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

#16241 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-September-18, 15:41

From Bloomberg:

Quote

Wall Street is losing faith that Congress will rescue states and cities that have seen tax collections tumble. BofA analysts, who earlier predicted that the federal government would extend as much as $400 billion of aid by the end of September, said their expectations of a stimulus package by the November election were "fading." Barclays strategists made a similar call.

There is no way Trump and McConnell will not pass some kind of bailout for airlines and the hotel industry that also gives the stock market a boost before October 3rd. If that requires bailing out states and cities that are on the ropes, it can't be helped.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16242 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-September-18, 17:43


From the WaPo

Quote


Three years into the Trump administration, American democracy has eroded to a point that more often than not leads to full-blown autocracy, according to a project that tracks the health of representative government in nations around the world.

The project, called V-Dem, or Varieties of Democracy, is an effort to precisely quantify global democracy at the country level based on hundreds indicators assessed annually by thousands of individual experts. It's one of several ongoing projects by political scientists that have registered a weakening of democratic values in the United States in recent years.

V-Dem's findings are bracing: The United States is undergoing "substantial autocratization" — defined as the loss of democratic traits — that has accelerated precipitously under President Trump. This is particularly alarming in light of what the group's historic data show: Only 1 in 5 democracies that start down this path are able to reverse the damage before succumbing to full-blown autocracy


Three years into the Trump administration, American democracy has eroded to a point that more often than not leads to full-blown autocracy, according to a project that tracks the health of representative government in nations around the world.

"The United States is not unique" in its decline, said Staffan I. Lindberg, a political scientist at Sweden's University of Gothenburg and a founding director of the project. "Everything we see in terms of decline on these indicators is exactly the pattern of decline" seen in other autocratizing nations, like Turkey and Hungary, both of which ceased to be classified as democracies in recent years.


Each year, the V-Dem project asks its experts to rate their respective nations on hundreds of measures of democracy, such as the presence of legislative checks on executive power, freedom of personal expression, the civility of political discourse, free and open elections, and executive branch corruption, among others.


The United States is backsliding on all of those measures. "Executive respect for the Constitution is now at the lowest level since 1865," said Michael Coppedge, a Notre Dame political scientist and one of the project's chief investigators. "Corruption in the executive branch is basically the worst since Harding."


Warren G. Harding, whose administration was tainted by corruption and scandal, is routinely ranked among the nation's worst chief executives.

Trump, for instance, has repeatedly floated the idea of staying in office longer than the constitutionally mandated two terms. The businesses he owns have profited from repeated presidential visits, and federal courts are currently weighing whether he has violated the Constitution's prohibition against accepting payments from foreign governments. And several current and former members of his inner circle — including Stephen K. Bannon, Paul Manafort and Roger Stone — have been arrested or indicted since he took office.


Brendan Nyhan, a political scientist at Dartmouth College, said that "experts rate U.S. democracy as getting worse on average," but there are considerable differences in "how they characterize the severity of the decline we've experienced and what they expect in the future."


Nyhan says he is most concerned about Trump's repeated attacks on the integrity of U.S. elections. Trump recently said that "the only way we're going to lose this election is if the election is rigged," for instance, and habitually casts vote-by-mail efforts as inherently fraudulent. Both beliefs are false.

Nyhan is co-director of Bright Line Watch, a group that routinely surveys hundreds of political scientists to issue periodic assessments of the health of democracy in the United States. Those assessments show a post-2016 decline in democratic performance similar to V-Dem's data.


"Democracy depends on both sides accepting the results of free and fair elections and willingly turning over power to the other side if they lose," Nyhan said. "We've never had a president attack our electoral system in this way."


Lindberg refers to presidential attacks on the pillars of democracy as "dictator drift," and says it's a common feature of authoritarian leaders around the world.


"That's Erdogan in Turkey," he said. "That's Lukashenko in Belarus. That's Orban in Hungary. That's a slew of African dictators."

He's concerned about the rise of a sort of "sultanistic" power structure in the GOP, where the party largely abandons its core principles to support whatever the leader wants. The telltale sign of that, he said, was the GOP's decision to not create a 2020 platform. Instead, it issued a resolution saying, among other things, that "the Republican Party has and will continue to enthusiastically support the President's America-first agenda."


