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

#16281 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-September-25, 06:44

 helene_t, on 2020-September-24, 19:15, said:

As I understand it, "virus particle" should here read "air droplet that carries the virus particle". The weight of the virus particle itself doesn't matter, even the heaviest virus would be plenty light enough to travel if it could travel alone. But it can't.

Well yes, more or less. The large particles from the original advice are actually muscosalivary respiratory droplets, which basically means the tiny droplets that we breathe out. Back in April it emerged in a range of papers from different groups that the virus could also travel on smaller air pollution particles and after further research it was found, in June, that the virus can be transmitted on a wide range of droplets and particles. That the CDC has not updated advice over 2 months later is remarkable.
(-: Zel :-)

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#16282 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-September-25, 07:05

David Leonhardt channeling shyams in today's The Morning newsletter:

Quote

The idea of an all-powerful Supreme Court — a court where justices with lifetime tenure have ultimate authority to resolve society’s toughest questions — has come to seem normal in today’s United States.

It’s not normal anywhere else. In no other democracy do judges serve for as long as they like. In most other democracies, the highest courts are less aggressive about striking down entire laws, as Jamal Greene of Columbia Law School told me. The courts instead tend to direct legislators to fix specific parts of a law.

An all-powerful Supreme Court has also not been constant in American history, largely because the Constitution does not establish it. The balance of power between the judiciary and the other branches of government has oscillated. The past two decades, when the court has intervened to decide an election, legalize same-sex marriage and throw out multiple laws, represent a high point for what scholars call “judicial supremacy.”

All of which suggests that the future of the Supreme Court does not depend only on who the justices are. It also depends on whether future presidents and Congresses choose to accept judicial supremacy.

The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg has moved that question to the center of American politics.

The Constitution certainly gives Congress and the president ways to reclaim authority. Jamelle Bouie, a Times Opinion columnist, has explained how Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln both fought their political opponents’ attempts to lock in power through the courts.

“If the policy of the Government upon the vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by the decisions of the Supreme Court,” Lincoln said in his first inaugural address, “the people will have ceased to be their own rulers.”

In recent years, conservatives were often the ones criticizing judicial supremacy, especially after Roe v. Wade restricted voters’ ability to decide abortion policy. Today, liberals are alarmed: The Republican Party, despite having lost the popular vote in six of the last seven presidential elections, may use the judiciary to dictate policy on climate change, voting rights, economic inequality and more, for decades to come.

The option for Democrats that has received the most attention is an expansion of the number of justices. But there are other options that seem less radical, Richard Pildes of New York University notes. Democrats could also pass a law restricting the court from reviewing some areas of the law — a power that the Constitution explicitly gives Congress. Or Congress could pass a law requiring six or seven justices’ votes for any decision striking down federal or state laws.

If Democrats choose any of these options, Republicans may retaliate in the future, setting off a destabilizing political arms race. On the other hand, the acceptance of judicial supremacy brings big downsides, as well. It may be tantamount to forfeiting political power for the majority of Americans.

“If protecting the right of the people to govern for themselves means curbing judicial power and the Supreme Court’s claim to judicial supremacy, then Democrats should act without hesitation,” Jamelle argues. “If anything, they’ll be in good historical company.” Of course, it’s all academic if Democrats don’t win the White House and both houses of Congress.

Other ideas: The historian Julian Zelizer has made the case against court expansion. The Economist magazine favors term limits for justices (which may require a constitutional amendment), and Maya Sen of Harvard has summarized the arguments for term limits.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16283 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-September-25, 07:14

A simple and I hope non-controversial remark.

Yesterday I got my write-in ballot. I will be voting next week. I think it is very important that we all decide early on whether we will vote in person or by write-in, and then we get no with it. Covid has created problems. This much is obvious regardless of political views. We need to do our best to have the vote go smoothly and to get the results as early as we can, consistent with careful processing. A large number of last minute write-ins will cause problems. So let's do our part. Often I can procrastinate as much as the next guy, but not this time.
Ken
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#16284 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-September-25, 07:24

Seth Meyers said:

I think the mistake was phrasing the question that way. You should have asked, ‘If Joe Biden wins, do you commit to playing even more golf?’


