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America - A Liberal Democracy Under Pressure
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2021 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

*yawn* One unnamed woman speaks for that entire movement? Is she its leader and they all follow her? Wake me when *real* news occurs....

In the meantime, Trump still has not been directly charged with any crime. For pity's sake--seek some professional psychiatric help for your lingering OMBS. Can you show us on the doll where the Bad Orange Man touched you?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2021 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

+JMJ+

Robert Kagan's warning about the US constitutional crisis: It is 1932 [Opinion]

Quote:

Former President Donald Trump speaks to supporters at the "Rally to Protect Our Elections" hosted by Turning Point Action in Phoenix July 24. (Wikimedia Commons/The Star News Network/Gage Skidmore)


Rarely does an essay in a newspaper make such a remarkable impression as did Robert Kagan's essay in The Washington Post this past weekend titled "Our constitutional crisis is already here." I encourage everyone to read it in its entirety, but these are the three sections that most grabbed my attention.

First, his bracing opening:

Quote:
The United States is heading into its greatest political and constitutional crisis since the Civil War, with a reasonable chance over the next three to four years of incidents of mass violence, a breakdown of federal authority, and the division of the country into warring red and blue enclaves. The warning signs may be obscured by the distractions of politics, the pandemic, the economy and global crises, and by wishful thinking and denial.


Why have honest and decent people who happen to be conservative Republicans assented to laws that promise to make elections prone to political manipulation? Why are Democrats bickering among themselves when they need to pass some safeguards for our electoral process? And to make sure that government is seen to work for the people and not just for the plutocrats?

Second, Kagan's frightening historical analogy:

Quote:
As has so often been the case in other countries where fascist leaders arise, their would-be opponents are paralyzed in confusion and amazement at this charismatic authoritarian. They have followed the standard model of appeasement, which always begins with underestimation.


We forget that German President Paul von Hindenburg thought he would be able to control Adolph Hitler once he named him chancellor in 1933. We forget that there was no "March on Rome" by Mussolini's black shirts in 1922: The thugs gathered outside the city and could have been stopped by the army. The fascist leader got to Rome by train and King Victor Emmanuel III invited him to form a government. Later, the myth of the March on Rome was created. The acquiescence of the Western liberal democracies to the rearmament of Germany is too well-known to need repeating and has forever turned an otherwise useful word, appeasement, into a derisive and foul concept.

For those of us who have opposed Donald Trump from the start, the third most important thing Kagan writes has to do with Trump's supporters and true American exceptionalism. He writes:

Quote:
Most Trump supporters are good parents, good neighbors and solid members of their communities. Their bigotry, for the most part, is typical white American bigotry, perhaps with an added measure of resentment and a less filtered mode of expression since Trump arrived on the scene. But these are normal people in the sense that they think and act as people have for centuries. They put their trust in family, tribe, religion and race. Although zealous in defense of their own rights and freedoms, they are less concerned about the rights and freedoms of those who are not like them. That, too, is not unusual. What is unnatural is to value the rights of others who are unlike you as much as you value your own.

As it happens, however, that is what the American experiment in republican democracy requires. It is what the Framers meant by "republican virtue," a love of freedom not only for oneself but also as an abstract, universal good; a love of self-government as an ideal; a commitment to abide by the laws passed by legitimate democratic processes; and a healthy fear of and vigilance against tyranny of any kind.


Liberal democracy takes work. The National Education Association published a report in 2017 on the decline in civics education over the years, a decline that has cost us dearly. The professionalization of political campaigns, beginning in the 1970s, has severed elections from governance in a way they were not before, leading to cynicism and accelerating polarization. Neoliberalism sent blue collar jobs overseas, and neither party found the will to do much about it, leaving large swaths of working poor feeling disconnected from the political process altogether, ripe targets for an authoritarian.

At a Sept. 27 webinar co-sponsored by Boston University's Global Development Policy Center and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Damon Silvers, policy director at the AFL-CIO, spoke about the neoliberal trade ideology, saying its "fundamental feature was a race to the bottom on wages." He said:

Quote:
What the Biden worker-centered approach really is is a return to the philosophy that animated the post-war settlement and the Bretton Woods agreements — the idea that international economic structures and policies must have democratic legitimacy, they must support broad-based global economic growth, and most of all they must support rising real wages.


Then came a warning akin to Kagan's:

Quote:
The events of recent years should make it very clear that the alternative to President Biden's approach is not a return to the neoliberal mythology of the 1990s. Plan B is not the 1990s. Plan B is the 1930s — the rise of authoritarianism inside the world's major economies, and strife among them.


