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Old 02-08-2019, 11:43 AM
DMC DMC is offline
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Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is a really, really bad guy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AljakpXAh7c

A pretty interesting hypothetical game played pretty brilliantly by the AOC.

TLDW: She plays a bad guy and asks hypothetical questions about the legalities of enriching herself (as a politician) at the expense of the American public. She then wraps up by showing that the president actually has even more room to do so.

I thought it was pretty well done and would probably watch a lot of CSPAN if congress and their committee meetings were always like this.

Does anyone find flaws in her argument?
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:48 AM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is online now
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... Does anyone find flaws in her argument?
Does it matter? "There's a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right"
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:51 AM
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This is why they are terrified of her. She's calling out the game that everyone there knows about, and most participate in, but dare not speak of. She's threatening that golden goose and they hate her for it. That's why there is such an obsession over this freshmen representative. They are trying to abort her career, if you'll pardon the expression, because she poses a threat to their cash flow.
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:52 AM
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Ooof! That was harsh!
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:53 AM
Airbeck Airbeck is offline
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Does it matter? "There's a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right"
You must be apoplectic over Trump's "abolishing civil rights" gaffe then huh?
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:58 AM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is online now
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You must be apoplectic over Trump's "abolishing civil rights" gaffe then huh?
I don't get "apoplectic" over much, so no.
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:00 PM
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I don't get "apoplectic" over much, so no.
Well you certainly seem to think its a big deal for some people to misspeak. Almost seems like you can tell by the politics of whoever was speaking whether you are going to react or not.
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:02 PM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is online now
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Well you certainly seem to think its a big deal for some people to misspeak. Almost seems like you can tell by the politics of whoever was speaking whether you are going to react or not.
Where did you get the idea that I thought it was "a big deal"?
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:05 PM
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Where did you get the idea that I thought it was "a big deal"?
You felt the need to respond with that quote as if it had any relevance to the OP. Must be important to you.
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:05 PM
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Does it matter? "There's a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right"
Don't threadshit. This is about the segment linked in the OP. Generally the ethical rules that cover congress people and the executive branch.

[/moderating]

Last edited by Bone; 02-08-2019 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:07 PM
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Tangent happily dropped.

IMO she nails in this video exactly why our government is not working. Too many agendas being represented that are at odds with the interests of the American people.
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:09 PM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is online now
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To be specific, AOC asks "is there any hard limit ... on the laws I can write or influence" and the response is "there's no limit". I don't think that's correct. There are, in reality, limits on what laws Congress can enact.

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 02-08-2019 at 12:10 PM. Reason: just saw the mod note
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:14 PM
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You don't think that's correct? Based on your gut? What limits are you referring to?

What restrictions are in place to prevent representatives from writing or influencing legislation that benefits the corporations that paid to get them elected at the expense of the American public?
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:18 PM
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You don't think that's correct? Based on your gut? What limits are you referring to?

What restrictions are in place to prevent representatives from writing or influencing legislation that benefits the corporations that paid to get them elected at the expense of the American public?
The Constitution, for one, imposes some limits on the laws Congress can enact. The Supreme Court has seen fit to unwind a number of Congressional actions that have run afoul of various limits. Congress also needs to either get the consent of the president to enact a law, or alternatively receive the consent of 2/3 of it's own members in each house to override a presidential veto. That's also a limiting factor.

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 02-08-2019 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
To be specific, AOC asks "is there any hard limit ... on the laws I can write or influence" and the response is "there's no limit". I don't think that's correct. There are, in reality, limits on what laws Congress can enact.
That's not precisely what was said either. Here is what was said:

Quote:
AOC: Is there any hard limit that I have, perhaps Mrs. Hobert Flynn, is there any hard limit that I have in terms of what legislation I'm allowed to touch, are there any limits on the laws that I can write or influence, especially if i'm , based on the special interest funds that i accepted to finance my campaign to get me elected in the first place

Hobert Flynn: There is no limit.

