Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by LaCroix » 2018-03-16 01:45pm

Mueller just subpoenad the Trum organization....

Most likely, she wants herself and the kids safe and cared for when Mueller comes for Don, and she certainly has enough ammo on him to make this an uncontested and very favourable divorce.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-16 02:17pm

Well, I support any woman who wants to put some distance between herself and her children, and the Trump family.

Hell, maybe she knows stuff she can tell to Mueller. :)
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-03-17 05:33pm

Reuters

Fired FBI deputy McCabe kept notes on interactions with Trump: source familiar
Reuters Staff

Photo
FILE PHOTO: Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe arrives to testify before the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. May 11, 2017.
REUTERS/ERIC THAYER/FILE PHOTO
(Reuters) - Andrew McCabe, the former deputy director at the Federal Bureau of Investigation fired by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday, kept detailed notes about his interactions with President Donald Trump, according to a source familiar with the matter.

McCabe has said he believed his firing was because he corroborated former FBI Director James Comey's claim that Trump tried to pressure him into killing a probe into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. Comey has told Congress he kept a detailed written record of his conversations with Trump.

ADVERTISEMENT

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is leading the probe into possible collusion between Trump campaign officials and Russia during the presidential election, a claim that Trump has denied.

(Reporting By Sarah Lynch; Writing by Amanda Becker; Editing by Chris Reese)
One only wonders what's on those notes of his.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-03-17 05:44pm

Nothing which result in anything but eight years of Trump, followed by eight years of something almost but entirely resembling Trump, aka Slanders.

Followed by Twilight 2000 in 2032, which ends in both a bang and a whimper.

Because Americans would rather blame a woman's emails and foreign patsies than find the huevos to take responsibility for their actions and clean up the mess they've been making since the 1980s.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-17 05:53pm

I would be very much shocked if Trump won a fair election in 2020. For that matter, I very much doubt that he won a fair election in 2016.

Weather he will be able to win a rigged election in 2020 depends on how enthusiastic the turnout against him is then. Telling people that its hopeless to try isn't really helping on that score. And on weather Congress removes him before then (which may depend on the results of 2018).

Equating Bernie Sanders to Donald Trump is absurd, but since its obvious trolling/flame-bait, I don't feel inclined to argue the point.

But don't worry- if we do get eight years of Trump, at the rate he is undermining our institutions, I very much doubt that anyone will be taking his place in 2024. I regard "eight years of Trump" as tantamount to "President for Life Trump".
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-03-17 06:27pm

What kind of pull do you have to get to undo the two term limit? It would take another constitutional amendment wouldn't it?

Isn't that a rather high bar to pass?
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-17 06:41pm

Crazedwraith wrote:
2018-03-17 06:27pm
What kind of pull do you have to get to undo the two term limit? It would take another constitutional amendment wouldn't it?

Isn't that a rather high bar to pass?
Yeah.

But if the Orange Dumbfuck somehow manages to stick around for eight years, it'll probably mean that they've managed to effectively derail any investigations and destroy any political independency by the Justice Department, and that they've rigged the elections well enough to ensure a perpetually Trump-friendly Congress in addition to Presidential victory.

In which case, its not a huge leap to think that they could rig them well enough to give them the leverage to get an amendment through.

Yeah, its something of a worst case scenario. I don't actually expect Trump to subvert our institutions well enough to get two terms, and I'm not cynical enough to think that he'll get two fairly. But I think that if he did get two terms, it would basically mean that he's won- that the rule of law and any pretense of democracy are dead.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Broomstick » 2018-03-17 07:34pm

The soon to be ex-wife also got a stint in the hospital when someone mailed Don Jr an envelope of "a white powdery substance". Fortunately, the hospitalization was strictly precautionary and the white powder turned out to be corn starch, but finding out that whoops, your husband's activities can make you a target might also be factoring into this.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-19 06:20pm

So, watching Trump's speech on opioids today on CNN. The big headline, of course, is that he is advocating the death penalty for some drug dealers.

Of course, reading between the lines-remember how Trump and his base frequently conflate "drug traffickers" with "Mexican/Hispanic immigrants"? Well, Trump spent much of the speech whining about DACA and sanctuary cities.

He also complained about the long trials for accused drug dealers.

