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Old 05-09-2019, 04:28 AM
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Remember that time a congressional candidate physically assaulted a reporter?


...And then handily won the congressional race in question, and continues to serve in congress despite pleading guilty?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvnMJLKC0Vs

https://edition.cnn.com/2017/06/12/p...lea/index.html

He continues to represent the "at-large" district, which, given that one could say "man who assaulted reporter still at large", is fairly ironic.

I feel like with all the shit going on, it's easy to forget this. I was just reminded of it the other day and it's like, "Oh yeah... that congressperson fucking assaulted a journalist on video the day before the election and still fucking won." There are hundreds of thousands of people who not only looked at this dude assaulting a reporter and said, "Yep, I can excuse that", there were actually more who voted to re-elect him in 2018.

This is what we're up against.

This is what we're dealing with.

And it just sorta... goes under. It gets forgotten. Lost in the shuffle. There's so much insane, disturbing, amoral shit going on within the modern republican party that "candidate physically assaults reporter on video, pleads guilty to crime" barely registers.

I dunno, I totally forgot about it until I was reminded the other day, and I figured, maybe we should all take a moment to pause and ask, "how much shit are we just going to let slide?"
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Old 05-09-2019, 05:18 AM
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...I was going to start a thread called:

"There is too much news and I no longer really know whats going on, and I don't know what to do about it."

Today I was scrolling twitter and I saw someone say something about the power being turned off at the Venezuelan embassy. Investigating further led me to either paywalled news sites like the Washington Post, obvious propaganda like Russia Today, and editorial sites like Politico that hadn't been updated in a day. It was a story that I couldn't put together without some serious study so I gave up. And that's a problem.

And that is happening with everything. I type the words "constitutional crisis" into google and the first hit I get about what Nadler said today is from (surprisingly) Fox News. The next article was framed as "Constitutional Crisis': Far Left's Dispute with Trump Intensifies" and the CNN article was framed with the question "How to know when it's a constitutional crisis?" There are no "deep dives" into this. They just "report what is said." Like when Barr released his 4 page memo and almost every media outlet took it at face-value. Or how they didn't even really accept that the memo was a misrepresentation until the release of Mueller's refutation of the memo. It was freaking obvious it was a misrepresentation: but they couldn't report that until "someone gave them permission."

Adam Schiff, Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee said on April the 30th this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Schiff
"We were getting periodic counterintelligence briefings up until the point where James Comey was fired," Schiff, D-Calif., said on MSNBC. "At that point, the most significant counterintelligence investigation in recent history went into a black hole and the [Justice] Department and the intelligence community stopped fulfilling their statutory obligation to keep us fully informed of any significant counterintelligence activity.

"So they've been dark now for a year and a half," he added. "And that, I think, violates the statute. We're insisting on getting full answers now."
https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/n...er-comey-fired

And the reason why I'm citing the Washington Examiner is because almost nobody else covered the statement. This should have been huge fricking news. The counterintelligence agencies have "gone dark" for a year and a half. Have they stopped investigating Russia? Are they not looking into securing the 2020 elections? What the hell is going on?

I think that things are worse than anyone suspects. If we fight hard enough and if Trump is forced out of office at the next election when they open the books I think there will be an economic melt-down. The administration is a combination of a bunch of people who don't know what the fuck they are doing and a group of people who know exactly what the fuck they are doing. And it will take decades to fix this if you can both kick them out of power and keep them out of power.

And I despair when I read some threads here with their simplistic takes on how to fight this. Nobody learnt anything from 2016. 2020 is going to be a fucking shit-show.
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Old 05-09-2019, 05:47 AM
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I agree with Budget Player Cadet's OP. And with Banquet Bear's sentiments:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
...And the reason why I'm citing the Washington Examiner is because almost nobody else covered the statement. This should have been huge fricking news. The counterintelligence agencies have "gone dark" for a year and a half. Have they stopped investigating Russia? Are they not looking into securing the 2020 elections? What the hell is going on?

