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4 hours ago, skybert said:

She’s the one I’d actually feel good voting for

I would almost agree except for the fact shes got some crazy ideas. 

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President announced a 30% cut to US troops stationed in Germany.

Geopolitically, I agree.  If Germany literally refuses to live up to it's agreement for all of 2% GDP towards defense, why should we spend so much of our national treasure doing so for them?

Personally, bummer.  One of the few good deals about being in the military.

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1 hour ago, brickhistory said:

President announced a 30% cut to US troops stationed in Germany.

Geopolitically, I agree.  If Germany literally refuses to live up to it's agreement for all of 2% GDP towards defense, why should we spend so much of our national treasure doing so for them?

Personally, bummer.  One of the few good deals about being in the military.

Troops in Germany has long since evolved beyond us defending Germany instead of the Germans. US troops in Germany means a forward-yet-permanent presence that covers basically all of Europe and also serves as a staging ground for fun side-quests in African and the ME.

I can see the logic of perhaps diversifying beyond megabases in Germany to places like Poland, but an overall reduction of troops in Europe doesn't really make sense to me based on my views on our geopolitical threats.

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, Kiloalpha said:

The longer I look at the data, the more I think this could be the greatest opportunity for an independent to run in our nation's history. People are getting pissed at the system in general. Protesters for obvious reasons, and everyone else for the ineptitude behind COVID-19 response and not handling the riots.

Maybe the Russians can convince Tulsi Gabbard to run, since she apparently works for them?

Mike Bloomberg, known for data-driven analysis, as well as Howard Schultz, Justin Amash, Bill Weld, Joe Walsh, etc. would all disagree. There is little appetite for a third-party or independent run this cycle due to President Trump's highly polarizing nature.

If you support Trump, you're going to vote for Trump. If you oppose Trump, you're going to vote for the person most likely to beat him (Biden). There aren't very many people undecided on Trump. Honestly the same can be said for almost every modern US Presidential Election but the effect is especially strong in 2020.

I'm also consistently surprised by the level of support for Tulsi Gabbard on these boards. She's a random soon-to-be former Democratic Representative back-bencher with an odd assortment of policy views and a very troubling level of accommodation and support for Assad in Syria. She never polled much above 1% in the Democratic primary, she's not very conservative, has little governing experience...honestly other than being hot I see absolutely nothing that is appealing about her at all.

I do appreciate that she's a servicemember I guess, more veterans & reservists/Guardsmen should serve in elected office.

Edited by nsplayr
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1 hour ago, nsplayr said:

Mike Bloomberg, known for data-driven analysis, as well as Howard Schultz, Justin Amash, Bill Weld, Joe Walsh, etc. would all disagree. There is little appetite for a third-party or independent run this cycle due to President Trump's highly polarizing nature.

If you support Trump, you're going to vote for Trump. If you oppose Trump, you're going to vote for the person most likely to beat him (Biden). There aren't very many people undecided on Trump. Honestly the same can be said for almost every modern US Presidential Election but the effect is especially strong in 2020.

I'm also consistently surprised by the level of support for Tulsi Gabbard on these boards. She's a random soon-to-be former Democratic Representative back-bencher with an odd assortment of policy views and a very troubling level of accommodation and support for Assad in Syria. She never polled much above 1% in the Democratic primary, she's not very conservative, has little governing experience...honestly other than being hot I see absolutely nothing that is appealing about her at all.

I do appreciate that she's a servicemember I guess, more veterans & reservists/Guardsmen should serve in elected office.

She's female, "did two tours in Iraq", isn't hard leaning either way, and was on Rogan 🙂

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1 minute ago, uhhello said:

She's female, "did two tours in Iraq", isn't hard leaning either way, and was on Rogan 🙂

Sure...but unless y'all start Stan-ing Tammy Duckworth too, I'm gonna lean heavily on the fact that Gabbard is hot being the differentiator.

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On 6/6/2020 at 6:13 PM, Kiloalpha said:

The longer I look at the data, the more I think this could be the greatest opportunity for an independent to run in our nation's history. People are getting pissed at the system in general. Protesters for obvious reasons, and everyone else for the ineptitude behind COVID-19 response and not handling the riots.

