Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-06-08 09:51pm

Crossroads Inc. wrote:
2018-06-08 09:13pm
Ok so going into far end of crazy...
What happens if Trump proactively says:
“Anyone convicted by Mullet will be automatically pardoned”
Just to dick with everyone?
In a sane world, he'd be immediately impeached. But in a sane world, with a Congress that put duty over partisanship, that would have happened already- at the very latest, when he admitted to firing Comey because of the Russia investigation. In this world, it becomes a talking point for the Democrats, and maybe leads to impeachment if there's a blue wave in the midterms (in other words, just more of the same).

It probably increases the pressure to find violations of state law they can be charged for, since Trump can only pardon Federal crimes, thank God.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Napoleon the Clown » 2018-06-08 10:01pm

Crossroads Inc. wrote:
2018-06-08 09:13pm
Ok so going into far end of crazy...
What happens if Trump proactively says:
“Anyone convicted by Mullet will be automatically pardoned”
Just to dick with everyone?
Mueller starts filing state charges instead. The president can't pardon state charges/convictions, just federal.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Dominus Atheos » 2018-06-08 11:27pm

Debate over detained migrant kids heats up as number tops 10,000

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said last week it was holding 10,773 migrant children in custody, though it's unclear how many of them were forcibly separated from their parents.
http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/inde ... ant_k.html

I don't want to prove Godwin's lLaw, but this is getting disturbingly close to concentration camps.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by bilateralrope » 2018-06-09 03:55am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-06-08 06:01pm
If Trump thinks asbestos is so safe, why doesn't he go eat some?
Related question: If Trump and the EPA declare it safe, is it legal to mail envelopes full of asbestos to them ?

Sadly I can see some people being stupid enough to do so.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by SCRawl » 2018-06-09 10:53am

Regarding President Trump's claims that asbestos is 100% safe, once applied, according to my understanding that's pretty close to being true. Once it's applied, it's supposed to be pretty stable. The problem is that sometimes, when you have to remove or otherwise disturb the stuff with that already-applied asbestos products on it, it's not safe anymore; once it gets into the air, and you inhale it, well, it's pretty much the opposite of 100% safe. Not to mention that mining, processing, and applying asbestos is also pretty hazardous.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Patroklos » 2018-06-09 11:04am

Yes, just like PCBs. The problem is that used as an industrial or construction material its always just a matter of time before its disturbed for modification or demolition, or it deteriorates due to use or exposure.

Which of course leads to the problem that if you don't understand its dangers before hand, and it takes a good amount of time from its first introduction to when those events start to happen and then for the related health effects to manifest and be traced to it, the stuff has been installed everywhere. Especially in the case of asbestos, because its just so damn useful.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by SCRawl » 2018-06-09 12:10pm

My point is that when narrowly interpreted, President Trump's claims about asbestos aren't quite as nonsensical as they appear. It's a bit like saying that sodium cyanide is 100% safe as long as you don't ever come into contact with it; it's kind of a dumb thing to say, but it's still true. This is as opposed to some of the other presidential musings of the past few hundred days, many of which are demonstrably untrue when using any reasonable standard for evaluating them.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-06-09 08:43pm

Gandalf wrote:
2018-06-08 06:58pm
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-06-05 08:12am
There is NO sign that the Founding Fathers EVER seriously considered that a president could use the pardon power to render himself effectively above the law. That is very obviously not what they meant; they took great pains to ensure that no part of the government they were designing would be above the law.
Yeah, but at the same time I think a few of them might have also had trouble with the ideas of emancipation, and extending voting to people who aren't just white guys.

Maybe appealing to the intent of eighteenth century people to run a country in the twenty-first century may not be a recipe for success. :P
Don't be silly.

This isn't an argument of the form "18th century dudes' intent overrides modern dudes' intent."

This is an argument of the form "This argument by the Trumpistas is so grossly stupid, even 18th century dudes knew it was stupid." It's like "I'm a caveman and even I think this is ridiculous."

...

The one class of concepts that the founding generation of American politicians actually got comprehensively RIGHT was this one. Namely, the idea that government officials' power should be limited, and that no member of the government should be above the law.

