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Member since: Wed Nov 12, 2014, 12:35 PM
Number of posts: 4,983

About Me

A blue dot in the red sea of PA\'s amish country.

Journal Archives

Getting very uneasy about West Virginia v. EPA

I'm thinking they're going to end Chevron deference.

That would cripple not only the EPA, but the ATF, IRS, and most other government agencies.

What am I talking about?

Chevron is a 1984 supreme court case which essentially says that when a law is ambiguous in an area relating to the powers of a federal agency, the courts should defer to the opinion of the agency as to what the law means as they are the experts. In practice, many current federal regulations depend on agencies abilities to write detailed regulations based on open ended laws. Tearing down chevron means that unless a federal agency has a very specific mandate to do something, they could be able to be challenged in court and have a significant chance of losing. It would be a massive blow to the modern federal government, particularly since the current composition of congress makes is insanely difficult to pass laws needed to clarify the law and fill in the holes in our regulatory structures that removing Chevron would create.

Banning guns is the 'easy' part - enforcement and removal is the hard part

Lots of discussion on the need to ban dangerous guns and restrict magazines. Makes total sense, but the discussion seems focused on what might be possible to pass and how to do it.

What is being overlooked is what happens after that.

Let's say Heller is overturned, and we have the ability to pass an enhanced version of the 94 Assault Weapons Ban - one with no grandfathering.

How do we get the now illegal guns?

A few will cooperate. I own a pistol with two magazines that hold 15 rounds each (its what came with it), and I'd be fine exchanging them for ones that hold less. (I live in a very rural area where police response times can be 30+ minutes)

I'm certain that I'd be the exception and not the norm. It's a reasonable assumption that the majority won't turn them in because its the law, or even the right thing to do. Look at the abysmal registration compliance in NY and CT when they implemented a registration program - estimated at 20% or less registered.

Taking them away against their will also isn't likely to be successful.

The immediate first challenge will be one of nullification by states. Think of the current state / federal schism on marijuana but times 100. This will need to be addressed, possibly by threatening to withhold federal funding to states.

The next part is enforcement and removal once the states are brought into line.

This is definitely the hardest of the hard parts.

I see two near intractable problems: we don't fully know how many there are, we don't fully know who has them, and who collects those we do know about?

We can get clues from manufacturer and sales records, but since very few states have any sort of registration or restrictions on private sales, there is no way of proving who should have one to turn in. Add in home built guns and there are a bunch that we don't even have that. On top of this is the magazine issue, they are not serialized or recorded in any way. We have next to nothing to go on for tracking down magazines.

Those we can track down, who gets them and how?

Going door to door would be a losing proposition.

There aren't nearly enough federal resources to do it, plus backlash against this would be even hotter than state/local resources doing it. You could easily get state and local law enforcement standing with the gunners in opposition.

State and local resources isn't much better. In red areas they will likely be sympathetic to the gunners and simply refuse. If there is a means to force them into action, I would expect them to do anything they can do undermine it.

Whoever would be tasked with a door to door effort, I would not expect them to put themselves at risk and push the issue (which would certainly be needed). It is very clear that he hardcore gunners value their guns more than the lives of innocent children, I imagine they would care even less about the lives of law enforcement trying to take their guns.

What does this leave? Honestly, I can't think of too many options, and only one that might have a chance of working.

That is to treat gun owners like a little child. Reward them / bribe them for doing the right thing because they won't do it on their own. In other words a mandatory buyback program that pays so well that most of them will want to turn them in out of greed. This would probably mean double or more what those items sold for before the ban. Searching google, looks like AR-15 magazines are $10-$15 each. Handgun magazines are $25 to $40. It might take rewards of $2500 for an assault rifle and $50 for a high capacity magazine (numbers pulled out of thin air, but remember it will take a major windfall to make them want the money more than their precious guns).

It won't get all of them, the hardcore nutters won't turn them in at any price, but if we can get the majority it would be a huge improvement. Getting most of them also has the impact of de-normalizing ownership of this stuff. This approach isn't ideal, and the idea of rewarding gun nuts and giving them tons of cash for their nasty toys will feel wrong to many, but this is one of the only remotely viable roadmaps.

Tomorrow is a litmus test for the level of insanity of the Pubs

Two major close races where they can choose to take a step back away from the abyss of madness.

PA Senate:

Oz - obvious liar and fake, Trump endorse, but still not the nuttiest option running
Barnette - Trumpier than Trump, liar, and other than skin color and gender would be a poster child for the sickness of their party
McCormick - boring, more 'normal' corporatist republican. Of the three, he's the 'sane' choice for them.


Cawthorn - Scandal dogged obnoxious fratboy-esque incumbent. Has done essentially nothing in two years in office other than bullshit and plunder. Possibly a Russian puppet as well.
Edwards - the boring 'normal' republican challenger

We'll see if they can take a step back from the void. Sadly, in both races the least demented candidate is trailing.

I'm torn as to what I want to happen. The toxic frontrunners would be easier to beat in Nov, but at the same time I'd love to see signs that the Pubs are starting move past their current madness.

If BBB isn't passed by Christmas, mail coal to Manchin's office

It's a 2fer, coal for being on the naughty list, and because if he doesn't pas BBB, he clearly cares for coal more than the wellbeing of the American people

Nov CPI data shows 6.8% inflation, highest in 40 years


definitely puts pressure on employers for the upcoming annual raise discussions with employees. The old standby 2% raise is just not going to cut it this time around.