AOC: So there is none, I can be totally funded by oil and gas, can totally funded by big pharma, come in write big pharma law and there's no limits to that

Hobert Flynn: That's right.
If you want to get super precise, AOC is not talking about what laws Congress can enact. AOC is talking about her specific actions as a member of Congress. In any event, what limits are you thinking of? Because later in the segment they do mention certain ethical limits but those aren't specified. Essentially her point is largely correct and I don't find any factual errors.
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:20 PM
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The Constitution, for one, imposes some limits on the laws Congress can write. Congress also needs to either get the consent of the President to enact a law, or alternatively receive the consent of 2/3 of it's own members in each house to override a presidential veto. That's also a limiting factor.
That's not the question she was asking.
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:25 PM
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That's not precisely what was said either. Here is what was said: ...
Where did you find the transcript? Or did you type that up yourself?
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:33 PM
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I typed it.
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:43 PM
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The Constitution, for one, imposes some limits on the laws Congress can enact. The Supreme Court has seen fit to unwind a number of Congressional actions that have run afoul of various limits. Congress also needs to either get the consent of the president to enact a law, or alternatively receive the consent of 2/3 of it's own members in each house to override a presidential veto. That's also a limiting factor.
So, what you effectively saying is that the limits are only imposed politically? If you have a sympathetic court, a sympathetic president, and a sufficient majority, then there are no limits. None. I think that is within the realm of what she was getting at.
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:46 PM
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I don't doubt that AOC has good motives and intentions, but she is introducing a "bumper-sticker" mindset to politics (not that it wasn't there before, but she's worsening it.) Shortening every complex social/economic issue of the day down into a simple, incorrect, oversimplified misleading argument and then feeding it to the masses.


A younger, female, less-crass Democratic version of Trump.
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:49 PM
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I don't doubt that AOC has good motives and intentions, but she is introducing a "bumper-sticker" mindset to politics (not that it wasn't there before, but she's worsening it.)
Hang on; I'm not clear on this. First you say she is "introducing" something. Then you say "not that it wasn't there already".

So is she introducing it or not?
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:54 PM
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Does anyone find flaws in her argument?
Two flaws that jumped out at me.

First, it's not a given that a candidate that gets a lot of corporate money will win an election. Freakonomics did a pretty famous piece about the role of money in elections several years back, and this FiveThirtyEight article says something similar. To summarize:

- Spending and winning often go hand in hand, but that's a correlation and not a causation, since popular candidates tend to get more donations anyway.
- The stuff that campaigns spend money on isn't all that effective

Second, even if getting a lot of PAC money was a huge advantage, at the end of the day the voters have the final say. What's depressing isn't that someone can get a lot of money from special interests that want to, say, drill for oil in the ANWR, it's that thousands of regular voters will scream "drill baby drill" at political rallies. Whatever the cause and effect there, it doesn't matter if a legislator wants to subvert the will of the people if the will of the people has already been subverted by Fox News.
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:05 PM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is online now
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So, what you effectively saying is that the limits are only imposed politically? If you have a sympathetic court, a sympathetic president, and a sufficient majority, then there are no limits. None. I think that is within the realm of what she was getting at.
Fair enough. If a sufficient enough portion of the federal government decides to conspire to do bad things legally, they'll be able to do bad things legally. Is that her point?

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 02-08-2019 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:05 PM
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Two flaws that jumped out at me.

First, it's not a given that a candidate that gets a lot of corporate money will win an election. Freakonomics did a pretty famous piece about the role of money in elections several years back, and this FiveThirtyEight article says something similar. To summarize:

- Spending and winning often go hand in hand, but that's a correlation and not a causation, since popular candidates tend to get more donations anyway.
- The stuff that campaigns spend money on isn't all that effective
It's good thing then that she didn't at all make the argument that having lots of corporate money will win an election, isn't it?
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Second, even if getting a lot of PAC money was a huge advantage, at the end of the day the voters have the final say. What's depressing isn't that someone can get a lot of money from special interests that want to, say, drill for oil in the ANWR, it's that thousands of regular voters will scream "drill baby drill" at political rallies. Whatever the cause and effect there, it doesn't matter if a legislator wants to subvert the will of the people if the will of the people has already been subverted by Fox News.
Ddamn; it's prolly also a good thing that she didn't at all make an argument that voters don't have the final say, right?