"They just line up behind Trump," Lindberg says. "That should ring some serious alarm bells. You have a sort of head of a family clan, without a program other than 'we support this person.' "


Coppedge is particularly concerned about the possibility of election-related violence. "What I most worry about is a scenario with the incumbent president declaring victory before all votes are counted, and his followers believing any additional mail-in ballots are invalid and taking to the streets."


"I do think there is going to be some election violence," he added, "and I hope it won't be widespread or long-lasting."

Lindberg is also deeply troubled by the president's history of endorsing violence against his perceived political opponents. "This is the precursor of civil war," he said. "Imagine that Trump loses by a margin that's not convincing to all his supporters. He refuses to leave the office and encourages his supporters to 'go out and defend the Constitution.' "


Nyhan says that while these "worst-case scenarios remain unlikely," we are in "unprecedented times" and should "remain vigilant."


Coppedge recommends people concerned about these outcomes get involved in the electoral process to help make things better. "Volunteer to become a poll worker, or help some get-out-the-vote effort, or work with a political party to encourage turnout to make sure your side wins by a clear margin," he said.


"I think that the chances are in the medium term, the long run things are going to work out," he said. "But I think it's going to be a bumpy ride between now and January."


Lindberg is less optimistic.


"If Trump wins this election in November, democracy is gone" in the United States, he says. He gives it about two years. "It's really time to wake up before it's too late."










"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16243 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2020-September-18, 18:15

The opposite of "operation deny Merrick" will now be set into motion by Mitch McConnell.

In contrast, I would suspect that delaying the confirmation will help Trump in that more Republican voters will turn up to vote just so that they can win the Judge of their liking.
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#16244 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2020-September-18, 22:41

View Postkenberg, on 2020-September-18, 07:59, said:

Now about white privilege. I am white and the first thing that comes to mind when I see white privilege decried is wondering just which of my privilege's need to be scrapped. I can't think of anything that I plan to do today or tomorrow that I would like to see disallowed.

No one is saying that white people shouldn't be able to do ordinary everyday things. The problem is that non-white people can't do many of those same things.

If you're stopped by a cop for speeding or running a red light, you don't cringe in fear. It's just a minor inconvenience in your day.

You probably haven't taken advantage of all the white privilege that's available to you. If someone who happens to be black is bothering you, you could call the cops and they'll haul them away; if the positions were reversed, it most likely wouldn't be possible.

You went to college. I know you worked hard to get there and paid your way, but if you were black it would have been orders of magnitude harder.

When you bought your first house, you knew that the banker deciding whether to give you a mortgage would just look at your financial qualifications, you wouldn't have built-in biases to overcome.

It's really hard for us white people to appreciate all the things we can do because of white privilege. They're just ordinary things we take for granted. But black and brown people can't assume these things.

No one wants to take away your ability to get a mortgage, they just want non-whites to have the same easy life.

#16245 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2020-September-18, 22:50

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-September-18, 11:21, said:

I agree. Bad word usage. At the same time, compelling the police to handle all community problems is unfair to the police - and the community.

Perhaps the slogan should simply be: Let's rethink policing.

Unfortunately, once a slogan has caught on, it's really hard to undo it.

It's also really hard to come up with something "catchy" that accurately describes what you want. You can't fit all the nuances into 3 words.

We saw it before with "Black Lives Matter". The opposition jumped on this, disingenuously interpreting it as meaning only black lives matter, when what's really meant is that black lives also matter. They ask why white lives don't matter, but that's not what the BLM protesters are saying -- the status quo is fine for white people, black people just want an end to all the problems that imply that they don't matter.

It's not a zero-sum game -- improving the lives of people of color doesn't mean that white people have to lose something. But that's not what many privileged white people think. Consider the speech that was given at the RNC, when someone (Pence?) talked about protecting the suburbs from those people moving in and lowering your property values. That was the justification for red-lining decades ago, but we were supposed to be long past that.

#16246 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-September-18, 23:44

View Postbarmar, on 2020-September-18, 22:50, said:

Unfortunately, once a slogan has caught on, it's really hard to undo it.

It's also really hard to come up with something "catchy" that accurately describes what you want. You can't fit all the nuances into 3 words.

