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Jace, Basilissa

U.S. Politics- SCOTUS 2: The Election Strikes Back

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6 minutes ago, DMC said:

NEVER compare me to that overrated fuckface.

which overrated fuckfaces can we compare you to

asking for a friend

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1 minute ago, Kalbear said:

which overrated fuckfaces can we compare you to

You.

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The New York Times has a long and interesting article about George Soros. Here are some tidbits:

Quote

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Soros also cultivated a number of young activists he believed could advance his dream of remaking Hungary as a place he would never again feel compelled to leave. Among them was Viktor Orban, a bright, charismatic student who was ardently pro-democracy, or so it seemed. In addition to providing Orban with a scholarship at Oxford, Soros donated money to Fidesz (the Alliance of Young Democrats), a student organization that Orban helped found and that evolved into his political party.

It's rather ironic given Orban's current stance which the article describes in detail.

Quote

Soros was an early backer of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. In Paris, Soros told me that Obama was “actually my greatest disappointment.” Prompted by an aide, he immediately qualified himself, saying that he hadn’t been disappointed by Obama’s presidency but felt let down on a professional level. While he had no desire for a formal role in the administration, he had hoped that Obama would seek his counsel, especially on financial and economic matters. Instead, he was frozen out.

It would be interesting to know what he would have said had there been no aids present...

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Asked if he would support Bernie Sanders if the Vermont senator won the Democratic nomination in 2020, Soros said it was too soon to say. He expressed displeasure with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, another possible candidate, over her role in ousting Al Franken from Congress: “She was using #MeToo to promote herself.” He said his main goal as a political activist was to see a return to bipartisanship, a surprising claim in light of his lavish support for the Democrats.

It's nice that at least one large donor sees through Gillibrand. It'll be interesting to see if his influence prevails in this instance.

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When I asked Soros to describe himself ideologically, he laughed. “My ideology is nonideological,” he said. “I’m in the club of nonclubs.” When I suggested that “center-left” might characterize his views, he demurred; he said it wasn’t clear where he stood now because the left had moved further left, a development that did not please him. “I’m opposed to the extreme left,” he said. “It should stop trying to keep up with the extremists on the right.”

He's one of the few American billionaires who started off in Europe before WWII and he knows where this path leads through personal experience, but I doubt anyone will listen to him on the topic...

Quote

Soros was in a reflective mood. He said democracy was in trouble because in many countries it had become sclerotic, insufficiently responsive to the public’s needs. “It’s losing out,” he said. Illiberal democracy, of the sort that Orban had fashioned in Hungary, was proving to be “more effective,” for the time being at least. The new-age autocrats had shown themselves to be particularly cunning in going after civil society as a means of consolidating their power. “It’s a less abrasive way of exercising control than actually killing people who disagree with you,” he said.

He's about halfway there: given a bit more time, it'll probably occur to him that the reason democracy is insufficiently responsive to the public's needs is because it is overly responsive to billionaires such as himself.

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8 minutes ago, Altherion said:

The New York Times has a long and interesting article about George Soros. Here are some tidbits:

It's rather ironic given Orban's current stance which the article describes in detail.

It would be interesting to know what he would have said had there been no aids present...

It's nice that at least one large donor sees through Gillibrand. It'll be interesting to see if his influence prevails in this instance.

He's one of the few American billionaires who started off in Europe before WWII and he knows where this path leads through personal experience, but I doubt anyone will listen to him on the topic...

He's about halfway there: given a bit more time, it'll probably occur to him that the reason democracy is insufficiently responsive to the public's needs is because it is overly responsive to billionaires such as himself.

That's not going to change without major reforms that remove the influence of money on the democratic process

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15 minutes ago, The Anti-Targ said:

That's not going to change without major reforms that remove the influence of money on the democratic process

You're probably right but it needs to change. 

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15 minutes ago, Jace, Basilissa said:

Brevity.

 

2 minutes ago, Mexal said:

You're probably right but it needs to change. 

Yes it will change. The only question is how bad it's going to get before it does change. We probably haven't seen the worst of it.

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One thing can't help but mention.  I'm not a fan of Nate Silver - I think I've made it clear throughout my posting here that I think he ripped off our stuff and, at least somewhat, subverted it for his own means.  But everyone here seems to hold 538 in high regard.  Sometimes I read his chats, and here's an excerpt from the latest one:

Quote

natesilver: See, I disagree, because I think Trump’s accomplishments have been on the modest side.

