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Guard Dog

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Posts posted by Guard Dog

  1. Following the trumps legal team press conference. So Biden‘s victory was actually a conspiracy between Venezuela and Cuba and China? That’s amazing! This sounds like a Brad Thor novel! I take it Rudy Giuliani will be the action hero that will save the day? Quite a story LOL

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  2. OK, for those of you who think we "wasted our vote" on Jo Jorgensen (particularly a certain half-orc bhaalspawn lawyer from west of the Rockies) the numbers are in:

    • In Georgia Jorgensen won 62059 votes. Trump lost by 14163
    • In Pennsylvania Jorgensen received 78431. Trump lost by 60233.
    • In Arizona the LP ticket got 50636. Trump lost by 12813
    • In Wisconsin they had 38393, Trump lost by 20557 

    Now, as I have stated many, many times Libertarians are not Republicans. But they are anti-Democrats on most issues. The Democrats are the party of big tax, big regulation, gun control, eminent domain, suppression of speech, suppression of property rights, collectivism, etc. Libertarians find some common ground with the Dems in social issues but in any sort of "lesser evil" calculation we tend well towards Republicans.

    If just 46.9% of these 229000+ libertarian voters took the advice, so often given unbidden, about not "wasting" our votes Donald Trump would be starting a second term in 63 days rather than catching a one way ticket home. 

    And to the Republicans who are bitching incessantly about us being "spoilers", if you want Libertarian votes try being more libertarian. You used to be. I'd give the same advice to Democrats but that would be a waste of time.  

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  3. 2 hours ago, Achilles said:

     

     You can't beat the drum of "government bad" at every opportunity and then expect the rest of us to assume that there's nuance in your position.

     

    That is a very fair criticism. Going foreword I'll elucidate a bit more in our exchanges. 

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  4. President Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign was powered by a cell phone app that allowed staff to monitor the movements of his millions of supporters, and offered intimate access to their social networks.

    Turns out Big Brother really was watching!

    This forum (and a few others) is as close as I get to social media. My Facebook account exists solely so I can play chess online for free. I don't do twitter, instagram, or the other stuff. I have few apps on my iPhone and my Kindle is a paperwhite does books only. I keep telling myself one day I'll turn all this s--t off for good. 

    Except the Kindle. And SiriusXM. Never giving that up.

     

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  5. 24 minutes ago, Pidesco said:

    As far as I am aware the ACA as implemented in Massachusetts before 2010 worked ok. The main issue with the ACA as implemented was (and is) malicious (as opposed to well intentioned) interference by the GOP. The real main-main problem though is that the wondrous invisible hand of the free market was allowed to run rampant on US's healthcare systems for, I guess, decades.

    Actual universal health care, as implemented in most industrialized countries, is much cheaper per capita, and delivers better health outcomes than whatever Frankenstein's monster that can reasonably be put in place in the US, be it the ACA or whatever hybrid replacement legislators can come up with. The blame for the current and worsening state of affairs can be laid squarely on the free market and the federal government's consistent laissez faire attitude.

    The ACA is not health CARE. It's health INSURANCE. It compels everyone to BUY insurance and makes some people pay more for it so some can pay less. It does nothing  to address the problem of why health insurance is even needed: out of control costs of health CARE. 

    The problem most Republicans had with the ACA was the "thou shalt buy insurance, and only from who we say. And thou shalt pay for the insurance of the people who would never vote for thee!"

  6. 48 minutes ago, Hurlshot said:

    Healthcare prices were already skyrocketing before ACA though. As you said, insurance companies were already using regional exclusivity, the government just reinforced that. I totally agree that the government should not have got involved the way they did, because they basically just joined the already broken medical insurance business. We need a completely different system, and there are a number of more successful models out there for us to look at internationally.

    The trouble with these widgets is everyone needs them. They are a necessity for any country that wants to claim to be great. Just like providing an education to every young person is a necessity for any great country, health care should be treated similarly. It should not be considered a widget any more than teaching kids to read and write.

    OK so you're talking about single payer health care. Well, the problems with applying that to the US have been discussed at length on this forum and elsewhere. How do you control cost. How do you pay for it. How do you avoid the pitfalls. Ever been treated in a VA hospital or clinic? I have. It's s--t. There are real hurdles that make that kind of thing impossible in the US.

