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

#16761 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-November-04, 20:25

I hate to say it. I hope I am not alone in the following

1. Having concerns about authoritarian and manipulative/deceptive tendencies on both ends of any alleged (perhaps non existent) poliitcal spectrum
2. Finding it hard to see authoritarian/totalitarian states as a force for good in any way shape or form
3. Being concerned about the level of political/media/social media dialectic or some other kind of more manipulative approach to debate

You never know any more if anyone believes anything they write or if its all a variant on trolling

I have concerns about democracy everywhere and sicnereley hope the US system is able to protect against dangerous tendencies. I hope our democracy and institutions are able to hold off the destructive forces for evil/ forces of darkness and other rhetorical descriptors

EDIT As far as I can tell, last time there was a Democrat president and House with a Republican Senate was around 1885 or the like

EDIT 2 And if anyone wonders where my anxiety comes from it is related to technofascistic and other questionnable tendencies worldwide

EDIT 3. I eprsonally find it a bit concerning when the world reaches a stage where some of us have cocnerns for our personal well being (as well as that of the broader world), simply for engaging in debates on social media, interacting on social media, or even playing a hand of Bridge. Does anyone realise that given some of the forces in the world, the history of the world, and aspects of our personal or local/global politcal tendencies, that even expressing concerns like this could be used against us. Catch 22 really for some of us

EDIT 4. Another dangerous comment coming up (personally and professionally). While I was not going to buy into Winston's comment about psychologu and authoritarian personalities (for professional reasons) I will say one thing. It relates to my concerns of the powerful interests in this world and a coincidence of interests. I have some very serious cocnerns about the politicisation of certain important institutions and how their scientific objectivity may have become politically tarnished. Hope that is clear anough and vague enough to protect me. And while it seem crazy, coming from me, as someone from the progressive/left side of politics who has become increasingly concerned over some elements of those tendencies I was feeling (strangely) safer with a Trump Whitehouse

EDIT 5 And while strictly I may not be qualified (in the capital P Professional sense) to comment on all the intersecting themes above I personally believe I am at least small-p professionally qualified and entitled (as a global citizen) to express extreme concerns about all the coincidences of interests/tendencies with the power of all aspects of big tech, analytics, being profiled and analysed to death, political bias and maniuplation, big media, big academe etc and the fact that all those powrerful interests can be aligned to silence legitimate concerns
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#16762 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-November-04, 20:42

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-November-04, 20:09, said:

The Constitution mandates that the Senate must choose a president pro tempore. It is a mandated position in the US Constitution.

Perhaps the misunderstanding here lies in the fact that the current president pro tempore is Chuck Grassley, not Mitch McConnell. MM's position is an internal organisation of the party and therefore does not have anything to do with the Constitution or with formal Senate business. This method of organisation has been in place since the 1920s. Anything else I can explain for you?


Yes, you can explain why you have just explained something that I just explained two posts ago. That's exactly what I said. MM's position does NOT have anything to do with the constitution.
Are you brain-dead? Which part of 'senate-majority leader' is NOT a constitutionally mandated position is so hard to understand.

Are you paid to be the BBO troll or is this a volunteer position? you seem to be making a full-time job of it with Richard to back you up.
No wonder thepossum gets so annoyed with you guys.
See if you can google an intelligent comment while I'm having lunch. Cheer us all up Posted Image.
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#16763 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-November-04, 20:44

View Postthepossum, on 2020-November-04, 20:25, said:

EDIT As far as I can tell, last time there was a Democrat president and House with a Republican Senate was around 1885 or the like

You are correct - 1889.
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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#16764 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-November-04, 21:15

EDIT Apologies for crossposting. Both of us found a Wikipedia page :)

Posted Image

Graphic from Wikipedia https://upload.wikim...U.S._Senate.png showing the rarity of the likely configuration
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#16765 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-November-04, 21:47

Fox News, whose election coverage was perfectly reasonable up to the point they realised dodgy Donald was losing, have now degenerated into peddling conspiracy theories. It's kind of sad. :unsure: :angry:
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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#16766 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-November-04, 22:00

Agree. Apparently, the Fox election monitors operate completely independently of the opinion people in the "nerdquarium", who for some bizarre reason are untouchable.

