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ThinkerX

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  1. The civil war has started - between rival republican party factions in Idaho. Very long article. Does put forth the possibility of ruby red Idaho going purple in the not too distant future. Maybe add another Manchin type D to the Senate in a few years? Not sure if that would be a good or a bad thing... Why There’s a Civil War in Idaho — Inside the GOP - POLITICO
  2. so, at this point for the D's, the absolute best-case scenario for holding onto the house comes down to the results of like 3-4 nail-biter elections featuring recounts and lawsuits. (barring a Trumpian candidate or three self destructing in a spectacular fashion)
  3. So...if enough of these district maps get redrawn, and the D's somehow put forth competent, likeable candidates, then there is a not so horrible chance they can cling to their house majority...by like two votes?
  4. potential campaign issue for the D's - push the message that the R's are too cowardly to debate at every opportunity
  5. Article is paywalled, so no links, but supposedly the RNC is flat out not going to participate in presidential debates run by the 'Commission on Presidential Debates.' Are their ideas so weak they cannot tolerate even mild criticism?
  6. The question, of course, is whether or not such a unit would be allowed to investigate and press charges against white supremacist 'terrorists' during a conservative, or even republican administration. U.S. Justice Department forming unit to counter domestic terrorism | Reuters --- "We have seen a growing threat from those who are motivated by racial animus, as well as those who ascribe to extremist anti-government and anti-authority ideologies," Olsen added. Attorney General Merrick Garland told lawmakers last May that domestic violent extremist groups, particularly white supremacists, pose a growing threat to the United States. Olsen said the new unit will be part of the National Security Division and will work to "ensure that these cases are properly handled and effectively coordinated" across the department and around the country.
  7. no, not from where I am standing. Food and fuel prices are set by markets, not presidents - though in this case Trump gets *some* blame owing to his tariffs and trade wars. Those both contributed to inflation and cost quite a few US farmers their livelihood. Negative job growth? I see this as a manifestation of a trend that has been building for ages - people deciding there is more to life than wage slavery. I also note that for the first time in well over a decade, pay for ordinary folks is actually increasing. Minimum wage initiatives and hikes in multiple states taking effect this year. As a former USPS contractor, well, the 'demand side crises' is more of an 'overwhelmed supply chain.' That situation has been building for a while, the parcels I handled the last two or three years *tripled* in number, a situation that held true across USPS (according to my former bosses, anyhow). Biden? I'll be clear hear. To me, Biden is nothing more than a bench warmer, a stopgap measure, an effort to keep things 'as is' for a little while longer. I do not see a Biden 2024, a Harris 2024, a Trump 2024, or an Abbot 2024. Santis is possible, though not likely.
  8. So, if I am following this correctly, the D's 1 - start at +15 (?) seats. 2 - assuming 50 seats 'in play,' the R's would need to win 40 seats in order to claim a majority. 3 - to remain in power, the D's need only win 25-26 of the seats 'in play.' Seems even with gerrymandering, anti-voting laws, and a cycle in their favor, the R's have a bit of a challenge in front of them. They would pretty much have to win almost all of the 'seats in play' to claim a majority. There is also the possibility the GOP might have shot themselves in the foot with some of these anti-voting provisions. After all, nothing says the D's could not challenge election outcomes by using these laws. Probably automatically end up in court - but could also expose the sort of shenanigans that result in prison.
  9. okay...obvious question here: Given that incumbents tend to be reelected, just how many seats in the house of representatives are actually 'in play' this time around - margins of less than say 5%? Forty? Fifty?