Other than immigration, I tend to agree.  Interested in reactions from those that frequently quote either him or his site, yet have radically different viewpoints.

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Could there actually be a more noble reason for some Republican Senators to urge Mueller to hurry up?  

Without fully endorsing this it feels plausible to me at the same time.  Worried I'm thinking that just because it feels like a ray of hope and it's just wishful thinking.  

Quote

 

As political analysis, I think Aaron Blake does a good job here of explaining why Republican members of Congress, particularly senators, are unwilling to exercise their power to bring this president down. Blake doesn’t frame it that way; instead, he talks about tactics that could be used to achieve related aims, like passing a bill to protect the Mueller investigation or to get testimony from the interpreter who was present in Helsinki when Trump and Putin spoke privately together. My problem with this piece is that it fails as moral analysis.

The problem is the president, and that’s true regardless of which party you represent in Congress. The national security implications of having a president who is clearly compromised include a massive moral dimension. When a country as important and powerful as the United States is being steered by a man like Vladimir Putin, every living creature on the planet is potentially at risk. Maybe that sounds like hyperbole, but there’s a reason we took the actions we did at the conclusion of World War Two, and if we lose the Western Alliance and democratic countries lose the cohesiveness and unity needed to fight against nuclear proliferation and for human rights and conflict resolution, then the risks can not be overstated.

The problem for Republican lawmakers, assuming they would like to do the right thing and protect the country, is that they need the Mueller report first before they can go to their own base and make the case against the president. They actually deserve to have that information before they’re asked to do something as drastic as impeach and remove a president. They may know in the hearts already what the conclusions will be, but they need to see it. The country needs to see it.

We’ve gotten to the point where the need is there but the report is not yet finished. This puts us all in a miserable and dangerous waiting pattern. How much longer can we go without making a decision?

For Republicans who aren’t still more interested in obstructing and killing the investigation than in protecting the country, it’s not clear what they can or should do. Formally protecting the investigation seems like an urgent task, and if hijacking the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh is the quickest and surest way to do that, then I’d recommend it. That’s asking a lot, I know, and there may be other things that could be hijacked that wouldn’t be in such conflict with long-cherished conservative goals.

But protecting the investigation doesn’t speed up the process. If the Republicans are serious about getting us out of this mess, they need help. They need Mueller to produce the information they’ll need. A couple of weeks ago, the Republicans were pressuring Mueller to wrap it up and that is precisely what he needs to do.

I’m as cynical as anyone about Republicans. However, I’m not so biased against them that, based on the information we have right now, I will fault them for not starting impeachment proceedings against a president who is more popular than they are with their base. So far, the few Republicans who have tried to speak out have had their heads cut off. And, while it’s worth having your head cut off to save the Republic, it’s better to come armed with evidence you need to survive.

The real test for the Republicans will come when they have the report and no longer have any excuses, good or bad, to avoid removing this man from power. For now, they are like the rest us, waiting in an uncomfortable limbo.

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Triskjavikson said:

Could there actually be a more noble reason for some Republican Senators to urge Mueller to hurry up?  

Without fully endorsing this it feels plausible to me at the same time.  Worried I'm thinking that just because it feels like a ray of hope and it's just wishful thinking.  

 

Not sure that's the adjective that comes to mind when I think of Mitch McConnell.

Noble.

For Republicans who aren’t still more interested in obstructing and killing the investigation than in protecting the country...

Bueller...? Bueller...? Bueller...?

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But consider that all cynicism aside there have been signs that the GOP Senate, for all they're doing with shit bills and shit judges, has quite possibly been protecting the Mueller investigation from Trump.  What that post I linked is suggesting is that these people might truly be boxed in but keeping open the one avenue that keeps Trump from becoming Emperor and keeps a line open to a place in the future where they could better afford to turn on him.

None of this is to excuse all the rest of their bullshit, certainly not the Turtle's.  

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23 minutes ago, Triskjavikson said:

Could there actually be a more noble reason for some Republican Senators to urge Mueller to hurry up?  

Without fully endorsing this it feels plausible to me at the same time.  Worried I'm thinking that just because it feels like a ray of hope and it's just wishful thinking.  

 

I think it is a terrible idea to rush it. And thinking we are getting rid of Trump fast is false hope. I do not expect impeachment to happen. We are in for a long slog. Things the investigation turns up are part of a long process of bleeding out Trump. That and elections will rid us of him, hopefully.

