• Ongoing coronavirus / COVID-19 discussion: how is the pandemic affecting your community, workplace, and wellness? 🦠

    Working from home? So are we. Come join us! Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no social distancing.

NEVERENDING ♾️ The NEVERENDING Political Discussion Thread

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
15,424
Points
53
Funny part is, the jerk husband (I'm assuming) was one of the people whittling away at the labor protections.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
15,013
Points
59
You mean other than the fact that she was likely an at-will employee in a state that has been whittling away what little labor protections they had?
Two-way street, double edged sword, goes both ways, mutually assured destruction, etc, etc.
 

dw914er

Cyburbian
Messages
1,529
Points
21
President Biden has said that he would reject the $50,000 payoff of federal student loans, and would only support payoffs of $10,000 and free community college tuition for those families making less than $175,000 a year. He also indicated that he does not believe that he can use executive order to forgive student loan debt.

What are your thoughts on this, especially being that he is breaking with the democrat position on this? Do you think that something will become reality within his administration or do you think it will just linger on as discussion for decades?


As for Talk Radio, I don't think that this is the end of it.

The student loan debt is a symptom of a larger issue: the cost of higher education has grown enormously over the past few decades. Some from an older age cohort talk about how they were able to pay their way through college and make it through, so kids today should be able to as well, but that isn't exactly feasible for most. And wages for new graduates isn't exactly great for a variety of careers, so the ability to repay the size of the loans can be difficult. I do agree that trade schools should carry greater weight as well, but some of them are not cheap either.

I personally do not think we should pay off everyone's loans, but we should take a greater priority to have an educated populace, including both technical skills and humanities, and make those opportunities accessible.
 

Planit

Cyburbian
Messages
13,928
Points
55
When looking at funding The Girl's education, we have been solicited by a few companies & ALL had range of interest rates from 5%-15%. I think that's the kicker. Why are the interest rates so high? Because of this, I'm sure you know someone who college loan debt balance keeps increasing even as they keep making payments. Instead of forgiving $10k or $50k, cut the interest rate to 0% - 1%.

If people who willingly went, got a loan and now will get $10k rebate (if you would), can I get a $10k grant for The Girl who is starting college in the fall?
 

Veloise

Cyburbian
Messages
5,981
Points
34
Our state senate majority leader is making quite the name for us. Forget the kidnappers -- every day this month he's kept us in the news.

At a restaurant last week, Mr. Shirkey told a group of Republican officials, “That wasn’t Trump people,” referring to the mob that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. “That’s been a hoax from Day 1,” he added. “It was all staged.”
A video of the lunch was uploaded to YouTube. Mr. Shirkey also made offensive remarks that day about Ms. Whitmer, a Democrat, saying he and fellow Republican lawmakers had “spanked her hard” in the Legislature. “I did contemplate inviting her to a fistfight on the Capitol lawn,” he added.




BREAKING: his chief spokesperson has quit, has joined the team of our AG.

 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,602
Points
54
I haven't seen any real proof thus far that she was "fired" for anything related to her idiot husband. That being said, if she was and she wasn't posting anything inflammatory I'd have a real problem with that. Being married to a jerk isn't a crime. At least not yet.
I can't imagine why the wife got fired. Could there maybe be some other reason, apart from her being married to a douchebag?
You mean other than the fact that she was likely an at-will employee in a state that has been whittling away what little labor protections they had?
The timing sounds quite suspicious. He goes off on a rant and experiences the consequences of 'free speech' (rightfully so BTW). However it will be interesting to see how all this shakes out out given the wife was let go shortly after the husbands made those comments.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
19,150
Points
70
When the going gets tough, Ted Cruz gets going to Cancun. Probably just a sojourn in memory of Rush Limbaugh, that's all.

I'll just leave this here. :texas:

defense of the alamo.jpg


Also, Colorado City is the continuous curb cut capital of Texas.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,602
Points
54

TOFB

Cyburbian
Messages
2,851
Points
37
Worse than him doing it, is doing it publicly, and knowing he will be seen and be criticized, but not giving two sh!+s about it.
 

Planit

Cyburbian
Messages
13,928
Points
55

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,602
Points
54
Entire school board resigns after hot-mic comments


Didn't realize they were being broadcast and were making funnies...

