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Martell Spy

U.S. Politics: Moscow Mitch

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Triskele said:

Houston Chronicle with a piece urging Beto to drop out and run for Senate again.  

If only he would.  Beto being elected president is as likely or unlikely as Kamala or Biden being elected president.  But he's only individual with a shot of beating Cornyn in Texas.  

If Trump is re-elected, it's all shit anyway.  But if a Democrat is elected president and faces a Republican senate, we will have switched our current national nightmare for the gridlock of the Obama years.  Nothing will be done on campaign reform, gun control, immigration etc etc.  And the inevitable result 8 or 12 years down will be more Trumps...

Edited by Gaston de Foix

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Gaston de Foix said:

If only he would.  Beto being elected president is as likely or unlikely as Kamala or Biden being elected president.  But he's only individual with a shot of beating Cornyn in Texas.  

If Trump is re-elected, it's all shit anyway.  But if a Democrat is elected president and faces a Republican senate, we will have switched our current national nightmare for the gridlock of the Obama years.  Nothing will be done on campaign reform, gun control, immigration etc etc.  And the inevitable result 8 or 12 years down will be more Trumps...

You know something on that note that I swear gets to little discussion:

We hear about the filibuster all the time, but I feel like we don't hear much talk of exactly why so few Senators seem willing to end it, even someone like Sanders.  I would be scary what Republicans can do with just needing 51 votes in the future, but it's quite scary how little Democrats or just the Senate, period, can do with the 60 vote requirement.  

And on cue, I see this.  It feels like everyone's stance on the filibuster should be a huge question on the campaign trail.  

 

Quote

 

Joe Biden, touring Iowa, told reporters, in so many words, that his plan is to have an ineffectual, failed presidency. Or, as Biden put it more pithily, “Ending the filibuster is a very dangerous move.”

Biden is expressing one of his most deeply held beliefs, which is his boundless faith in the goodness of the Senate. This is the point Biden was attempting to make in his controversial nostalgic riff about his history of working with segregationists. The Senate brings people together, even people as different as Joe Biden and the segregationists. (Biden failed to anticipate that some Democrats would interpret this to mean that Biden and the segregationists were not so different after all.)

Biden has clung to this conviction in the face of overwhelming evidence, including eight years in an administration in which opposing party senators followed a strategy of scorched-earth opposition and were rewarded for it.

The prospective concern with Biden is not that he would somehow revive the old Dixiecrat coalition, but that he is nostalgically trapped in the bygone world of his youth, unable to grasp the tectonic changes that have reshaped American politics. Biden’s nostalgia for the villains of his political youth, and his belief that the institution can be restored to its bygone manners, is a symptom of a more profound disorder that you might call “Senatitis.”

Senatitis is an irrational reverence for the folkways and culture of the upper legislative chamber. Those afflicted believe that the Senate gathers together 100 of the finest statesmen in American life, or at least transforms ordinary politicians into such giants through its mystical traditions. To the extent they see any problems with the operations of their beloved chamber, it can only be ascribed to the corrupting effects of non-senatorial politics, and the solution is always to make American politics more senatorial. If you hear somebody unironically use the phrase “world’s greatest deliberative body,” you have located an acute sufferer.

 

  

Edited by Triskele

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The question is, what does censorship mean for private organisations? Any private entity is surely free to chose what kind of speech it associates with. Even with legal protections concerning liability for harmful communications a private entity may still choose not to have any association with certain types of speech. I.e. a private entity should be free to be as biased as it wants to be. It's up to the market (consumers / users and advertisers) to decide whether they want to continue using the services of a biased organisation.

I'd just say an organisation needs to be transparent about its biases, is it pro or anti LGBT? Is it pro or anti choice? Is it pro or anti mob violence on the right / left / both? Is it pro or anti white ethno-state?

If a govt wants to support a social media platform that doesn't delete any content no matter how offensive or threatening, they can simply provide online security cover for 8Chan.

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, Triskele said:

 

@DanteGabriel

I'd meant to reply earlier on your comment on Greenwald, but it slipped my mind, and seeing your last post reminded me.

He had a long interview in this Chapo Trap House podcast that me and larry and Simon have mentioned.  The Mueller part was really meh, and I've ripped him a few times in here in the last year or so on his whole Fox News thing and how he seems like a Russian asset or something.  This has felt believable to me given that back in his Salon days he was so anti-Bush that it made me think he was so anti-US establishment as to be pro-Russian in some kind of enemy-of-my-enemy way.

