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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2016 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can't know which facts matter unless you first know what are facts and what are not.

If a claim is made which is not factual, then it's pretty important to know that, since that will automatically make it not matter.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The used to have another name on what is called "Fake News"

The called it propaganda.
It's just that the term "fake news" is not so hurtful.

Bull....
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
You can't know which facts matter unless you first know what are facts and what are not.

If a claim is made which is not factual, then it's pretty important to know that, since that will automatically make it not matter.

--A
Some things--like the number of bankruptcies Trump declared--are irrelevant whether they are true or false. It's not even important enough to fact check; taking the time to do so already presumes that it matters. You might as well argue how many angels can fit on the head of a pin.

It also doesn't matter whether the Russians hacked the DNC computers, or if it was someone else. Focusing on the messenger is just a distraction from the messages themselves.

I wish Dems could make up their minds whether or not emails matter. I thought that Hillary's server--and the security of our top diplomat's communication--was a nonissue we were supposed to ignore as a Republican witch hunt. But for some reason the emails of her campaign manager is a vital U.S. secret???

Could they get anymore hypocritical?
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2016 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ur Dead wrote:

They called it propaganda.
It's just that the term "fake news" is not so hurtful.


LOL

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
House GOP guts ethics panel

House Republicans voted 119-74 Monday night in favor of a proposal that would gut Congress' outside ethics watchdog and remove its independence.

Republican Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte's proposal would place the independent Office of Congressional Ethics -- an initial watchdog for House members but without power to punish members -- under oversight of those very lawmakers.

House Speaker Paul Ryan and other top GOP leaders opposed the change to ethics rules, but rank-and-file members disregarded their views and voted to approve the new structure for ethics reviews going forward, according to a senior House GOP leadership source familiar with the closed door discussion.

The proposal would bar the panel from reviewing any violation of criminal law by members of Congress, requiring that it turn over any complaint to the House Ethics Committee or refer the matter to an appropriate federal law enforcement agency. The House Ethics Committee would also have the power to stop an investigation at any point and bars the ethics office from making any public statements about any matters or hiring any communications staff...

Norman Eisen and Richard Painter, of the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonprofit watchdog group said the ethics office "has played a critical role in seeing that the congressional ethics process is no longer viewed as merely a means to sweep problems under the rug."

"If the 115th Congress begins with rules amendments undermining (the ethics office), it is setting itself up to be dogged by scandals and ethics issues for years and is returning the House to dark days when ethics violations were rampant and far too often tolerated," they said in a Monday night statement.

Eisen served as the top ethics lawyer for President Barack Obama and Painter held the same job under President George W. Bush.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
Quote:


House Republicans voted 119-74 Monday night in favor of a proposal that would gut Congress' outside ethics watchdog and remove its independence.

Republican Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte's proposal would place the independent Office of Congressional Ethics -- an initial watchdog for House members but without power to punish members -- under oversight of those very lawmakers.

...

The proposal would bar the panel from reviewing any violation of criminal law by members of Congress, requiring that it turn over any complaint to the House Ethics Committee or refer the matter to an appropriate federal law enforcement agency. ...


--A


So criminal violations of law are going to move out of the realm of a political committee with no power to punish members, back to law enforcement--precisely how every other citizen in the country deals with criminal violations? I don't see the problem.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem is that you don't give the people who the committee is supposed to hold to an ethical standard power over that committee.

That said, looks like they have hastily backtracked on it, after both media outcry, and, of all things, Trump objected to the move.

Quote:
"With all that Congress has to work on, do they really have to make the weakening of the Independent Ethics Watchdog, as unfair as it may be, their number one act and priority?"


So, 1 point for Trump in my book. The article linked to in my post above has been updated with the change.

Quote:
President-elect Donald Trump dramatically strong-armed House Republicans into line Tuesday in his first Washington power play, after they voted to gut an ethics watchdog in a manner that undercut his vow to drain the establishment "swamp."

Trump made clear his anger at the move on his Twitter account, and GOP lawmakers hurriedly changed plans to target the independent panel, backing down in a controversy that threatened to overshadow the dawn of a new conservative era in Washington.

In an emergency meeting just before noon Tuesday, House Republican lawmakers voted to strip the move on the ethics agency from a package of rules that is due to be voted upon later in the House of Representatives.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
The problem is that you don't give the people who the committee is supposed to hold to an ethical standard power over that committee.
So then who holds power over the ethics committee? Do they answer to no one? What if they have ethics violations? Do we need yet another watchdog to watch them?

We already have a judicial system and law enforcement. If Congressmen break the law, charge them with a crime and let them have a trial. There's no need for some unaccountable, unchecked committee that investigates anonymous tips into frivolous issues. It's a committee that didn't even exist until Obama created it. Somehow the country survived for 232 years without it.

Apparently the issue is due process:

Quote:
The overwhelming majority of Republicans and Democrats in the House detest the Office of Congressional Ethics and want to revamp it, said Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri.

...

Cleaver said Democrats stood ready to work with Republicans to repair what many of them considered a very flawed ethics office
. But not in secret.

