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

#17941 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-March-04, 18:13

One of the biggest problems that I find with some academics is that (like many other people) they believe that having succeeded in one small area of knowledge acquisition, they are therefore experts in other areas about which they know very little.
For myself, I quickly discovered as I moved along in the academic world that I knew and understood less and less.
This 'structural uncertainty' that is part of every academics life makes scientists (and people that cleave to rational thought in general) appear simultaneously unsure about everything and incredibly arrogant. It's a truly bizarre concatenation, but there it is.

When a scientist/academic says, "I'm 90% sure that if we don't do something about climate change", they do not mean "If we don't do anything about climate change, things are probably going to be OK".
So it annoys me when I state something (carefully phrased to allow for the possibility that some of the struts of a carefully constructed argument are wrong) in an area that I know something about when others with no specialised knowledge quote something that a Journalist picked up second-hand and 'blogged' about in google as being equally valid.

This latter problem of 'cherry-picking' came into the mainstream as a side-effect of the information revolution and reached its apogee with Trump and his cogeners. The use of op-eds as evidence instead of synthesizing information from primary sources to present a well-founded perspective is now the rationalism du jour.

The reason that people do this is usually obvious: personal gain. Tragically, the value of wide dissemination of information has brought the opportunity for people to push an extreme position to generate an informational 'fog of war'.
This fog of "it could be", "it was published in a 'reputable scientific journal" represents the most odious of uncritical thinking.

I have personally reviewed hundreds of scientific articles in my career. Working academics will tell you that most of what is published turns out to be wrong (https://bit.ly/WrongScience).
It's not surprising that many scientists observe something and then publish it when they see an effect.

Recently, I have had some good results (by my standards) playing Bridge. It would be easy to conclude that this results from hard work, learning and consequently, improvement.
Sure, this may account for some proportion of the variance. For myself, I suspect it is equally likely that the overall quality of the candidature has fallen.




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#17942 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2021-March-04, 18:46

View Postpilowsky, on 2021-March-01, 22:41, said:

Being an atheist and a rational thinker does not deny the possibility that some things cannot be explained using existing models.
It does mean that - as a rationalist - I am always attempting to explain any phenomenon in a way that does not require the invocation of supernatural beings.
As it happens, I ascribe to Jewish ethics (which btw are focussed on how you behave in this world - not some "afterlife"). Most of the subsequent "new-fangled" religions as my father called them do the same.



To make it easier than constantly editing just a few comments. In relation to those metaphysical concepts to which you refer I personally feel able to incorporate/explain/understand them within my own rationalist/atheist mindset. I don't feel the need to dismiss them. They can all be explained or mostly explained through human psychology, subjective reaction to circumstances. I have no problem discussing concetps such as souls, gods, reincarnation, afterlife. They can have so many different meanings - maybe not those that others have - but we can at least try to conceptualise them. I appreciate to many that may be disrespectful but its the only way I can make sense of the world and try to understand as many people as possible

As an example, and please dont mock, I believe in spirits, ghosts etc. I personally have experienced ghosts in a building with many ghosts. However I know its a highly subjective experience and the reason I could feel them was projecting my knowledge of a place, my feeling and sense of a place onto my own psychology - I felt the anguish, the torment and the fear of the people who had been through that place. All easily explained by biology and psychology. But most people would not have felt anything

People live on in many ways after their biological death etc. They live on in other people, and often in very deep and profound spiritual ways etc They inhabit places, they inhabit inanimate objects. They are there and real to people who can feel them

Human evolution has lasted many hundreds of thousands/millions of years on top of the existence of this planet and all living things. How we are all connected, through the evolution of our brains, our cognition to being homo sapiens, followed by our migrations around the world, our different traditions and philosophies developed at times and places - responding to place and time - all different but at the same time all human and sharing uch of the same underlying psychology overlaid with the unique cultural and geographical and historical components etc. All those things can be thought about, discussed, conceptualised as both a shared human psychology and an individual and cultural psychology etc There have been hundreds of thousands of years since we all migrated (at some hypothetical common point in our shared history). When that happened - at different places and times around the world - how people feel about their place. I am happy to accept a model of both having shared human biology and evolution as well as a conceptualisation and believe of having grown from a place. I try to respect all views and beliefs and fit them into my understanding without being disresepctful - I hope. Its almost an impossible task but at least I try. How am I o live somewhere with one of the world's oldest cultures and try at least to understand and respect those Indigenous belief systems while tt the same time believing in my own cultural "Western" scientific background and evolution and migration etc. I actually have no problem with that at all - maybe others have a problem with me thinking I do