I think a viable third party candidate would go a long way toward fixing our broken political discourse.  The idiotic binary we have going on right now does nothing but entrench people to the point that they can't even talk about ideas they don't like. Maybe a third party could pull us out of this good vs evil dynamic. 
 

It's gotten so bad that I feel like the parties have abandoned ideas entirely are just nominating more and more absurd people to spite the opposition. 

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whispers of a Mitt Romney / Will Hurd ticket.

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14 hours ago, brickhistory said:

President announced a 30% cut to US troops stationed in Germany.

Geopolitically, I agree.  If Germany literally refuses to live up to it's agreement for all of 2% GDP towards defense, why should we spend so much of our national treasure doing so for them?

Personally, bummer.  One of the few good deals about being in the military.

The 2% GDP argument is ridiculous.  There are many more quantifiable factors that go into NATO member contributions than just GDP.  Troop commitments, equipment expenditure as a percent of GDP, exercise performance etc. There are also many non quantifiable factors such as basing rights, political influence, strategic location etc.  CSIS did a study on this exact topic.

I also think we tend to forget that NATO (our idea) was only agreed upon because the US was going to fit the majority of the security bill. This allowed Europe to rebuild their economies from ruins and also allowed us to have the biggest bargaining chip in terms of influence/off shore balancing power etc.  This is what we originally and still want.

While we must always look to continually improve institutions, souring relations with Germany only hurts history's most successful and consequential alliance.  

Without a unified NATO good luck countering Chinese influence in Europe/Africa.  

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Posted (edited)

I think this link has been posted here before, but it provides an interesting interactive tool for looking at some Electoral College options for both the 2016 and 2012 elections.  

Take a close look at the drop down that shows "optimal Republican" and "optimal Democrat"... very interesting outcomes.  It would be interesting to see these multiple options run with the "Wyoming Plan" factored in as well.  

https://www.270towin.com/alternative-electoral-college-allocation-methods/

 

 

Edited by Carpetbagger

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10 hours ago, Jetpilot said:

Without a unified NATO good luck countering Chinese influence in Europe/Africa.  

Bwaaaahahahah!!! Unified NATO...countering Chinese influence...oh man, that's rich...that's good...tell another joke.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, FourFans130 said:

Bwaaaahahahah!!! Unified NATO...countering Chinese influence...oh man, that's rich...that's good...tell another joke.

Half of NATO isn't even sure there is Chinese influence. They are happy to buy on to their Huawei 5G plans and belt and road initiatives. NATO isn't going to win us China. If we could convince Korea and Japan to get passed grievances and sign a tri-latteral, we would be like that meme of a dude walking with NATO but turning back and looking at the hot chick that is Japan/Korea (#5 and #6 on the Global Firepower Index). Regardless, both countries are still committed to working with us, just not with each other. 

What Germany, and most of NATO needs to realize about the US and NATO, is at the end of the day, states are going to serve their interest. The US interest in NATO has been declining since the fall of the Berlin wall. Without a clear purpose, the alliance doesn't really do anything for us. GWB tried to define this GWOT thing but it fell flat with some countries. Because we keep adding partners, the ability to provide clarity of purpose for the alliance gets convoluted. What may have been easy common ground to find among 16 nations in 1999 is really difficult among 30 members today. The people in the Alliance we are closest with, mainly France and the Five Eyes nations, we have other partnerships with that transcend NATO. 

I think 10K troops in the Pacific will do a lot more for us against China than 10K troops in Germany. 

Edited by FLEA
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I learned something today.  Actually, several things.

One that the political science degree I got way back when is even more worthless today than it has been throughout my career because apparently most of what I was taught was wrong.

The other thing that I learned today, and related to the incorrectness of that mighty BA is that executive orders cannot be overturned by a succeeding President.  Silly me, I thought that unless Congress enacted a law and the President signed it or if the Supreme Court made a ruling that essentially acted as a law, that the executive orders issued by one President were not binding on subsequent Presidents.

The Supreme Court changed that today.

Seems some EOs are more equal than others...

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2 hours ago, brickhistory said:

I learned something today.  Actually, several things.

One that the political science degree I got way back when is even more worthless today than it has been throughout my career because apparently most of what I was taught was wrong.

The other thing that I learned today, and related to the incorrectness of that mighty BA is that executive orders cannot be overturned by a succeeding President.  Silly me, I thought that unless Congress enacted a law and the President signed it or if the Supreme Court made a ruling that essentially acted as a law, that the executive orders issued by one President were not binding on subsequent Presidents.

