Big Al's best reads – Wed 13 Jun, 2018

Remember what Nemorovski said about doing away with the two party system? Here is what The New York Times now says.

US could use an overhaul of its parties and politics


New York Times

There are a bunch of different ways to do democracy. In Western Europe, most countries have proportional representation and a lot of different parties representing voter interests. In this country we’ve gone with a two-party system and winner-take-all elections.

During the middle of the 20th century, it seemed like we’d chosen the right approach. The proportional multiparty system allowed an extremist named Adolf Hitler to rise to power with the initial support of a tiny fraction of Germany’s voters. Both American parties, meanwhile, seemed to bend toward compromise, knowing they had to win over the median voter in order to get to 50.1 percent majorities.

But even then, as Lee Drutman of the think tank New America points out, America really had a four-party system. There were liberal Republicans from places like the Northeast and conservative Republicans from the West. There were liberal Democrats on the coasts and conservative Democrats from the South. The four groups floated into different legislative coalitions depending on the issue and the moment, allowing for flexible bipartisan majorities.

Now the two-party system has rigidified and ossified. The two parties no longer bend to the center. They push to the extremes, where the donor bases and their media propaganda arms are. More and more people feel politically homeless, alienated from both parties and without any say in how the country is run.

Moreover, the whole way of practicing politics has been transformed. Each party imagines that it is one wave election from destroying the other side and gaining total power. Therefore, as Drutman notes, there’s no interest in compromise, just winning and losing, gloating and seething.

Partisans’ chief interest is in proving that the other party is despicable – in ramping up fear, hatred and the negative polarization that is the central feature of contemporary American politics.

The result is that people, especially the young, lose faith in democratic norms altogether. There are more than 6,000 breweries in America, but when it comes to our politics, we get to choose between Soviet Refrigerator Factory A and Soviet Refrigerator Factory B.

The good news is that we don’t have to live with this system. There’s nothing in the Constitution that says there have to be only two parties. There’s nothing in the Constitution about parties at all. There’s not even anything in the Constitution mandating that each congressional district have only one member and be represented by one party. We could have a much fairer and better system with the passage of a law.

The way to do that is through multi-member districts and ranked-choice voting. In populous states, the congressional districts would be bigger, with around three to five members per district. Voters would rank the candidates on the ballot. If no candidate had a majority of first-place votes, then the candidate with the fewest first-place votes would be eliminated. Voters who preferred that candidate would have their second-choice vote counted instead. The process would be repeated until you get your winners.

This system makes it much easier for third and fourth parties to form, because voting for a third party no longer means voting for one with no chance of winning. You get a much more supple representation of the different political tendencies that actually exist in the country.

Follow David Brooks on Twitter: @nytdavidbrooks

Al Korelin

  1. On June 13, 2018 at 5:34 pm,
    CFS says:

    All democratic voting systems fail with a poorly-educated, or uninformed public.
    How worse it must be when main stream media distorts the news as well.

    We need to somehow have citizen politicians who care for the country and resist enriching themselves.
    Perhaps more disclosure would be in order, with closure of PAC loop-holes, but Congress would never vote for that.
    Perhaps term limits might help.

    Putting a number of members of Congress in jail for corruption will help.

    Let’s see the unredacted IG report and target some deep staters.

    • On June 14, 2018 at 6:49 am,
      OOTB Jerry says:

      Dig a little deeper………..congress and cia……..

      • On June 14, 2018 at 6:59 am,
        OOTB Jerry says:

        We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

  2. On June 13, 2018 at 5:43 pm,
    CFS says:

    Right now it is reported that there are over 25 million American voters registered to vote in more than one place.
    So perhaps first changing the law to require voter IDs and allow states to monitor the accuracy of registration might help, requiring social security numbers to be attached to registration….that would stop some illegal non-tax-payers voting.
    Ofcourse, California would never allow that.

    • On June 14, 2018 at 8:47 am,
      GH says:

      Eliminating voter fraud is essential and URGENT.

