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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#14161 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-November-02, 13:47

This sounds about right.

Quote

Political scientists have a term for what the United States is witnessing right now. It’s called “regime cleavage,” a division within the population marked by conflict about the foundations of the governing system itself—in the American case, our constitutional democracy. In societies facing a regime cleavage, a growing number of citizens and officials believe that norms, institutions and laws may be ignored, subverted or replaced.

And there are serious consequences: An emerging regime cleavage in the United States brought on by President Donald Trump and his defenders could signal that the American public might lose faith in the electoral process altogether or incentivize elected politicians to mount even more direct attacks on the independence of the judiciary and the separation of powers. Regime cleavages emerge only in governing systems in crisis, and our democracy is indeed in crisis.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#14162 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-November-02, 14:30

I don't understand a concept of fairness that requires a candidate for the Democrats' nomination for president to devise tax plans that let the ultra rich preserve 100% of their wealth. It's called a wealth tax for a reason.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#14163 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-November-02, 14:33

Build that wall :rolleyes:

Smugglers are sawing through new sections of Trump’s border wall

Quote

Smuggling gangs in Mexico have repeatedly sawed through new sections of President Trump’s border wall in recent months by using commercially available power tools, opening gaps large enough for people and drug loads to pass through, according to U.S. agents and officials with knowledge of the damage.

The breaches have been made using a popular cordless household tool known as a reciprocating saw that retails at hardware stores for as little as $100. When fitted with specialized blades, the saws can slice through one of the barrier’s steel-and-concrete bollards in a matter of minutes, according to the agents, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the barrier-defeating techniques.

The stable genius may have been correct that nobody would climb over the wall. Why bother climbing when you can cut a hole large enough to drive a convoy of tanks through.
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#14164 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2019-November-02, 18:51

View Posthrothgar, on 2019-November-01, 19:41, said:

Have you actually bothered to look?
You might find the following to be a useful primer...

https://www.vox.com/...chment-whitaker



When has your own ignorance and stupidity every stopped you from bloviating in the past?


Well you boys have your own little anti-Trump circlejerk going on here and get your panties all in a wad if anyone offers an opposing point of view. If that makes you happy, please carry on. I want you to be happy. But when you get right down to where the bear s**t in the buckwheat we all have exactly the same number of votes...one each. I plan to cast mine.

#14165 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-November-02, 19:21

From The Happy, Healthy Capitalists of Switzerland by Ruchir Sharma at NYT:

Quote

Like many progressive intellectuals, Bernie Sanders traces his vision of economic paradise not to socialist dictatorships like Venezuela but to their distant cousins in Scandinavia, which are just as wealthy and democratic as the United States but have more equitable distributions of wealth, as well as affordable health care and free college for all.

There is, however, a country far richer and just as fair as any in the Scandinavian trio of Sweden, Denmark and Norway. But no one talks about it.

This $700 billion European economy is among the world’s 20 largest, significantly bigger than any in Scandinavia. It delivers welfare benefits as comprehensive as Scandinavia’s but with lighter taxes, smaller government, and a more open and stable economy. Steady growth recently made it the second richest nation in the world, after Luxembourg, with an average income of $84,000, or $20,000 more than the Scandinavian average. Money is not the final measure of success, but surveys also rank this nation as one of the world’s 10 happiest.

This less socialist but more successful utopia is Switzerland.

While widening its income lead over Scandinavia in recent decades, Switzerland has been catching up on measures of equality. Wealth and income are distributed across the populace almost as equally as in Scandinavia, with the middle class holding about 70 percent of the nation’s assets. The big difference: The typical Swiss family has a net worth around $540,000, twice its Scandinavian peer.

Switzerland did draw 15 minutes of media attention around 2010, when Obamacare was still new — but only for its health care system, which requires all residents to buy insurance from private providers and subsidizes those who can least afford it. Admirers said Swiss health care had something for everyone: universal coverage for liberals, private providers and consumer choice for conservatives.

But for the most part, intellectuals ignore Switzerland as a model, perhaps put off by its exaggerated reputation as a shady little tax haven, where Nazi gold and other illicit fortunes hide behind strict bank secrecy laws. In 2015, Switzerland agreed under pressure to share bank records with foreign tax authorities, but that has not slowed the economy at all. Switzerland always was more than secretive banks.

Capitalist to its core, Switzerland imposes lighter taxes on individuals, consumers and corporations than the Scandinavian countries do. In 2018 its top income tax rate was the lowest in Western Europe at 36 percent, well below the Scandinavian average of 52 percent. Government spending amounts to a third of gross domestic product, compared with half in Scandinavia. And Switzerland is more open to trade, with a share of global exports around double that of any Scandinavian economy.

