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

#17341 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-December-31, 06:09

Linda Greenhouse said:

As Ben Smith, the media columnist for The Times, suggested a few weeks ago, pretty much every journalist who passed through Washington, D.C., during the past half century knows President-elect Joe Biden and has a story to tell. I’d like to end this strange year, and welcome the new one and the new president, by telling mine.

I met then-Senator Biden in the mid-1980s, when he was a member of the Judiciary Committee and I was covering the occasional judicial confirmation. By 1987, he was chairman of the committee, after the Democrats retook the Senate in the 1986 midterms. That summer, President Ronald Reagan nominated Judge Robert Bork to the Supreme Court.

Given the president’s success the year before in naming Justice William Rehnquist as chief justice and a little-known judge, Antonin Scalia, to fill Rehnquist’s associate justice seat, this nomination presented a huge challenge to Judge Bork’s opponents, and a disheartening one. Leaders of the liberal groups that assembled to fight the nomination of the outspoken conservative, a judge with reactionary views on civil rights and free speech, had little confidence that the Judiciary Committee’s chairman was up to the job.

Mr. Biden, then 44 years old, was generally viewed — and by “generally,” I mean to include the capital’s newsrooms — as an amiable lightweight, a showboat in love with the sound of his own voice. How could he go one on one with a nominee regarded as the leading conservative constitutional scholar of the age? In addition, the senator was competing in a lively race for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination, certain to have his mind on his own future rather than Judge Bork’s.

In what is now a well-known part of his biography, Mr. Biden surprised the doubters. He spent days and weeks over the summer in intense preparation for the September hearing, learning constitutional law in tutoring sessions with the country’s leading liberal law professors. In concert with some liberal groups, but against the advice of some on his staff, he decided to focus the hearings on the constitutional right to privacy.

This right is found nowhere in the Constitution’s actual text, but as developed by the Supreme Court in the mid-20th century, it had become the basis for, among other things, the right to contraception and abortion. Judge Bork was famously hostile to privacy as a constitutional concept in general, and to Roe v. Wade, the court’s 14-year-old abortion precedent, in particular.

Mr. Biden thought that if he could sell privacy to the general public as a concept under threat from a Justice Bork, he wouldn’t need to turn the hearing into a referendum on abortion. With six Republican senators joining all but two Democrats in opposition, the nomination was defeated by a vote of 42 to 58.

The contentious Supreme Court confirmation fights of the subsequent decades shouldn’t be permitted to erase the memory of the galvanizing ideological conflict that was the Bork battle. The hearing lasted three weeks. Mr. Biden presided with confidence and grace, all the more notable because during those weeks, his presidential candidacy imploded over what now seems like one of the sillier scandals of modern politics: his unattributed appropriation, at the end of a candidates’ debate at the Iowa State Fair, of a few catchy lines from a speech by a British politician. The morning he withdrew from the race, he walked into the hearing room and opened the proceedings with the comment “Look, my business is behind us. Let’s move on.”

When the hearing was over and the nominee’s defeat on the Senate floor assured, I asked Mr. Biden for an on-the-record interview. We talked for a long time. He said he knew exactly what the doubters had thought of him and that people raised three questions: “Can Biden be fair? Can Biden control himself? And is there any substance there, any depth to Biden?” He continued, “The expectations of me were so low that I could have done almost anything except punch Bork and people would have said, ‘He’s not as bad as I thought.’”

I’ve interviewed many politicians during a career in daily journalism that included covering Congress and, earlier, New York State government and politics for The Times. I’ve known officeholders who could talk endlessly about policy or hand out political gossip as if it were candy. What I hadn’t encountered was a politician like Mr. Biden, willing to let his guard down and reflect on his vulnerabilities. I was hardly the first or the last to discover this trait in our next president.

Mr. Biden told me as we ended the interview that he had telephoned Judge Bork, impelled to reach out to a fellow human being whose dream had just died — as, in a way, his own had at roughly the same time. “It’s presumptuous to say you know how somebody feels,” he told me. “I don’t know how he feels. But I empathize intellectually and emotionally. It once looked so certain for him. He was so up. I know how that feels.”

As the years passed, I saw Mr. Biden from time to time. He occasionally invited me to his Senate office to talk about a Supreme Court case that had caught his interest. By the time he ascended to the second-highest office in the country in 2009, I had left both the Supreme Court beat and Washington, and we didn’t stay in touch.