We saw it before with "Black Lives Matter". The opposition jumped on this, disingenuously interpreting it as meaning only black lives matter, when what's really meant is that black lives also matter. They ask why white lives don't matter, but that's not what the BLM protesters are saying -- the status quo is fine for white people, black people just want an end to all the problems that imply that they don't matter.

It's not a zero-sum game -- improving the lives of people of color doesn't mean that white people have to lose something. But that's not what many privileged white people think. Consider the speech that was given at the RNC, when someone (Pence?) talked about protecting the suburbs from those people moving in and lowering your property values. That was the justification for red-lining decades ago, but we were supposed to be long past that.


This is a particular problem for 'concrete' thinkers. Something that there is no shortage of in Bridge and Chess players where everything is often just Black and White - so to speak.
The best player in the room can often have great difficulty in understanding nuances. In medical school, interviews were introduced to try to enrol more good students that had 'tolerance of ambiguity' and 'empathy' as well as the ability to solve difficult puzzles.
The people that can do the super clever stuff are still in high demand, but they tend to gravitate to areas of medicine where interpersonal skills are less in demand. Horses for courses.

Trump is a businessman. He works in real estate. Interpersonal skills are a negative asset in that field. I just read Fear (Woodward's 1st book) the most astonishing part is the shame-faced ease with which Trump lies to fit any required position. Nothing matters at all - just the sale. Hitler had a deeper respect for the people than Trump on that basis.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek; N'écris jamais une lettre et n'en détruis jamais une.
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#16247 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-September-19, 07:29

This is probably the most honest political video you will see this year.
(-: Zel :-)

half-wit -- Chas_P the racist
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#16248 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-September-19, 07:33

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-September-19, 07:29, said:

This is probably the most honest political video you will see this year.


Or maybe any year.
Ken
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#16249 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-September-19, 08:05

View Postbarmar, on 2020-September-18, 22:50, said:

Unfortunately, once a slogan has caught on, it's really hard to undo it.

It's also really hard to come up with something "catchy" that accurately describes what you want. You can't fit all the nuances into 3 words.

We saw it before with "Black Lives Matter". The opposition jumped on this, disingenuously interpreting it as meaning only black lives matter, when what's really meant is that black lives also matter. They ask why white lives don't matter, but that's not what the BLM protesters are saying -- the status quo is fine for white people, black people just want an end to all the problems that imply that they don't matter.

It's not a zero-sum game -- improving the lives of people of color doesn't mean that white people have to lose something. But that's not what many privileged white people think. Consider the speech that was given at the RNC, when someone (Pence?) talked about protecting the suburbs from those people moving in and lowering your property values. That was the justification for red-lining decades ago, but we were supposed to be long past that.


I agree.
We are at a moment of choice. How do we see life?

I will again go back to my adolescence.
My high school math teacher often found me very frustrating but he was instrumental in my getting a scholarship to college.
When I got it, my high school Spanish teacher (Fresh and Soph years) made it clear she thought I should not have gotten it. She felt I had largely wasted my chances in school. I understood her thoughts on this and appreciated the clarity. A clear expression of disappointment can be very useful.
Now, many years later, I still see this as a fine example of the two sides of a coin.

We should provide opportunity. Is there anyone who thinks that we should not? Advocating for opportunity will attract support. And it is simple reality that sometimes opportunities are wasted.
We need to provide doors that can be opened, preferably opened without using a battering ram. The individual benefits directly and society benefits as well. But not everyone will walk through that door. So a variety of doors would be good.

I think Biden can credibly advocate along such lines. A key part is that it really does not have to be us versus them. Not a zero sum game, as you say. We all benefit when a person sees how to make a decent life for himself and his family. Yes, his or her family, of course. We all benefit, anyone can see that. And some people are very hard to help. That has to be accepted too. Adolescence is a turbulent time and I was no sure thing. But opportunity is the key. And I think there are a lot of votes in that message. And second chances are a very good idea.

Perhaps this seems simplistic but sometimes simple is the way to go.

And I really do think we are at a moment of choice in this country.
Ken
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#16250 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-September-19, 16:04

View Postkenberg, on 2020-September-19, 08:05, said:

My high school math teacher often found me very frustrating but he was instrumental in my getting a scholarship to college. When I got it, my high school Spanish teacher (Fresh and Soph years) made it clear she thought I should not have gotten it. She felt I had largely wasted my chances in school. I understood her thoughts on this and appreciated the clarity. A clear expression of disappointment can be very useful.