  3. On June 13, 2018 at 5:46 pm,
    CFS says:

    Soros, so far, has spent $23 million in the US, since the last Presidential election, to increase registration, particularly of non-citizens.

    • On June 13, 2018 at 6:58 pm,
      CFS says:

      Soros is a Hungarian Jew (a Khazar), born in Budapest in 1930 as György Schwartz (in 1936 his parents changed their surname to Sorosz).
      The connection between Soros and the Rothschilds is achieved through a network of confidential people who sit in administrative committees of funds, trusts, companies, banks… One of those people was a certain Richard Katz (also a Khazar), a member of the “Quantum Fund” committee. At the same time he was head of “Rothschild Italia S.p.A.” and a member of the committee of the commercial bank “N.M. Rothschild & Sons” in London.
      I do not trust Soros or many Rothschilds. They only have their interests to make money, and little desire to make the world a better place, IMO.

  4. On June 13, 2018 at 6:01 pm,
    CFS says:

    Some corrupt politicians are so intent on ensuring illegal voting, it will be extremely difficult to modify voting laws.

    To see how difficult it is even to prune dead persons from the electoral rolls, one merely has to look at the Amicus Curiae brief for the recent Supreme court case.

  5. On June 13, 2018 at 6:18 pm,
    CFS says:

    off topic;

    Why is MSM not talking more about this:
    Operation Broken Heart.

    • On June 14, 2018 at 6:47 am,
      OOTB Jerry says:

      Might be getting to close to home…..for some to mention such a thing…….
      CIA, MSM……see Kevin Shipp

  6. On June 13, 2018 at 6:56 pm,
    bonzo barzini says:

    Matthew and Doc, Academy stores have a sale this week on the Taurus 605 bronze polymer.357 mag revolver w/2″ barrel for just $250. As you are the pistol experts here I thought I’d ask your opinion before I buy one. Thanks.

    • On June 13, 2018 at 8:35 pm,
      Matthew says:

      Bonzo, that’s a good deal. The lowest prices I could find have all been above $270.

      I have no experience with that model but used to own three Taurus revolvers (.44 Mag; .357 Mag; and a .22) and none ever gave me any trouble. All were shot pretty often for years.

      You can’t beat S&W or Colt but Taurus offers a good value.

      • On June 14, 2018 at 6:41 am,
        OOTB Jerry says:

        ditto on the Colt and S&W……….

      • On June 14, 2018 at 7:19 am,
        bonzo barzini says:

        Thanks, Matthew. Sure, I’d prefer a Colt or Ruger or S&W, but it would cost more than double the 605. So if you have no complaints about Taurus I’ll go buy one tomorrow and hope they have not sold out.

        • On June 14, 2018 at 8:43 am,
          Matthew says:

          Yes, a lightweight S&W snub nose is probably more than triple that price. I can see why you don’t want to pay more for such a specialized tool.

          • On June 14, 2018 at 10:43 am,
            bonzo barzini says:

            I hear that Doc carries an old Charter Arms .44 special snub nose revolver.

          • On June 14, 2018 at 10:50 am,
            Matthew says:

            That would be good in black bear country.

          • On June 14, 2018 at 10:52 am,
            Matthew says:

            For grizzlies, see John Linebaugh…

          • On June 14, 2018 at 12:12 pm,
            bonzo barzini says:

            Wouldn’t the Taurus .357 mag be as good as a .44 Special in black bear country?
            I think I’ll keep .38 Special+P in it unless I go to bear country.

          • On June 14, 2018 at 12:50 pm,
            Matthew says:

            For black bears, I think so but on the grizz, I’d load heat treated cast solids that are heavy for the caliber and opt for the one that makes a larger diameter wound channel (since solids do not expand).
            Nothing resists deflection (off of heavy bones, for example) or penetrates like a good cast solid. A .475 Linebaugh with such a load will shoot lengthwise through a charging bear no matter what the bullet runs into.

