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

#16521 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-October-15, 03:34

All, I can say is that I am keenly watching polls, betting odds, and the final result
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#16522 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-15, 05:44

Trevor Noah said:

After a week of being forced to quarantine, Donald J. Trump is back on the campaign trail doing what he loves most — spreading Covid-19.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16523 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-15, 06:54

Jonathan Bernstein at Bloomberg said:

The pandemic relief and stimulus bill remains almost as dead as a bill can get, but that doesn’t mean that the continued maneuverings aren’t meaningful. Republicans are currently planning a sure-to-be-filibustered vote on a relatively small bill and are openly opposing the White House’s position, which (most of the time) is for a $1.8 trillion bill or larger. House Democrats clearly wanted a bill back in April; at this point it’s unclear whether Speaker Nancy Pelosi would accept a deal just before the election, although she and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are still negotiating, or at least going through the motions.

As Bloomberg’s Steven T. Dennis and Jordan Fabian report, some Senate Republicans are already starting to position themselves against a potential Joe Biden administration’s spending plans:

A GOP strategist who has been consulting with Senate campaigns said Republicans have been carefully laying the groundwork to restrain a Biden administration on federal spending and the budget deficit by talking up concerns about the price tag for another round of virus relief. The thinking, the strategist said, is that it would be very hard politically to agree on spending trillions more now and then in January suddenly embrace fiscal restraint.

I continue to think it’s unlikely that strategies based on the assumption of President Donald Trump’s defeat were driving Senate Republicans back in April and May, when this bill was first on the table. It seems much more likely that their opposition was based on a sincere belief by some of them — despite the broad consensus of economists — that more spending would be counterproductive, along with a fear among others that crossing those “conservatives” and voting for a big spending bill would be politically dangerous, either this November or in some future primary. At this point, though, it’s possible that even those who accept mainstream economics may be, as Greg Sargent suggests, attempting to undermine what they now see as a likely Biden presidency.

If so, they’ll presumably continue to oppose any large stimulus in the post-election lame-duck session, especially if Democrats win majorities in the House and Senate along with the White House.

I hate to get too speculative about 2021, but in this case it’s necessary. Because the flaw in Republican reasoning, if this is what they intend, is that the most likely justification for Senate Democrats to use the “nuclear option” and eliminate the legislative filibuster would be the scenario that Republicans seem to be setting up: a deep recession, only minimal stimulus since March 2020 and incoming Democratic majorities unable to provide further relief because of Republican rejectionism. Faced with the choice of procedural complaints if they act, or the possibility of economic (and perhaps political) disaster if they don’t, Democrats might have the votes to go nuclear even if they have the slimmest of majorities.

In other words, too much rejectionism might backfire badly. There’s a lengthy agenda of Democratic policy preferences that might have the votes in a simple-majority Senate but that don’t have the urgency, especially among moderates, to push the party to go nuclear. After eliminating the filibuster, many of those items might well pass. Meanwhile, without the need to attract Republicans, a partisan stimulus might be very large, and very effective. Especially if it coincided with large-scale distribution of a vaccine.

Of course, Trump could still win. And even if he loses Republicans could still retain a Senate majority, in which case the filibuster won’t be the issue. But if Democrats do win? Republicans could’ve pushed for a stimulus deal over the summer, when it might’ve helped Trump and their own senators. They could still push for a deal now. Even in the lame-duck session, even if they’ve lost badly, they would still have considerable leverage. But the truth is that many of them would rather lose on policy, even lose badly, than to compromise. And while we’re still several steps away from having this all work itself out, one increasingly possible outcome appears to involve Republicans pushing Democrats into setting up a majority-party-rules Senate and then passing way more of their agenda than anyone expected.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16524 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-15, 07:14

Andrew Ross Sorkin at NYT said:

‘Short everything’

In late February, the Trump administration was publicly playing down the severity of the worsening coronavirus epidemic. But in private, White House officials had a different story — and that information was shared with top traders who made fortuitous bets against the market.

