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U.S. Politics: Phantom of the Emergency

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2 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

Also, regarding the Second Amendment, how can we functionally interpret it today when its original purpose is no longer relevant (no standing armies)?

Its primary purpose has not changed over the centuries. Sure, the public justifications have varied from avoidance of standing armies at the beginning to protection from criminals today, but the real purpose has always been the same (though it's rarely stated outright).

2 hours ago, ThinkerX said:

Suppose a large minority or majority of Federal Employees affected by the Shutdown elect to go on strike?  To me, it looks like this could pretty much shut down the country.

Not necessarily. There's an article in The Atlantic which describes the various actions the government can take without technically ending the shutdown. Most federal services are not all that critical in the short term and the legislative and executive branches can either agree to fund those that are selectively or use bureaucratic tricks to fund them without an agreement. That said, eventually the people who are not being paid will take to the streets and this can make life unpleasant in and near the capital.

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32 minutes ago, drawkcabi said:

Anyone ever notice when people try to impersonate Trump it's usually a slightly modified Carl the groundskeeper from Caddyshack?

"We're gonna build a wall, it's going to be the greatest wall..."

"What an incredible Cinderella story, this unknown, comes out to lead the pack..."

That's a good observation. I have to imagine it comes from a subconscious attempt to not entirely hate oneself while making sounds.

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2 hours ago, Kalbear said:

Tulsi Gabbard is going to be running. 

I really despise her bullshit. 

Yeah, at first when I heard about this thing with Hirono I actually (shamefully) wondered for a second if Hirono was just being anti-Catholic.  But of course it was no such thing which Gabbard surely knows, so her attempt to paint a fellow Democrat with religious bigotry in such an intellectually dishonest way really raises red flags.  WTF niche is she trying to carve out?  

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3 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

I see no reason why Article V would be changed. It states quite clearly what it's meant to do, say unlike the Second Amendment, which is open to interpretation. That's why it's wise to be able to interpret and reinterrupt different parts of the Constitution at different points in time. Societies change. Hell, didn't Jefferson want mini revolutions when each new generation took power from its predecessor?

 

Also, regarding the Second Amendment, how can we functionally interpret it today when its original purpose is no longer relevant (no standing armies)?Issues like this are why I think it's wrong to not see the Constitution as living in one way or another.  

No, you’re missing my point.  Why do we have Art. V if we can, via the “Living Constitution” make it mean whatever we want it to mean?

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3 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

I see no reason why Article V would be changed. It states quite clearly what it's meant to do, say unlike the Second Amendment, which is open to interpretation. That's why it's wise to be able to interpret and reinterrupt different parts of the Constitution at different points in time. Societies change. Hell, didn't Jefferson want mini revolutions when each new generation took power from its predecessor?

 

Also, regarding the Second Amendment, how can we functionally interpret it today when its original purpose is no longer relevant (no standing armies)?Issues like this are why I think it's wrong to not see the Constitution as living in one way or another.  

Actually what Jefferson said is we need a Constitutional Convention every generation.

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Random analysis I stumbled upon:

Quote

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-is-terrified-of-the-far-right-echo-chamber/2019/01/10/13564810-1516-11e9-803c-4ef28312c8b9_story.html?tid=pm_opinions_pop&noredirect=on

Trump is afraid of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Matt Drudge, Laura Ingraham and the rest of the far-right echo chamber. (He sees Sean Hannity as more of a house pet.) He’s afraid of his shrunken but loyal base, which could abandon him if he doesn’t give them a wall. He’s afraid of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and the federal, state and local prosecutors in New York who are investigating various Trump enterprises. And he’s afraid of losing his coercive hold over the Republican senators who one day could sit in judgment of his fate.

[...]

Trump could have tried to tempt Democrats with a grand bargain on comprehensive immigration reform — or even a limited swap of “border security” funds he could use for his needless wall in exchange for permanent protection for the undocumented “dreamers,” who were brought to this country as minors. That kind of offer could at least have caused some restiveness in Pelosi’s and Schumer’s ranks. But because Trump is offering nothing at all, except a take-it-or-leave-it demand, Democrats have easily maintained a solid front.

