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

#14241 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2019-November-10, 15:48

View Postkenberg, on 2019-November-10, 15:36, said:



It does not require great cynicism to say "I think I get it". Maybe this can be defended, but it will take some clarity and some frankness. Huffing and puffing won't do it.



I agree that Hunter Biden a problematic figure

Between the drug abuse and getting drummed out of the naval reserve and leeching off daddy, he's really not Presidential material.
Lucky that he's not running.

And, for what its worth, I really don't want to see the Democrats pick Joe Biden as their candidate.
I think that he's a really risky choice.
I think that there is a real danger that he melts down.

NONE OF WHICH EXCUSE WHAT TRUMP IS DOING
This is a stupid distraction, made all the more ridiculous by the Trump families deep and systemic corruption.
Alderaan delenda est
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#14242 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-November-10, 16:37

Margaret Sullivan at the WaPo:

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November 10, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. CST

The national media’s shortcomings have been all too obvious in recent years as Donald Trump has gleefully thrown the norms of traditional journalism into a tizzy.

They’ve trafficked in false equivalence. Allowed President Trump to play assignment editor. Gotten mired in pointless punditry.

Granted, it’s been a mixed record. Journalists have done a lot right — they have pointed out lies, dug out what’s really happening, skillfully explained and analyzed.

But on Wednesday — as televised impeachment hearings begin in the House of Representatives — journalists need to be on their game. The stakes don’t get much higher when it comes to fulfilling their core mission: informing citizens of what they really need to know.

Here’s a refresher course in what needs to go right.

Stress substance, not speculation. Journalists and pundits love to ponder about how the public is reacting to news, though they aren’t much good at it.

Avoiding that would be a public service.

“Decline to speculate on how this is playing to voters in the swing states,” is the advice of New York University professor and press critic Jay Rosen.

A related issue: The extreme likelihood that the media will be focusing on the partisan fight, rather than the substance of what is being proved or not proved in the hearings themselves.

“Journalists can focus less on combat and more on clarity,” is how Rosen puts it.

Don’t let stunts hijack the coverage. If we know anything about Trump’s reaction when things get tough, it’s that he and his allies will haul out some attention-grabbing performance art and its distractions.

Trump will act out — because that’s what he does.

Recent example: Republican members of Congress barging into a secure facility on Capitol Hill where a Pentagon official was to testify before the House Intelligence Committee. It got plenty of TV and other media coverage and allowed Republican criticism of “the process” — however empty — to take center stage.

Not so recent example: Trump’s “news conference” at an October 2016 debate featuring three women who had accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault or sexual harassment in the past. It was an obvious effort to distract from the sexual-misconduct allegations against the then-candidate himself and to embarrass his general-election opponent, Hillary Clinton.

“The hearings are going to be a three-ring circus when they should be a one-ring circus,” said Tim O’Brien, executive editor of Bloomberg Opinion and a Trump biographer.

The media, he predicted, will find it hard “not to be distracted by the dancing clowns in one ring and the flaming-sword swallower in another, but to keep our eye on the tightrope walker in the center.”

They are going to have to make some choices about what’s really important and what is pure distraction.

Avoid Barr-Letter Syndrome. It was a little over six months ago that Attorney General William P. Barr took it upon himself to summarize the Mueller report in a misleading letter that the news media — pretty much en masse — represented as an accurate summation of the 448-page report about Russian interference in the 2016 election and its aftermath.

You might remember some headlines and news reports that said, essentially, “no collusion, no obstruction.”

Of course, that’s not what the report said, as Mueller himself later tried to set straight.

You’d think journalists would have learned that lesson. But then more recently came the release of a partial, rough summary of Trump’s phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky that asked for “a favor.” (The phone call, of course, is at the heart of the impeachment hearings, which explore Trump’s holding up military aid to Ukraine in trade for help in damaging his political opponents.)

In the initial round of coverage, almost all in the news media characterized this as “the transcript,” which strongly suggested that it was verbatim. It wasn’t — though it was damning enough, anyway.