But the rest of this interview, and I'd welcome comments from @larrytheimp or @Simon (why the fuck does your name not come up on the search) on whether they agree if they heard this, was incredible.  It was all about Bolsonaro and stuff he's doing in Brazil, and how shitty it is, and it was so articulate, so well-prosecuted, if you will.  And all coming from a situation where it seems like he should genuinely fear for his life.  It was kind of awesome and inspiring, and it really reminded me of the old GG.  

Still struggling to reconcile the whole thing on how this guy can be such a fascist-hater on the one hand and then go on Fox news to sort of defend Trump on the other hand.  

Yeah pretty much what everyone else said.  His dismissal of the Russia / Trump shit drives me nuts.  I understand his point about how we shouldn't be surprised Russia tried to meddle, in fact I'm pretty sure I said that repeatedly on this board 3 years ago.  But what's nuts is that he doesn't think, after reading the Mueller report, that there is anything there.  Bullshit.  

  

It's frustrating because I expect better from him, but both he and Taibbi have a real chip on their shoulder about this and I just don't get it.  

Was stoked to catch the interview because I work with a bunch of Brazilians at my winter gig and we talk about this shit a decent amount.  He's obviously in a dangerous situation and doesn't seem to flinch trying to get the story out but I think he's just so jaded on US politics he really has it out for any kind of liberal argument or angle where he has even a micro issue with the tone.

And yeah Greenwald's twitter has been a trainwreck for awhile now.  

That interview was especially frustrating when he compared Moro to Mueller... Like wtf?  If anyone is Moro here it's Barr or McConnell.  Mueller is judge, prosecutor and jury of his political enemies?  Give me a fucking break

I don't think I have any kind of starry eyes for Mueller saving the day but they made him out to be this senile washed up guy.   They completely missed the reason he was giving one works answers, asking reps to read from the report, and not elaborating where it could be seen to be political.  Personally I would have preferred a more expansive and less guarded testimony but between ongoing cases (Stone especially) and not wanting to give sound bites I don't know what they really expected, especially from a Republican federal prosecutor/career bureaucrat.  And their go to was to just call the whole thing a joke and a waste of time.  

I really like Chapo but have to say that I really don't understand or agree with a lot of their "class first socialism" perspective.  That might be appropriate in more homogenous societies but here in the US we basically have a racist, sexist, xenophobic caste system that is entrenched systematically and needs to be dealt with too.  A lot of it is rooted in colonialism, imperialism, and white nationalism, and goes beyond just capitalism being the only hurdle.

Eta: sorry for tangenting into a general Chapo review but I think I'm still a little buzzed from an edible i ate earlier

 

Edited by larrytheimp

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3 hours ago, Triskele said:

You know something on that note that I swear gets to little discussion:

We hear about the filibuster all the time, but I feel like we don't hear much talk of exactly why so few Senators seem willing to end it, even someone like Sanders.  I would be scary what Republicans can do with just needing 51 votes in the future, but it's quite scary how little Democrats or just the Senate, period, can do with the 60 vote requirement.  

And on cue, I see this.  It feels like everyone's stance on the filibuster should be a huge question on the campaign trail.  

 

  

I'm fine with getting rid of the legislative filibuster, but it just isn't true that nothing will get done if it stays in place. It is true nothing will get done if the Dems don't take the Senate.

Something like a massive healthcare expansion using existing systems and a tax increase, or eliminating tax cuts for the wealthy in the last tax cut plan, is possible to due in reconciliation. 

Some things, like eliminating private insurance entirely, likely can't be done without removing the legislative filibuster. Something like the protection for pre-existing conditions likely could not have been done, but it is already in place. 

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I find it odd for some people to hold the simultaneous positions that the Senate is increasingly disadvantaging the Democrats from securing a majority due to demographic shifts, and encouraging the abolishment of the filibuster.  The latter protects the the institutional unfairness of the former.  There are plenty of institutional reforms to focus on that would ensure a better political system before you get to the legislative filibuster.  Fix those and maybe we'll see where we're at.

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2 hours ago, Bonnot OG said:

Chapo Trap house is a gateway to red brownism. Can’t stomach that podcast. 

