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

#14421 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2019-December-10, 22:07

View Postbarmar, on 2019-December-09, 21:47, said:

We don't even know if Chas is truly a racist, or he just likes to act like one here to provoke the rest of you.


Here's dictionary.com's definition of "racist":
noun
a person who believes in racism, the doctrine that one's own racial group is superior or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.

That does not describe me. Growing up in a small town in south Georgia two of my best friends were "black"...Pat and Jack. We hunted and fished together, played football together, and I never really thought about them being "black". They were just Pat and Jack and we were buddies. As an adult I have "black" friends and "black" neighbors. I don't think about them being "black". They are just friends and neighbors.

Here's you guys' definition of "racist":
noun
a person who doesn't share my worldview.

#14422 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2019-December-11, 03:24

View PostChas_P, on 2019-December-10, 22:07, said:

Here's dictionary.com's definition of "racist":
noun
a person who believes in racism, the doctrine that one's own racial group is superior or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.

That does not describe me. Growing up in a small town in south Georgia two of my best friends were "black"...Pat and Jack. We hunted and fished together, played football together, and I never really thought about them being "black". They were just Pat and Jack and we were buddies. As an adult I have "black" friends and "black" neighbors. I don't think about them being "black". They are just friends and neighbors.



OK Cracker
Alderaan delenda est
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#14423 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-December-11, 05:30

From Paul Volcker via FT:

Quote

This piece was written in September, three months before the author’s death on December 8, as the afterword to the forthcoming paperback edition of his autobiography.

Quote

By the late summer of 2018, it was already clear that the US and the world order it had helped establish during my lifetime were facing deep-seated political, economic, and cultural challenges.

Nonetheless, I drew reassurance from my mother’s reminder that the US had endured a brutal civil war, two world wars, a great depression, and still emerged as the leader of the “free world”, a model for democracy, open markets, free trade, and economic growth. That was, for me, a source of both pride and hope.

Today, threats facing that model have grown more ominous, and our ability to withstand them feels less certain. Increasingly, by design or not, there appears to be a movement to undermine Americans’ faith in our government and its policies and institutions. We’ve moved well beyond former president Ronald Reagan’s credo that “government is the problem”, with its aim of reversing decades of federal expansion.

Today we see something very different and far more sinister. Nihilistic forces are dismantling policies to protect our air, water, and climate. And they seek to discredit the pillars of our democracy: voting rights and fair elections, the rule of law, the free press, the separation of powers, the belief in science, and the concept of truth itself.

Without them, the American example that my mother so cherished will revert to the kind of tyranny that once seemed to be on its way to extinction — though, sadly, it remains ensconced in some less fortunate parts of the world.

When I was writing my book, I observed that President Donald Trump had not attacked the independent US Federal Reserve, for which I was grateful. To say that is no longer true would be an understatement.

Not since just after the second world war have we seen a president so openly seek to dictate policy to the Fed. That is a matter of great concern, given that the central bank is one of our key governmental institutions, carefully designed to be free of purely partisan attacks.

I trust that the members of the Federal Reserve Board itself, the members of Congress responsible for Fed oversight, and indeed the public at large, will maintain the Fed’s ability to act in the nation’s interest, free of partisan political purposes.

Monetary policy is important, but it cannot by itself sustain global leadership. We need open markets and strong allies to support economic growth and the prospects for peace. Those constructive American policies have been a large part of my life. Instead, confidence in the US is under siege.

Seventy-five years ago, Americans rose to the challenge of vanquishing tyranny overseas. We joined with our allies, keenly recognizing the need to defend and sustain our hard-won democratic freedoms. Today’s generation faces a different, but equally existential, test. How we respond will determine the future of our own democracy and, ultimately, of the planet itself.

There is a need to “keep at it”. It cannot be set aside.

Quote

The writer was chairman of the Board of Governors of the US Federal Reserve System from 1979 to 1987. Christine Harper co-wrote this piece as well as their book ‘Keeping At It: The Quest for Sound Money and Good Government’. The paperback edition is scheduled for publication next year by PublicAffairs

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#14424 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2019-December-11, 09:31

View PostChas_P, on 2019-December-10, 22:07, said:

Here's dictionary.com's definition of "racist":
noun
a person who believes in racism, the doctrine that one's own racial group is superior or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.

That does not describe me. Growing up in a small town in south Georgia two of my best friends were "black"...Pat and Jack. We hunted and fished together, played football together, and I never really thought about them being "black". They were just Pat and Jack and we were buddies. As an adult I have "black" friends and "black" neighbors. I don't think about them being "black". They are just friends and neighbors.

Here's you guys' definition of "racist":
noun
a person who doesn't share my worldview.