Partly as a result, we see legions of Trump fans in T-shirts with the words “Read the Transcript.”(Actually, anybody who reads the transcript would discern abuse of power.)

“Effective propaganda,” as O’Brien characterized it. “It’s meant to delude.”

Propaganda brought to you in part by the insistent gullibility of the media.

Beware mealy-mouthed and misleading language. Punditry will be running even more amok than usual once the hearings begin. And we’ll be hearing a lot about what a divided nation we have and how ugly politics has become. We’ll be hearing the term “quid pro quo” endlessly.

Jon Allsop, writing in Columbia Journalism Review, suggested “quid pro quo” is inaccurate: “A president threatening to withhold military aid to a country unless it offers dirt on a domestic political rival, as Trump did, is not merely trading favors.” Questions about extortion or bribery — far riskier terms for would-be “balanced” journalists — are closer to the mark.

As for “polarization,” it’s a kind of false equivalence expressed in a single term, suggested Rosen: “We hear, ‘Oh things are so polarized now,’ when this is really about what’s happened to the Republican Party.”

In a potent Twitter thread last week, Ezra Klein of Vox pointed out that Trump’s abuses are so blatant that he “is the easiest possible test case for ‘Can our system hold a president accountable?’ And we are failing, because Republicans are failing.”

When journalists opt for safe language, when they pointlessly speculate, or succumb to Trump’s sideshow, they flunk the test.

Time to study up and ace it.

Avoid the Barr-Letter Syndrome - perfect!

"And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning..." Donald J. Trump
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#14243 User is offline   akwoo 

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Posted 2019-November-10, 17:56

I'm going to offend Kenya and Kenyans for a moment, because Kenyan politics are not as bad as I'm about to describe. But - among countries that hold reasonably free and fair elections - they're one of the closest at the moment. I need a catchy name for this particular brand of dysfunction, so I'll call it "Kenyan democracy".

In Kenya, there are several 5 or so major tribes. Every time there is an election, one candidate promises that, if they win, they will devote all the resources of the state to tribes A, B, and C, and the other candidate promises to devote all the resources of the state to tribes D and E. Each grouping is about 50%, and whichever tribes mobilize their voters best wins the election, and for the next 5 years, the government devotes all its resources to its supporting tribes, and the other tribes get only a few scraps. (The tribes do sometimes realign between elections, so the next election might be between a candidate for tribes A, D, and E and one for tribes B and C.)

The system persists because the voters, by and large, don't believe there is such a thing as the national interest, only tribal (and individual) interests. If a politician tried to promise a government that distributed the resources of the state roughly evenly, they wouldn't get many votes, because most voters prefer the candidate that promises extra benefits to them, and also because no voter would actually believe them.

Apparently, there is now a significant portion of the US electorate that believes that Kenyan democracy is the natural and proper course for a democracy.

In Kenyan democracy, there is nothing wrong with the President using the government to benefit their own electoral chances, and hence the the future of the people who vote for it. A government isn't supposed to govern for everyone - it's supposed to govern for the people who voted for it, and elections are supposed to be war by non-violent means to see who which side would be able to subjugate the other without actually any killing happening.

Indeed, pretending to be fair, to serve everyone's interests, is prima facie evidence of corruption, because everyone is selfish and no one could possibly actually want to do that.
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#14244 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2019-November-10, 22:23

View PostWinstonm, on 2019-November-08, 15:27, said:

I was absolutely shocked yesterday when I read about an interview with Bill Gates where he made an idiotic statement about Elizabeth Warren's proposed wealth tax and then went on to be unwilling to state for the record that he would not vote for Trump in 2020.

What has happened to this country when even one of the richest people on earth thinks of his self-interest before thinking of anyone or anything else? I suppose that kind of wealth considers itself a global citizen and the fate of the U.S. is of no consequence to them personally - a massive miscalculation on their part. Just ask the oligarchs under Putin.


Gates was joking. He's one of the country's biggest philanthropists, and was one of the founders of the Giving Pledge, in which billionaires pledge to give the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes. He also exaggerated the amount that the wealth tax would cost him.