Not being familiar with this term I've been trying to read up on it and am still a bit confused.  

It's like when an ostensibly left person like Greenwald is a Putin-sympathizer?  

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8 hours ago, Martell Spy said:

I'm fine with getting rid of the legislative filibuster, but it just isn't true that nothing will get done if it stays in place. It is true nothing will get done if the Dems don't take the Senate.

Something like a massive healthcare expansion using existing systems and a tax increase, or eliminating tax cuts for the wealthy in the last tax cut plan, is possible to due in reconciliation. 

Some things, like eliminating private insurance entirely, likely can't be done without removing the legislative filibuster. Something like the protection for pre-existing conditions likely could not have been done, but it is already in place. 

Massive healthcare expansion would not pass muster under the Senate rules absent the filibuster. Only taxes changes would. It's true you can use tax policy to shape certain branches of domestic policy, but it has its limits.  It's fine if as a Republican you are fine with cutting taxes and otherwise not enacting any significant policy.  But if you care about climate change or gun reform, get rid of the filibuster as your top priority.  

7 hours ago, DMC said:

I find it odd for some people to hold the simultaneous positions that the Senate is increasingly disadvantaging the Democrats from securing a majority due to demographic shifts, and encouraging the abolishment of the filibuster.  The latter protects the the institutional unfairness of the former.  There are plenty of institutional reforms to focus on that would ensure a better political system before you get to the legislative filibuster.  Fix those and maybe we'll see where we're at.

The Constitution requires bicameralism and presentment (i.e. to pass both chambers of Congress and receive presidential assent). The filibuster is  unconstitutional (the Constitution envisions a bare majority passing legislation). It is also anti-democratic because it permits a minority party to prevent legislation even if the majority of the electorate have voted for a president and congress that supports such legislation.  You should oppose it for those reasons independent of your partisan affiliation. 

It is not true that there are 'plenty' of institutional reforms that will ensure a better political system.  No specific reform is a silver bullet, but beyond that many of those commendable reforms (as expressed in H.R.1 for example) simply have no chance of seeing the light of day while the filibuster continues.  

It's true the Senate is itself undemocratic but that's a feature not a bug of the Constitution.  And more to the point there's practically nothing you can do about it absent constitutional amendment.  The filibuster doesn't protect minority rights.  In fact it has been used to oppress minority rights throughout the civil rights movement.  Minority rights are adequately protected by the Constitution. 

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Bonnot OG said:

her being a neo Nazi isn’t shocking 

Hey following literal neo-nazis on Twitter doesn’t show anything. Next you’ll be telling me getting a tattoo of a Swaztika on your face and a shirt with the words “I hate Jews” is indicative of possibly being racist. Goddamn everything is just so PC. 

But, seriously, it’s interesting(though not that surprising) to see the basic defenses from this racist charlatan’s followers(who totes swear they aren’t racist) mostly just boil down to immediately attacking the people who dared point out she did this as simply bad.

13 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

It's up to the market (consumers / users and advertisers) to decide whether they want to continue using the services of a biased organisation.

Turns out the free-market is unreliable when it doesn’t appear to benefit conservatives enough. Then private entities must be reigned in and forced to feature content that may damage their commercial success. Suddenly companies don’t have free-speech rights. 

Government needs to step in insure David Duke is able to be on Twitter to tout his views of how awful Jews are. Government stepping in to make sure a poor man die because he lacks the funds to purchase the medicine and treatment he needs to live is big government overreach. 

And this somehow seems “right” to people. 

Edited by Varysblackfyre321

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1 hour ago, Gaston de Foix said:

The Constitution requires bicameralism and presentment (i.e. to pass both chambers of Congress and receive presidential assent). The filibuster is  unconstitutional (the Constitution envisions a bare majority passing legislation). It is also anti-democratic because it permits a minority party to prevent legislation even if the majority of the electorate have voted for a president and congress that supports such legislation.  You should oppose it for those reasons independent of your partisan affiliation.

