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Author Topic:   The Biden Presidency
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Message 64 of 473 (884233)
01-31-2021 1:04 AM
Reply to: Message 62 by LamarkNewAge
01-30-2021 4:10 PM

Re: Trump tax cuts were only $150 billion a year, at most.
Trump did increase the standard deduction for EVERY person by a good amount, ...
While at the same time taking our personal exemptions away! Including the exemptions you used to be able take for each dependent! Basically, the amount that he raised your standard deduction was just slightly more than the personal exemption he took away from you!
IOW, Trump robbed you of your personal exemption and tacked in onto the standard deduction just so he would falsely claim credit and solicit praise for giving you "a big tax break" by "doubling your standard deduction". And you fell for his tricks yet again!
We've gone over this a few times already! Tax Talk: Message 1, Message 7.
Oh, and our taxes are set to go up this year all because of Trump and the Great GOP Tax Scam of 2017. Tax reductions for the 99% were both small and temporary. Trump and the GOP designed them to go up after the next election so that they could blame it on the Democrats, when in reality it was a booby trap set by the GOP. Oh, and the tax cuts for the rich? Permanent!
Are you going to fall for that Trump/GOP trick too?

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 Message 62 by LamarkNewAge, posted 01-30-2021 4:10 PM LamarkNewAge has not replied

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Message 79 of 473 (884411)
02-16-2021 2:24 PM
Reply to: Message 78 by Percy
02-16-2021 1:05 PM

Re: Democrats are inheriting another fiscal mess.
I refer you back again to the bond rating agencies. If our debt were truly growing beyond our ability to repay, why are our bonds still rated AAA?
Refer to the rating agency scene in The Big Short (
So basically, the rating agencies are in business to make money. And if they don't give their customers the rating that they want, then that customer will just go down the street to another agency to get the desired rating. That is one reason why those CDOs filled with sub-prime "dog sh*t" mortgage bonds could get repackaged and become "diversified" and so be given A, AA, even AAA ratings.
So one reason why we keep our AAA rating is because we need to. If our rating were to drop, then that would be disastrous.
That came out during the 2013 nonsensical "debate" by the know-less-than-nothing Tea Party Republican idiots over the debt ceiling. The problem was that those idiots had no clue what the debt ceiling even is, so they wanted to vote against it. The problem with that is that the debt ceiling is not for incurring more debt, but rather to enable us to make payments on our existing debt. So that means that voting against raising the debt ceiling is voting for us to default on paying our debt. And that stated refusal to even try to pay on our debt would have lowered the rating on our bonds, making our debt far more expensive and driving the country towards financial ruin.
All I'm saying here is that the rating on a bond is not as objective as it's supposed to be, so this is slightly more than a quibble. There can be and often are other factors which could make or keep a bond's rating artificially high. Though even then, they can keep that up for only so long.
Phat does suffer from a common problem of not understanding how things work. Few members of the general public do and the demagogues and sleazy defense lawyers (eg, Trump's defense team in this latest impeachment trial) make full use of that general ignorance.
Of course, it really doesn't help when those demagogues (eg, the Trump Administration, the GOP) also doesn't understand how anything works.
BTW and a slight tangential shift, I only learned about the practice of redlining a couple years ago. I have been aware of discriminatory housing policies for most of my life (I'm 69), just not the actual tactics used.
Part of redlining fell on the companies selling the mortgages to minorities. Instead of selling them proper mortgages, they would steer their customers to the sub-prime "dog sh*t" loans that ended up in those CDOs behind the 2008 housing market crash.

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Message 80 of 473 (884416)
02-16-2021 9:57 PM
Reply to: Message 77 by Phat
02-16-2021 10:33 AM