It's quite common for racists to make exceptions for particular people. "I have black friends" is not a defense (Archie Bunker was friendly with the Jeffersons next door, although he originally objected to them moving into the neighborhood). What matters is how you act toward the group in general.

If you agree with the President that we need to keep Muslims and Latin-Americans out of the country, or you worry that African-Americans are getting too much power, you're a racist. If you didn't think Obama should have been President because he's black, you're probably a racist.

#14425 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-December-11, 12:49

View Postbarmar, on 2019-December-11, 09:31, said:

It's quite common for racists to make exceptions for particular people. "I have black friends" is not a defense (Archie Bunker was friendly with the Jeffersons next door, although he originally objected to them moving into the neighborhood). What matters is how you act toward the group in general.

If you agree with the President that we need to keep Muslims and Latin-Americans out of the country, or you worry that African-Americans are getting too much power, you're a racist. If you didn't think Obama should have been President because he's black, you're probably a racist.


A racist is one who, when considering himself, thinks first of the color of his skin.
“It’s just so unfair that American companies aren’t allowed to pay bribes to get business overseas,” Trump whines
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#14426 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2019-December-11, 19:48

View Postbarmar, on 2019-December-11, 09:31, said:


If you agree with the President that we need to keep Muslims and Latin-Americans out of the country


I don't. If they come here legally (meaning properly vetted and abiding by our current immigration laws) I'm all for them; their religion or country of origin is not significant.

Quote

or you worry that African-Americans are getting too much power


I don't. They have just as much right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as any other American.

Quote


If you didn't think Obama should have been President because he's black


I don't. I didn't agree with his vision for the future of the country but his skin tone was totally insignificant.

#14427 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2019-December-11, 20:20

View PostWinstonm, on 2019-December-11, 12:49, said:

A racist is one who, when considering himself, thinks first of the color of his skin.


Perhaps so in your world Winston. I don't intend to apologize for being born "white"; I had no choice. Did you? In any event, I don't consider myself superior to "reds", "yellows", or "blacks". We are all members of the same race....the human race. Our political opinions may not always align (an astute observation of the blatantly obvious); but we are all in pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness. And I wish that for you...especially happiness. You appear to be very miserable.

#14428 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2019-December-11, 20:35

View PostChas_P, on 2019-December-11, 20:20, said:

Perhaps so in your world Winston. I don't intend to apologize for being born "white";

How about apologising for this?

View PostChas_P, on 2017-August-23, 18:45, said:

will blacks instantaneously be free to stop murdering each other in Chicago? Will they be free to stop making babies they can't support? Will they be free to have households that include both a mother and a father? Will they be free to graduate from high school or trade school and find a decent job? Or will they just be free to start another hysterical "movement" and raise hell about that?

(-: Zel :-)
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#14429 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2019-December-11, 20:45

View PostZelandakh, on 2019-December-11, 20:35, said:

How about apologising for this?


The question was asked in the Confederate Statues thread having to do with how removing those statues would improve the lives of black Americans and I think it's a reasonable question. Do you have a reasonable answer?

#14430 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-December-12, 01:34

The Stable Genius had a plan to prevent casualties in the event of a new Korean War.

Trump once suggested all of Seoul’s 10 million residents move to avoid North Korean threat

The background to this story is that the Manchurian President (who really should be an expert on everything Korea) was being shown a satellite photo of the region at night, and that there was just blackness between China and South Korea. Of course, the Stable Genius concluded that this was ocean, just like the rest of the dark areas.

Quote

After seeing a satellite image showing that Seoul — South Korea’s capital, home to 10 million inhabitants — sits just 15 miles south of the country’s heavily militarized border with the North, Trump asked, “Why is Seoul so close to the North Korean border?”

As a sidenote, Seoul's metro area contains almost 26 million people, more people than the metro NYC area.

The Stable Genius was wondering why the South Koreans (and US military and intelligence experts) were so worried about millions of Seoul residents under threat from conventional North Korean artillery.

Not to worry, the Stable Genius had a plan to protect all those civilians.

Quote

He then made a rather unorthodox suggestion: “They have to move,” Trump said, referring to the city’s residents. “They have to move!” he repeated. Those in attendance at the Oval Office briefing were uncertain whether or not Trump was joking, Bergen writes.

Trump, Bergen notes, had already been briefed numerous times on the danger Seoul faces every day. The city is in direct firing range of thousands of pieces of North Korean artillery that are already lined up along the border between the two countries, also known as the demilitarized zone (DMZ). Around 70 percent of North Korea’s ground forces are within 90 miles of the DMZ, presumably ready to move south at a moment’s notice.

Actually an excellent idea. Maybe they can move Seoul to Alabama which has plenty of empty space that was cleared out after Hurricane Dorian swept through the state.