Streamlined government and open borders have helped make this landlocked, mountainous country an unlikely incubator of globally competitive companies. To build wealth, a country needs to make rich things, and an M.I.T. ranking of nations by the complexity of the products they export places Switzerland second behind Japan, well ahead of the Scandinavian countries, whose average rank is 15.

The Swiss excel in just about every major industry other than oil, often by targeting specialized niches, such as biotech and engineering. The country is home to 13 of the top 100 European companies, more than twice as many as in the three Scandinavian nations combined. And most top Swiss firms dwarf Scandinavian peers. Nestlé, with a stock market value of $320 billion, is 15 times larger than its closest Scandinavian rival.

Though major multinationals are concentrated in big cities, the Swiss economy is as decentralized as its political system. Traveling southwest from Zurich to Geneva recently, I was struck by how many iconic Swiss exports also originate in its provinces — Swiss Army knives from Schwyz, watches from Bern, St. Bernard puppies from a mountain pass in Valais, cheese and chocolates from Fribourg. Small companies anchor the economy, accounting for two of every three jobs. Only one in seven Swiss work for the government, about half the Scandinavian average.

No other nation’s currency has been rising faster against its trading partners, and normally a rising franc should erode Swiss exports by making them more expensive. Instead, while most rich countries (including Scandinavia’s) saw their share of global exports fall over the past decade, Switzerland’s continued to rise. Such is the reputation of its engineers and chocolatiers that customers readily pay more for Swiss goods.

The premium the world is willing to pay for Swiss goods and services helps deter capital flight and stabilize the economy. Switzerland has not been hit by a domestic financial crisis since the 1970s; the Scandinavian countries were wracked by crises in the 1990s and suffered sharper downturns than Switzerland did following the global crisis of 2008.

If there is any fault line, it is that in trying to slow the rise of the franc, Switzerland cut interest rates to record lows ahead of its European peers, triggering a lending boom that has driven private corporate and household debt up to 250 percent of G.D.P., a risky height. No paradise is perfect.

For all its local charms, Switzerland is worldly in the extreme. The Swiss are a polyglot mix of German, French and Italian speakers, many intimidatingly fluent in multiple languages. The foreign-born population has been increasing for more than a century and accounts for a quarter of the whole, 40 percent non-European Union.

True, the rise of anti-immigrant parties across Europe has an offshoot in Switzerland. The country has always been choosy, accepting new arrivals based on their professional résumé more than family ties or humanitarian need. But Australia and Canada also filter immigrants to fill jobs and are widely studied models of how rich economies can survive the aging of their domestic work forces.

Switzerland has been welcoming more immigrants than any Scandinavian country since the 1950s. It is on track to accept more than 250,000 immigrants between 2015 and 2020, expanding its population by 3 percent. That immigration rate is nearly double the Scandinavian average, and one of the highest among large, developed countries. Immigrants are also significantly more likely to hold jobs in Switzerland, in part because most are required to land one before they arrive.

The Swiss labor force gets an added boost from a meritocratic public school system that starts steering students as young as 12 toward their academic strengths. The world-class universities charge average annual tuition of only $1,000 and leave graduates thousands of dollars less in debt than many Scandinavian schools.

Die-hard admirers of Scandinavian socialism overlook the change of heart in countries such as Sweden, where heavy government spending led to the financial crises of the 1990s. Sweden responded by cutting the top income tax rate from nearly 90 percent to as low as 50 percent. Public spending fell from near 70 percent of G.D.P. to 50 percent. Growth revived, as the largest Scandinavian economy started to look more like Switzerland, streamlining government and leaving business more room to grow.

The real lesson of Swiss success is that the stark choice offered by many politicians — between private enterprise and social welfare — is a false one. A pragmatic country can have a business-friendly environment alongside social equality, if it gets the balance right. The Swiss have become the world’s richest nation by getting it right, and their model is hiding in plain sight.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#14166 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2019-November-02, 23:27

View PostChas_P, on 2019-November-02, 18:51, said:

Well you boys have your own little anti-Trump circlejerk going on here and get your panties all in a wad if anyone offers an opposing point of view. If that makes you happy, please carry on. I want you to be happy. But when you get right down to where the bear s**t in the buckwheat we all have exactly the same number of votes...one each. I plan to cast mine.


Nice attempt to deflect Chas...

No one here is claiming that you shouldn't be allowed to vote.
What we are trying to understand is just how stupid / ignorant someone needs to be to continue to support Trump...