Re: Democrats are inheriting another fiscal mess.
Because unlike our mortgage, the principal on this debt keeps growing...lately to the tune of over a trillion dollars a year.
Gee, that's an interesting amount. Sounds so very familiar. Just where did I hear that one before? Hmm?
Oh yeah! The Great GOP Tax Scam of 2017! The one that gave massive tax cuts to the very rich, thus blowing a one trillion dollar per year hole in the deficit!
And immediately both Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan went into a big panic over how much the deficit had just grown (while of course avoiding any reference to what was causing that huge increase) and how they would have to make massive cuts to both Social Security and Medicare to fight that deficit. Even though neither program has any effect on the deficit.
And trusting Percy's reporting of your posting history, why is it that you are only now complaining about that trillion-dollar deficit and didn't do so when the GOP originally pulled their scam over three years ago?
Would that be because it's only now that your right-wing handlers are themselves complaining about it? So that they can blame it on the new Biden Administration instead of on the f*cking Republicans who actually created it?
OBTW, the taxes of us working stiffs (even though I'm a retired working stiff) are going to go up this year. Because of the Great GOP Tax Scam of 2017! The rich got massive tax cuts which are permanent, whereas we working stiffs only got some measly table scraps as small tax cuts. But ours were only temporary and deliberately set to expire this year! That way, if Trump had won the election, then he could "save us with another tax cut" which would have blown yet another trillion-dollar hole in the deficit. And if he didn't win (which he didn't), then the GOP could blame their carefully crafted tax increase on the Democrats.
That's part of a GOP tactic called "Good Santa, Bad Santa". A Republican administration will spend so freely that it makes drunken sailors look like misers, thus leaving the economy in a shambles. The incoming Democratic administration is then left to clean up the Republicans' massive mess and restore the economy, but in the process they have to practice fiscal responsibility and cannot do the good things for the country that they want to do. Add to that that in a Republican administration they will spend freely without any funding to back it up (eg, Dubya starting two wars without any funding) and drive up the deficit without any mention of that deficit, but then when they're out of power suddenly they are screaming from the rooftops about the deficit. When they are out of power, then the deficit is the most important thing there could possibly be, but then when they are in power then it's suddenly "what's a deficit?".
You need to learn and think in terms of how things actually work. Forming false analogies leaves with just that: falsehoods and false ideas.
I should warn you that I took a class in accounting half a century ago, hence some of my terminology and concepts.
The national debt is not like a mortgage in that it's not a single loan taken out for a single item of capital (eg, equipment, vehicles, real estate). If you try to treat the national debt as a single loan, then that is a false analogy that will only deceive you.
Rather, it's a way of conducting business, a very common way. Mind you, we are starting to engage in another common false analogy (ie, that a successful businessman would be ideal to run the government) in that you cannot run the government like a business even though some of the skills would be transferable 1.
Having to reach back half a century to do this from memory (so some detailed terminology may be a bit wonky), every accounting entity (eg, a business) has four basic kinds of accounts: assets (what you own; eg, cash, capital, accounts receivable), liabilities (what you owe; eg, loans, accounts payable), revenues (sources of income; eg, pay, interest revenue, sales, appreciation of your capital items), and expenses (non-capital things you have to pay for and sundry losses; food, non-capital purchases, utility bills, rent, taxes, interest expenses, depreciation of your capital items). The interplay of changes to your assets and liabilities are tracked through transactions between them and your revenues and expenses. Using the T account system, those transactions are represented by debiting one or more accounts while crediting one or more other accounts by an equal amount -- that's why your accounts must always balance.
There are additional concepts. When you compare assets with liabilities, you come up with a figure called equity (ie, E = A - L). That is your net worth. When you compare revenues with expenses, then you come up with a figure called net revenue (ie, NR = R - E). If your expenses are greater than your revenues (ie, your net revenue is negative), then you are running a deficit.
Another important concept is that of liquidity, which is basically how much of your assets are readily available to spend. That's usually seen as cash, though liquid assets can take other forms which I'm not very familiar with. For example, you could have half a million dollars of equity in real estate (if you own a home, minus the principal on the the mortgage you could be in that same situation), but you cannot spend any of that half-mill until you either sell that property or use it as collateral for a loan. Keep that in mind.
BTW, your checking account and all your banking statements work on that same system. And for decades I used T accounts manually for our household finances until I discovered Quicken circa 1990, which did the same thing but also saved my sanity. My then-wife had me balance her checking account every month. She made all her purchases with checks and then with her ATM card. She had bad habits of not logging all purchases in her check register (the missing checks were easy to track down, but the ATM transactions ... ) and she would make frequent arithmetic errors in calculating her running balance. I would literally spend 4 or 5 full evenings every month struggling with her bank statement trying to get her checkbook to balance (which also involved real-time chained calculations with a calculator). Then I discovered Quicken. After the initial non-trivial task of entering past transactions into the accounts, every week I would enter her check book transactions of that week. Then when her bank account arrived, it would only take me about half an hour to balance it. One of the best things that had happened to me.
Now back to the topic. A business (nor a government) does not operate like paying off a single loan, but rather that is just one specific task. So how does a business operate?
A business is an on-going concern. That means that it is not only continually in operation, but also that it must remain continually in operation. Thus it's a complex interplay between many factors, principal among which are accounts payable, accounts receivable, expenses, revenues, liquidity, and timing. Of which timing is the most crucial. And the primary reason why so many viable businesses went under in the 2008 crisis because of the big banks who were "too big to fail".
OK, picture yourself as the CFO (Chief Financial Officer of a company, the "money man"). Your company manufactures a product. Its salesmen sell that product to customers who place orders, receive shipments, receive bills for those shipments, and eventually pay those bills (hopefully) -- those outstanding bills are called "accounts receivable". Your manufacturing department in the meantime order parts to fill those orders and receives bills from its suppliers which you need to pay -- those outstanding bills that you have not paid yet are called "accounts payable." In addition, you have rent and utilities to pay for, as well as payroll -- the big bragging right of a former CEO running for public office is "making payroll", whereas it was his CFO who actually accomplished that. That is a helluva lot of juggling the CFO has to do, all of it time-critical -- eg, as a junior enlisted all our bills were due at the end of the month which is when I got paid, so not only was almost all of my pay allocated to bills, but I also had to time the mailing of those payments just right, so I literally lived through that kind of experience.
One of the topics in my accounting class was short-term business loans. Making payroll requires total liquidity (AKA "cash"). Accounts receivable are not liquid. You literally could have millions of dollars in accounts receivable and still come not be able to make $10,000 in payroll. For that you need short-term business loans which most banks give out fairly freely provided you have the proper collateral. So, you have a lot of assets tied up in accounts receivable but you need cash right now to be able to pay more immediate expenses including making payroll. You take your books to the bank to demonstrate to them your assets and negotiate a short-term loan for a couple months or so. And even though you pay that one off, you're back in there in another month or two to make the same deal. Even though you have a successful business going there, you still need to use a series of short-term loans to continue to operate, basically keeping you continually in debt.
Now think of this regarding the need to minimize liquidity. I made Chief Petty Officer in a Navy Reserve warehousing unit and attended a Navy warehousing class with a fellow Chief and our unit's XO, a Supply Officer (AKA "SUPPO", AKA "Pork Chop"). Our XO worked for Toyota and we had many discussions of Toyota's "just in time" manufacturing and inventory strategy -- this also has a bearing on why there was such a toilet paper shortage at the outbreak of this COVID outbreak a year ago 2. Creating and maintaining an inventory costs money. Building a car requires a lot of parts. The longer you have to store those parts as inventory, the more it costs you. Therefore, ideally you would store those parts for as short a time as possible. Hence, "just in time" inventory control, such that you would schedule the arrival of the parts for a car to be just before they were needed to be installed. A running joke among us when we would go out to dinner would be to pre-stage the sugars for his coffee so that they would arrive "just in time" for consumption.
The point for liquidity is that while you need a certain amount of liquidity to meet your immediate business needs, maintaining that kind of liquidity can be very expensive. Such that the interest that you would need to pay for a short-term loan to give you that kind of liquidity would end up being less expensive than maintaining that degree of liquidity all on your own.
Therefore, keeping yourself in a perpetual state of indebtedness could be the best business decision. And if you have bought into the false analogy that the best way to run a business is the best way to run a government, then just what are you complaining about?
A single individual wants to rid himself of all debt. I know that and I have achieved that (for so many decades, my greatest fear was to retire with an outstanding mortgage, but I avoided that). I cannot avoid assuming that you are of similar mind to me, ignoring your own individual financial situation (which I am not inquiring about). My one sister keeps congratulating me on my genius financial decisions, while in reality I just stumbled upon it by maximizing my 401(k) contributions (didn't need the money at the time) and pushing hard to pay off my mortgage before retirement (that aforementioned fear of mine).
But a business needs to use indebtedness and assets, etc, as an instrument for engaging in business.
Liquidity is a liability (in the non-accountant sense). If too much of your assets are liquid, then you are dead in the water as a business. Therefore when you require liquidity, then you best acquire that liquidity through business loans, based on the collateral you have in your non-liquid assets, including your accounts receivable.
Unfortunately, that very common business practice led to the ruin of many viable businesses in 2008 when the banks that were too big to fail and had gotten bailed out then refused to issue the standard short-term business loans to small businesses. Causing them to go under.

