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U.S. Politics: Moscow Mitch

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2 minutes ago, Gaston de Foix said:

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.

Well, my point there was two of the reforms have nothing to do with passage through (the US) Congress.  I think reforming the courts is the key to all other structural reforms - there will always be challenges to attempts to eradicate gerrymandering, there would unquestionably be a huge challenge if the National Popular Vote initiative reached 270 and they attempted to take effect, obviously there's been successful court challenges gutting campaign finance and the VRA, etc.  Hell, if the Democrats beat Trump, took back the Senate, and abolished the filibuster, I could see McConnell trying to challenge that in court.  Well, maybe - generally I'd expect him to laugh maniacally, shuffle his hands and mutter "good, good" like a combination of Mr. Burns and Palpatine as he awaits when he gets the chance to take advantage of it, but I dunno he's getting pretty old.

Now, one could certainly argue you can't reform the courts - particularly "packing" SCOTUS - without abolishing the filibuster, but I'm not entirely sure about that.  I've heard tale from both congressional staffers and scholars that the Senate might (might!) be able to get around cloture if they tried to by employing some arcane parliamentary rules.  Anyway, to clarify, I'm not talking about legislation related to substantive policy - I'm specifically talking about efforts to improve the political system through institutional reform.

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Hahahaha.

 

Barr says 'there will be accountability' in Epstein case

politico.com/story/2019/08/12/william-barr-accountability-epstein-case-1459047

Quote

 

Attorney General William Barr said Monday that authorities will "get to the bottom of what happened" — both in financier Jeffrey Epstein's death on Saturday and in the ongoing investigation of his alleged sex crimes.

"There will be accountability," Barr said at the Fraternal Order of Police's 64th biennial conference. "This case will continue on against anyone who is complicit with Epstein. Any co-conspirators should not rest easy."

 

 

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Posted (edited)
59 minutes ago, DMC said:

 Now, one could certainly argue you can't reform the courts - particularly "packing" SCOTUS - without abolishing the filibuster, but I'm not entirely sure about that.  I've heard tale from both congressional staffers and scholars that the Senate might (might!) be able to get around cloture if they tried to by employing some arcane parliamentary rules.  Anyway, to clarify, I'm not talking about legislation related to substantive policy - I'm specifically talking about efforts to improve the political system through institutional reform.

I agree with you regarding the Courts. The nakedly partisan decision-making in the US Supreme Court in high profile cases, outside the margin of good faith disagreement about the law: (textualism, originalism, federalism, limited government) has really saddened me. Sam Alito spent much of his judicial career singing hosannas to religious liberty. Until the Muslim Ban came to the Supreme Court and suddenly government action motivated by religious hatred didn't matter, despite a lifetime appointment to be insulated from politics. 

The difficulty is that what the US needs is a process of neutral appointment to the SC much like the UK but the political traditions (and Constitution) directly oppose it. 

Lawsuits have their own idiosyncrasies though. There's no cause of action for Mitch to sue over filibuster abolition: it's settled law that Congress has the right to set its own rules.  One more reason to support filibuster abolition: the reason the conservative movement cares about judicial appointments is abortion.  And abortion can be the subject of national legalization resolving the debate about this judicially 'created' right. It won't stop the salience of abortion as a political issue in the US, but it will remove it from the courts (and judicial appointments). 

 

Edited by Gaston de Foix

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14 hours ago, larrytheimp said:

 

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

 

I don't get the class first stuff either. It is clear that programs used to help create a middle class, for example, have historically not worked to help people of color due to the complexity of systemic racism. I think race, gender, class--these have to be considered simultaneously. Addressing one (class in this case) can't be a fix all. 

I think this is an important distinction to make too, Larry, and it's bigger than Chapo. Bernie's biggest struggle for me is his laser focus on class. Now that I think about it, Warren is a bit better on this, but I'm not sure her full stance on this subject. She's not a democratic socialist, so to speak, but she's basically one, and this is a group that thinks fixing class issues fixes all problems.

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, Martell Spy said:

Hahahaha.

 

Barr says 'there will be accountability' in Epstein case

politico.com/story/2019/08/12/william-barr-accountability-epstein-case-1459047

 

Recuse!  Recuse! Recuse yourself!

Edited by Zorral

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don't get the class first stuff either

it's an old left insistence, uninterested in intersectionality doctrine, rooted in a narrow interpretation classical marxism's thesis that the economic base determines in the last instance superstructures such as race, gender, and other ideologies.

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43 minutes ago, Martell Spy said:

Hahahaha.

 

Barr says 'there will be accountability' in Epstein case

politico.com/story/2019/08/12/william-barr-accountability-epstein-case-1459047

 

"We'll pin this on some low-level flunky who's a woman or non-white and never ask who took him off suicide watch."

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27 minutes ago, DanteGabriel said:

"We'll pin this on some low-level flunky who's a woman or non-white and never ask who took him off suicide watch."

I work in a place where people are put on suicide watch and when the poop hits the impeller I was the one to represent the fall person/funky who gets  blamed. First it happens a lot. Some people cannot do night shifts.  Sometimes the person covering has other duties. Sometime the place is just understaffed. 

And yes the funky gets blamed no matter what the reason. A good union and a good lawyer are a great help in these situations. 

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, maarsen said:

I work in a place where people are put on suicide watch and when the poop hits the impeller I was the one to represent the fall person/funky who gets  blamed. First it happens a lot. Some people cannot do night shifts.  Sometimes the person covering has other duties. Sometime the place is just understaffed. 

