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  #101  
Old 05-15-2019, 09:37 PM
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I don't think the President has the authority to order that bombing. Not like that stopped either Clinton, Obama, or Trump before. But just because they flouted the War Powers Resolution doesn't mean Trump should.

~Max
I agree with you. I was discussing an extremely unlikely hypothetical to get at the issue of the world's reaction. I don't think a president acting like that would be wise or appropriate, and I don't think it's going to happen either.
  #102  
Old 05-15-2019, 09:54 PM
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Sure, I agree, we shouldn't start wars "for no reason". If, however, we find ourselves in a war, which is the scenario I was discussing when you took issue with my post, don't you think it would make sense, at that point, to damage their nuclear infrastructure too? Or do you still think it would be "fucking stupid"?
How would you damage it, Ditka? Many of the sites are going to be Superfund-equivalent in operation, before high explosives start breaking things. If the Iranians are generating fissile material through, say, irradiating U-238, breaking that reactor is going to leave one big mess. (Which is why the Israelis bombed Osirak in 1981 before it started operation, and who knows what happened with the big cube on the Euphrates in Syria.) I guess the tunnel entry points at someplace like Natanz or Qom could be bombed, and the Iranians inconvenienced for as long as it took to dig out the entrances.

But bombing something like Bushehr is going to be an incredible problem.
  #103  
Old 05-15-2019, 10:11 PM
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Sure, I agree, we shouldn't start wars "for no reason". If, however, we find ourselves in a war, which is the scenario I was discussing when you took issue with my post, don't you think it would make sense, at that point, to damage their nuclear infrastructure too? Or do you still think it would be "fucking stupid"?


When the entire operation is stupid, I'm not going to waste time breaking down the individually stupid parts.
  #104  
Old 05-15-2019, 11:18 PM
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Let's hypothesize momentarily that later this week President Trump has just had enough. Perhaps it was one mean tweet too many, or the beady little eyes of the spokesperson on TV, but for whatever unjustified reason you want to imagine, President Trump decides, "that's it, we're doing this" and orders the USAF and USN to bomb the IRGC out of existence. A massive bombing campaign ensues. What does the rest of the world do?

Do you think it will be "Followed by global sanctions, freezing of U.S. assets overseas, widespread boycotts of U.S. exports and large-scale disinvestment"? I don't think that's likely, even if the hypothesized military action doesn't have the EU's seal of approval. Do you though?
I think such a unilateral action will have far more wide-reaching consequences than Kosovo or Libya, both of which had at least the semblance of western political backing via NATO. If Mr. Trump ordered extensive bombing of Iran without even flying NATO colors, I expect a strong international rebuke. The U.S. would be forced to veto what will likely be an otherwise unanimous UNSC resolution condemning the U.S. for a flagrant violation of international law. Even Israel will probably be dumbfounded although publicly supportive. You can bet all the usual actors will have a field day pointing out how reckless the U.S. is - Russia, China, Syria, even Republicans. Whether that means boycotts or sanctions, I could not say.

Then there is the chance, however slim, that Iran has a secret defensive pact with say Russia or N. Korea. They already have a defensive pact with Syria if I recall correctly, but I don't think it has any teeth.

Then we have the logistical problems of actually bombing the nuclear capability out of Iran. I'm no expert but it seems possible that dropping conventional bombs on a nuclear power plant that secretly holds a nuclear weapons research facility is a really bad idea that could easily backfire and cause fallout to float around. Wikipedia says meteorological conditions caused Castle Bravo's fallout to move over 500km downwind, while the Bushehr power plant and Kuwait (U.S. military bases) are separated by about 200km of ocean. Or what if fallout from Bonab somehow floated over to Armenia, which has a defensive pact with Russia? And of course, everything is for naught if we don't actually crush Iran's nuclear capability.

And then let's not forget that potential nuclear facilities aren't all out in the middle of the desert. Darkhovin is on Iran's only major river, Bushehr is the 15th largest city in Iran, and after all Tehran is the capital city. Indiscriminate bombing comes at the risk of high civilian collateral and possibly a tragic nuclear disaster.