Here's another false analogy which demonstrates why the "running the government like a business" false analogy is so wrong. This one is "dancing is just like Aikido."
Aikido is a new Japanese martial art form from the 1920's and 1930's which was based largely on the movements of kendo (The Way of the Sword). It means "The Way of Harmonizing the Life Force" (Ki, which is basically "The Force").
The school that I had followed mainly emphasized "Ki development". All the techniques involved blending our motion with the motion of the attacker. If you ever tried to use physical strength, then you would fail. There were a number of basic principles, such as always moving from your center, keeping your weight to the underside, extending your mind, etc.
A few decades later when I started to learn salsa, while learning the footwork and turns, moving from my center and extending my mind came naturally. Turning the lady, especially the inside turns, also came naturally (ie, don't try to move her directly, but rather move her hand between the two of you, which leads her arm, which leads her shoulder, which leads her body all without you having to force anything.
At the end of that very first dance class, all the ladies were raving about my strong and smooth lead, while in reality all I did was apply my Aikido training.
However, in Aikido all movement is from the center. The strategy of defense is to blend with the attacker and become one with him, but with YOUR center being the center around which both of you moved. So basically your goal was to keep the attacker off balance throughout.
In dancing, that is not the goal. You want both of you to be balanced and centered an in control of your own selves.
Therefore, while a knowledge of Aikido can help you to learn to partner dance, trying to apply all that you learned from Aikido would prove disastrous.

The toilet paper shortage explained.
Initially, it was panic. But that only exposed a basic supply issue.
At a Navy Supply Corps UADPS school (Uniform Automated Data Processing System formerly used to run the US Navy's supply system), we were schooled (among other things) on low-water levels as well as lead time. When you need a part, it will take a certain amount of time for it to arrive -- that is the lead time. In order to avoid unavailability of that part because of lead time, the system used usage rates of that part to determine at which point in the inventory it would run out of that part -- that is that part's "low water mark". The system was set up to determine that low-water mark for every single part it carried in order to ensure that we would never run out of those parts.
Let's face it, capitalism rules. Even Karl Marx freely admitted that capitalism is extremely successful, though so successful that in his mind it would destroy itself (watch "Genius of the Modern World" on Netflix). To cut exposition short (believe me, you would thank me for that), toilet paper is very problematic. It is very bulky, so keeping a lot of it in inventory is very expensive. But it is also very cheap and therefore not worth that kind of investment in keeping it in inventory. IOW, toilet paper is something that you want to be able to move very quickly (absolutely no puns intended there).
But there's a second wrinkle. There are two entirely different and separate toilet paper markets, neither of which is able to cross over to take advantage of this pandemic situation.
We have a residential TP market, the people buying commercially available product to use at home. More plies, plusher. Now being used at a much greater rate since everybody's been stuck at home. Even without the panic buying and desire to produce pet obstacle courses with all that hoarded TP, the increases demand for residential TP is to be expected. As a result, we experienced shortages in that market.
We also have a commercial TP market. That single-ply stuff you find in all public and business restrooms. But during the pandemic, demand for this TP diminished vastly, resulting in a surplus of such TP -- I have seen recommendations that one connect with janitorial services in order to score some TP.
An additional wrinkle to this entire story is that those two TP markets are truly separate from each other. The mills that produce commercial TP cannot produce residential TP, nor can the mills that produce residential TP produce commercial TP.
Humorous aside: I started college half a century ago as a German major. I was informed of a German TV TP commercial which I had not personally seen. It showed you two peaches. The first peach they rubbed with sandpaper. The second they rubbed with their product. Your choice.
BTW, the sandpaper choice was not too far off from reality. I'm sure that I had encountered some of that when I was in Germany.