If he's worried about paying too much in taxes, it could be because it would reduce the amount he can use for his preferred causes, not because he's worried about his personal bank account. Does that count as self-interest?

#14245 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-November-11, 07:51

View Postbarmar, on 2019-November-10, 22:23, said:

Gates was joking. He's one of the country's biggest philanthropists, and was one of the founders of the Giving Pledge, in which billionaires pledge to give the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes. He also exaggerated the amount that the wealth tax would cost him.

If he's worried about paying too much in taxes, it could be because it would reduce the amount he can use for his preferred causes, not because he's worried about his personal bank account. Does that count as self-interest?


I'll let Elizabeth May respond:

Quote

The problem with the argument, “Bill Gates does more with his money than the government would!” is that we cannot and *should not*, base tax laws on how we hope rich people will spend their money. Tax laws are not case by case basis. We’re trying to have a fu#king society here.

"And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning..." Donald J. Trump
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#14246 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-November-11, 10:34

From Noah Smith at Bloomberg:

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The border crisis of 2019 is winding down after a surge in the number of apprehensions at the southern border to the highest since 2007. In contrast to the early 2000s, when there was a spike in illegal crossings by Mexican laborers looking for work, most of those entering now are families and children seeking asylum from the broken societies of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

At the peak of the influx in May, some commentators were suggesting that an appreciable fraction of the entire population of those three Central American countries might end up living in the U.S. But then border apprehensions began to decline as precipitously as they had risen. By September, they were back to the levels of the previous year.

Why did this happen? To some degree, it’s seasonal; in the past, border crossings tended to peak in March, but recently the peak has come in May. That means that the wave of migration may start up again in the early months of 2020.

But President Donald Trump’s policies may also have been partly responsible for the drop. Mass detention of migrant families has been the most visible and divisive of those policies, generating widespread outrage at the poor conditions at detention facilities and leading some critics to liken them to concentration camps. But other Trump initiatives have probably had a bigger effect on migrant flows.

First, Trump made a number of major changes to the asylum process. In June, he issued a rule making most people ineligible for asylum if they passed through a third country on the way to the U.S. and failed to seek refuge in that country (the rule is being challenged in the courts, but it’s in effect for now). In a similar vein, Trump has reached agreements with the governments of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador stipulating that asylum seekers from each of those countries must try to get asylum in any of the countries they pass through before requesting it in the US.

In addition, Trump’s so-called Migrant Protection Protocols now require many asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their claims are processed. The administration has also sped up adjudication of asylum requests, which means migrants don’t get to remain in the U.S. for as long while waiting for a court date. These and other changes have made it almost impossible for Central Americans to get asylum in the U.S., and much more difficult to live in the country while waiting for a claim to go through.

Finally, Trump bullied Mexico into making it harder for Central Americans to reach the U.S. border in the first place. In response to tariff threats, Mexico deployed troops to its southern border with Guatemala in order to stop migrant caravans from entering; it also beefed up its troops at the U.S. border. In a strange way, Trump has thus fulfilled one of his most notorious campaign promises: to make Mexico pay the cost of stopping Latin American migration.

So the American public (or at least those who determined the outcome of the Electoral College) got what it asked for -- a president who was willing to brutalize poor desperate migrants and transform the U.S. into a much less welcoming country in exchange for a slight slowing of demographic change.

But in the long term, these policies won’t matter much. As researchers Michael Clemens and Jimmy Graham of the Center for Global Development outline in a recent blog post, migration pressure from Central America is destined to slacken a lot in the very near future.

The reason is falling fertility. Central Americans are having fewer kids.

As Clemens and Graham show, this has led to a plunge in the growth rate in the number of young adults in those countries. Many of them will need to stay home to take care of aging parents and take over family businesses, leaving fewer who want to leave for the U.S. Clemens and Graham argue that a similar drop in the growth rate of Mexico's population of young adults was followed 13 years later by a steep decline in migration rates. If Central America follows a similar pattern, migration from El Salvador and Honduras will begin to slacken in about 2021, while Guatemala will follow soon after.