          • On June 14, 2018 at 4:11 pm,
            OOTB Jerry says:

            John Linebaugh…….a little salty grizzly at $3800 a pop…….. .475 got to love em….
            Home on the Range…..and Peace on Earth….The weapon is beautiful in that black color.

          • On June 14, 2018 at 4:13 pm,
            OOTB Jerry says:

            I enjoyed the post…..on John L…….

          • On June 14, 2018 at 4:14 pm,
            OOTB Jerry says:

            Sorry, ……never liked Charter Arms…..

          • On June 14, 2018 at 5:17 pm,
            Matthew says:

            That’s $3,800 to convert a gun that you supply 😮

          • On June 14, 2018 at 5:41 pm,
            OOTB Jerry says:

            Boy am I ever dumb…….got to read between the lines……They still look like a fine quality piece of arms……Proud to be American Made…… 🙂

  7. On June 13, 2018 at 7:21 pm,
    CFS says:

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexicans are among the biggest soda drinkers in the world, so residents of the southern city of Ciudad Altamirano were hit hard when first Coca-Cola then Pepsi closed their distribution centers amid drug gang extortion demands.

    To paraphrase an old Saturday Night Live routine, it’s “No Coke, no Pepsi” for the city in the steamy southern state of Guerrero.

    “Soft drinks form a part of our diet, people drink them in their homes, so imagine when the two main distributors in the whole region practically leave,” Guerrero state security spokesman Roberto Alvarez said Wednesday. “It’s huge.”

    PepsiCo Mexico said in a statement: “Our bottler Grupo Gepp made the difficult decision to suspend their operations in Ciudad Altamirano because the necessary conditions to distribute its products did not exist. PepsiCo respects the decision.”

    Alvarez said the government was still investigating exactly why the plant closed, but added: “We not ruling out that criminal groups have been pressuring (the company) to extort money from them.”

    CFS comment:Several mining companies have left/are leaving because of Mexican crime.

    Unfortunately, some Mexican officials are also too corrupt.

  8. On June 13, 2018 at 11:03 pm,
    Matthew says:

    EXK looks great…

    • On June 14, 2018 at 5:26 am,
      Charles says:

      Hi Matthew –

      Off topic, but I am looking for a few good copper stocks. My only current holding is Nevsun Resources. I am thinking about buying some Copperbank, but wondered if there were a few others that you liked?

      • On June 14, 2018 at 9:12 am,
        Matthew says:

        Hi Charles,

        Most copper companies don’t interest me much at the moment, for technical reasons, so I’d consider getting your copper exposure through Yamana Gold’s 280 million tons of measured and indicated reserves.

        I don’t own it but consider it an easy “buy” for a long term hold.

      • On June 14, 2018 at 9:18 am,
        Matthew says:

        Your Copperbank chart isn’t bad at all but looks like it may be range-bound for awhile. Of course, a $17M company could easily have a story/catalyst that I don’t know about that could send it much higher much sooner than I think.

      • On June 14, 2018 at 9:28 am,
        Matthew says:

        Copper Mountain Mining looks interesting…

      • On June 14, 2018 at 9:35 am,
        Matthew says:

        The P&F PO for AUY is $6.75

        • On June 14, 2018 at 9:37 am,
          Matthew says:

          It’s $7.25 for your NSU.

          • On June 14, 2018 at 12:11 pm,
            Charles says:

            Thanks Matthew! I like the Yamana idea. Thanks for the Input on NSU also. I never have spent much time with P&F charts. Maybe a should.

          • On June 14, 2018 at 12:56 pm,
            Matthew says:

            The P&F method is just one more tool to be used with the rest of the “evidence.”
            For example, SLV points to about $10 right now but that doesn’t go very well with the rest of the picture so I am not worried about that possibility.

