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joined 2022 September 05 02:32:36 UTC


User ID: 373



0 followers   follows 1 user   joined 2022 September 05 02:32:36 UTC


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User ID: 373

Isn’t what you described like the definition of bribery. Hunter gets paid and Joe talks to the business associates?

If they were a single person, perhaps. But considering they are in fact two different individuals, things are different. Is Hunter guilty of something? Almost certainly. Is Joe though? If he had knowledge of Hunter's deal and/or if he got payments himself, then yes. But that's critically where Republicans haven't been able to produce evidence despite years of trying.

Do you have a source for this?

Under the standard of “proven” you are using nothing is ever truly proven in this world. Outside of Joe or Hunter confessing we will never hit your standard of proven.

Strawman. I don't have some crazy burden of proof like you're saying I do. I really don't think asking for more evidence than hearsay that doesn't even refer to Joe by name is absurd.

Hunter is clearly a dirtbag, although he had far, far less influence than Kushner, who actively shaped many of Trump's policies and who's received billions in Saudi funding as a result.

The fact that some avenues of investigation were blocked isn't evidence of much. This happens all the time. Trump famously refused to even interview with the Mueller investigation while it was ongoing.

There's a big difference between crimes committed by the son, Hunter, and those by Joe. It's clear that Hunter is a fuckup and tried to parlay his father's status into connections and money. Going after Hunter is therefore justified, but the evidence against Joe is much more flimsy. That's why Republicans only make vague mentions of Joe's connection to this whole thing, before quickly trying to tie him to his son as much as possible as if they were functionally the same person, when it's clear their relationship has always been strained at best.

Also, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on whether Trump deserved to be impeached for all the corruption Kushner got up to, including some recent developments.

probably the largest bribery scandal in a century.

Assuming there actually was bribery, which, again, is still very much unproven despite months of a Republican led investigation to find evidence of exactly that.

They've found evidence that Joe has taken meetings/calls with people at the request of his son, but not that anything ever came of these, or that Joe ever benefitted monetarily. Republicans have had subpoena power for years and have had a full investigation going for at least several months, and still haven't found the bribery part of the whole "bribery scandal."

There is none, unless you want to throw capitalism under the bus for this, which is maybe sort of justified?

Laptop with Hunter saying dad got paid.

There's no solid evidence that Joe got any money despite Republicans aggressively looking for it for years now.

None of it matters that it’s a strong case you will never convince partisans to turn on their only electable candidate.

Correct. Even if it was a slam-dunk case, it still probably wouldn't matter. "Impeachment" has become little more than a press conference with some adornments.

Because Republicans haven't been able to find any evidence to verify it despite looking very hard for years now.

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They clarified - you're wrong, they are only charging for the first install.

This is just grandstanding via toxoplasma. "The Dems impeached Trump so we've got to impeach Biden!" In the conversations I've had with people on this site who think there's a huge scandal here, I've never heard of any solid evidence about direct bribery other than the wishy-washy "money for the big guy" statement. On the point of "meetings for money", nothing Hunter did was worse than what Kushner flagrantly did during Trump's admin, and nobody even really questioned that. House Repubs haven't been able to get any better evidence after months of searching. There's basically 0 chance that they can convince 18 dem Senators to flip.

Most people are up in arms about the fact that this charges for any install, not just unique installs. But this seems like a giant nothingburger because nothing in the blogpost specifically says it's not unique installs. Doing (or switching to) a fee per unique install basically solves all the issues people have while still accomplishing Unity's goal of charging per install. Charging for any install is just so transparently abuseable that anyone should be able to see how much of an obviously bad idea it is.

Participants in every category—men and women of all races, ages, and social classes—were quicker to associate positive attributes with women and negative attributes with men.

This seems like the Women Are Wonderful effect in action.

This sort of thing could definitely become an issue in the future. I wouldn't be surprised if there was limited gift-cards-for-votes in 2020, but there is basically no evidence that it's widespread, at least not yet.