Quote

What’s more, North Korea has weapons that can reach all of South Korea, meaning Seoul’s dwellers would need to leave the country entirely to be safer.

That's the genius of moving Seoul to Alabama. North Korea won't dare to send missiles to targets in the USA.
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#14431 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-December-12, 05:45

Yesterday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) delivered the following opening statement during the markup of H.Res. 755, Articles of Impeachment Against President Donald J. Trump:

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Good evening Ranking Member Collins, and distinguished Members of this Committee.

Tonight, we begin consideration of two articles of impeachment against President Donald J. Trump.

The first article charges that the President used the powers of his public office to demand that a foreign government attack his political rivals.

The second article charges that the President obstructed the congressional investigation into his conduct. Other Presidents have resisted congressional oversight, but President Trump’s stonewall was complete, absolute, and without precedent in American history.

Taken together, the two articles charge President Trump with placing his private, political interests above our national security, above our free and fair elections, and above our ability to hold public officials accountable.

This Committee now owes it to the American people to give these articles close attention, and to describe their factual basis, meaning, and importance.

I believe that three questions should frame our debate.

First, does the evidence show clearly that the President committed these acts?

Second, do they rise to the level of impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors?

Third, what are the consequences for our national security, for the integrity of our elections, and for our country if we fail to act?

To the first question, there can be no serious debate about what President Trump did.

On July 25 of this year, when he spoke by telephone to President Zelensky of Ukraine, President Trump had the upper hand. Ukraine had been invaded by Russia. Zelensky had only recently been elected. He badly needed our help. He needed it in the form of military aid already appropriated by Congress because of our national security interests in Ukraine. And he needed help in the form of an Oval Office meeting, so he could show the world that the United States stands with him against Russian aggression.

President Trump should have been focused on America’s national security and on the interests of the American people on that call.

Instead, he completely ignored them to push his own personal, political interests.

President Trump asked for a favor. He wanted Ukraine to announce two bogus investigations: one into former Vice President Biden, his leading opponent in the 2020 election; and another to advance a conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, attacked our elections in 2016.

These were not legitimate requests. Neither was supported by the evidence. One investigation was designed to help President Trump conceal the truth about the 2016 election. The other was designed to help him gain an advantage in the 2020 campaign. Both were divorced from reality—and from official U.S. policy.

The evidence proves that these requests were not related to any real interest in rooting out corruption. President Trump eagerly does business with corrupt governments every day.

The evidence shows that President Trump did not care if real investigations took place. A public announcement that the government of Ukraine was investigating his rivals would have been enough for him to release the aid, whether or not an actual investigation ever took place.

After the call, President Trump ratcheted up the pressure. He dangled the offer of an Oval Office meeting. He withheld $391 million in military aid. His personal lawyer traveled to push the Ukrainians directly. The President deployed other agents, including outside the official channels of diplomacy, to make his desires clear.

By September, President Zelensky was ready to comply, and to announce the two fake investigations. Then the scandal broke into the open. Caught in the act, the President was forced to release the aid.

When the House of Representatives opened an inquiry into the President’s actions, President Trump did everything in his power to obstruct the investigation. He declared across-the-board resistance. He ordered every official in the federal government to defy all subpoenas related to the inquiry. At his command, the Administration also refused to produce a single document related to the inquiry. Not one.

To put this obstruction into context, during the Watergate hearings, President Nixon turned over recordings of his conversations in the Oval Office; later, President Clinton handed over his DNA.

President Trump’s obstruction was, by contrast, absolute.

Those are the facts. They are overwhelming. There is no denying them.

Having reviewed the evidence, we come to our second question: is the President’s proven conduct impeachable?

The answer is simple: absolutely.

Under Article I, the President can be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors.

The highest of high crimes is abuse of power. It occurs when a President uses his official powers to serve his own personal, selfish interests at the expense of the public good. To the founding generation that had fought a king and won our freedom, it was a specific, well-defined offense.

The first article of impeachment charges President Trump with abuse of power. The article describes President Trump’s conduct and lays out two aggravating factors that we must consider: in pressuring Ukraine for a personal favor, President Trump both betrayed our national security and attempted to corrupt our elections.

When the President weakens an ally who advances American security interests by fighting an American adversary, the President weakens America.

And when the President demands that a foreign government investigate his domestic political rivals, he corrupts our elections. To the Founders, this kind of corruption was especially pernicious. Free and fair elections are the bedrock of our democracy.

If our elections are corrupt, everything is corrupt.

The President faces a second article of impeachment for his ongoing efforts to obstruct a lawful investigation of his conduct. We have never, in the history of our nation, seen a President categorically defy Congress in this manner.