So its hard not to read this as code for "We should be able to shoot brown people."
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-03-19 08:28pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-03-17 05:53pm
I would be very much shocked if Trump won a fair election in 2020. For that matter, I very much doubt that he won a fair election in 2016.

Weather he will be able to win a rigged election in 2020 depends on how enthusiastic the turnout against him is then. Telling people that its hopeless to try isn't really helping on that score. And on weather Congress removes him before then (which may depend on the results of 2018).

Equating Bernie Sanders to Donald Trump is absurd, but since its obvious trolling/flame-bait, I don't feel inclined to argue the point.

But don't worry- if we do get eight years of Trump, at the rate he is undermining our institutions, I very much doubt that anyone will be taking his place in 2024. I regard "eight years of Trump" as tantamount to "President for Life Trump".
Trump didn't win a fair election the first time. Nor has there been a fair election since the soft coup of 1980, when both parties colluded with a hostile power to remove the last legitimate President of the United States.

And, I frankly don't care what you think of the truth, that Slanders and Pump are one and the same. Slanders has never met a corporate paycheck or an NRA kickback he didn't like in his four decades of enriching himself on the taxpayer's dime. He has done nothing to benefit anyone but himself, his lies, the lies of his tiki-wielding Berniebitchboys, or the male-controlled corporate media to the contrary,

If you refuse to see that, you're as much an enemy of this country as either Pump or Slanders.

As for Pump undermining our country's institutions, that isn't something that started happening on 20 January, 2017, as I might have mentioned in the OT thread. This started happening over the course of the past 38 years, and with our approval and thunderous applause.

And, yes, Trump will wreck our country further, before Colonel Slanders arrives on his white horse, and be proclaimed the savior and messiah of a grateful nation...the entire time he finishes what we started and Pump merely continued.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Dragon Angel » 2018-03-19 10:57pm

Cinnabar, I'm going to try being as nice to you as possible, since I don't really know you very well. So, I have an important question for you. I'd like you to answer it as best as you can:

Are you cracked, man?

Or are you just badly trying to troll us?

Imagine me holding my hand in front of you and rubbing my fingers furiously: Proof please. Of ... nearly all of that. Trump being a shithead is a given by now so you don't have to touch him.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Galvatron » 2018-03-20 12:38am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-03-19 06:20pm
So, watching Trump's speech on opioids today on CNN.
Does being on opioids make watching his speeches more tolerable?

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-03-20 08:03am

Dragon Angel wrote:
2018-03-19 10:57pm
Cinnabar, I'm going to try being as nice to you as possible, since I don't really know you very well. So, I have an important question for you. I'd like you to answer it as best as you can:

Are you cracked, man?

Or are you just badly trying to troll us?

Imagine me holding my hand in front of you and rubbing my fingers furiously: Proof please. Of ... nearly all of that. Trump being a shithead is a given by now so you don't have to touch him.
I believe his reference to 1980 regards accusations that Reagan colluded with the Iranians regarding the Tehran embassy hostage crisis, ensuring that Carter would have failure to negotiate the hostages' release hanging over his head until the election. historically the hostages were held until the very day of Reagan's inauguration, preventing Carter from claiming their release as an achievement, but before Reagan could possibly have done anything lawful to secure their release.

Had the hostages been released prior to the November 1980 election, it would have been a massive boost for Carter, since Carter's perceived inability to negotiate or force an end to the hostage crisis was a major factor in the public perception that he was ineffectual or weak on public policy matters.

To the best of my knowledge these allegations are unproven, but are among one of the most believable conspiracy theories I've ever heard of.

Similarly his last sentence/paragraph seems to be based on the premise that core democratic instituions have been getting steadily more undermined throughout the Reagan, Bush, Clinton, re-Bush, and Obama years, which is not an unbelievable hypothesis. One can make a good case that the election of a bozo like Trump is as much a symptom of the poor health of American democracy as a cause; a healthier electoral system would have weeded him out like any other obvious parasite.

The accusations against (presumably) Senator Sanders do seem to be within the realm of parody, though.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-20 12:09pm

Dragon Angel wrote:
2018-03-19 10:57pm
Cinnabar, I'm going to try being as nice to you as possible, since I don't really know you very well. So, I have an important question for you. I'd like you to answer it as best as you can:

Are you cracked, man?

Or are you just badly trying to troll us?