Evidence could be of stuff like people claiming their employer/landlord or whoever else that's in a position of influence over them demanding to see them fill out their ballot. That, on a large scale. Given how US politics is dominated by toxic negative partisanship, people would be screaming absolutely bloody murder if they thought they were being coerced to voting for the other side.

The lack of a secret ballot thru mass mail-in voting violates every principle of Democracy. Without violating the secret ballot Trump would have easily won in my opinion.

This is silly. Ballot secrecy serves to stop a specific problem of coercion and bribery when voting, which were a big problem back in the Gilded Age but which are far less prevalent now. Ballot secrecy when voting by mail should be a concern to be addressed going forward, but you haven't provided any evidence it had a major impact on the 2020 election. This argument is like one from those right-wing blogs that assert (without evidence) that 30 million illegal immigrants vote and so we don't have real democracy.

If you're talking about social bullying, e.g. kids calling each other names, excluding each other, talking behind each others' backs, etc. then that's never gone away and never will.

If you're talking about physical bullying, e.g. kids punching each other, that certainly has gone away mostly but I'd say that's a good thing. A small amount can be neutral or maybe plausibly beneficial in some circumstances, but it's usually overwhelmingly a bad idea to try to teach kids through uncontrolled physical harm. There's a reason most parenting guides say "don't beat your kids". It really screws them up.

That said, I presume this is in regards to things like "safe spaces", cancel culture, "crybullies", etc. Those aren't the result of a lack of bullying, but rather they come from women gaining political power. Hanania has a good overview of this. Women prioritize maintaining social harmony (not hurting people's feelings) over factual accuracy more than men do, evidenced by women consistently scoring much higher in agreeableness than men. Additionally, some women resort to crying (or claiming "abuse", or whatever else) when their points are disproven in an attempt to win the argument anyways. This is the female equivalent of a man losing the argument and resorting to physical violence, but whereas society has had millennia to come up with ways to deal with renegade males' outbursts, it is wholly unprepared to deal with the female equivalent.

To offer a contrary opinion. We have seen what a Russian war of annihilation looks like in Chechnya. They leveled cities. It looked apocalyptic. Russia's most heavy-handed tactics in Ukraine hardly resemble this. I would assume, then, that they want the country and its people largely intact.

This point is flatly wrong. Bakhmut absolutely ended up looking like Grozny when all was said and done. Same with Mariupol. I'm sure it's happened in several other smaller towns as well.

"Important for the Executive, less so for the Legislative" is an interesting take. Congressmen do some more involved things like negotiating, going to classified committees, etc. If the thought is that their aides could do enough of that to create a reasonable facsimile, wouldn't that be true for the Executive as well?

McConell had a scary moment which looks like it could be the onset of dementia or Alzheimers. He froze up for a solid 30 seconds just staring aimlessly when a question was asked of him as to whether he would run for re-election in 2026. People have been saying similar things about Biden, although Biden has had the same verbal tics for his entire career so it'd be harder to know for certain. Dianne Feinstein only just recently announced her retirement despite being over 90 years old. Trump is hardly a spring chicken himself at 77 years old.

Some have advocated for age limits on politicians, as older people can have cognitive decline and are presumably out-of-touch compared to younger counterparts. How much of a real issue is this? How long can aides keep cognitive decline out of the spotlight for before it becomes too obvious to ignore?

The war will last for only a couple months if one side or another gets a decisive victory. If it's more evenly matched, it will extend for years.

There's pretty much zero chance that a conventional conflict over Taiwan lasts years. Maybe either a blockade or an insurgency could lass that long, but even those are unlikely. Taiwan is less than 6% of the size of Ukraine, while also being an island. Either a Chinese invasion gets stopped on the beaches, or it's pretty much game over. Taiwan's rugged terrain could plausibly let it fight for a few months, but little beyond that.

any kind of nuclear exchange just immediately ends the world, and Ukraine does not have the manpower or resources to take back the contested territories without mushroom clouds.