And yes the funky gets blamed no matter what the reason. A good union and a good lawyer are a great help in these situations. 

Well, two other aspects to this. One, the U.S. prison system is notoriously harsh to prisoners and this is by design. We're the country where people make jokes about criminals being sent to prison and prison rape. The jail suicides that happen are part of the punishment.

And two, Barr is the last person that can talk about accountability. It's like Trump talking about men embroiled in sexual harassment/assault scandals. I expect to endure a lot of bullshit in this era in time, but sometimes it's just way too much. We're living in an alternate reality where Bork became AG.

Edited by Martell Spy

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The poor correction officers can't be in two or three places at one time. From what I've read these guards were stretched uber thin, working OT, some mandatory, trying to cover for multiple cases of understaffing as well as being tasked with the work that should've been covered by more employees.

Staffing and assignments is clearly the responsibility of management and that's were the punishment needs to be aimed. Sick of seeing workers take the rap for shoddy management.

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the responsibility of management 

that's because the federal bureau of prisons is understaffed pursuant to the trump hiring freeze and related staffing dysfunction.

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4 hours ago, Gaston de Foix said:

Lawsuits have their own idiosyncrasies though. There's no cause of action for Mitch to sue over filibuster abolition: it's settled law that Congress has the right to set its own rules. 

Oh I wasn't saying it was gonna work, but I wouldn't put it past McConnell to try - and get some conservative judge he got appointed to claim he/they has standing.  Also, didn't you just say in the original response that you thought the filibuster was unconstitutional?

4 hours ago, Gaston de Foix said:

And abortion can be the subject of national legalization resolving the debate about this judicially 'created' right. It won't stop the salience of abortion as a political issue in the US, but it will remove it from the courts (and judicial appointments). 

Wouldn't be so sure about this.  If Congress passed a law guaranteeing the right to abortion up to X amount of weeks, you'd definitely get court challenges.  In fact, it may inflame the issue as opposed to hoping the conservatives on SCOTUS never grant cert to a direct challenge of Roe.

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4 hours ago, Simon Steele said:

I don't get the class first stuff either. It is clear that programs used to help create a middle class, for example, have historically not worked to help people of color due to the complexity of systemic racism.

But also creating a middle class by definition leaves behind a lower class who don't get helped! It's problematic even before you consider the racist aspect.

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The market took another beating today. It's been super volatile as of late, and it sounds like many global economists are projecting an increased chance of a world wide recession. Lovely.

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3 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

The market took another beating today. It's been super volatile as of late, and it sounds like many global economists are projecting an increased chance of a world wide recession. Lovely.

Read somewhere recently that Germany, the U.K. and Italy (I think) already have 1 quarter of negative GDP growth each, so everyone's looking to the next quarter to see if 3 of the Eurozone's biggest economies are technically in recession. 

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42 minutes ago, DMC said:

Oh I wasn't saying it was gonna work, but I wouldn't put it past McConnell to try - and get some conservative judge he got appointed to claim he/they has standing.  Also, didn't you just say in the original response that you thought the filibuster was unconstitutional?

Wouldn't be so sure about this.  If Congress passed a law guaranteeing the right to abortion up to X amount of weeks, you'd definitely get court challenges.  In fact, it may inflame the issue as opposed to hoping the conservatives on SCOTUS never grant cert to a direct challenge of Roe.

I should have been more precise.  I think the filibuster violates the spirit of the constitution.  I don't think any constitutional claim on that basis would pass muster though. 

The conservative argument heretofore re abortion has been that it is not for the courts to declare a right to abortion; the issue must be left to the legislature. In Gonzales v Carhart, the Supreme Court upheld the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, for example. 

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18 minutes ago, The Great Unwashed said:

Read somewhere recently that Germany, the U.K. and Italy (I think) already have 1 quarter of negative GDP growth each, so everyone's looking to the next quarter to see if 3 of the Eurozone's biggest economies are technically in recession. 

I thought I had heard that there were a lot more European countries facing projected negative growth, and that doesn't even factor in the catastrophe of a no deal Brexit or a full scale U.C.=China trade war. Keep in mind that the next round of tariffs are only a few weeks away if nothing gets done, and everything I've read suggests the two countries are at an impasse. 

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4 minutes ago, Gaston de Foix said:

The conservative argument heretofore

Worst opening to a sentence ever.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, felice said:

But also creating a middle class by definition leaves behind a lower class who don't get helped! It's problematic even before you consider the racist aspect.

Agreed--it is predicated on a group of people who don't do as well as others, and then it becomes, "that's 'their' fault," and often "they" are already oppressed groups. I'm not sure the answer, but for the class first argument to work, it'd take a truly revolutionary model to account for all the systemic issues.

Edit: And to be clear, even a revolutionary model leaves me skeptical.

Edited by Simon Steele

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59 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

I thought I had heard that there were a lot more European countries facing projected negative growth, and that doesn't even factor in the catastrophe of a no deal Brexit or a full scale U.C.=China trade war. Keep in mind that the next round of tariffs are only a few weeks away if nothing gets done, and everything I've read suggests the two countries are at an impasse. 

Yeah, it looks like the collective GDP for the entire Eurozone only grew at 0.2% in the 2nd quarter, down from 0.4% in the 1st quarter.

And I don't expect the US/China trade war will end anytime soon. Xi Jinping can't afford to bend to US pressure, and Trump certainly isn't going to admit he was wrong, so at this point it's probably just a matter of finding out how much of a lead time a Eurozone recession has on a global one.

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