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 Message 77 by Phat, posted 02-16-2021 10:33 AM Phat has not replied

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Message 84 of 473 (884735)
03-06-2021 12:13 AM
Reply to: Message 81 by AZPaul3
03-05-2021 12:17 AM

Re: Cuomo?
Of course. The Democrats are ideologically pure. While the Republicans have no ideology.
Ethnic identity and customs.
I'm not in the second half of binging through the last season of "The Sopranos". In that hand-me-down Italian culture that they live in, what do they keep doing? Even and especially the men? They kiss each other.
Back before the actual divorce, the familia went on a two-week tour of Mexico to visit family and to see the sites.
At the end of those two weeks completely immersed in Mexican culture, a couple from church got married and I kissed the bride on the cheek completely in compliance with the norms that I had just been living for the previous two weeks. Was I appropriate or not?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 81 by AZPaul3, posted 03-05-2021 12:17 AM AZPaul3 has replied

Replies to this message:
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Message 118 of 473 (885200)
03-27-2021 11:25 PM

Biden's Re-election, Really?
Maybe this would also be appropriate for the Post-Trump thread. Whatever.
One of the right-wing press "gotcha" questions to President Biden was about whether he was planning to run for re-election. After all, Trump made that announcement almost immediately.
So why hasn't Biden already registered for re-election already? Because he's not running a huge money-making (or money-sucking) grift like Trump was always doing.
Trump's "campaign" was nothing more than a means of funneling donation money into Trump's properties and hence into his own pocket. That included charging for office space on Trump-owned properties that was never even used.
So Trump filed for re-election the earliest that he possibly could not only to put into operation that cash cow again, but also to provide a money laundering channel to receive bribes under the guise of "campaign donations."
Trump's publicity company for his billion-dollar campaign (out of which millions of dollars disappeared) was paid millions of dollars for producing nothing. My understanding is that it is being or will be investigated for money laundering.
Trump's latest "PAC", which was ostensibly created to support his legal battles but actually he can use that money any way he wants, raises another interesting question about money disappearing. The term I heard used was "cost of funding", which must be called something else because Google'ing brought up nothing. Every single charity has overhead expenses which must be paid for. Most charities try to keep that overhead as low as they can (though decades ago I heard rumors that one well known charity had overhead charges about 90% of its donations). Trump's PAC has a "cost of funding" expense of 60%. So given their stated receipts of about $700 million, that means that they skimmed about $420 million right off the top. Where did that money get funneled off to?
Biden is not Trump. He has no scam to fund by filing for re-election early.

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Message 124 of 473 (887583)
08-10-2021 10:18 PM
Reply to: Message 123 by kjsimons
08-10-2021 6:46 PM

Re: Grandpa Joe
Um, Trump sounds like a blithering idiot on a good day! On a normal day his communication skills are subhuman.
Which makes Trump the answer to the dream of democracy: he is truly representative of those who voted for him.
Of course, I apologize fully for that meanness. Ever since Jerry Lewis' "let's make fun of the handicapped" went out of fashion, we are no longer allowed to do that anymore. (refer to Tom Lehrer's into to "National Brotherhood Week"; I personally remember the intro that "That Was The Week That Was" (TW3) provided in which they detailed the then-recent events of the assassination of Malcolm X and promises of violent reprisals followed by "And so started National Brotherhood Week!!")

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Message 138 of 473 (888016)
08-29-2021 5:38 PM
Reply to: Message 137 by AZPaul3
08-29-2021 3:35 PM

Re: Afhghanistan and Global Perspective
I found similar figures published from (the name indicating its a right-wing propaganda purpose). Since I cannot post graphics, here's the information that I copied off:
Bottom 50% ( < $43,600 ) 12% of all income 3% share of all income taxes paid
Top 25%-50% ( $43,600 - $87k ) 19% of all income 10% share of all income taxes paid
Top 10%-25% ( $87k - $152k ) 21% of all income 16% share of all income taxes paid
Top 5%-10% ( $152k - $218k ) 11% of all income 11% share of all income taxes paid
Top 2%-5% ( $218k - $540k ) 16% of all income 20% share of all income taxes paid
Top 1% ( > $540k ) 21% of all income 40% share of all income taxes paid

Does everyone see their trick? The top 1% (about 3 million Americans) is defined as anyone with an income greater than $540,000, just a tiny bit more than a measly half million. That lumps together an extremely wide range of incomes, thus completely dodging the question while creating a false and misleading narrative.
The VOX video, , presents a bar graph to show who pays the most (in terms of the percentage of their income) of four kinds of taxes: income tax (progressive, so the richer pay a higher percentage), corporate and property taxes (mostly the wealthier, but the poor pay property taxes indirectly through their rent), payroll taxes (the more you earn the more you pay but only up to a point in that only the first $130,000 of your salary is taxed, so the top earners don't pay more), estate taxes (again, only the richer), and consumption taxes (everybody gets hit more or less equally, except the poor pay a much higher percentage of their income since they have to spend every dime they make, whereas the rich can only buy so much and still have money left over). Factoring in all the kinds of taxation we find that every group pays about the same percentage, except for one particular group.
The bar graph starts with 10 bars, one for each 10% of taxpayers, so its top group is the 10% richest. But then it adds an 11th bar, the 400 richest individuals, the billionaires. That would be the top 0.00012 %, or the top 0.012% of the top 1%. The video's analysis shows that those top 400 individuals do in fact not pay their fair share. And that is what this issue is about.
So these figures being circulating are hiding that top 10,000th of one percent by lumping them in with the poorest of the top 1% who make only one-half to one million a year.
For us to see what's really happening, they would need to break down that top 1% and show us the figures for that. Which they will never do since they want to avoid the truth. Figures don't lie, but liars sure can figure.
Edited by dwise1, : Added "in terms of the percentage of their income"

Edited by dwise1, : Added "individuals" to describe the top 400

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Message 172 of 473 (888644)
09-25-2021 2:04 PM
Reply to: Message 170 by PaulK
09-25-2021 12:54 PM