Clemens and Graham also argue that simply letting Central Americans enter the U.S. as guest workers would have done a lot to slow the flow of border-crossing. Though many asylum-seekers come with their children, parents might be willing to come alone temporarily if it gave them a chance to earn some money to send back to their families.

So Trump’s policies may have been a lot of effort — and done a lot of damage to the U.S.’s reputation as an open and humane country — for very little gain. Even those who want to prevent Central American immigration could have simply waited for the migration wave to end. Instead, the U.S. is left with a militarized border, resentful southern neighbors and a byzantine asylum system designed to reject people rather than give them protection.

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#14247 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-November-11, 10:49

From David Leonhardt at NYT:

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When Thomas Philippon moved to Boston from his native France 20 years ago, he was a graduate student on a budget, and he was happy to discover how cheap American telephone use was. In those days of dial-up internet connections, going online involved long local phone calls that could cost more than $10 apiece in France. In the United States, they were virtually free.

Philippon eventually got a Ph.D. in economics at M.I.T. and decided to stay here. He’s now a professor at New York University. And over the years, he has noticed something surprising about his adopted country: Internet usage is no longer a good deal.

Today, his parents pay about 90 euros (or $100) a month in the Paris suburbs for a combination of broadband access, cable television and two mobile phones. A similar package in the United States usually costs more than twice as much.

Figuring out why has become a core part of Philippon’s academic research, and he offers his answer in a fascinating new book, “The Great Reversal: How America Gave Up on Free Markets.” In one industry after another, he writes, a few companies have grown so large that they have the power to keep prices high and wages low. It’s great for those corporations — and bad for almost everyone else.

Many Americans have a choice between only two internet providers. The airline industry is dominated by four large carriers. Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google are growing ever larger. One or two hospital systems control many local markets. Home Depot and Lowe’s have displaced local hardware stores. Regional pharmacy chains like Eckerd and Happy Harry’s have been swallowed by national giants.

Other researchers have also documented rising corporate concentration. Philippon’s biggest contribution is to explain that it isn’t some natural result of globalization and technological innovation. If it were, the trends would be similar around the world. But they’re not. Big companies have become only slightly larger in Europe this century — rather than much larger, as in the United States.

What explains the difference? Politics.

The European economy certainly has its problems, but antitrust policy isn’t one of them. The European Union has kept competition alive by blocking mergers and insisting that established companies make room for new entrants. In telecommunications, smaller companies often have the right to use infrastructure built by the giants. That’s why Philippon’s parents can choose among five internet providers, including a low-cost company that brought down prices for everyone.

In air travel, European discount carriers like easyJet have received better access to the gate slots they need to operate. The largest four European airlines control only about 40 percent of the market. In the United States, that share is 80 percent, and, as you’d expect, airfares are higher. Even Southwest Airlines has begun to behave less like a low-fare carrier.

The irony is that Europe is implementing market-based ideas — like telecommunications deregulation and low-cost airlines — that Americans helped pioneer. “E.U. consumers are better off than American consumers today,” Philippon writes, “because the E.U. has adopted the U.S. playbook, which the U.S. itself has abandoned.”

The European Union has created an impressively independent competition agency that’s willing to block mergers, like General Electric-Honeywell and Siemens-Alstom. In the United States, the process is more political, and companies spend vastly more money on campaign donations and lobbying. Lobbyists — and, by extension, regulators — justify mergers with dubious theories about money-saving efficiencies. Somehow, though, the efficiencies usually end up raising profits rather than lowering prices.

Whirlpool’s 2006 purchase of Maytag is a good example. The Justice Department rationalized the deal partly by predicting that foreign appliance makers would keep the combined company from raising prices. But Whirlpool later successfully lobbied for tariffs to keep out foreign rivals. Washers, dryers and dishwashers have all become more expensive.

The consolidation of corporate America has become severe enough to have macroeconomic effects. Profits have surged, and wages have stagnated. Investment in new factories and products has also stagnated, because many companies don’t need to innovate to keep profits high. Philippon estimates that the new era of oligopoly costs the typical American household more than $5,000 a year.