Imagine me holding my hand in front of you and rubbing my fingers furiously: Proof please. Of ... nearly all of that. Trump being a shithead is a given by now so you don't have to touch him.
Yeah, that about sums up my thoughts as well.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Ziggy Stardust » 2018-03-21 12:32am

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-03-20 08:03am
I believe his reference to 1980 regards accusations that Reagan colluded with the Iranians regarding the Tehran embassy hostage crisis, ensuring that Carter would have failure to negotiate the hostages' release hanging over his head until the election. historically the hostages were held until the very day of Reagan's inauguration, preventing Carter from claiming their release as an achievement, but before Reagan could possibly have done anything lawful to secure their release.

Had the hostages been released prior to the November 1980 election, it would have been a massive boost for Carter, since Carter's perceived inability to negotiate or force an end to the hostage crisis was a major factor in the public perception that he was ineffectual or weak on public policy matters.

To the best of my knowledge these allegations are unproven, but are among one of the most believable conspiracy theories I've ever heard of.
Even if you grant the assumption that those allegations are true, the rest of Cinnabar's ranting about how no U.S. elections since 1980 have been legitimate doesn't follow (also note that Cinnabar claimed rather bizarrely claimed both parties were behind the collusion in 1980). Unless you think that Reagan utterly dismantled the entire foundation of American democracy immediately after his 1980 election, it doesn't make sense to claim that, say, Clinton's second election was fraudulent just because Reagan may or may not have done something illegal to potentially sway voters 14 years prior.
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-03-20 08:03am
Similarly his last sentence/paragraph seems to be based on the premise that core democratic instituions have been getting steadily more undermined throughout the Reagan, Bush, Clinton, re-Bush, and Obama years, which is not an unbelievable hypothesis. One can make a good case that the election of a bozo like Trump is as much a symptom of the poor health of American democracy as a cause; a healthier electoral system would have weeded him out like any other obvious parasite.
This is the only kernel of truth I can find in Cinnabar's rather confusing rant. It is true that Trump is in many ways a symptom of a much broader shift in the American political climate. But I find the notion that the 1980 election was somehow either a causal factor or a major tipping point a little difficult to believe. There are dozens of far more probable candidates (indeed, even ones that stretch back even further back, say to Nixon's Southern Strategy or to the disproportionate increase in the mandate of the executive branch that resulted from the development of nuclear power and Truman's policy theretowards).

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-21 04:15pm

Well, strictly speaking, I would say that every, or nearly every US election was undemocratic, even if legally legitimate (legal legitimacy and democratic legitimacy being two different things).

No election prior to suffrage for women (so, prior to the early 20th. Century) could be reasonably considered democratic by moderns standards, nor could any before the general implementation of voting rights for non-whites (so, prior to the mid-20th. Century). Rights which are, in the latter case at least, now being steadily eroded. See also widespread voter suppression and gerrymandering.

Hell, one could argue that they've never been democratic, due to the vote being denied to citizens of the territories and DC. Then there's the Electoral College, which has delivered multiple Presidencies against the popular vote.

At best, you could only consider as truly democratic elections since the '60s or so, and prior to the recent surge in gerrymandering and voter suppression, in which the winner won with the popular vote, and by a large enough margin to off-set the disenfranchisement of the territories and DC. That's... a pretty narrow window. I haven't actually looked up the stats to see if any would qualify.

Trump's was, however, exceptionally undemocratic by the standards of the last 50 years or so, I think.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Tribble » 2018-03-22 12:27am

Bear in mind that the election of POTUS was never designed nor intended to be democratic in the first place. The electoral college was established to give smaller (and largely pro-slavery) states more weight since they may not have joined otherwise and also because the constitutional drafters were weary of the general population one day falling for a demagogue. IIRC the intent was that the electors were to vote independently and were not supposed to be pledged to any particular candidate or party beforehand, though obviously that didn't last very long.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by bilateralrope » 2018-03-22 12:54am

Tribble wrote:
2018-03-22 12:27am
and also because the constitutional drafters were weary of the general population one day falling for a demagogue.
I'd say that they failed hard on that attempt.

Come to think of it, of the occasions where the electoral college selected a president who lost the popular vote, was the president the EC selected ever the better person for the country ?