How strongly the international community reacts will depend on specifics I could not dream about, but the reaction will surely be strong and negative.

~Max
  #105  
Old 05-16-2019, 12:22 AM
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Then there is the chance, however slim, that Iran has a secret defensive pact with say Russia or N. Korea.
The whole point of a defensive pact is lost IF YOU KEEP IT A SECRET! Why don't they tell the world, eh?
  #106  
Old 05-16-2019, 01:44 AM
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The whole point of a defensive pact is lost IF YOU KEEP IT A SECRET! Why don't they tell the world, eh?
I see what you did there, Dr. Strangelove!
  #107  
Old 05-16-2019, 01:50 AM
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What would it be like?


I think it would be like this guy:
https://youtu.be/KYZuCKmDi9c

Before he does his extraordinarily unadvisable thing, he displays brash confidence. Soon after, that is not even a distant memory.
  #108  
Old 05-16-2019, 06:12 AM
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The whole point of a defensive pact is lost IF YOU KEEP IT A SECRET! Why don't they tell the world, eh?
This is easily my all-time favorite poster/post combination. And Max S. just teed it up so perfectly! Also, it makes avatars worthwhile, at least for one post, because seeing him there made it all the more perfect.
  #109  
Old 05-16-2019, 06:42 AM
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So the OP says it "seems like all the plot points coming together for an epic tale of utter humiliaton on the world stage" and the thread title says we're about to "go into a foreign policy death spiral". What would that look like? What indicators should we be watching to be able to look back in a year or two and say, "yup, the OP really nailed it"? Does USA get kicked out of NATO? Something less dramatic / definitive? What?

https://www.newsweek.com/angela-merk...e-must-1426742

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel lumped in the United States with Europe’s other global adversaries on Wednesday, arguing that the countries on the continent need to band together against the challenges posed by Russia, China and the U.S.

“There is no doubt that Europe needs to reposition itself in a changed world…. The old certainties of the postwar order no longer apply,” Merkel told the German media on Wednesday.

And that's before you start bombing Iran for no reason.
  #110  
Old 05-16-2019, 06:51 AM
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel lumped in the United States with Europe’s other global adversaries on Wednesday, arguing that the countries on the continent need to band together against the challenges posed by Russia, China and the U.S.

“There is no doubt that Europe needs to reposition itself in a changed world…. The old certainties of the postwar order no longer apply,” Merkel told the German media on Wednesday.
And that's before you start bombing Iran for no reason.
Are polls allowed in Elections? I'd like a quick poll right here: Does this development make you proud of (or sad about) the present Administration. I'll check 'Sad.' How do our Republican Dopers vote?
  #111  
Old 05-16-2019, 07:49 AM
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Are polls allowed in Elections? I'd like a quick poll right here: Does this development make you proud of (or sad about) the present Administration. I'll check 'Sad.' How do our Republican Dopers vote?


As a Canadian, the thing that makes me sad is that the US is going to take us down with it. Other parts of the world could withdraw from engagement with the US, and while it would hurt in the short term, they'd survive in the long term.

But Canada is pretty much stuck. Simple geography means we're tied the US whether we want to be or not, and I can't see that changing. Even Mexico has more options than we do for developing other major trading relationships.
  #112  
Old 05-16-2019, 08:30 AM
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So the OP says it "seems like all the plot points coming together for an epic tale of utter humiliaton on the world stage" and the thread title says we're about to "go into a foreign policy death spiral". What would that look like? What indicators should we be watching to be able to look back in a year or two and say, "yup, the OP really nailed it"? Does USA get kicked out of NATO? Something less dramatic / definitive? What?
As OP, I actually meant a death spiral for Trump's political future, though his actions would still damage US reputation and economy, especially if Trump takes the bait.

Iran and China are both hoping to ride out Trump until 2020 and, more importantly, put the nail in his coffin. Trump can be easily manipulated to either crush his own chances for re-election, humiliate himself, or most likely both.

If Trump continues the trade war, the stock market will tank before the economy does. China cares about their economy, but they know Trump is obsessed with day to day stock market swings. Trump will hit his pain threshold first. The trade war is also hurting his prospects in middle America. Trump won't win this; the best he can do is stop losing more.