I think that things are worse than anyone suspects. If we fight hard enough and if Trump is forced out of office at the next election when they open the books I think there will be an economic melt-down. The administration is a combination of a bunch of people who don't know what the fuck they are doing and a group of people who know exactly what the fuck they are doing. And it will take decades to fix this if you can both kick them out of power and keep them out of power.

And I despair when I read some threads here with their simplistic takes on how to fight this. Nobody learnt anything from 2016. 2020 is going to be a fucking shit-show.
I'm approaching my 70th birthday and may not get to see how this all plays out. Just as well, perhaps: it's breaking my heart.

I wish I had solution to offer. Perhaps ▊ ▍ ▍ ▊ ▍▍ ▍▍ ▍ ▊ ▍ ▍▍ ▍ ; ▊ ▊ ▍ ▍ ▊ ▊ ▍ ▊ ▍ ▊ ▍ ▍ ❌ (but I don't want to violate SDMB rules or attract attention from Trump's corrupted Gestapo.)

... Time is running out...
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:20 AM
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Blame the voters of Montana.
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Old 05-09-2019, 10:41 AM
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. And I despair when I read some threads here with their simplistic takes on how to fight this. Nobody learnt anything from 2016. 2020 is going to be a fucking shit-show.
I want to believe that there is something that can be done, but the truth is that without a vast majority of voters agreeing that this type of conduct is unacceptable, there's not much that can be done that is constructive, which is why I have repeatedly said I think that Trump will probably only be finished and driven from power when the American people suffer in some meaningful way. It's not that I want this to happen -- I'm trying to save for retirement like the rest of us. But the situation is what it is. American political culture, unfortunately, is such that we have a rather high tolerance for malfeasance, particularly if we cannot associate misconduct with some cost that we're paying.

But even if there's an economic crisis or something else that causes Trump's popularity to crater, that doesn't necessarily mean that things can't get even worse - they could. An economic catastrophe would naturally result in a loss of confidence (whatever we have left) in the government's ability to manage the economy. I view Trump as mostly a lighter-touch authoritarian, like a "You don't mess with me, I won't mess with you" kinda guy. But there are theocratic and white nationalist extremists who could far, far worse, and would feel completely justified in committing all kinds of atrocities. And an economic downturn would make the country ripe for the rise of such characters.

What I hope is that if/when Democrats can somehow take back the presidency and the congress together, they can first move to do whatever they can to restore some measure of confidence in government to do things for people like expanding healthcare and bringing back regulatory and institutional oversight. But in the longer term, I think our country is going to have to explore ways to make the presidency much less powerful than it is now -- I've been concerned about presidential power even going back to the days before Trump, so this is not a Trump problem per se.
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Old 05-09-2019, 10:48 AM
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Oh yeah, this is really a sickening situation for us all!
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Old 05-10-2019, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Budget Player Cadet View Post
And it just sorta... goes under. It gets forgotten. Lost in the shuffle. There's so much insane, disturbing, amoral shit going on within the modern republican party that "candidate physically assaults reporter on video, pleads guilty to crime" barely registers.
You misspelled "America".
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Old 05-10-2019, 09:37 AM
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I want to believe that there is something that can be done, but the truth is that without a vast majority of voters agreeing that this type of conduct is unacceptable, there's not much that can be done that is constructive, which is why I have repeatedly said I think that Trump will probably only be finished and driven from power when the American people suffer in some meaningful way.
This is true and something I've known (and lamented) for decades: it has to get really bad before the revolution will happen.
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Old 05-10-2019, 09:47 AM
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This is true and something I've known (and lamented) for decades: it has to get really bad before the revolution will happen.
Pretty much. Deny the lumpenproletariat their Bread and Circuses (pardon my mixing of historical metaphors) and you'll see blood in the streets. Until then, meh.
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Old 05-10-2019, 10:19 AM
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We like to believe that our constitution is this magic document, but the reality is that it's outdated. Fewer and fewer governments around the world look at the US political system as a model for governance, and with good reason.