Another way of conceptualising things like spirit is energy etc

There are countless ways of concetpualising and discussing anything but surely we cannot just throw away history, culture, evolution of human cognition, shared aspects of psychology and those unique to our place, history and culture. We cannot all just be reduced to beings differentiated solely by our biology. Many of us have experienced things which are difficult to explain - feelings of connectedness to all things - I'm sure explainable by many via brain chemistry and neurology - some people take drugs to achieve it. But that connectedness cannot simply be dismissed. We have things like archetypes, deep parts of our psychology, our culture and history. Some may be shared by everyone, some specific to place. If migration to some places happened so long ago and so separated from other influences for many millenia, that is enough time for highly unique psychological and social development overlayed on our common human ancestry etc As with everything I say I have extreme anxiety at it being wilfully misunderstood by destructive interests. That is a risk we all face. Many people have been destroyed without even getting a chance to explain what they mean, with other people not even making an attempt to understand what is really meant. I do it - I tend to react sometimes
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#17943 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2021-March-04, 19:39

View Postpilowsky, on 2021-March-04, 18:13, said:

One of the biggest problems that I find with some academics is that (like many other people) they believe that having succeeded in one small area of knowledge acquisition, they are therefore experts in other areas about which they know very little.....



I quite agree. Sadly the media seems to have no problem inviting people on to shows to discuss stuff they know little about - academic or non-academic
I quite accept and sympathise with all your points

However I disagree that it is possible to always stack up authority against other views/experiences to totally reject and repudiate them. There is a thing called power, it looks after itself and actually can obstruct legitimate alternative paradigms and theories etc. And sadly too often highly trained and knowledgeable authority figures are too ready to dismiss something that another highly educated trained and informed person may say (based on experience, information and wide reading), simply on the basis of weight of authority. Argument from authority must be challenged no matter who uses it. It has some weight but not everything. I am assuming your rhetorical dismissal of some people's views as being based on Wikipedia or blogs was not aimed at me since I certainly never rely on a few simple sources in anything I say. They are often used as a simple example on a page rather than citing all my sources. Maybe look at all your own posts and see how often you use a fairly trivial source as your backing. Sometimes over stuff I think I would have as much if not more informed and broader knowledge. How about the post on psychosis and delusions in relation to president Trump. You produced a little bit of backing to back up your authority. Have you had a lifetime's experience of psychosis to inform you?

And in relation to power - it is a force all of its own and much so-called authority and knowledge simply seeks to perpetuate power whether it is right or not. Sadly some people are always on the wrong side of that power, maybe they always will be and will never be listened to. That is power. At least I accept it and how it compromises and corrupts so-called knowledge. I don't know many thousands of papers I have read/reviewed in one way or another (in a wide range of discplines too) - maybe not refereed in the academic sense. For me weighing up numbers of papers is not a good measure of the validity of anyone's arguments. It can help but its not everything

Also, many extremely educated and academically smart people (different types of smarts of course) choose different paths or have different paths available to them. They may also lack one critical skill which is the critical skill in academic advancement (ie writing in a particular way), not thinking, understanding but the one thing that gets people to progress through that system. Simply possessing that one skill is not enough to grant authority over anything. And I have heard many extremely senior academic people say things that were blatantly wrong and get away with it on that authority.

In terms of degradation of quality I also have serious concerns at the degradation of the term professor. It seems a trend in some countries these days that title is claimed by people at very junior levels of the academe (maybe with a prefix not understood by the ignorati). but not everyone can be a Professor, much as they would like to think they are

However I am not hanging on for somebody to develop a piece of equipment to measure and disprove the existence of spirits in a place which many of us (if not all) know are there etc

PS Finally the whole world has often be dominated and defined by a few groups who have the power to get things published. I believe that power and influence and control has grown even more and become even more concentrated and compromised by power and self-interest
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#17944 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-March-04, 19:47

View Postthepossum, on 2021-March-04, 19:39, said:


However I am not hanging on for somebody to develop a piece of equipment to measure and disprove the existence of spirits in a place which many of us (if not all) know are there etc


What a great idea! We could call it a "spirit-level" Posted Image

Useful in keeping as on an even keel...
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#17945 User is online   y66 

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Posted 2021-March-04, 20:17

Ezra Klein: Biden Is the Anti-Trump, and It’s Working

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American politics feels quieter with Joe Biden in the White House. The president’s Twitter feed hasn’t gone dark, but it’s gone dull. Biden doesn’t pick needless fights or insert himself into cultural conflicts. It’s easy to go days without hearing anything the president has said, unless you go looking.