Re: Arizona Election Audit Shows Biden Won by EVEN MORE VOTES
In short, military and overseas voters are allowed to vote in Federal elections, the address on their ballot would be their last US address. Some people move house around the time of the vote. In addition college students and old folks heading south for the winter will be elsewhere.
Another example was leading up to either the 2016 or the 2018 election. (Calif.) One evening my friend and I were discussing how Republicans were exploiting such irregularities in order to purge those "certain people" from the rolls. Basically, the problem/question involves how voter registrars maintain and update those rolls. My understanding is that California does it through the DMV, so when you put in a changed of address with the DMV then your voter registration also gets updated.
So on a whim, we went on-line with the counter registrar to verify our own registration. Mine was good (been living here over 15 years), but hers was at an old address (since 2008, she rents and has moved a couple times). She updated her information on the spot.
So that's an artifact of the system and not an indication of voters seeking to cheat. It indicates that the registrars have to do their job to keep their rolls current, whatever that would take.
As for whether Cyber Ninjas have any clue about how elections work, they obviously don't. One of their other "critical" concerns was about a server that was "plugged into the wall" and "who owns and controls that wall?" Translated from clueless-speak, they were talking about a server that was connected to the Internet. County officials tried to explain to them repeatedly that that server housed their web site, so of course it's connected to the Internet, but it is not connected to the election system. The computers in the election system network are air-gapped, meaning that they are not connected to the Internet.
Other coverage indirectly quoted Cyber Ninjas as not believing their own conclusions that the election results were valid and kept grousing that they're sure that something fishy was going on but they just couldn't figure out what (that's mainly fueled by their desired outcome and their ignorance of how any part of an election actually works). There's also been mentioned that the DOJ informed them that it would want to discuss this travesty with them, so that apparently was enough to keep them half-way honest.
But for me, the really big question concerns the money wasted, the violation of the chain-of-custody of the ballots, and the millions of dollars this fraud will cost the county as they have to buy all new voting machines to replace the ones that Cyber Ninjas have irreparably compromised. Somebody will need to foot that bill and I think that it should be Cyber Ninjas and the idiots who hired and aided them, not the taxpayers in the county.
They broke it; they bought it!
Edited by dwise1, : ABE: "They broke it; they bought it!"

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Message 173 of 473 (888645)
09-25-2021 2:49 PM
Reply to: Message 168 by Percy
09-25-2021 12:04 PM

marc9000 writes:
No, but during his dad's 8 year vice presidency, he flew on air force 2 with his dad hundreds of times to foreign countries,...
In Biden's 8 years as vice president he flew on Air Force 2 hundreds of times to foreign countries? At least every 10 days? And for your numbers to make sense on most of those occasions he took Hunter with him? Wow! Congratulations on finding this information, which was where?
One of the very few contributions that Trump and the Trumpanisti will be able to offer would be an entirely new branch of mathematics similar to Douglas Adam's contribution from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, bistromatics, based on the observed phenomenon that all of mathematics break down when trying to calculate what each person sharing a restaurant bill actually owes -- " ... numbers are not absolute, but depend on the observer's movement in restaurants":
The third and most mysterious piece of non-absoluteness of all lies in the relationship between the number of items on the bill, the cost of each item, the number of people at the table, and what they are each prepared to pay for. (The number of people who have actually brought any money is only a sub-phenomenon in this field.)
The baffling discrepancies which used to occur at this point remained uninvestigated for centuries simply because no one took them seriously. They were at the time put down to such things as politeness, rudeness, meanness, flashiness, tiredness, emotionality, or the lateness of the hour, and completely forgotten about on the following morning. They were never tested under laboratory conditions, of course, because they never occurred in laboratories - not in reputable laboratories at least.
And so it was only with the advent of pocket computers that the startling truth became finally apparent, and it was this:
Numbers written on restaurant bills within the confines of restaurants do not follow the same mathematical laws as numbers written on any other pieces of paper in any other parts of the Universe.
This single fact took the scientific world by storm. It completely revolutionized it. So many mathematical conferences got held in such good restaurants that many of the finest minds of a generation died of obesity and heart failure and the science of math was put back by years.
Slowly, however, the implications of the idea began to be understood. To begin with it had been too stark, too crazy, too much what the man in the street would have said, "Oh yes, I could have told you that," about. Then some phrases like "Interactive Subjectivity Frameworks" were invented, and everybody was able to relax and get on with it.
The small groups of monks who had taken up hanging around the major research institutes singing strange chants to the effect that the Universe was only a figment of its own imagination were eventually given a street theatre grant and went away.
This new Trumpian branch of mathematics would be based on the observable phenomenon that every time Trump repeats a number, it grows immensely. This is especially true of large-enough initial numbers (a possible rule-of-thumb would be to also count all the fingers and toes in the room to get a lower bound above which that large-enough initial number would lie -- counting noses leads to initial-number lower bounds that are far too small).
In this example, Hunter flew on Air Force Two maybe a few times, so as per Trumpian protocol marc's Trumpanista sources rapidly inflated that number, inflating it even further every time it passed hands like a VAT tax gone crazy.
The rate of growth of numbers in these Trumpian series is rapid, but they don't seem to fit any kind of existing growth curves. They're not periodic and they're not quite exponential and they are most definitely not logarithmic. So what kind of curve would they be?
I'm inclined to consider a crazy-straw curve as a likely candidate, though that would immediately prevent calculus from being able to deal with Trumpian math. The definition of a function in calculus requires that a function has no more than one and only one value for any given value of the independent variable. Since curves in Trumpian math would violate that basic component in the definition of functions, that would mean that there could not be any functions in Trumpian math -- and since calculus is based on working with functions, therefore calculus could not be used to deal with Trumpian math, QED.
So since Trumpian functions would be non-existent, we would have to come up with something else. Such as Trumpian dysfunctions, which sounds rather descriptive of Trumpism's entire sordid mess.
Edited by dwise1, : Minor wording clean-up to yield: "One of the very few contributions that Trump and the Trumpanisti will be able to offer would be ... "