Even Rupert hates being wrong I suppose.

It is kind of fun watching Rudy and the others spin themselves into twisted tangles of bizarre chaotic conspiracy theories. I particularly enjoy that look on Carlson's face that makes it appear that he has a permanent testicle torsion.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#16767 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-November-04, 22:41

The Fox analysis team under Arnon Mishkin is indeed a completely independent unit but I knew that before the election night. I meant that the Fox people running the election coverage were completely reasonable and showing accurate information. As Wisconsin and Michigan started their inexorable blue shift though, and Arnon's stand in posited the idea of Biden getting to 270, the host looked kind of stunned and there was something of a "does not commute" moment. There followed some desperate thrashing around to find a route for Trump to win and when that looked hopeless they switched to attacking Democrats for having had a disappointing night. You have to laugh.

If you watch now though you will see that the coverage has taken on a completely different note with an emphasis on legal questions and various conspiracy theories. Instead of Hillary's emails and Hunter's laptop there is Zuckerberg money and fake ballots. It really is a shame - I would like there to be a proper conservative news channel with an emphasis on American affairs. It is helpful to see coverage of some stories from different angles but Fox Opinion hosts just do not qualify.
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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#16768 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-November-04, 22:47

Well, to be fair on Fox opinion hosts, when Carlson was taken to court his defence argued that he was known to be completely mendacious and untrustworthy so why should anyone believe a word that he says?
Gutfeld is a self-styled comedian although the concept of a conservative American comedian is something I'm having a lot of trouble coming to grips with.

A bit like Trump telling jokes.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#16769 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-November-05, 05:53

I am guessing that by the end of today Biden will be seen as the winner, of course there will still be the issue of Trump challenges. With the paper ballots such as I submitted, the ballots are numbered, it should be easy enough to check that a random choice of, say, 5000 of them have all had the information on them properly entered. Then we can re-count the whole lot of them if need be, but really it seems the paper ballots, because of their physical existence, should be considered very trustworthy.

Now maybe Donald Trump doesn't like this. But neither Donald Trump nor Joe Biden gets to count votes he likes and throw out the ones he doesn't like.
Ken
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#16770 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2020-November-05, 06:07

View Postkenberg, on 2020-November-05, 05:53, said:

With the paper ballots such as I submitted, the ballots are numbered, it should be easy enough to check that a random choice of, say, 5000 of them have all had the information on them properly entered. Then we can count the whole lot of them if need be.

The method suggested sounds eminently logical. This makes it unacceptable to Trump (logic & Trump don't mix)!!

The courts will also probably disagree with your method. Yes, a logical process of counting things out sounds right but "that is not what the Founding Fathers intended when they created the Constitution". :) :)
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#16771 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2020-November-05, 06:26

For what it's worth, when it comes to actually voting machines (the kinds that get used at the polls), election security professionals have a strong preference for systems that

1. Use touch screens and the like to display ballots and select votes
2. Print a physical ballot that individuals can check to make sure that their votes where recorded correctly

The physical ballot is then handed to the poll worker and run through a scanning machine.

This type of system avoids a lot of problems with printing physical ballots while still permitting a physical paper trail for auditing.
Alderaan delenda est
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#16772 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-November-05, 07:27

NYT Editorial Board on Nov 4 said:

Count all the votes.

This shouldn’t be a remotely controversial proposition in a representative democracy. A complete and accurate count is the only way to determine the will of the people who cast ballots.

During even typical election years, the process can take days. It takes longer in the highest-turnout election in generations — and that’s before factoring in a pandemic that has driven tens of millions of Americans to vote by mail and has made it far harder to carry out even basic tasks, like vote counting, that involve many people being in enclosed spaces for extended periods.

A president who cared about upholding American democracy would do all he could to drive this point home with the public. He would set the example by reassuring the people that the nation’s time-honored electoral system is working as it always has — state by state, county by county, precinct by precinct.

President Trump, as usual, is doing the opposite. As growing vote totals in several key battleground states favored Joe Biden, Mr. Trump began casting doubt on the veracity of the counts.

Shortly after midnight, the president said falsely on Twitter that the election was being stolen.