Iran is a little more difficult because Bolton is now in Trump's ear claiming he'll get a war popularity boost from a "easy" war with Iran. That's pretty far from assured given that his base voted him in partly because of his isolationist policies. I think when you balance that with the fact that Trump avoids direct confrontation (rather than aggressive bluffs) and has expressed this during the Iraq war when he wasn't in power, you'll probably find he may escalate as a bluff, but won't call for the all out conflict that will get him a popularity boost. If he does, it will tank the stock market. Again, he can't win; he can only lose stop from losing more. He has no good options anywhere on the world stage.
  #113  
Old 05-16-2019, 08:32 AM
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I think there's probably about a 50/50 chance that Trump loses the popular vote and technically the electoral college vote by just a smidgeon on election night, but still ends up being president after 2020.

Last edited by asahi; 05-16-2019 at 08:32 AM.
  #114  
Old 05-16-2019, 09:01 AM
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In general, I think you're right (about an air sea war rather than a ground invasion), but the line "Anything else seems like pointless escalation" struck me as odd. If you're going to be bombing bases and military targets, you might as well bomb their known nuclear facilities too, and set their program back a bit, right?
Well, I meant pointless escalation in the sense of wrecking their communications, public utilities and transportation infrastructure far beyond the area where the Iranian naval/air forces would be engaged. Basically going and wrecking that kind of thing in Tehran, Mashhan or Tabriz wouldn't have a whole lot of military utility, beyond maybe the military headquarters in Tehran.

I suppose going after their nuclear program would be reasonable, at the point that we'd already committed to bombing stuff inside Iran. I mean, at that point, we're in for a penny, in for a pound, so there's not much reason NOT to hit their plutonium separation and uranium enrichment facilities. I don't doubt we know where those are. And I'm not so sure we'd even want to hit the reactors themselves- that could easily turn into another radiological event a-la Fukushima/Chernobyl. But the enrichment/separation facilities wouldn't be as bad; they're essentially chemical plants dealing with radioactive materials.
  #115  
Old 05-16-2019, 09:41 AM
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I think there's probably about a 50/50 chance that Trump loses the popular vote and technically the electoral college vote by just a smidgeon on election night, but still ends up being president after 2020.
Are you talking about a scenario where the Ds apparently win 270+ ev, but the GOP cheaters, lawyers and criminal Governors go into action and make the E.C. pick Trump, possibly with assistance from a 5-4 Scotus decision?

I'll agree that that is a real possibility, though doubt its odds are higher than 5%. There's another 5% to 15% chance the R's will attempt this, but be foiled, perhaps by one of the Scotus scums turning against the R's.

Last edited by septimus; 05-16-2019 at 09:42 AM.
  #116  
Old 05-16-2019, 10:20 AM
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Are you talking about a scenario where the Ds apparently win 270+ ev, but the GOP cheaters, lawyers and criminal Governors go into action and make the E.C. pick Trump, possibly with assistance from a 5-4 Scotus decision?

I'll agree that that is a real possibility, though doubt its odds are higher than 5%. There's another 5% to 15% chance the R's will attempt this, but be foiled, perhaps by one of the Scotus scums turning against the R's.
I agree with your odds based on your end result, but if he's suggesting Trump will, even if he believes he lost, claim voter fraud and contest the vote beyond reason all the while riling his base into possible violence, then I thing his odds are right.
  #117  
Old 05-16-2019, 10:27 AM
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Of course, if Trump sees this headline:

It's Bolton's World. Trump's Just Living In It

then it's over for Bolton.
  #118  
Old 05-16-2019, 11:06 AM
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Are you talking about a scenario where the Ds apparently win 270+ ev, but the GOP cheaters, lawyers and criminal Governors go into action and make the E.C. pick Trump, possibly with assistance from a 5-4 Scotus decision?

I'll agree that that is a real possibility, though doubt its odds are higher than 5%. There's another 5% to 15% chance the R's will attempt this, but be foiled, perhaps by one of the Scotus scums turning against the R's.
I'll walk it back a little because I probably shouldn't put real odds on it without actually looking at the electoral math, the polling, and so forth. But I see the 2020 race coming being really close even with a strong Democratic nominee like Biden (I say he's strong because he's polling well now).