That's quite an achievement for an 18 year old to appreciate that kind of criticism. A lot depends on how it's handled by both parties. I used to think accepting constructive criticism was the hardest thing. Now I think giving it is harder.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16251 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-September-19, 18:52

View Posty66, on 2020-September-19, 16:04, said:

That's quite an achievement for an 18 year old to appreciate that kind of criticism. A lot depends on how it's handled by both parties. I used to think accepting constructive criticism was the hardest thing. Now I think giving it is harder.


17 actually. My birthday is Jan 1 and in 1943 that meant you could start kindergarten when you were 4. I was the second youngest in my class. Kindergarten was much much simpler then. We have now upped kindergarten to be like first grade was back then, so now we need pre-k for the 4 year old. It would have been simpler to just leave it as it was..

Adolescence is strange. There were times I was completely oblivious, other times when I really understood and appreciated my reality. The Spanish teacher, Mrs. K, was in many ways very eccentric. In my sophomore year we were told to read a translated Spanish work of fiction, our choice as to which, and write a paper on it. I chose Don Quixote. Then I went to the St. Paul library to check it out and found it needed several volumes. So I bought and read the Classics Comics version. When Mrs. K handed back the essays she singled mine out, saying that it had really captured the spirit of the author. Huh? I thought about that a bit and, I believe, understood exactly the point she was making.

There are many stories I could tell about Mrs. K, she was high on my list of memorable teachers.
Ken
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#16252 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-September-19, 19:11

Gary Kasparov said:

When one group fights for power at all costs vs a group fighting for the rule of law, the second group had damned well better mobilize while it still can, because it only gets harder. Trust me on this one.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16253 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-September-21, 04:41

I was thinking about Presidents being cross with protesters and sending in armed forces to clear them away.

The only other time I know of this happening was during another depression in the term of another ill-thought of Republican President: Herbert Hoover.

This story is sort of personal for me. Patton was incredibly popular by the end of WWII. A swashbuckling figure. He even rode a horse and invented a sword! If I had been around at the time I would have been concerned that Patton might run for President. His grip on things psychiatric was not great - he was well-known for being as empathetic as a potato.

Unfortunately for him, he was injured in a car accident at the end of the war and taken to a hospital in Heidelberg. At the same time, Gilbert Phillips a pugilistic, physiologist and neurosurgeon from Sydney who was working at Oxford discovering for the first time that sympathetic nerves have a respiratory modulation to their activity was rushed to his side.

Phillips was an astonishing man he founded a wine society that still bears his name. There is a plaque on the Falcon Street gates to North Sydney Boys High School that I admire frequently. He could do nothing for Patton. Phillips accomplished much in a short life that ended in his fifties as a result of that scourge of Australia: melanoma.

I care because I developed a scientific career around the neuroscience of breathing and blood pressure.

Here is the excerpt from Wikipedia.

"In July 1932, Patton (still a Major) was executive officer of the 3rd Cavalry, which was ordered to Washington by Army Chief of Staff General Douglas MacArthur. Patton took command of the 600 troops of the 3rd Cavalry, and on July 28, MacArthur ordered Patton's troops to advance on protesting veterans known as the "Bonus Army" with tear gas and bayonets. Patton was dissatisfied with MacArthur's conduct, as he recognized the legitimacy of the veterans' complaints and had himself earlier refused to issue the order to employ armed force to disperse the veterans. Patton later stated that, though he found the duty "most distasteful", he also felt that putting the marchers down prevented an insurrection and saved lives and property. He personally led the 3rd Cavalry down Pennsylvania Avenue, dispersing the protesters.[86][87] Patton also encountered his former orderly as one of the marchers and forcibly ordered him away, fearing such a meeting might make the headlines.[88]"



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#16254 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-September-21, 10:02

View Postpilowsky, on 2020-September-21, 04:41, said:

I was thinking about Presidents being cross with protesters and sending in armed forces to clear them away.

The only other time I know of this happening was during another depression in the term of another ill-thought of Republican President: Herbert Hoover.