I posted about this in another thread. I question how common their perspective is with other school districts.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
15,013
Points
59
It appears Neera Tanden is toast. First nominee defeated because of tweets?
I'm in the Manchin camp on this. If people should be held to a high(er) standard of public conduct, then this vote against is justified.

This was a poor choice by the Biden team. I'm sure there are equally qualified people with better online history.
 

Hawkeye66

Cyburbian
Messages
654
Points
24
I'm in the Manchin camp on this. If people should be held to a high(er) standard of public conduct, then this vote against is justified.

This was a poor choice by the Biden team. I'm sure there are equally qualified people with better online history.

It is amazing to me that someone like her, who is very educated just went off on Twitter like she did. Most people set up anonymous ones for that. The lesson here is; be careful what you post and certainly don't get into flaming wars.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
15,013
Points
59
It is amazing to me that someone like her, who is very educated just went off on Twitter like she did. Most people set up anonymous ones for that. The lesson here is; be careful what you post and certainly don't get into flaming wars.
One needs to learn this lesson in year 2 or 3 when you're a public employee or ever want to be one (especially appointed by politicians).

This is basic SOPs.
 
Last edited:

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
29,470
Points
73
I posted about this in another thread. I question how common their perspective is with other school districts.
I would imagine it's as universal for school board members to complain privately about parents wanting their babysitters back as it is to find planners complaining about citizens with next to zero knowledge about planning or zoning advising 'how the city should conduct its business'..
 

The Terminator

Cyburbian
Messages
1,702
Points
23
I'm in the Manchin camp on this. If people should be held to a high(er) standard of public conduct, then this vote against is justified.

This was a poor choice by the Biden team. I'm sure there are equally qualified people with better online history.

I cant agree more. As a Bernie Bro, I loathe Neera and will be disappointed when Bernie inevitably votes to confirm.

Never thought Id say this, but f*** yeah joe manchin!
 

Planit

Cyburbian
Messages
13,928
Points
55
Why is Tucker Carlson speaking at the Republican Study Committee on immigration to House membership?

Oh wait...nevermind.
 

Hawkeye66

Cyburbian
Messages
654
Points
24
One would think that the person selected to run OMB would have some sort of financial background? Not just another policy advocate.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,602
Points
54
One would think that the person selected to run OMB would have some sort of financial background? Not just another policy advocate.
One would also think that the person selected to run Department of Energy would have a background working in energy and not just a former Governor of Michigan.

But I have come to realize that these federal appointments are not about having experience, it is about party. And it's not just the Democrats, but also the Republicans.
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
10,989
Points
51
One would also think that the person selected to run Department of Energy would have a background working in energy and not just a former Governor of Michigan.

But I have come to realize that these federal appointments are not about having experience, it is about party. And it's not just the Democrats, but also the Republicans.

She's not a nuclear physicist (or hair-idol) like Obama's Secretary of Energy Ernie Moniz, but she has been focusing on how policy relates to energy and the environment for quite a few years now while she's been associated with Berkeley and headed up the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory there. She's also been on the board of directors at Dow Chemical (for whatever that's worth), worked with Pew on energy issues and has written quite extensively on manufacturing, energy, and energy independence since leaving office. She may not be a practitioner trained in the physical sciences, but having somebody well versed in the policy side of things can be equally important, especially when it comes to a top-level administrative position like this one.

I'm not saying that she's the best candidate for the job, but I think she's a lot more qualified than people imagine. I think residents (and former residents) of Michigan probably just see her as another politician and the one who happened to be governor here during a huge decline in the prosperity of the Big 3 which hurt the state immensely and (probably unfairly) colors our opinion of her.
 

The Terminator

Cyburbian
Messages
1,702
Points
23
The race for Buffalo Mayor is heating up! There is a DSA and Working Families backed primary challenger to four term incumbent Byron Brown. Her name is India Walton and she is an RN and Community Land Trust advocate. Brown has allot of inertia, but I have high hopes for India!