If the President can first abuse his power and then stonewall all congressional requests for information, Congress cannot fulfill its duty to act as a check and balance against the Executive—and the President becomes a dictator.

Later tonight, you will hear more about both articles—and how they describe a pattern of behavior that President Trump seems determined to repeat, again and again. My colleagues will also address various procedural objections that have been raised in the President’s defense.

But there is one of those objections that I wish to address right away. Some ask, why not take more time? Why is this necessary now? Why not let the next election handle it?

This brings us to the third and final question: what is the risk if we do not act?

Over the past 94 days since the House investigation began—indeed, over the past three years—one indisputable truth has emerged: if we do not respond to President Trump’s abuses of power, the abuses will continue.

We cannot rely on an election to solve our problems when the President threatens the very integrity of that election. Nor can we sit on our hands while the President undermines our national security—and while he allows his personal interests and the interests of our adversary Russia to advance.

The President’s personal lawyer was in Ukraine again just last week.

That was not three years ago. That was not three months ago. That was Saturday.

President Trump’s continuing abuses of power jeopardize our security and our elections. The threat is urgent. If we do not act—now—what happens next will be our responsibility as well as his.

I will close with a word to my Republican colleagues. I know you. I have worked with many of you for years. I consider you to be good and decent public servants.

I know this moment must be difficult, but you still have a choice.

I hope every member of this Committee will withstand the political pressures of the moment. I hope that none of us attempt to justify behavior that we know in our heart is wrong. I hope that we are able to work together to hold this President—or any President—accountable for breaking his most basic obligations to the country and to its citizens.

And while you think about that choice, please keep in mind that—one way or the other—President Trump will not be president forever.

When his time has passed, when his grip on our politics is gone, when our country returns, as surely it will, to calmer times and stronger leadership, history will look back on our actions here today. How would you be remembered?

We have each taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. I hope to be remembered for honoring that oath. I hope you feel the same.

And so, with a heavy heart but clear in my duty to our country, I support these articles of impeachment. I urge my colleagues to support them as well.

I yield back the balance of my time.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#14432 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-December-12, 05:58

From Jonathan Bernstein at Bloomberg:

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Members of the House judiciary committee spent Wednesday night making opening statements in a hearing about two articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstructing Congress — against President Donald Trump. Was there breaking news? Nope. But it was quite interesting anyway.

The Democrats were mostly matter-of-fact. Again and again, they pounded away at the basic facts of the case — that Trump had used public policy for private gain by pressuring Ukraine to announce corruption investigations that would help him win re-election in 2020. There was very little general Trump-bashing. That served as a rejoinder to Republican claims that the whole process is all about a party that hates the president; the Democrats didn’t sound like a bunch of haters Tuesday night.

A few tried framing impeachment within their own life stories, which sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t. Pramila Jayapal, Hakeem Jeffries and Hank Johnson all gave strong efforts, although no one threatened the gold standard for impeachment oratory. The biggest disappointment for Democrats must’ve been that they failed to capture the media’s attention: None of the broadcast networks aired the prime-time session live.

As for the Republicans? They had one sort-of reasonable argument: that Democrats are rushing to finish the impeachment proceedings on an arbitrary schedule. On the charge of obstructing Congress, they also reasonably contended that Trump is within his rights to assert privileges and fight for them in the courts.

But it went rapidly downhill after that. Republicans claimed that Democrats so loathe the president that they’d impeach him regardless of the facts, which is an easy way to avoid the record in front of them but suffers from the logical flaw that if Democrats actually didn’t care about the facts, they would’ve impeached Trump long ago over the Russia scandal or emoluments or how he wears his ties.

Then there was a series of attacks on Representative Adam Schiff, the chair of the House intelligence committee. Republicans are still complaining that his committee took depositions in private, even though transcripts were later released and most of the witnesses subsequently gave public testimony. And yes, they’re still complaining that Schiff paraphrased the president one time, and (a new one) that he gave a lot of documents to them before the last hearing. All this was meant to demonstrate that Schiff is the one actually obstructing Congress. I’m paraphrasing — horrors! — but it didn’t make much sense in the original either.

Perhaps the most dubious complaint, however, was that Democrats are impeaching Trump on a made-up charge, “abuse of power.” At least four Republicans repeated this claim, with the explanation that the Constitution specifies only treason, bribery, and high crimes and misdemeanors. At best, that’s ahistorical; Congress was in the process of impeaching President Richard Nixon for abuse of power (and obstruction of Congress) when he resigned. But if we take the critique to its logical conclusion, it’s alarming. To say that a president can’t abuse his office is another way of saying (as Trump did, and as Nixon notoriously did after his resignation) that presidents have essentially unlimited power that they can wield however they please.

