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

#19101 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-November-01, 11:27

View Posty66, on 2021-November-01, 07:50, said:

You know the culture war stuff is out of control when even wiser heads here in the water cooler can't resist bringing it up.


I meant it as more than just bringing it up.
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#19102 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-November-01, 13:29

View Postkenberg, on 2021-November-01, 11:27, said:

I meant it as more than just bringing it up.


Mike Logfren, 30-year Republican staffer, wrote this in 2011 about why he was leaving the Senate:

Quote

It should have been evident to clear-eyed observers that the Republican Party is becoming less and less like a traditional political party in a representative democracy and becoming more like an apocalyptic cult, or one of the intensely ideological authoritarian parties of the 20th century Europe.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
"I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
"I'd very like to do more, but I'm very small and far away." Gioia Maria
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#19103 User is offline   akwoo 

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Posted 2021-November-01, 13:36

I think a good deal of the Trump vote is resentment against a society where those who have the good fortune (and it is mostly fortune) to be intelligent and educated are much better off in life than those who do not.

Much is said about the inequality between billionaires and the rest of us. Actually, billionaires don't really matter that much because there are just so few of them. Much more of a problem in our economy is that the average software engineer makes 5 times as much as the person working fast food (even full time). That's why the real estate market in so many cities is broken; over time, the amount the software engineer can spend to buy up the house next to his and leave it empty to have fewer neighbors is greater than the amount the fast food worker can spend to buy that same house to live in. (Of course, for the most part people aren't buying houses to leave them vacant - what actually happens is that one big house sells for more than several smaller houses occupying the same space and costing the same to build, and developers react accordingly.)

That's the reason I don't think the current bout of inflation is necessarily bad. If it's part of the fix for this inequality (by raising the wages for fast food workers more than the wages for software engineers), it's a good thing.

Now I'm quite pessimistic about this whole thing most of the time, because I tend to think that the reason software engineers are paid 5 times as much as fast food workers is that they are actually 5 times or 10 times or 100 times more productive, in which case we soon have a society where half of us are effectively disabled, and I don't see how a society where half are disabled doesn't blow up. (A society where 95% are disabled is fine!)
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#19104 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-November-01, 13:38

Trump is a Colossal squid.
Swimming around in the depths taking whatever it wants and releasing vast amounts of lawyers when it gets annoyed.


The question is: is Garland a sperm whale or just a Patagonian toothfish?
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#19105 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-November-01, 13:47

View Postkenberg, on 2021-November-01, 07:37, said:


Trump is an ongoing menace, and we must face that.

I take a view that I think some (many?) on this thread see as naive. I acknowledge that there are quite a few people out there who have many grievances. Maybe some of the grievances can be worked with, maybe some cannot. But I think with many of these people they will, at some point, decide that the true awfulness of Trump rules out support for him.


My argument from this is that we all must give priority to coping with Trump.

my emphasis

I hope you don't mind the emphasis but that is the only part of your statements with which I disagree. My point here is that Trump came down the elevator mid-June of 2015 and immediately began spewing his vitriol - I would think 6 1/2 years enough time to realize the errors of one's way. I hope I am wrong about this as being right means little hope for the future.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#19106 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-November-01, 15:00

It's worth remembering that millions more people voted for Trump in 2020 than in 2016.


Currently, the USA appears to favour totalitarianism over democracy.
"All votes are equal, but my vote is more equal than yours." - especially if you aren't a white heterosexual male (females grudgingly tolerated) who believes in the tooth fairy.


Biden succeeded because of Stacey Abrams - not because all the people that voted for Trumpism in 2016 suddenly realised that racism is wrong, God doesn't exist, and big bird isn't funny.


E Pluribus Unum is a disastrous way to run a political system. One person is not all-powerful and knows everything.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek.
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#19107 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-November-01, 15:15

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-November-01, 13:47, said:


my emphasis

I hope you don't mind the emphasis but that is the only part of your statements with which I disagree. My point here is that Trump came down the elevator mid-June of 2015 and immediately began spewing his vitriol - I would think 6 1/2 years enough time to realize the errors of one's way. I hope I am wrong about this as being right means little hope for the future.


I am glad to have you highlight it, it was my central point. After you and I and many others, on this thread and elsewhere, agree that Trump is, as said above, a squid there is still the question of what now. I am suggesting, and I have long been suggesting, that there are people out there who, to just use my Toni Morrison example, do not wish to see Beloved assigned in high school but still oppose breaking into the capitol hoping to hang Pence.

I believe that ignoring this distinction is a severe mistake on two levels. First, it oversimplifies people. Second, it is the worst possible approach to dealing with the Trump menace.