"I've listened to a lot of Democrats last night all the way to this morning saying, 'Why did they mess this up like this?' Because if they had called (House Democratic Whip) Steny Hoyer and said, 'Hey, can you give us 10 guys to work with our 10 guys to fix it?' we could have avoided all of this. Now even when we try to make repairs, there are going to be those who say, 'Well, they're trying to figure out a way to weaken the office.' What we're trying to do is make sure members of Congress receive the same protections as everyday citizens."

...

Republican Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri voted in favor of making changes to the ethics office, her spokesman Kyle Buckles said Tuesday.

Buckles said the office was a broken agency that ignored the due-process rights of the accused and subjected innocent people to political attacks.

"The congresswoman believes reform is needed to allow the currently unchecked agency to continue its work independently while adding a level of oversight. In no way does she seek to weaken or eliminate the work of the office," Buckles said in an email. "She ardently believes allegations of wrongdoing need to be taken very seriously, while also ensuring innocent people, without recourse, are not impugned over unverified or frivolous charges."


Rep. Lynn Jenkins, another Kansas Republican, said there was no question in her mind that the Office of Congressional Ethics needed revising.
But she said any changes "should be done in a more transparent and bipartisan fashion." Jenkins missed Monday's vote because her flight was late.

Rep. Kevin Yoder, another Kansas Republican, said he'd voted in support of the changes to the ethics office proposed by his GOP colleagues Monday night.

But in a statement Tuesday, Yoder said any changes should go through an open, bipartisan process. "Not a closed-door meeting where votes were not recorded."

Lindsay Wise: 202-383-6007, @lindsaywise


link

With that said, Trump's move was politically smart. It even won him some brownie points from you. Big Grin
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing

Give their oversight to somebody else. I have no problem with that. Just not to the people whose ethics they may be investigating.

--A
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
So then who holds power over the ethics committee? Do they answer to no one? What if they have ethics violations? Do we need yet another watchdog to watch them?

We already have a judicial system and law enforcement. If Congressmen break the law, charge them with a crime and let them have a trial. There's no need for some unaccountable, unchecked committee that investigates anonymous tips into frivolous issues. It's a committee that didn't even exist until Obama created it. Somehow the country survived for 232 years without it.


I suspect Democrats were hoping that the OCE would be a weapon they could use against Republicans.

Incidentally, the OCE was created in March 2008 so Obama had only very little to do with it given that he was only a Senator at the time. Primary blame for its existence, if blame is to be placed, belongs to Nancy Pelosi, who was Speaker of the House at the time.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In case you haven't heard by now, United overbooked a flight (most airlines do this) then demanded that some passengers disembark from the plane, resulting in at least one passenger being forcibly removed from the plane by airport security.

Don't airlines normally start offering money to people to take the next flight? If so, why didn't someone take the money? I would take a couple of hundred dollars to have my flight bumped by 6, 12, or even 24 hours--but if they make me wait that long they also need to put me up in a nearby hotel for the evening.

The last time I came back from Europe (this was 20 years ago--has it really been that long? *sigh*) my entire flight was cancelled...an hour before it was supposed to leave...so I had to scramble to find another connecting flight.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The backlash against United is proof positive of what I was saying about the Hobby Lobby and Chik-Fil-A kerfuffles....Social media will deal quickly with companies who act reprehensibly. We've gotten past the point where the government needs to regulate how businesses serve people.

The free market works.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They did offer money, in increasing increments, but nobody was willing to give up their seat. Dragging a paying customer off the flight seems a pretty stupid move...

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
They did offer money, in increasing increments, but nobody was willing to give up their seat. Dragging a paying customer off the flight seems a pretty stupid move...

--A


Especially since it was to embark their own employees. Something they should have fixed prior to loading the aircraft.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And apparently it was because those employees had to be somewhere else the next day only, and it was a 4 hour drive away...hire them a car and let them drive there together...

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been on a lot of flights where, before boarding, they would ask if someone would give up their seat. Never have I been on one where they asked when the plane had already boarded.

United needs a new pr crisis handling team, if they already haven't gotten one. That weaselly first statement made things worse for them.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the thing.....What United did was technically covered by the agreement the passengers signed when they bought the tickets. You can be bumped, and that's just the way it is.

From a PR perspective, what they did was a disaster. I've read that they've lost a billion dollars from stock losses so far, and it's only going to get worse.
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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Texas House voted to approve a measure calling for a Constitutional Convention of States in an effort to eventually amend the Constitution. If the Senate passes the resolution, Governor Abbott has already stated his willingness to sign it and this would make Texas the 11th State to call for a convention. The required number is 34.

Ultimately, the amendments cover such things as term limits for elected officials at the Federal level and limitations on the size and scope of the power of the Federal Government.

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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So how does that get decided inside the state in order for the state to call for it?

(Here we need a 2/3rds majority in parliament to amend the constitution.)

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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If both Houses of a State Legislature approve a measure calling for a convention then that State has called for a convention. Once 34 States pass such a measure, a convention will be convened. It isn't any more complicated than that.

Texas calling for a convention might prompt other States to follow suit.

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