A few hours later, in a rambling, middle-of-the-night speech from the East Room of the White House, Mr. Trump accused “a very sad group of people” of trying to “disenfranchise” those who had voted for him. He threatened to force the election into the Supreme Court. “We want all voting to stop,” he said. “We don’t want them to find any ballots at four o’clock in the morning and add them to the list. OK?”

“This is a fraud on the American public,” Mr. Trump continued. “This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election.”

The speech was one of the lowest, most disgraceful moments in an administration filled to the brim with strong competition. It was also self-contradicting. In the same breath that he cast suspicion on counts in states that appeared to be turning against him, he welcomed more counting in states where his totals looked like they were growing.

On Wednesday morning, Mr. Trump was at it again, compounding the damage with rageful, misleading tweets.

“Last night I was leading, often solidly, in many key States, in almost all instances Democrat run & controlled. Then, one by one, they started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted. VERY STRANGE, and the ‘pollsters’ got it completely & historically wrong!” he wrote in a tweet that Twitter flagged, along with several others he has sent, for containing “misleading” content.

Mr. Trump is right that the polls were off — by a lot, in some key states. But none of this is “very strange.” Neither candidate won the election on Tuesday night. That determination won’t be made by the candidates’ wishes or the media projections. It will be made by the voters and the workers who count their ballots. States aren’t even required to certify their count until Dec. 8.

In the meantime, there are no “surprise ballot dumps” that make votes “magically disappear.” It’s normal for vote totals to change, especially in the hours and days after polls close. When one or the other candidate pulls ahead, it’s not “flipping” the result, because there is no result yet to flip.

The irony is that the count could have proceeded more quickly in several battleground states, like Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, had Republican lawmakers there followed their counterparts in many other states and allowed for mail ballots to be opened and processed before Election Day. But despite repeated pleas for them to do so, they refused. Now Mr. Trump and his Republican allies are using that refusal to claim that votes are being counted too late. It’s as though they defunded the Fire Department and then got mad when their house burned down.

On Wednesday, the Trump campaign announced it would seek a recount in Wisconsin, where Joe Biden leads by a little more than 20,000 votes, or less than 1 percent. That is Mr. Trump’s right, although he will have to pay $3 million out of pocket for it, and statewide recounts only change the margin, on average, by fewer than 300 votes.

If anyone has reason to be upset, it is the hundreds of thousands of voters around the country whose mail-in ballots were never delivered to election offices. On Tuesday, a federal judge in Washington ordered the Postal Service to search 12 postal processing facilities in 15 states for any remaining undelivered ballots, which were generally cast overwhelmingly in favor of Democratic candidates. The Postal Service ignored the order, saying it would continue on its own inspection schedule.

It is understandable that Americans want to know quickly and clearly the outcome of the presidential election. But that doesn’t change the fact that it takes time to count 150 million votes. Across the country, election workers and administrators are committed to doing their job and are working long hours to ensure that every ballot is counted.

No matter how much the nation has come to expect this sort of behavior from Mr. Trump, he always manages to exceed expectations. That doesn’t make it better. To the contrary, it is extremely dangerous. Mr. Trump has for years fanned the flames of rage among his supporters and flooded American society with disinformation.

On Wednesday, Mr. Trump tweeted, “They are finding Biden votes all over the place — in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. So bad for our Country!”

Yes, Mr. President. That’s what happens when you count the ballots. It’s up to the rest of us, and especially you, to stay calm and let the electoral process play out as it does every four years. In the end, both parties will have won some and lost some. That’s not fraud. It’s democracy.

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#16773 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-November-05, 07:27

Binyamin Appelbaum, NYT Editorial Board said:

President Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday to air his frustrations with an election that doesn’t seem to be going his way, firing off baseless accusations that Democrats were stuffing ballot boxes in key Midwestern states.

The president’s fact-free fear-mongering is particularly galling because there actually is an organized effort underway to subvert the integrity of our representative democracy — but not by Democrats, and not by padding the vote.

Mr. Trump and other Republican officials fought hard before the election to discourage Americans from voting, and they are still fighting to prevent votes from being counted.

Republicans neutered the Voting Rights Act, purged voter rolls, shuttered polling places and kneecapped the Postal Service, preventing the timely return of hundreds of thousands of ballots. There is no way to know how many people might have voted if their government had sought to help rather than to impede them.