Trump advisers conceded concerns about the coronavirus in private meetings with board members of the conservative Hoover Institution on Feb. 24, Kate Kelly and Mark Mazzetti of The Times report. Larry Kudlow, the White House’s chief economic adviser, told the group that the virus was “contained in the U.S., to date, but now we just don’t know,” hours after saying on CNBC that containment efforts were “pretty close to airtight.”

Here’s how the information then spread:
  • William Callanan, a Hoover board member and hedge fund consultant, wrote a memo, noting that nearly every federal official had raised the coronavirus “as a point of concern, totally unprovoked.”
  • He then described the briefings in an email to the hedge fund magnate David Tepper of Appaloosa Management. The email circulated among the firm’s employees. Mr. Callanan also tipped at least one financier client.
  • The information was passed to at least two outside investors, who in turn shared some details with others. Within 24 hours, at least seven investors at four money managers had been tipped off to some version of Mr. Callanan’s debrief.

By Feb. 26, traders acted on the information, as markets tumbled. Some investors, believing everyday life was about to be upended, bet big against the market — “short everything” was one trader’s reaction — while others stocked up on household staples. Stocks started to slip that afternoon and dropped precipitously the next day. The S&P 500 fell more than 11 percent that week.

There are caveats:
  • Mr. Callanan said that his email to Appaloosa was based on “extensive research and publicly available information,” and that a copy of the briefing provided to The Times was “materially different” from his original write-up.
  • Mr. Tepper had been publicly warning about the coronavirus since early February. He initially denied receiving Mr. Callanan’s email, but later acknowledged it.
  • Mr. Kudlow told The Times that he believed his private and public remarks were consistent.

The takeaway: The circulation of the briefing, Kate and Mark write, shows “how elite traders had access to information from the administration that helped them gain financial advantage” when global markets were teetering.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16525 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-October-15, 09:47

Omg, I just nearly fell of my chair! A woman from some Republican Women group just described DJT on BBC News as "a construction worker who happened to become a millionaire". This shows probably even more clearly than the covid blindness just what an alternative reality some true US conservatives live in.
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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#16526 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-October-15, 11:19

The true caveat? The word law is meaningless without two requisites: 1) an ability to enforce, and 2) a willingness to enforce.

When you get someone totally corrupt into a position of power and influence who understands the unwillingness or inability of law, the end result is corruption in every circle and of everything.

What will you vote for? Law? Or the corruption of Trump?
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16527 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-October-15, 11:24

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-October-15, 09:47, said:

Omg, I just nearly fell of my chair! A woman from some Republican Women group just described DJT on BBC News as "a construction worker who happened to become a millionaire". This shows probably even more clearly than the covid blindness just what an alternative reality some true US conservatives live in.


Luxury! When I was a lad we lived in a hole in the road!

If you really want crazy, watch or read some of the interviews with Q-anon believers: https://www.towleroa...anon-believers/
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16528 User is online   johnu 

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Posted 2020-October-15, 13:39

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-October-15, 09:47, said:

Omg, I just nearly fell of my chair! A woman from some Republican Women group just described DJT on BBC News as "a construction worker who happened to become a millionaire". This shows probably even more clearly than the covid blindness just what an alternative reality some true US conservatives live in.

I believe the Manchurian President started out as a humble carpenter, as was his father Joseph.
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#16529 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-October-15, 14:16

View Postjohnu, on 2020-October-15, 13:39, said:

I believe the Manchurian President started out as a humble carpenter, as was his father Joseph.