It’s a problem that should inspire bipartisan action. Some solutions feel conservative: reducing licensing requirements and other bureaucratic rules that hamper start-ups. Others feel progressive: blocking mergers, splitting up monopolies and forcing big business to share infrastructure.

There are signs that the politics of antitrust are shifting. Several Republicans, like Senator Josh Hawley, now talk about the issue, and many Democrats — not just Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, but also Amy Klobuchar — do too.

But we have a long way to go. Too often, both parties are still confusing the interests of big business with the national interest. And American families are paying the price.

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#14248 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2019-November-11, 11:57

View PostWinstonm, on 2019-November-11, 07:51, said:

I'll let Elizabeth May respond:



I never suggested he shouldn't be subject to the wealth tax, nor did he (even taken literally, he just objected to making it too large). I was just pointing out that it's disingenuous to describe his opinion as self-centered, when he's one of the most generous people in the world.

#14249 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-November-11, 16:38

View Postbarmar, on 2019-November-11, 11:57, said:

I never suggested he shouldn't be subject to the wealth tax, nor did he (even taken literally, he just objected to making it too large). I was just pointing out that it's disingenuous to describe his opinion as self-centered, when he's one of the most generous people in the world.


The self-centered aspect comes with a vote for Trump and his tax policies.
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#14250 User is online   Chas_P 

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Posted 2019-November-11, 19:27

I have intentionally avoided this message board for the last few days because I’ve felt that it has deteriorated into nothing more than a pissing contest. I am ashamed of my participation in that contest and no longer wish to engage. We are all Americans (well maybe not Zelandakh who says he is a German but just wants to get in on the pissing), and hopefully we all wish only the best for our fellow countrymen. I’ve just finished reading a review of Justice Neil Gorsuch’s book, A Republic, If You Can Keep It. Justice Gorsuch opens the book, not with judging, but with a discussion of civics and civility. He warns that “just as we face a civics crisis in this country today, we face a civility crisis too.” Too many Americans know neither our political principles nor how to engage in fruitful political discussion. I haven’t read the book yet, but I intend to. So with those thoughts I leave you to your endeavors. I’ll see you again on November 3, 2020.

#14251 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2019-November-11, 19:34

View PostChas_P, on 2019-November-11, 19:27, said:

I have intentionally avoided this message board for the last few days because I’ve felt that it has deteriorated into nothing more than a pissing contest.


Chas, you openly admitted that joined this board to act like an asshole and a troll, and now you're clutching at pearls because you're treated as an asshole and a troll

Quote

So with those thoughts I leave you to your endeavors. I’ll see you again on November 3, 2020.


Don't let the door hit you on the way out, asswipe...
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#14252 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-November-11, 20:55

You hate to see it.
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#14253 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-November-11, 22:58

From Nikki Haley Embodies What’s Wrong with the Republican Party by John Cassidy at The New Yorker:

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In January, 2016, Nikki Haley, who was then the first female governor of South Carolina, delivered the Republican response to Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address. She dutifully criticized the two-term President, trotting out a few G.O.P. talking points on the national debt, health-care reform, and the threat of terrorism. But she also rebuked her own party, saying, “We need to recognize our contributions to the erosion of the public trust in America’s leadership. We need to accept that we’ve played a role in how and why our government is broken."

At the time, Donald Trump was leading the polls in the 2016 Republican primary. Haley didn’t mention him by name, but there was no doubt about her target when she said, “Some people think that you have to be the loudest voice in the room to make a difference. That is just not true. Often, the best thing we can do is turn down the volume.” Haley endorsed Marco Rubio in the primary. When he dropped out, she backed Ted Cruz. After Trump won the nomination, she fell in line behind him but continued to insist that she wasn’t a fan.

What a difference a few years can make. On Sunday, Haley gave an interview to CBS News to promote her new book, in which she recounts the nearly two years she spent working for the Trump Administration, as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. When the interviewer, Norah O’Donnell, asked whether Trump would ultimately be impeached and removed from office, Haley’s reply was entirely dismissive. “No. On what?” she said. “You’re gonna impeach a President for asking for a favor that didn’t happen and—and giving money, and it wasn’t withheld. I don’t know what you would impeach him on.”

