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A Horse Named Stranger

US Politics: Maniac Manchin

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1 hour ago, maarsen said:

Correct me if I am wrong but do not military personnel swear an oath to defend the constitution of the United States? If there is a conflict between his Commander in Chief and his oath would not his oath take precedence?

Yes.  In fact, they are obligated not only to disobey illegal orders, but report any illegal order given.  That's not the issue, or what is concerning, about the Woodward excerpts.  This op-ed does a good job succinctly explaining the situation (as well as a brief history of officials disobeying lawful orders) - and particularly the implication that is concerning:

Quote

If true, the general’s statement was, as the late Secretary of State Dean Acheson once said, “clearer than truth.” The president, as commander in chief, can order the Secretary of Defense to direct a combatant command, such as U.S. Strategic Command, to use nuclear weapons. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs is the principal military adviser to the president, the senior-most uniformed member of the armed services, and a statutory adviser to the National Security Council. But while the chairman can transmit communications from the president and defense secretary to combatant commanders, he does not command any combatant forces.

Of course, any president should seek the Joint Chiefs’ military advice about using nuclear weapons, and communications rehearsals for potential nuclear crises anticipate such discussions. But if the chairman of the Joint Chiefs were, for example, killed in an enemy attack or otherwise incommunicado, there is no legal reason that a presidential launch order could not proceed without his involvement. What Woodward and Costa imply is that Milley suggested that nuclear weapons could not be launched without his permission, and legally speaking, this is not true. 

  

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With the first redistricting maps starting to come out, Cook Political has revised their gerrymandering scorecard: https://cookpolitical.com/redistricting

They now think that Republicans are only going to net 1 or 2 House seats from redistricting; down from 3 or 4 a few months ago. 

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8 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Yes.  Here’s the problem.  They are members of the military.  The President, like it or not, is the highest ranking military official in the United States.  

If all Milley did was remind everyone of their oath that’s one thing.  If he actively attempted to countermand or undercut the President (who was absolutely problematic make no mistake) he stepped beyond his perview.  Understandably, and with good cause, but that isn’t his role.

If a President is going rogue that’s a political question and exactly what the 25th Amendment exists for.  Unfortunately, for the US the 25th presumes the political class and President’s cabinet will put the good of the Nation above politics.  

My ultimate point is that we have a structural problem and expecting the Military to defy civilian authorities is not the way to fix that structural problem.

Is there not something in the Military code that allows subordinates to disobey orders under certain circumstances? Didn't the world kind of tell all those German soldiers after WWII that they can't get off using the excuse that they were only obeying orders, which basically meant we told those soldiers they should have refused to obey? They woulda been shot for refusing to obey, but still they were told it was not a legitimate excuse for participating in genocide. I would think standing by while nukes are launched for no good reason could arguably be a comparable situation.

Isn't the real problem the alleged fact that the US president can legally order a nuclear strike because they are a bit miffed about something that is going on, but a nuclear strike will not either directly or indirectly address what it is that the president is miffed about (in this case, losing the election)?

Edited by The Anti-Targ

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9 minutes ago, The Anti-Targ said:

Isn't the real problem the alleged fact that the US president can legally order a nuclear strike because they are a bit miffed about something that is going on, but a nuclear strike will not either directly or indirectly address what it is that the president is miffed about (in this case, losing the election)?

Yes.  That is the real problem.  The “Commander-In-Chief” of the US Military didn’t have the ability to destroy human civilization on a whim when the President was invested with that power.  The President now has that power.  It needs to be stripped from any single person.

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I guess since we are impotent to address the real problem we have to try to relieve our anxiety over it by debating the minutiae of the actions of the subordinates, while we hope a president insane enough to take such action never gets elected. 

I would say that given Trump did not attempt to launch any nukes, or even conventional military action, he does not qualify as being at such a level of insanity.

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2 hours ago, Fez said:

With the first redistricting maps starting to come out, Cook Political has revised their gerrymandering scorecard: https://cookpolitical.com/redistricting

They now think that Republicans are only going to net 1 or 2 House seats from redistricting; down from 3 or 4 a few months ago. 

But it's important to add that the areas that Republicans are being less aggressive comes with the advantage (for them) that they solidify their weaker seats as well.  So less sure losses for Dmeocrats, but less opportunities for a pickup too. 

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1 hour ago, Maithanet said:

But it's important to add that the areas that Republicans are being less aggressive comes with the advantage (for them) that they solidify their weaker seats as well.  So less sure losses for Dmeocrats, but less opportunities for a pickup too. 

I suppose with Democrats in the majority at present there is not as much need to worry about pick ups for them. They just need to hold the line. A majority of 50%+1 seat will prevent a frivolous impeachment in Biden's first term. Though one might also consider that a frivolous, baseless impeachment of Biden may be a short term pain for a longer term gain. Petty, tit-for-tat time and resource wasting will go down well with the true believers, but it won't go over well with swing voters.

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4 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

I guess since we are impotent to address the real problem we have to try to relieve our anxiety over it by debating the minutiae of the actions of the subordinates, while we hope a president insane enough to take such action never gets elected. 