    But there ARE things that can be done easier. Instead of swinging for the fences we should be looking to hit a bloop single or two. National Catastrophic healthcare. Instead of covering everything from band aids to brain surgery focus a public provided heath care only for big ticket illnesses and injury. Oh you have cancer? Come on in. we'll help. Oh you need stiches, got a cold, broke your wrist? The clinic is right over there. Bring your checkbook.  

    Another way to go, in the vein of treating healthcare like education would be single payer coverage for all children up to age 18 for example. Typically speaking kids are healthy. It will likely be a much lower cost than covering a mixed age adult population of the same size and take a lot of the burden of cost off of families. 

    Those ideas MIGHT be workable. But we'll never do it. We'll keep letting perfect be the enemy of good and do nothing.

    Now, if it were up to me I'd go a completely different way. But you've heard those arguments many times before.  

     

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  7. 20 minutes ago, Hurlshot said:

    I feel like Healthcare is currently much higher, given the entire insurance industry makes a tremendous amount of money simply by acting as a middle man in the market. You also have big Pharma raking in tons of money, and even hospitals run on a healthy profit margin. My guess would be 50's-60's, although I guess you could separate the various parts of the medical industry out. 

     

    The healthcare system we have is the product of well-intentioned government meddling. Look at what the affordable care act did. It told us “thou shall buy health insurance“. Furthermore it said “thou shall buy health insurance only from companies we allow to sell to you”. It reinforced an existing practice of giving insurance companies regional exclusivity to markets. And so the price goes up. Because of course it does. If the government decides everyone must buy widgets and decides only certain companies get to sell widgets and those companies are not in competition with each other what happens to the price of widgets? Furthermore if you cannot afford a widget other people will have to pay more for their widgets to help you buy yours. Is there anything in this that would make you think the price of healthcare would go down? This could all be fixed in one way: any insurance company can sell any policy to anyone anywhere from sea to shining sea. When they actually start competing with each other prices will drop. That of course is only for the cost of health coverage. Reducing the cost of healthcare itself is a whole horse of another color. And that will require a big government step back. As opposed to the little one I just suggested

  8. 20 minutes ago, Hurlshot said:

    @Guard Dog According to your scale, whereabout is the healthcare industry in this country? 

    What about Education?

    Education is primarily a government enterprise. LOL. Although given governments inability to get out of its own way you could probably say the government is interfering in education as well. Healthcare probably in the low 40s and heading in the wrong direction.


     

  9. I'm cautiously optimistic that Biden can strike the right tone and return the office of the Presidency to where it belongs before Obama & Trump (and partially GWB) turned it into the monster it has become. He & Mitch McConnell have been friends for decades and likely can work with each other. He MIGHT be able to fend off the predations of the crazy lefties of his party (far less optimistic on that count) and while he s no better than any of the other pigs in Jones's Farmhouse at least he's no worse. Unlike his soon to be predecessor. 

    I think this is the right move: Biden hopes to avoid divisive Trump investigations

     

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  10. Dinner last night was most awesome. Sunny & I drove down to the Lauderdale river landing and did some fishing from the bank. After just 10 minutes I hooked a nice sized largemouth Bass. All across the USA & world there are pro shops selling billions of dollars worth of fancy lures and fishing tackle. They can keep all that trash. Nightcrawlers, crickets, minnows, & shiners. That is all you will ever need!

    The fish was a big enough for two filets. I dipped it in cornmeal batter and pan fried and served up with butterbeans & pear sauce (applesauce made with pears). Freshwater fish is seriously underrated for dinner!

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  11. 4 hours ago, ComradeMaster said:

    I get what you're saying, strong centralized governments need to be checked on from time to time, but state and federal power should be complimentary rather than antagonistic. 

    If Uncle Sam limited himself to those power enumerated to each branch in articles 1-3 I think it would be complimentary. Too bad that ship sailed a long time ago.

  12. 21 hours ago, Achilles said:

    Of course it is. Anyone who's taken their nose out of Atlas Shrugged long enough to see how the real world actually works knows this.

    The final sentence in your post is the funniest thing I'll read today. Bravo.

    EDIT

    Consider this: you and I share a love of books. Based on some of the exchanges we've had, I think it's fair to say that our tastes even overlap at times. For the sake of argument, assume for a moment that you and I are the most well-read members of the forum (not likely, but we're having thought experiment time right now). The fact that you and I can't agree on the most important take aways from the same ****ing books should tell you a lot about how foolishly optimistic your post sounds. We can't even get people to not cheat on **** that doesn't matter, yet it's realistic to think that bad actors will somehow regulate themselves in a free market? Come on, man.

     

    OK, think about a scale that runs from 0-100. Zero is state managed, heavily regulated capitalism. 100 is complete laissez faire, kill or be killed capitalism. No one in their right mind wants 0 or 100. 1-10 and 90-99 are not really desirable either. So what we are really debating is where on that scale we need to be. Right now we (the USA) are about a 48 to 55 depending on what industry you're looking at. The Democrats (most of them) want us in the mid to high 30's. The Republicans want us somewhere between 58 & 62. The US Green Party is around 25. Comrade Master sounds like a 21 to me. You, I figure, are 45.  The US Libertarian Party is about an 80. Personally I'm about a 75. 

    I will repeat though... NO ONE wants 100 or 0. What you were describing was about a 99-100. So why is it when someone who wants the needle above 50 and starts bitching when it dips below is automatically assumed to want anarchy?  Is the idea of leaving people free to manage their own lives with minimal government supervision really so alien? Hardly. An no one is arguing that supervision should be done away with completely. That would be national suicide. So does this clarify my position a little better here? 

  13. So I was talking to a friend of mine online this weekend. She told me she was considering getting a Furbo for her dog. She wanted to know what my opinion of it was. I told her I didn’t think much of them. She thought of it as a way to help her dog with separation anxiety. I told her that’s not how a dog’s mind works. The dog will form a relationship with the machine and not associate it to her. Not saying that’s a bad thing necessarily if it helps with separation anxiety I just wanted her to know it does not work the way she thinks it does. So she asked me how sunny deals with it when I’m not here. And then it hit me. I’ve been working from home since April. Everywhere I have been since then with the exception of two trips to Kroger sunny has come with. We have literally not been away from each other more than 45 minutes total in seven months. She’s probably sick of me!

  14. 12 minutes ago, BruceVC said:

    This story is making  me feel very nervous for some reason that and  is a little confusing because I am missing something ?

    What would Pence pardon Trump for? Also what is the purpose of the a new " loyal electors vote "
    , could this somehow swing these states to the Republican side .....that would surly undermine the sacrosanct purpose of a persons right to select a candidate through the normal vote ?

    Electors are chose by the state legislature. They are pledged to vote for the winner of the Presidential election of that state. But the state legislature is not legally beholden to the outcome of the election. They could, theoretically, go another way. It has never been done to my knowledge and is as near unthinkable as it gets in American politics. Not the least of which they know torches and pitchforks will follow. And what President would even want to be in office under such a cloud? Prior to this one I'd have said "none".

    There have been instances of "faithless electors" who went rouge and voted how they liked. In fact in 2016 Democrats were begging for Republican electors to install Hillary. But what Trump is doing is so much worse. This isn't people asking for a favor. This is a President discussion collaborating with a Legislature to take power unelected. Like I said. Horrifying.

    Incidentally many states are passing laws to prevent faithless electors. The Supreme Court has already said this is OK. I agree.

     

    As for what kind of a pardon Trump might be hoping for, there are still numerous court cases. some with criminal implications, going against him. But what he really fears I think is IRS trouble and things that may come to light after he is gone. 

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  15. So I read in three different news sources yesterday that Trump is again asking if the Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Arizona Legislatures (all Republican controlled) could be asked to appoint "loyal electors" and re-elect him in defiance of the state vote. That a US President would even ask that is horrifying. But after four years of this SOB not surprising. 

    The latest story is that he will pardon everyone he feels "loyal" to and then resign the office before Jan 20th so a President Pence can pardon him. I've always thought highly of Pence before he became associated with Trump. I always thought he had integrity. As Trump's VP he has a role to play but if he becomes President, even if only a matter of days, that integrity will be put to the test. I hope he passes, issues no pardons, and heads off into the retirement he was planning before he became Trump's running mate. He owes Trump nothing and Trump surely deserves nothing. 

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