Abusing his office for his own personal gain, perhaps? Threatening to abandon a vulnerable ally to the mercy of Vladimir Putin’s Russia? Seeking dirt on Hillary Clinton and the Bidens from a foreign country for the benefit of his 2020 reëlection campaign? If Haley had even considered any of these justifications for the impeachment process, she didn’t let on. “When you look at the transcript, there’s nothing in that transcript that warrants the death penalty for the President,” she insisted. “The Ukrainians never did the investigation. And the President released the funds. I mean, when you look at those, there’s just nothing impeachable there.”

If nothing else, Haley’s interview provided a preview of what we are likely to hear from Republicans on Capitol Hill in the next few weeks, as the House Intelligence Committee holds televised hearings featuring some of the foreign-policy officials inside the Trump Administration who looked on in astonishment and horror as the Ukraine squeeze play unfolded. The Republicans will continue to harp on the partisanship of the process. They will also create diversions, such as this weekend’s demand for Hunter Biden and the anonymous whistle-blower who reported Trump’s actions to testify before the cameras. But the core of their argument, and their ultimate fallback position, will be that the entire inquiry is much ado about nothing and should never have been started.

In adopting this see-no-evil posture, Republicans like Haley are confirming Trump’s belief that the normal rules don’t apply to him. Trump said during the 2016 election that he could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue without losing any supporters. What he has learned in the intervening period is that, as long as his supporters stay loyal, he won’t lose any elected Republicans either—or not very many of them, anyway. Some Republicans are too gutless to follow their consciences. Others still sense that there is personal gain to be had from associating themselves with Trump.

Haley, who is often mentioned as a possible Presidential candidate for 2024, is a prime example of a Republican who is supporting Trump for opportunistic reasons. Despite lacking foreign-policy experience, she spent two years at the United Nations defending Trump’s efforts to thumb his nose at the world by pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, and moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In her new book, according to the Washington Post, which obtained a copy, she says that she supported all of these moves, and she doesn’t stop there. In a blatant effort to further ingratiate herself with Trump and his supporters, she criticizes Rex Tillerson, the former Secretary of State, and John Kelly, the former White House chief of staff, for trying to work around the President and contain his worst instincts.

“Kelly and Tillerson confided in me that when they resisted the president, they weren’t being insubordinate, they were trying to save the country,” Haley writes. “It was their decisions, not the president’s, that were in the best interests of America, they said. The president didn’t know what he was doing.” The problem with that, Haley told O’Donnell, is that “they should have been saying that to the President, not asking me to join them on their sidebar plan.” She added, “To undermine a President is really a very dangerous thing, and it goes against the Constitution and it goes against what the American people want. And it was offensive.” (Kelly told CBS and the Post that if providing the President “with the best and most open, legal and ethical staffing advice from across the [government] so he could make an informed decision is ‘working against Trump,’ then guilty as charged.”)

The reality is that Tillerson and Kelly, along with the former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, were trying to deal with an unhinged novice of a President who refused to read his briefing notes and ranted daily at North Korea, nato, and other targets. Haley writes that Tillerson told her that people would die if Trump wasn’t checked. Meanwhile, Haley—having taken herself out of the running for Secretary of State—could sit safely in New York, where she had plenty of visibility but no real responsibility for making policy. In October, 2018, she announced her resignation—a clear case of getting out while the getting was good—and went on to join the board of Boeing and write her book.

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Posted 2019-November-12, 09:44

From David Leonhardt at NYT:

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I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic …

That is the start of the oath that members of Congress take upon assuming office. It’s also the oath that members of the military take when enlisting.

And I’m glad to see that military veterans are starting to call on Congress members to make good on their shared oath.

In an advertising campaign that began last week and is running in 14 House districts, veterans read the oath on camera and ask congressional Republicans to hold President Trump accountable for violating his own (very similar) oath. The campaign is part of the Defend American Democracy project, run by a coalition of groups alarmed by Trump’s behavior, including Republicans for the Rule of Law.

