7 thoughts on “Bereans VLOG (12/14/2017)”

  1. One quick point about Trump (sorry to pick him as the topic, but, hey, that’s life right now). When Trump initially endorsed Luther Strange in the primaries, he made the point that Strange would win the election hands down. However, he said in the same breath that he wasn’t sure Roy Moore would win (mind you this is before the sexual allegations came about), so I’m not sold on your point about Trump being completely naive when it comes to politics. Moreover, he shouldn’t have endorsed Roy Moore, but let’s not forget the bigger picture. Republicans hold a slim majority in the Senate, and every vote counts. Trump and the RNC both ultimately got behind him for the vote, so if a naivete claim is made, it would have to go to both of them. All that being said, I think it’s good that Moore lost in the end. It’ll sting for a bit, but 2020 will come around, and if the RNC nominates a candidate with even a whiff of decency and morals, Doug Jones will lose handily.

    1. -“… if a naivete claim is made, it would have to go to both of them.”

      That’s easy. Okay.

      Also, which is it? Should he not have endorsed Moore, or is every seat of vital importance? I can’t tell what you’re trying to argue.

      On a related note, should an administration that definitively lost the popular vote be charging ahead as if it has a mandate? I worry that rushing ahead with big agenda items just because you can technically force them on the majority that doesn’t want it is a bad thing for a representative government, and can have bad backlash-y consequences for your party (see the Affordable Care Act).

      1. I’m saying Trump isn’t as naive as he is made out to be. He knew Moore would have a harder time either way, and, frankly, I think McConnell probably knew this as well (even before the scandal broke). The endorsement was a risk (which played out poorly), but I can understand why they did it. It hardly reeks of naivete. What I was saying was that IF a naivete claim was made, it would have to go to both groups because both endorsed Moore. I’m not saying they were naive; they knowingly took a risk, and it didn’t pay off. It’s unfortunate for them, but, of course, it’s unfortunate they ever had to be in this position.

        Republicans and Democrats have both botched their healthcare operations. I plead no contest there. That being said, a tax overhaul is much different, and once people see their taxes going down, I doubt they will protest quite as much. The Democrats’ opposition is more politics than actual objection from what I’ve seen (they’ve proposed similar legislation in the past, and they all of a sudden oppose it). Of course, the better question should be whether or not the government’s actions are good for the country. If you’ve tracked the coverage of the tax bill, you may notice the conversation has proceeded as follows: “The tax bill favors the rich!” “Ok, it also favors the poor, but it hurts the middle class!” “Nevermind, everyone is getting a tax cut, but it’s bad for the deficit!” “Maybe not that bad given past empirical evidence…..ok, the tax cuts aren’t permanent!” As more info emerges about it, it’s looking increasingly better, and I deign to think it will be received as poorly as the ACA.

      2. They didn’t have to be in the position. They could have disowned him. They didn’t.

        Well, I suppose we agree that it won’t be well received. Not that I disagree with the idea of tax reform: Just that last time, we had a president who reached across the aisle to do it, and it took him years to do it well. This feels rushed, and it’s clearly not being sold well given the intense polarization surrounding it.

        Do you have any thoughts on what I originally asked, though? How aggressive should the GOP be, given that they are not governing with a majority or a mandate, that the voting public is largely opposed to their agenda and so forth? I feel like being aggressive is a bad move, because you’re likely to generate backlash, but also because this is a representative government that should, presumably, not be doing its best to go against the wishes of the majority where it doesn’t have to. What do you think a good balance is? Or should whichever party is in power charge as far as they can, popular support or no?

  2. I don’t understand the push to eliminate Net Neutrality. Neither party’s voters want it. Feels like it’s a textbook example of regulatory capture at work.

    Since you all seem convinced (as I am) that the GOP has totally lost control of their primaries and nominees, what do you think should be done to remedy that?

    1. This is the text of an article from the Wall Street Journal. May help explain some of the pandemonium…

      The rhetoric over net neutrality has reached a fever pitch, with each side predicting dire consequences if opponents get their way. There is a critical need for protections from anticompetitive practices online, but both sides are exaggerating. Just as the sky did not fall when the FCC imposed its current Title II version of net neutrality in 2015, it also won’t fall if the FCC reclassifies broadband as an information service later this week—that is, if it follows through with the repeal of so-called net neutrality that has so many up in arms.

      That’s because the FCC plan would restore power to police the internet to the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC, my former agency, is an experienced cop on the beat in this area. It protected internet users from unfair, deceptive and anticompetitive practices for the two decades before the FCC’s 2015 rule, which removed its jurisdiction.

      Consider the core principles of net neutrality, which I have long supported: unfettered access of the entire (lawful) internet and transparency about broadband providers’ practices. The FTC worked on those issues for years. In 2000, it conditioned AOL’s acquisition of Time Warner on the combined company’s commitment to treat competing internet providers operating on its network fairly.

      Since then, the FTC has defended the rights of municipalities to provide broadband competition and helped drive the public debate about the importance of neutrality rules, even taking action in 2014 against AT&T Mobility for allegedly slowing down the bandwidth of mobile users with “unlimited” data plans.

      With its authority restored—and assuming the agency prevails in a challenge to its power pending in a federal appellate court, as is likely—the FTC can hold internet providers to their public promises to maintain an open internet. Every major broadband provider has committed not to block, throttle or unfairly discriminate against lawful content. The FCC’s plan would compel providers to give customers clear and detailed information about their practices—commitments both the FTC and state attorneys general will be able to enforce, since false public disclosures violate the law.

      Further, the FTC has used its enforcement authority to bring actions against other corporate practices that harm consumers. It has already done so against many of the biggest companies operating online, including edge providers (Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Twitter), broadband providers (Comcast, AT&T) and distributors ( Dish Network and DirecTV).

      The FTC and the Justice Department can also prohibit unfair competition by enforcing the Sherman Antitrust Act—a formidable hammer against anyone who would harmfully block, throttle or prioritize traffic.

      Perhaps most important, the plan to restore FTC jurisdiction is good for consumers because it puts the nation’s foremost privacy cop back on the beat after a two-year absence. The FTC brought more than 500 privacy and data-security cases against companies large and small. It used this authority against broadband providers selling sensitive personal data without permission or failing to protect customer data from hackers and cyber criminals. The Obama administration called for the FTC to be the sole federal privacy enforcement agency as part of its much-vaunted 2012 Privacy Bill of Rights.

      Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are now expressing interest in pursuing net-neutrality legislation. If they can get beyond partisanship and focus on practical solutions, Congress could cement a meaningful and permanent resolution to an issue that should have been resolved a long time ago. In the meantime though, the sky isn’t falling. Consumers will remain protected, and the internet will continue to thrive.

      Author: Mr. Leibowitz was a Democratic commissioner at the FTC from 2004-13 and chairman beginning in 2009. As a partner at the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, he represents both technology companies and broadband providers.

      1. I don’t think Mr. Leibowitz is replying to my questions though. I’m not arguing that the FCC is the best enforcing agency for the principle of net neutrality. I’m not even arguing that net neutrality is a good thing.

        I don’t understand the push to eliminate Net Neutrality. Neither party’s voters want it. Feels like it’s a textbook example of regulatory capture at work. Even if it could be argued as a good thing, why would you force it through against the popular will? Neither side’s constituencies want this. Why bother?

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