We were raised to believe that "separation of powers" is one of the constitution's greatest strengths, but as we are now seeing, one problem is that the presidency gives entirely too much power to one single office that has a separate election from the direct elections of the Congress (this was just as true in the Obama and Clinton years as it is now). A related problem is that it is easy for a small but well-organized faction to disrupt governance, through obstruction and "procedural warfare," which is a term we've mentioned before.

At a time when America was less concerned with egalitarianism and seemingly more comfortable with aristocracy, obstruction might have actually seemed like a useful tool to keep in the tool kit, as it would ensure that uneducated and uncontrollable mobs couldn't just dominate politics. But we have largely embraced more democratic ideals in the centuries since the Constitution was first written, and I'm guessing most of us don't want to reverse those gains. Obstruction is dangerous because it makes it easy for an organized faction to disrupt politics and make it ineffectual, which leads to an erosion of confidence in government.

Even our judiciary is ailing, tainted by the brutal partisanship of the confirmation process which has eliminated all but the most ideological and partisan nominees from consideration. And a few of those ideologues wrote what may be among the absolute worst majority decisions of all time: Citizens United, which effectively allows dark money to flow freely into the political system, regardless of whether it's an online $10 dollar contribution to Bernie Sanders or millions of dollars from Russian criminals. That one decision was a death blow to people who value a stable and democratic government, and it was a windfall for oligarchs.

If the Democrats can regain power - and that is a big if at this point - their first priority must be legislation that creates greater transparency and gives teeth to federal election laws. We have to restore the institutions that preserve democracy and liberty, even before we get into healthcare for all, free college, and the fight for $15 - all of that is important, and it is a part of the broader democratic fight, but it has to come later. The next priority is to make the plutocrats pay their fucking taxes.

Last edited by asahi; 05-10-2019 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:07 AM
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Adam Schiff, Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee said on April the 30th this:
He isn't the Ranking Member.
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:01 PM
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He isn't the Ranking Member.
Correct. He's now the chair, because House Republicans got their asses handed to them in the last election. Gold star for D'Anconia!
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Old 05-10-2019, 03:37 PM
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Our Constitution has been outdated since about four years after it was ratified. Separation of powers would be a good idea... if there were no such thing as political parties. Which the Founders were so amateurish that they didn't even realize parties would exist.
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Old 05-10-2019, 04:32 PM
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Our Constitution has been outdated since about four years after it was ratified. Separation of powers would be a good idea... if there were no such thing as political parties. Which the Founders were so amateurish that they didn't even realize parties would exist.
You got some ideas for improvement?
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:02 PM
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You got some ideas for improvement?
Yeah. All that stuff we THOUGHT was settled law (no emoluments, financial transparency, attempting at the very least the appearance of non-corruption) but the Current Occupant has thrown out on the trash heap needs to be nailed down legislatively.
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Old 05-10-2019, 09:05 PM
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Yeah. All that stuff we THOUGHT was settled law (no emoluments, financial transparency, attempting at the very least the appearance of non-corruption) but the Current Occupant has thrown out on the trash heap needs to be nailed down legislatively.
Which settled law is "attempting at the very least the appearance of non-corruption"?

Cite?
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Old 05-10-2019, 10:21 PM
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You got some ideas for improvement?
I'll be shouted down from both sides of the Rift, and am posting a little bit tongue-in-cheek, but ...

When Bulgaria needed a new Government in the late 19th century, they imported a son of the Duke of Saxony to serve as their King I don't know if he'd ever set foot in Bulgaria. Greece imported a son of the King of Denmark about the same time to serve as King of the Hellenes; and a King of Romania was appointed from a family of Prussian and Portuguese nobles.

Why don't we follow suit, abandon the Constitution, and invite the Duke of Sussex to serve as our dread sovereign Lord? He's already got an American wife who can explain some of our quaint traditions to him. Let him set up a House of Commons as he sees fit. He needn't disband Scotus, but should have the power to fire any of its current members.

Yes, this has zero chance of coming to pass, but if it did , It would be an improvement.. Any Republican who comes to power today can be trusted to act solely out of personal greed, or in the interests of his business cronies. Sussex may already become a billionaire when his rich grandma dies so might not be motivated by amassing wealth, and, we would hope, would be motivated by noblesse oblige.

