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

#20941 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2023-May-28, 15:31

View Postkenberg, on 2023-May-28, 07:56, said:

Perhaps we are once again going to avoid catastrophe with the debt limit. I suggest a new law: Any needed adjustment to the debt limit must be enacted at least thirty days before that limit is reached. If this is not done, then 50K will be deducted from the salary of each member of the House and 100K will be deducted from the salary of the president.

Regardless of how budget planning should be done, the way that it is now done is an absurd embarrassment to the nation. I suppose that a lot f money can be made by following the budget talks closely day to day. One day it looks like default, get in there early and sell. Another day it looks like there could be an agreement, get in there early and buy buy buy. That's not me and I do not wish it to ever be me. I want these jerks to resolve the issues with a great deal less drama and preening.

We will see how this goes. Of course a deal isn't done until it is done. It is impossible to fully make it clear how fed up I am with this way of doing things. I'm an honest guy who wants the best for this country and high on my list is finding a better way to resolve budget issues. Yes it is money and yes there is political stuff involved but find a better way. The current way makes us all look like idiots. They look like idiots for doing it, we look like idiots for putting up with it.

Maybe the stupidly low salaries paid to the President ($400,000) and representatives ($170,000) is part of why they seem to be prone to getting funds from other sources.



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#20942 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2023-May-29, 07:25

Being hopelessly optimistic, I think this budget deal could be a turning point. No doubt there will be Rs who vote against it and Ds who vote against it. But perhaps it will pass. And then perhaps, just perhaps, a large portion of the electorate will see this as some of our leaders can come together, some stick with my way or the highway, and they decide they prefer come together as an approach. This could play a role in the 2024 election.

We shall see. I admit I keep seeing turning points where none exist. But we shall see.

At the very least, having the next debt limit crisis occur after the 2024 election will encourage voters to take what has happened in these negotiations into account as they cast a ballot. If the deal goes through, I imagine there will be a poll not so far down the road asking voters what they think. I A sample question: In the final vote for passage, who are the good guys, and who are the bad guys? Those who voted yes or those who voted no? I hope such a question is asked.
Ken
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#20943 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2023-May-29, 07:43

I have no such hope that our infotainment industry will do anything other than self promotion and stenography of bothsideism.

Here is a question I would prefer seen:
1) 30% of Republicans are hard core Trump supporters
2) Trump’s plan is to run the United States like the Trump Organization.
3) Are the 30% enemies of the United States?
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20944 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2023-May-29, 10:37

View PostWinstonm, on 2023-May-29, 07:43, said:

3) Are the 30% enemies of the United States?


I am not American, but if I were asked to opine on this question, my answer would be a resounding no.
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#20945 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2023-May-29, 12:07

View Postshyams, on 2023-May-29, 10:37, said:

I am not American, but if I were asked to opine on this question, my answer would be a resounding no.


Perhaps the question is poorly worded: are the 30% of Republicans who are hard core supporters of Trump enemies of democracy and democratic republics?

If you still say no, will you kindly explain your viewpoint and reasons.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20946 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2023-May-29, 13:06

View PostWinstonm, on 2023-May-29, 12:07, said:

Perhaps the question is poorly worded: are the 30% of Republicans who are hard core supporters of Trump enemies of democracy and democratic republics?

If you still say no, will you kindly explain your viewpoint and reasons.


Was going to say, not enemies of the US but enemies of democracy.
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#20947 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2023-May-29, 13:56

I don't have a dog in the fight; I am not American. However, here is a childishly simple view that I hold:

1. All politicians are corrupt; none have the interests of the average citizen at heart. (Note: broadly applicable to many nations, not just the US)
* US politicians are specialists in getting filthy rich, and getting repeatedly reelected. At least the British politician is (on average) not hellbent on becoming millionaires.

2. The Romans had learnt two thousand years ago that the masses can be kept satiated with "panem et circenses" (bread and games/gladiator fights). In modern times, issue-based divisive politics serves the function of circenses.

3. Some citizens engage in these "existential" issues (many of which are trivial, some of marginally importance). In doing so, they feel invested that they are defining the future of their nation. Concurrently, those with real power are defining your nation --- and finding innovative ways to get even more powerful and richer.

This pernicious divisiveness foisted upon average citizens by those who want to control you is the key problem. One way to thwart those who want to control you is to do the opposite --- have dialogues, make friends, go on dates or generally hang out with those that hold the opposite political views. In my limited experience, Americans are the only people who reject engaging with people of "the opposite party".

Sorry if this sounds like cliched baloney. But to me, a distant observer, you all are destroying yourselves by fighting these irrelevant fights.
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#20948 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2023-May-30, 06:33

View Postshyams, on 2023-May-29, 13:56, said:

I don't have a dog in the fight; I am not American. However, here is a childishly simple view that I hold:

1. All politicians are corrupt; none have the interests of the average citizen at heart. (Note: broadly applicable to many nations, not just the US)
* US politicians are specialists in getting filthy rich, and getting repeatedly reelected. At least the British politician is (on average) not hellbent on becoming millionaires.