From a conventional perspective, Ukraine managing to sever the land bridge would put Crimea under risk. It's not particularly defensible terrain (Perekop is no Thermopylae) and the supply interdiction problems Russia would face would make the campaign like a scaled-up version of the Kherson offensive. Not a guaranteed victory for Ukraine of course, but the template for their victory would already be there.

The nuclear threat is vastly overplayed. For a good primer on escalation theory, this video is a good primer. Putin himself decreased the legitimacy of the nuclear deterrent when he annexed the 4 oblasts, effectively putting them on the same footing on Crimea, i.e. a normal battleground like any other, no special nuclear protections given. It created a very clear brightline between the 1991 borders and the rest of Russian land.

is unable to provide quality soldiers in enough numbers

This is more an issue of training and experience than raw bodies. Even assuming very pessimistic estimates of both Ukrainian casualties and population loss due to refugees (e.g. tripling estimates for both), it's clear they still have a lot of fight left in them.

Crimea is a vitally important base for Russia, and if they don't have control over that area someone could just go and bomb the gas transit pipelines

What? Pipelines are vulnerable basically everywhere. If Russia wanted to "protect" its pipes for their entire length then they'd need to annex half the EU. As far as I know, Crimea doesn't even host any major pipelines directly. And in any case Russia is pivoting towards Asian markets as a result of the conflict.

To the best of my knowledge, the reason they view it as an existential threat is that they think NATO missile interdiction systems would give US authorities the false belief that they'd be able to win a nuclear exchange.

There's nothing Ukraine in particular offers on this front that Romania, Poland, Baltics, Finland, etc. don't already offer.

Balkanization would be terrible, as it would almost certainly lead to foreign meddling and violence breaking out between states like it was a jumbo-sized Yugoslavia.

No reasonable person thinks this would be a good idea. It's shortsighted toxoplasma in its most extreme form.

Its not maximizing outgroup hatred. Its establishment hatred.

This is a distinction without a difference. Trump's base (and many others!) hates "the establishment"... because they think it's controlled by their outgroup.

Lots of Americans would support basically anyone to rule the US as long as the first thing they did was put DC to the sword and Harvard to the torch.

Agree on the "many Americans want to put DC to the torch", but that's simply because negative partisanship and media negativity bias creates a picture of a terrible amorphous political class that people love to rage against without concrete proposals for how to make it better.

I don't claim to know exactly how the war will end - there's all sorts of potential black swan events that could change how things play out. If I see a barn on fire, I don't know exactly how it will end either - maybe it'll collapse, maybe it will simply burn to ash, maybe some rain will put it out. But I don't have to know exactly how it will end to rule out any options that leave it standing perfectly unharmed.

What? Nobody has said that Ukraine will leave this conflict "unharmed", i.e. without a lot of pain and suffering, which is obvious because that's already happened and will continue happening.

On the other hand, if you're trying to make a point about the certainty of your conclusions then this analogy doesn't make sense to me.

the sheer number of Ukrainian casualties and war dead is too high a number for even more US weaponry to overcome

If the West opened the floodgates of weapons to Ukraine, Russia would almost certainly be toast in the medium term. Their only realistic options would be defeat or nuclear escalation. Modern conventional weapons are just spectacularly lethal, and the West's combined economic might completely dwarf that of Russia's.

Running out of manpower won't be a concern for either side for a long time yet. There might be concerns about manpower quality as they conscript more and more, but Ukraine and Russia are both far, far away from running out of people in a general sense.

Russia views this conflict as existential

They have every incentive to say this, since it's basically just akin to "we're really committed to the war". The conflict might be existential for Putin, but Ukraine doesn't have mass territorial ambitions on Russian land, so it's hard to see how this would be existential in any meaningful capacity. The most plausible way for it to become existential would be if a civil war happens as a result of defeat, but if that's the primary fear then Russia would be better served by withdrawing and focus on averting that instead.

I simply do not believe that Russia is willing to accept any kind of NATO-aligned regime on their doorstep

There are already several of these, and indeed Finland got added to that camp because of this war.