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hyzmarca
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Joined: 14 Mar 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So, Trump invited the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights to tour the United States. Or at least didn't uninvite him. Someone in the government invited him, anyway.

This is his report.

http://ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=22533&LangID=E

It's literally nothing new. This is shit that everyone has known for a long time. But it's nice to see it on paper from someone with actual clout.

My favorite.

Quote:
But at the end of the day, particularly in a rich country like the USA, the persistence of extreme poverty is a political choice made by those in power


I mean, yeah, we all know that the main reason that poverty exists is that the government wants people to be poor. But it's nice to see someone actually say so.

I also like how he calls out the tax bill as the pile of shit that it is.

And the part where he suggests that Congressmen should have to submit to mandatory random drug tests.


Last edited by hyzmarca on Sun Dec 31, 2017 4:16 am; edited 1 time in total
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RobbyPants
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Between the campaign and his first year in office, Trump has broken many norms. Just to name a few:

  • Frequent childish insults.
  • Not releasing tax returns.
  • Having many conflicts of interest and refusing to disinvest from them.
  • A shit-ton of diplomatic snafus.
  • Minor things like not attending events which presidents almost always attend.
  • Going after his predecessor and opponent with numerous baseless accusations.
  • Repeated brazen lies.
  • Repeatedly stretching the bounds of what is appropriate for the White House to push its influence.
  • I'm getting depressed listing these and I'm going to stop.

While we are occasionally shocked by something new, we also just seem to accept this as inevitable. I feel many people have lowered the bar on what they expect from Trump, so that he can massively under-perform compared to other candidates/presidents, and people feel he did just fine.

My question is: after his time in office, will he have largely shattered the norms of the office, or will people be so sick of the bullshit that they demand more "presidential" candidates?
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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

RobbyPants wrote:
I feel many people have lowered the bar on what they expect from Trump, so that he can massively under-perform compared to other candidates/presidents, and people feel he did just fine.

He's got the lowest approval ratings of any president since they started measuring, and that's with a strong economy. The problem is that the appropriate response to such a manifestly unfit person abusing his office is impeachment, and the Republicans in congress have made it clear that they won't restrain him, and indeed will actively protect him. All that's left to do is mass protest (of which there has been a lot), lawsuits (of which there have been a lot) and voting.

Quote:
My question is: after his time in office, will he have largely shattered the norms of the office, or will people be so sick of the bullshit that they demand more "presidential" candidates?

This depends on the aftermath: how the person who succeeds Trump behaves, and whether Trump faces actual consequences for his actions.
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Josh_Kablack
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah I'm hoping that the next government can assert the rule of law by finding a way to send some of the current administration's big names to prison for the blatant conflicts of interests and shredding of norms. Furthermore I'm hoping that can be done in a bipartisan restrained way that reinforces civilized limits rather than seeming to be the sort of partisan political witch hunt that only accelerates our march to totalitarianism.

I'm also hoping to win tonight's powerball.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The one bright spot of Trump's legacy is that I no longer have to take American Exceptionalism theory remotely seriously and I can respond to claims of American Exceptionalism with the derisive animal noises that they always deserved rather than pretend to have a reasoned debate on the subject.

Whether Donald Trump is removed from office by the ballot or the bullet, the fact is that the United States definitely had an idiot king on the order of Charles II of Spain. Even if we have another Obama who speaks in reasoned conciliatory tones, the inescapable reality is that every country on Earth knows that the US president after that could be another raging moron. The United States can no longer make credible long term commitments. To anything. For anything.

The United States simply lacks credibility in all areas. The US can no longer take a long term loan or ask other countries to expend political capital on its behalf for any project or prospect more than four years in the future. The United States can no longer credibly make deals as the United States, all deals are short term affairs made with whatever the current administration is. The Washington Consensus is fucking dead, and the United States cannot be treated as a trustworthy persistent actor on the world stage.

