand the distinction your making. Parking requirements are what the linked piece says drives the costs which prevent new large affordable housing. I don’t see how one decouples parking from its costs.

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            • The problem is that “eliminate parking requirements” is only feasible in a handful of cities in the USA. There’s no way most people can hold a job in America without a car.

              I have faith that, somehow, at some point (*), the USA will embrace mass transit. Until then, parking is more important that a kitchen.

              (*) perhaps as a consequence of gridlock

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              • I have not been a resident of LA at any point, but I hear that they have things like buses, taxis, trains, Uber, Zipcar, etc, so while one could argue that a car is a requirement, having that car parked right next to your house, in a dense urban area, should be a luxury, not a staple.

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                • I spent a week in LA, bopping back and forth between West Hollywood and Eagle Rock. Being accustomed to Boston’s mass transit (be it ever so terrible), I sure missed it in the transit hellscape of LA.

                  Cars are awful. LA needs them.

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                • I have never been in LA in my life, but I haven’t heard much good about it’s mass transit system (though apparently is better than the USA average). But I’d like to point that for a McDonalds shift manager (much less a line cook), taxis and Uber aren’t really options except in very limited occasions.

                  That said, I report to a guy in Minneapolis that Ubers to and from his house to the office every single day. On the other side, he makes boatloads more money than I do. (*)

                  (*) Based on his experience, and the fact that I don’t like much to drive, I budgeted how would I fare doing the same compared to the fixed and variable costs of car owning (**). Even factoring in that I’m traveling more than half my time (hence zero Uber rides in those periods) Uber was more expensive than car ownership.

                  (**) Six miles from home to work

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                  • I use Lyft when I go out to clubs, or for doctors appointments, when I want to minimize the amount of time I’m out of the office, but for my daily commutes — that would get very expensive very fast. Although, adding up the cost of driving plus parking, it might be halfway-sorta workable. Maybe.

                    For the people who do building maintenance or work in the kitchens, no way, not even close.

                    (I wonder if they get parking subsidized at all? Actually, I think I’d qualify for parking subsidies, if there are free spaces in the lot. I do get a mass transit subsidy. I suspect the “facilities staff” gets neither.)

                    Transit is a critical part of urban planning.

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                    • We moved offices, and now I get free parking (there’s excess parking in our small building). When we were in downtown, I got a parking subsidy equivalent to the cheapest parking available within a ten minute walk (about $90) OR transit subsidy.

                      Being a cheap stake, I parked in the ten minutes walk parking lot.

                      But you are right, free/subsidized parking is an upper management perk. It’s not offered to the cleaning lady.

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                      • So if the worksite doesn’t have free employee parking at the site, why do residences? As per my reply to below, what is the compelling argument that everyone in a building have on site parking*?

                        *Aside from handicap stalls.

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                • In LA, cars are pretty much necessary: 1.5 vehicles per household, and only 6.2% of workers live in household with no vehicle. (Vehicles are more common in neighboring communities like Compton and the Valley that have more affordable housing)

                  So requiring 1 vehicle per unit might be superfluous given that it’s less than the average and not a lot of developers would seek to appeal to the no vehicle demographic. Certainly middle class families with children wouldn’t live in such a complex.

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                  • But that isn’t really the only option, now is it?

                    What is more efficient, having each building have it’s own connected parking, or having a dedicated parking structure* within half a mile of a residential building that is co-owned, or contracted to, the residences?

                    Because according to the post, the parking stalls have to be attached.

                    * Also, does LA allow automatic garages, where the cars are parked and delivered by trolley? Maybe it should.

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                    • I am completely agnostic about the attached vs centralized parking (probably there are advantages to the latter). But I’m not agnostic on the matter that zoning regulations must require developers arrange that there are x parking per unit, whether built by them or contracted by them. I don’t trust the Inverse Field of Dreams developing model, in which developers build the (high revenue) parkingless apartments, and somehow, the (low revenue) centralized parking structure will come when needed.

                      You want to build apartments, you arrange parking spaces for them. Unless you are in Manhattan or somewhere similar.

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                        • Oscar. Thank you for engaging

                          I’m perfectly fine with walking half a mile. I’m concerned about “who” is to provide the parking if it’s not the same developer that is building the apartments.