2. The Romans had learnt two thousand years ago that the masses can be kept satiated with "panem et circenses" (bread and games/gladiator fights). In modern times, issue-based divisive politics serves the function of circenses.

3. Some citizens engage in these "existential" issues (many of which are trivial, some of marginally importance). In doing so, they feel invested that they are defining the future of their nation. Concurrently, those with real power are defining your nation --- and finding innovative ways to get even more powerful and richer.

This pernicious divisiveness foisted upon average citizens by those who want to control you is the key problem. One way to thwart those who want to control you is to do the opposite --- have dialogues, make friends, go on dates or generally hang out with those that hold the opposite political views. In my limited experience, Americans are the only people who reject engaging with people of "the opposite party".

Sorry if this sounds like cliched baloney. But to me, a distant observer, you all are destroying yourselves by fighting these irrelevant fights.


Thank you for taking the time to respond. As often happens, there is difficulty with the written word to express pricise views, and to some amount I agree with a lot of your positions. I do think the US has become a de facto oligarchy, or near that, although the governental structure requires owning or subverting imany individuals or one political party in near total--quite difficult to do. I used to think the parties were basically the same, but no more. I think you have to live here to know that as the biggest differences are shown at the state and local levels rather that national.

Then we have to discuss or at least figure out what "enemy" means in this context. Perhaprs a poor choice of words. Misguided? Conned? I don't know. I do know, my wife's sister, for example, who, by the way, I like a lot and do not avoid, is an ardent Trump admirer, and these people can justify to themselves that his power as president is their power, and their fervent belief is that the United States was established as a white Christian country and only a return to that dynamic can save us for some unknown and unspecified horrible end.

These people believe in a fictional account of what it means to be American. Rather than enemies, are they cult victims? Even then, as cult victims, could the Jim Jones followers be deemed "enemies of life" as well as cult victims?

All I know is that there are a significant number of Americans who believe that a king or near king who returns us to a fictional beginning is preferable to democracy; what do you term them?


"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20949 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2023-June-01, 06:40

I am pleased to report that my current Congressman, John Sarbanes Jr, and my previous Congressman (before the last redistricting) Jamie Raskin, voted in favor of avoiding default. Consider this a public thank-you note guys. Let's get things done.
Ken
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#20950 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2023-June-01, 11:01

View Postkenberg, on 2023-June-01, 06:40, said:

I am pleased to report that my current Congressman, John Sarbanes Jr, and my previous Congressman (before the last redistricting) Jamie Raskin, voted in favor of avoiding default. Consider this a public thank-you note guys. Let's get things done.


All our Oklahoma clones voted no. Hera’s to the Oklahoma division of the Trump army, and no, that finger I am holding up does not mean you are #1.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20951 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2023-June-01, 12:06

View PostWinstonm, on 2023-May-30, 06:33, said:

Then we have to discuss or at least figure out what "enemy" means in this context. Perhaprs a poor choice of words. Misguided? Conned? I don't know. I do know, my wife's sister, for example, who, by the way, I like a lot and do not avoid, is an ardent Trump admirer, and these people can justify to themselves that his power as president is their power, and their fervent belief is that the United States was established[i] as a white Christian country and only a return to that dynamic can save us for some unknown and unspecified horrible end. [/i

On the topic of "enemy", the people in power (the mega-rich/donor class & the establishment that kowtows to their every whim) are it.

I am going to make a prediction (I may very well turn out wrong on this, but I want to post it anyway). As part of his reelection campaign, Biden will find that donor money is not so forthcoming as it did in the past. He will have to make the necessary adjustment in order to reclaim the donors' largesse.

The adjustment? They will "promote" Lina Khan and move her to some non-consequential role; they will also move/promote/fire Jonathan Kanter. Believe me, the actions taken by these two (as Head of the FTC and of the Anti-Trust division of the DoJ respectively) will benefit the average American over long periods of time going forward. That's why the true enemies of the average American will ensure they are stopped in their tracks.
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#20952 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2023-June-01, 12:58

View Postshyams, on 2023-June-01, 12:06, said:

On the topic of "enemy", the people in power (the mega-rich/donor class & the establishment that kowtows to their every whim) are it.

I am going to make a prediction (I may very well turn out wrong on this, but I want to post it anyway). As part of his reelection campaign, Biden will find that donor money is not so forthcoming as it did in the past. He will have to make the necessary adjustment in order to reclaim the donors' largesse.

The adjustment? They will "promote" Lina Khan and move her to some non-consequential role; they will also move/promote/fire Jonathan Kanter. Believe me, the actions taken by these two (as Head of the FTC and of the Anti-Trust division of the DoJ respectively) will benefit the average American over long periods of time going forward. That's why the true enemies of the average American will ensure they are stopped in their tracks.