Edit: should have posted this in the political discussion thread, moderator, please move and I will give you a virtual cookie :)
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,602
Points
54
She's not a nuclear physicist (or hair-idol) like Obama's Secretary of Energy Ernie Moniz, but she has been focusing on how policy relates to energy and the environment for quite a few years now while she's been associated with Berkeley and headed up the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory there. She's also been on the board of directors at Dow Chemical (for whatever that's worth), worked with Pew on energy issues and has written quite extensively on manufacturing, energy, and energy independence since leaving office. She may not be a practitioner trained in the physical sciences, but having somebody well versed in the policy side of things can be equally important, especially when it comes to a top-level administrative position like this one.

I'm not saying that she's the best candidate for the job, but I think she's a lot more qualified than people imagine. I think residents (and former residents) of Michigan probably just see her as another politician and the one who happened to be governor here during a huge decline in the prosperity of the Big 3 which hurt the state immensely and (probably unfairly) colors our opinion of her.
I think you hit on it with not being a practitioner... I agree with quite a bit of what she wants to do in terms of shifting to renewable energy, reduction in consumption, and less reliance on fossil fuels. But I don't believe that she has the technical understanding of how to do it, or how to make it affordable for people. Electric cars are wonderful... but how is that going to help the single mother of 2 who needs to work 2 jobs just to afford rent and food for her kids? Wind and Solar Power is wonderful, but why to the rates go up to fund those installation projects?

I think that they do need the best people in the position because as we seen with the fiasco in Texas, politicians have no place in Energy.
 

Linda_D

Cyburbian
Messages
1,749
Points
21
The student loan debt is a symptom of a larger issue: the cost of higher education has grown enormously over the past few decades. Some from an older age cohort talk about how they were able to pay their way through college and make it through, so kids today should be able to as well, but that isn't exactly feasible for most. And wages for new graduates isn't exactly great for a variety of careers, so the ability to repay the size of the loans can be difficult. I do agree that trade schools should carry greater weight as well, but some of them are not cheap either.

I personally do not think we should pay off everyone's loans, but we should take a greater priority to have an educated populace, including both technical skills and humanities, and make those opportunities accessible.

When I went to college, 1968-1975, for undergrad and post grad, tuition at public colleges and universities were generally less than $500/semester, because states and cities funded their public colleges at very high rates. Tuition at CUNY was free for NYC residents. My tuition at Buffalo State College for undergrad was about $400 per semester -- and I had a state scholarship that paid the entire amount. I also got Pell grants and work study jobs. I went to grad school on an assistantship which provided me with a stipend from which I paid my graduate tuition at U of Nebraska, which was less than $400/semester since grad assistants got in-state tuition. I think I graduated with about maybe $4000 in student loans, all from the US government at ridiculously low interest rates for the time -- and half of those were forgiven because I taught in an inner city school for five years.

That's why "old timers" could go to college without incurring mountains of debt, whether they were economically disadvantaged like I was or from solid middle class families. Indirect government aid in the form of support for the schools' budgets kept costs low for all students. Students today literally pay "full freight".

I'm not sure what the best solution to the student loan problem is because there are so many different borrowing scenarios that have put students behind the proverbial eight ball. I think that there should probably different approaches to helping students with their student loan debt. Many students -- or their parents -- borrowed recklessly but most didn't. Students going into the professions, especially medicine, have racked up huge loan amounts but they can probably eventually pay their loans back. Too many students, particularly the poorest and most in need of education, got caught up in scams run by crooked for-profit "colleges' and "trade schools". Even if the federal government recognizes that these students were cheated, they still have to pay back their loans.

I am very much in favor of Biden's suggest of providing free tuition for up to 2 years of junior/community college. I would hope his plan would also cover legitimate trade schools. Going to community college for 2 years and transferring to a state college to finish an undergraduate degree is a very cost effective way to acquire a four year college degree even at today's prices if the student commutes to junior college rather than living on campus.
 

Bubba

Cyburbian
Messages
5,687
Points
43
Massive fire there early this morning. :cursing:

'Twas arson, apparently.