Another pro tip for getting what you want: Don’t loudly and publicly take personal responsibility for negative consequences that would result from a breakdown of negotiations. With television cameras running, Trump boasted that everyone should blame him for a shutdown. Polls show that this is exactly what the public has done, and Trump’s numbers will surely get worse as the effects of the shutdown on families and communities become more dire.

The Democratic proposal — fund the government while continuing to debate border security and the wall — is eminently reasonable. But Trump is scared.

He went back on the original deal after the far-right commentariat went ballistic.

 

I think there's some truth in that. Taking this stand for the wall doesn't make that much sense in the overall picture. Yes, Trump is a moron, but his extremism -as usual- hides deep insecurities. He clings to his base because he fears he doesn't have much besides. And he's probably correct on some level.

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"He sees Sean Hannity as more of a house pet," is one of the most satisfying things I've ever read.

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The Democrats should really turn hard into Steve King and link it to The Wall. A Wall been a dream for hard right Ethno-Nationalists for decades and should be looking to bring it up anytime a Republican attempts to put distance with King or talk about The Wall.

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F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/11/us/politics/fbi-trump-russia-inquiry.html?action=click&module=Top Stories&pgtype=Homepage

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WASHINGTON — In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests, according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.

The inquiry carried explosive implications. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.

The investigation the F.B.I. opened into Mr. Trump also had a criminal aspect, which has long been publicly known: whether his firing of Mr. Comey constituted obstruction of justice.

Agents and senior F.B.I. officials had grown suspicious of Mr. Trump’s ties to Russia during the 2016 campaign but held off on opening an investigation into him, the people said, in part because they were uncertain how to proceed with an inquiry of such sensitivity and magnitude. But the president’s activities before and after Mr. Comey’s firing in May 2017, particularly two instances in which Mr. Trump tied the Comey dismissal to the Russia investigation, helped prompt the counterintelligence aspect of the inquiry, the people said.

 

 

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Gavin Newsom’s ambitious plan to cut poverty in California
He would more than double a crucial tax credit for low-income people.

https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/1/11/18178527/gavin-newsom-poverty-homelessness-tax-credit

Quote

 

Gavin Newsom, the newly inaugurated governor of California, has a big proposal for low-income people in his first budget: more than doubling the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC. It’s a change that will put hundreds or thousands of extra dollars in the pockets of millions of poor and working-class Californians.

You might have heard of the federal EITC. It’s the largest dedicated anti-poverty program in the federal budget; in 2016, it kept an estimated 5.8 million people out of poverty, and made another 18.7 million people less poor. But most states (29 plus DC, to be precise) also have state EITCs, to offer additional support.

 

 

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11 hours ago, Fez said:

Maybe I'm in a bubble, but I feel like a Nate's five corners is missing an corner (which is only going to grow in size if the 2018 flipped suburbs stay blue) which I guess I'd call "Moderate Whites." In terms of policy views and concerns, its sort of like Party Loyalists, but there's no particular loyalty to the party itself or party elites. And they sometimes are downright conservative on some issues, but despise Trump (and in some cases despised the GOP long before him for its anti-LGBT or anti-minority views) to the point where they willing vote Democratic. Other times they are relatively liberal, but are skeptical of full-on left-wing politicians.

 

Then I'm in this bubble too.  Also a bit with Ormond in being anti-GOP at the current time. I'm an independent, so maybe I don't really fit into this thing I'm trying to fit myself into. I have been aligned with democrats since Obama, but that hasn't always been the case. Am I even a demographic anyone wants to chase?

I thought I was, but Kal's glib dismissal of this demographic made me think. No one does care about my vote unless it's a primary vote because it's candidates driving the campaign and fighting this out, not the party as a whole. I know it's an obvious thing, but I didn't think through the implications enough. The actual election is such a small slice of the time and effort of a campaign when the real battle is the nomination. And he's right - why should they chase down my vote when I'm just as likely to vote for someone in one party's primary as against someone in another party. My primary vote is pretty fickle, even if my election vote is more stable. Huh - I've talked myself through this and now kind of understand why no one gives a fuck about me and how I vote. Humbling.