We can't get that kind of credibility back. Nothing we could do can erase the taint of having had a Trump presidency. The credibility lost cannot be recovered. The institutions of the Earth are simply lessened, and humanity is simply that much closer to a dark age of chaos. If there is to be a new anchor of order for a new world order, it will not and can not come from the United States.

-Frank
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Shatner
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

My hopes aren't particularly high, but I'm holding out that this administration breaks the elephant's back. In other words, I have no idea what it'd take for Republicans to lose and lose hard such that they become a failed political party, but something like this seems a step in that direction... assuming the bid for authoritarianism fails, of course.
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DSMatticus
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Trump has a 37-38% approval rating. That is probably enough to keep the GOP competitive because gerrymandering and the senate is bullshit, and gerrymandering isn't going anywhere because the Supreme Court wants Republicans to win, and you have almost no chance of taking back the Supreme Court in the short term and zero chance in the long term without spending more time holding congress and the White House than Republicans, and that's not going to happen when you are the party of Do Nothing Because Republicans Won't Let You and you are losing a propaganda war on top of it all.

People talking about a return to normalcy are being naive idiots. Republicans are the ones who refuse to be bound by our norms and nothing Democrats can do will change that. The correct answer is to stack the FBI and publicly expose every ounce of corruption you can find and use that as the basis for whatever unilateral action you can get away with. That is not a safe move, and could plausibly end in a constitutional crisis or civil war. That is not a particularly democratic move, but it is the only move which stands any chance of restoring the respect for rule of law which is necessary for us to one day have true democracy again. Republicans, lobbyists, and executives simply must be punished for what happened in 2016-2020 and that punishment must leave them fearing for their fortunes, freedoms, and even lives - treason is still a capital offense, after all, so everyone who acted on behalf of Russia in the 2016 election should be earnestly worrying about the possibility of the noose. This will probably not even be a popular move, with the media being centrist dipshits who will treat punishing actual collusion and corruption with even more disdain than the obscene abuse of power that was, say, pardoning Joe Arpaio. But it must be done. We cannot have a democracy if its deliberate and open subversion is not punished harsly and swiftly. We must strip away the pretense of invulnerability that makes these tyrants feel free to act openly against our democracy.

This will not happen, of course. Democrats will likely win in 2020 and enjoy a lameduck presidency. It is possible but unlikely this will turn into a majority on the Supreme Court, which is a path forward - massive unilateral reforms imposed by the Supreme Court could right our course. But more likely Republicans will ride that next Democratic lameduck presidency and their propaganda network back into power over 2020-2024, and the next Trump will be a graver threat to our democracy than the incompetent buffoon we have now. And if he is not the end of it himself, he will burn the country, rig the game, and stack the courts that little bit extra they need to ensure another lameduck Democratic administration and an opportunity for the next tyrant to finish his work. And so on. The asymmetry of this situation is brutal and demographics are not killing the Republican party faster than they can rig the game the way we all hoped.

Democracy is losing. Trump's unpopularity doesn't change that. You should probably have a rough idea of how not to be in this country any more 10-20 years down the line; if things continues down this road you will not want to raise a family here. People said that for Bush, and it was kind of dumb, because all Bush did was steal your children's and grandchildren's taxes and give them to rich people. That is unforgivable, but a democracy survives it. A democracy does not survive this.


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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I mean, 1) Not sure how the "all bush did was steal from you not hurt democracy" take handles that citizens united and shelby v holder are both outcomes of the bush appointees doing the things no one ever thought they would manage to do but that they clearly always wanted to do on the back of a farce of a nomination process for both justices.

I feel like.... probably Sandra Day O'Connor might be the actual worst justice. Not because she made more bad decisions, but just because she actually did want specifically good for everyone, instead, and made a bunch of terrible decisions about how to get that, like Bush v Gore, and retiring after seeing the colossally shitty choices Bush was making for judges.

When Scalia or Roberts fucks everything up, at least the murder of minorities and the destruction of democracy are there actual fucking goals, what the fucking is O'Connor's excuse?