 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
29,470
Points
73

Why do you think the price of oil (and gas) has increased so much since the election? How do you think politics has, or has not, played into the cost?
If the price of oil increases its because either the demand has increased or there's anticipation demand will increase in the near future, or at any rate its usage will outstrip current global supplies. What role politics plays into this I'm not sure. Pent up demand over the last 12 months is probably as likely an explanation as any.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,602
Points
54
Over the weekend the House voted to approve the President's COVID relief bill and it was mostly down party lines without any GOP support. However I am curious about Representatives Golden and Schrader. They were the only two democrats to vote against the bill. Golden stated, “During challenging times, the country needs its elected leaders to work together to meet the most urgent needs in their communities. This bill addresses urgent needs, and then buries them under a mountain of unnecessary or untimely spending,"

Do you think the lack of any GOP support is representative of the next 2 years? Additionally, do you think that there was more to the 2 democrats who did not support the bill than they are letting on?
 

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
7,439
Points
34
Over the weekend the House voted to approve the President's COVID relief bill and it was mostly down party lines without any GOP support. However I am curious about Representatives Golden and Schrader. They were the only two democrats to vote against the bill. Golden stated, “During challenging times, the country needs its elected leaders to work together to meet the most urgent needs in their communities. This bill addresses urgent needs, and then buries them under a mountain of unnecessary or untimely spending,"

Do you think the lack of any GOP support is representative of the next 2 years? Additionally, do you think that there was more to the 2 democrats who did not support the bill than they are letting on?
I think there were more democrats not supporting than let on. Golden and Schrader are both anticipated to have tougher elections and were hedging for that. That's especially true for Golden.

I think there were many republicans more supportive than let on.

Bipartisanship requires two to tango, and it requires a relaxation of "party discipline." What the Republicans proposed was a disingenuous joke intended to undermine Biden's comments on bipartisanship. I would've written them off as well and walked from the negotiating table. Plus, the GOP has no moral high ground left regarding appropriate responses to COVID at the national level. The GOP has a longer history of overt obstructionism. We witnessed it most of the Obama presidency.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,602
Points
54
I think there were more democrats not supporting than let on. Golden and Schrader are both anticipated to have tougher elections and were hedging for that. That's especially true for Golden.

I think there were many republicans more supportive than let on.

Bipartisanship requires two to tango, and it requires a relaxation of "party discipline." What the Republicans proposed was a disingenuous joke intended to undermine Biden's comments on bipartisanship. I would've written them off as well and walked from the negotiating table. Plus, the GOP has no moral high ground left regarding appropriate responses to COVID at the national level. The GOP has a longer history of overt obstructionism. We witnessed it most of the Obama presidency.
So yes, you think this is representative of the GOP for the next two years.

Personally, I worry about the long term effects of this much federal spending without profound cuts elsewhere. I agree that people need help, but right now we are selling our children's future to send money to a bunch of people... so of whom have not been natively effected by COVID.
 

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
7,439
Points
34
So yes, you think this is representative of the GOP for the next two years.

Personally, I worry about the long term effects of this much federal spending without profound cuts elsewhere. I agree that people need help, but right now we are selling our children's future to send money to a bunch of people... so of whom have not been natively effected by COVID.

My opinion: the Trump tax cuts should be put in the paper shredder, and then some. It was a cut to revenue without a corresponding cut to expenses. This is also part of why I'm not inclined to invite the GOP to the table--fiscally conservative only when the Democrat is in office. I think A LOT about our tax structure during some of the greatest periods of wealth and innovation in our history, particularly the birth of the space age... and about how the stock market is perhaps the worst metric of economic performance.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,602
Points
54
My opinion: the Trump tax cuts should be put in the paper shredder, and then some. It was a cut to revenue without a corresponding cut to expenses. This is also part of why I'm not inclined to invite the GOP to the table--fiscally conservative only when the Democrat is in office. I think A LOT about our tax structure during some of the greatest periods of wealth and innovation in our history, particularly the birth of the space age... and about how the stock market is perhaps the worst metric of economic performance.
I think you are spot on and ever since we departed from the gold standard in to a fiat system, the value of the dollar is progressively declining. I also really fear what will happen when we need to correct the monetary system since the federal reserve has not raised interest rates in quite some time, the volume of money continues to be printed at record rates, and the value that we see now is artificial. It will correct and when it does a lot of people are going to lose everything. It will make the 2008 housing collapse look like a bad day.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
15,013
Points
59
I think you are spot on and ever since we departed from the gold standard in to a fiat system, the value of the dollar is progressively declining. I also really fear what will happen when we need to correct the monetary system since the federal reserve has not raised interest rates in quite some time, the volume of money continues to be printed at record rates, and the value that we see now is artificial. It will correct and when it does a lot of people are going to lose everything. It will make the 2008 housing collapse look like a bad day.
Or...since it's a fiction that everyone agrees to accept, it can continue on it's merry way.

