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Foraker

Rhodes Tower 629'
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Foraker last won the day on February 18

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  1. We probably agree on more than you would expect. I do think it is shameful that some military families live in poverty, yes. These men and women and their families are making a big sacrifice and we should treat them well for it. As to the size of the military budget, I think there are significant savings to be made just by being more fiscally diligent. The first order of business is to audit the entire defense budget. That can be done confidentially, with a report to the appropriate classified committees in Congress, if necessary. The fact that the defense budget is currently un-auditable provides too great an opportunity for fraud and waste. Having worked with and for several defense contractors I do think there should be more accountability. We (or our representatives in Congress) need to know more details about where our money is actually going. The second step would be to determine what our priorities as a nation are. First, defend the US borders and territorial waters, obviously. Second, have the capacity for taking quick limited military action on other continents. Third, be prepared to assist our allies militarily -- both in training and maintaining the capability to ramp up quickly and to provide allied arms. I think we can agree on those points. We probably do not agree that the US needs to be the dominant military presence in every part of the world at every given moment -- I'm not convinced that we should be the world's only policeman at this time -- in part because I believe that there are other responsible nations that can share the burden, and in part because I don't believe that we can afford to do so. We probably disagree on those lower-level priorities. I also think we need to periodically (every ten years?) review all of our defense spending, particularly outside the US, and reevaluate our needs and where we can cut costs. And some of that oversight needs to be civilians outside the defense industry (Congress? and/or another agency?) So while I do think that our defense budget probably is too big (again, how do we know we need to spend 20x our competition or whether 15x would be sufficient to provide a comfortable advantage?) and our domestic budget too limited, I don't know enough details to say what specific programs should be cut or scaled back. (I also think that we should have tracked increased defense costs for Iraq and Afghanistan and imposed a war tax that would automatically expire when those bills are paid off, but that's a fiscally conservative Democrat for you. I don't know where those Tea Party dudes were on that bit of fiscal irresponsibility.)
  2. I disagree with each of those points [1]-[4]. [1] Can you explain how the US re-allocating a big chunk of its defense spending to other priorities would wreck the global economy? I have a hard time believing the US government would actually reduce its spending overall. And as Gramarye said, most of the defense budget is spent on personnel. I don't think the contrary is true, that increasing US defense spending (paying more US personnel -- too many of whom are presently eligible for food stamps) would boost the world economy. You could also argue that our State Department spending and direct foreign aid contributes to our defense as well. [2] Europe's economy is almost as big as the US's. Sure, we have an interest in being there and in providing support, but to the same degree as in 1950 or even 1980? Sure, they might like having the US take the lead, but allowing Europe to take a larger role here would not mean ceding all influence in the world. https://mgmresearch.com/us-vs-eu-a-gdp-comparison/ [3] I don't follow that logic. I don't think we need to outspend the world by 20x when 15x will do. (Particularly given the US's world ranking on state of repair for its infrastructure, child mortality, education, etc.) [4] I also don't think we have to choose between isolationism and being the world's policeman. Just how many European military bases does the US need? Seriously, if we turn a base over to Germany you think we won't still have access when needed or that it won't still be used for joint training exercises? Despite our massive defense spending, Russia (recent sale of missiles to Syria and NATO-ally Turkey) and China (building military bases in Africa, building new islands and military bases in the Pacific) are already exerting larger influence around the world. Moreover, while Russia surely has an interest in maintaining compliant buffer-states between itself and Europe, the threat of Russia invading Poland again seems pretty remote. (The Baltic states should be worried -- between Russian interests and the difficulty in defending them from a determined Russian military, no matter how committed the US or NATO is to their defense.)
  3. If we did cut our defense budget in half (which I really think we could do without jeopardizing our security, and it would be fiscally prudent to look into doing so), I don't think we'd see much increase in defense spending in Europe.
  4. The floor-to-ceiling glass is pretty, but that looks like some pretty thin insulation at the floor and it seems like it will be cold next to those windows. I wish architects would take a more energy-efficient approach. Even the best windows don't provide as good an insulation value as a cheap wall.
  5. Exactly. And there is some concern on the left that the citizenship question will be used in gerrymandering. https://www.thenation.com/article/trump-census-citizenship-data-gerrymander-democracy/
  6. Admittedly, I too have always wanted to live in Thankfully, Cleveland Heights has lots of those!
  7. In a federal system, you would think that states (via their AG's) have the right to enforce the constitution. Citizens or voters does not seem to be a better choice. If only Congress can enforce the constitution, I can see that becoming a slippery slope to the end of democracy
  8. Architectural Board of Review unanimously approved the “overall concept” for the Top of the Hill project. Construction expected to begin late in the 4th quarter, 2019 https://www.cleveland.com/community/2019/07/cleveland-heights-architectural-board-oks-concept-for-top-of-the-hill-project.html City working on a temporary parking plan during construction. https://www.cleveland.com/community/2019/07/temporary-parking-plans-almost-in-place-for-top-of-the-hill-construction.html
  9. Yes, it is the "concomitant infrastructure obligations" that are really going to bite future generations.
  10. If state AG's don't have standing to bring an Emoluments Clause case, who does?!? Looking forward to further reporting on this one.
  11. See the original in The Trump Presidentcy And this is why Fox News is Faux News -- they could not verify the source of the story but ran with it anyway. Repeatedly. Journalism 101 -- verify your sources, preferably multiple sources -- and that's a solid "F," Mr. Hannity.
  12. Agreed, leading with the gun was stupid, if that is what happened. But should we really expect someone in that situation to not be scared, and who when scared makes the best decisions all the time? In this particular case, from the video you can see that the rear car door opened wide, it was dark inside and you can't really see anything -- there was no sign of a gun -- there's a pause, and then gunfire erupted. I didn't see any flash from the car, so presumably it was only the police firing. Hopefully there is body cam or vehicle video evidence to back up the scared officers. I'm sure they honestly were scared. I'm not so convinced that they should have been, or that the response to fear should be death of a suspect. American police officers seem to lead potentially violent confrontations with gunfire pretty often, particularly with African-Americans. Do we have more officer deaths per capita than in other countries (do they have reason to be so afraid)? Do we have more violent criminals than other countries? Are our officers not sufficiently trained in how to avoid having to kill someone? What the heck is going on....? Could this have been handled differently? Given that studies have shown that even well-trained police officers more often miss their targets, the risk to civilians in the store behind the vehicle, and the uncertainty about who was in the car, I would argue that firing first presented a significant risk of harm that better-trained officers should try to avoid whenever possible. Could the officers standing by their vehicle in their bulletproof vests have waited to see whether the guy was holding the gun up to surrender? Could they have talked him out of the car? Are we really asking too much of police officers to hold off on using their superior firepower a little longer (particularly against our darker-skinned citizens)? There have been several instances where even when suspects do EXACTLY what the police say, they have not survived the encounter, which certainly gives every African-American the right to be scared of every police encounter no matter how innocent. We should do better by our fellow citizens.
  13. If you could somehow work with or buy out the owner of the adjacent '007 parcel, you could really do something transformative on that site.
  14. Final design presentation. Doesn't look much different from the previous version. https://www.cleveland.com/news/2019/06/final-design-recommendations-for-revamping-shaker-square-earn-mixed-reviews-at-sunday-unveiling.html
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