The Supreme Court changed that today.

Seems some EOs are more equal than others...

Did you read the ruling?  It was largely procedural.  Don't hate the player, hate the game.

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17 hours ago, brickhistory said:

Seems some EOs are more equal than others...

 

14 hours ago, drewpey said:

Did you read the ruling?  It was largely procedural.  Don't hate the player, hate the game.

I'm not as up-to-speed on these issues as many of you, however isn't drewpey right?  The Supreme Court more or less told the Trump administration to "go back and try again?"

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I guarantee they will find another reason to uphold it next time. The Supreme Court has gotten out of hand.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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5 hours ago, Blue said:

 

I'm not as up-to-speed on these issues as many of you, however isn't drewpey right?  The Supreme Court more or less told the Trump administration to "go back and try again?"

https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/tyler-o-neil/2020/06/18/thomas-eviscerates-timid-daca-decision-as-destructive-to-the-rule-of-law-n548134

 

TLDR:  

POTUS 44:  Since Congress can't agree to do anything, Ima sign this DACA executive order without following the admin rules.

POTUS 45: Since Congress can't agree to anything, Ima cancel the previous executive order.

SCOTUS:  Nope, you didn't follow the rules cancelling the previous order that didn't follow the rules.

 

Not a lawyer...

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DC Circuit Court orders Flynn trial judge to let it go since both the prosecution and the defendant agree to it should drop.

 

FBI agent/Trump hater Peter Stryck notes detail former President Obama stating "to make sure the right people investigate Flynn."  And Biden suggested the Logan Act as a way to conduct the investigation (Logan Act - 1799 law prohibiting US citizens from representing themselves as representing the USG when they don't.  Passed in a time when it took weeks/months for ships and mail to cross the ocean and prevent unscrupulous from getting paid as USG representatives.  And never successfully used to prosecute anyone.  Ever).

 

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20 minutes ago, brickhistory said:

DC Circuit Court orders Flynn trial judge to let it go since both the prosecution and the defendant agree to it should drop.

 

FBI agent/Trump hater Peter Stryck notes detail former President Obama stating "to make sure the right people investigate Flynn."  And Biden suggested the Logan Act as a way to conduct the investigation (Logan Act - 1799 law prohibiting US citizens from representing themselves as representing the USG when they don't.  Passed in a time when it took weeks/months for ships and mail to cross the ocean and prevent unscrupulous from getting paid as USG representatives.  And never successfully used to prosecute anyone.  Ever).

 

Federal law enforcement agents are not protected, in some instances, by the Federal Tort Claims Act. He should probably sue to try and recoup all the money he spent on legal counsel.

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On 6/8/2020 at 4:02 PM, FLEA said:

The US interest in NATO has been declining since the fall of the Berlin wall. Without a clear purpose, the alliance doesn't really do anything for us.

Except act as a major stabilizing force keeping the peace in Europe (and not just vs the Soviet bloc/Russia) over the last 75 years. Conflict on the continent is most certainly not in our best interest. Seems that as the veterans of that war die off, so too does the memory of what Europe can be like without stabilizing influences. I do agree with the argument that NATO has probably expanded too much over the last 20 years though. Courting former Eastern Bloc countries seems to have really pissed off the Russians and allowed Putin to consolidate power. 

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1 hour ago, Prozac said:

Except act as a major stabilizing force keeping the peace in Europe (and not just vs the Soviet bloc/Russia) over the last 75 years. Conflict on the continent is most certainly not in our best interest. Seems that as the veterans of that war die off, so too does the memory of what Europe can be like without stabilizing influences. I do agree with the argument that NATO has probably expanded too much over the last 20 years though. Courting former Eastern Bloc countries seems to have really pissed off the Russians and allowed Putin to consolidate power. 

Yes but IMHO that is not feasible, wise or fair (US providing security assurances from external aggression) for countries that demand we stay in NATO, keep forces forward deployed for deterrence on their soil and then do business with the nations that threaten European and ME stability.  Reference Germany funding Nord Stream pipeline with Russia and INSTEX trade system to circumvent sanctions with Iran.