They got a shitload of other things wrong, but they did get that one concept right- that government should have constitutional restrictions on what it can do to people, and that any one individual within the government should have way more restrictions on what they personally can get away with.

And of course all this is merely supplementary to the more general point that NO constitutional document should ever be interpreted in a moronic way like "aha, I can interpret this particular piece of wording stupidly, in such a way as to render the whole rest of the document irrelevant and let me seize ULTIMATE POWAH!" Because that's not how constitutions work, or are supposed to work.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Gandalf » 2018-06-09 08:56pm

The funny part is that the 18th century land and slave owning class which started the whole genocidal enterprise even enter these discussions at all.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Tribble » 2018-06-09 10:18pm

Gandalf wrote:
2018-06-09 08:56pm
The funny part is that the 18th century land and slave owning class which started the whole genocidal enterprise even enter these discussions at all.
Well, the US Consitution is still predominatently based on that they wrote, so... not really surprising that their viewpoints are still looked at today? Do you believe their viewpoints are wrong in this particular instance?
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by LaCroix » 2018-06-10 01:35pm

Tribble wrote:
2018-06-09 10:18pm
Gandalf wrote:
2018-06-09 08:56pm
The funny part is that the 18th century land and slave owning class which started the whole genocidal enterprise even enter these discussions at all.
Well, the US Consitution is still predominatently based on that they wrote, so... not really surprising that their viewpoints are still looked at today? Do you believe their viewpoints are wrong in this particular instance?
Fun(?) fact:
Although the idea that you base a society on the ideas of 18th century slave owners is kind of abhorrend, if you were to toss the US constitution today and let the current US government write a new one, you'd most likely get something worse...
A minute's thought suggests that the very idea of this is stupid. A more detailed examination raises the possibility that it might be an answer to the question "how could the Germans win the war after the US gets involved?" - Captain Seafort, in a thread proposing a 1942 'D-Day' in Quiberon Bay

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by houser2112 » 2018-06-11 09:01am

LaCroix wrote:
2018-06-10 01:35pm
Fun(?) fact:
Although the idea that you base a society on the ideas of 18th century slave owners is kind of abhorrend, if you were to toss the US constitution today and let the current US government write a new one, you'd most likely get something worse...
There is no doubt in my mind about that. I've heard leftist groups clamoring for a Constitutional Convention to fix what's wrong with our government, and I have to say "are you insane?". We've seen what happens when you give states outsized power (the Civil War and the election of two presidents in my lifetime to lose the popular vote). Do they really think we'll get something better (from a liberal viewpoint) giving all of those ruby-red states an equal voice?

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-06-11 11:53am

Gandalf wrote:
2018-06-09 08:56pm
The funny part is that the 18th century land and slave owning class which started the whole genocidal enterprise even enter these discussions at all.
Because historical revisionism is unhealthy, and discussing a document while in denial about who wrote it is a form of revisionism.

By being mindful of the fact that the Constitution was written by a bunch of 18th century colonial aristocrats whose chief mitigating virtue was that they subscribed to the newsletters of some then-forward-thinking political philosophers, a great deal about the Constitution, and when it should and should not be taken in a literalist way, is revealed.

For example, the Founders were terrified of standing armies, for essentially stupid reasons albeit ones that had little to do with the stereotypical class-war narrative of why they were bad people. They didn't make allowances for extensive interstate commerce, because they were 18th century people writing when most economic activity other than shipping stayed within like 20-30 miles of its source. They included an amendment process because they were colonial aristocrats who knew their country was going to be changing, expanding, and developing in various ways. They wrote in separation of powers to a much higher degree than most European parliamentary democracies have because they had NO prior working models for the kind of republic they wanted to found, and were overly enthused with Montesquieu's misunderstanding of how the British system worked. And so on.