Yes, I could see the race coming down to one or two states, with Trump on the losing end by a few thousand votes in one or two contests and then, depending on where the losses occur, I could absolutely see partisan coordination in blocking certification and doing anything they can to block that 270th electoral vote from being cast by the EC. Hell, I wouldn't put it past them to bribe a few electors here and there.

I expect crazy shit next year.
  #119  
Old 05-16-2019, 11:35 AM
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I'm afraid you may be right, asahi.

I think there's
a 20% to 30% chance that Trump will (involuntarily) not run at all,
a 15% to 25% chance that Repub cheating before the election obviates their need for post-election cheating.
a 10% to 15% chance that Trump will win 270+ ev with neither pre- nor post-election cheating needed,
a 15% (*) chance that the Ds will win by a large enough margin to avert R mischief.
a 5% chance, Trump and the Rs will cheat post-election and be successful
a 5% to 15% chance there will be a significant post-election cheating effort by the Rs but it will fail
a 10% to 15% chance there will be only isolated R post-election cheating and attempted cheating.
a 5% chance that Rs are fed up with Trump, support his candidacy but do not offer to cheat on his behalf.
(These fuzzy numbers sum to about 100%. Pennsylvania has a D Governor and an R state assembly — I'll assume that keeps most R cheating in Penns. in check; lower the * estimate to 5% to 10% if not.)

As you can see, my low 5% estimate for successful GOP post-election cheating has nothing to do with GOP honesty, just the higher probabilities of alternative endings.

Last edited by septimus; 05-16-2019 at 11:39 AM.
  #120  
Old 05-16-2019, 12:18 PM
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Of course, if Trump sees this headline:

It's Bolton's World. Trump's Just Living In It

then it's over for Bolton.
There are already rumors that Trump will fire Bolton. Personally, I don't think Trump himself is looking to go to war with Iran, and that it would take some extreme geopolitical scenarios to force his hand. However, if he felt it would it would save him from losing the 2020 election, then I think he'd do it in a heartbeat.
  #121  
Old 05-16-2019, 12:42 PM
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There are already rumors that Trump will fire Bolton. Personally, I don't think Trump himself is looking to go to war with Iran, and that it would take some extreme geopolitical scenarios to force his hand. However, if he felt it would it would save him from losing the 2020 election, then I think he'd do it in a heartbeat.
I was rather surprised that Bolton was hired in the first place, because if someone insists on subservience the way Trump does, Bolton would seem like the last guy to hire.

Bolton is fucking dangerous even in a moderate, reasonable administration, but put him in an environment where he's unchained and sitting next to a president who's unhinged, and all bets are off on what happens next. Just having him in the White House greatly increases the possibility for war.
  #122  
Old 05-16-2019, 12:46 PM
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I never in a million years thought I'd say anything remotely positive about the bow-tied fuck stick, but he just might be the one to put an end to this madness -- at least with regard to Iran.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/vi...n_any_way.html

Remember, folks, whatever someone on FNC says > than whatever any of Trump's aides say, even if some of his aides used to be guests on FNC. Trump lives in TV Land.
  #123  
Old 05-16-2019, 12:50 PM
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Of course, if Trump sees this headline:

It's Bolton's World. Trump's Just Living In It

then it's over for Bolton.
I saw a post on Twitter's #MAGA thread (a shitshow in itself) where a guy said "Bolton should go - we can #MAGA without the Globalist agenda!"

Bolton - a GLOBALIST?!?
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  #124  
Old 05-16-2019, 12:51 PM
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Okay, that's a good start, what does "comes down on Iran's side" look like? Strongly-worded letters? Joining their Iranian brothers in taking up arms against the wicked imperialist Americans? Something in between? Little Nemo suggested they might blow off sanctions. Perhaps ceasing international military exercises with the US military? F-35 sales plummet? They revoke American visas? Kick us out of military bases in their territory?
It could be something as simple as not allowing American forces to use their territory as a staging area.