Toni Morrison came to mind because of the role it is playing in Va elections. And the Maryland Book example came to mind because I live here. And tried reading it. But moving on to other topics, I was listening, as I do, to the PBS Newshour and they were looking at the referendum in Minneapolis to change the rules for funding the police. Apparently, this is not supported in predominantly Black North Minneapolis. Defunding is a White activist thing, most residents of North Minneapolis see police as needed. They live there. And I was reading in WaPo an interview with a Black guy running for Mayor somewhere (to be elected or re-elected I can't recall). He described "Defund the police" as the dumbest slogan invented in all of history (ok, he exaggerates) and he is busy trying to convince voters he does not agree with it.

In short, my view is that there are many people out there who do not wish to read Beloved, do not wish their high school age kids to have a classroom discussion of fellatio and its relationship to the consumption of pecans, value police as needed, but also do not support string up Mike Pence. I regard such people as citizens in good standing. We will need their help in saving us from Trump.

As I have mentioned, my pastor, when I was 14, told me I had to get my parents to come to church so they wouldn't burn in the fires of hell. If he had just said, "Hey Ken, and chance you can get your parents to come with you next Sunday?" I might still be attending church services. Well, probably not, but his actual approach was a big shove out the door. When we shove people out the door, they go somewhere else.
Ken
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#19108 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-November-01, 16:41

View Postkenberg, on 2021-November-01, 15:15, said:

I am glad to have you highlight it, it was my central point. After you and I and many others, on this thread and elsewhere, agree that Trump is, as said above, a squid there is still the question of what now. I am suggesting, and I have long been suggesting, that there are people out there who, to just use my Toni Morrison example, do not wish to see Beloved assigned in high school but still oppose breaking into the capitol hoping to hang Pence.

I believe that ignoring this distinction is a severe mistake on two levels. First, it oversimplifies people. Second, it is the worst possible approach to dealing with the Trump menace.

Toni Morrison came to mind because of the role it is playing in Va elections. And the Maryland Book example came to mind because I live here. And tried reading it. But moving on to other topics, I was listening, as I do, to the PBS Newshour and they were looking at the referendum in Minneapolis to change the rules for funding the police. Apparently, this is not supported in predominantly Black North Minneapolis. Defunding is a White activist thing, most residents of North Minneapolis see police as needed. They live there. And I was reading in WaPo an interview with a Black guy running for Mayor somewhere (to be elected or re-elected I can't recall). He described "Defund the police" as the dumbest slogan invented in all of history (ok, he exaggerates) and he is busy trying to convince voters he does not agree with it.

In short, my view is that there are many people out there who do not wish to read Beloved, do not wish their high school age kids to have a classroom discussion of fellatio and its relationship to the consumption of pecans, value police as needed, but also do not support string up Mike Pence. I regard such people as citizens in good standing. We will need their help in saving us from Trump.

As I have mentioned, my pastor, when I was 14, told me I had to get my parents to come to church so they wouldn't burn in the fires of hell. If he had just said, "Hey Ken, and chance you can get your parents to come with you next Sunday?" I might still be attending church services. Well, probably not, but his actual approach was a big shove out the door. When we shove people out the door, they go somewhere else.


I don't think we have that much disagreement. It's only that I believe the people you describe are not Trump supporters but are more anti-liberal. I agree that Defund the Police was a stupid slogan ( but the idea behind it is sound). But I don't think the answers come from the left. It is the effectiveness of propaganda that is the culprit. (I have had the impression that even you have been a victim of the totally false issue of critical race theory promoted by the right disinformation campaign.)

I supported a much more liberal candidate but came to the conclusion that Joe Biden was the only Democrat who could defeat Trump. At this point, I think the Democratic Party needs another John or Bobby Kennedy. Someone has to be able to light a fire for moving this country slightly left or we are in trouble of looking like Hungary in only a few more years.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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"I'd very like to do more, but I'm very small and far away." Gioia Maria
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#19109 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2021-November-01, 17:33

View Postkenberg, on 2021-November-01, 15:15, said:

After you and I and many others, on this thread and elsewhere, agree that Trump is, as said above, a squid there is still the question of what now.

I agree with you 100% prof. Trump is not the answer but, in my opinion, neither are Biden, Schumer, and Pelosi. We need a return to common sense...like you and me marching to D. C. and taking over. Where can we meet?

#19110 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-November-01, 19:00

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-November-01, 16:41, said:

I don't think we have that much disagreement. It's only that I believe the people you describe are not Trump supporters but are more anti-liberal. I agree that Defund the Police was a stupid slogan ( but the idea behind it is sound). But I don't think the answers come from the left. It is the effectiveness of propaganda that is the culprit. (I have had the impression that even you have been a victim of the totally false issue of critical race theory promoted by the right disinformation campaign.)