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Patroklos » 2018-03-22 02:25am

Tribble wrote:
2018-03-22 12:27am
The electoral college was established to give smaller (and largely pro-slavery) states more weight since they may not have joined otherwise
That's not what the EC is for, that's what the Senate is for. And the guaranteed one Representative in the House regardless of population. And in the case of the Senate it was to give each state EQUAL weight, its members being appointed and representing the sovereign state governments themselves, the House being the chamber of the people.

Your comment is also weird in that "smaller states," defined by either land area or population, doesn't fall out how you describe regarding slavery. Population in 1770 (closest I could find casually):
1. Virginia 447,016
2. Pennsylvania 240,057
3. Massachusetts 235,808
4. Maryland 202,599
5. North Carolina 197,200
6. Connecticut 183,881
7. New York 162,920
8. South Carolina 124,244
9. New Jersey 117,431
10. Rhode Island 58,196
11. New Hampshire 62,396
12. Delaware 35,496
13. Georgia 23,375
http://www.yttwebzine.com/yesterday/201 ... nies_chart

The inverse is actually largely true, which shouldn't surprise anyone looking at a map.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by FireNexus » 2018-03-22 08:51am

Patroklos wrote:
2018-03-22 02:25am
Tribble wrote:
2018-03-22 12:27am
The electoral college was established to give smaller (and largely pro-slavery) states more weight since they may not have joined otherwise
That's not what the EC is for, that's what the Senate is for. And the guaranteed one Representative in the House regardless of population. And in the case of the Senate it was to give each state EQUAL weight, its members being appointed and representing the sovereign state governments themselves, the House being the chamber of the people.

Your comment is also weird in that "smaller states," defined by either land area or population, doesn't fall out how you describe regarding slavery. Population in 1770 (closest I could find casually):
1. Virginia 447,016
2. Pennsylvania 240,057
3. Massachusetts 235,808
4. Maryland 202,599
5. North Carolina 197,200
6. Connecticut 183,881
7. New York 162,920
8. South Carolina 124,244
9. New Jersey 117,431
10. Rhode Island 58,196
11. New Hampshire 62,396
12. Delaware 35,496
13. Georgia 23,375
http://www.yttwebzine.com/yesterday/201 ... nies_chart

The inverse is actually largely true, which shouldn't surprise anyone looking at a map.
The claim about the slave states is, in fact, not accurate for the time of the convention. And the Senate is the body that was designed to give greater per capita power to residents of smaller states. But the fact of the Senate means that the EC by transitive property was effectively designed to do the same job. It just happened that it only took a few decades for all those southern states to become the key beneficiaries due to population growth in the urban North.

Yes, it was to give “each state” equal weight. But let’s be clear. It gave each person in states with lower population greater weight. And while the EC wasn’t specifically meant for that, its effect is inarguably that due to the transitive property, and that was probably understood when they were writing it up. Otherwise why not only base it on house delegation?
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-22 06:56pm

The EC also doesn't really benefit smaller states, so if that was the intent, it failed spectacularly (just as it failed in its other supposed intent of preventing the election of a demagogue).

What it does is give swing states disproportionate importance. Especially if you look beyond the state level and look at how it effects individual voters' voting power.

If you are in, say, Wyoming, your vote is worth jack shit in a Presidential election under the EC, because everyone knows who's going to win Wyoming. Ditto a Democrat in Hawaii, DC, or Vermont.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Megabot » 2018-03-22 08:16pm

McMaster is out...John Bolton is in
WASHINGTON — John Bolton, who President Donald Trump said on Thursday will replace H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser on April 9, is a polarizing pick, even by Trump administration standards.

Bolton is a notoriously hawkish former United Nations ambassador whose views don’t even align with the isolationist foreign policy platform on which Trump campaigned ― although it is difficult to tell what the president actually believes.

Bolton has had Trump’s ear, both as an informal adviser and as a commentator on Fox News, for a while. As a presidential candidate, Trump called Bolton “a tough cookie [who] knows what he’s talking about” (although the president apparently is not a fan of his mustache).

Here is a brief history of the new national security adviser’s career in foreign policy:

Bolton fiercely advocated for the Iraq War and promoted the false justification for it.

While serving as a top State Department official under President George W. Bush, Bolton was a chief promulgator of the administration’s justification for the Iraq War: that U.S. intelligence showed evidence of Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction. Famously, this claim later turned out to be false.