Trevor Noah said:

Can you imagine how fun it would be if the incoming president always had to fistfight the outgoing president? Yeah? Biden and Trump are gonna be at the White House recreating the geriatric fights from ‘The Irishman,’ while Kamala Harris has Mike Pence in a head lock? [imitating Mike Pence] ‘Oh no, my hair grazed her bosom. Now I’m going to hell.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16285 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-September-25, 07:51

 Zelandakh, on 2020-September-25, 06:44, said:

Well yes, more or less. The large particles from the original advice are actually muscosalivary respiratory droplets, which basically means the tiny droplets that we breathe out. Back in April it emerged in a range of papers from different groups that the virus could also travel on smaller air pollution particles and after further research it was found, in June, that the virus can be transmitted on a wide range of droplets and particles. That the CDC has not updated advice over 2 months later is remarkable.


Remarkable indeed. My brother is a retired Colonel, and back at the start of this pandemic I talked to him about the risk of travel, and he said he relied on information from the CDC as it was non-political. He and his wife are lifelong Republicans so I don't know how they are explaining the failings now. Myself, I never believed it was possible to do what Trump has done - but then who could have ever thought we would elect a mafioso as president.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16286 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-September-25, 16:33



Quote

Major news is coming in over the "case" of the nine "discarded" ballots from Luzerne County, Pennsylvania that President Donald Trump revealed to Fox News Radio on Thursday.

Here's what appears to have happened, and we're going to bullet point this so it's easy to follow.

  • The ballots were discarded by a temporary, or "contract" worker assigned to sort the mail who appears to have been following direction.
  • They ballots were military ballots, not absentee or other by-mail ballots.
  • The county immediately reported what happened to federal officials, who appear to have immediately politicized the issue.
  • "Because these ballots were returned in envelopes similar to absentee ballot requests, elections officials opened them," The Washington Post reports. "If the ballots weren't then enclosed in another envelope which shielded the actual vote being cast, they may have been considered 'naked ballots,' a term used to describe mail ballots returned without the voter's intent being protected.
  • The Trump campaign and the Pennsylvania GOP in a lawsuit argued that "naked ballots" should not be counted. They won that lawsuit. These nine ballots appear to be "naked ballots," and that appears to be the reason they were thrown out.
Here's how MSNBC's Chris Hayes sums it up: It's the GOP's fault.


"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16287 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-September-25, 17:29

 Winstonm, on 2020-September-25, 07:51, said:

Myself, I never believed it was possible to do what Trump has done - but then who could have ever thought we would elect a mafioso as president.[/size]

I don't know why you are insulting the Mafia in this way. I've seen documentaries where the Mafia helped the war effort during WWII which is more than Bone Spurs in Chief did in the Vietnam war. The Mafia may be murderers and criminals, but they aren't the Manchurian President.
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#16288 User is offline   sharon j 

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Posted 2020-September-25, 17:45

 johnu, on 2020-September-25, 17:29, said:

I don't know why you are insulting the Mafia in this way. I've seen documentaries where the Mafia helped the war effort during WWII which is more than Bone Spurs in Chief did in the Vietnam war. The Mafia may be murderers and criminals, but they aren't the Manchurian President.
This made me laugh.
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#16289 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2020-September-25, 18:54

 kenberg, on 2020-September-25, 07:14, said:

A simple and I hope non-controversial remark.

Yesterday I got my write-in ballot. I will be voting next week. I think it is very important that we all decide early on whether we will vote in person or by write-in, and then we get no with it. Covid has created problems. This much is obvious regardless of political views. We need to do our best to have the vote go smoothly and to get the results as early as we can, consistent with careful processing. A large number of last minute write-ins will cause problems. So let's do our part. Often I can procrastinate as much as the next guy, but not this time.