So, let's jump back to the actual question at hand:

1. Did you bother to read the Vox article that I posted or are you still going with "Hear no evil / See no evil" as a defense?
2. Do you agree with the article's claims that Trump has committed High Crimes and Misdemeanors?
3. Multiple individual (including direct witnesses) are testifying that Trump was extorting and bribing Ukrainian government officials. Trump's Chief of Staff as well as Rudy Giuliani have both confirmed that this is true. How does this not constitute an impeachable offense.
Alderaan delenda est
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#14167 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-November-03, 01:07

View PostChas_NoHonor_NoIntegrity_NoDignity, on 2019-November-02, 18:51, said:


The troll continues to soil himself.
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#14168 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2019-November-03, 04:37

View PostChas_P, on 2019-November-02, 18:51, said:

Well you boys have your own little anti-Trump circlejerk going on here and get your panties all in a wad if anyone offers an opposing point of view.


Pointing out that your posts are largely lies and that you are grossly uninformed is hardly getting our "pantsies all in a wad".
The main thing that you are able to do is convince people that the strong Trump supports are too stupid to engage with on a rational level.

Once again, if you were able to actually respond to people's questions / comments with anything other that evasion and lies, we might see a different dynamic...
Alderaan delenda est
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#14169 User is online   cherdano 

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Posted 2019-November-03, 07:43

What are we doing here - I thought chas' eloquent defense of Trump's actions speaks for itself..
The easiest way to count losers is to line up the people who talk about loser count, and count them. -Kieran Dyke
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#14170 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2019-November-03, 10:21

View Postcherdano, on 2019-November-03, 07:43, said:

What are we doing here


Making sure that Chas understands that he is operating at the level of an eight year old who only craves attention, but can't differentiate between good attention and acting like an ass.

Also repeatedly driving home that his posts do absolutely nothing other than make him look ill informed and pretty damn stupid.
Alderaan delenda est
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#14171 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-November-03, 12:56

Preet Bharara explained on Firing Line this simple explanation:

A. Trump's actions demanding a this-for-that with Ukraine's president were acts of extortion
B. Why it is extortion rather than policy is because it was done for personal gain.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#14172 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2019-November-03, 13:07

View PostChas_P, on 2019-November-01, 18:56, said:

As yet I have seen no evidence of "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors." Therefore, I see no need to offer a defense for a crime I haven't seen committed. If you have, I respect your right, as an American citizen, to voice your displeasure to your duly-elected representative to Congress. Who is your duly-elected representative to Congress?

So you are going for the "Nothing to see here" head in the sand defence. Is that really something you genuinely believe? I think you are being disingenuous here.

As for me, if I ever move to America I will take your comment under advisement. In the meantime I will remain a neutral observer looking over from Europe.

Having looked over as much of the publicly available evidence as possible, it is to my mind impossible not to reach the conclusion that the current POTUS has committed impeachable acts, at least when approached with an open mind and not from a partisan perspective. To that end it would be great to hear some kind of defence from an educated conservative. The defences currently being offered from the politicians are essentially aimed at non-educated Americans and those that are apathetic about politics, essentially based around the assumption that few will have bothered to assess the evidence for themselves. I am yet to hear a believable defence based on the evidence - if it exists it is well overdue to offer it up.
(-: Zel :-)

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#14173 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2019-November-03, 13:31

View PostWinstonm, on 2019-November-03, 12:56, said:

Preet Bharara explained on Firing Line this simple explanation:

A. Trump's actions demanding a this-for-that with Ukraine's president were acts of extortion
B. Why it is extortion rather than policy is because it was done for personal gain.


In the long run, that might be the real legacy of the current administration. It has been laid bare for everyone in the world to see that the US Government routinely engages in international extortion. While that has always been the case it has in the past always been at least partially hidden behind some other point. I hope the EU learns from this that giving 100% trust in America is no longer sustainable and that financial constructs need to be set up to trade commodities internationally in Euros as well as dollars. Hopefully the next administration can at least re-establish the USA as a trustworthy partner against regimes in the world that want to spread disorder and restrict personal liberties. I fear it could take a long time to re-establish a reputation as a positive force in the world though. And that is probably considerably more damaging even than the specific abuses of power currently coming to light.
(-: Zel :-)

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#14174 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-November-03, 14:12

View PostZelandakh, on 2019-November-03, 13:31, said:

In the long run, that might be the real legacy of the current administration. It has been laid bare for everyone in the world to see that the US Government routinely engages in international extortion. While that has always been the case it has in the past always been at least partially hidden behind some other point. I hope the EU learns from this that giving 100% trust in America is no longer sustainable and that financial constructs need to be set up to trade commodities internationally in Euros as well as dollars. Hopefully the next administration can at least re-establish the USA as a trustworthy partner against regimes in the world that want to spread disorder and restrict personal liberties. I fear it could take a long time to re-establish a reputation as a positive force in the world though. And that is probably considerably more damaging even than the specific abuses of power currently coming to light.