Stalin was a carpenter?
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16530 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-October-15, 18:46

Watching the Biden town hall tonight made me realize that Trump voters shouldn't be castigated but pitied: anyone who would choose Trump over Biden has to be so psychologically damaged that their lives can only be ruled by fear of progress coupled with a childlike reliance for protection on a father-figure. That is quite a sad existence.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16531 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 01:02

Nicholas Fandos said:

Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, castigated President Trump in a telephone town hall with constituents on Wednesday, accusing the president of bungling the response to the coronavirus pandemic, cozying up to dictators and white supremacists, and offending voters so broadly that he might cause a “Republican blood bath” in the Senate.

In a dire, nine-minute indictment of Mr. Trump’s foreign policy and what Mr. Sasse called his “deficient” values, the senator said the president had mistreated women and alienated important allies around the globe, been a profligate spender, ignored human rights and treated the pandemic like a “P.R. crisis.” He predicted that a loss by Mr. Trump on Election Day, less than three weeks away, “looks likely,” and said that Republicans would face steep repercussions for having backed him so staunchly over four tumultuous years.

“The debate is not going to be, ‘Ben Sasse, why were you so mean to Donald Trump?’” Mr. Sasse said, according to audio obtained by The Washington Examiner and authenticated by The New York Times. “It’s going to be, ‘What the heck were any of us thinking, that selling a TV-obsessed, narcissistic individual to the American people was a good idea?’”

“We are staring down the barrel of a blue tsunami,” he added.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16532 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 01:12

Savannah Guthrie said:

You’re the president, you’re not someone’s crazy uncle where you just retweet whatever.

https://www.vox.com/...-hall-nbc-miami

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16533 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 02:41

Ah, Ben Sasse. One of those principled Republicans who had a strong sincere belief that a corrupt racist incompetent misogynist candidate Trump who would cause Republicans to lose elections is to be despised and denounced, who then proceeded to support corrupt racist incompetent misogynist President Trump with every power granted to him in his constitutional role, and now returns to denouncing corrupt racist incompetent misogynist President Trump when it looks certain he will cause Republicans to lose elections.

Too bad the polls are quite stable this time around, otherwise we'd see Ben Sasse spinning around in his flip-flops throughout this campaign season.
The easiest way to count losers is to line up the people who talk about loser count, and count them. -Kieran Dyke
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#16534 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 08:42

Jonathan Bernstein at Bloomberg said:

I’ve occasionally been known to brag about one prediction that’s working out well: that Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act would eventually be adopted by the entire nation. Although we’re not there’s yet, it’s on the way.

But I had another expectation that hasn’t worked out at all. By this point, I thought that the U.S. would’ve returned to normal health-care politics. Republicans would push to reduce spending and coverage; Democrats, to expand both. Republicans would claim Democrats are overspending; Democrats would argue that Republicans are too cheap. Republicans would push to increase the market aspects of the system, while Democrats might, as former Vice President Joe Biden seeks to do, add more public aspects. But the basic structure would work well enough that, at least for a while, structural change would be off the table.

I was certainly wrong about that.

On the Democratic side, of course, the near-consensus from the 2008 campaign and the 2009 congressional debate collapsed in the 2016 presidential-nomination process, with Senator Bernie Sanders’s faction pushing to replace the ACA with a single-payer system. For now, at least, that’s still a minority position, and Medicare-for-All supporters haven’t won enough offices to make it the party’s policy.

But at least that’s a legitimate policy disagreement. The Republican side?

Instead of accepting the ACA, the party position is still to get rid of it. Well, technically, it’s to “repeal and replace” it, but 10 years after adopting that slogan there’s still no replacement plan that Republicans support. To say that this has caused problems is an understatement. In both the 2018 and 2020 elections, Democrats have made health care their lead policy issue; during confirmation hearings in the Senate this week, it was the main thing they wanted to talk about. While Republicans are still trying to have the entire law thrown out in court, they’re increasingly on the defensive about the issue.

President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has made everything worse. He has barely bothered to learn the vocabulary of health insurance, let alone any of the actual arguments at play. When challenged about it during an NBC town-hall program Thursday night, his argument was that “the problem with Obamacare, it’s not good.” His solution? “A much better health care.” This is not exactly inspiring rhetoric. Yet it’s really not much better than the typical congressional Republican talking points.