I would say that given Trump did not attempt to launch any nukes, or even conventional military action, he does not qualify as being at such a level of insanity.

True. Unfortunately, we were made to have a live fire exercise to find out. Now, he can brag on the campaign trail that he didn't nuke Guam.

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According to the latest Reuters poll Biden's approval rating is better than Trump's was at the same point in his presidency.

https://news.yahoo.com/biden-approval-drops-lowest-presidency-213129159.html

Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll.

The national poll, conducted Sept. 15-16, found that 44% of U.S. adults approved of Biden’s performance in office, while 50% disapproved and the rest were not sure.

At the same point in Donald Trump’s presidency, about 38% of Americans approved of his performance in office, while 57% disapproved.

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6 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

I guess since we are impotent to address the real problem we have to try to relieve our anxiety over it by debating the minutiae of the actions of the subordinates, while we hope a president insane enough to take such action never gets elected. 

I would say that given Trump did not attempt to launch any nukes, or even conventional military action, he does not qualify as being at such a level of insanity.

That's not my interpretation. His insanity level seemed qualified to be that much of a danger, however he was so impotent and incompetent that he was unable to get out of his own way enough to accomplish his darkest wishes.

There's a reason Biden has recently been quoted saying he has COMPLETE confidence in Gen. Milley. I'm sure he's (Biden) privy to some of the insanity and gross incompetence his predecessor committed. Privy to even more of it than has been publicly divulged if only for the sake of protecting what little faith in U.S. leadership Trump hasn't completely ruined.

 

Eta: Trump's cabinet was derilect in their duty for not invoking the 25th amendment and having this monster removed. The world is very fortunate he (Trump) did not plunge the world into horrific crisis.

Edited by DireWolfSpirit

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Manchin appears to be needlessly dug in:

Quote

President Biden failed to persuade Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to agree to spending $3.5 trillion on the Democrats' budget reconciliation package during their Oval Office meeting on Wednesday, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Defying a president from his own party — face-to-face — is the strongest indication yet Manchin is serious about cutting specific programs and limiting the price tag of any potential bill to $1.5 trillion. His insistence could blow up the deal for progressives and others.

  • Axios was told Biden explained to Manchin his opposition could imperil the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that's already passed the Senate. Biden's analysis did little to persuade Manchin to raise his top line.
  • Manchin held his position and appears willing to let the bipartisan bill hang in the balance, given his entrenched opposition to many of the specific proposals in the $3.5 trillion spending package, Axios was told.

https://www.axios.com/scoop-biden-bombs-manchin-b2b4acbd-24d0-40a3-ba6f-c0509e0e0224.html

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5 hours ago, DireWolfSpirit said:

That's not my interpretation. His insanity level seemed qualified to be that much of a danger, however he was so impotent and incompetent that he was unable to get out of his own way enough to accomplish his darkest wishes.

There's a reason Biden has recently been quoted saying he has COMPLETE confidence in Gen. Milley. I'm sure he's (Biden) privy to some of the insanity and gross incompetence his predecessor committed. Privy to even more of it than has been publicly divulged if only for the sake of protecting what little faith in U.S. leadership Trump hasn't completely ruined.

 

Eta: Trump's cabinet was derilect in their duty for not invoking the 25th amendment and having this monster removed. The world is very fortunate he (Trump) did not plunge the world into horrific crisis.

I'll just leave it at I think the degree to which his political enemies think Trump is insane is greater than his actual mental deficiency. I may be wrong and, inshallah, we will never be in a position to find out who is right.

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46 minutes ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

Am I allowed to have mixed feelings about this? :)

Not here. :P

I was optimistic trying to read the media tea leaves that they were making progress behind the scenes, but that does not appear to be the case and if he doesn’t move off that number I’m not sure a deal can be reached, and we’ve got 10 days until the infrastructure bill either comes up for a vote or gets pulled.

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2 hours ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

Am I allowed to have mixed feelings about this? :)

Not really--it's truly a fucked up position for him (and anyone) to have when millions of Americans need any kind of support at all. It's more proof that the ruling class is aiming to push people to the brink of what they can survive on. And this package was only a minor gesture to working Americans.

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Yes, this is the UK's shortages of supply and labor being described, but the causes and conditions are pretty much the same across the board here in the US too. We need to think about this in connection with current shortages in the supply chains, well into into the future.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/sep/17/empty-shelves-covid-brexit-britain-lorry-drivers

Telling graphs:

Quote

 

.... The technological revolution in the 1980s and 1990s, with its electronic tracking and advanced traffic-control software, led to dramatic upheavals. It enabled industries to switch to a globalised system of just-in-time ordering with hugely extended supply lines. The jobs have also been made to bend to the iron brutality of 24/7 computer-controlled efficiency.

The pattern is the same in other sectors now suffering acute labour shortages. Harvesting crops has always been tough, dirty work; gangs of workers used to do it for relatively contained hours over short periods of the year or in shifts around school hours. Now rolling 12-hour-plus shifts, seven days a week, are common.