This story is sort of personal for me. Patton was incredibly popular by the end of WWII. A swashbuckling figure. He even rode a horse and invented a sword! If I had been around at the time I would have been concerned that Patton might run for President. His grip on things psychiatric was not great - he was well-known for being as empathetic as a potato.

Unfortunately for him, he was injured in a car accident at the end of the war and taken to a hospital in Heidelberg. At the same time, Gilbert Phillips a pugilistic, physiologist and neurosurgeon from Sydney who was working at Oxford discovering for the first time that sympathetic nerves have a respiratory modulation to their activity was rushed to his side.

Phillips was an astonishing man he founded a wine society that still bears his name. There is a plaque on the Falcon Street gates to North Sydney Boys High School that I admire frequently. He could do nothing for Patton. Phillips accomplished much in a short life that ended in his fifties as a result of that scourge of Australia: melanoma.

I care because I developed a scientific career around the neuroscience of breathing and blood pressure.

Here is the excerpt from Wikipedia.

"In July 1932, Patton (still a Major) was executive officer of the 3rd Cavalry, which was ordered to Washington by Army Chief of Staff General Douglas MacArthur. Patton took command of the 600 troops of the 3rd Cavalry, and on July 28, MacArthur ordered Patton's troops to advance on protesting veterans known as the "Bonus Army" with tear gas and bayonets. Patton was dissatisfied with MacArthur's conduct, as he recognized the legitimacy of the veterans' complaints and had himself earlier refused to issue the order to employ armed force to disperse the veterans. Patton later stated that, though he found the duty "most distasteful", he also felt that putting the marchers down prevented an insurrection and saved lives and property. He personally led the 3rd Cavalry down Pennsylvania Avenue, dispersing the protesters.[86][87] Patton also encountered his former orderly as one of the marchers and forcibly ordered him away, fearing such a meeting might make the headlines.[88]"





The rule of law only works with two requisites: 1) an ability to enforce, and 2) a willingness to enforce.


Without those two, law is simply words that have no meaning . It is the might of the state that makes lawful right or lawful wrong. How else can the U.S. president be immune from prosecution due to voters having been conned in a previous election?

Because might makes right - it has always been so - the people need to regain that power of the state in order to truly have effective laws.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16255 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-September-22, 06:13

From Jennifer Senior at NYT:

Quote

For the second time in five years, a sitting Supreme Court justice has died, and for the second time in five years, Senator Mitch McConnell has befouled the process to replace that justice with his signature blend of fresh greed and rancid partisanship. A Ruth-less court, answered with ruthlessness.

As many have endlessly — almost tediously — noted, the irony of this two-part drama is that both seats were occupied by individuals who overcame the very rancor that McConnell hopes to exploit. Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia were famously good friends, one of Washington’s storied odd couples; by now, many of the details of their two-headed vaudeville act are well known — they went to the opera together, they spent New Year’s Eve together, they once spent time together atop an elephant.

But me? I can’t stop thinking about the civil, uncomplicated nature of Ginsburg and Scalia’s own appointments to the bench. They were supported with a kind of bipartisan enthusiasm that’s unthinkable in today’s gladiatorial politics.

If you were to guess, how many senators would you say voted to confirm Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose dissent jabots would go on to launch a thousand mugs, tattoos and Halloween costumes, whose initials would become a liberal feminist supersignifier? And how many would you say voted to confirm Scalia, hero of the Federalist Society, defender of originalism, dreaded foe of progressive argle-bargle?

Answers:

Ginsburg was confirmed in 1993 by a vote of 96-3.

Scalia was confirmed in 1986 by a vote of 98-0.

Among those who voted for Ginsburg: Bob Dole, who would be the Republican nominee for president three years later; Strom Thurmond, who once ran for president as a Dixiecrat supporting segregation; and yes, Mitch McConnell.

Among those who voted for Scalia: Al Gore, John Kerry and Joe Biden, all of whom would go on to become the Democratic Party’s nominee for president. Also Ted Kennedy, at the time the party’s standard-bearer for approximately forever.

Under such circumstances, is it any wonder that bipartisan friendships weren’t just possible, but even typical?