Awareness of authorship and willingness to mention authorship when discussing a document helps understand that document and place it in historical context. Trying to make the authors unpersons because they did bad things that the world hadn't globally acknowledged as bad yet will not help us accomplish anything, unless the goal is to proclaim the Year Zero.
LaCroix wrote:
2018-06-10 01:35pm
Fun(?) fact:
Although the idea that you base a society on the ideas of 18th century slave owners is kind of abhorrend, if you were to toss the US constitution today and let the current US government write a new one, you'd most likely get something worse...
The thing is, the Constitution is set up so that we can amend the abhorrent ideas out of existence (e.g. abolishing slavery). So after 230 years of that process, all that's left of the Founders' bad ideas are the merely bad ideas, like presidential democracy as opposed to a parliamentary system.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Gandalf » 2018-06-11 05:08pm

I'm not sure what's funnier, the complaints about historical revisionism being "unhealthy," or the whole unpersons thing. Either way, comedy achieved.

Protip; do some proper research into historical revisionism as a concept and get back to me.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Ziggy Stardust » 2018-06-11 07:22pm

Gandalf wrote:
2018-06-11 05:08pm
I'm not sure what's funnier, the complaints about historical revisionism being "unhealthy," or the whole unpersons thing. Either way, comedy achieved.

Protip; do some proper research into historical revisionism as a concept and get back to me.
I'm having a hard time following what your argument is, precisely, because you are relying more on snark than coherency. But I'm going to give a stab at responding to you nonetheless.

Your basic point seems to be summed up when you wrote: "Maybe appealing to the intent of eighteenth century people to run a country in the twenty-first century may not be a recipe for success." When stated that way, it seems like a reasonable point. It is true that making political decisions in modern America SOLELY on the basis of what you interpret the intents of the Founding Fathers to have been is a backwards and damaging way to conduct our affairs.

However, it also seems to be missing Simon's point in a very important and very basic way. Remember, Simon isn't making the argument "We should make our political decisions based on what we think the Founding Fathers would have wanted". He is making the argument, "If literal interpretation of the text of the Constitution becomes ambiguous, we should leverage our knowledge of the historical context of the document, including what we think the motivations of the Founding Fathers were, in order to clear up the ambiguity, regardless of whether or not we believe the Founding Fathers were correct." These are VERY different positions to take. Simon's isn't making some stubborn dogmatic appraisal of the inherent worth of the Founding Fathers' beliefs, he is advocating for intelligent and flexible decision-making when it comes to trying to interpret the Constitution.

It also isn't clear what exactly you propose as an alternative to Simon's argument. The entire point is that literal interpretation of the Constitution in this case produces inconsistencies and contradictions, so in what light do you propose to actual interpret the Constitution if trying to frame it within a historical context "may not be a recipe for success"? It's a bit like saying that we shouldn't try to interpret the text of the Bible with respect to what we know about its historical context in which it was written, and rely instead on a literal interpretation of the text.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Gandalf » 2018-06-12 02:09am

I never stated that appealing to the mystical Founders was the whole basis of US constitutional law. Though sometimes it certainly seems like a ouija board isn't too far away. But the fact that they are in the equation is what's so puzzling. Why appeal to their intent at all? Is it just their flowery stated intents, or what their actions showed? And so on.

As cults of personality go, it's not a bad one.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-06-26 07:02pm

LaCroix wrote:
2018-06-10 01:35pm
Tribble wrote:
2018-06-09 10:18pm
Gandalf wrote:
2018-06-09 08:56pm
The funny part is that the 18th century land and slave owning class which started the whole genocidal enterprise even enter these discussions at all.
Well, the US Consitution is still predominatently based on that they wrote, so... not really surprising that their viewpoints are still looked at today? Do you believe their viewpoints are wrong in this particular instance?
Fun(?) fact:
Although the idea that you base a society on the ideas of 18th century slave owners is kind of abhorrend, if you were to toss the US constitution today and let the current US government write a new one, you'd most likely get something worse...
With the current governments? The most likely outcome is that the Trumpers would gut due process, abolish amendments 14 and 15, and ram a mix of theocracy and Trump-worship down our throats.

Oh, who am I kidding? The likeliest outcome is that no replacement could be agreed upon by enough people, and it would either come to nothing, or plunge the country into civil war.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Ziggy Stardust » 2018-06-26 08:39pm

Gandalf wrote:
2018-06-12 02:09am
I never stated that appealing to the mystical Founders was the whole basis of US constitutional law. Though sometimes it certainly seems like a ouija board isn't too far away. But the fact that they are in the equation is what's so puzzling. Why appeal to their intent at all? Is it just their flowery stated intents, or what their actions showed? And so on.