The filibuster is obviously anti-democratic, but it's certainly not unconstitutional.  Hell, its origins in parliamentary procedure trace back to Cato.  The filibuster has a long and idiosyncratic history in the Senate (and was even available in the House for a time), but neither chamber - ever - would agree the constitution has anything to say about their parliamentary rules.  The frequency and institution of the filibuster arose throughout history during periods of rampant polarization - in the lead up to the civil war, during the progressive era, and now.  Why is that?  Because the framers didn't anticipate parties, but subsequent party systems recognized that the filibuster was the most simple method to prevent the majority party from running roughshod over the minority party.

As for being undemocratic, well, duh.  As you said, the Senate was designed to be undemocratic, or at least the "deliberative" body to counteract the House.  There are plenty of rules and norms in the Senate that are plainly undemocratic - such as unanimous consent, the blue slip policy, and the emerging norm of the Hastert rule (which is functionally observed by the majority party in both chambers these days). 

And don't ever tell me what I "should" oppose or support when it comes to institutional rules.  The political system is undemocratic in a plethora of ways that advantage the other side.  My point is it's pretty stupid to take away the one feature of that system that appears to advantage our side for the time being.

1 hour ago, Gaston de Foix said:

It is not true that there are 'plenty' of institutional reforms that will ensure a better political system.  No specific reform is a silver bullet, but beyond that many of those commendable reforms (as expressed in H.R.1 for example) simply have no chance of seeing the light of day while the filibuster continues.  

The efforts to fix gerrymandering and the electoral college are orthogonal to the existence of the filibuster because the way to fix them is via the states - obviously with gerrymandering but also the national popular vote movement is the most realistic way to eradicate the electoral college.  As for things like fixing the courts or campaign finance reform, yes, that would (probably) require overcoming the filibuster, but I'm reminded of a discussion we had on here a few weeks ago that originated with this quote from Pete Buttigieg at the last debate:

Quote

[This is] the conversation that we have been having for the last 20 years. Of course, we need to get money out of politics, but when I propose the actual structural democratic reforms that might make a difference — end the Electoral College, amend the Constitution if necessary to clear up Citizens United, have DC actually be a state, and depoliticize the Supreme Court with structural reform — people look at me funny, as if this country was incapable of structural reform.

This is a country that once changed its Constitution so you couldn’t drink and changed it back because we changed our minds, and you’re telling me we can’t reform our democracy in our time. We have to or we will be having the same argument 20 years from now.

Anyway, that seems like "plenty" of structural reforms that I'd prioritize over the filibuster, but I suppose that depends on your definition of plenty.

1 hour ago, Gaston de Foix said:

The filibuster doesn't protect minority rights.  In fact it has been used to oppress minority rights throughout the civil rights movement.  Minority rights are adequately protected by the Constitution.

Yeah, I don't think you're grasping the point here.  The filibuster isn't about protecting minority rights anymore.  When the GOP can control the House, Senate, and Presidency despite the Democrats receiving more aggregate votes in all three contests, that's not protecting from the tyranny of the majority, that's protecting the majority from the tyranny of the minority that has gained majority status through abjectly disproportionate, undemocratic, and simply unfair practices.  That's the use of the filibuster at this point, and it's patently obvious after we just saw Trump enjoy 2 years of unified government why it shouldn't be abolished right now.

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2 hours ago, Gaston de Foix said:

Massive healthcare expansion would not pass muster under the Senate rules absent the filibuster. Only taxes changes would. It's true you can use tax policy to shape certain branches of domestic policy, but it has its limits.  It's fine if as a Republican you are fine with cutting taxes and otherwise not enacting any significant policy.  But if you care about climate change or gun reform, get rid of the filibuster as your top priority.  

The Constitution requires bicameralism and presentment (i.e. to pass both chambers of Congress and receive presidential assent). The filibuster is  unconstitutional (the Constitution envisions a bare majority passing legislation). It is also anti-democratic because it permits a minority party to prevent legislation even if the majority of the electorate have voted for a president and congress that supports such legislation.  You should oppose it for those reasons independent of your partisan affiliation. 

It is not true that there are 'plenty' of institutional reforms that will ensure a better political system.  No specific reform is a silver bullet, but beyond that many of those commendable reforms (as expressed in H.R.1 for example) simply have no chance of seeing the light of day while the filibuster continues.  

It's true the Senate is itself undemocratic but that's a feature not a bug of the Constitution.  And more to the point there's practically nothing you can do about it absent constitutional amendment.  The filibuster doesn't protect minority rights.  In fact it has been used to oppress minority rights throughout the civil rights movement.  Minority rights are adequately protected by the Constitution. 