That's always been a major factor in American wars in the Middle East. We need some local country to allow us to locate our airbases and supply depots in their territory. Otherwise we're trying to fight a war with very limited air support and supplies.

The scary part is that while most Presidents would hesitate before sending American troops into combat under such vulnerable circumstances, I worry that Trump would jump in. And by jump in, I mean he would be willing to send other people in. Old Bone Spurs himself would stay safe in Washington and tweet about the parade he was planning.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:54 PM
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I saw a post on Twitter's #MAGA thread (a shitshow in itself) where a guy said "Bolton should go - we can #MAGA without the Globalist agenda!"

Bolton - a GLOBALIST?!?
Bolton's a globalist in the sense that he's aware other countries exist (even if he mostly regards them as targets). That awareness puts him a step ahead of many Trump supporters.
  #126  
Old 05-16-2019, 01:00 PM
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I agree with your odds based on your end result, but if he's suggesting Trump will, even if he believes he lost, claim voter fraud and contest the vote beyond reason all the while riling his base into possible violence, then I thing his odds are right.
It's a pretty safe bet. Trump claimed there was massive voter fraud in 2016 and he won that election.
  #127  
Old 05-16-2019, 01:45 PM
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Are polls allowed in Elections? I'd like a quick poll right here: Does this development make you proud of (or sad about) the present Administration. I'll check 'Sad.' How do our Republican Dopers vote?
Not much of either one. I don't really care very much what Merkel thinks. There's a tiny bit of pride in reading things like "the U.S. dominance of technology" and a tiny bit of sadness at the talk of a trade war (I favor / value free trade more than President Trump).
  #128  
Old 05-18-2019, 04:08 AM
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...I think there's
...
a 15% (*) chance that the Ds will win by a large enough margin to avert R mischief.
a 5% chance, Trump and the Rs will cheat post-election and be successful

(...Pennsylvania has a D Governor and an R state assembly — I'll assume that keeps most R cheating in Penns. in check; lower the * estimate to 5% to 10% if not.)
Hari Selden linked to a page which addressed my question. Based on that I'm changing my estimates: There's a 10% chance that the Ds will win the EV on Election Day, but GOP malice will cause a reversed result to be passed to Congress. In many or most of these scanarios Scotus will decide: Chief Roberts will cast the deciding vote if RBG is still alive, Kavanaugh the deciding vote if RBG has passed.