Quite interesting and I will keep my eyes on it. I have long said that the free market promoters of today are scoundrels as Adam Smith’s free market competitors were all localized; he would have abhorred what is praised today as a free market.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20953 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2023-June-01, 15:56

View Postkenberg, on 2023-May-29, 07:25, said:

Being hopelessly optimistic, I think this budget deal could be a turning point. No doubt there will be Rs who vote against it and Ds who vote against it. But perhaps it will pass. And then perhaps, just perhaps, a large portion of the electorate will see this as some of our leaders can come together, some stick with my way or the highway, and they decide they prefer come together as an approach. This could play a role in the 2024 election.

Well, it did pass the House last night, by an overwhelming majority (about 3 to 1), but there was quite a bit of grumbling (from extreme factions on both sides) leading up to it. Presumably it will pass in the Senate tonight.

But it was definitely scary hearing the rhetoric of the Freedom Caucus the last few days, it sounded like they could unravel all the negotiations. It doesn't feel like there was really any ideological movement -- I think most Congressmen simply voted for it because they realized that it's too late to do any better, getting something is better than nothing (remember that Biden originally vowed that there would be no concessions). Firemen don't debate about building codes while trying to save the people in the burning house.

#20954 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2023-June-02, 07:03

Well, it seems we will not default.

I watched the PBS Newshour last night (Thursday evening) and this was just a little before the bill passed the Senate. It was mentioned, in a worried tone, that senators do not like to work on Friday and of course they do not like to work on Saturday or Sunday. Yep, that was very worrisome. But this can cut both ways. I see that they passed the bill late Thursday. Whew! God forbid that they actually have to work on a Friday or the weekend, but they averted that crisis. Good for them
Ken
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#20955 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2023-June-02, 14:41

View Postshyams, on 2023-June-01, 12:06, said:

The adjustment? They will "promote" Lina Khan and move her to some non-consequential role; they will also move/promote/fire Jonathan Kanter. Believe me, the actions taken by these two (as Head of the FTC and of the Anti-Trust division of the DoJ respectively) will benefit the average American over long periods of time going forward.


In general, monopolies are the enemy of the US. All these mergers and antitrust actions by some of the biggest companies in the US (and maybe world) are not done for the benefit of the American public. I applaud almost all the actions of Khan and Kanter in working for the American consumers.
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#20956 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2023-June-03, 06:22

When did the lurch to the right begin?
1970 according to Robert Reich, with the hard hats and Nixon.
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#20957 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2023-June-03, 08:43

View Postpilowsky, on 2023-June-03, 06:22, said:

When did the lurch to the right begin?
1970 according to Robert Reich, with the hard hats and Nixon.


Maybe in '68 or '69 my father visited from Minnesota, I was a young assistant prof in math. I introduced him around the department and one of the secretaries asked him if he was also an academic. He replied "No, I had to work for a living". This was humor. Mayne humor with a point but it was humor. And taken as such. My father could never understand why a guy with at least reasonable physical skills would want to spend so much time with books. We got along just fine and I had and have great respect for him. He had never heard of a quadratic equation and never needed to solve one, but I grew up in a good environment.


Something has gone terribly wrong.

I was never all that much of a Robert Reich fan and I see from Wikipedia I am not alone in this. An excerpt.


Quote

In 1996, between Clinton's re-election and second inauguration, Reich decided to leave the department to spend more time with his sons, then in their teen years.

By April 1997, he published his experiences working for the Clinton administration in Locked in the Cabinet. Among those he criticized in the tell-all were Clinton advisor Dick Morris, former AFL-CIO head Lane Kirkland, and Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan, a leading deficit hawk whom he considered "the most powerful man in the world."[29] In the book, Reich criticizes the Democratic Party as "owned by" business and Washington as having two real political parties during his tenure: the "Save the Jobs" party, which wanted to maintain the status quo, and the "Let 'Em Drown" party.[29]

After publication of the book, Reich received criticism for embellishing events with invented dialogue which did not match C-SPAN tapes or official transcripts of meetings.[40] The paperback release of the memoir revised or omitted the inventions. In one story, members of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) confronted Reich with curses and shouts of "Go back to Harvard!" In the revised version of the NAM story, Reich is instead hissed at. The foreword to the paperback contained an explanation, in which Reich says that "memory is fallible."[40]

The memoir has since been called "a classic of the pissed-off-secretary genre" by Glenn Thrush.[41]


Ken
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#20958 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2023-June-03, 11:25

View Postpilowsky, on 2023-June-03, 06:22, said:

When did the lurch to the right begin?
1970 according to Robert Reich, with the hard hats and Nixon.

The roots are generally regarded as having been laid by Barry Goldwater, although it took a few years before that movement became the dominant faction within the GOP.
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#20959 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2023-June-03, 11:37

There strongest lurch to the right in my memory began with Reagan jn 1980. Nixon had injured the party but Reagan put it back together by demonizing Russia and with racist dog whistles like “welfare queens “.

His 8 years led into the glorification of Wall Street and the greed of the 90s. The next big lurch came as a backlash against Obama and the idea of a non white president.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20960 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2023-June-06, 21:09

My state has done it again: tax funded religious charter school approved.

To hell with the establishment clause?
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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