In 1998, Democrats disputed that President Bill Clinton had obstructed justice but never questioned whether it was OK to do so. In 1974, Republicans said only that there was insufficient proof that Nixon had been involved in Watergate and the cover-up. In 2019, Republicans are mocking the entire notion of presidential abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

None of that is going to change Trump’s approval rating and none of it is likely to change any votes in the House or Senate. But it’s more than a little disturbing.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#14433 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-December-12, 06:04

Meanwhile, Laura Litvan and Steven T. Dennis at Bloomberg are reporting that GOP senators are leaning toward a quick impeachment trial:

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Senate Republicans say there is an early consensus building within their ranks for a short impeachment trial that could see the GOP-led chamber vote on a likely acquittal of President Donald Trump without hearing from any witnesses.

Senator Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, said a growing number of the Senate’s 53 GOP members want to simply let House Democrats make their case to impeach the president and then hear a rebuttal from Trump’s team before moving immediately to a vote on the articles of impeachment.

“I think people are starting to realize that could be a pretty messy and unproductive process,” said Johnson, who just days ago said he thought witnesses should be brought into the proceedings. Johnson said “that’s generally where people are heading toward.”

The House is poised to vote next week on adopting two articles of impeachment -- abuse of power and obstructing Congress -- triggering a trial in the Senate that would begin some time in early to mid-January. The White House has indicated that the president would like a number of witnesses to be called, including the whistle-blower who helped spark the impeachment inquiry into allegations Trump improperly pressed Ukraine‘s president to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son.

The White House would like to have “a lot of witnesses,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Tuesday on Fox News.

But Senator John Cornyn of Texas said his advice to the White House would be, “if you have the votes, let’s vote.”

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a close Trump ally, has also been cautioning against having a lot of witnesses.

“I am not in that camp,” he said. “Whatever they use to pass the articles should be the trial record. That way we don’t need to reinvent the wheel.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn’t tipped his hand on how quickly he wants to move with the impeachment trial. On Tuesday, though, he said a Senate majority could end the trial after hearing arguments from both sides and without testimony from witnesses if “they’ve heard enough and believe they know what would happen,” he said.

Although a two-thirds majority would be needed to convict the president, just 51 votes are needed to decide on witnesses or to move directly to a vote on the charges. It’s not yet clear McConnell would have 51 votes to block witnesses who may be called by House impeachment managers, or if 51 Republicans would back Trump’s call to bring in the Bidens and the whistle-blower.

If just four Senate Republicans decide they want to hear from witnesses, such as acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani or Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, they could join with every Senate Democrat to call them to testify.

One incentive for wrapping the trial up quickly is that while the Senate is occupied with impeachment, other matters will fall by the wayside, including approval of a trade deal that Trump wants finished.

Senator Shelley Moore Capito, a West Virginia Republican, said the situation remains “fluid” and senators won’t decide whether witnesses should be called until both sides initially present their cases. She said she’s still trying to keep an open mind but what she sees as a partisan impeachment process in House didn’t help, she said. Capito added she hasn’t seen anything yet that merits impeachment and removal from office -- something no Republican in either chamber has yet endorsed.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday urged Senate Republicans, who hold a 53-47 advantage in the chamber, to keep their minds open.

“The gravity of these charges and our sworn duty to uphold and defend the Constitution demand that all senators put country over party and examine the evidence uncovered by the House without prejudice, without partisanship,” Schumer told reporters after a meeting of all Senate Democrats.

Laurence Tribe @tribelaw said:

Senate Repubs can’t refute the evidence that Trump is still abusing his power, betraying our national security, corrupting his office and compromising the upcoming election — so of course they’d prefer a trial without witnesses or documents, all of which would be incriminating.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#14434 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2019-December-12, 06:47

View PostChas_P, on 2019-December-11, 20:45, said:

The question was asked in the Confederate Statues thread having to do with how removing those statues would improve the lives of black Americans and I think it's a reasonable question. Do you have a reasonable answer?

Yes, my answer is that associating African-Americans as a group with murder, over-population, divorce, poor education, unemployment and 'hysterical' activism rather than treating each person as an individual is wrong and is generally harmful both to the debate and to society in general. The Merriam-Webster definition of racism is:-

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1: a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
2 a: a doctrine or political program based on the assumption of racism and designed to execute its principles
b: a political or social system founded on racism
3: racial prejudice or discrimination


This association belongs to the first definition. Placing it as an assumed truth in a discussion about what government policy should be plays directly to the second. So I reject your basic racist presentation of the issue. It saddens me if you genuinely cannot see that your post here matches the absolute definition of racism. I suspect that you know very well what you are doing though and feign ignorance only so that you can continue. But there are plenty of racists around in varying shades of grey. It actually saddens me more that BBO tolerates it to the point where one might get the impression that this is acceptable in some way. It is not. We as a group should be making it quite clear that it is not acceptable.