I never brought up climate change or gun reform. You did.  And yes, a massive healthcare expansion is quite possible with reconciliation. It would be the mirror image of the horrible Obamacare/Trumpcare bills that tried to take a knife to Medicaid. Could you pass Bernie Sanders Medicare for all plan via reconciliation? No, I'm sure not. It would involve using systems that already exist like Medicare and Medicaid.

It's quite likely with the gridlock that nearly all legislation that doesn't have buy in from both parties will get passed this way going forth. And yes, there are big limits, never said there was not. 

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9 hours ago, Triskele said:

Not being familiar with this term I've been trying to read up on it and am still a bit confused.  

It's like when an ostensibly left person like Greenwald is a Putin-sympathizer?  

it’s a reference to the “red-brown” alliance, a supposed strategy of socialists and fascists teaming up, focusing on shared or overlapping goals to overthrow the powerful ruling class. never heard it called “red-brownism” before, most often hear ideologues called ‘nazbols’, which like larry touched on is this kind of class reductionism taken to the extreme logical conclusion. 

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her being a neo Nazi isn’t shocking 

maybe. but not on the basis of reading far right propaganda.  i've made a study of most of ayn rand's writings, the NSDAP, italian fascist writings, the history of french rightwingers, gobineau, slavic nationalists, hayek and 20th century 'libertarianism,' and so on--i have not been influenced by it in the slightest, except to be satisfied in how dreadful it all is.

 

 supposed strategy of socialists and fascists teaming up

and in practice is normally just an attempt to clean up fascism. the left should be wary of complaints about liberalism from the right. key words in their complaints might be plutocratic, degenerate, decadent, effete, and so on--what follows will be a call for spiritual socialism, a redistribution of morale but not assets.

 

certainly not unconstitutional

totally.  the constitution does not actually specify majority voting; it does state two-thirds for some things, but the absence of a quantity for other parliamentary business should permit the chambers to set their own thresholds--there's probably a hundred cases on this from the early days of the republic, but i am way too lazy to go look for them.

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The thing about the filibuster that I'm trying to wrap my head around is the actual advantage to Democrats it provides in the current climate.  Tax cuts and deregulation just need a bare majority at most, 2 staples of the Republican party .  They aren't really in the business of passing any other laws after that at a national level.  Seems to me that it'd be much more advantageous for the party who wants to pass new laws to solve problems to remove the filibuster than the party who thinks the govt can't solve problems and spends its time trying to figure out how to blow govt up instead.

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44 minutes ago, DMC said:

And don't ever tell me what I "should" oppose or support when it comes to institutional rules.  The political system is undemocratic in a plethora of ways that advantage the other side.  My point is it's pretty stupid to take away the one feature of that system that appears to advantage our side for the time being.

 

 I agree with you that the political system is undemocratic (weakly) in a number of ways. I also agree with you that much of it needs to be reformed as first priority.  But if you want the reform to come about as a result of national legislation then you should support abolishing the filibuster.  And as hopelessly compromised as it is, legislation has historically been and continues to be the most effective method to reform politics.

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36 minutes ago, Martell Spy said:

I never brought up climate change or gun reform. You did.  And yes, a massive healthcare expansion is quite possible with reconciliation. It would be the mirror image of the horrible Obamacare/Trumpcare bills that tried to take a knife to Medicaid. Could you pass Bernie Sanders Medicare for all plan via reconciliation? No, I'm sure not. It would involve using systems that already exist like Medicare and Medicaid.

It's quite likely with the gridlock that nearly all legislation that doesn't have buy in from both parties will get passed this way going forth. And yes, there are big limits, never said there was not. 

Fair enough. I suppose my question is (and it really is a question) what motivates you? To me its the failure of our politics to respond to the will of the people.  So I have no problem getting rid of a further safety valve to popular will.  And I happen to believe that this failure is the long term cause for the rise of Trump. 

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3 minutes ago, Gaston de Foix said:

Fair enough. I suppose my question is (and it really is a question) what motivates you? To me its the failure of our politics to respond to the will of the people.  So I have no problem getting rid of a further safety valve to popular will.  And I happen to believe that this failure is the long term cause for the rise of Trump. 

Universal healthcare access in the U.S. motivates me. 

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