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Presidential Politics

tomierna's Avatar Picture tomierna (Admin) – December 08, 2007 02:43AM Reply Quote
Every election is the most important one.

ddt – January 18, 2019 09:53AM Reply Quote
So the latest Buzzfeed breaking story about evidence Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress and investigators:

The tack that the right-wing noise machine seems to have coincidentally settled upon is: "well, they never saw the documents, and Cohen's a known liar, so he'd say anything to undermine Trump".

The Buzzfeed reporters were quite clear that their reporting did not rely on anything Cohen said, and that there are pieces of corroborating evidence, such as text messages, etc.

I personally was not in favor of knee-jerk impeachment talk, as that seemed to be more emotional, and that's how the Trump base strengthens. And it requires the Senate, which, well. And it wouldn't remove Trump w/o extraordinary flipping of Congresspeople. And if it did, two words: President Pence.

But I'm moving more towards this being necessary to uphold the Constitution. There seems to be strong evidence of real high crimes and misdemeanors, enough that it'd be a political liability (aside from the rabid MAGA) to ignore. And Pence doesn't have the rapid base, aside from Dominionists (look it up). The downside: this is what the government would be _about_ for a long time, and past behavior suggest our president* would flail for distractions and launch either a land war or nukes.

Open to being dissuaded!


John Willoughby – January 18, 2019 11:03AM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
I'm already concerned about DJT flailing. He's been eager for military adventures from the start, and he's been eliminating all those who might gainsay him. By all accounts, he doesn't understand why the public isn't flocking to his banner on the shutdown and may feel impelled to make a grand gesture.

As to impeachment: really, I'm sure that everybody knows on some level that he is guilty of enough crimes to justify it. The fact that there has been no noise about it in the Senate is a clear indication that they are prepared to overlook whatever they have to overlook.* I don't think that impeachment will change anything, as the Senate will not prosecute. It will just ensure that gridlock like we have now will continue until 2020, and probably give the GOP a rallying point.

As for the Constitution... I seriously think that the Trump administration has shown that it is just a piece of paper. I don't think that our politics will ever recover from that.

*It's such a short distance from "oversight" to "overlook," isn't it?

Cloudscout – January 18, 2019 12:09PM Reply Quote
Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!
I said from the start, what's scarier than a DJT administration is a DJT lame duck administration.

John Willoughby – January 18, 2019 06:32PM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
Trump's making a major announcement about his fake "humanitarian crisis on our southern border," Saturday at 3pm EST.

This will either be pointless whining about how Democrats are being mean to him, or declaring a national emergency. I'm betting on the latter.

Well, okay, probably both.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/18/2019 06:33PM by John Willoughby.

tliet – January 19, 2019 12:20AM Reply Quote
He means the Humanitarian Crisis of his own making?

And it's all part of the big distraction trick of course.

ddt – January 19, 2019 03:54PM Reply Quote
This says nothing about policy, but note that Trump has never had a pet (foreign model jokes aside): https://twitter.com/dog_rates/status/1086302146746695680?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw


ddt – January 19, 2019 04:11PM Reply Quote
Within seconds of this Saturday Trump speech, I was ready to be all my savings that Trump had not written it.

And then the detailed description of rape and demonization of immigrants, and I realized, ohhh, Steven Miller.

He said "illegal immigrant" when he meant to say "legal immigrant" -- probably just habit -- and pronounced the drug as "heroglin".


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/19/2019 04:12PM by ddt.

tliet – January 20, 2019 01:18AM Reply Quote
A catholic high school that went to the march 'for life' in DC, what could possibly go wrong? Well, in the current political climate you don't really need a lot of imagination.

Imo, things already went off the rails with the school attending the march.

ddt – January 20, 2019 07:56AM Reply Quote
The counternarrative is already being solidified. The story from rando commenters on web sites is: the kids were being yelled at by The Blacks, so they tried to withdraw, and this old guy walked right into their midst and banged a drum in their face. What compassion and reserve these fine young Christian men displayed as they took it. Oh, the chanting and laughing? That was them trying to join in with The Blacks.


tliet – January 20, 2019 09:26AM Reply Quote
I have not read this book (yet), but I read an extensive review of 'the Fifth Risk' and the picture that is painted is beyond scary. The US government has survived Ronny, papa Bush and Dubya. But it might as well come to a functional end under Donny.

Funny how the WSJ (which has descended in it editorial pages to yet another Murdoch mouthpiece) writes this in its book review:


But what is the “fifth risk” that makes it important enough to be a book title? The term comes from John MacWilliams, chief risk officer at the Energy Department. The fifth risk, he said, after citing such blockbusters as nuclear accidents, lies in “project management”—in other words, the danger of civil-service failures in the face of a crucial challenge. Well, Mr. Trump has been in office almost two years and the government still functions. Maybe Mr. Lewis has overrated the risk.

ddt – January 20, 2019 09:31AM Reply Quote
Read it. It's very readable (Lewis is very good at making topics comprehensible) and it's a lot of personal stories. Not long, either!

Yeah, the WSJ editorial page has, for as long as I know, been radically right-wing and almost libertarian. It's a testament to old-fashioned journalistic practices and standards that it's walled off from the news pages, where journalists and editors are walled off from publisher and advertiser pressure, and a ton of fantastic work has been done.


ddt – January 20, 2019 09:46AM Reply Quote
Took some duckduckgo to get to the text of the WSJ review but bushwah. Note the rhetorical tricks and logical fallacies:

False dichotomy: "Ergo, Mr. Trump must be an idiot or a madman, or both."