To address the specific issues, on murder the most obvious change in the world would be to have more stringent gun control.
For over-population one minor change would be for state laws designed to make abortion more difficult to obtain illegal. Well, technically they are mostly already illegal but stopping them from going on the statute books in the first place by embedding Roe v Wade on the federal statute book. Allowing government finance go towards providing free condoms in local health clinics would be a bigger and more widespread change. And naturally providing better and more extensive sex education is essential to tackling the issue in the longer term.
High rates of divorce are an issue across racial divides and has a link to poverty. So I think the most useful thing for the government to do would be to pursue policies that provided better opportunities for poorer families, particularly in the area of...
Education. This is a topic I am sure Adam and Elianna could provide specific policies for much more eloquently than I and maybe one of them will jump in. I think the most general issue here is the funding gap between schools in different areas of the country. Due to the way school funding is done in America, it is almost impossible for a school in a poor area to provide a similar level of education to one of an affluent area. This gap should be closed with educational funding either pooled across a wider area and re-distributed fairly or topped up for under-funded schools by central government. There are many many more issues in the US education system of course but that would be a start and without radical funding changes, any other policies are only going to make a small dent in the inherent unfairness that characterises the system today.
Finally, the activism would decrease if the gap between African Americans and whites, and indeed generally between the richest and poorest in American society, were to decrease. Activism is there because individuals come to understand the unfairness within the society. The solution is to reduce the unfairness, not to label anyone who points it out as 'hysterical'. The statues are a lasting reminder of the unfairness that remains from that time to this day, not only to the African Americans but, perhaps more importantly, to those that want to perpetuate that unfairness indefinitely. Education does not end just with sex and schools here, whites also need to be educated that racism is not acceptable. Removing statues is part of that process. Much much more is required in this area but this is at least a start.

I hope you can see the difference here. If you frame issues as being related to general (negative) racial traits then you have stepped across the line to racism. Perhaps now you would care to offer that apology?
(-: Zel :-)
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#14435 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-December-12, 10:23

View Posty66, on 2019-December-12, 05:58, said:

From Jonathan Bernstein at Bloomberg:


What we are seeing with that last set of arguments - virtual unlimited executive power - are the footprints of Yoo and the thumb of Barr.

“It’s just so unfair that American companies aren’t allowed to pay bribes to get business overseas,” Trump whines
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#14436 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-December-12, 11:16

I've struggled to find a term to describe those who at least claim to support equality but really do not if their white hierarchical privilege might be affected.

However, since they suck the blood from equality in their support of Caucasians I think the best term is: CaucSuckers!

“It’s just so unfair that American companies aren’t allowed to pay bribes to get business overseas,” Trump whines
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#14437 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-December-12, 13:46

From the Editorial Board at NYT:

Quote

Throughout the impeachment hearings, American military aid for Ukraine was portrayed as a way for a friendly giant to help a David fend off a staggering Goliath who, if not stopped, would continue his rampage. That’s the big picture.

The complex details of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and of the ways the Trump administration has failed Ukraine, were made clear when President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine held his first meeting with President Vladimir Putin of Russia on Monday.

The meeting, in Paris, hosted by President Emmanuel Macron of France and attended by Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, was an attempt to revive a moribund peace process that began under French and German mediation in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, in 2015. Negotiations led to a plan for a cease-fire, the withdrawal of heavy weapons, the restoration of Ukrainian control of the border with Russia and increased autonomy for the areas under the control of separatists.

The process ground to a halt under Mr. Zelensky’s predecessor, but resolving the conflict was a major campaign pledge of the new president. This was the major reason he so urgently sought a meeting at the White House and saw little choice, as the world has learned, but to demean himself to get it when Mr. Trump demanded political favors.

In Paris, as a political novice facing a powerful master of geopolitical intrigue, Mr. Zelensky had few cards to play without Americans in his corner. With the United States, he would have a patron who could keep Ukraine in the fight and who controlled the one weapon the Kremlin feared — sanctions imposed on Russia for its attacks on Ukraine and seizure of Crimea.

The United States has never been a formal participant in the Minsk process. But many officials advised its government and kept the American government informed about the complex state of play. Many of them were the cast of characters in the impeachment hearings — Kurt Volker, the former special envoy to the peace process; Marie Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Kyiv; and Fiona Hill, the former adviser on Europe and Russia at the White House. They have all left their posts. Only William Taylor Jr., the acting ambassador to Kyiv, is still active, but after being dismissed as a “Never Trumper” by the president, his words carry little weight.