But the relative quiet is deceptive: Policy is moving at a breakneck pace. The first weeks of the Biden administration were consumed by a flurry of far-reaching executive orders that reopened America to refugees, rejoined the Paris climate accords and killed the Keystone XL oil pipeline, to name just a few. Now the House has passed, and the Senate is considering, the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, a truly sweeping piece of legislation that includes more than a half-dozen policies — like a child tax credit expansion that could cut child poverty by 50 percent — that would be presidency-defining accomplishments on their own.

It goes on. The White House just sent Congress the most ambitious immigration reform bill in years. It midwifed a deal to get Merck to mobilize some of its factories to produce Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, and now Biden is saying there should be enough of a supply for every American adult to get vaccinated by the end of May. Imagine! The administration is also working on an infrastructure package that, if early reports bear out, will be the most transformational piece of climate policy — and perhaps economic policy — in my lifetime. Biden is blitzing.

This is roughly the opposite of how Donald Trump approached his presidency. Trump combined an always-on, say-anything, fight-anyone communications strategy with a curious void of legislative ambition. He backed congressional Republicans’ unimaginative and ultimately doomed Obamacare repeal effort, and then signed a package of tax cuts tilted toward the wealthy. It was bog-standard, Paul Ryan-conservatism — nothing like the populist revolution Trump promised on the campaign trail. Trump signed plenty of executive orders, but when it came to the hard work of persuading others to do what he wanted, he typically checked out, or turned to Twitter.

Even so, Trump convinced many that he was a political genius whose shamelessness had allowed him to see what others had missed: You didn’t win by being liked, you won by being all anyone ever talked about, even if they were cursing your name. “Very often my readers tried to persuade me there’s no such thing as bad publicity, and Trump had proven that,” Jay Rosen, a professor of journalism at N.Y.U., told me. “All that mattered was you were occupying space in the spectacle — not what was actually happening to you in that glare.”

One rebuttal to that theory was always obvious. “Trump never got over 50 percent approval,” Rosen says. “He’s a widely hated man, a one-term president.” For all the talk of Teflon Don, Trump paid a price for his antics and affronts and scandals. Bad publicity actually is bad publicity.

But another way of looking at it is that Trump’s communication strategy was successful in getting Trump what he actually wanted: Attention, not legislation. Biden wants legislation, not attention, and that informs his team’s more targeted approach. “You can be all over every newscast and insert yourself in every conversation, but if you aren’t driving that conversation toward a focused agenda, it isn’t doing you a lot of good,” Kate Bedingfield, the White House communications director, told me.

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#17946 User is online   y66 

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Posted 2021-March-04, 20:21

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-March-04, 16:51, said:

The New Yorker has an excellent article depicting the binary thinking patterns of the Christian Nationalist insurrectionists who attacked the capital with the intent to stop the peaceful transfer of power.

Quote

... “Thank you, divine, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent creator God for filling this chamber with your white light and love, your white light of harmony. Thank you for filling this chamber with patriots that love you and love Christ who was also white.”


fyp
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#17947 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2021-March-04, 20:40

View Postpilowsky, on 2021-March-04, 19:47, said:

What a great idea! We could call it a "spirit-level" Posted Image

Useful in keeping as on an even keel...


:)

PS sorry about my edits I keep on writing and editing

PPS Do you know how often I have been irritated by academics of many different disciplines using Heisenberg or Schroedinger as part of their arguments. I actually studied quantum physics at uni :)

PS If anyone wonders at my lvels of anxiety and nature of my posts I hope they never take them the wrong way. Unlike some philosophical arguments you actually have to know the entirety of a person's circumstances, experience and history before judging how they react. Some people sadly don't think that way. They also seem to believe that the author of a text is unimportant and that the meaning they were intending to impart was unimportant too
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#17948 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2021-March-05, 15:09

Murdoch finally admits what Fox News is all about

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Network is the "Loyal Opposition" to Biden


Just in case anybody was of the "opinion" that the Fox Propaganda Channel was anything but a mouthpiece for the Republican Party, this should set them straight. The "Unfair and Unbalanced" channel is finally out in the open, even though any independent thinker would have come to this conclusion decades ago.