2) Okay, got sidetracked there. Was going to say, should just do nothing but financial crimes honestly. Arrest and prosecute every single republican senator, it's not like they all don't universally commit them. Restack the FBI, and arrest every single fucking senator for financial crimes until you get 60 votes in the senate, hell, target R House seats in Dem govenor states too, at worst you take down the incumbency advantage of republicans, at best, you swing enough at the right time to pass some fucking laws.

That's my hypothetical use the FBI to undemocractically enforce actual democracy system.

While I'm at it, get 67 senators, then get 51% of the house, and impeach Clarence Thomas. I mean, impeach all of them for being bad at their fucking job, because they don't even bother coming up with good lies about why their fucking nakedly partisan decisions are made, but start with Thomas because he's both clearly incompetent, and do it over the Anita Hill stuff for added irony.
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Blicero
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Kaelik wrote:

While I'm at it, get 67 senators, then get 51% of the house, and impeach Clarence Thomas. I mean, impeach all of them for being bad at their fucking job, because they don't even bother coming up with good lies about why their fucking nakedly partisan decisions are made, but start with Thomas because he's both clearly incompetent, and do it over the Anita Hill stuff for added irony.


Why is Clarence Thomas specifically incompetent among the SC justices?
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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Thomas is like a less talky Scalia.
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Occluded Sun
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Whipstitch wrote:
Thomas is like a less talky Scalia.
...and?

I hope those of you suggesting eliminating him have valid reasons for doing so. 'Valid' is code for "more complex than simply not liking the decisions he makes".
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phlapjackage
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Occluded Sun wrote:
Whipstitch wrote:
Thomas is like a less talky Scalia.
...and?

I hope those of you suggesting eliminating him have valid reasons for doing so. 'Valid' is code for "more complex than simply not liking the decisions he makes".

Oh, I'm sure it's just EVERYBODY doesn't like him and thinks he's a meanie and don't have real "valid" reasons...

Rolling Eyes

prediction: if anyone does list the reasons they have, you will argue and call the reasons not valid as a matter of course
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Occluded Sun wrote:
Whipstitch wrote:
Thomas is like a less talky Scalia.
...and?

I hope those of you suggesting eliminating him have valid reasons for doing so. 'Valid' is code for "more complex than simply not liking the decisions he makes".


Clarence Thomas literally takes millions of dollars of bribes to keep voting for things on the conservative wishlist. He isn't forced to recuse himself from things that right wing think tanks are paying him money for obedience on because members of the Supreme Court aren't subject to ethics investigations from any higher court. This has been going on for years, and every so often there's a bit of a scandal about it, like when people noticed that he "forgot" to put over six hundred thousand dollars of Heritage Foundation gave to his household on financial disclosure forms. That was in 2011, and he hasn't stopped doing that because the political norm of not impeaching supreme court justices who flagrantly violate ethical rules has prevented him from being prosecuted.

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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Blicero wrote:
Why is Clarence Thomas specifically incompetent among the SC justices?


While he's certainly more ethically compromised than others, as the only confirmed sexual assaulter, and also taking bribes, he also believes oral argument is meaningless, and that precedent is meaningless, and that everything the federal government has done in the last 80 years is unconstitutional and that everything states have done in the last 100 years is constitutional.

He rejects substantive due process, which means by the way, that states can censor you, establish a state religion and make you participate in it, search all your shit whenever they want, arrest you without probable cause, force you to testify at your own trial against yourself, have no jury trial, just fucking have the judge sentence you to death, have no counsel, use cruel and unusual punishment.

Also he thinks federal bans of child labor, or making overtimes be paid more, or really just, literally any law passed since 1933 is unconstitutional.

His arguments for this are "Well no I haven't really read or engaged with the cases at hand, but like, the literal words of the constitution don't say the federal government can do these things! Also they don't say the states can't!"