  10. A update of sorts on the great divide between D and R - though what intrigues me the most are the 'Independents.' First, the perception of violence last 1/6. Note the rather high percentages that say violence against the US government is sometimes justified - even among the D's. Also worth noting is the high number of folks who believe the R's will refuse to concede defeat in state elections. Republicans and Democrats divided over Jan. 6 insurrection and Trump’s culpability, Post-UMD poll finds (msn.com) ---- Next up, we have the results in for yet another of these much-hyped election 'audits' (by the right, anyhow). This one is from Wisconsen. Not sure if the people responsible were ignorant or idiotic. There was another one earlier today from Texas, but I lost track of that article. Both solidly reaffirm the initial tallies. GOP Election Audit Demands Info on Dominion Voting Machines in Cities That Don't Use Them (msn.com)
  11. Looks like 2022 starts off with scattered good news for lots of folks: minimum wage hikes in twenty or so states, some because of scheduled increases, others because of ballot measures. Interestingly, there do not appear to be any minimum wage hikes in the 'old south' for some bizarre reason. There is also a federal ban on most 'surprise' medical bills from out of network providers. Wonder how long it'll be before it's sabotaged? Mixed news om the alcohol and cannabis front (kind of a 'meh' thing for me - might be some benefits, does put people to work and bring in some tax revenue, but...) Few odd state quirks on the environment and history in public education. Anyhow - Laws that take effect in 2022: From minimum wage hikes to a ban on most surprise medical bills (msn.com)
  12. Pew did a poll on recent US presidents. Perhaps surprisingly, Obama came in first. Perhaps depressingly. Trump came in third. Maddow Blog | Americans point to the best president of the last 40 years in new poll (msn.com) --- It appears public attitudes are largely in line with scholars' conclusions. The Pew Research Center published an interesting report today on which president from the last 40 years Americans believe did the best. Obama came out on top: Barack Obama: 35 percent Ronald Reagan: 23 percent Donald Trump: 17 percent Bill Clinton: 12 percent George W. Bush: 4 percent George H.W. Bush: 3 percent Joe Biden: 3 percent
  13. It seems that Boulder, Colorado, is in the process of burning to the ground. Mandatory evacuations in the high four digit numbers, hundreds of houses destroyed. (Yet...didn't this area get a massive amount of snow and rain mere days ago?) Seems like 2021 is trying to go out with the same flair and class as 2020... 'Life threatening' Colorado wildfires trigger evacuations in Boulder area (msn.com) --- Multiple wildfires fueled by strong winds have triggered evacuation orders Thursday in Boulder County, Colorado. The National Weather Service for Denver and Boulder called the situation "life threatening" and urged residents of Superior and Louisville, cities about 8 miles southeast of Boulder, to "LEAVE NOW." Officials issued evacuation orders for both communities by Thursday afternoon. The weather service said the fires were “becoming a very high impact wind event for our area” and urged people to “take it seriously and abide by any evacuation orders from local authorities.” NBC affiliate KUSA of Denver reported that the strong winds brought down power lines which sparked several grass fires in the area. The sheriff's office said in a tweet that it has received multiple reports of downed power lines and transformers blowing.
  14. I was under the impression that a substantial fraction of congress, along with a SC justice or three, among others, were that age or older....along with at least one other prominent political figure. Says something when we have so many extremely old people in office...
  15. 'Build Back Better' might return to life...or maybe an undead state... Joe Manchin's 'Scaled-Back' Framework May Be Better Than It Sounds (yahoo.com) Manchin has also said he objects to the bill’s basic structure. By funding several of the programs for only a few years with the expectation that future lawmakers will renew them, Manchin says, Democratic leaders have disguised the bill’s true cost ― which, he says, is $3 trillion over 10 years, rather than the $1.85 trillion in the official Congressional Budget Office projection. The best hope for moving forward may lie in an alternative framework that, according to The Washington Post, Manchin gave the White House last week. It would include the bill’s climate and pre-kindergarten initiatives, along with improvements to the Affordable Care Act, funding all of them for the full 10 years of the budget window. It would leave out most of the bill’s other components. It’s difficult to know how serious this proposal is, given that it’s not public, or whether Manchin sincerely wants to get to “yes.” Even if he does, reconstructing legislation and assembling votes for it at this late stage in the process would be difficult. Progressives in particular are likely to resist endorsing a bill that is already being described in the media as a “scaled-back” version of the House bill.
  16. First, from what I can tell the Gods of Facebook are doing very little moderating. Many, if not most of the photos and articles and conspiracy theories that trip off the relevant discussions 'skirt the edge' of what is acceptable community standards wise, or actively cross the lines. Many of the captions use Cyrillic font (not sure if Russian, or somebody else using the font to dodge the mods) or carry disclaimers about being 'parody' or 'humor,' though they don't really qualify on either count. Second, while there are substantial dissenters in the comments, the majority remain rude, crude, unthinking conservatives. Problem with illegal immigration? Well, set up machine gun nests on motion sensors along the border, kill everything between them and the wall (and yes, they appeared to be serious). Rittenhouse is a role model, not a criminal. Fauci needs to be taken out and shot for treason. Same for BLM and Antifa. CRT is treason - we need to 'take back our schoolboards.' Trump was the greatest president ever. High gas prices are solely Biden's fault. Vaccine mandates are a means to control the populace and 'take away our freedoms', not destroy a deadly disease. Used to be statements in this vein went almost entirely unchallenged, period. That is no longer the case. Another thing that has struck me more and more the past year or three is the way the far-right and far-left arguments parallel each other. In some cases - media censorship being the one that leaps to mind - the different groups employ almost identical arguments. You could pretty much just change out the key words.