No doubt the U.S. has used its muscle to help sway other countries actions - that is policy. The problem now is that there is no policy other than self-enrichment of the president, his family, and his allies.

Or, to put it more simply, we now have banana republic level corruption endorsed by the president.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#14175 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-November-03, 18:17

Here's a little something from the FOIA Buzzfeed received concerning redacted material from the Mueller report. It is now confirmed that Sean Hannity was part of the Trump campaign and Manafort never actually left it:

Quote

We have to avoid this guy (Manafort), they are going to try and say the Russians worked with Wikileaks to give this victory to us. Paul is a nice guy, but we can’t let word get out he is advising us.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#14176 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2019-November-03, 20:13

View Posthrothgar, on 2019-November-02, 23:27, said:


1. Did you bother to read the Vox article that I posted?


Yes I did.

Quote


2. Do you agree with the article's claims that Trump has committed High Crimes and Misdemeanors?


No I don't.

Quote

On Thursday, not a single Republican sided with Ms. Pelosi on impeachment — and two Democrats defected. For the first time in the nation’s history, impeachment will be used as a purely partisan instrument with which to bludgeon a duly elected president — and all less than a year before a national election.

To make matters worse, Democrats have made clear that they intend to ignore pesky details such as due process and transparency. Nothing in the Constitution prevents the House majority from crafting its own guardrails for impeachment proceedings, but Democrats seem intent on denying the president even basic legal protections. Thursday’s resolution only codifies the injustices.

The process so far, Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley A. Strassel noted on Friday, has included “secret hearings, the refusal to let Republicans call witnesses or obtain answers (and) the exclusion of Mr. Trump’s legal counsel from the proceedings.” It has also entailed keeping the transcripts of hearings confidential. This whole charade has so far been an insult to credibility and accountability.

Let’s also remember that Democrats maintained two decades ago that lying under oath during a legal proceeding and suborning perjury was not an impeachable offense. There was no dispute about Mr. Clinton’s actions. Today, however, they argue that Mr. Trump deserves to be ousted from the Oval Office for an ambiguous phone call to a foreign leader, citing the nexus between a corruption investigation that never occurred and U.S. aid that was never withheld.

Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, one of the two Democrats to oppose the impeachment effort, identified the dangers of the House’s current course. “Without bipartisan support,” he noted, “I believe this inquiry will further divide the country, tearing it apart at the seams, and it will ultimately fail in the Senate.”

It was just eight months ago that Ms. Pelosi sounded like Rep. Van Drew. “Impeachment is so divisive to the country,” she told The Washington Post Magazine in March, “that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path because it divides the country.” In 2018, she made a similar remark. “Impeachment is a very serious matter,” she said. “If it happens, it has to be a bipartisan initiative.”

The country will survive this overtly partisan and extraordinary attempt to remove Mr. Trump from office. The greater danger resides in House Democrats sneering at precedent and transforming the momentous act of impeachment into a casual weapon of convenience used to sate vindictive progressive special interests still cuddling in their safe spaces while raging over Mr. Trump’s 2016 victory.



#14177 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2019-November-03, 20:26

View PostZelandakh, on 2019-November-03, 13:07, said:

I am yet to hear a believable defence based on the evidence - if it exists it is well overdue to offer it up.


As stated elsewhere..."The Democrats argue that Mr. Trump deserves to be ousted from the Oval Office for an ambiguous phone call to a foreign leader, citing the nexus between a corruption investigation that never occurred and U.S. aid that was never withheld.

#14178 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2019-November-03, 20:41

View Postjohnu, on 2019-November-03, 01:07, said:

The troll continues to soil himself.


Go play with your tinkertoys Johnboy.

#14179 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2019-November-04, 04:26

View PostChas_P, on 2019-November-03, 20:13, said:

Yes I did.

No I don't.


Once again Chas, you are ignoring the topic that is being discussed.

Raising a bunch of complaints about process is not responsive to questions about Trump's behaviour.
Saying that no Republicans support impeachment so this is inherently partisan does not justify bribery.
Alderaan delenda est
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#14180 User is offline   awm 

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Posted 2019-November-04, 05:03

If I’m holding someone at gunpoint and he’s still in the process of extracting his wallet from his trousers when a policeman walks by...

Can I put down my gun and claim there’s no crime because no one was shot and no money changed hands?

I do not think it works that way, yet this is what the latest defense of Trump amounts to. Not to mention that it’s quite likely the 6-month delay of aid did lead to some Ukrainian deaths.
Adam W. Meyerson
a.k.a. Appeal Without Merit
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