As Josef Stalin said, "It doesn't matter who casts the votes. What matters is who counts the votes." That's what worries me. I respect your right to cast your vote as you see fit. And I feel that you respect mine. But mailing out unsolicited ballots to god-knows-who really bothers me. If Biden wins fair and square I can accept that. If he wins by political chicanery...well life goes on and I hope my offspring (and yours) live through it. God (or whomever) Bless America.

#16290 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2020-September-25, 19:42

 Chas_P, on 2020-September-25, 18:54, said:

But mailing out unsolicited ballots to god-knows-who really bothers me.

Years ago I volunteered as a poll worker during many elections. In my experience, all of the poll workers -- republicans and democrats -- took our responsibilities very seriously. Training was mandatory and the procedures were tight. A representative from each major party was always present, and both signed the certification of the counts.

No absentee ballot was cast for anyone not registered to vote, and once you voted, your name was checked off on the same list used for in-person voting. There was no voting twice.

Also, I've never heard of a case of "mailing out unsolicited ballots to god-knows-who." If you aren't making that up, I'd appreciate a link documenting that. So far as I know, absentee ballots go only to registered voters who've requested them.
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The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists — that is why they invented hell. — Bertrand Russell
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#16291 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2020-September-26, 04:10

View PostChas_P, on 2020-September-25, 18:54, said:

As Josef Stalin said, "It doesn't matter who casts the votes. What matters is who counts the votes." That's what worries me. I respect your right to cast your vote as you see fit. And I feel that you respect mine. But mailing out unsolicited ballots to god-knows-who really bothers me. If Biden wins fair and square I can accept that. If he wins by political chicanery...well life goes on and I hope my offspring (and yours) live through it. God (or whomever) Bless America.


The fraud is often on the other end, in the referendum that gave changed the constitution to Putin's benefit, according to reports many people went to the polling station and were told they'd already voted by post and would be investigated for trying to vote twice if they complained.
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#16292 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-September-26, 05:29

Donald Trump has stated publicly at least twice three times in the last week that he will not agree to a peaceful transfer of power if he doesn't like the outcome of the election. There cannot be a more profound internal attack on the U.S. republic than that - it is the equivalent to a coup.

Supporting Donald Trump - by casting a vote for him - should be considered an act of sedition.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16293 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-September-26, 08:01

View PostChas_P, on 2020-September-25, 18:54, said:

As Josef Stalin said, "It doesn't matter who casts the votes. What matters is who counts the votes." That's what worries me. I respect your right to cast your vote as you see fit. And I feel that you respect mine. But mailing out unsolicited ballots to god-knows-who really bothers me. If Biden wins fair and square I can accept that. If he wins by political chicanery...well life goes on and I hope my offspring (and yours) live through it. God (or whomever) Bless America.


Here is my starting point: Covid has created a serious problem, and it is the responsibility of those who supervise the election process to make it safe to vote and to make the results trustworthy. My responsibility is to vote in accordance with the procedure that they lay out. I add on the suggestion that we can all help by casting a vote early so as to not overwhelm the system in this time of difficulty.

Both as a practical matter and by nature, I strongly believe that if/when things go wrong we should look first for the errors we have made rather than look for the errors of others. But in this case, it is the responsibility of those in charge of elections to make this work right. So, have they done so? I hope so. If there are specific areas of weakness these should have been identified and addressed. Vague assertions of distrust don't do the job.

Now as to details.

I received my write-in ballot by email, I had applied for it by email. It was a while back and I do not recall the procedure exactly but I went through an identification process that was a good deal more detailed and extensive than when I vote in person. My name is on the ballot, there is a ballot tracking number, I will be signing the ballot, swearing under oath and penalty of perjury that I am me, it is noted that the penalty for lying is a thousand dollar fine, or two years in prison, or both. I could mail it in, and I might of the line to drop it off is too long, but they are accepting drop-offs starting next week so I imagine things will spread out enough so that dropping it off will be similar to getting groceries, as far as covid danger is concerned.