Argument from ignorance: "Surely that is a more plausible reason than incompetence for why the Trump people didn’t ask for briefings."

Working the ref: "After his smash-mouth attack on Mr. Trump"

Facts not in evidence (Lewis is good at tying his examples of the work the guvmint does to practical benefits and security of US citizens): "The Trumpers’ beef is that successive presidents and congresses have expanded government power to the point where it has become over-obtrusive."

Cherry picking (how was the air quality and rivers catching on fire, etc., at that time?): "The U.S. managed to get along without an Energy Department for 188 years until 1977"

Survivorship bias as well as extrapolation from cherry-picking: "Well, Mr. Trump has been in office almost two years and the government still functions." (not to mention this is "for certain interpretations of 'functions')

Not to mention treating anyone who served under or was appointed by the Obama administration as "the opposition", so you could and should ignore anything they might have to say. Projection?


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/20/2019 09:48AM by ddt.

tliet – January 20, 2019 10:51AM Reply Quote
Well, when the review was written, the government functioned (at least from the outside). Ever since the Democrats became the majority, it's been shutdown with no end in sight. I'm in the camp that believes that there are a few people who's agenda is firmly advanced with the US government in the state it currently is.

ddt – January 20, 2019 08:07PM Reply Quote
See, they haven't mastered deep fakes yet -- I could tell this was satire. https://twitter.com/_waleedshahid/status/1087115690069446656


ddt – January 22, 2019 09:36AM Reply Quote
How do our red state-living members (or their relatives) feel about this? https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jan/22/donald-trump-defends-students-native-american-confrontation


ARL (Moderator) – January 23, 2019 12:48AM Reply Quote
I don't get this:


I thought Trump & his conservative ilk would want trans people openly serving "in the line of fire" so to speak?

ddt – January 23, 2019 06:24PM Reply Quote
If only live fact-checking always worked this well.

"When Dell was asked to explain why he thinks that, he said, “Name a country where that’s worked — ever.”

Co-panelist and MIT professor Erik Brynjolfsson jumped in to offer an answer: “the United States.”"



ARL (Moderator) – January 23, 2019 07:12PM Reply Quote
Maybe I'm becoming conservative in my old age, but I personally have problems with tax rates over 50% on anyone or anything, frankly.

I get how appealing the whole "stick it to the rich/how do you like this cake/et etc" theme is -- and yes I'm aware that numerous countries post WWII had rates around the 70% level -- but, as matter of principle regardless of whether you're an employee, a business owner, or the idle rich you should get to keep at least half of what you earn.

Now, I'm all for shutting down all sorts of tax avoidance loopholes so everyone has to pay their fair share. That is much fairer than some of the more shady uber-rich paying nothing while other more "honest" (or with less shady accountants) paying an even higher rate to compensate.

If everyone paid their fair share, state coffers would be swimming with cash with a 49% maximum tax bracket.

JM $0.02

ddt – January 23, 2019 07:53PM Reply Quote
I hear you, though that's an emotional call. Would your feeling be changed if we thought more about marginal tax rates? In AOC's thought experiment, you get taxed on your first US$10M/yr of income at the same rate someone making US$32K/yr. The margin _over_ US$10M/yr would be taxed at 70%.

Now, this income/year can be a lot of things, including investment income, rent-seeking returns, even inheritances (if you have a good CPA). And it doesn't address the whole loophole thing, which is valid to point out -- throwing your hands up and saying this is all useless because the rich will always find loopholes is _not_ valid (would have to think on which cognitive or logical fallacy that is specifically).

And it's a canard to say, "Well, you can't just say 'tax everything' is a solution" because _of course_ what you do with the revenue would be a lot of solutions, and that's where the hard work is. It's like saying "Well, you can't just get out of personal depression" but you have to work at it. We know there are crises of poor food security leading to children who can't learn, schools are underfunded and poor compared to two or three decades ago (see the teacher strikes), infrastructure is in a shit state, and so on. These are all things that have been manufactured by the reduction of tax revenue and tax base, and exactly the sort of problems a federal government is designed to address. With money.


tliet – January 24, 2019 12:52AM Reply Quote
Anything over 54K is taxed at 52% over here.. And call me naive, because I personally have friends who've setup a scheme that enables them to pay effectively nothing, so the system gets gamed extensively. But I'm gladly paying the tax rate that I'm paying.

Because the alternative is to be 'taxed' by corporations that the state will (need) to sell out to. On top of the income tax, I pay about €750 euros a year in 'road taxes' for the heavier cars that I own (although I can suspend this when I take them off the road and they stay garaged). Petrol is around €1.70 per litre, taxed by €1.20. Then there's VAT, 9% on daily needs like vegetables, fruit etc. (increased by 50% by our current right wing cabinet, the fuckers) and 21% on luxury goods. Cars are taxed with another tax, BPM. Up until 10 years ago, this was around 40% of their value, these days smaller cars 100 euros per gramme of CO2 they emit per km and heavier cars up to €500 per gramme/km.

But you know what, I'm glad I can pay this. I'm glad I live in a country, where my stepdaughter, (who had issues which eventually caused her to end up in trouble with the law) got help that put her life back in order, in stead of putting her in a for profit facility, outsourced by the government to private, for profit companies.

At the same time, I'm also sad that even in my country, the rich are becoming richer and are putting the government to work only in their interest. (see the remark of people in my circle who end up gaming the system, just because they can).

The society we have these days, did not come into being because our parents and grandparents only thought about themselves. They wanted to build a society that actually cared for its people, instead of seeing them as consumers that need to be put to work to wring money out of them.

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