  17. rewriting past reality will not work. Points still stand: the overwhelming majority of posters here - apart from myself and a maybe one or two others - believed almost until election night that Clinton would win. Yes, I am only too well aware of what FB shows and why - however, the shift in tone on the comments the past couple of years is *real*. Same for the 2020 election and the reconciliation bill. I maintain that the far-right's odds of meaningful, long-term 'victory' are far less than many on this board proclaim. Demographics is against them, as are their professed beliefs, incompetence, and corruption. Short term victory - a 'Trump Clone' is possible, but the cited factors will destroy that administration from within and it will be meant with massive grassroots opposition, just as last time. Not sure if this guy has any credibility at all, but the poll is interesting - particularly the 'change the way you vote' item. Workers are rethinking their priorities and corporations are not prepared: Pollster Frank Luntz (msn.com)
  18. I pointed this out earlier in the thread. I will repeat it - again. For years now, my Facebook is flooded with far-right propaganda - posts, photos, and articles. Much of this, I believe originates with foreign powers hostile to the US (but that is beside the point). Up until a couple years ago, the messages attached to these items were almost always (99%) by conservatives who fully supported whatever idiotic meme or conspiracy theory was being promoted. That has since changed - the content of these articles and photos is much the same - but now, as much of a third of the posts, many apparently originating from republicans, are critical or contemptuous of said memes and conspiracy theories. Many are hostile towards Trump and far-right goals - and again, many of these people are republicans. Now, the usual response here when I post something like this is a blind denunciation about it being anecdotal or not being based on proper statistics. Yet... Way back when, the overwhelming majority of posters here thought Clinton would defeat Trump with little effort until mere weeks prior to the election. I was saying Clinton was in extremely serious trouble six months beforehand. During the 2020 elections, most posters here thought the D's would carry the senate with a couple seats to spare. I expressed considerable doubts about this prediction. Instead, we have an effective tie. This summer, I stated flat out the reconciliation bill would be either half the desired 3.5 trillion - or zero. Sadly, it looks like I called that one right, though Biden appears to retain hope for some sort of BBB package. I made all these predictions - and others - from reading the comments sections of assorted political articles and various memes being circulated. Right now, my take is the far-right is actively alienating its base. Yes, there is a large, loud minority in favor of their goals. There is another...'faction' is too strong of a word...that is increasingly cynical and discouraged with their leaders. Make no mistake: these people ARE NOT PROGRESSIVES. However, they are unhappy with the far-right movement. If it is somehow possible to get past the polarization, then this...group...could be worked with on some topics. The only way I see that happening is aggressive, boots on the ground, door to door, one on one campaigning.
  19. I would point out that the far-right does not have a smooth path to autocracy in the US. Trumps reign was marred by substantial civil disorder, utter incompetence, administrative chaos, and massive criminal scandals. There is no reason to expect anything different from a Trump copycat. There is also that 'backlash' factor to take into account.
  20. Okay...for years now my Facebook has been deluged with far-right photos, posts, and articles - many of which, I suspect actually originate with Russia or Iran or some other hostile power. It used to be conservatives would pile onto the comments sections attached to these items and express 100% support for whatever idiotic meme or conspiracy theory was being touted. Dissenting voices ranged from 'very few' to 'nonexistent.' However, over the past year or two, this has been changing. 'Dissident' posts now approach one third to one half of the totals in these comments - and not all of those dissenters are visiting leftists. More and more, the dissenting posts are so well constructed that they effectively 'kill' that particular sub-thread. There is also growing ire among committed republicans at 'fake survey's' appearing on FB and presumably elsewhere. Not only are these disguised fund raisers, their questions do not allow for the answers these people wish to give. The most recent one was from something called the 'Republican Governors Association' or some such. This makes me wonder if the far-right leadership is now so far to the right they are now seriously out of touch or have alienated a significant portion of their base.
  21. well, since Manchin won't go along with the BBB, perhaps there is some other priority item he could go along with? Maybe strengthening the ACA? Or an immigration deal (which would require R votes, but whatever)
  22. A listing of Manchin's changing demands on the reconciliation bill and the concessions he extracted to this point. Right now, a lot of the social and energy items are watered down to the point to where somebody like Murkowski could *almost* go for it, if say given free reign with ANWAR and it wasn't an election year. Worth a shot to approach her and maybe one or two other R senators? At this point the D's wouldn't have anything to lose by making the offer. What Manchin wanted, rejected and got in Biden's $2T bill (msn.com)
  23. well, months ago, I did predict the reconciliation bill would be either nothing or half the initial 3.5 billion. sucks to be right
  24. Maybe just put the BBB up for a straight out vote - with very heavy reminders about party unity and consequences for voting against it - loss of committee seats, getting primaried, that sort of thing.
  25. I lived comfortably for years on an income most would consider to be a joke...and I have known others who made triple my pay - or better - and were sweating bullets financially. Credit cards all maxed out, barely making the mortgage, juggling bills - all that while making decent pay. Much of this is the old maxim that 'necessary' expenses rise with one's income level. Another big part is no concept of budgeting or self-discipline.
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