The stakes could scarcely be higher, and the principal responsibility for saving the country from a Trumpian future lies with Republican leaders. They have policy differences with President Joe Biden and the Democrats, but American democracy has always allowed for the adjudication of policy differences. This is not about policy, but about the prospect of a fascist takeover and the end of liberal democracy. Kagan writes:

Quote:
Yet whatever the legitimacy of Republican critiques of Biden, there is a fundamental disingenuousness to it all. It is a dodge. Republicans focus on China and critical race theory and avoid any mention of Trump, even as the party works to fix the next election in his favor. The left hand professes to know nothing of what the right hand is doing.


They know. They just don't know what to do about it, at least not anything that will not cost them their careers. Profiles in courage are in short supply.

Biden's decision not to assert executive privilege concerning documents and testimony that might shed light on Trump's actions on Jan. 6 is significant because it recognizes that we can't treat Trump and the threat he poses the way we normally confront problems. His threat is altogether different and more dangerous.

[…]

Those who run campaigns need to reach beyond the base: If a few thousand votes in a handful of states had been cast differently, Trump would still be in the White House.

Kagan's essay is a warning. It is 1932, he is telling us.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2021 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More "Trump is Hitler" hysteria? You have to be joking.

It isn't Trump who should be cause for concern--that man is finished and if he tries to run as a third-party candidate in 2024 he won't even get as many votes as Ross Perot got. No, the real cause for concen should be Harris--if Biden dies or gets 25thed after two years then we will all find that she is not capable enough to handle that office.

Speaking of the potential for mass violence and/or a dissolution of the United States...wait until Republicans retake the House and Senate, at which point Chairman Joe--as well as Harris, by extension--risks being removed from office via impeachment.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2021 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

+JMJ+

The Conservatives Dreading — And Preparing for — Civil War [In-Depth, Interview]

Quote:

Ryan Williams; The Atlantic


A faction of the right believes America has been riven into two countries. The Claremont Institute is building the intellectual architecture for whatever comes next.


“Let me start big. The mission of the Claremont Institute is to save Western civilization,” says Ryan Williams, the organization’s president, looking at the camera, in a crisp navy suit. “We’ve always aimed high.” A trumpet blares. America’s founding documents flash across the screen. Welcome to the intellectual home of America’s Trumpist right.

As Donald Trump rose to power, the Claremont universe — which sponsors fellowships and publications, including the Claremont Review of Books and The American Mind — rose with him, publishing essays that seemed to capture why the president appealed to so many Americans and attempting to map a political philosophy onto his presidency. Williams and his cohort are on a mission to tear down and remake the right; they believe that America has been riven into two fundamentally different countries, not least because of the rise of secularism. “The Founders were pretty unanimous, with Washington leading the way, that the Constitution is really only fit for a Christian people,” Williams told me. It’s possible that violence lies ahead. “I worry about such a conflict,” Williams told me. “The Civil War was terrible. It should be the thing we try to avoid almost at all costs.”

That “almost” is worth noticing. “The ideal endgame would be to effect a realignment of our politics and take control of all three branches of government for a generation or two,” Williams said. Trump has left office, at least for now, but those he inspired are determined to recapture power in American politics. My conversation with Williams has been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

=========================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

Emma Green: What do you see as the threats to Western civilization?

Ryan Williams: …

[…]

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2021 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As disastrous an idea as it is, only somone who is a fool does not have "divorce" as a possibility within in the next 20 years. The topic has come up several times in recent years but has never been anything more than idle speculation. Sadly, we are closer to it now than at any time since the the Civil War itself because the hyper-polarization is getting worse with every passing week.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2021 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

+JMJ+

A tale of two Sunday shows [Opinion]

Quote:

Scalise at a news conference last month. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)


Unpacking Steve Scalise's latest effort to undermine elections and Adam Schiff's remarkable response to it.


In recent years I’ve gotten in the habit of watching the Sunday morning news shows and tweeting out clips of the most interesting bits. Rarely are two compelling segments from different programs in dialogue with each other. But that was the case on Sunday.

Hours after former President Donald Trump held a rally in Iowa and indicated how central lies about the 2020 election are to his political identity (read my coverage of Trump’s rally here), Rep. Steve Scalise’s (R-LA) joined Fox News Sunday and refused to disavow those lies. A short time later on Face the Nation, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) cited Scalise’s comments and the broader Republican effort to undermine elections as reasons American democracy is “hanging by a thread right now.”