You mention both how the ballots are sent out and how they are counted. As far as how they are sent out, the process seems very good. How are they counted? Well, I don't know. But then I have never known in ay election I have voted in. I had an experience in college, definitely at odds with the care Passed Out cites. I worked various jobs, some long term, some very short term. Somehow I learned that there was a one day job delivering ballots from one place to another and I did that. The votes were cast in location X, they were counted at location Y, I was a college kid with a car who took the ballots from X to Y. I suppose they were boxed in some reasonably secure way but for 45 minutes or so I was in sole possession of them. I suppose I could have done something., but of course I was trying to make a buck, not influence a vote. (It was some local matter, not a presidential election). I am hoping/trusting we will be doing better than that in 2020.

It should not be that difficult to provide a secure counting method, and if they want to do some random checks for accuracy they do have my name and the ballot tracking number.

If fraud is discovered then this has to be addressed. But vague claims about fraud are more than a little unsettling. We are holding an election at a very difficult time and any worries about insecure voting arrangements should be addressed by specific corrections rather by vague, and not so vague, hints that a result that is not liked will be declared to be fraudulent.

In short, I don't know the details, I never do know the details, but as near as I can see this is going forward in a manner that can be trusted. And yes, trust but verify is a good slogan. If I were to worry, I might worry more about electronic voting. I think most places now have a paper trail back up to use if needed. I hope so. Most everyone wants accurate voting. I see no reason to distrust the process I am using, or at least no reason to distrust it more than in-person electronic voting.

Just as an aside, coming to mind from your mention of Stalin. In high school I did a term paper on Josef Stalin. I also did a term paper on Douglas MacArthur. This was all back in the early 1950s just before Stalin died and when MacArthur was the old soldier who never dies but just fades away. The world was different. I am not quite saying that I miss it, but it was different.
Ken
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#16294 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-September-26, 09:09

The rot in this country has been incremental, and it started as we slowly adopted the right-libertarian ideals and started on the long road to neglect and even repudiation of the concept of "the public good." The end result is that we have elected Gordon Gecko as our Godfather, while a nation cheers his wily corruption and giggles about his theft of public goods.

Well, as least we were entertained; however, I've never been a big fan of the fiddle.
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#16295 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-September-26, 11:10

re: Vague assertions of distrust don't do the job.

This applies doubly to vague assertions by professional trolls. No integrity is no excuse.
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#16296 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-September-26, 11:28

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-September-26, 09:09, said:

The rot in this country has been incremental, and it started as we slowly adopted the right-libertarian ideals and started on the long road to neglect and even repudiation of the concept of "the public good." The end result is that we have elected Gordon Gecko as our Godfather, while a nation cheers his wily corruption and giggles about his theft of public goods.

Well, as least we were entertained; however, I've never been a big fan of the fiddle.


It's important to engage. Trump is not a Libertarian, Trump is a user. They are not the same thing.

When I was young I was trying to choose a path. I was looking for what I wanted, looking for how to get there. But I was not looking for how to con someone else. I am certainly not a Libertarian but I do feel that opportunity is a fundamental good. I would disagree with Libertarians who don't appreciate how important it is for government to provide opportunity, I would disagree with some on the left who, at times, seem to think that if someone fails to do what has to be done to follow up on opportunity then it is our fault. Some people make really stupid choices. There are times it seems that I want X ot succeed more than X wants himself to succeed. I assume that we have all had such experiences. Many and often, I would say.

So for me, it goes something like: Provide opportunity, then stay out of the way. That's largely how I recall what I was given in my early years, and I think Dems would get a lot more votes if it were clear they thought along these lines. If this is what they think, they could do a better job of putting it across. One way f putting it: I am more favorable to government giving people chance to do something, less favorable to a government telling people that they must do a certain thing or can not do a certain thing. In this last, I might find some common ground with a Libertarian. But probably only briefly.