                          Saying “something” has to happen is not enough. You need to say “who” is responsible for making it happen

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                        • I brought up parking because it was the main issue flagged in the link, and most of the prior discussion was avoiding it as if it was not an important issue. I don’t think it can be ignored, nor is planning for parking a small issue.

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                          • My pulling teeth quip was because everyone who has responded to my comments has just decided that the status quo is an unavoidable circumstance, instead of trying to think of something that would alleviate the identified cost.

                            If we want better government, we can’t just poo-poo any ideas to improve things and stop there. Maybe my idea is unworkable as stated, but it’s useful to use it for a launching point.

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      • When a “new large” development is built in a neighborhood, it reduces the common pool of existing parking spaces.

        So don’t have a common pool of parking spaces. Charge a market rate for street parking and let the market decide how much parking an apartment building should have.

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        • Your answer is that the neighborhood pays. Those living in the neighborhood who used to be able to park on their own street or the block over, now have to wander the night looking for a spot, waiting behind vehicles double-parked to pick someone up. I think the neighbors should object to that.

          Really, there are only three people who can pay, the neighbors, the city (direct subsidy of new construction or parking garages), or the developer. Usually, the developer pays because its the one making money from the project.

          (I can see raising the number of units at which the parking requirement kicks in — currently it kicks in at more than 3 units, or generally allowing a parking study to take the place of strict guidelines, which is what I think is common for large retail like WalMart.)

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          • Those living in the neighborhood who used to be able to park on their own street or the block over, now have to wander the night looking for a spot, waiting behind vehicles double-parked to pick someone up. I think the neighbors should object to that.

            No, I said that the city should charge market rate for street parking. If people are wandering around searching for street parking for an unreasonable amount of time, street parking is too cheap. Let the cost of parking be paid by those who actually use it, instead of forcing residents who use less parking than average to subsidize those who use more than average.

            Usually, the developer pays because its the one making money from the project.

            You mean the tenants.

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  7. Ec1:

    “In 2015, Amazon re-evaluated its shipping to remote locations and dropped many Nunavut communities, but kept Iqaluit. Now, Iqalummiut live in perpetual fear that they will be next to get cut off by Amazon.”

    Are you sure “thank” is the verb you want for creating an effective monopoly through loss leader pricing to vulnerable target markets, and then cutting off services and leaving them high and dry? I’ve got some other verbs I’d use first…

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      • So you expect Amazon to lose money in order to serve certain communities? Isn’t that what gov’t services like the postal service are for?

        I thought that the correct conservative answer was that we should never subsidize any kind of services to “any kind” of communities. If rural people can’t get their mail or their packages, or their hospitals, or their firefighters, they can always U-haul themselves somewhere else.

        “Don’t you dare use my tax money on someone else!!”

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        • I thought that was the libertarian answer, lol. Seriously, as a general idea, I don’t mind the govt losing money on some things that are legitimate govt functions. The problem though is agreeing on what are govt functions.

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    • From the link within the link, it’s not clear that’s whether happened there. The discontinued community doesn’t appear to be complaining that they are worse off for Amazon Prime coming and going, merely that they had a good option and now they’ve lost it and have one fewer option than they had before Amazon pulled Prime out.

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    • From the article linked from the text “dropped many Nunavut communities”:

      In many northern communities, there are a limited number of stores and, while the federal Nutrition North subsidy provides money to retailers for food, many necessities are not covered.

      “People will be going to more local stores and prices there are sometimes higher,” says Collier.

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  8. Speaking of bubbles bursting, Jennifer Rubin had her Road to Damascus moment of something close to it:

    Let’s dispense with the “Democrats are just as bad” defense. First, I don’t much care; we collectively face a party in charge of virtually the entire federal government and the vast majority of statehouses and governorships. It’s that party’s inner moral rot that must concern us for now. Second, it’s simply not true, and saying so reveals the origin of the problem — a “woe is me” sense of victimhood that grossly exaggerates the opposition’s ills and in turn justifies its own egregious political judgments and rhetoric. If the GOP had not become unhinged about the Clintons, would it have rationalized Trump as the lesser of two evils? Only in the crazed bubble of right-wing hysteria does an ethically challenged, moderate Democrat become a threat to Western civilization and Trump the salvation of America.