Meat factories used to treat working late or at weekends as optional overtime for extra money. Now workers are expected to sweat at an abattoir’s capital intensive plant, for as long as it takes the owners to supply supermarket orders, for a flat hourly rate.

Conditions, as much as pay, underlie the refusal of British workers to do these jobs. They are not, as some cabinet ministers would have us believe, idlers who prefer their paddleboards to a bit of graft, but industry has made these vital jobs incompatible with any normal settled life. Only desperate people, from poorer countries, will take them, and then only long enough to earn what they need to establish a better life back home, or long enough to learn English and move up the employment ladder in Britain.

These conditions have depended not just on migration but on an unending cycle of new migration, drawing people in from ever-further east, as successive eastern European nations improve their living standards and their workers no longer seek what hauliers call “tramping”. Recruiters are now finding their new cheap HGV drivers not in Poland, Hungary or Romania, but in the former Soviet Central Asian states of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. ....

 

Nothing ever changes either, unless truly forced.  Because the jerkwaddies in charge of employment always think the only solution to employment problems is forcing the employees into ever more miserable conditions, coercion and disrespect, and ever less compensation.  I.e. only slavery will do!

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4 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

I'll just leave it at I think the degree to which his political enemies think Trump is insane is greater than his actual mental deficiency. I may be wrong and, inshallah, we will never be in a position to find out who is right.

We have long ago found out that you are wrong.

BTW, DMC, don't know if you saw this or not, but it may be of interest, whether you agree with analyst or not.

No paywall for a single article, I think.

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/09/why-a-troubled-polling-industry-whiffed-on-california-recall.html

 

Edited by Zorral

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34 minutes ago, Zorral said:

Yes, this is the UK's shortages of supply and labor being described, but the causes and conditions are pretty much the same across the board here in the US too. We need to think about this in connection with current shortages in the supply chains, well into into the future.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/sep/17/empty-shelves-covid-brexit-britain-lorry-drivers

Telling graphs:

Nothing ever changes either, unless truly forced.  Because the jerkwaddies in charge of employment always think the only solution to employment problems is forcing the employees into ever more miserable conditions, coercion and disrespect, and ever less compensation.  I.e. only slavery will do!

Good observations.

Also a few weeks ago there was a report out over flawed algorithms that many major employers were incorrectly relying on to screen applicants. The result, millions and millions of employee applicants needlessly passed over and deemed unqualified.

The myth that there is an employee shortage is really just an ignorant cover for management's lack of creativity in finding workers, not to mention cover for atrocious pay and work conditions unfit for a civilized society.

Workers will generally gravitate towards their best opportunities, businesses need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and compete for them, no-one ever guaranteed them a employee.

 

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27 minutes ago, DireWolfSpirit said:

businesses need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and compete for them, no-one ever guaranteed them a employee.

My dear, my dear, you have it backwards. The right way round is that nobody's entitled to or guaranteed a job!  (Unless white, male and well-connected, yanno.) That's why we can station our own armed goons at every train depot and station to keep Our Folks from leaving our sharecropped cotton fields and go North to work in a factory!

Edited by Zorral

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The level of stupidity is off the charts here:

Quote

The legal architect of the Texas abortion ban has argued in a supreme court brief that overturning Roe v Wade, the landmark decision which guarantees a right to abortion in the US, could cause women to practice abstinence from sexual intercourse as a way to “control their reproductive lives”.

Former Texas solicitor general Jonathan Mitchell, who played a pivotal role in designing the legal framework of the state’s near-total abortion ban, also argued on behalf of anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life that women would still be able to terminate pregnancies if Roe was overturned by traveling to “wealthy pro-abortion” states like California and New York with the help of “taxpayer subsidies”.

“Women can ‘control their reproductive lives’ without access to abortion; they can do so by refraining from sexual intercourse,” Mitchell wrote in the brief. “One can imagine a scenario in which a woman has chosen to engage in unprotected (or insufficiently protected) sexual intercourse on the assumption that an abortion will be available to her later. But when this court announces the overruling of Roe, that individual can simply change their behavior in response to the court’s decision if she no longer wants to take the risk of an unwanted pregnancy.”

And it gets even better:

Quote

In the same brief, which calls for Roe to be overturned, Mitchell and co-counsel Adam Mortara, an anti-abortion activist and lawyer who clerked for the supreme court justice Clarence Thomas, said such a decision could open the door for other “lawless” rights and protections to be reversed, including the right to have gay sex and the right to same-sex marriage.

The lawyers argued that while it was not necessary for the high court to immediately overrule the legal cases that enshrine those rights, “neither should the court hesitate to write an opinion that leaves those decisions hanging by a thread”.

Those cases (Lawrence, which outlawed criminal sanctions against people who engaged in gay sex, and Obergefell, which legalized same-sex marriage) were “far less hazardous to human life”, they said, but just “as lawless as Roe”.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/sep/17/texas-abortion-ban-jonathan-mitchell-supreme-court-brief

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