“We kept our oath,” an Air Force veteran named Jeff says in one ad.

“Now Congressman Fitzpatrick has to keep his,” Alex, a Marine Corps veteran, says, referring to Brian Fitzpatrick, who represents a suburban Philadelphia district. “As a former F.B.I. agent, Congressman Fitzpatrick should know better,” she adds.

Veterans are effective messengers, because the military remains one of the few American institutions that’s widely trusted across the political spectrum. In a recent Gallup Poll, 73 percent of Americans said they had confidence in the military, compared with 38 percent for the Supreme Court, 36 percent for organized religion, 29 percent for public schools, 23 percent for both big business and newspapers and a mere 11 percent for Congress.

In a separate ad released yesterday — on Veterans Day — Elaine Luria, a freshman House Democrat who represents a district in southeastern Virginia, also reads the oath and explains what it means to her.

“I took that oath the first time when I was 17 years old and went to the Naval Academy and took it again upon every promotion during my 20-year Navy career and most recently now serving in Congress,” Luria says. “I didn’t come to Washington to impeach the president, but I also didn’t spend 20 years in the Navy to allow our Constitution to be trampled on.”

Impeachment is fundamentally a struggle for public opinion, as I’ve written before. Patriotism is a valuable tool in that struggle, especially when it’s wielded by people who have been willing to make sacrifices for it. The contrast between their selflessness and Trump’s selfishness is jarring.

more …

“I served in the Army from 2001 to 2006, deploying to Iraq in the summer of 2004,” Alan Pitts, a retired Army sergeant and an organizer of the Defend American Democracy project, wrote in USA Today recently. “I never thought I’d see a day when a service member was attacked for standing up for our country, but that’s exactly what I saw after Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman testified on Capitol Hill last week.”

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#14255 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-November-12, 09:50

From Supreme Court Allows Sandy Hook Families' Case Against Remington Arms To Proceed by Bill Chappell at NPR:

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The Supreme Court has denied Remington Arms Co.'s bid to block a lawsuit filed by families who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook school massacre. The families say Remington should be held liable, as the maker of the AR-15-style rifle used in the 2012 killings.

The court opted not to hear the gun-maker's appeal, in a decision that was announced Tuesday morning. The justices did not include any comment about the case, Remington Arms Co. v. Soto, as they turned it away.

Remington had appealed to the highest federal court after the Connecticut Supreme Court allowed the Sandy Hook lawsuit to proceed in March. The company says the case "presents a nationally important question" about U.S. gun laws — namely, how to interpret the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which grants broad immunity to gun-makers and dealers from prosecution over crimes committed with their products.

Remington manufactured the Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle that Adam Lanza used on Dec. 14, 2012, to kill 20 first-graders and six adults at the elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#14256 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-November-12, 10:10

From Zachary Evans at National Review:

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Representative Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.) called on the State Department Monday to ban the bodyguards of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan who assaulted protesters in a 2017 incident in Washington, D.C. from reentering the U.S.

In May 2017, members of the Turkish Presidential Protection Department (TPPD), Turkey’s equivalent of the Secret Service, attacked pro-Kurdish protesters outside the residence of the Turkish ambassador. The assault, in which protesters and American law-enforcement officials were injured, was captured on video.

In a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Cheney requested that “none of the people who were in the United States with President Erdoğan in 2017 and participated in physical attacks on American citizens—including those protesting lawfully, our secret service, our diplomatic service, and our law enforcement officials—will be allowed into the United States again this week.”

“At least eleven people were injured throughout the day, including law enforcement personnel who every day defend Americans’ constitutional rights and physical safety,” Cheney wrote.

The letter comes in advance of a planned White House visit by Erdogan this Wednesday.

TPPD agents have a history of confrontational incidents on U.S. soil. In 2016, TPPD officers attacked journalists at a Brookings Institution event, and in 2011, they attacked U.N. security personnel at U.N. headquarters in New York.