They want our protection, do business with our enemies, chide us as we fight the barbarians and cheat us on trade.  I don't really think they (Western Europe) deserve our protection anymore.  Central, Eastern Europe are a different matter but if there is to be a trans-Atlantic defensive alliance with us providing the security guarantee, it should only be for those who can not afford to deter Russia on their own or collectively with a few other regional partners. 

There is nothing free in this life, the price for protection should be not be too high, but high enough to make the buyer value it.

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Valid points if you view our relationship with Europe as purely transactional and argue that they are “buying” our defense services. I don’t see it that way. From my point of view, what we are “buying” when we spend on NATO is continued peace and prosperity in Europe. We are also “buying” continued influence in shaping the conversation on what the world order should look like going forward. Is Germany working with Russia problematic? Perhaps. But we are still the biggest player by far and it’s in every American’s interest to keep it that way. We do have a track record of disengagement with Europe that so far has ended in having to clean up the resulting mess one hundred percent of the time. 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Prozac said:

Valid points if you view our relationship with Europe as purely transactional and argue that they are “buying” our defense services. I don’t see it that way. From my point of view, what we are “buying” when we spend on NATO is continued peace and prosperity in Europe. We are also “buying” continued influence in shaping the conversation on what the world order should look like going forward. Is Germany working with Russia problematic? Perhaps. But we are still the biggest player by far and it’s in every American’s interest to keep it that way. We do have a track record of disengagement with Europe that so far has ended in having to clean up the resulting mess one hundred percent of the time. 

Noone here has forgotten the whole lesson about US involvement in European instability. However, that lesson is receiving heavy scrutiny now because of its cost. And it should receive scrutiny. There are no "natural laws" or "rules" in geo-politics. We should always be adjusting our thought. 

First off, I'm skeptical anytime mentions US foreign policy and "track record" or "history" in the same sentence. 200 years isn't history. Its a sneeze. China has seen continuous governance under a unified identify for over 3000 years. Sink that in a for a bit because its a bit amazing to think about. Sure they've had overthrows and invasions that took power, but they always remained predominantly identified as a single people (disregarding discussions of sub cultures like the Han, im talking specifically, how long has there been a "place identified as China"). So building trend data off of two events that happened only 20 years apart probably isn't prudent global planning on our part. 

Second, saying that a secure "Europe" is better for American prosperity is a bit dishonest. Europe is a geographical feature that says nothing about where the global balance of power lies. Pre-WW2, many of those powers happened to be conjugated in Europe. Today? Not a single European player (outside maybe France in the UK as notable exceptions) has global influence. The center of power has shifted dramatically from Western Europe to the Pacific. The top 6 military power centers in the world on the Global Firepower Index all have borders on the Pacific Ocean. (8 if you count Britain and France's Pacific holdings) 6/12 of the largest economies are on the Pacific, including the Top 3, the US, China and Japan. The problem with the above philosophy is it puts WAY too much importance on how much influence Europe has on the world order in modern terms. 

Third,  we tend to have a lens that puts too much emphasis on the WW's as what happened in Western Europe. We forget, that they were global wars, and especially in WW2, most of the fighting did not take place in Western Europe. I promise you the Chinese don't frame their historic perceptions of WW2 as something that mainly occurred in Europe. As our #1 adversary, that should be something that we take important note of. 

Fourth, having the basic premise that a continent cant organize their shit so we have to occupy and pacify them for our own successful aims just doesn't sound like a good long term strategy.

We invest 320K DoD personnel in Europe. That is literally 1/4 of our entire military, on one foreign continent. The largest military in Western Europe is the US military. Think about that for a minute, and then think about what your squadron could do with a 33% manning boost? To quote your terms, why are we spending "on peace and prosperity in Europe" when we should be spending on Peace and Prosperity in the United States, the largest threat to which, is in Asia. 

I totally understand and hear your point of view. But I find it outdated and irrelevant with what is actually going on in the world right now. I think there is a growing crowd of skeptics that question if Europe is "worth" our investment.

 

Edited by FLEA
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It is the same Europe where just, what, five years ago Putin walked into someone else’s territory and said, “this is mine now.”

 

There’s still a big threat there. 

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1 hour ago, FLEA said:

Words....

 

Flea, 

Excellent and well thought out response. I happen to disagree with you in that I believe that Europe is still well worth the effort. But thank you for a rigorous and respectful debate. 

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