The last time I watched anything on the Fox Propaganda Channel was on inauguration day, January 20, 2021. I wanted to see what the Fox coverage would be like. IIRC it was the white supremacist Carlson's show, and he spent about a 10 minute segment on the show talking about a Teddy Roosevelt statue controversy that wasn't even on Federal property that had been going on since June 2020.

Absolutely amazing. On the day when the office of the most powerful person in the world is changing from twice impeached Manchurian President to President Joe Biden, Fox makes a conscious decision to spend a significant portion of a prime time program on one of the most important political days of the year, to revisit an old and many times rehashed right fringe source of fake outrage removal of statues.
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#17949 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2021-March-05, 20:01

The title of this thread is "Has U. S. Democracy Been Trumped?" It was begun on 17 August, 2015, and now has 3,664, 503 views and 17,947 replies. The subtitle is "Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America." That is a very interesting question. Trump is now gone. So a more interesting question in my mind is now "Who is actually the POTUS?" To anyone with one eye and half a brain it obviously is not Joe Biden. Ostensibly he won the Presidential election. But the puppet masters have kept him hidden away because, for all outward appearances (what few there have been), he really doesn't know where he $hit last. So will the real President of the United States please stand up? Who is it? Pelosi? Obama? Zuckerberg? Bezos? Dorsey? Inquiring minds want to know.

#17950 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2021-March-05, 21:06

View PostChas_P, on 2021-March-05, 20:01, said:

So a more interesting question in my mind is now "Who is actually the POTUS?" To anyone with one eye and half a brain it obviously is not Joe Biden. Ostensibly he won the Presidential election. But the puppet masters have kept him hidden away because, for all outward appearances (what few there have been), he really doesn't know where he $hit last.

You might be onto something with with your "anyone with one eye and half a brain" observation. I have two eyes and a whole brain, so that's not my assessment at all.

I saw Biden in person during the primaries, watched the debates and his inaugural speech, and he seemed up to the job to me. Clearly he's suffered the ravages of age, but so have I, and so has Trump. And Biden has appointed people who know what they are doing, so he doesn't have to do it all himself. Trump was a one man show and an embarrassment to the country almost every day. That's why most voters made it a point to replace Trump with Biden.

I've been a conservative businessman all my life and would be happy to be able to vote for a republican again. Unless the party gets out of the grip of the Trump thugs, though, I don't see that being possible.

Is there anything specific you can point to that suggests that Biden has the amount of dementia you claim? I don't remember hearing Biden suggest that we ingest bleach or make any of the other inane comments that we heard from the previous POTUS. Biden did express opposition to Neanderthal thinking recently, but I oppose Neanderthal thinking too.
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#17951 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-March-05, 21:59

View PostChas_P, on 2021-March-05, 20:01, said:

The title of this thread is "Has U. S. Democracy Been Trumped?" It was begun on 17 August, 2015, and now has 3,664, 503 views and 17,947 replies. The subtitle is "Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America." That is a very interesting question. Trump is now gone. So a more interesting question in my mind is now "Who is actually the POTUS?" To anyone with one eye and half a brain it obviously is not Joe Biden. Ostensibly he won the Presidential election. But the puppet masters have kept him hidden away because, for all outward appearances (what few there have been), he really doesn't know where he $hit last. So will the real President of the United States please stand up? Who is it? Pelosi? Obama? Zuckerberg? Bezos? Dorsey? Inquiring minds want to know.


That's hilarious. What "inquiring minds"?
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#17952 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2021-March-06, 05:19

View Postpilowsky, on 2021-March-05, 21:59, said:

That's hilarious. What "inquiring minds"?

Oh come now, it is quite obvious to everyone that Biden is an evil Reptilian whereas Trump and Mitch are merely Martians. Moreover, those inquiring minds have known for some time that there is a massive pod conversion depot in South America, hence the necessity for a wall. The GOP are in fact heroically defending the Solar System against illegal aliens. If you cannot see this, you are surely being affected by the global mind wave. Break free of your alien masters and rise up to overthrow the Reptilians!
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#17953 User is online   y66 

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Posted 2021-March-06, 08:26

Trolls have half a brain? Is that supposed to be reassuring?
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#17954 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-March-06, 11:24

View PostPassedOut, on 2021-March-05, 21:06, said:

You might be onto something with with your "anyone with one eye and half a brain" observation. I have two eyes and a whole brain, so that's not my assessment at all.