    Indeed, for decades now, demonization — of gays, immigrants, Democrats, the media, feminists, etc. — has been the animating spirit behind much of the right. It has distorted its assessment of reality, giving us anti-immigrant hysteria, promulgating disrespect for the law (how many “respectable” conservatives suggested disregarding the Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage?), elevating Fox News hosts’ blatantly false propaganda as the counterweight to liberal media bias and preventing serious policy debate. For seven years, the party vilified Obamacare without an accurate assessment of its faults and feasible alternative plans. “Obama bad” or “Clinton bad” became the only credo — leaving the party, as Brooks said of the Trump clan, with “no attachment to any external moral truth or ethical code” — and no coherent policies for governing.

    We have always had in our political culture narcissists, ideologues and flimflammers, but it took the 21st-century GOP to put one in the White House. It took elected leaders such as House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and the Republican National Committee (not to mention its donors and activists) to wave off Trump’s racists attacks on a federal judge, blatant lies about everything from 9/11 to his own involvement in birtherism, replete evidence of disloyalty to America (i.e. Trump’s “Russia first” policies), misogyny, Islamophobia, ongoing potential violations of the Constitution’s emoluments clause (along with a mass of conflicts of interests), firing of an FBI director, and now, evidence that the campaign was willing to enlist a foreign power to defeat Clinton in the presidential election.

    Out of its collective sense of victimhood came the GOP’s disdain for not just intellectuals but also intellectualism, science, Economics 101, history and constitutional fidelity. If the Trump children became slaves to money and to their father’s unbridled ego, then the GOP became slaves to its own demons and false narratives. A party that has to deny climate change and insist illegal immigrants are creating a crime wave — because that is what “conservatives” must believe, since liberals do not — is a party that will deny Trump’s complicity in gross misconduct. It’s a party as unfit to govern as Trump is unfit to occupy the White House. It’s not by accident that Trump chose to inhabit the party that has defined itself in opposition to reality and to any “external moral truth or ethical code.”

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    • You know, I’ve always said that there are too-close-to-be-coincidence parallels between far-left anti-capitalist rhetoric and antisemitic rhetoric, but I didn’t mean that the far left is literally antisemitic. I just figured it was a different manifestation of the same basic need for a scapegoat.

      But is “Zio” really a well-known antisemitic epithet? Has anyone here ever heard of it?

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      • You know, I’ve always said that there are too-close-to-be-coincidence parallels between far-left anti-capitalist rhetoric and antisemitic rhetoric, but I didn’t mean that the far left is literally antisemitic.

        It is actually very easy to go from some ‘anti-capitalistic’ rhetoric to antisemitic rhetoric, all you have to do is assume all references to ‘bankers’ are just a coded reference to ‘Jews’.

        Which is, in reality, why a lot of antisemitism(1) seems ‘reasonable’ as nonsense to slip into. There really are groups of ‘a certain sort of people’ who sorta do control everything, a cabal of super-rich parasites who just make a lot of money off everyone else because of their ownership of basically everything…the wrongness of antisemitism comes from the fact that a) they are not all, or even mostly, Jews(2), and b) obviously most Jews have nothing to do with that.

        What I find slightly weirder is antisemitism showing up out of feminism.

        1) I think of this as the ‘positive’ antisemitism, although I suspect there’s a better term. It’s the type of antisemitism that Donald Trump has, where Jews are all rich and powerful and smart, which can be either positive or negative depending on how you view rich and powerful people. This is contrasted to the ‘Jews are obviously evil and murder babies’ sort of antisemitism.

        2) I suspect that, while Jews are probably slightly over-represented in that category vs. the entire population, they are slightly over-represented mostly because white people are very very over-represented.

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        • Ms. magazine famously had an article on anti-Semitism in the feminist movement around 1981, so this is not exactly a new phenomenon. A lot of the Far Left had a troubled relationship with Jews since Marx penned “On the Jewish Question” in 1843. They do not see us as a persecuted group the same way that they perceive people of color, women, or these days Muslims as persecuted.

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