So no flaws at all in what she was saying, right?
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:07 PM
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This is why they are terrified of her. She's calling out the game that everyone there knows about, and most participate in, but dare not speak of. She's threatening that golden goose and they hate her for it. That's why there is such an obsession over this freshmen representative. They are trying to abort her career, if you'll pardon the expression, because she poses a threat to their cash flow.
Who is terrified of her? On the right, they call her the gift that keeps on giving. They think she's hilarious, not scary. Her 'Green New Deal' is the funniest thing to come out of Washington since Al Franken.
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:24 PM
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Ok if that's what you think lol
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:30 PM
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It's good thing then that she didn't at all make the argument that having lots of corporate money will win an election, isn't it?
Ddamn; it's prolly also a good thing that she didn't at all make an argument that voters don't have the final say, right?

So no flaws at all in what she was saying, right?
She says, "So I use my special interest, dark money funded campaign to pay off folks that I need to pay off and get elected. So now I'm elected, now I'm in."

I'm not saying she's ignorant of the role of voters, but I think she's putting too much emphasis on Citizens United and corporate money.

Ultimately her argument boils down to, "A bad person can get elected, write legislation that only benefits specific corporate interests, make themselves rich in the process, and then bail." Which is undeniably true, that can happen. And it probably does, but there's a built in way to address that situation, which is we stop voting for people who write legislation that only benefits specific corporate interests and make themselves rich in the process. The problem is that even after we find out that this exactly what someone's doing, we tend to reelect them. Why is that? Is corporate money just that powerful?
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:34 PM
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Corporate money and right wing propaganda is enough yes.
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
The Constitution, for one, imposes some limits on the laws Congress can enact. The Supreme Court has seen fit to unwind a number of Congressional actions that have run afoul of various limits. Congress also needs to either get the consent of the president to enact a law, or alternatively receive the consent of 2/3 of it's own members in each house to override a presidential veto. That's also a limiting factor.
I meeeaaaaan, as a practical matter these are rules, not like... physical laws of the universe. As far as I know nobody has ever gotten arrested or sent to the firing squads for writing unconstitutional legislation, and if you can get enough people on board to sign your pork barrel or (legally) PAC-bribed legislation, and get it not vetoed you have plenty of time to reap the benefits before the SCOTUS unwinds it. Hell, just hide it in a rider on some otherwise uncontroversial or unreadable omnibus piece of legislation that passes through a committee you're on, happens all the time.

Of course, you could get sanctioned by your party, you could not get re elected due to it, we could overthrow congress in a bloody revolution, but if you're subtle enough about it then even "constitutionality" isn't per se a limit of Congress' power. Save the veto, constitutional limits are largely debate tools and long-term (usually at least 5+ year lag time) limits. Plenty of time to reap the benefits. Let's not forget the large, large number of things Congress wasn't thought to be allowed to do that they passed laws about anyway, only to be justified later when the SCOTUS ruled it was technically allowed under a clause (usually interstate commerce).

Most of the things you can do aren't even remotely unconstitutional anyway, because they involve either electing to not sign legislation doing certain things (e.g. monopoly busting), or repealing existing legislation. And most of these bills aren't big ordeals like the ACA or something, they're small bits of legislation where if you want to be subtle you can jusify all sorts of reasons you're against the bill's wording.

Now of course, this actually almost works as a counter to AOC's points as well, because people can just ignore or get even more clever about circumventing any laws passed preventing this, but I'd prefer to try.

Last edited by Jragon; 02-08-2019 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:38 PM
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She says, "So I use my special interest, dark money funded campaign to pay off folks that I need to pay off and get elected. So now I'm elected, now I'm in."

I'm not saying she's ignorant of the role of voters, but I think she's putting too much emphasis on Citizens United and corporate money.
Dude, it's a hypothetical. She isn't making any kind of argument AT ALL there; she's just setting up the scenario.

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Ultimately her argument boils down to, "A bad person can get elected, write legislation that only benefits specific corporate interests, make themselves rich in the process, and then bail." Which is undeniably true, that can happen. And it probably does, but there's a built in way to address that situation, which is we stop voting for people who write legislation that only benefits specific corporate interests and make themselves rich in the process. The problem is that even after we find out that this exactly what someone's doing, we tend to reelect them. Why is that? Is corporate money just that powerful?
Forgive me, but you seem to have completely missed the point she was making, despite the fact that she states it clearly starting at the 4 minute mark.
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:38 PM
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Corporate money and right wing propaganda is enough yes.
And I'd say there's about 5/95 split there in terms of which matters more.
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:40 PM
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Well that's one opinion. Sure.
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:41 PM
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That's not the question she was asking.
But it's the question he knows how to answer so he pretends that's the question she was asking.
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:46 PM
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Forgive me, but you seem to have completely missed the point she was making, despite the fact that she states it clearly starting at the 4 minute mark.
Help me out then, what'd I get wrong?
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:23 PM
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I don't doubt that AOC has good motives and intentions, but she is introducing a "bumper-sticker" mindset to politics (not that it wasn't there before, but she's worsening it.) Shortening every complex social/economic issue of the day down into a simple, incorrect, oversimplified misleading argument and then feeding it to the masses.