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Posted (edited)

Border Patrol Accused of Giving Children Rotten Food and Undrinkable Water

https://www.thecut.com/2018/07/border-control-child-abuse.html

Quote

Girls held in the facility reported that they were forced to strip naked in front of the guards before showering. Along with physical abuse, children also describe verbal abuse, including one child who says he was called weak after telling Border Patrol officers his mother had been killed.

 

Edited by Martell Spy

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8 minutes ago, Martell Spy said:

I think it is a terrible idea to rush it. And thinking we are getting rid of Trump fast is false hope. I do not expect impeachment to happen. We are in for a long slog. Things the investigation turns up are part of a long process of bleeding out Trump. That and elections will rid us of him, hopefully.

Agreed unless there's a legit chance that it could be shut down completely.  

I'm still not quite clear on what happens should it be shut down...whether the DOJ continues it with other people, whether the findings up that point can still come out, whether NY state and continue some of it, etc...

 

The news today that Russia asked Trump about going after American diplomats like McFaul and that it apparently wasn't shut down is about the most chilling thing yet from this era to me.

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58 minutes ago, DMC said:

One thing can't help but mention.  I'm not a fan of Nate Silver - I think I've made it clear throughout my posting here that I think he ripped off our stuff and, at least somewhat, subverted it for his own means.  But everyone here seems to hold 538 in high regard.  Sometimes I read his chats, and here's an excerpt from the latest one:

Other than immigration, I tend to agree.  Interested in reactions from those that frequently quote either him or his site, yet have radically different viewpoints.

Per the topic of that discussion: would the USA and the world be better off today with President Romney in 2012 than President Obama?

87.5% sure we wouldn't have President Trump in 2016.

Per some of the discussion: Interesting the difference of opinion on how big of a deal SCOTUS picks are in the grand scheme of things. Which way you go on the importance of SCOTUS picks will be a big factor on whether you think Trumps' accomplishments have been modest thus far. A conservative-leaning court legalised gay marriage. It seems SCOTUS can make principled decisions consistent with the constitution regardless of ideological make up.

On the biggest liberal fear with Trump appointments (overturning Roe vs Wade), what are the constitutional arguments for overturning it? Surely it's up to congress to define human life, in terms of the constitutional right to life. Once that definition is in place then how can SCOTUS apply constitutional protections to something congress has defined (by omission) as not human? Are there other articles in the constitution that apply to abortion law?

Speaking from the perspective of someone connected to the USA through trade negotiation, market access and diplomatic relations I think Trump has accomplished quite a bit of harm. Though ironically Trump pulling out of TPP has allowed an improved agreement to be put together which benefits the other 11 countries and disadvantages the USA in the region.

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37 minutes ago, Triskjavikson said:

I'm still not quite clear on what happens should it be shut down

If the Democrats win control of Congress, they can try to get it started again via several mechanisms. If not, it will live on much as Hillary Clinton's email scandal where no formal charges were ever filed, but a substantial fraction of the population was quite confident of the worst.

1 minute ago, The Anti-Targ said:

On the biggest liberal fear with Trump appointments (overturning Roe vs Wade), what are the constitutional arguments for overturning it? Surely it's up to congress to define human life, in terms of the constitutional right to life. Once that definition is in place then how can SCOTUS apply constitutional protections to something congress has defined (by omission) as not human? Are there other articles in the constitution that apply to abortion law?

That's precisely the bone of contention: there is absolutely nothing in the Constitution which explicitly mentions abortion so many conservatives believe that the court conjured up the rationale for that case from thin air. That said, I very much doubt there will be an overall revision of the policy on abortion -- they might nibble at the edges some more, but it's pretty well settled law.

What might change in a significant way is policy on discrimination against white and Asian Americans ("affirmative action", "disparate impact", "diversity", etc.). Kennedy has often been the deciding vote on cases regarding this and it's entirely possible that Kavanaugh will rule differently. Here's a hilariously hyperbolic article describing some of the ways this can matter.

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28 minutes ago, Altherion said:

That's precisely the bone of contention: there is absolutely nothing in the Constitution which explicitly mentions abortion so many conservatives believe that the court conjured up the rationale for that case from thin air. That said, I very much doubt there will be an overall revision of the policy on abortion -- they might nibble at the edges some more, but it's pretty well settled law.

Kavanaugh doesn't think so, and neither does Gorsuch. Chances are good that while Roe won't be explicitly overturned, states will effectively be able to ban abortion entirely. Things like 'you can only get an abortion in the first 4 weeks of pregnancy and within 24 hours of finding out' are almost certainly going to pass this court. 

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