Fox News obviously is not known for conducting hard-hitting interviews of Republicans, but Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace is at least willing to ask probing questions. On Sunday, Wallace wrapped up an interview with Scalise that was mostly about criticizing President Joe Biden by asking the second-ranking House Republican to do the bare minimum — acknowledge that the 2020 election was not stolen from former President Donald Trump.

Remarkably, Scalise wouldn’t do it. Instead, he hemmed and hawed about how “a number of states” didn’t follow “their state-passed laws that govern the election for president” — a scenario Scalise misleadingly insisted isn’t in accordance with “what the Constitution says.”

Though Scalise has said the same thing during other TV interviews this year, his comments to Wallace generated a lot of attention. A Twitter clip of the exchange was viewed more than a million times on Sunday. Watch it for yourself:


Aaron Rupar @atrupar | Twitter [Video: 2 min]



It’s good that Wallace asked Scalise to disavow the big lie and kept following up when he refused to do so, but he should’ve led with that question instead of closing with it. Because if a politician’s relationship with the truth is so frayed that he can’t acknowledge Biden’s victory was fair, then he really shouldn’t be taken seriously on other topics.

The big problem is that Scalise isn’t an outlier.

The big lie has become GOP orthodoxy

[…]

Adam Schiff’s response to Scalise: “It’s these personal capitulations that are putting our country at risk.”

Shortly after Fox News Sunday ended, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) went on Face the Nation and addressed Scalise’s comments as well as comments Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) made on Saturday claiming that Trump is actually a victim of the January 6 committee because he never intended to overturn the election (never mind that tape of Trump pressuring a Georgia official to “find” votes for him).

“We saw Grassley in Iowa yesterday unable to condemn the president’s effort to get the Justice Department to overturn the election. Scalise, this morning, another Republican leader, unable to acknowledge that the presidency wasn’t stolen,” Schiff said. “It’s these personal capitulations that are putting our country at risk.”

Schiff did not mince words when talking about the broader state of the GOP.

"We have a Republican Party that is now an autocratic cult around Donald Trump,” he said. “It is not interested in governing. It is not interested in even maintaining the solvency and creditworthiness of the country."


Aaron Rupar @atrupar | Twitter [Video: 1 min]



Watching Fox News Sunday and Face the Nation back-to-back, the juxtaposition between Scalise’s evasiveness and Schiff’s directness was striking. So was the uncomfortable truth that Schiff articulated so clearly. With very few exceptions, Republicans have sold out for Trump — and no lie is too poisonous as long as it helps them retake power.

But you don’t have to take it from me. Take it from two of the GOP exceptions, Reps. Adam Kinzinger (IL) and Liz Cheney (WY).

Kinzinger responded to Scalise’s Fox News Sunday appearance by linking his lies with polling showing their corrosive impact among Republican voters.

“If top GOP leaders won’t tell the truth, aggressively, it’s not a surprise that 70 percent of Republicans believe the lies and conspiracies,” he tweeted. “This is unacceptable.”

Cheney echoed Kinzinger’s point.

“Millions of Americans have been sold a fraud that the election was stolen,” she tweeted. “Republicans have a duty to tell the American people that this is not true. Perpetuating the Big Lie is an attack on the core of our constitutional republic.”

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2021 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adam Schiff has a known history of leaking stories to the press, waiting for traction to occur, then trying to launch investigations into the news stories in the media--"since all these news stories are suggesting x, we must investigate x". His demonstrated history of lying invalidates any suggestion that he now tells the truth.

The elction was not stolen, though. Quite the opposite--enough people voted for "anyone but Trump" and that anyone happened to be a man suffering from dementia, possibly Alzheimer's Incidentally, voting for "anyone but *that* guy" is also how Hitler got elected. Just saying.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2021 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you see the story about how much Nancy Pelosi has made in the stock market?

Seems she and her husband are able to time the market "perfectly" each and every time.

Some examples:

Quote:
“The Pelosis received a million dollars’ worth of Tesla shares in January, only a few months before Vice President Joe Biden announced electric vehicle incentives in June. The Pelosi family made a tidy sum of money just as Congress was about to launch an attack on Big Tech. Mr. Pelosi profited handsomely from the exercise of options on Google’s parent firm, Alphabet, pocketing $5.3 million in the process.”