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3 hours ago, Gertrude said:

Then I'm in this bubble too.  Also a bit with Ormond in being anti-GOP at the current time. I'm an independent, so maybe I don't really fit into this thing I'm trying to fit myself into. I have been aligned with democrats since Obama, but that hasn't always been the case. Am I even a demographic anyone wants to chase?

I thought I was, but Kal's glib dismissal of this demographic made me think. No one does care about my vote unless it's a primary vote because it's candidates driving the campaign and fighting this out, not the party as a whole. I know it's an obvious thing, but I didn't think through the implications enough. The actual election is such a small slice of the time and effort of a campaign when the real battle is the nomination. And he's right - why should they chase down my vote when I'm just as likely to vote for someone in one party's primary as against someone in another party. My primary vote is pretty fickle, even if my election vote is more stable. Huh - I've talked myself through this and now kind of understand why no one gives a fuck about me and how I vote. Humbling.

I'm in that bubble with you. I was a Republican until 2004, when they went batshit insane with Iraq and showed their true colors regarding women and minorities. I was probably a Democrat before that, though. I voted for Bill Clinton twice and sat out 2000 because I couldn't stand either Bush or Gore. Right now I hate the GOP and everything it stands for, and they will NEVER get another vote from me as long as they continue down this road of bigotry, fearmongering, anti-democratism, grandstanding and obstruction. As far as I'm concerned, they're all traitors to everything we're supposed to stand for as a country, and they should be dealt with as such.

The Democrats have a pretty big tent, but finding a place where we truly belong is difficult. I can't really say that I'm conservative on anything but guns, and that's only because I recognize that in some parts of the country, people are so poor that they still need to hunt for food. If they don't, they'll starve. 

The left wing of the party despises us. To them, moderates are "corporate Democrats", whatever that means. I've been in Twitter conversations with those folks, and they can't see the forest for the trees. "Primary Manchin!" they say. Are they nuts? There's no understanding that politics is local, and you run people who fit the district. West Virginia and western PA are not California or Seattle or New York. 

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15 hours ago, DanteGabriel said:

Definitely find her relatable, which is not a critical requirement for my support of a politician, but it's a nice-to-have.

Mostly I'm just jazzed she's read something like Watchmen. That puts her at least one book ahead of our President.

The more I read about her, the more I like her. She also has an asteroid named after her for her for her entry into a science fair.

As for books I would not stop at one book ahead. I think she is ahead by a century. 

(I had to put that in there. I am sure she is a Tragically Hip fan. She is just too cool for words.) 

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Maybe someone can explain Trump’s lawyers to me. The reports say they will try to outright block, or edit, or issue a severely redacted copy of, Mueller’s report, based on Executive Privilege.

I have understood that the WH refused to provide any information about or answer questions about anything that happened after the inauguration. And that Mueller’s investigation is directed at whether the Russians tried to affect the US election and if any person involved in the Trump campaign colluded with them.

How then can Executive Privilege be relevant? Surely there can be no EP related to anything that happened before Trump was inaugurated? And no EP can be claimed over evidence of illegal activity or attempts to obstruct justice.

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1 hour ago, Fragile Bird said:

Maybe someone can explain Trump’s lawyers to me. The reports say they will try to outright block, or edit, or issue a severely redacted copy of, Mueller’s report, based on Executive Privilege.

I have understood that the WH refused to provide any information about or answer questions about anything that happened after the inauguration. And that Mueller’s investigation is directed at whether the Russians tried to affect the US election and if any person involved in the Trump campaign colluded with them.

How then can Executive Privilege be relevant? Surely there can be no EP related to anything that happened before Trump was inaugurated? And no EP can be claimed over evidence of illegal activity or attempts to obstruct justice.

I think the operative word is "try." A good defense lawyer is going to do everything that's legal to protect their client, but that doesn't mean its going to work out for them.