Testimony shows they all had been sidetracked by a president who favored Mr. Putin over the Ukrainians, saw support for Ukraine as merely the price for political favors and limited his efforts to free Ukraine from Russian aggression to telling Mr. Zelensky, during a meeting at the United Nations in September, “I really hope you and President Putin get together and can solve your problem.”

But the problem is something Mr. Putin has no interest in solving except on his terms, which include keeping Ukraine clear of the European Union and NATO so that it remains under Russian influence. Even Ukraine itself is deeply divided over how to resolve the crisis. Nationalists see any negotiations with Russia as capitulation, while Mr. Zelensky was elected with the support of those who hoped he could find a way to end a conflict that has already taken 13,000 lives.

Mr. Trump’s disdain for Ukraine was further on display Tuesday when he invited Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, to the White House for what the president tweeted was a “very good meeting” — a Russian cabinet official getting a meeting that Mr. Trump had denied to the president of Ukraine. They met on the day House Democrats announced articles of impeachment based on his manipulation of Ukraine — not one of the six topics of discussion he listed in his tweet.

Mr. Zelensky’s meeting with Mr. Putin ended with some conciliatory words and gestures, including another cease-fire and an exchange of prisoners, but no real progress toward ending the conflict. Mr. Zelensky, a neophyte in politics, cannot achieve progress alone. A real resolution requires a détente in the renewed struggle between East and West, in which Ukraine is a key pawn.

As the American experts on Ukraine all testified in the impeachment hearings, Mr. Zelensky needed a meeting with Mr. Trump both to strengthen his position against Russia and to demonstrate to his people that they are not alone. Mr. Macron and Ms. Merkel gamely tried to step in, and Mr. Zelensky showed courage in agreeing to meet with Mr. Putin with no tangible support from Washington, but the absence of the Americans was obvious and troubling.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#14438 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-December-12, 18:38

View Posty66, on 2019-December-12, 13:46, said:

From the Editorial Board at NYT:


We have a president, and administration, and the entirety of the Republican party who have sided with Russia against every American who disagrees.

But what does it mean to side with present day Russia? In a word, oligarchy. Corruption is the business model of the oligarch. By siding with Putin's Russia, our country has been divided between those seeking a worldwide oligarchy and its corruption against those striving to save and support democracy.

Somewhere - way down the line - this will lead somewhere and somehow to another revolution of some sort.

Quote

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter


Yes, but if you lose the game, it's over.
“It’s just so unfair that American companies aren’t allowed to pay bribes to get business overseas,” Trump whines
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#14439 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2019-December-12, 20:17

View PostZelandakh, on 2019-December-12, 06:47, said:

Yes, my answer is that associating African-Americans as a group with murder, over-population, divorce, poor education, unemployment and 'hysterical' activism rather than treating each person as an individual is wrong and is generally harmful both to the debate and to society in general. The Merriam-Webster definition of racism is:-



This association belongs to the first definition. Placing it as an assumed truth in a discussion about what government policy should be plays directly to the second. So I reject your basic racist presentation of the issue. It saddens me if you genuinely cannot see that your post here matches the absolute definition of racism. I suspect that you know very well what you are doing though and feign ignorance only so that you can continue. But there are plenty of racists around in varying shades of grey. It actually saddens me more that BBO tolerates it to the point where one might get the impression that this is acceptable in some way. It is not. We as a group should be making it quite clear that it is not acceptable.

To address the specific issues, on murder the most obvious change in the world would be to have more stringent gun control.
For over-population one minor change would be for state laws designed to make abortion more difficult to obtain illegal. Well, technically they are mostly already illegal but stopping them from going on the statute books in the first place by embedding Roe v Wade on the federal statute book. Allowing government finance go towards providing free condoms in local health clinics would be a bigger and more widespread change. And naturally providing better and more extensive sex education is essential to tackling the issue in the longer term.
High rates of divorce are an issue across racial divides and has a link to poverty. So I think the most useful thing for the government to do would be to pursue policies that provided better opportunities for poorer families, particularly in the area of...
Education. This is a topic I am sure Adam and Elianna could provide specific policies for much more eloquently than I and maybe one of them will jump in. I think the most general issue here is the funding gap between schools in different areas of the country. Due to the way school funding is done in America, it is almost impossible for a school in a poor area to provide a similar level of education to one of an affluent area. This gap should be closed with educational funding either pooled across a wider area and re-distributed fairly or topped up for under-funded schools by central government. There are many many more issues in the US education system of course but that would be a start and without radical funding changes, any other policies are only going to make a small dent in the inherent unfairness that characterises the system today.
Finally, the activism would decrease if the gap between African Americans and whites, and indeed generally between the richest and poorest in American society, were to decrease. Activism is there because individuals come to understand the unfairness within the society. The solution is to reduce the unfairness, not to label anyone who points it out as 'hysterical'. The statues are a lasting reminder of the unfairness that remains from that time to this day, not only to the African Americans but, perhaps more importantly, to those that want to perpetuate that unfairness indefinitely. Education does not end just with sex and schools here, whites also need to be educated that racism is not acceptable. Removing statues is part of that process. Much much more is required in this area but this is at least a start.