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 Message 168 by Percy, posted 09-25-2021 12:04 PM Percy has seen this message but not replied

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Message 177 of 473 (888667)
09-26-2021 2:30 PM
Reply to: Message 174 by Percy
09-26-2021 11:58 AM

Re: Poll numbers
marc9000 writes:
There is one major difference in how Trump would have done a pull out however, HE WOULD NOT HAVE GIVEN THE TALIBAN $83 BILLION IN MILITARY HARDWARE. No action in any Trump administration would have put the U.S. in this much additional danger.
I don't know that Trump would have handled the withdrawal much better than Biden. He's very impulsive. Trump withdrew suddenly from fighting ISIS leaving the Kurds and other allies in the lurch in exactly the same way that Biden left Afghanistan leaving those who helped us in the lurch. Trump's a screw up and so would likely have screwed up the Afghanistan withdrawal. He wouldn't really care how bad it was since he knows he'd just lie and say what a fantastic job he did in Afghanistan, that even those living in hiding or who've had their hands cut off are thanking him.
In fact, Trump pulled us out of Syria so fast that our soldiers' half-eaten meals were left on the mess hall tables. When Russia moved into our abandoned bases, they literally ate our lunch!
One really big difference with a Trump pull-out from Afghanistan would have been to leave Afghans behind. Biden evacuated over 10,000 Afghans, trying to concentrate mainly on those who had helped us and their families. Trump would have tried to leave all of them behind.
Another point that marc got wrong was that that military hardware that the Taliban captured was from the Afghan Army whom we had supplied. I guess that marc would have wanted us to not have armed the Afghan Army whom we formed and trained and supplied as a deterrent against the Taliban. Our worst mistake in Afghanistan was made repeatedly from the start:
we failed to understand the Afghan people and culture, which is very highly tribal and resistant to loyalty to a central government such as we were trying to establish. No wonder the Afghan Army laid down their arms and invited the Taliban in.
There was also our forces' own military equipment that they had to leave behind, but those were rendered inoperative before being abandoned. That is SOP when making a hasty withdrawal (refer to the scene in the recent movie, 1917, as the two British soldiers were in the abandoned German trenches walking past German artillery pieces whose barrels had been destroyed).
This is just fantasy. There's nothing about Afghanistan that's impeachable.
It does raise an important point about impeachments: Republicans attempt to impeach a Democrat president on complete bullshit grounds while Democrats do it for very good reasons (eg, Trump's failed attempt to overthrow the government). When Obama was in office, they tried ten times to impeach him, each time for bullshit reasons (mainly out of fake outrage -- I think one was related to their total meltdown over Obama having worn a tan suit, but when Mitch McConnell wore a tan suit this year we didn't hear a peep from them which demonstrates what total hypocrites they are). When Clinton was impeached, it was on perjury charges that Brett Kavanaugh had engineered to entrap him with highly salacious questions containing highly detailed and graphic descriptions of sexual activities. IOW, even more Republican BS.
With Trump it was different because his flagrant criminality practically forced us to impeach him. Twice! The second time as he was walking out the door since his crimes against the nation were too severe to ignore. Note also that in both impeachment trials, we were able to make detailed and convincing arguments based on solid evidence against him which his defenders refused to go near and instead just lied as they whined about process. Republicans even admitted to the strength of the compelling case against Trump, which is the reason they gave against calling witnesses. They just weren't going to vote to convict and remove him. But in the entire history of presidential impeachment trials, the members of President's own party have never voted to convict, until Mitt Romney's vote in Trump's second impeachment trial. Not only does Trump go down in the history books for having been impeached twice, but also for being the first President to have received a bipartisan vote to convict.
Now not only should Trump be indicted and tried for seditious conspiracy relating to the failed 06 Jan coup attempt, but there are still those ten counts of obstruction of justice detailed in the Mueller Report. As well as that FBI counter-intelligence investigation into Trump's connections with Russia that we were promised (it had started at the same time as the Mueller investigation with Mueller's team forwarding evidence to it, but Rob Rosenstein had secretly disbanded that investigation very shortly after it had started, which we only learned about this past year). So there's still the need to follow up on the massive collusion between Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia.

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Replies to this message:
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Message 186 of 473 (888698)
09-28-2021 11:13 PM
Reply to: Message 177 by dwise1
09-26-2021 2:30 PM

Re: Poll numbers
I need to point out a couple corrections.
In my Message 177, I wrote:
One really big difference with a Trump pull-out from Afghanistan would have been to leave Afghans behind. Biden evacuated over 10,000 Afghans, trying to concentrate mainly on those who had helped us and their families. Trump would have tried to leave all of them behind.
The number of people we evacuated, mostly Afghans, was 124,000. That was a very successful military operation and not exactly abandoning our allies.
Also, Sen. Warren, having been briefed by the Army, reports that no American-owned equipment was left behind. As I had pointed out:
DWise1 writes:
Another point that marc got wrong was that that military hardware that the Taliban captured was from the Afghan Army whom we had supplied.
All the equipment that the Taliban has captured it captured from the Afghan Army; the equipment was all Afghan-owned. In that message, I wondered if marc was taking the position that we should have never equipped the Afghan Army. If marc is indeed taking that position, then he needs to present it.
In news reports at the time, I heard reference to some systems that could not be removed, but which had instead been rendered inoperative. Just to explain, inoperative equipment cannot be used.