Pompeo on Monday said that President Trump will raise the topic of Turkey’s recent invasion of Syria in his meeting with Erdogan.

“We will talk about what transpired there and how we can do our level best collectively to ensure the protection of all of those in Syria, not just the Kurds, but everyone in Syria,” Pompeo told cadets at The Citadel after delivering a Veterans Day speech.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#14257 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-November-12, 13:53

Well, isn't THIS fuc$ing special!

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In the run-up to the 2016 election, White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller promoted white nationalist literature, pushed racist immigration stories and obsessed over the loss of Confederate symbols after Dylann Roof’s murderous rampage, according to leaked emails reviewed by Hatewatch.

The emails, which Miller sent to the conservative website Breitbart News in 2015 and 2016, showcase the extremist, anti-immigrant ideology that undergirds the policies he has helped create as an architect of Donald Trump’s presidency.


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In this, the first of what will be a series about those emails, Hatewatch exposes the racist source material that has influenced Miller’s visions of policy. That source material, as laid out in his emails to Breitbart, includes white nationalist websites, a “white genocide”-themed novel in which Indian men rape white women, xenophobic conspiracy theories and eugenics-era immigration laws that Adolf Hitler lauded in “Mein Kampf.”


I anyone deserves to be in a cage, separated from all humans and family, it is this guy.

"And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning..." Donald J. Trump
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#14258 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-November-12, 15:23

View PostChas_NoDignity_NoHonor_NoIntegrity, on 2019-November-11, 19:27, said:

I have intentionally avoided this message board for the last few days because I’ve felt that it has deteriorated into nothing more than a pissing contest. I am ashamed of my participation in that contest and no longer wish to engage. We are all Americans (well maybe not Zelandakh who says he is a German but just wants to get in on the pissing), and hopefully we all wish only the best for our fellow countrymen. I’ve just finished reading a review of Justice Neil Gorsuch’s book, A Republic, If You Can Keep It. Justice Gorsuch opens the book, not with judging, but with a discussion of civics and civility. He warns that “just as we face a civics crisis in this country today, we face a civility crisis too.” Too many Americans know neither our political principles nor how to engage in fruitful political discussion. I haven’t read the book yet, but I intend to. So with those thoughts I leave you to your endeavors. I’ll see you again on November 3, 2020.

For the 3rd or 4th time in the last couple of years, Chas_NoDignity_NoHonor_NoIntegrity has said he will stop trolling and not post any more drivel. The previous times he has embarrassed himself by showing what kind of integrity he has by resuming posting in a matter of weeks. I will be the most astonished poster in this thread if he actually stops posting for a year.
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#14259 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-November-12, 17:15

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President Donald Trump has repeatedly discussed the possibility of firing Michael Atkinson, the inspector general of the intelligence community, The New York Times reported. Atkinson reviewed a whistleblower complaint against Trump and, after finding it to be urgent and credible, alerted Congress about it, in accordance with US law. Trump is reportedly furious with Atkinson and doesn't understand why Atkinson shared the complaint with Congress.


This little blurb should be enough for anyone with a single working brain cell to eliminate Trump for consideration for receiving his or her vote for president.

This is the U.S.A. , not the Trump family's la Cosa Nostra.

"And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning..." Donald J. Trump
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#14260 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-November-12, 17:26

Senior Trump official embellished résumé, had face on fake Time cover

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A senior Trump administration official has embellished her résumé with misleading claims about her professional background — even creating a fake Time magazine cover with her face on it — raising questions about her qualifications to hold a top position at the State Department.

An NBC News investigation found that Mina Chang, the deputy assistant secretary in the State Department's Bureau of Conflict and Stability Operations, has inflated her educational achievements — like claiming, falsely, to be a Harvard grad — and exaggerated the scope of her nonprofit's work.

...

Chang, who assumed her post in April, also invented a role on a U.N. panel, claimed she had addressed both the Democratic and Republican national conventions, and implied she had testified before Congress.

Obviously this person is overqualified for a State Department position. This person shows presidential leadership character and skill.
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