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In Art. II, Sec. 1, Clause 1, the Constitution states that the state legislatures have the power to determine how the presidential electors are chosen. Generally they exercise this power by holding an election and then awarding all the state's electors to the winner (except in Maine and Nebraska). But they don't have to do it like that. In Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, three crucial states, Republicans control the legislatures. They could decide to regard the election as advisory only and then have the real election for the electors held by the legislature. All three states have Democratic governors, but the wording of the Constitution says nothing about passing a law, which means that those three governors would have no opportunity to exercise a veto over a scheme like this. Could this happen? Well, it happened in 2000, when the Florida legislature held a special session to award its 25 electoral votes to George W. Bush. Would Republican senators complain? It is certain that Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) would express "dismay" and Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) might offer his "concern," but there is nothing to stop the state legislatures from doing whatever they want. If the case made it to the Supreme Court, the justices would probably rule 5-4 that the wording of the Constitution is clear: the legislatures are free to do whatever they want.
  #129  
Old 05-18-2019, 07:07 AM
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Hari Selden linked to a page which addressed my question. Based on that I'm changing my estimates: There's a 10% chance that the Ds will win the EV on Election Day, but GOP malice will cause a reversed result to be passed to Congress. In many or most of these scanarios Scotus will decide: Chief Roberts will cast the deciding vote if RBG is still alive, Kavanaugh the deciding vote if RBG has passed.
If it goes to the House, contrary to what some might assume, the Republicans would have the advantage. They have a majority of state delegations with each having one vote. That's what I was referring to when I said they might try "crazy shit" next year. Their goal is to block Democrats from getting to 270. If it's within a few electors, they will contest the results and try to send it to the House. If the Dems can still win but win by just a slim majority, they will try to politically poison the next president and cast doubt on his/her legitimacy. They might even incite violence. I don't put anything past these people anymore.
  #130  
Old 05-18-2019, 01:53 PM
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Hari Selden linked to a page which addressed my question. Based on that I'm changing my estimates: There's a 10% chance that the Ds will win the EV on Election Day, but GOP malice will cause a reversed result to be passed to Congress. In many or most of these scanarios Scotus will decide: Chief Roberts will cast the deciding vote if RBG is still alive, Kavanaugh the deciding vote if RBG has passed.
Constitution of Pennsylvania, Article IV § 15
§ 15. Approval of bills; vetoes.
Every bill which shall have passed both Houses shall be presented to the Governor; if he approves he shall sign it, but if he shall not approve he shall return it with his objections to the House in which it shall have originated, which House shall enter the objections at large upon their journal, and proceed to re-consider it. If after such re-consideration, two-thirds of all the members elected to that house shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent with the objections to the other House by which likewise it shall be re-considered, and if approved by two-thirds of all the members elected to that House it shall be a law; but in such cases the votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the members voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journals of each House, respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the Governor within ten days after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the General Assembly, by their adjournment, prevent its return, in which case it shall be a law, unless he shall file the same, with his objections, in the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, and give notice thereof by public proclamation within 30 days after such adjournment.
A quick check on Ballotpedia shows that the Pennsylvania State Senate is split 22D/26R with 2 vacancies, while the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is split 93D/109R with 1 vacancy. In order to overcome a veto from Governor Wolf (D) there would need to be 6 Democrat defectors in the Senate and 26 Democrat defectors in the House. These defectors would almost certainly be disowned by the national Democratic party if they literally voted to award electoral votes to the Republican candidate. That's not to say it's impossible, but it's a stretch. Each defector would need to represent a region that voted heavily for the Republican candidate, and would need to have little fear about losing national party support. I think a law splitting Pennsylvania's electoral vote might be a more amicable option.

~Max
  #131  
Old 05-18-2019, 03:55 PM
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Not much of either one. I don't really care very much what Merkel thinks. There's a tiny bit of pride in reading things like "the U.S. dominance of technology" and a tiny bit of sadness at the talk of a trade war (I favor / value free trade more than President Trump).
Except it's not just Merkel, it's Germany and the European Union.

I am floored that you shrug off the loss of the American moral high ground. I may not have known that term as a child, but growing up in Canada in the 60's, I knew that it was the US that was on the side of liberty. Now, not so much. And I feel sick about it.
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Old 05-18-2019, 05:03 PM
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Are polls allowed in Elections? I'd like a quick poll right here: Does this development make you proud of (or sad about) the present Administration. I'll check 'Sad.' How do our Republican Dopers vote?
It's stunning and sad when you consider that Republicans were once known as the foreign policy party, but they've traded in globalism for a ethno-nationalist oligarchy, so through that prism, it's to be expected.

Vladimir Putin and the world's authoritarians/oligarchs continue to reap their rewards from what happened here on November 8, 2016. The US is losing its influence on global dominance. There will be some who believe that we can be fine by being insular and nationalist, but I don't think they've calculated the consequences correctly.
  #133  
Old 05-18-2019, 06:02 PM
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I am floored that you shrug off the loss of the American moral high ground. I may not have known that term as a child, but growing up in Canada in the 60's, I knew that it was the US that was on the side of liberty. Now, not so much. And I feel sick about it.
try being a citizen
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  #134  
Old 05-18-2019, 10:51 PM
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Let's hypothesize momentarily that later this week President Trump has just had enough. Perhaps it was one mean tweet too many, or the beady little eyes of the spokesperson on TV, but for whatever unjustified reason you want to imagine, President Trump decides, "that's it, we're doing this" and orders the USAF and USN to bomb the IRGC out of existence. A massive bombing campaign ensues. What does the rest of the world do?