But Bolton continued to insist that he was right in calling for war, even years later.

“I still think the decision to overthrow Saddam [Hussein] was correct,” he told the Washington Examiner in 2015. “I think decisions made after that decision were wrong, although I think the worst decision made after that was the 2011 decision to withdraw U.S. and coalition forces. The people who say, ‘Oh, things would have been much better if you didn’t overthrow Saddam,’ miss the point that today’s Middle East does not flow totally and unchangeably from the decision to overthrow Saddam alone.”

“You can’t assume if he had stayed in power, sweetness and light would prevail in the Middle East today,” he added.

He has called for bombing Iran and North Korea.

This does not bode well for diplomatic efforts, such as Trump’s apparent plan to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. In fact, Bolton said on Fox News earlier this month that he predicts the meeting will fail ― which he suggested would likely lead to military action.
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And last month, Bolton made a strong case for a strike on North Korea. In an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal titled “The Legal Case For Striking North Korea First,” he argued there were no legal reasons against a pre-emptive strike by the U.S.:

The threat is imminent, and the case against pre-emption rests on the misinterpretation of a standard that derives from prenuclear, pre-ballistic-missile times. Given the gaps in U.S. intelligence about North Korea, we should not wait until the very last minute. That would risk striking after the North has deliverable nuclear weapons, a much more dangerous situation.

Bolton also intensely opposes the Iranian nuclear deal.

He damaged the United States’ foreign policy reputation while serving as the ambassador to the U.N.

Bolton has a history of speaking about international organizations with derision. While at the U.N., Bolton criticized it as “a twilight zone.” His extreme views and brash manner alienated many U.S. allies.

He has aligned himself with anti-Muslim hate groups.

Between his work at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, commentating on Fox News, and writing op-ed columns for right-leaning publications, Bolton has promoted Islamophobic conspiracy theories and supported anti-Islam organizations that have appeared on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of hate groups.

He joked that former President Barack Obama was a Muslim.

While speaking at an event for one such hate group, Bolton joked about Obama being Muslim. Luckily for him, his new boss launched his political career by spearheading the birther movement.

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...So, war with Iran and/or North Korea when? Maybe even just in time for the 2018 midterms!

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The Romulan Republic
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-22 10:40pm

Yes, the chances of World War III just went up significantly with Bolton advising Trump.
Tribble wrote:
2018-03-22 12:27am
Bear in mind that the election of POTUS was never designed nor intended to be democratic in the first place.
I'm aware.

That doesn't mean that I have to like or condone it.
The electoral college was established to give smaller (and largely pro-slavery) states more weight since they may not have joined otherwise and also because the constitutional drafters were weary of the general population one day falling for a demagogue.
Then it failed spectacularly.
IIRC the intent was that the electors were to vote independently and were not supposed to be pledged to any particular candidate or party beforehand, though obviously that didn't last very long.
Nowadays, faithless electors changing the results of an election would cause riots. And by and large, that's a good thing, though I admit that a part of me wishes they had overturned Trump, given both his fascist tendencies and the questionable legitimacy of his victory.

But since they didn't, well- that pretty much nullifies the one real reason to have the damn thing.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Civil War Man
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Civil War Man » 2018-03-25 10:22am

The idea that the Electoral College is designed to increase the voting power of small states is a brainbug based on ignoring both historical and modern realities. It only has any basis in reality in a hypothetical United States with both universal suffrage and full voter participation, something that has never been true.

What the Electoral College does is increase the voting power of citizens of states with large total populations but small numbers of voters. Prior to the Civil War, this meant slave states. Virginia was by far the biggest beneficiary of this early on, having both a large number of free citizens plus having more slaves than some smaller states had total people.