I supported a much more liberal candidate but came to the conclusion that Joe Biden was the only Democrat who could defeat Trump. At this point, I think the Democratic Party needs another John or Bobby Kennedy. Someone has to be able to light a fire for moving this country slightly left or we are in trouble of looking like Hungary in only a few more years.

Here is a headline from a recent WaPo story.

In a setback for Black Lives Matter, mayoral campaigns shift to 'law and order'


Think about that for a moment. Perhaps it does not actually say it, but it strongly implies, that Black Lives Matter and Law and Order are mutually exclusive. So imagine a person, just some ordinary guy who mostly reads the sports section of the newspaper, and imagine a pollster saying "Do you choose Black Lives Matter or do you choose Law and Order? You must choose one, you are forbidden to choose both" He will choose?

I think that it is crucial to make the case that a person can be in favor of both.

After looking up the article I cite above I checked to see if I correctly described the account of the mayoral candidate. Here is a fuller expression;

Quote




In an interview, Bibb accused Kelley of "using Trump talking points" against him, a reference to President Donald Trump's "law and order" campaign strategy last year.

"I will not run away from this narrative that you can't have effective law enforcement while also focusing on police accountability and equal justice under the law," Bibb said.

Still, Bibb concedes his task has become harder this year because many voters think Democrats want to "defund the police."

"It was the worst label and the worst branding in American political history," Bibb said. "It boxed many of us in because anytime we talk about police accountability or police reform, the other side says it is 'defund the police' and we don't support police officers."

"And when we [Democrats] overplayed our hands with defund the police, we are forced to go back to the other extreme," Bibb added.



So I think I got it right.

As far as CRT is concerned, I have been saying conversation about it is pretty hopeless because no two people agree on what it means.

I will be interested in hearing about the Minneapolis vote on their referendum.

As to "anti-liberal". Do we have to do that? I oppose the government paying off student debt. I am not anti-liberal. I am not pro-liberal. I am opposed to the government paying off student debt. Or, if they do it, then I think that the guy who worked his butt off to successfully pay off their debt should get a refund, else you are saying "You moron. You kept your debts as low as possible and then worked hard to pay them off. How stupid can you get? The correct strategy was to borrow as much as possible and then get the government to pay it off ". I do think that the people who designed the student loan program should have an asterisk next to their name and should never again be trusted to design anything. But I am not anti-liberal.


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#19111 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-November-01, 19:24

View Postkenberg, on 2021-November-01, 19:00, said:

Here is a headline from a recent WaPo story.

In a setback for Black Lives Matter, mayoral campaigns shift to 'law and order'


Think about that for a moment. Perhaps it does not actually say it, but it strongly implies, that Black Lives Matter and Law and Order are mutually exclusive. So imagine a person, just some ordinary guy who mostly reads the sports section of the newspaper, and imagine a pollster saying "Do you choose Black Lives Matter or do you choose Law and Order? You must choose one, you are forbidden to choose both" He will choose?

I think that it is crucial to make the case that a person can be in favor of both.

After looking up the article I cite above I checked to see if I correctly described the account of the mayoral candidate. Here is a fuller expression;

[/font][/color]

So I think I got it right.

As far as CRT is concerned, I have been saying conversation about it is pretty hopeless because no two people agree on what it means.

I will be interested in hearing about the Minneapolis vote on their referendum.

As to "anti-liberal". Do we have to do that? I oppose the government paying off student debt. I am not anti-liberal. I am not pro-liberal. I am opposed to the government paying off student debt. Or, if they do it, then I think that the guy who worked his butt off to successfully pay off their debt should get a refund, else you are saying "You moron. You kept your debts as low as possible and then worked hard to pay them off. How stupid can you get? The correct strategy was to borrow as much as possible and then get the government to pay it off ". I do think that the people who designed the student loan program should have an asterisk next to their name and should never again be trusted to design anything. But I am not anti-liberal.

[/font]

I must not have been clear with my anti-liberal comment. It was meant to apply to those people you pointed out who need to be secured from voting for Trump. I think these people have already been secured unless the candidate is Bernie Sanders or of his ilk.

These people:

Quote

In short, my view is that there are many people out there who do not wish to read Beloved, do not wish their high school age kids to have a classroom discussion of fellatio and its relationship to the consumption of pecans, value police as needed, but also do not support string up Mike Pence. I regard such people as citizens in good standing. We will need their help in saving us from Trump.