Cleaning out some old files this fall, I came upon an envelope addressed to me at the office, with a United States Senate return address and marked “personal and confidential.” Inside was a handwritten note from Mr. Biden, dated the day my article based on our interview had appeared. It read, in full, “Dear Linda, Thanks! As someone said, ‘I needed that.’ Joe.”

I had forgotten receiving it, and only after reading it over did I get the gentle self-mockery in the “as someone said,” from a onetime presidential candidate whose campaign had foundered on a ridiculous accusation of plagiarism.

I evidently never replied to the letter, so I’ll do it now. Thanks, Joe Biden. We needed you.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#17342 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-December-31, 15:49

From ‘Covid, Covid, Covid’: In Trump’s Final Chapter, a Failure to Rise to the Moment by Michael D. Shear, Maggie Haberman, Noah Weiland, Sharon LaFraniere and Mark Mazzetti at NYT

Quote

As the U.S. confronted a new wave of infection and death through the summer and fall, the president’s approach to the pandemic came down to a single question: What would it mean for him?

19 days 19 hours 11 minutes
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#17343 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-December-31, 20:05

So section 230 is now being tied to Covid support payments, after previously tying it to defence spending

I know politics is complicated and you probably wouldnt really know what anyone's motives are either way

But seriously. What's going on?

Its kind of a bit awkward being in a country/democracy where local politics has such global implications

EDIT The way everything from recent years (and I repsume) 2021 has looked or is looking, its another case of a few generations where people were given opportunity, but it went too far so the elites are trying to reassert their control. Seems to happen from time to time. And even better if you can use your technology to gain full control over the world (or large parts of it) it makes putting your foot down on the people easier and "cleaner" than in the past. But its still all the same gig. The elites play their power games any way they can while the people suffer cruelly and fight each other over scraps or under the orders of said elites with some phony conflict. It could actually be dirtier and crueller than past oppressions. Maybe even the worst ever

Important edit. Please dont misread that. I do not have a scale of cruelty and oppression. That could easily be misunderstood. That is not what I meant. Apologies if anyone was upset by that comment. Im talking about the scale, size and level of control over the whole world with the technology now available.

I do understand though that when the "utilities" we use for all our communications have become so tied up with media and other services there is a very important structural and trust issue for us all
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#17344 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-December-31, 22:45

View Postthepossum, on 2020-December-31, 20:05, said:

So section 230 is now being tied to Covid support payments, after previously tying it to defence spending

I know politics is complicated and you probably wouldnt really know what anyone's motives are either way

But seriously. What's going on?

It's nothing more than Moscow Mitch McConnell being hypocritical. He doesn't want to enable $2000 payments, but the larger payments have wide public support, and majority Senate support. Section 230 is something the Democrats and a few Republicans are firmly against so by tying Section 230 to the $2000 payments in the same bill, he will sink the payments because enough Senators will vote against Section 230 even though that also means voting against the $2000 payments.

That way Moscow Mitch can say that he brought up a bill for the $2000 payments without mentioning that he put a poison pill provision into the bill that guaranteed that it would fail.
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#17345 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2021-January-01, 02:42

View Postthepossum, on 2020-December-31, 20:05, said:

So section 230 is now being tied to Covid support payments, after previously tying it to defence spending

I know politics is complicated and you probably wouldnt really know what anyone's motives are either way


Yeah there is absolutely no way to find out why Section 230 is tied to the $2000 payments, and what the motivations are for doing so. No way except to read the news. Absolutely no way to find out that McConnell inserted a poison pill because he didn't want the support payments to pass, but knows they are unpopular so he doesn't want to hold a vote on them. It's just so completely unknowable.

It's also completely unknowable hwo McConnell can do so many unpopular things, and yet remain majority leader in the Senate. It's almost as if his party only needs 46% of the two-party vote to win the Senate. I mean, have there been any news stories about the Senate giving more weight to the votes of some citizens than others? I can't remember ever reading something about that.
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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#17346 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-January-01, 03:03

McConnell has said repeatedly that with Trump as a compliant catspaw (he obviously doesn't put it quite like that) the Republicans would be able to stack the Federal and Supreme court system for decades to come.
The 'social contract' between Trump and the republican party was simple. Trump avoids criminal indictment, Republicans get Judges.
Reading Bob Woodward's first book, it begins with a description of the Republicans laughing at the idea of Trump being taken seriously as a candidate. When the evangelicals came on board (solely because Trump was willing to get behind any delusional ideas they had) the Devils pact was solid.
Trump doesn't care about them and they don't care about him. Only a small minority of republican congressweasels such as the 'childlike' Louis Gohmert (see his Wiki entry) and a few slithering eels that think they can grab the rump of Trump's base still back his failed cause.
Now, Ben Sasse and others are saying words like sedition and treason: the obvious confederate nature of the Trump alliance is on full display.