Seriously, let's check the scoreboard here. Here are the Presidents prior to the Civil War, and the terms they served:
1. George Washington, Virginian, slaveowner, 2 terms
2. John Adams, Massachusetts, no slaves, 1 term
3. Thomas Jefferson, Virginian, slaveowner, 2 terms
4. James Madison, Virginian, slaveowner, 2 terms
5. James Monroe, Virginian, slaveowner, 2 terms
6. John Quincy Adams, Massachusetts, no slaves, 1 term
7. Andrew Jackson, Carolinian/Tennessee, slaveowner, 2 terms
8. Martin Van Buren, New Yorker, technically owned a slave at one point in his life, 1 term
9. William Henry Harrison, Virginian, owned slaves prior to taking office, died early in term
10. John Tyler, Virginian, slaveowner, finished Harrison's term
11. James K. Polk, Carolinian/Tennessee, slaveowner, 1 term
12. Zachary Taylor, Virginian, slaveowner, died a year into term
13. Millard Fillmore, New Yorker, no slaves, finished Taylor's term
14. Franklin Pierce, New Hampshire, no slaves, 1 term
15. James Buchanan, Pennsylvania, no slaves, 1 term

8 of the first 15 owned slaves while in office. 9 of the first 15 were from southern states. Every single one who was elected to two terms was a slaveowner from the south. 6 of them were from Virginia, including 4 of the Presidents elected to two terms. Of the first 7 Presidents, only two were not slaveowners from the south, and they are also the only 2 of the first 7 who were not elected for 2 terms. Of the first 16 Presidential elections, 13 were won with a southerner at the top of the ticket.

The reason for this is because the Electoral College is based on total Congressional representation, from both the House and the Senate, and the Three-Fifths Compromise allowed slaves to be partially counted as population when determining Congressional representation, even though they were obviously not allowed to vote. So 100,000 slaves would count as 60,000 citizens for the purpose of determining the number of representatives the state they lived in received, but only their masters were allowed to cast a ballot.

Slavery and the Three-Fifths Compromise are gone, but the Electoral College is still a relic of it. It incentivizes voter suppression, because each state gets a set number of votes regardless of how many people in the state cast ballots. The more citizens who don't vote, regardless of whether it's because of apathy or legal barriers, the more the voting power is increased for those who are left.

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Ziggy Stardust
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Ziggy Stardust » 2018-03-26 01:20am

8 of the first 15 owned slaves while in office. 9 of the first 15 were from southern states. Every single one who was elected to two terms was a slaveowner from the south. 6 of them were from Virginia, including 4 of the Presidents elected to two terms. Of the first 7 Presidents, only two were not slaveowners from the south, and they are also the only 2 of the first 7 who were not elected for 2 terms. Of the first 16 Presidential elections, 13 were won with a southerner at the top of the ticket.
I don't actually disagree with your general argument about the Electoral College, and I am not trying to nitpick or strawman your basic point, but I feel that I would be remiss if I didn't bring up the potential counter-argument (at least with regards to using the results of the presidential elections in the way you did). Since I don't particularly have time to look up the vote breakdowns for every one of those elections, I just picked an example at random. In 1828, Andrew Jackson won 178 electoral college votes, of which 100 (~56%) were from slave states. Practically speaking, he only lost New England (not a surprise given his opponent was John Quincy Adams). In 1832, he won relection with 219 votes, of which only 84 (~38%) were from slave states (he lost Kentucky, not a surprise given his opponent was Henry Clay, and South Carolina, which actually went to a third party candidate believe it or not). Similarly, if we look at Zachary Taylor's election in 1848, only 55 of his 163 votes (~34%) came from slave states. The point being that it seems at first glance as if the pro-slavery biases of the Electoral College are somewhat less dramatic than you might think if you only look at the list of presidents by slaveowner/non-slaveowner. Not a small number of those early presidents won rather dramatic victories from both sides of the political spectrum, because they were often already American Heroes TM (from the Revolution or otherwise), so it's hard to argue that, say, James Madison only won because he was from the south and owned slaves. Broadly speaking, it doesn't appear to me that you see a monopolization of the vote by southern/slave states, even if there was such a monopolization of the actual candidates being voted on.

Granted, a completely fair comparison would have to involve comparing the proportion of electoral college votes won with the proportion of the popular vote between slave and non-slave states, if you wanted to make a properly rigorous argument. And you can certainly make other structural arguments for how slavery shaped the early political process the way it did without appealing directly to the presidential election results themselves. I'm not trying to downplay the massive and insidious role that had and continues to have in the way our country is governed. I am mostly pointing out that there is a great deal more nuance to the conversation than you seem to give it credit for, and I believe the ambiguities inherent in this nuance are in no small part why the Electoral College is such a difficult thing to get rid of.

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