At any rate, Trump is no Libertarian. User. Crook. Con man. Not Libertarian.
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#16297 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-September-26, 11:57

View Postkenberg, on 2020-September-26, 11:28, said:

It's important to engage. Trump is not a Libertarian, Trump is a user. They are not the same thing.

When I was young I was trying to choose a path. I was looking for what I wanted, looking for how to get there. But I was not looking for how to con someone else. I am certainly not a Libertarian but I do feel that opportunity is a fundamental good. I would disagree with Libertarians who don't appreciate how important it is for government to provide opportunity, I would disagree with some on the left who, at times, seem to think that if someone fails to do what has to be done to follow up on opportunity then it is our fault. Some people make really stupid choices. There are times it seems that I want X ot succeed more than X wants himself to succeed. I assume that we have all had such experiences. Many and often, I would say.

So for me, it goes something like: Provide opportunity, then stay out of the way. That's largely how I recall what I was given in my early years, and I think Dems would get a lot more votes if it were clear they thought along these lines. If this is what they think, they could do a better job of putting it across.

At any rate, Trump is no Libertarian. User. Crook. Con man. Not Libertarian.


Of course Trump is not libertarian. That was my point. Our rot did not begin with Trump. He is a symptom of a much deeper problem that began decades ago as the U.S.A. political elite slowly adopted the views of 20th century right-libertarianism.

The con was not invented by Donald Trump. There have been many who preceded him who used similar methods - he just took the lid off. But we have been told from Harding to Coolidge to Nixon to Reagan to Clinton and by the Chicago School of economics that if we simply adopted the free-market free-for-all of unbridled, unregulated capitalism that all human problems would be magically saved by the competition of the "invisible hand"of Adam Smith, although aware that the invisible hand of Wealth of Nations and the 18th century was dominated by small local markets that were limited by distance against monopolizing.

The con of that is not that free markets are bad; the con is to take a basic truth - some form of capitalism is our most useful economic model to date - and then make outlandish and unreliable claims about its abilities to solve problems. You see this again and again in the claims that tax cuts pay for themselves in increased economic activity. Time and again this has been shown to be untrue. It is now a mantra, chanted in support of a belief system, a religion of the right. We have all heard it - government is the problem.

No. Bad government can be a problem. But that can be fixed. The biggest danger is unregulated, unbridled capitalism. It is a zero sum game. Winners and losers. And if you are lucky enough to get yourself elected president and don't use the power of the government to make you and your friends richer you are a loser and a sucker.

And that is Trump - corruption as normal as breathing. But libertarian? No. I doubt he can even spell it.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16298 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-September-26, 17:30

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-September-25, 06:44, said:

Well yes, more or less. The large particles from the original advice are actually muscosalivary respiratory droplets, which basically means the tiny droplets that we breathe out. Back in April it emerged in a range of papers from different groups that the virus could also travel on smaller air pollution particles and after further research it was found, in June, that the virus can be transmitted on a wide range of droplets and particles. That the CDC has not updated advice over 2 months later is remarkable.

Obviously that would "panic" the American public and affect the election chances of the Manchurian President. In case you haven't been following the news, control of the CDC has been moved to the Fox Propaganda Channel.
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#16299 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2020-September-26, 19:25

View PostPassedOut, on 2020-September-25, 19:42, said:

So far as I know, absentee ballots go only to registered voters who've requested them.

If that is, in fact, the case then I'm all for it. But the key words are "registered" and "requested".

#16300 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2020-September-26, 20:06

View Posthrothgar, on 2020-September-24, 19:30, said:

I was so hoping that you were dead.
2020 is truly a horrible year.


It's refreshing to see that you are still in the turnip patch Richard. Live long and prosper.

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