Our monetary system is the worst, except for all the others (to paraphrase Churchill)

Protip: use this very plentiful cheap money to buy (with low or zero debt) as many hard, durable assets you can (land, real estate, long lasting cars, etc).

You can't really change it, so steer into the skid and make it work for you.
 
Last edited:

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,602
Points
54
Or...since it's a fiction that everyone agrees to accept, it can continue on it's merry way.

Our monetary system is the worst, except for all the others (to paraphrase Churchill)

Protip: use this very plentiful cheap money to buy (with low or zero debt) as many hard, durable assets you can (land, real estate, long lasting cars, etc).

You can't really change it, so steer into the skid and make it work for you.

People thought that the housing market was a wonderful fiction that everyone could agree on... until 2008 when the bottom fell out. Land and houses always goes up in in value... until it doesn't.

Protip, use this very plentiful cheap money to, without debt, to by gold, silver, and lead backed by gun power. *My focus is getting 100 percent out of debt (house included) so then when the market does crash, I will start buying.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,602
Points
54
Big difference between 2008 and now with housing though is supply. There isn't that much and there is tons of demand.
That is my point with the Money supply. They keep printing it as if the value doesn't change.

In 2008 it was not just about supply, but it goes back to the mark to market regulations that Congress put in place in the months after the Enron collapse. No longer was the value of something what you said it was, it was what the market said it was in relation to the supply available. Coupled that with the all the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae incentives for federal back mortgages on first, second, third, investment homes, it didn't matter what it was you were qualified. They knew that they could make those mortgages then sell them to the open market in package bundles knowing that the big banks would scoop them up... until one stopped. Overnight they were not work the face value and everyone else followed suit because it was no longer what feds said they were worth, but what the market said they were worth.


The M1 money supply is the federal backed mortgages now. They just ended daily reporting because they know their are going to be issues. https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/M1
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
15,013
Points
59
That is my point with the Money supply. They keep printing it as if the value doesn't change.

In 2008 it was not just about supply, but it goes back to the mark to market regulations that Congress put in place in the months after the Enron collapse. No longer was the value of something what you said it was, it was what the market said it was in relation to the supply available. Coupled that with the all the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae incentives for federal back mortgages on first, second, third, investment homes, it didn't matter what it was you were qualified. They knew that they could make those mortgages then sell them to the open market in package bundles knowing that the big banks would scoop them up... until one stopped. Overnight they were not work the face value and everyone else followed suit because it was no longer what feds said they were worth, but what the market said they were worth.


The M1 money supply is the federal backed mortgages now. They just ended daily reporting because they know their are going to be issues. https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/M1
But money is fundamentally different than an asset (like cars or real estate or real property).

It is in everyone's best interest to continue the money value fiction because it is the literal foundation of our economic system.

A specific categorical market within the Economy can be permitted to falter/fail, since everyone is not completely reliant on it.

See the difference?

Money and houses are not equivalent by a long shot.
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,732
Points
45
Just finished a very good article in the 2/26 NYT titled "Where are all the houses?" (I think) and it points to the major differences between 2008 and today. It's a very strange housing market we are in, indeed. Demand is through the roof across the country.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,602
Points
54
But money is fundamentally different than an asset (like cars or real estate or real property).

It is in everyone's best interest to continue the money value fiction because it is the literal foundation of our economic system.

A specific categorical market within the Economy can be permitted to falter/fail, since everyone is not completely reliant on it.

See the difference?

Money and houses are not equivalent by a long shot.
It was in the best interest of the citizens of every failed economic system around the world to keep living the lie. The only thing that is keeping us afloat is that it is the world's major reserve when it comes to foreign trade. For example 90% of the world's oil is traded in US dollars and the US is minor fraction of that volume. But China, Russia, and the EU are all working against continuation of the US Dollar because they see that we just keep printing money without any type of balance.

This isn't the first time that the US as been down this road. You know the phrase "Not worth a continental"
 
Top