It has sometimes been suggested that the media loved the friendship between Ginsburg and Scalia even more than the justices themselves. But it was quite real. As the awful news of Ginsburg’s death spread, one of Scalia’s sons shared a story I’d never heard before, about how his father once bought her two dozen roses on her birthday. When one of Scalia’s former clerks, Jeffrey Sutton, asked him why, given that she never gave him the vote he needed on a 5-4 case of any significance, Scalia replied: “Some things are more important than votes.”

It’s hard to remember sometimes that political disagreements, in the not-too-distant past, weren’t necessarily cause to retreat into our respective corners, and that ideological differences weren’t viewed as moral defects.

This is not to say that Scalia did not write pitiless opinions, at times so searing they could grill their own steak. But Ginsburg chose to not take them personally, and sometimes viewed them appreciatively, of all things. In the 1996 case, U.S. v. Virginia, which finally allowed women to attend Virginia Military Institute, Scalia made a point of sending Ginsburg his dissent as quickly as possible, so that she might better reckon with it in her majority opinion. “He absolutely ruined my weekend,” Ginsburg told Irin Carmon, co-author of “Notorious RBG,” “but my opinion is ever so much better because of his stinging dissent.”

It is not a surprise that before the political got viciously personal, our democratic institutions functioned better. As recently as a decade ago, the Senate was confirming Supreme Court nominees with some measure of bipartisan good will. The vote for Elena Kagan in 2010 was 63-37 (Lindsey Graham and four other Republicans, including Susan Collins, voted yea). The vote for Sonia Sotomayor the year before was 68-31 (including nine Republicans that time).

Of course, it’s important not to idealize the recent past either. One year after Scalia was confirmed, the Senate got embroiled in an operatic feud over the nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court, where the nominee ultimately lost in a vote of 58 to 42. The Republicans claimed, with not a little justification, that this was the first time a jurist was rejected for his views, rather than a lack of qualifications; the Democrats claimed, with not a little justification, that it was precisely those inflammatory views that attracted Ronald Reagan to him in the first place — that Bork’s nomination itself was a provocation.

In 2000, Scalia violated his own beliefs about the sanctity of states’ rights in Bush v. Gore, helping to end the Florida recount. (To anyone who challenged his decision, he’d simply say, “Get over it.”) In 2013, I interviewed Scalia for New York magazine, and I remember being stunned to discover that even a Supreme Court justice had been swallowed up by the populist tide: He told me point blank that he got most of his news from talk radio.

Two years later, in his dissenting opinion on Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark decision that deemed same-sex marriage a constitutional right, Scalia railed against the disproportionate representation of coastal elites on the bench, pointedly adding it contained not a single evangelical Christian or Protestant. (He then tossed in a disparaging line about hippies for good measure.) It is quite easy to imagine President Trump saying the same thing at one of his rallies.

Yet still, the friendship between Ginsburg and Scalia persisted. Just as powerful as their shared love of opera and jurisprudence may have been their upbringing in the outer boroughs of New York. Scalia was a conservative from a liberal metropolis; Ginsburg was a liberal who worked, increasingly, in a conservative court. It’s a good reminder that heterodox environments are essential to keeping our common humanity top of mind. The Supreme Court is a family of nine whether it wants to be or not; it has no choice if it wants to function. The place may be the ultimate purple state.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16256 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2020-September-22, 08:49

Isn't it curious that the Judicial branch of the US Govt. is so much more powerful than the Legislative? Why is that?

Outside of the US, most people can't name one member on their own nation's Supreme Court (or equivalent highest judicial authority). Yet, I'd wager that many of the same people can name at least 2-3 Justices of the US Supreme Court.

It's not because your SC Justices are superstars and ours aren't. It's simply that your Legislature has surrendered their law-making authorities to the judges instead. And there is so much concentration of power residing in these judges.

In most countries, if the Judiciary rules that a particular law must be interpreted in a particular way (not consistent with what the lawmakers intended), the Legislature often steps in to pass new laws that close the loop. I'm not sure it ever happens in the US.

I'm sorry but the mess is of your own politicians' doing and there is absolutely nothing that you the people can do to fix it. Honestly, your votes matter much lesser than the lobbying powers exerted by the rich & powerful.
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#16257 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-September-22, 10:25

View Postshyams, on 2020-September-22, 08:49, said:

Isn't it curious that the Judicial branch of the US Govt. is so much more powerful than the Legislative? Why is that?