What happens next? I predict two things. First, the newly (self) enfranchised young and non-WASP voters will continue to vote. BLM is a big concern in a positive way. Secondly, the 'Trump base' will wither away to its old small group of radical conservatives.

The Christians have their Judges the others have had their fun and can now see that it's a total failure and that experts are useful (Fauci is the hero not Giroir - 'the Admiral' as Trump calls him since Trump is illiterate and forgetful and Giroir is not a 16-year female.

So back to the normality of 1/3 hating another 1/3 and 1/3 not caring. The remaining problem of the worst wealth inequality, destruction of the climate and infectious diseases will go on the backburner.

American omnibus bills are always packed with pork. That's how they get things done. In Australia our parliamentarians are more effectively 'whipped' but each one has some funds to use as untied grants, so it's different.

Now they can all go back to putting the jahresendenfiguren on the pine tree - the few that can afford it and forget about reality again. That's what the entertainment industry in America does - anaesthetises the masses. Between TV and religion, Marx is looking pretty smug.
Non legit hoc
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#17347 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-January-01, 10:55

From Andrew Sullivan's review of "Conservatism: The fight for a tradition" by Edmund Fawcett

Quote

The survival of a moderate conservatism, a conservatism that accepts and is comfortable with modernity and liberal democracy, is indispensable to the stability of our polity as a whole. Moderate conservatism is a vital counterbalance to liberalism, as the Trump years have shown. For it to disappear into a populist cult, hostile to democratic norms, contemptuous of all elites, captured by delusions and sustained by hatred and ressentiment, would not be completely unprecedented. But, unchallenged by moderate conservatism, populist or “hard right” conservatism will be deeply destructive. In that sense, the battle for moderate conservatism is now inextricable from a battle for liberal democracy itself.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#17348 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-January-01, 13:23

Donald Trump is not smart enough nor cares enough about the details to have orchestrated this attempt to subvert the American democratic republic. The present bunch of Congresspersons and 1 Senator know they have no case. So why do it?

It is pretty obvious to me that this is nothing but a dress rehearsal and the brains behind the operation are deeply involved in the GOP. People like Karl Rove who see the diminishing majority of old white folks and who are trying to position themselves to win and hold power in any way they can. This silent coup rehearsal needs to be outed - and anyone associated with its performance needs to be removed from Congress.

The one thing the GOP has learned from Donald Trump - there is no room for shame.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#17349 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-January-02, 13:39

This quote from Yahoo perfectly sums up the Trump presidency - and sadly, I'm afraid it explains most of his supporters, as well:



Quote

Mr Trump apparently sees the end of his term and the congressional certification of his election loss in zero-sum terms. Losing over 50 lawsuits challenging the election and Republican leaders like Senator Mitt Romney saying that Senator Josh Hawley's decision to challenge the results in the Senate "is dangerous for democracy here and abroad", has not deterred the President from digging his heels in.

“The way he sees it is: Why should I ever let this go?… How would that benefit me?” The Daily Beast reported a source close to Mr Trump as saying.
my emphasis

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#17350 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2021-January-02, 13:49

So, there is our answer. US Democracy has been Trumped. And Hawleyed. And Cruzed. And...
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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#17351 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-January-02, 20:19

I have given this matter some serious thought and I now believe that out best hope is to replace the Senate Chaplain by a Senate Exorcist.
Ken
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#17352 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-January-03, 01:48

View Postkenberg, on 2021-January-02, 20:19, said:

I have given this matter some serious thought and I now believe that out best hope is to replace the Senate Chaplain by a Senate Exorcist.


Why not replace the Senators with Girl Scouts?
Here's what was written by someone in 2016 about Girl Scouts in the Macy's parade in the USA! What next? Votes for women?


Andrea Bastiani Archibald, chief girl and parent expert for the Girl Scouts, told Mashable that she hopes the float will inspire girls across the country. "I think we're really demonstrating that girls and girls should be taken seriously," she said. "It’s an opportunity to truly celebrate what girls are doing around the country." Hear, hear!