As with everything in US Politics these days, it's going to come down to which Federal judges get to rule on the matter, followed up by how Roberts feels and Ginsburg's health.

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16 hours ago, DMC said:

If you've voted Dem in the last 9 (presidential) cycles, then it's pretty safe to say you'd be in the party loyalist corner.  Party loyalists can be moderates too.  This is true in general - there are plenty of voters that wouldn't identify as party loyalists, or even are registered for that party, but they're still considered "party loyalists" for the purposes of pollsters and researchers.

 

Oh, I certainly understand that political scientists who need simple operational definitions would class me as a "loyalist" Democrat according to my voting behavior. It's some of the other description of "Party Loyalists" in the piece you linked to that make me queasy. I fit the demographic and ideological preference sections fairly well, but I really don't see myself as fitting the "What they value in a candidate" at all. 

Quote

What they value in a candidate: These voters are capital-D Democrats who care about the fate of the Democratic Party and generally go along with what party elites want. They tend to trust established brands, although they also care a lot about electability.

I don't identify as a "capital D" Democrat, I really don't care much about the "fate of the party," don't see myself as going along with "party elites", and don't think I "trust established brands." I was one of the few who supported O'Malley before he dropped out, and I thought the capital-D Democrats were very naive to settle on Hillary Clinton so early because it was "her turn." I voted for her in the (meaningless) Nebraska primary, but that's because her policy positions were closer to mine than Sanders', not because I thought she was more "electable." I guess I certainly do care about "electability"-- I just thought there were lots of "moderate" or "liberal" possibilities out there who were actually much more electable than Hillary. Unfortunately most of the capital-D Democrats didn't agree with me.

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Here is a good twitter thread about the rules of the reports from the SC and if they can be made public or not.

 

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There's another great post from Martin Longman at Washington Monthly here on the whole Trump / Russia thing in reaction to the news from NYT yesterday, and his point seems worth repeating.  The underlying story of this whole thing is not simply obstruction or collusion but that Trump has probably been a Russian asset the entire time.  

I agree with his frustration about the media writ large.  It seems like this is something where much of the world is refusing to see all of the signs that are right in front of their face.  If Trump is not a Russian asset, why is his behavior so perfectly consistent with being one?  

ETA:  And never forget if some Trump person tries to use sanctions levied against Russia as proof against this what utter BS it is.  They've fought going that route at every turn, and now we're going to thankfully get more investigations into this from the new congress.  

Edited by Triskele

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2 hours ago, Ormond said:

It's some of the other description of "Party Loyalists" in the piece you linked to that make me queasy. I fit the demographic and ideological preference sections fairly well, but I really don't see myself as fitting the "What they value in a candidate" at all. 

Fair enough, and good point.  Some of those characteristics you quoted seem pretty crude and rather arbitrary.  

2 hours ago, Ormond said:

I guess I certainly do care about "electability"-- I just thought there were lots of "moderate" or "liberal" possibilities out there who were actually much more electable than Hillary. Unfortunately most of the capital-D Democrats didn't agree with me.

Oh, there were always a sizable portion of capital-D Democrats that were reticent about a Hillary candidacy - myself included.  Hell, that's why President Obama exists.  Thing was, Hillary scared off any viable contenders in 2016 from even running - I don't think O'Malley would have gained any traction even in a wide open field.

11 hours ago, Gertrude said:

I thought I was, but Kal's glib dismissal of this demographic made me think. No one does care about my vote unless it's a primary vote because it's candidates driving the campaign and fighting this out, not the party as a whole.

It's not that nobody cares about the suburban white vote (I don't know if you're one of these, but those were the voters being discussed), it's just that comparably they aren't nearly as important as the five constituencies Silver identifies - at least in terms of what we know about the usual Dem primary electorate.  That's just the nature of campaigning, candidates initially rely on their "primary" constituency (in the Fenno sense of the term) as their base of support and grow out from there.  Naturally, most Dem primary candidates' "primary" constituencies rarely include moderate suburban whites.  Also, just to clarify, in terms of the general election both parties care very much about the suburban white vote.

 

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