I saw Biden in person during the primaries, watched the debates and his inaugural speech, and he seemed up to the job to me. Clearly he's suffered the ravages of age, but so have I, and so has Trump. And Biden has appointed people who know what they are doing, so he doesn't have to do it all himself. Trump was a one man show and an embarrassment to the country almost every day. That's why most voters made it a point to replace Trump with Biden.

I've been a conservative businessman all my life and would be happy to be able to vote for a republican again. Unless the party gets out of the grip of the Trump thugs, though, I don't see that being possible.

Is there anything specific you can point to that suggests that Biden has the amount of dementia you claim? I don't remember hearing Biden suggest that we ingest bleach or make any of the other inane comments that we heard from the previous POTUS. Biden did express opposition to Neanderthal thinking recently, but I oppose Neanderthal thinking too.


I pressed a "like" for your post but that seemed inadequate.
Among the things I agree with, strongly agree with, is the hope that we can have Republican candidates that I can vote for.

An example of my current thinking:
It now looks as if I will not be getting any cash from the next stimulus. That's fine, I said it would be fine and it is. Now I hope they don't say "Hey, now that we are not giving Ken and all that money let's give 50K to everyone who took out a student loan."
I'm fine with helping people, not so fine with tossing out cash without thought.

Anyway, I like what you said.
Ken
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#17955 User is online   y66 

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Posted 2021-March-06, 12:25

Senate Democrats Pass $1.9 Trillion Covid-19 Relief Plan

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Legislation providing jobless benefits and direct payments now returns to the House for approval before it’s sent to President Biden

This is going to help a lot of people.
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#17956 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-March-06, 12:45

View PostZelandakh, on 2021-March-06, 05:19, said:

Oh come now, it is quite obvious to everyone that Biden is an evil Reptilian whereas Trump and Mitch are merely Martians. Moreover, those inquiring minds have known for some time that there is a massive pod conversion depot in South America, hence the necessity for a wall. The GOP are in fact heroically defending the Solar System against illegal aliens. If you cannot see this, you are surely being affected by the global mind wave. Break free of your alien masters and rise up to overthrow the Reptilians!


That's true, I forgot about the pods. I have heard from somebody that the people in the pods also operate lasers in space, but I'm not sure. I really think someone ought to investigate.
Also, is it true that these pod people communicate using special nets called podcasts? I don't know, I'm just asking. One thing that I am pretty sure about is that Elon Musk might be sending people carriers to Mars so that he can bring some of these people back to California - so my friend on the news said anyway, could it be true?


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#17957 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-March-06, 16:49

View Posty66, on 2021-March-06, 12:25, said:

Senate Democrats Pass $1.9 Trillion Covid-19 Relief Plan


This is going to help a lot of people.


Which automatically means the Republicans Trumplicans oppose it.
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#17958 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2021-March-06, 18:38

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-March-06, 16:49, said:

Which automatically means the Republicans Trumplicans oppose it.


US Congressional Republicans automatically oppose it. Some polls show that around half of Republican voters supported the 1.9 trillion relief bill. 0% of House Republicans and 0% of Senate Republicans supported it. About as strong a bipartisan vote from Congressional Republicans as I expected.
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#17959 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2021-March-06, 21:22

View PostPassedOut, on 2021-March-05, 21:06, said:


Is there anything specific you can point to that suggests that Biden has the amount of dementia you claim?

Did you see him the other day say, "I'm happy to answer questions if that's what I'm supposed to do"? Then his handlers cut off the feed. If he's truly carrying out "his" agenda that's fine with me. He's the duly-elected POTUS;I have no qualms with that and truly want him to be successful. But when he says, "if that's what I'm supposed to do" it makes me wonder whose agenda it truly is. It just makes me a little nervous to think that the leader of the free world has to wait for instructions

#17960 User is online   y66 

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Posted 2021-March-07, 09:21

View Postjohnu, on 2021-March-06, 18:38, said:

US Congressional Republicans automatically oppose it. Some polls show that around half of Republican voters supported the 1.9 trillion relief bill. 0% of House Republicans and 0% of Senate Republicans supported it. About as strong a bipartisan vote from Congressional Republicans as I expected.

Can Dems exploit the gap between what Republican voters want and what Republican politicians support doing by focusing on bread and butter issues for the middle class? We'll see.
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