Also, unlike Scalia, when he throws away his pretend principles about originalism to vote for deeply unoriginal votes like Citizens United or Shelby or New York he doesn't even bother to lie about the constitution, he either signs onto someone else's opinion that doesn't even try, or he writes a brief statement about how he hasn't read the constitution recently, but he's pretty sure it says the republicans must win elections, so it's fine.

Refusing to even present arguments in favor of your really stupid positions is a pretty good case for incompetence in a justice.
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RobbyPants
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Roy Moore accuser Tina Johnson's house burnt down; being investigated as asron.
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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I notice Occluded Sun took a few days off mysteriously.

But I'm sure he'll be back any minute to tell us that our reasons for impeaching Clarence Thomas are just because we don't like his opinions.
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RobbyPants
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Pardoned, racist Sheriff Joe Arpaio announces Arizona Senate run
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Occluded Sun
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
Clarence Thomas literally takes millions of dollars of bribes to keep voting for things on the conservative wishlist. He isn't forced to recuse himself from things that right wing think tanks are paying him money for obedience on because members of the Supreme Court aren't subject to ethics investigations from any higher court. This has been going on for years, and every so often there's a bit of a scandal about it, like when people noticed that he "forgot" to put over six hundred thousand dollars of Heritage Foundation gave to his household on financial disclosure forms. That was in 2011, and he hasn't stopped doing that because the political norm of not impeaching supreme court justices who flagrantly violate ethical rules has prevented him from being prosecuted.


That seems like a good reason.

But I am tempted to ask why such a norm exists, and what it can be applied to, if his behavior is unusual for Supreme Court justices.
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deaddmwalking
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Fix your tags.
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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

One supreme court justice has ever been impeached. He signed the declaration of independence, to give you an idea of when it happened. No supreme court justice has ever even had an impeachment vote since. Now, at first, that was mostly just because no one did shit that was deemed impeachable.

At a certain point it has just become an ongoing resistance to the idea of impeachment. It's almost impossible to imagine what would get a Justice impeached. Even the republicans haven't done it for being a democrat yet, and since republicans consider being a democrat so bad that ending democracy to prevent democrats from being in office is considered a good thing, that's saying a lot.

Now, there are judicial ethics rules that apply to all other judges, but there is no one to enforce them on the SC, so they just don't have to follow any. So they can do things like, judge cases where one of the attorneys is their partner or their partner works at the firm, or hear a case that determines whether a company they own a significant stake in gets to make millions of dollars or not, or if they want to literally go hang out with one of the parties in a case in front of them, and be whined and dined and give a speech at an event, while that person whispers in their ear about how to rule on the case, that's also okay.

So when Clarence Thomas just straight up has his wife paid literal money for consulting with people about to come in front of the SC, it's not that no one knows that is bad, it's that we all know it violates the judicial code of ethics, but the judicial code of ethics doesn't apply to justices.

Oh by the way, that was:

1) FUCK IT EVERYONE (This is so common that in 1999 they wrote a special recusal policy that said 'neaner neaner, we will never ever recuse for this reason' because 7! of the 9 justices had a spouse or child represent in front of the court in the last 5 years.)
2) Roberts
3) Gorsuch

Also Clarence Thomas has done literally all those things.
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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

SOMEBODY needs to fix their god damn thread breaking tags!
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erik
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Stahlseele wrote:
SOMEBODY needs to fix their god damn thread breaking tags!


Thread works if occluded sun is on ignore. Just saying.
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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Well, it's no wonder Grassley didn't want the Fusion GPS transcripts released, they put the lie to everything the GOP has been saying on Trump-Russia for months.
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RobbyPants
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

A panel of judges struck down NCís district map for being used to gain a partisan advantage. This is the first time a federal court ruled against congressional gerrymandering.

Last edited by RobbyPants on Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Pixels
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Neat, but I can't get excited about court decisions on gerrymandering until we get a ruling on Gill v. Whitford. If that's too far away, the oral arguments for Benisek v. Lamone will probably give us an idea of how Kennedy is leaning.
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