As cults of personality go, it's not a bad one.
Because language isn't always unambiguous? There is, in fact, a lot of language used in the Constitution that is ambiguous; it can be interpreted to mean multiple things with exclusively separate meanings and implications. We have a document that is designed to be the foundational piece of our government system, but in many cases we can't agree on what that document is actually trying to tell us. If you don't start appealing to the historical context in which the document was written (which includes the intent of the Founders), you aren't left with any non-arbitrary way to disambiguate the contentious parts of the document. And there is a distinct benefit to that approach, insofar as the historical context and intent of the Founders is fixed in time, whereas any other way to interpret the meanings of the text is going to change over time, which inherently reduces its worth as a legal document. Obviously this isn't perfect, because we still have the issue of interpreting the intent of the Founders, so you can make an argument we've just moved the goal-posts and are now arguing over the meaning of something distal to the original argument, but that's a different argument than the one you seem to be making.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Batman » 2018-06-26 08:42pm

At this point I think Civil War is the 'best' possible outcome because it's either that or full-on theocratic fascism
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-06-26 08:50pm

Batman wrote:
2018-06-26 08:42pm
At this point I think Civil War is the 'best' possible outcome because it's either that or full-on theocratic fascism
That presumes that it is impossible to arrest the spread of fascism without a civil war. That seems... highly premature, between the Mueller investigation and the possibility of a November blue wave.

Also, the last US Civil War killed about 700,000 people. It was fought in a country with a population of tens of millions, predominantly with single-shot muskets and rifles. A repeat would be fought in a country of over 300 million people, primarily with automatic weapons and bombs. Or, worst case scenario, nukes. And would probably cause the complete collapse of the entire global economy, given the interconnectedness of the modern economy and America's status as a superpower. Possibly also be taken advantage of by Russia, China, and NK to make land grabs.

It is a really high bar you have to reach to justify calling that the lesser evil.

There's also the fact that the opposition is in no way organized, equipped, or motivated to fight a civil war. That may be a good argument for starting to build anti-Trump militias in case we need them later, but that gets us back to the old catch-22: does the risk of escalating a conflict unnecessarily by forming partisan militias outweigh the risk of not being prepared if a conflict arises in the future? Militias tend to attract trigger-happy people who might start a fight we don't need or aren't ready for. And I'll acknowledge there's an argument for either side of this question. Its not a simple one.

Edit: Even if elections and the courts fail, there are still other alternatives to immediately launching a violent revolt. Personally, I'd likely advocate for a General Strike. Such a thing might prove difficult to impossible to organize, but the same can be said for trying to organize a viable anti-Trump armed resistance.

Alternatively, rather than a popular revolt, we might see a situation where elements of the military/intelligence community try a coup, if things get bad enough. There have to be some people in the armed forces who take their oath to defend the Constitution seriously. Though such an attempt, successful or failed, would probably quickly escalate into more widespread unrest.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Batman » 2018-06-26 09:01pm

You're working with the assumption that the Mueller investigation and the midterm elections will be honored. Trump is calling for the repeal of due process as it is and says he is above the law. Do you seriously believe he'll give a damn if voters try to change 'his' government? He'll just claim 'fake news, the election was manipulated' and go right on
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-06-26 09:19pm

Batman wrote:
2018-06-26 09:01pm
You're working with the assumption that the Mueller investigation and the midterm elections will be honored.
By Trump? I assume nothing. But Trump is not (yet) an absolute dictator, and cannot simply refuse to recognize the election results or the outcome of the investigation by fiat. There are state governments, judges, members of Congress (including even some Republicans), and likely highly-placed members of the armed forces/intelligence community who would balk at either of those actions.
Trump is calling for the repeal of due process as it is and says he is above the law. Do you seriously believe he'll give a damn if voters try to change 'his' government? He'll just claim 'fake news, the election was manipulated' and go right on
If Trump does that, a number of things could happen.