Please do laugh at me; I find the idea amusing myself. But it would be an improvement over our present "system."
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Old 05-11-2019, 07:54 AM
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I think if we were going to have a King, we'd be more likely to track down which one of George Washington's descendants would be his current heir. And there is in fact a lot to be said for a near-powerless figurehead monarch, like the UK has. But that wouldn't, I think, really address the structural problems with the US form of democracy.

A parliamentary system (which works the same way with or without a monarchy) would be a big improvement. When the government has the support of the people, it's able to do whatever it is the people want, right now, and when the government loses the support of the people, it can be stopped quickly, without needing to wait years.

And yes, I know that a very prominent parliamentary nation is going through some difficulties right now. But that's because the people of the UK can't figure out what they want, and any sort of democracy is going to struggle with that.
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:30 AM
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... But in the longer term, I think our country is going to have to explore ways to make the presidency much less powerful than it is now -- I've been concerned about presidential power even going back to the days before Trump, so this is not a Trump problem per se.
Don't worry, that will pass. The party that doesn't control the White House is typically concerned about presidential power. In 2021 or 2025 or whenever a Democrat wins the White House next, the Dems will go right back to chafing for their president to buck Congress and do what they want because the opposition is being "obstructionist".
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:52 AM
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You got some ideas for improvement?
Just FYI, as you have seemed to have forgotten, the founding fathers thought it was flawed as well, which is why they rushed 10 amendments to the thing, covering up their mistake by brilliantly branding this oversight as "the Bill of Rights". And they still fucked it up, which we note whenever there is yet another class full of dead children.

Plenty of ideas for improvement, Octopus. Personally, I'm kind of in favor of scrapping the entire thing as it is readily apparent that a 4-page comprise draft of a government designed to appease the political sensibilities of 13 agrarian 18th-century British colonies is ill-suited to handle the demands of a 300,000,000 strong, post-industrial global hyperpower. But... a lot of people aren't going to go there yet, so, sure, here's an idea:

Change the way Senators are proportioned. 2 per state is insupportable as in 21 years, 84% of the country will be represented by 16 Senators and 84 Senators will represent the interests of merely 16% of the country. No way that is sustainable.

Last edited by JohnT; 05-11-2019 at 08:56 AM.
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:40 AM
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I think if we were going to have a King, we'd be more likely to track down which one of George Washington's descendants would be his current heir. And there is in fact a lot to be said for a near-powerless figurehead monarch, like the UK has. But that wouldn't, I think, really address the structural problems with the US form of democracy.

A parliamentary system (which works the same way with or without a monarchy) would be a big improvement. When the government has the support of the people, it's able to do whatever it is the people want, right now, and when the government loses the support of the people, it can be stopped quickly, without needing to wait years.

And yes, I know that a very prominent parliamentary nation is going through some difficulties right now. But that's because the people of the UK can't figure out what they want, and any sort of democracy is going to struggle with that.
Washington fathered no children, he adopted Marthas

Last edited by rsat3acr; 05-11-2019 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:48 AM
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Don't worry, that will pass. The party that doesn't control the White House is typically concerned about presidential power. In 2021 or 2025 or whenever a Democrat wins the White House next, the Dems will go right back to chafing for their president to buck Congress and do what they want because the opposition is being "obstructionist".
As usual, you're equating a lit match with the current country-wide forest fire.
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Old 05-12-2019, 01:42 AM
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Washington fathered no children, he adopted Marthas
How many Marthas did he adopt?
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Old 05-12-2019, 11:56 AM
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Don't worry, that will pass. The party that doesn't control the White House is typically concerned about presidential power. In 2021 or 2025 or whenever a Democrat wins the White House next, the Dems will go right back to chafing for their president to buck Congress and do what they want because the opposition is being "obstructionist".
Please. Do you remember that McConnell blocked Obamas SCOTUS nominee? Your God dam right democrats are mad at republicans for being obstructionists. That's just the tip of the iceberg. Republicans now support a racist criminal moron. I guess they will make a buck or two off of him.
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