I hope you can see the difference here. If you frame issues as being related to general (negative) racial traits then you have stepped across the line to racism. Perhaps now you would care to offer that apology?


Thank you for your answer I agree with most of it and it proved my point; removing or shrouding Confederate Statues will not improve the plight of black Americans; more is needed. You must be the Oracle of Nuremberg. And no, I don't care to offer an apology.

Actually this discussion belongs in the Confederate Statues thread. I'm sure Barry will move it.

#14440 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-December-12, 21:52

From Paul Krugman at NYT:

Quote

The most terrifying aspect of the U.S. political drama isn’t the revelation that the president has abused his power for personal gain. If you didn’t see that coming from the day Donald Trump was elected, you weren’t paying attention.

No, the real revelation has been the utter depravity of the Republican Party. Essentially every elected or appointed official in that party has chosen to defend Trump by buying into crazy, debunked conspiracy theories. That is, one of America’s two major parties is beyond redemption; given that, it’s hard to see how democracy can long endure, even if Trump is defeated.

However, the scariest reporting I’ve seen recently has been about science, not politics. A new federal report finds that climate change in the Arctic is accelerating, matching what used to be considered worst-case scenarios. And there are indications that Arctic warming may be turning into a self-reinforcing spiral, as the thawing tundra itself releases vast quantities of greenhouse gases.

Catastrophic sea-level rise, heat waves that make major population centers uninhabitable, and more are now looking more likely than not, and sooner rather than later.

But the terrifying political news and the terrifying climate news are closely related.

Why, after all, has the world failed to take action on climate, and why is it still failing to act even as the danger gets ever more obvious? There are, of course, many culprits; action was never going to be easy.

But one factor stands out above all others: the fanatical opposition of America’s Republicans, who are the world’s only major climate-denialist party. Because of this opposition, the United States hasn’t just failed to provide the kind of leadership that would have been essential to global action, it has become a force against action.

And Republican climate denial is rooted in the same kind of depravity that we’re seeing with regard to Trump.

As I’ve written in the past, climate denial was in many ways the crucible for Trumpism. Long before the cries of “fake news,” Republicans were refusing to accept science that contradicted their prejudices. Long before Republicans began attributing every negative development to the machinations of the “deep state,” they were insisting that global warming was a gigantic hoax perpetrated by a vast global cabal of corrupt scientists.

And long before Trump began weaponizing the power of the presidency for political gain, Republicans were using their political power to harass climate scientists and, where possible, criminalize the practice of science itself.

Perhaps not surprisingly, some of those responsible for these abuses are now ensconced in the Trump administration. Notably, Ken Cuccinelli, who as attorney general of Virginia engaged in a long witch-hunt against the climate scientist Michael Mann, is now at the Department of Homeland Security, where he pushes anti-immigrant policies with, as The Times reports, “little concern for legal restraints.”

But why have Republicans become the party of climate doom? Money is an important part of the answer: In the current cycle Republicans have received 97 percent of political contributions from the coal industry, 88 percent from oil and gas. And this doesn’t even count the wing nut welfare offered by institutions supported by the Koch brothers and other fossil-fuel moguls.

However, I don’t believe that it’s just about the money. My sense is that right-wingers believe, probably correctly, that there’s a sort of halo effect surrounding any form of public action. Once you accept that we need policies to protect the environment, you’re more likely to accept the idea that we should have policies to ensure access to health care, child care, and more. So the government must be prevented from doing anything good, lest it legitimize a broader progressive agenda.

Still, whatever the short-term political incentives, it takes a special kind of depravity to respond to those incentives by denying facts, embracing insane conspiracy theories and putting the very future of civilization at risk.

Unfortunately, that kind of depravity isn’t just present in the modern Republican Party, it has effectively taken over the whole institution. There used to be at least some Republicans with principles; as recently as 2008 Senator John McCain co-sponsored serious climate-change legislation. But those people have either experienced total moral collapse (hello, Senator Graham) or left the party.

The truth is that even now I don’t fully understand how things got this bad. But the reality is clear: Modern Republicans are irredeemable, devoid of principle or shame. And there is, as I said, no reason to believe that this will change even if Trump is defeated next year.

The only way that either American democracy or a livable planet can survive is if the Republican Party as it now exists is effectively dismantled and replaced with something better — maybe with a party that has the same name, but completely different values. This may sound like an impossible dream. But it’s the only hope we have.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't fully understand how things got this bad.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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