It’s not that conservative health-care reform is impossible; the journalist Philip Klein wrote a book about it a few years ago giving multiple options. One problem is that very few Republicans enter politics to deal with this issue; they tend to just not be very interested in it. A bigger problem is that the Republican Party at the national level just isn’t able to handle policy development these days.

One option, given all of that, would be to just move on. If Republicans stopped talking about Obamacare and trying to eliminate it, they’d make it a lot harder for Democrats to score points on health care. The party is capable of that; after President George W. Bush’s ill-fated effort to privatize Social Security, Republicans stopped talking about the issue (for the most part) and it lost its appeal to Democrats as an electoral weapon.

The thing is, there isn’t really a strong constituency within the party for actually repealing the ACA. What does appear to be true is that Obamacare-bashing is still a successful product within the conservative marketplace, and so Fox News and other partisan media keep talking about it. And where they lead, the party follows. That this is all a highly dysfunctional way for a political party to behave, at least if it hopes to govern well enough to keep getting re-elected, just doesn’t seem to enter into the discussion.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16535 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 08:47

Kathleen Kingsbury, Acting Editorial Page Editor at NYT said:

Before Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016, the Times editorial board warned voters that our presidents are role models for our children. “Is this the example we want for them?”

Kids who are too young to remember anyone else have now learned that racism, xenophobia and bullying tweets are hallmarks of presidential behavior. They don’t remember a Republican Party that wasn’t an obsequious cult of personality or presidential debates that weren’t confusing shouting matches. They think it’s normal for every other word out of a president’s mouth to be bravado, innuendo or, too often, a lie.

Worse still, they live in a country where representative democracy is under assault from algorithmic gerrymandering, institutionalized voter suppression and foreign and domestic disinformation campaigns.

“Donald Trump’s re-election campaign poses the greatest threat to American democracy since World War II,” we wrote in this weekend’s special section of the Sunday Review. If only that were a newspaper woman’s bravado.

The section lays out the substance behind that indictment, from his record of racism and corruption to his utter administrative incompetence. We took no pleasure in writing these pieces. They are urgent because they are a call to action, a call to deny Trump a second term and return the country to a more peaceful, stable and respectful form of self-governance.

In the midst of an economic calamity unmatched in generations, a pandemic of global scope and a nation more divided than in modern memory, the stakes couldn’t be greater. Soon, all that’s left will be to count the votes.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16536 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 09:20

What Jonathan Bernstein doesn't seem to grasp is that the Republicans continued reliance on Obama-care bashing chants has nothing to do with health insurance and all to do with erasing the signature accomplishment of a black president.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16537 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 12:16

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-October-16, 09:20, said:

What Jonathan Bernstein doesn't seem to grasp is that the Republicans continued reliance on Obama-care bashing chants has nothing to do with health insurance and all to do with erasing the signature accomplishment of a black president.

No doubt that has some appeal to haters in the Republican party but I don't think it explains why Republican members of Congress and their financial backers would put that above self preservation. The only thing that makes sense to me is that they view self preservation as a lost cause and are hoping to notch one more win for corporations and private equity interests before the clock runs out.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16538 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 15:23

I have still not tweeted my first tweet but I will grab this from
https://www.washingt...es-crazy-uncle/

Apparently Mary trump tweeted
Need to take issue with @SavannahGuthrie for saying to trump "it's not like you're someone's crazy uncle."
Ken
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#16539 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 15:49

View Postkenberg, on 2020-October-16, 15:23, said:

I have still not tweeted my first tweet

See if you can get yourself blocked by the POTUS, Ken :P B-)
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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#16540 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 17:06

Silly question perhaps, but if Florida can just remove people with debts from the voter roll, could they also prevent the POTUS from voting?
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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