“Suddenly, Paul Pelosi got a phone call from his broker. He was in luck,” Watters continued. “Paul was offered a prescreened invite to get in early on Visa’s $18 billion IPO. Did Nancy and her husband hesitate? No, they bought between $1 million and $5 million worth of Visa stock. But it gets better. While Pelosi was speaker, bills that would have hurt Visa’s stock price were blocked in the House. Visa shares going up over 200 percent during the time, making the Pelosis a fortune on paper.”

Watters gave another example of how the Pelosi’s profited from the situation.

According to the report, Paul Pelosi exercised $2 million in Microsoft options in March, just two weeks before the computer giant was awarded a $22 billion deal to outfit the United States Army with high-tech headsets.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2021 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being a Member of Congress gives you the ability to pass legislation that will increase your investments or kill legislation that would negatively impact it. The best part? This is legal by SEC rules; "insider trading" does not apply to legislators, even if they are invested in industries which can be directly impacted by legislation or committee action.

If you want to guarantee that you become a high-wealth individual, then become a Member of Congress. Well over 90% of them are all millionaires, even the Progressives one whose usual mantra is "tax the rich". (hint: the taxes won't directly affect them in any way). Congress is also guaranteed pay raises--the pay raises are set up to go into effect automatically unless they are specifically voted down (this never happens).

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

+JMJ+

Catholic MAGA Fascists and the Attempted Coup [Opinion]

Quote:



Deacon Steve Greydanus writes over on the Book of Face about this piece in The Atlantic chronicling Trump’s attempt to overthrow the election:

Quote:
We now know that Trump’s hopes of having Mike Pence somehow throw out the election results on January 6 were given a six-step pseudo-legal rationalization in a two-page memo from a controversial Trump team lawyer named John Eastman.

Throwing out the election results were one of five lines of attack Trump tried in his bid to cling to power. What all five efforts shared was a dependency on Trump’s constant efforts, beginning even before the 2016 election, to undermine American confidence in the election process, and specifically, in 2020 and beyond, to persuade a critical mass of Americans that the 2020 election was stolen.

His more reasonable defenders said things like “He has the right to pursue all legal options,” but the efforts to blow smoke over the election results were never only about pursuing legal options. They were ultimately an attempt to create a justification for staying in power by any means necessary.

We already knew most of what this article outlines, but the more details emerge, the scarier the picture becomes.

The article doesn’t mention a sixth potential course of action that Trump definitely bandied about, but was never able to convince even his inner circle would fly: declaring martial law and suspending the constitutional process. (I believe that was his ultimate hope for the storming of the Capitol, if only things had gotten more out of hand than they did: not simply disrupting the official acceptance of the election results, but giving Trump a pretext for declaring martial law.)


Here’s the memo, which is a massive concatenation of the biggest lies you have ever seen, combined with Goebbels-level propaganda and contempt for democracy:





The author of the memo detailing the preposterous rationale for Pence to smash democracy, John Eastman, is a real piece of work and a classic example of how the Greatest Catholics of All Time have really gone in for both fascism and white supremacy.

[…]

You will be utterly unsurprised to learn that this brazen liar and enemy of the United States used to be the head of the National Organization for Marriage and is, like so many of these people, a major figure in the “prolife” movement.

More on this proclivity for fascism among MAGA Christian tomorrow.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am pretty sure there is already a Trump thread or two you could have posted this into.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Someone at Fox has been reading my posts here.

Quote:
Aside from the economic disaster that is becoming clearer to Americans every day, we also have a social disaster of political polarization, rooted in the lockdowns, that has made credible people on both sides contemplate a "national divorce."


That's *my* term for it that I have been using for years now. Sadly, it will happen...and sooner than I would have thought at this point. Probably within the rest of my lifetime (on average, I have about another 35 years to go--jeez, saying it out loud like that.....).
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2021 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Texas legislature is currently considering a house bill that would require teachers to teach "the other side" of the Holocaust.

So now Republicans are beginning to openly flirt with Holocaust denial.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brother ur-Nan wrote:
The Texas legislature is currently considering a house bill that would require teachers to teach "the other side" of the Holocaust.

So now Republicans are beginning to openly flirt with Holocaust denial.


Nope.

The law goes into effect in December. Maybe read it rather than whatever partisan site gave you the wrong information. The only discussion of the Holocaust came from a local school district official, who used it as a poor example, then apologized.


So once again, everything you posted was wrong. At least you're consistent.
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So if it were up to us (who couldn’t give a fuck about ignorant unvaccinated folk dying in large number) 😉 perhaps that’s purely how evolution will sort out intellectually deficient out of the general population.
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