If these people are not already secured against Trump there is no hope.







"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
"I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
"I'd very like to do more, but I'm very small and far away." Gioia Maria
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#19112 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-November-01, 20:46

Here's a link to 538 polling data: https://projects.fiv...neral/national/

On the face of it, Biden holds a handy lead of about 8%.
This means only 4% have to change their minds - not cunting the voter turnout problem.

IMHO it is unlikely that Biden will run in the next election since he'll be getting on in years (even for an American politician) by the time of the next election.

Trump v Harris polling is neck and neck.

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#19113 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2021-November-02, 03:53

View Postpilowsky, on 2021-November-01, 20:46, said:


This means only 4% have to change their minds - not cunting the voter turnout problem.



Think you need to edit this
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#19114 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-November-02, 06:37

Michelle Goldberg at NYT said:

https://www.nytimes....896ed87b2d9c72a

Social media platforms have long justified themselves with the idea that connecting people would make the world more open and humane. In offline life, after all, meeting lots of different kinds of people tends to broaden the mind, turning caricatures into complicated individuals. It’s understandable that many once believed the same would be true on the internet.

But it turns out there’s nothing intrinsically good about connection, especially online. On the internet, exposure to people unlike us often makes us hate them, and that hatred increasingly structures our politics. The social corrosion caused by Facebook and other platforms isn’t a side effect of bad management and design decisions. It’s baked into social media itself.

There are many reasons Facebook and the social media companies that came after it are implicated in democratic breakdown, communal violence around the world and cold civil war in America. They are engines for spreading disinformation and algorithmic jet fuel for conspiracy theories. They reward people for expressing anger and contempt with the same sort of dopamine hit you get from playing slot machines.

As the recent Facebook leaks reveal, Mark Zuckerberg has made many immoral and despicable decisions. But even if he were a good and selfless person, Facebook would still probably be socially destructive, just as most other big social media platforms are.

It turns out that in a country as large and diverse as ours, a certain amount of benign neglect of other people’s odd folkways is more conducive to social peace than a constant, in-your-face awareness of clashing sensibilities. Little is gained when people in my corner of Brooklyn gawk at viral images of Christmas cards featuring families armed to the teeth. And people in conservative communities don’t need to hear about it every time San Francisco considers renaming a public school.

Right-wing politics has come to revolve around infuriating imagined liberal observers. It’s as if angry conservatives live with hectoring progressives in their heads all the time. Social media may not have created this mentality, but it badly exacerbates it. After all, there’s no point owning the libs if none are watching.

The value of psychic distance can apply within communities as well as between them. In 2017, Deb Roy, director of the M.I.T. Center for Constructive Communication and former chief media scientist at Twitter, held informal meetings in small towns to talk to people about social media. Several times, people told him they’d given up speaking to neighbors or others in town after seeing them express their opinions online. It was the first time, Roy told me, that he heard directly from people for whom social media “is blocking conversations that otherwise would have been happening just organically.”

Roy believes that the potential for a healthy social media exists — he points to Front Porch Forum, the heavily moderated, highly localized platform for people who live in Vermont. But it’s notable that his best example is something so small, quirky and relatively low-tech. Sure, there are ways of communicating over the internet that don’t promote animosity, but probably not with the platforms that are now dominant. In a country descending into a perpetual state of screeching acrimony, we might be able to tolerate each other more if we heard from each other less.

The discussion here of what makes Vermont's Front Porch Forum different from competitors like NextDoor is interesting. This observation sounds right to me: "But a bigger reason for the civil tone likely comes down to the fact that the users are all part of the same real-world community".
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#19115 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-November-02, 06:53

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-November-01, 19:24, said:

I must not have been clear with my anti-liberal comment. It was meant to apply to those people you pointed out who need to be secured from voting for Trump. I think these people have already been secured unless the candidate is Bernie Sanders or of his ilk.

These people:

If these people are not already secured against Trump there is no hope.



Secured against trump is not the same as voting for McAuliffe. I hope McAuliffe wins, I very much hope so. I don't live in Virginia so I'll let it be at that.

I could get along with Biden at a social evening. I could get along with Bernie Sanders although it would probably require more effort. Maybe not, we would just disagree but still get along fine, he seems to be a likable guy (I hope he doesn't take that as an insult to his toughness). But I also think of myself, with some evidence, as getting along with religious people and with people with more conservative views than mine. This used to be standard. Now it isn't. This is a great loss to society. I might try to expand on this later. I think it is important, perhaps crucial.
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#19116 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-November-02, 07:06

Jonathan Bernstein at Bloomberg said:

The fate of the Democratic legislative agenda — the two-bill strategy of attempting to pass bipartisan infrastructure legislation and a partisan bill containing child care, health care, climate measures and more — must have bounced around a couple of dozen times over the last 10 days. The latest big news, however, has some liberal writers puzzled.