1) Trump spouts some generic Trump tweets or something about how the election is illegitimate. Nobody else in government listens, the new Congress gets sworn in, and has all the more reason to impeach. In fact, this is probably the likeliest scenario. I regretfully expect that there will be some rioting or domestic terrorism from the Trump base if they lose (and from Democrats if they lose, for that matter), since both sides have been primed to believe that if the other side wins, its because of fraud (though the Democrats have far more valid reasons to believe that). But probably nothing on a scale that could really be called a civil war, or worse than what we experienced during the '60s, much less the Reconstruction era post-Civil War.

2) Trump refuses to recognize the results, and tries to actively inhibit the new Congress from being seated/refuses to recognize its authority. Far less likely, I think, even for him, because this would be basically dropping all pretense that he is a despot. But in that case, I'd expect one or more of the following to happen, after the initial wave of protests, rioting and international condemnation.

a) The current Congress finally decides that they've reached the limit, and impeaches.

b) The current Republicans in Congress really are fully committed to Trumpian fascism. The military/intelligence community coups Trump.

c) The military/intelligence community stays largely loyal to Trump, and we're fucked, unless the rage of the Left is enough to organize demonstrations on a scale large enough to effectively shut down the country, and to stand their ground in the face of likely armed reprisals.

d) Some blue states begin moving towards secession. I honestly think that in this scenario, there is a not insignificant chance that California bolts, for a start. Possibly Vermont as well, and maybe some others.

e) The country mostly submits and we become a fascist nation, albeit possibly with an ongoing progressive terrorist/insurgent movement.

Any of those scenarios could escalate to a full-scale civil war, and d) almost certainly would, while in e) a civil war might ultimately end up being the lesser evil. Its more iffy in the other cases.

As to the Mueller investigation, its success is likely tied to the outcome of the elections, since a victorious Republican Congress might be emboldened to back firing Mueller, and would almost certainly never impeach no matter what evidence he turned up. Theoretically, Mueller and Rosenstein could try indicting the President, but the Constitutionality of that is untested.

However, it should be noted that there are also state investigations, which are outside the reach of Presidential pardons. Still, there's a reason why I say that this is the most important election since the Reconstruction era.

Edit: Of course, there is a danger in any of these scenarios of it escalating to mass violence. I do not trust that Trump will ever leave the White House willingly. But it is very important that the opposition to Trump not fire the first shots or be seen as instigating violence, for two reasons. First, the moral reason, that instigating preemptive violence is antithetical to a society based on democracy and the rule of law. Secondly, the pragmatic reason: that there are many people who are not Trumpers, but are not yet prepared to endorse violence (myself among them). If the opposition is seen as starting violence, it will cost us support of people who would be on our side if we were acting defensively, support that we would desperately need to win such a struggle. Public perception matters in war, just as it does in politics. There is a reason why during the run-up to the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln went to some lengths to make sure that it was not the Union firing the first shot. If it had been, he probably would have lost all the border states, instead of just half of them.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Batman » 2018-06-26 09:40pm

And I very much hope it unfolds your way. I just don't see that happening given the Trump maladministrations refusal to abide by the law and tries to dismantle it
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'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
'You know, for a guy with like 50 different kinds of vision, you sure are blind.'

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

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-06-26 09:57pm

Batman wrote:
2018-06-26 09:40pm
And I very much hope it unfolds your way. I just don't see that happening given the Trump maladministrations refusal to abide by the law and tries to dismantle it
Well, there's a spectrum of possible outcomes. "A blue wave is elected, Mueller finishes his investigation, and Trump is peacefully removed from office via due process, with minimal violence" is at one end of that spectrum. Its the ideal outcome, and one that I still think is possible, though perhaps becoming less likely. A choice between full-blown civil war and full-blown fascism (or Trump making all of this moot by getting us into a nuclear war) is at the other end of that spectrum. But there are many other options, of varying degrees of shittiness and plausibility, in between.

But in any scenario, it behooves us to act cautiously, and aim for the best feasible outcome. Or, if worst comes to worst, make sure that we act in such a manner as to have as much justification and as much popular, political, and military/law enforcement support as possible.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-06-29 10:09pm

John Stewart's still got it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYCPZrOkZx0

With the barrage of horrific news over the last few days, I really needed this.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.

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