Republicans also sought to undermine public confidence in the integrity of the election by concocting fantasies about widespread voter fraud. And in Pennsylvania, Republicans prevented the counting of early votes before Election Day, ensuring there would be plenty of time for corrosive rhetoric and legal challenges.

As the editorial board writes, the immediate priority is to ignore the president’s provocations, win the courtroom battles and count the votes.

But after the votes are counted, politicians need to get down to the business of making it easy to vote. Some state and local governments took promising steps forward this year, for example by sending ballots to all registered voters and by expanding early voting options. But there is plenty of room for improvement, including in places like New York where voting remains embarrassingly difficult even though there are no partisan obstacles to reform.

I hope I never see another story about people delivering pizzas to voters stuck in long queues. It reminds me of the internet fund-raisers for Americans who can’t afford cancer treatments. It’s nice that people are nice, but it would be a lot better to solve the underlying problem.

Americans have grown accustomed to the idea that voting is hard. It does not have to be.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16774 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-November-05, 08:59

Nate Silver said:

So, AJC is saying 51,000 untallied absentee ballots in Georgia, most "concentrated in highly populated areas, led by Fulton County in Atlanta and Chatham County in Savannah." Biden needs 18,500 to catch up, meaning he'd need to win them 68-32. Very doable.

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#16775 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-November-05, 09:51

Remember that a vote for Trump was a vote for this:

Quote

A property management firm owned by Jared Kushner—who, remember, has been key in the White House's mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic—has filed to evict hundreds of families in the middle of another spike in virus cases, according to The Washington Post. Westminster Management, part-owned by President Donald Trump's son-in-law and White House senior adviser, has reportedly been sending letters to tenants threatening legal fees and filing eviction notices in court. Many of the tenants, who mostly live in Baltimore, told the Post they fell behind on rent after losing their jobs during the pandemic.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16776 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2020-November-05, 10:26

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-November-05, 09:51, said:

Remember that a vote for Trump was a vote for this:




Isn't that the sort of thing Trump's father was known for ?
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#16777 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-November-05, 10:38

What is misunderstood about the need for a total repudiation of Trumpism is that above all the USA must abandon intolerance, yet Trump is the living embodiment of that state. Without increased respect for the other side, the USA is finished as a major power.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16778 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-November-05, 13:29

The psychology of Trumpism:

Quote

Many of his followers will equally experience his downfall as a life-or-death matter, since he has conditioned this into them. Their bond is pathological to start, based on developmental wounds or regression to an earlier stage of development under stress, which led them to seeking a parental figure. They are thus vulnerable to someone manipulative and exploitative enough to say he will take care of them and protect them in unrealistic ways that defy reality. And once they do, they often give up their agency and rationality. Recent footage of his followers chanting, “Fire Fauci!” is disturbing in its depiction of their conformity, loss of personality, and alignment with Donald Trump’s thinking—to suggest proactively that he remove the reminder of his unwanted reality: the pandemic. Delusions, paranoia, and violence-proneness are among the most contagious symptoms, and we see all these tendencies in his followers.

Under these emotional bonds, his followers will likely experience any threat to his position as an existential threat to themselves, which is why negative facts about him only activate defensive denial and disavowal, rather than abandonment. Abused children rather blame themselves than the parent as a survival impulse, for the parent is their lifeline, and it is easier to believe that he or she could never do wrong—and the more untrue this belief, the more insistently they cling to it.


"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16779 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-November-05, 14:33

Spanberger on a conference call with Dems this afternoon:

Quote

We lost races we shouldn’t have lost.
Defund police almost cost me my race bc of an attack ad.
Don’t say socialism ever again.
Need to get back to basics.
(yelling) If we run this race again we will get f#cking torn apart again in 2022.

Edit: Not a Pelosi fan this one.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16780 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2020-November-05, 15:11

Someone on Quora were discussing what would happen if the EC is split 270-270. As I understand, it is the HoR that chooses the president but the senate that chooses the VP, so you would end up with Biden as president and some republican (maybe Pence?) as VP. Is that really correct or am I misunderstanding something?
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