Why has Representative Pramila Jayapal, the Washington State Democrat who heads the House Progressive Caucus, now committed her side to voting for both bills this week? Up to this point — as recently as Thursday — the progressives refused to vote for the infrastructure bill, which has already passed the Senate (and is also known as the bipartisan infrastructure framework or BIF), until they received firm commitments that the “Build Back Better” bill had enough votes to succeed. But neither of the two Senate Democrats who have been most resistant, West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema, have said publicly that they would vote for that bill.

Here’s climate journalist David Roberts tweeting a typical reaction: “Her leverage is that she can deny Manchin the BIF. That's what she showed. If she votes through the BIF before the BBB, she's given away that leverage. What am I missing?”

I’ll take a crack at that question.

The starting point is that Jayapal and the rest of the House Progressive Caucus are ideological outliers, but they’re also pragmatists. We should assume that their goal is to get the best policy outcome possible from their point of view. We should also assume that they know their leverage is limited. Yes, the two-bill strategy has been a good way to get both bills passed. But the progressives surely knew from the start that while Manchin wanted the infrastructure bill, he preferred the status quo (that is, no climate and social spending bill at all) to outcomes that incorporated too much of even the mainstream liberal agenda, let alone the progressives’ preferences.

So while the version rolled out last week was far short of Jayapal’s ideal bill, it was probably pretty close to the best she could hope for. However, Manchin and Sinema refused to fully endorse it, and so the progressive caucus once again spiked a vote on the infrastructure bill.

And now? What Jayapal and others are saying is that the White House is promising that the partisan bill will get the votes in the Senate, and they trust President Joe Biden.
I doubt it’s that simple, but those who have been involved in the negotiations may believe they have received sufficient assurances — from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, from the White House, perhaps from the swing senators themselves — that the votes will be there. This is where negotiations within the party have some advantages; these folks have worked together over time, and they may have earned a measure of trust that they are negotiating in good faith. Even if some of their public statements don’t always reflect that.

That’s the positive case. There could be a negative one as well. Jayapal and others may believe that there’s real risk that Manchin would overturn the whole thing, even if that means sinking the infrastructure bill (which, after all, could still pass the House at any point this year or next). That wouldn’t mean the two-bill strategy had failed. It’s just that it’s possible that it’s served its purpose of pushing Manchin to the bargaining table and fairly close to a final vote. For the final push, it may be that a show of good will might be the best way of keeping Manchin on board. Not to mention that the progressives can always back away from the current commitment, depending on what Manchin does up until the vote.

There’s one more thing. Up to this point, the White House, Pelosi and other mainstream liberals were probably quietly happy to have the progressives pushing hard for their preferences. The effect was to nudge Manchin toward the center of the party. But that may be changing now. And if Pelosi brings up the infrastructure bill without progressive caucus support, that could go badly for them. If the bill passes with Republican votes, the progressives will lose whatever leverage they still have. If the bill fails because of their votes, it might damage their ability to work with the rest of the Democratic caucus in the future.

To be sure, Jayapal and the progressives could be making a mistake. But it’s at least plausible that they have good reason to believe that moving forward with House votes now is the best pragmatic choice available to them. And so far they’ve generally shown themselves to be astute pragmatic politicians.

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#19117 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-November-02, 07:45

Trevor Noah said:

But I think the meeting was cool for him to see because it’s nice. Because even though these two men are some of the most powerful leaders in the world, when it comes down to it, they’re just a couple of old guys hanging out, showing off their coin collection, talking about alcohol, making inappropriate ethnic jokes.

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#19118 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-November-02, 09:03

Kaitlan Collins, CNN said:

John Berman: "This does mean though that infrastructure could be done — will be done — well before Build Back Better?"
Rep. Jaypal: "Yes. Yes." She adds that hopefully it will pass before Thanksgiving.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#19119 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-November-02, 09:16

View Posty66, on 2021-November-02, 06:37, said:

The discussion here of what makes Vermont's Front Porch Forum different from competitors like NextDoor is interesting. This observation sounds right to me: "But a bigger reason for the civil tone likely comes down to the fact that the users are all part of the same real-world community".

Yes, a critical distinction.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
"I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
"I'd very like to do more, but I'm very small and far away." Gioia Maria
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#19120 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-November-02, 19:21

Looks like taking down all those monuments and renaming stuff in Virginia wasn't such a good idea.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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