Outside of the US, most people can't name one member on their own nation's Supreme Court (or equivalent highest judicial authority). Yet, I'd wager that many of the same people can name at least 2-3 Justices of the US Supreme Court.

It's not because your SC Justices are superstars and ours aren't. It's simply that your Legislature has surrendered their law-making authorities to the judges instead. And there is so much concentration of power residing in these judges.

In most countries, if the Judiciary rules that a particular law must be interpreted in a particular way (not consistent with what the lawmakers intended), the Legislature often steps in to pass new laws that close the loop. I'm not sure it ever happens in the US.

I'm sorry but the mess is of your own politicians' doing and there is absolutely nothing that you the people can do to fix it. Honestly, your votes matter much lesser than the lobbying powers exerted by the rich & powerful.


We no longer have a functioning government because - starting in 1994 - the Republican party decided that Democrats were no longer entitled to the status of loyal opposition but instead were deemed "the enemy", which must be defeated. This fit in nicely with the black and white worldview of many Christians, who were then granted permission by their leaders - both political and religious - to choose sides. This, in turn, was fed to fearful privileged whites as "American values", and any attempt to level the playing field for those of color was deemed an attack on "American values", meaning "white values", meaning "white privilege" if not outright racism. The overt racists learned to modify their attacks into more tolerable language - attacking "welfare queens" and describing help for those of color as discrimination against whites. This attack on "American values" required the equivalent of a war resolution to "save America" from the socialist left.

In other words, since 1994 the GOP has been running the long con - just as depicted in The Sting, creating a false reality that encouraged the worst faults of the grifted and expected the "marks" to abandon caution - and its natural conclusion was to elect a master grifter as president.

Any hope of the possibility of the continuation of self-rule can only come with a total repudiation of the Republican party's grip on power. After that, a complete reworking of the system of checks and balances must occur., including an abolishment of the electoral college and the format of Senate seat distributions. It is not appearing any of that will happen. The biggest shock is the rapidity at which American democracy has failed and the ease at which it was dismantled. And how easily we were conned.



"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16258 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-September-22, 13:14

More Republican/Russian talking points



Quote

Fox News and other conservative media began circulating a new talking point last week in the ongoing effort to sow doubt about the upcoming presidential election, warning that Democratic operatives and government insiders are plotting a “color revolution” to overthrow Trump in November.

“Color revolutions” is the term used for popular uprisings against authoritarian regimes, such as those that took place in former Soviet countries such as Ukraine and Georgia in the early and mid-2000s. Though it’s likely an unfamiliar term for most Americans, the recent warnings from Trump allies about an American color revolution set off alarm bells for some experts on the topic.




"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16259 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2020-September-22, 15:25

Agree with basically all of shyams' post but it's missing an important point IMO:

View Postshyams, on 2020-September-22, 08:49, said:

It's simply that your Legislature has surrendered their law-making authorities to the judges instead. And there is so much concentration of power residing in these judges.

In most countries, if the Judiciary rules that a particular law must be interpreted in a particular way (not consistent with what the lawmakers intended), the Legislature often steps in to pass new laws that close the loop. I'm not sure it ever happens in the US.

I'm sorry but the mess is of your own politicians' doing and there is absolutely nothing that you the people can do to fix it. Honestly, your votes matter much lesser than the lobbying powers exerted by the rich & powerful.

Why doesn't the US legislature fix laws when the Judiciary comes up with dubious interpretations of ambiguous statutes?
Because to pass a law in the US, the
  • House leadership, and
  • the majority of the House, and
  • the Senate leadership, and
  • a supermajority of senators (unless it can pass budget reconciliation, then it only needs a simple majority)

have to agree to pass essentially the same law. And that's only if POTUS agrees, otherwise it has to pass with 2/3-majority in each chamber.And of course I have simplified, the law also has to survive committees where members might try to insert poison pills on unrelated issues.

Sure, members of Congress deserve some of the blame (Senators could force the leadership's hand much more often to get them to act on bills that are popular and have a majority support in the chamber). But the main reason is the system, not the politicians themselves.
The easiest way to count losers is to line up the people who talk about loser count, and count them. -Kieran Dyke
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#16260 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-September-22, 15:33

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-September-22, 13:14, said:


I think you meant More Klan/Russian talking points.
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