Hear! Hear!
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#17353 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-January-03, 09:00

View Postpilowsky, on 2021-January-03, 01:48, said:

Why not replace the Senators with Girl Scouts?
Here's what was written by someone in 2016 about Girl Scouts in the Macy's parade in the USA! What next? Votes for women?

Andrea Bastiani Archibald, chief girl and parent expert for the Girl Scouts, told Mashable that she hopes the float will inspire girls across the country. "I think we're really demonstrating that girls and girls should be taken seriously," she said. "It's an opportunity to truly celebrate what girls are doing around the country." Hear, hear!

Hear! Hear!


I have decided, cautiously and somewhat reluctantly, to join the 21st century. I was in the Boy Scouts for a couple of years and got a lot out of it. When I was 14 I decided I had had enough and quit, but I have good memories of camping. When I was 10, my friends and I did many things with girls and boys together. When I was 14 it would have seemed odd to share a tent with a girl. So Boy Scouts for boys only made sense to me. Times change.


Anyway, while I don't really believe in New Year's Resolutions, I have been giving matters some thought and I think I really will try to join the 21st century.. If it will have me.
Ken
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#17354 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-January-03, 14:11

OK, you Trumpsters. How do you justify the felony crime (on tape) of solicitation of a felony? (WaPo and WaPo also has the tape)


Quote

'I just want to find 11,780 votes': In extraordinary hour-long call, Trump pressures Georgia secretary of state to recalculate the vote in his favor

President Trump urged fellow Republican Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state, to "find" enough votes to overturn his defeat in an extraordinary one-hour phone call Saturday that election experts said raised legal questions.

The Washington Post obtained a recording of the conversation in which Trump alternately berated Raffensperger, tried to flatter him, begged him to act and threatened him with vague criminal consequences if the secretary of state refused to pursue his false claims, at one point warning that Raffensperger was taking "a big risk."

Throughout the call, Raffensperger and his office's general counsel rejected Trump's assertions, explaining that the president is relying on debunked conspiracy theories and that President-elect Joe Biden's 11,779-vote victory in Georgia was fair and accurate



Quote

Trump alternately berated Raffensperger, tried to flatter him, begged him to act and threatened him


This is nothing but pure panic - how much Trump crime is about to be uncovered and prosecuted by the New York?
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#17355 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-January-03, 14:30

View Postkenberg, on 2021-January-03, 09:00, said:


Anyway, while I don't really believe in New Year's Resolutions, I have been giving matters some thought and I think I really will try to join the 21st century.. If it will have me.


I'm certain that you would be welcome in any century Ken!

I also have fond memories of scouting and earning merit badges - competitive even then!
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#17356 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-January-03, 14:35

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-January-03, 14:11, said:

OK, you Trumpsters. How do you justify the felony crime (on tape) of solicitation inducement of a felony? (WaPo and WaPo also has the tape)






This is nothing but pure panic - how much Trump crime is about to be uncovered and prosecuted by the New York?



18 U.S.C. § 2

https://codes.findla...usc-sect-2.html
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#17357 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-January-03, 14:48

16 days 20 hours 12 minutes
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#17358 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-January-03, 15:54

Two or three moths back few people outside of Georgia and probably not all that many people in Georgia could tell you who Brad Raffensperger is. When the history of the Trump presidency is written he will now get prominent mention. It happens like that. Someone, often someone living a reasonably quiet life not seeking attention, is put on the spot and rises to the occasion. And what do you know, his choice is crucial. I'm glad it isn't me. I have no wish to be the center of attention, caught in a firestorm. We are in his debt. May his life return to normal.

When Midas touched anything, it turned to gold. When Trump touches something it turns to..., well, you don't want to be touched. Ok, don't bet on the Midas thing either, but that's past tense. 16 days and how many hours? We have repair work to do.

Ken
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#17359 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-January-03, 16:11

View Posty66, on 2021-January-03, 14:48, said:

16 days 20 hours 12 minutes


Hurry Christmas, hurry fast.
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#17360 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2021-January-03, 18:08

View Postpilowsky, on 2020-December-28, 14:56, said:

This raises the question: would the reaction amongst the American people to the current pandemic (the primary reason that Trump lost - and I'm no fan) have been any different had Obama or Biden been President?
The rights-based individualistic attitude where "you can't tell me what to do" would still be there.

I think it would have been different.

People take cues from the people in power. There might have been some grumbling, but Trump made anti-masking "fashionable" among his supporters. Also, downplaying the severity of the pandemic gave them more reason to object to impositions.

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