A younger, female, less-crass Democratic version of Trump.
We've had bumper-sticker politics at least since Jimmy Carter. What AOC is doing is pulling in a left-populist, anti-corruption direction.
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:35 PM
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And I'd say there's about 5/95 split there in terms of which matters more.
Propaganda doesn't pay for itself. Who do you think pays for it?
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:35 PM
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We've had bumper-sticker politics at least since Jimmy Carter. What AOC is doing is pulling in a left-populist, anti-corruption direction.
And the corrupt hate it, so they and their media outlets are trying to destroy her. We need to try not to just fall for that.
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:42 PM
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Propaganda doesn't pay for itself. Who do you think pays for it?
Special interests, of course. It's more effective having the people clamoring to enact your agenda than trying to pay off a politician to enact it on the hush hush.
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:44 PM
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Special interests, of course. It's more effective having the people clamoring to enact your agenda than trying to pay off a politician to enact it on the hush hush.
What's really effective is both working together in concert
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:56 PM
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Two flaws that jumped out at me.

First, it's not a given that a candidate that gets a lot of corporate money will win an election. Freakonomics did a pretty famous piece about the role of money in elections several years back, and this FiveThirtyEight article says something similar. To summarize:

- Spending and winning often go hand in hand, but that's a correlation and not a causation, since popular candidates tend to get more donations anyway.
- The stuff that campaigns spend money on isn't all that effective
Granted. But corporate money typically funds both sides of the election. Maybe it spends more on one side, but either way they can expect to get their ROI. And AOC isn't talking about this. Or, indeed, the other thing you're talking about. She's talking about just raw corruption - the revolving door of Washington and special interest groups, a well-established and well-known problem.

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Who is terrified of her? On the right, they call her the gift that keeps on giving. They think she's hilarious, not scary. Her 'Green New Deal' is the funniest thing to come out of Washington since Al Franken.
Yes - because The Daily Wire writes an average of slightly more than one article a day about politicians they find "funny". People like her ideas, she's phenomenally charismatic, and she's savvier on social media than basically anyone, up to and including the president. If those on the right aren't worried about her, they really should be.

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I don't doubt that AOC has good motives and intentions, but she is introducing a "bumper-sticker" mindset to politics (not that it wasn't there before, but she's worsening it.) Shortening every complex social/economic issue of the day down into a simple, incorrect, oversimplified misleading argument and then feeding it to the masses.
Care to elaborate on how this applies to what we're talking about here? At all?

Quote:
A younger, female, less-crass Democratic version of Trump.
This comparison is just so bad. So, so, so bad. For shame, man.
  #41  
Old 02-08-2019, 03:02 PM
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I don't doubt that AOC has good motives and intentions, but she is introducing a "bumper-sticker" mindset to politics (not that it wasn't there before, but she's worsening it.)
First, you know what fits on a bumper sticker? "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too," that's what fits on a bumper sticker. This ain't a new thang at all.

Second, you know what doesn't fit on a bumper sticker? A five-minute back-and-forth about various aspects of campaign and legislative law and ethics, that's what doesn't.

Third, Trump won with "Build The Wall!" and "Lock Her Up!" and McCain tried to win with "Drill Baby Drill!" and Obama won with "Yes We Can!" There's no goddamned way that AOC is making bumper-sticker mindset worse in our politics.

Finally, folks are objecting to her argument based on the idea that money doesn't win elections. As Rebecca Bunch would say, the situation is a lot more nuanced than that. Money DOES sometimes matter. Spending in the week before an election can cause a bump, according to the article, and spending in primaries can make a big difference, and spending by challengers in races without clear partisan lines can make a difference.

And there's the issue of perception. If politicians believe that the money makes a difference, then it will change their behavior in deleterious ways. Madame Bad Guy who believes she needs fossil fuel money in order to win her next election may be wrong, but that won't stop her from voting in favor of legislation that allows offshore drilling.
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by steronz View Post
And I'd say there's about 5/95 split there in terms of which matters more.
Money can buy a lot of direct mail & television propaganda.
  #43  
Old 02-08-2019, 03:17 PM
foolsguinea foolsguinea is offline
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We've had bumper-sticker politics at least since Jimmy Carter.
And I say that because that's as far back as I can remember personally. But really, since the beginning of the two-party system.

Quote:
What AOC is doing is pulling in a left-populist, anti-corruption direction.
It occurred to me that someone else in our popular mythology did that. Jewish guy, had magic powers or something?
SPOILER:
I meant Kal-L from the earliest Superman comic strips, whom did you think I meant?

Last edited by foolsguinea; 02-08-2019 at 03:20 PM.
  #44  
Old 02-08-2019, 03:19 PM
Airbeck Airbeck is offline
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I thought you meant Hanukkah Harry
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  #45  
Old 02-08-2019, 03:24 PM
foolsguinea foolsguinea is offline
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Hanukkah Harry! I love that a character Lovitz played twice is that recognizable.
  #46  
Old 02-08-2019, 03:28 PM
Ulfreida Ulfreida is offline
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Who is terrified of her? On the right, they call her the gift that keeps on giving. They think she's hilarious, not scary. Her 'Green New Deal' is the funniest thing to come out of Washington since Al Franken.
Keep laughing at the hilarious proposed legislation that is already garnering a great deal of support.

They "think she is funny" because mocking people is a tried and true method to grind them under your heel.
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:33 PM
ITR champion ITR champion is offline
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Originally Posted by DMC View Post
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AljakpXAh7c

A pretty interesting hypothetical game played pretty brilliantly by the AOC.

TLDW: She plays a bad guy and asks hypothetical questions about the legalities of enriching herself (as a politician) at the expense of the American public. She then wraps up by showing that the president actually has even more room to do so.
...
Does anyone find flaws in her argument?
I entirely agree with her argument.

It is too easy for politicians in D.C. to enrich themselves at the expense of the American public. Obviously what we need to do is dramatically cut taxes and shrink the size and power of the federal government, in order to reduce the chances that politicians have for enriching themselves.

I watched the video and didn't see Cortez making that last point, but based on the argument she made, it obviously follows logically that that's what she's getting at.
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  #48  
Old 02-08-2019, 03:35 PM
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septimus septimus is offline
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Does it matter? "There's a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right"
Are you sure AOC's diction is entirely unreasonable?
  #49  
Old 02-08-2019, 03:41 PM
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Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is online now
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Originally Posted by ITR champion View Post
I entirely agree with her argument.

It is too easy for politicians in D.C. to enrich themselves at the expense of the American public. Obviously what we need to do is dramatically cut taxes and shrink the size and power of the federal government, in order to reduce the chances that politicians have for enriching themselves.

I watched the video and didn't see Cortez making that last point, but based on the argument she made, it obviously follows logically that that's what she's getting at.
What a cool way to win an argument: imagine your opponent agrees with you and declare victory!

Like, right now I'm imagining you realize that I'm being sarcastic and that it's an absolutely absurd way to argue, and that even though you haven't apologized yet for it, you're going to do so, given that it's the logical next move for you.
  #50  
Old 02-08-2019, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ITR champion View Post
I entirely agree with her argument.

It is too easy for politicians in D.C. to enrich themselves at the expense of the American public. Obviously what we need to do is dramatically cut taxes and shrink the size and power of the federal government, in order to reduce the chances that politicians have for enriching themselves.
Federal authorities charged with protecting consumers, protecting the environment, and regulating drugs are liable to be co-opted by moneyed interests. The solution is to stop protecting consumers, stop protecting the environment, and to stop regulating drugs. Got it.

Federal authorities charged with regulating financial institutions to prevent panics and frauds and the loss of taxpayer dollars when financial crises strike may be corrupted by the same private companies they are charged with regulating. The solution is to ignore the possibility of frauds, encourage panics and ... and what? Let the dollar dig itself out of the gutter next time? Revert to the gold standard? Got it, I guess?

Your newsletter must be real amusing.
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