Do you think it will be "Followed by global sanctions, freezing of U.S. assets overseas, widespread boycotts of U.S. exports and large-scale disinvestment"? I don't think that's likely, even if the hypothesized military action doesn't have the EU's seal of approval. Do you though?
Remember what happened in World War II? Once one country starts acting crazy and everyone else feels threatened, they put aside their differences. So there would be meetings between representatives of Russia, China, the EU, Japan, South Korea, India, etc. and the common topic would be "Listen, I don't like you and you don't like me but we both want to keep on living. America has apparently gone crazy and none of us know who they'll attack next. So we all have to work together to defend ourselves. Once we've made sure America is no longer a possible threat, we can go back to hating each other."

Of course, an idiot like Trump and the lesser idiots who support him won't care. They'll all be yelling "USA! USA! USA!" because they think America can beat every other country on Earth even if they all join together. They'll be too dumb to understand the situation they were dumb enough to get us into.
  #135  
Old 05-20-2019, 06:03 AM
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There's probably not a single action that Trump could do that would substantially weaken the United States. What's clear, however, is that in multiple ways he is isolating the United States from other countries in our trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific alliances. Going nationalist plays into the hands of countries like China and Russia. By isolating ourselves, we weaken our power to have other countries follow our lead on things like the Magnitsky Act, international trade, and climate agreements. We weaken military alliances; after all, if we become more nationalist and insisting that we act in our own interests, then other countries inevitably do the same. The US military is powerful, but not nearly as powerful if it can't use foreign air space, foreign air force bases, foreign ports of call.

With regard to China, a unilateral China hurts China now and in the next 12-36 months maybe, but over time, it will hurt us far more. We cannot stop China from becoming the world's largest economy and eventually the world's most powerful nation. They've mapped out an economic strategy to make that happen, and there's probably not much that can be done to prevent their ascent. What would be a better approach is for us to try to make China less authoritarian, less corrupt and more open. Nobody's naive: they'll never be a Western democratic society, but they can be better than they are now. What should concern us is that by taking them on one-on-one we lose the collective power that Western (and even Eastern) democracies and open societies have to be an influence for good. We might even desire to build a League of Democratic Nations as a kind of 21st Century global version of NATO, not necessarily with missile batteries aimed at China and Russia but as a strong, robust political commonwealth that works together to influence countries for the better, using economic and political pressure if/when necessary - that kind of thing.

Unfortunately, Trump is trying a strategy that has led to two world wars and failed miserably for the countries that have tried the nationalist approach.

Last edited by asahi; 05-20-2019 at 06:03 AM.
  #136  
Old 05-20-2019, 09:36 AM
Johnny L.A. is online now
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Remember what happened in World War II?
Yeah, but that's just history! Who the hell pays attention to history? Next you'll be dredging up Smoot-Hawley or something!
  #137  
Old 05-20-2019, 09:41 AM
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As long as this administration does nothing provocative with regard to our delicate relationship with Iran, the ball is totally in Iran's court! Relax, we're in... good... hands.
#Allstate2020
  #138  
Old 05-20-2019, 10:18 AM
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I never in a million years thought I'd say anything remotely positive about the bow-tied fuck stick, but he just might be the one to put an end to this madness -- at least with regard to Iran.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/vi...n_any_way.html

Remember, folks, whatever someone on FNC says > than whatever any of Trump's aides say, even if some of his aides used to be guests on FNC. Trump lives in TV Land.
Edited: Sorry, thought you were referring to another fuckstick. There are a lot of them in the admin.

Anyway, Dotard, the Firstest of All Individuals, thinks you and Carlson are wrong:

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/...07891049332737

Last edited by JohnT; 05-20-2019 at 10:20 AM.
  #139  
Old 05-20-2019, 06:40 PM
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Edited: Sorry, thought you were referring to another fuckstick. There are a lot of them in the admin.

Anyway, Dotard, the Firstest of All Individuals, thinks you and Carlson are wrong:

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/...07891049332737
Don't feel bad, JohnT. I'm also having trouble juggling all the fucking fuck sticks in my mind. Just too many to handle.
  #140  
Old 05-20-2019, 09:03 PM
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Yeah, but that's just history! Who the hell pays attention to history?
If there's one thing I wish Trump supporters would remember from World War II history, it's how all the Nazis ended up getting killed. Spoiler alert, guys.
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