538's average now shows VA governor race tied


So 10 months after Jan 6, a state whose politics are controlled by the DC suburbs could very well elect a Trumpkin governor. A state that was blue by +10 a year ago. What the heck is wrong with this picture???

Joe quietly just struck the biggest blow to the gun industry in a generation

He just imposed new sanctions on Russia for the Navalny assassination attempt. This includes a policy of denial of all future import permits of Russian made guns and ammunition.


This happened a few days ago but I hadn't seen anything about it. I only heard about it through angry ranting last night from my gunner brother-in-law while we were over at his house.

Supposedly over a third of all ammo sold in the US is Russian or made with some Russian made materials. He was very upset that ammo would permanently be significantly more expensive and harder to find.

Just goes to show Joe is getting things done without congress and sometimes it doesn't make the headlines either.

Consumer Price Index hits record YoY increase, 6.6%


Not good. Joe needs to sit on the Fed and get them to start taking action to put the brakes on this. CPI is a lagging indicator, and spot data (commodity prices, real estate prices, etc) suggest this isn't slowing down.

Betting employers still think they're going to pat the employees on the head and tell them 2.5% is a good raise...

The reality on promoting a new weapons ban

I see a lot of frustration, justifiably so, after the recent shootings. Many seem to think with just a little coaxing, we can get a new assault weapons ban passed.

There are more obstacles than I think many here realize.

1) passing the House. Our margin is thin, and we are dependent on some reps from purple areas with a strong firearm tradition. It will likely be extremely tight getting to votes in our own party for it.

2) passing the senate. Getting 10 Republicans isn't happening, no matter how many shootings occur, so forget that avenue. That leaves ending the filibuster. Manchin is reluctant as is Sinema. I think we'll have more getting cold feet about it if the reasoning is to put a gun ban to a vote. I can see that only adding to Manchin and Sinema's reluctance. But also can see Warnock, Kelly, and even Hassan being wary of voting yes under those conditions with 2022 looming in their gun friendly states.

3) The courts. There are plenty of Trump judges who would throw an injunction and this would quickly hit the supreme court. Not only do we have to overcome a 6-3 conservative majority, there is also the matter of the Heller decision. The 08 Heller decision indicated that guns that are in common use are constitutionally protected for ownership. This gives them a tailor made excuse to strike it down. This common use challenge to assault weapons bans has not been heard by the court yet, but could easily tear down not only a future national ban but many existing state controls.

Se will call this defeatism, it's just realism. The cards are not in our favor for pushing a ban at the time. Senator Coons pretty much said this recently, indicating that on gun control passing a small bill is better than failing to pass a large one. We should listen and make background checks our focus, it's still progress. Sadly it's also still a long shot, but at least might have a slim chance.

congratulations all, we won! ... now it is time to temper expectations.

Expanding the courts? Adding states? sweeping climate change legislation? Banning assault guns? Universal Basic Income? Universal Healthcare?

Forget about all of these for at least two years.

We are 50/50 in the Senate.
We have an 11 seat advantage in the house (13 if we take both open seats).
We have control by the narrowest of margins.

A single defection in the Senate on a bill stops it; this means we needed all of our purple or red state Dems every time. Manchin, Tester, Sinema, Kelly, etc. Manchin and others are a no for removing the legislative filibuster, so reconciliation is just about our only vehicle for bills, which adds limits of its own.

Same for judicial nominations; expect moderate judges, not progressive activists.

We lost a lot of seats in the House, and some returning Representatives barely made it back. We can take 6 or 7 defections, but even that cannot be taken for granted anymore. Especially since the surprise Republican gains in Nov will have all of our at risk seatholders firmly focused on re-election for the next two years.

Is this meant for gloom and doom? No, we won! It is just a reminder that there is a lot of hard work ahead and we won't be able to get everything we want. However progress can once again be made, baby steps at a time.

We need to focus on the easily obtainable, the non-controversial.

○ Modest progress on climate change by softer measures like energy efficiency subsidies and tax credits.
○ Fixing our tax code (undoing Trump's giveaway to the rich) and getting the top few percent and Wall Street paying more to help the rest of us.
○ Prescription drug pricing reform
○ proper covid response and financial assistance

It also might not be a bad idea to use two specific themes that Trump exploited; promoting and encouraging American manufacturing, and also distancing from China. Sounds crazy, but hear me out.

Modern, highly automated manufacturing is the future. Manufacturing left the US so the companies could have higher profits from cheap labor overseas. Automation is becoming cheaper and more effective, eventually (especially with potential public opinion backlash) a tipping point will be reached where it makes sense to close the sweatshops and build new automated factories. Where would it make sense to build them? Close to the markets (cheaper / faster shipping) and in a location with a high tech base to support the technology used. In other words it really will make sense to bring manufacturing 'home' to the US - especially if we encourage it. This will also have a positive impact on climate change as cutting edge manufacturing has less waste and less pollution.

Distancing from China. This one is a no brainer to me; just look at how they treat people. Hong Kong, the Uighur people, Tibet, Mongolians, exploitation of Africa. Not to mention their hacking, spying, and intellectual property theft. We should be working to eliminate our co-dependence on them, they are not a government we should want to be close to.
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