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paul beard
Lifelong learner and teacher
Lifelong learner and teacher

paul's posts

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Putting some meat on the bones of the old idea "better to be silent and called a fool than open your mouth and prove it…" 

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Seems his First 100 Days are not looking all that productive, what with those pesky courts and the suddenly gun-shy Congress. Do we look for a withdrawal from NAFTA sometime in his remaining four days?

President Donald Trump’s top advisers are embroiled in a debate over how aggressively to proceed on reshaping U.S. participation in the North American Free Trade Agreement, with hard-liners favoring a threatened withdrawal as soon as this week and others advocating for a more measured approach to reopening negotiations with Canada and Mexico.

Some of Trump’s advisers want a dramatic move before Trump’s 100th day in office on Saturday to fulfill a key campaign promise, while others say he can let the milestone pass and revisit the issue later through more formal procedures, according to two White House officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

His ego is tied to something big, some kind of win…what will it be? What can Bannon talk him into? 

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"Seattle has gone so far off the left cliff that the rest of the county is paying for Seattle's craziness," Fortunato said. "So my dream is Seattle could be King County, and they could do whatever the heck they want, They could have a $25 minimum wage. They could give away free needles. They can do whatever the heck they want, they just can't do it with my money."

And phoning in from reality…

King County Executive Dow Constantine, a Democrat, said the Legislature has more important things to do right now.

"Since they failed to do their job during the regular session, and the Governor had to call them back, maybe they should now focus on adequately funding the education of our schoolchildren, rather than more cheap political stunts," Constantine said in a statement.

The state has fined itself millions as a result of a court decision over it's inability to uphold the state's paramount duty, to adequately fund public education. Yes, the state lege has a lot more important work to do. But part of me is actually OK with this idea. If the rest of King County wants to break off and call itself Freedom County or whatever, fine. I suspect Martin Luther King County spends a lot on bus service and other services: those funds might be better spent closer to where they are collected.

I can ride from where I live to Enumclaw, in the shadow of Mount Rainier, on a King County Metro bus. 50+ miles. Or I could get to and from North Bend — over 30 miles — for the same fare as I pay to go downtown.

I'm sure a lot of people who rely on the services provided by the craziness of Seattle might push back on this but it might be interesting to let it happen and then remind anyone who wants to renew the old arrangement how it works, what it costs. You know, like Theresa May is learning about Brexit. 

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Today is the fourteenth anniversary of the day when Charles Krauthammer announced to the world:

Hans Blix had five months to find weapons. He found nothing. We’ve had five weeks. Come back to me in five months. If we haven’t found any, we will have a credibility problem.
It’s now been 168 months since that confident pronouncement – or, put differently, we’ve seen 33.6 Krauthammer Credibility Intervals come, and then go, without any sign of self-assessment, let alone personal acceptance of responsibility for his prominent cheerleading for a war that led to hundreds of thousands of deaths. Still out there opining.

14 years and there are still US soldiers fighting and dying as a result of his "credibility problem," as well as civilians. 

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As Trump's bizarre presidency nears the 100 days in office milestone, he still has not released his own personal tax returns, or any details on his own vast family business of global holdings and shell companies. That lack of transparency means nobody knows if any of his tax plan is self-dealing. With Trump, it's best to assume that everything is self-dealing, unless proven otherwise.

So why not just report it like that, with the assumption that he and his will be eligible for every break, every exemption, every loophole? Let him prove the opposite…

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So now, the president of the United States of America, whose sons now technically run his companies, will be forced to either admit he got beat by a tiny Miami paint company or will need to file a whole appeal to the Florida Supreme Court over $32,000 in paint. Good thing he "became president"

Running America like a business. Winning.

When does that actually start? 

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An excerpt from a much longer presentation…could this be a rallying cry akin to the Tea Party rant from Wall St a few years back?

What do we want as a society? Have we had enough of this kind of treatment, of being treated like cattle? Actually cattle have more value than we do but let's not give them any ideas about eating us.

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In a new paper in International Studies Quarterly, John Quiggin and Henry Farrell argue that politicians get in trouble when they buck a consensus among economists, but when economists are divided, they can simply ignore the ones they disagree with -- so politicians spend a lot of time looking for economists who agree with their policies, then elevate them to the same status as their peers in order to create a safe, blame-free environment to operate in.

Isn't that the old joke, that if you laid the world's economists end to end, you would still never reach a conclusion?

Politics is applied economics, just as technology is applied physics. Every political idea is the application of some economic theory, just as engineering and technology are physics taken out of the lab and put to work. 

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As we’ve seen on so many fronts, it’s like Trump didn’t get that all of this stuff is really complex and trade-offs must be faced repeatedly and not always with easy answers.

This is all strong evidence against tenure limits on congressional reps and senators. You don't want a new crop of rookies learning on the job, every few cycles. Here we have a president who sees everything through his experience of bluster and business psy-ops and the world outside the NYC real state scene is more complex than that.

This also proves how difficult it is to really move the needle on big changes, that there are existing systems and entrenched players who can outlast you. 

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This, in turn, is an epiphenomena of the Thomas Piketty apocalypse: an ever-tinier slice of the population controls an ever-growing proportion of the world's wealth, so entire industries become obsessed with selling super-premium products to a highly select group of customers: we have a glut of luxury penthouses (safe deposit boxes in the sky that are primarily treated as investments) and a shortage of affordable housing (used as shelter).

In other words, mainstream Americans (below the .1%) are now feeling the same squeeze the developing world has been feeling for quite some time, that a small group of people enjoys access to a lot of the available resources and controls the force needed to maintain that system.

To use one of the memes all the kids are sharing these days…do you want a violent corrective revolution? Because that's how you get a violent corrective revolution. 
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