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Message 261 of 473 (891838)
02-13-2022 1:41 AM
Reply to: Message 260 by AZPaul3
02-12-2022 12:16 PM

Re: Live War Watch On Your TV
If you're into such things, you can go watch a war about to happen on live TV.
When we rented a house in 1977, I found in the attic a copy of the Sunday Chicago Sun-Times from late August 1939. The leading story at the time was the increasing tensions between Germany and Poland which led to the invasion of Poland on 01 Sep 1939 followed by Poland's allies, the UK and France, declaring war on Germany thus starting WWII. But things hadn't gotten that far at the time of this newspaper.
On the front page, they printed a color map of Europe with the caption (from memory): "Follow the war over the next few months." Which told me that they expected this war to last only a few months whereas it ended up lasting nearly six years in Europe.
As we watch this current situation unfold, we hope it will be brief, but it could last longer.
On page 2 or 3, they posted photos from Europe. In Paris, we saw civilians on the street carrying gas mask bags (including for children), since a big fear left over from the Great War was of chemical warfare. Of course, the Parisian gas mask bags were very fashionably done. In WWII Home Front depictions (eg, in PBS' World on Fire) we see civilians in the UK carrying a little cardboard box with them all the time, usually with it slung over one shoulder with string. That contains their gas mask -- that fact wasn't revealed in that show, but it was in the new Netflix movie Munich – The Edge of War. The only scene I remember from having seen Mrs. Miniver (1942) decades ago was that Mr. Miniver had built an air raid shelter in their back yard which featured an air intake duct with a filter for the poison gas and he was showing her how to use it.
Speaking of gas masks, that metal cylinder that you see hanging from a German infantryman's belt in back contains his gas mask. And they also had special gas masks for their dogs and horses.
One of my tech school instructors tested us by asking for the only drill command that would be completed instantly -- the situation he proposed was that a formation was about to march off a cliff such that the next step would be the last for the first rank; what command would you give to stop them and save everybody? Remember that those commands are given in two parts: the preparatory command and the command of execution: eg, "Company, atten -- ("wait for it, wait for it") HUT!", or Monty Python's "Confuse the -- CAT!". Even then, a "company -- halt!" or "to the rear -- march!" would involve one or two more steps before the command took effect. The only command you could give to stop the entire formation instantly is "GAS!", whereupon every troop stops and dons his gas mask.

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Message 366 of 473 (911341)
06-27-2023 12:21 PM
Reply to: Message 365 by Diomedes
06-27-2023 9:19 AM

Re: Are Things The Same As They Have Always Been?
In conclusion, the way you snap yourself out of that cycle is to start performing searches that counter your previous searches.
That search can also include critiques of the videos that he's been watching.
For instance, a number of videos by Erika "Gutsick Gibbon" and by Aron Ra and by others ("et alia") critique creationist videos and books (eg, Erika v. "Bones of Contention" -- one of Erika's favorite moves is to refer to the scientific paper referenced by the creationist only to find that they not only had read no more than the abstract, but they only read the very beginning, which is a statement of the problem being addressed, and leave out the rest which says that that problem was solved and how it was solved). And Phat should already be familiar with Mr. Deity's replies to videos from "Prager University" ("My old alma mater ... Go Devils!").
So if there's a video that Phat thinks was persuasive, he should immediately search for responses to that video. Just as I have for decades recommended to creationists repeating PRATTs that they also read the refutations for those PRATTs (though in vain).

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Replies to this message:
 Message 368 by Phat, posted 06-27-2023 7:09 PM dwise1 has replied
 Message 372 by Phat, posted 06-28-2023 2:31 PM dwise1 has not replied

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Message 442 of 473 (912033)
08-10-2023 1:43 PM
Reply to: Message 368 by Phat
06-27-2023 7:09 PM

Re: Are Things The Same As They Have Always Been?
So many threads to try to tie off.
dwise1 writes:
And Phat should already be familiar with Mr. Deity's replies to videos from "Prager University" ("My old alma mater ... Go Devils!").
OK, fair enough. But do you think that Dennis Prager spreads false information? Or is it simply a counter-perspective to progressive thinking?
Actually, yes, since Prager Not-A-University (any more than Trump U was) has become a right-wing propaganda organ. Many of their videos propagate vicious outright lies about atheists, many of the same vicious lies featured in that God is Not Dead film that you found so inspiring and motivating (motivating you to do what? attack atheists and Muslims?). "Atheists have no morals", "Atheists are murderers", "Atheists think mass murder is OK", "Atheists should lie to their children and teach them about 'God'", etc. Complete and utter bullshit!
And for here, Prager-NotA-U pushes "Intelligent Design", a known fraud and intellectually bankrupt deception.
And Prager-NotA-U pushes that totally idiotic "anti-WOKE" agenda. Sheer MAGAtry.
And as part of DeSantis' anti-education campaign, Florida has approved PragerU for Kids to groom Florida schoolchildren. That includes whitewashing history to mis-teach that slavery was a good thing and beneficial for the slaves -- errr, what's his DoubleSpeak term for them dad-burned lucky d**kies that us Superior White Race helped out so much?
But the one that every woman will surely love is teaching that stereotypically offensive catcall that causes each of them to bristle immediately: "Why don't you smile and look pretty for us?" Look for that one in the following news report from MSNBC:
So, yeah, Prager most definitely and demonstrably spreads false information. Not only that, but Prager spreads misinformation and disinformation (MAGAt disinformation and possibly also dezinformatsia (given its widespread currency in the GOP) ).
So what's your point? Or do you need to watch God is Not Dead again to get all riled up against normals again?
And to me, Mr. Deity is humorous at best, and inexperienced at worst. After all, how could a Mormon even know Jesus to begin with??? I'm being serious!
Inexperienced? Oh, he's had a lot more experience than you have. Coming out of a religion like Mormonism (made all the worse due to far more social pressure than you would have ever experienced) does teach one a lot.
And Mormons do indeed know Jesus! Far better and more faithfully than you have ever demonstrated here -- at least they actually listen to Him, unlike you.
Seriously, do you think that Mormons are not Christians? Like Faith (and many Protestants) believed that Catholics are not Christians? Where do you get such flamingly ignorant arrogance from?
Of course Mormons know Jesus very well. Just not your Jesus.
Not to suggest that only Calvary Chapel cohorts have an inside track on God's one and only Son.
But that is absolutely true. And just as true of any other of the 45,000 forms of Christianity. Not to mention the billions of versions generated by individuals' personal beliefs (the only kind of belief that means anything).
But the actual truth of the matter is that religion defines all the terms it uses, such as "God", "Jesus", "Bible", "what the Bible says", et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And every single religion has its own definitions.
Christianity consists of about 45,000 different religions, which means that every single one of those 45,000 forms of Christianity has its own definitions of "God", "Jesus", etc. That does not include the vastly greater number of different sets of definitions held by individuals and based on their own individual misunderstanding of their particular religions' own misunderstanding.
Remember that nobody acts in accordance with any particular religion's teachings, but rather in accordance with their own misunderstanding of those teachings.
And each one thinks that his own beliefs are absolutely true. Therefore that only they have an "inside track on God's one and only Son".
W.C. Fields:
There comes a time in the affairs of man when he must take the bull by the tail and face the situation.

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Message 457 of 473 (913943)
12-14-2023 9:45 AM
Reply to: Message 452 by Percy
12-13-2023 9:02 AM

Re: The Biden Impeachment
Is there anyone who doubts that this is just a political stunt to further weaken Biden during a presidential election year?
It's nothing but the same crooked tactic Trump was planning and which led to his first impeachment. Remember the "favor" from President Zelenskyy that Trump was "asking for", the announcement of a fake investigation of Joe Biden:
Trump (from memory):
All I need is for you to announce an investigation into wrongdoing by Joe Biden. You don't have to conduct an actual investigation; just announce that you're starting one and my people will do the rest.
Well, this is that announcement of starting a fake investigation. Now watch what Trump's people do with it. Even though there is absolutely no there there and even if absolutely no effort is ever made to actually investigate, they will talk about nothing but that "announcement of an investigation".
This "investigation" will undoubtedly follow the same pattern as the Durham special counsel investigation, if even that much.
Trump and the GOP pushed for "investigating the investigators", so then AG Bill Barr got one started that found nothing:
The Durham special counsel investigation began in 2019 when the U.S. Justice Department designated federal prosecutor John Durham to review the origins of an FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections. Durham was given authority to examine the government's collection of intelligence about interactions between the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump and Russians, and to review government documents and request voluntary witness statements. In December 2020, Attorney General William Barr announced that he had elevated Durham's status and authority by appointing him as a special counsel, allowing him to continue the investigation after the end of the Trump presidency.
Durham's investigation was predicated on claims by President Trump and his allies beginning in 2017 that the Russia investigation, code-named Crossfire Hurricane, probably was the result of a conspiracy by U.S. intelligence or law enforcement agencies. The investigation had found many questionable links between Trump associates and Russian officials and spies and led to the Mueller investigation. The president said the probe was part of a deep state plot and a "hoax" or "witch hunt" that was initiated by his political enemies.
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz contradicted those claims by testifying to Congress that the FBI showed no political bias motivating its investigation into Trump and his possible connections with Russia. After Horowitz's testimony and release of the Inspector General report on the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, Barr and Durham, according to The New York Times, looked for a reason to accuse the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton of trying to create suspicions that the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia.
After three-and-a-half-years, Durham indicted three men. One was an FBI lawyer who pleaded guilty to altering an email that was included in a June 2017 application for a surveillance warrant on a former Trump campaign aide; he was sentenced to probation. The other two men were tried and acquitted. In both trials, Durham alleged the defendants had deceived the FBI but did not allege the FBI acted improperly toward Trump. According to Andrew C. McCarthy, the alleged deception was "only about the identity or status of people from whom they were getting information, not about the information itself."
On May 15, 2023, Durham's final 306-page unclassified report was publicly released. Durham said there was inadequate predication to open a full investigation and that only an assessment or preliminary investigation should have been launched. The report concluded the FBI had showed confirmation bias and a "serious lack of analytical rigor", but did not find political motivation. The report extensively discusses "Clinton Plan intelligence" stolen from Russian intelligence that alleged the Clinton campaign was involved in a plot against Trump, though Durham acknowledged it might be fabricated. Durham recommended that the FBI create "a position for an FBI agent or lawyer to provide oversight of politically sensitive investigations."
. . .
The investigation cost more than $6.5 million.
. . .
Frank Figliuzzi, a former assistant director of the FBI Counterintelligence Division, said:
"Really, the most malignant interpretation of this report is Durham was tasked with doing something that was not only unnecessary to do because the [inspector general] had already done it, but tasked with doing whatever he could to destroy the origins of the Crossfire Hurricane original case ... If the goal was to wrack [sic] up many indictments and prove all of this "Russia, Russia, Russia" stuff, as Trump says, wrong, he's failed miserably. But if the goal, at least the consolation prize, was to hand over a politically tainted document that can be used in sound bites over and over again on Fox News and other platforms, already congressman Jim Jordan has publicly stated he's going to call Durham to testify in congress and I'll note as others have done, John Durham should be Exhibit A in the so-called "Weaponization of Government Subcommittee" because he was weaponized by Bill Barr and turned against the very institutions that he comes out of."

What we will see with this "Biden impeachment investigation" is that, like the Durham investigation, it will find nothing and charge us millions of dollars for that nothing. And while it's still "on-going", Trump and his minions will constantly call attention to it as if it were a legitimate investigation.
The only purpose of this "Biden impeachment investigation" is the weaponization of Congress.

This message is a reply to:
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