          • On June 14, 2018 at 1:37 pm,
            Charles says:

            Thanks again Matthew. I have learned over the years that multiple perspectives/methods helps to keep you on the right side. On another note, ISVLF seems to be breaking out of its range today on nice volume. Yowser!

          • On June 14, 2018 at 2:04 pm,
            Matthew says:

            You’re welcome.
            Now, playing devils advocate, could it just be on its way to back-testing that upward sloping H&S neckline? I don’t think so at all but I do expect a little extra selling there (@ .345 tomorrow):

          • On June 14, 2018 at 2:34 pm,
            Charles says:

            A pullback after such a move would be normal and I would expect some pullback tomorrow, but I don’t think it will go back below its breakout point. I am thinking a quick backtest of its breakout point might happen in the morning and then comes back up and maybe a bit higher in the afternoon to invalidate the head and shoulders. I also think there might be a larger inverse head and shoulders building out with the most recent bottom being the head. That would seem to make sense for a shoot up north now, followed by a pullback in the fall to build out the right shoulder followed by a rocket shot upside in November/December.

          • On June 14, 2018 at 4:26 pm,
            Matthew says:

            I put more weight on the Canadian listing when charting Impact Silver and it looks a bit better:

          • On June 14, 2018 at 6:22 pm,
            Charles says:

            Thanks for the chart. Could go to either way. Trying to stay open to both possibilities.

  9. On June 14, 2018 at 3:40 am,
    CFS says:

    China Warns US Trade Deals Off If Tariff Hike Goes Ahead
    Associated Press – 23 minutes ago
    BEIJING (AP) — China’s government renewed its threat Thursday to scrap deals with Washington aimed at defusing a sprawling trade dispute as the White House prepared to release a list of Chinese goods targeted for tariff hikes.

    President Donald Trump has threatened to raise tariffs on up to $150 billion of Chinese goods in response to complaints about Beijing’s trade surplus and technology policy. As part of that, the White House is due to issue a list on Friday of $50 billion of Chinese goods targeted for a 25 percent tariff.

    Beijing has promised to buy more American soybeans, natural gas and other exports but warned after June 3 talks between U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and China’s top economic official, Vice Premier Liu He, that all deals were off if Trump’s threatened tariffs went ahead.

    “We made clear that if the U.S. rolls out trade sanction including the imposition of tariffs, all outcomes reached by the two sides in terms of trade and economy will not come into effect,” said a foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang. “I just want to repeat this point today.”

    Beijing also has announced plans to cut import duties on autos and some consumer goods and to ease limits on foreign ownership in auto manufacturing, insurance and some other industries, though those don’t directly address U.S. complaints.

  10. On June 14, 2018 at 3:52 am,
    CFS says:

    The anticipated OIG report from the Justice Department’s internal watchdog will arrive today at 3pm EST, on President Trump’s 72nd birthday. The 400+ page document, prepared by Inspector General Michael Horowitz, will specifically address the DOJ/FBI’s conduct surrounding the Hillary Clinton email investigation. It will not cover any of the FISA abuse / surveillance on the Trump campaign – for which a separate OIG investigation was launched in late March.
    May Hillary get her just reward.

  11. On June 14, 2018 at 4:07 am,
    CFS says:

    Meanwhile south of the border:

    MEXICO CITY — It has been a brutal electoral season, even by Mexico’s violent standards.

    At least 113 candidates, pre-candidates, and current and former politicians have been killed and 300 more have suffered some form of aggression since September, according to Etellekt, a Mexico City–based public policy consultancy. Even the government’s tally — 34, which considers only candidates — pushes this particular death toll to nearly four per month.
    Astonishing as these numbers are, they only tell part of the story: There are hundreds of candidates who have backed out of their races out of fear for their safety, and many others who have curbed their campaign activities. This poses a significant challenge to Mexico’s relatively young democracy, already crippled by systemic corruption and widespread impunity.

  12. On June 14, 2018 at 8:23 am,
    CFS says:
  13. On June 14, 2018 at 3:58 pm,
    CFS says: