#1251  
Old 07-22-2017, 04:32 PM
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Default Re: News Miscellany

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Originally Posted by MonCapitan2002 View Post
... In fact, the "Royal Family" should fucking be abolished and their property seized as all they are is a drain on the taxpayer.
CGP Grey disagrees.

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  #1252  
Old 07-22-2017, 05:55 PM
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Default Re: News Miscellany

Well that didn't go as planned:
KENTUCKY: State Officials Revoke Ark Encounter's $18 Million Tax Break Over Sale To Evade Local Safety Tax - Joe.My.God.

So yeah, in evading a small tax designed to pay for policing and fire services, they really just shot themselves in the foot.
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  #1253  
Old 07-22-2017, 07:35 PM
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Default Re: News Miscellany

The Lord works in mysterious ways.
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  #1254  
Old 07-22-2017, 09:59 PM
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Default Re: News Miscellany

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonCapitan2002 View Post
... In fact, the "Royal Family" should fucking be abolished and their property seized as all they are is a drain on the taxpayer.
CGP Grey disagrees.

Pretty sure most republicans who want to abolish the monarchy don't think the monarchs and nobles should be allowed to keep all the lands that they obtained by state power. Unless there's a legal argument that appropriating the lands of the royals and nobility is not allowed...

And I'm also pretty sure that tourist revenues would not simply poof and disappear if the royal family did. Tourists to France might have less interest in castles (although I'm pretty sure the Palace of Versailles does fine) but it gets more than two times as many tourists per year as the UK.

AND while the "living embodiment" of royalty probably is worth something, it's worth noting that they would be able to more fully exploit certain properties for tourism if there was not the matter of certain people living in them and requiring servants and bodyguards and such.

That said, it seems plausible that the government/British people make more than Ł40m off the royal family as a tourist attraction. Of course, the gov't only gets revenue off the taxes on tourist dollars. But the benefits to the economy are also there - but in that case, it's worth pointing out that it's not Liverpool or Swansea or Belfast that's likely to be making tons of money off of royally-enhanced tourism but rather those tourist dollars are probably highly concentrated in London and around certain castles and such.

And of course, finally, one must not consider just whether it makes money but what effects there are on British society in having a royal family and the nobility. You could, of course, argue that the culture of celebrity in other countries (like the US) has similar effects, but I'd argue that Beyoncé and Jay-Z provide a higher quality of entertainment than Prince William and Kate Middleton, who provide similar celebrity gossip but without actually doing something like putting out quality music. But either way, it sends a societal message to have a royal family that is held above everyone else by law. On the other hand, in terms of public policy, the UK is more socialist than the US, so maybe we'd actually be better off if we had a royal family :shrug: In terms of principle, I'm opposed to the notion of royalty, but if having royalty paradoxically makes socialist policy more likely, then I guess I'd be for it.

Ok, I guess one last thing is to consider the effect it has on the royals themselves. One could probably argue that the royal family is denied the possibility of a normal life. A life of luxury can probably be argued to outweigh the negative effects of lifelong (from birth, in the case of royal children), intense celebrity and the constraints of royal life, but it certainly hasn't for all of them (Diana being the most obvious example). And if I were more of a moralizing sort, it might be possible to argue that growing up royal inhibits your personal and moral development and even if they were "less happy" they'd be better people if they had more normal lives.

Anyway, certainly will be interesting when Elizabeth dies, given how much less popular Charles is. Will he abdicate in favor of William? If not, republican sentiment might increase significantly...
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  #1255  
Old 07-23-2017, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Anyone guilty of violating the prohibitions will face a minimum civil penalty of $250,000 and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison.

Holy. Frak.
Even Holier Frak!

Critics of U.S. ‘Israel Anti-Boycott Act’ say even requests for information could expose citizens to penalties – Mondoweiss
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  #1256  
Old 07-24-2017, 12:59 PM
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An Israeli embassy security guard shot dead a Jordanian who attacked him with a screwdriver at Israel's embassy compound in Amman and a second Jordanian also died, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said on Monday.
Israel cites immunity for guard in deadly Amman embassy shooting | Reuters

See, in Israel they think it's normal to kill the attacker and a random bystander and get away with that because Arabs, right? Who cares? But in Jordan they seem to for some reason. So they want to interrogate the murderer.
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  #1257  
Old 07-24-2017, 11:29 PM
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World Council of Churches Endorses Palestinian Protests Over Temple Mount Security Measures | Jewish & Israel News Algemeiner.com
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  #1258  
Old 07-25-2017, 04:30 PM
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Default Re: News Miscellany

More on the Jordanian affair:

Quote:
Jordan’s police released an account of the killings of two Jordanians by an Israeli Shin Bet agent, who was deputy chief of security for the Israeli embassy in Amman. The official account contradicts in substantial ways the Israeli version, which has been the only account reported in the media for the past 36 hours. Given the outrageous abuse of truth and facts of Israeli officials and security personnel in past instances, it’s highly likely that the Jordanian account is, if not fully accurate, closer to what actually happened
So the two murdered men were both carpenters, we knew that, but according to the Jordanians there was an altercation over work they had been hired for and one of them injured the Israeli, who responded in the traditional Israeli way of shooting the both of them.

Official Jordanian Account of Killings by Shin Bet Agent Dramatically Contradicts Israel's - Tikun Olam תיקון עולם
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  #1259  
Old 07-25-2017, 07:50 PM
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Deir Ezzor: Mother of all Battles (July 25, 2017) – VIDEO MAP UPDATE
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  #1260  
Old 07-25-2017, 08:47 PM
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According to an internal memo leaked to the press, Brussles said it should act “within days” if new sanctions the US plans to impose on Russia prove to be damaging to Europe’s trade ties with Moscow. Retaliatory measures may include limiting US jurisdiction over EU companies. The memo, seen by the Financial Times and Politico, has emerged amid mounting opposition to a US bill seeking to hit Russia with a new round of sanctions. The bill, if signed into law by the U.S. President, will also give US lawmakers the power to veto any attempt by the president to lift the sanctions.
EU Will Retaliate "Within Days" If US Passes New Russia Sanctions
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  #1261  
Old 07-25-2017, 11:36 PM
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Default Re: News Miscellany

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To put it more... tactfully... I hope he retires so that he can have a less stressful and more restful recovery.
As I was saying...

Hell, if it's not that important to John McCain to not take risks with his health, because he wants to fly (with accompanying pressure changes) after having brain surgery which cut into his skull so that he can help strip healthcare from millions, including other people who have been recently diagnosed with cancer... well, then I don't think he needs our thoughts and prayers, to put it kindly.
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  #1262  
Old 07-26-2017, 12:42 AM
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Default Re: News Miscellany

Very kindly, I think we can all agree.
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  #1263  
Old 07-26-2017, 01:04 AM
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Default Re: News Miscellany

Hopefully, Democrats will manage to flip two seats in Arizona next year.

It is not particularly important to me the conditions under which McCain's seat becomes vacant, however. But I will note that the diagnosis he received has a median length of survival of 12 to 15 months.

As I suggested before, he probably can extend that if he, you know, retires.
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  #1264  
Old 07-26-2017, 01:46 AM
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Default Re: News Miscellany

NAFTA talks: U.S. proposal for cross-border data storage at odds with B.C., N.S. law - Politics - CBC News

HAHAHAHAHA no.
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  #1265  
Old 07-26-2017, 02:14 AM
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Default Re: News Miscellany

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Originally Posted by erimir View Post
Hopefully, Democrats will manage to flip two seats in Arizona next year.

It is not particularly important to me the conditions under which McCain's seat becomes vacant, however. But I will note that the diagnosis he received has a median length of survival of 12 to 15 months.

As I suggested before, he probably can extend that if he, you know, retires.
That will probably be an uphill battle if all they campaign on is what they're against. If they want a chance to win both seats (assuming both come up for election), then they need candidates who have a policy platform the people will support. The usual mealy mouthed soft corporate sponsored democrats won't cut it.
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  #1266  
Old 07-26-2017, 02:38 AM
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Default Re: News Miscellany

Lots of psych research says that loss aversion is a more powerful motivator than the prospect of gains.

While I certainly think they need some general ideas they support, I'm skeptical of this confident claim that opposing isn't enough, or isn't as good as having a platform.

I think opposing Trump and the GOP's regressive agenda is going to do more work than coming up with a plan for family and sick leave. Hell, Clinton had that, and a plan for universal childcare... Those would've been big fucking deals, and helpful to the poor and working class, but she got little credit for it. Instead the focus was all on the areas of disagreement...

Now that people have a high chance of losing the benefits of the ACA, it's finally more popular than unpopular. It wasn't unpopular before because no Democrat bothered to explain what was good in it. That's loss aversion.
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  #1267  
Old 07-26-2017, 03:10 AM
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Default Re: News Miscellany

That is probably true, but I still think running on a platform of what you oppose isn't enough. You need to stand for something. Opposing Trump's agenda is important, but when people ask you what you're for instead, having a ready answer will help. Moreover, I think opposing Trump with more progressive alternatives on hand would be more effective than opposition alone.
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  #1268  
Old 07-26-2017, 04:14 AM
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Default Re: News Miscellany

Obviously you need to have policies you're proposing and ideas you're advancing.

But it seems probable that Joe Manchin's optimal responses won't be the same as Bill Nelson's (FL), or Jacky Rosen's (running against Heller in NV).

The parties and their coalitions aren't symmetrical. Republicans are authoritarians, and falling in line is their thing. Their coalition is largely homogeneous (almost entirely white, more rural and religious Christian, mostly evangelical). It's easier to keep everyone in the tent when there's less diversity in the tent. Democrats sometimes need to vary their message. And the media doesn't treat the Democrats fairly either - which is not to say that I think Democrats should just accept that - but that's a consideration as well. Can Joe Manchin win if the WV media is attributing the national Democratic platform to him? Do we prefer to be a pure minority to being a majority that can stop Trump's agenda and retake Congress and the White House in 2020?

Can you tell me what the Democrats' message for 2006 was, other than that the Republicans had royally fucked everything up? They still won in a landslide.

I think one lesson of the election last year is that the policies you run on are maybe not that important, tribalism will get you most of the way regardless. Trump did not run on cutting Medicaid, filling the cabinet with Wall Street bankers, etc. I think if Democrats get into office, they should govern to the left of where things have been. And I also think they should nuke the filibuster, pass sweeping voting rights protections, ram DC statehood through on a party-line vote, and potentially even play hardball on the judiciary (possibly packing the courts to compensate for McConnell's unprecedented obstructionism denying Obama's appointments). I'm far less certain that's what they should run on. So many people have opinions on what Democrats need to do to win*, and while they've made mistakes, I don't really see any reason to think that everything they've been doing is wrong. If Democrats in red states don't think they can win on an unabashedly progressive platform... maybe they're right? But when it came down to it, Pelosi got the votes in Congress despite having vulnerable members. And if we blow up the filibuster, getting the votes in the Senate will be easier than before.

On the other hand, the special election results so far indicate that Democrats might win the House popular vote by around 10 pts, and that could expand to even more in the wake of the Republicans' unpopular healthcare and tax "reform" pushes, and Trump's approval potentially sinking even lower (note that he has yet to face a real crisis that's not of his own making... or even a single hurricane response). Not to be triumphalist or complacent, but the encouraging results shouldn't have us thinking "OMG we're doing everything wrong!"

*And I'll note that some of those leftist critics actually have evidence against their ability to win. Nina Turner's been touring the country shitting on Democrats... her experience? Being appointed to an ultra-safe state senate seat in Cleveland, being reelected unopposed and then running statewide in Ohio and losing by 24 pts. But she knows how to win. (I think she's just a grifter who saw Bernie Sanders as her ticket... if she had stuck with Clinton she'd be a total nobody right now.)
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  #1269  
Old 07-26-2017, 03:22 PM
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Fucking twat. It's Hezbollah fighting al-Qaeda and ISIS with a little assistance from the Lebanese army and the Syrian army. Just one of the many, many things he doesn't have a single clue about.

Trump hails Lebanese Army ‘gains’ against ISIL, calls Hezbollah terrorists: video
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  #1270  
Old 07-26-2017, 06:26 PM
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Even the AP noticed:

Quote:
President Donald Trump is not up to speed on who's fighting whom in the Middle East.

An AP Fact Check finds that the president wrongly credited the Lebanese government with fighting Hezbollah when he heaped praise on its prime minister at the White House on Tuesday. Hezbollah actually is a partner in the Lebanese government, with two cabinet seats.
News from The Associated Press
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  #1271  
Old 07-26-2017, 06:34 PM
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Default Re: News Miscellany

Considering his 3 A.M. twitter ranks and blocking sessions, I don't think the president is up on anything but who hates him and what he's going to say about them in his next speech to the kindergartners of America.
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:13 AM
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Default Re: News Miscellany

Quote:
Originally Posted by Watser? View Post
Even the AP noticed:

Quote:
President Donald Trump is not up to speed on who's fighting whom in the Middle East.

An AP Fact Check finds that the president wrongly credited the Lebanese government with fighting Hezbollah when he heaped praise on its prime minister at the White House on Tuesday. Hezbollah actually is a partner in the Lebanese government, with two cabinet seats.
News from The Associated Press
Trump makes Dubya look like a Rhodes scholar.
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  #1273  
Old 07-27-2017, 08:37 AM
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Default Re: News Miscellany

Seriously. I never thought I'd find myself longing for the days when we had a relatively sane and intelligent person in the White House, like Dubya.
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Old 07-27-2017, 04:14 PM
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Default Re: News Miscellany

Shocker! Hack business journalist lets business owner make false claims about minimum wage:

Zane Tankel is a franchise owner of Applebee's in the state of New York. He's blaming having to let workers go due to the minimum wage (and Obama!).

More Minimum Wage Misdirection, Stuart Varney Edition - The Big Picture

Quote:
VARNEY: You dropped 500 people?
TANKEL: Yes, sir. Yes, sir. About 15 percent of our total labor force.
VARNEY: Is that directly because of minimum wage?
TANKEL: 100 percent. 100 percent. Obama had a little bit of it, but 100 percent minimum wage.
Except, Applebee's as a brand has been losing sales year over year, even worse that other casual dining chains.

Quote:
Applebee’s domestic same-restaurant sales declined 5.0% in 2016. While this performance should be assessed in the context that 2016 was the worst year in terms of sales growth for both the overall restaurant industry and the casual dining segment of the restaurant industry since 2009, Applebee’s 2016 performance with respect to domestic same-restaurant sales and customer traffic was differentially worse than that of the overall casual dining segment, based on data from Black Box Intelligence, a restaurant sales reporting firm (“Black Box”). The decline in Applebee’s domestic same-restaurant sales had an adverse impact on our 2016 franchise revenues, gross profit and net income.
(emphasis from the article)

Even if minimum wage is a reason why he fired 15% of his staff, it's not 100% the only reason - he wouldn't be laying people off if sales were going up.

I can't sum it up better:

Quote:
Shame on you for using the minimum wage as a pretext for letting workers go when the real culprits are a drastically changing landscape and apparent mismanagement.
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Old 07-27-2017, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
According to a commander of the Shuhada al-Qaryatayn Brigade, the US-led coalition warned the group not to attack the SAA after they had attacked one of the SAA positions in the Ghorab mountain area in the Damascus desert.

This warning allegedly was the main reason for the rejection of the US support and the decision to break away from the US-led coalition. Opposition media sources confirmed that the US-led coalition totally refuses to attack the SAA.

The Shuhada al-Qaryatayn Brigade is one of the largest groups supported by the US-led coalition, which is based in the At Tanf base.

It’s believed that more groups may separate from the US-led coalition in the future. The main aim of these groups is to combat the SAA instead of ISIS. Furthermore, a number of these groups had a strong relationship with the Al-Nusra Front, and a number of their fighters were former ISIS fighters in Deir Ezzor.
Shuhada al-Qaryatayn Brigade Cuts Off Its Relations With US-led Coalition In At Tanf

SAA is Syrian Arab Army.
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