Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

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Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Postby SolarpunkFan » 2017-01-25 03:30pm

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/arc ... ce/514229/

For American science, the next four years look to be challenging. The newly inaugurated President Trump, and many of his Cabinet picks, have repeatedly cast doubt upon the reality of human-made climate change, questioned the repeatedly proven safety of vaccines. Since the inauguration, the administration has already frozen grants and contracts by the Environmental Protection Agency and gagged researchers at the US Department of Agriculture. Many scientists are asking themselves: What can I do?

And the answer from a newly formed group called 314 Action is: Get elected.

The organization, named after the first three digits of pi, is a political action committee that was created to support scientists in running for office. It’s the science version of Emily’s List, which focuses on pro-choice female candidates, or VoteVets, which backs war veterans. “A lot of scientists traditionally feel that science is above politics but we’re seeing that politics is not above getting involved in science,” says founder Shaughnessy Naughton. “We’re losing, and the only way to stop that is to get more people with scientific backgrounds at the table.”

Naughton, a chemist by training and a former breast cancer researcher, ran for Congress herself in 2014 and 2016, but lost both times in Pennsylvania’s Democratic primaries. She puts those losses down to her inexperience with politics and her outsider status, which locked her out of traditional donor circles. In creating 314 Action, she hopes to provide other scientists with the money and mentorship that would have helped her. “Partly, we’re making the case for why they should run—and Donald Trump is really helping us with that,” she says. “Then, we’re showing them how to run, and introducing them to our donor network.”

Early signs are promising. In just two weeks, more than 400 people have signed up to the recruitment form on the organization’s site. They include Jacquelyn Gill from the University of Maine, who studies how prehistoric climate change shaped life on the planet. “If you’d told me a year ago that I would consider running for office, I would have laughed,” she says. “I always fantasized about serving an administration in an advisory capacity, but we now have explicitly anti-science people in office and in the Cabinet. Waiting passively for people to tap me for my expertise won’t be enough.”

Since the election, many scientists have made forays into politics, from signing open letters to marching in open protest. “I think most scientists view their work as pure and noble, and politics as a dirty game. It’s almost like selling out or going to the dark side,” says Frances Colón, who until recently was Deputy Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State. But, since Trump’s victory, “many more scientists are realizing why their voices are needed. I’ve had numerous coffees with people who are considering ways to run.”

Even if only a few are successful, they would significantly bolster the limited numbers of Congressional representatives with scientific backgrounds. A few have undergraduate degrees in science, including Seth Moulton (D-MA; physics), Jacky Rosen (D-NV; computer science), and Louise Slaughter (D-NY; microbiology). Others have doctoral degrees: mathematician Jerry McNerney (D-CA), psychologist Timothy Murphy (R-PA), and physicist Bill Foster (D-Il), who once said that he “inherited the family's recessive gene for adult-onset political activism.”

“I think government works better when we have people with lots of professional backgrounds,” says Kate Knuth, who trained in environmental science and served three terms in the Minnesota House of Representatives between 2006 and 2012. “Scientists bring a unique perspective in how they look at data and think about problems. They’re trained to value evidence, and to change their minds in the face of evidence. Right now, in a lot of our governance, we have people who just say this is the way it is, in the face of huge evidence to the contrary. That makes it hard to make good policy.”

It is perhaps unsurprising that scientists are so poorly represented in government. Younger researchers—perhaps the demographic most eager to leave the ivory tower for the halls of congress—also face the steepest costs for abandoning academia. Scientific careers are built on continuity and perseverance: Years as a graduate student give way to years in postdoctoral positions, which bleed into professorships. If you step away, it can be hard to step back.

“My role models did good science, rose up the ranks, and then went to serve our country,” says Gill, referring to people like Jane Lubchenco, who was Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under Barack Obama. “In an ideal world, I’d do this from the comfort of being a full professor. And yet, it’s not something I feel can wait. What I really want to know is: Can I do this without abandoning my career in science?”

Even if scientists do decide to run, they face an intense culture-shock. “In science, your colleagues want to know you have expertise and approach problems through legitimate methods,” says Knuth. “In politics, people first want to know that you care about them and their problems before they care about whether or not you have realistic answers. Those are very different values.”

“They seem to be some of the least likely people to be thinking about running for office,” adds Joe Trippi, a political strategist and campaign manager. “They haven’t been spending the last 16 years planning their run for Congress. You have to help them understand how you run a campaign, get seed money, find a campaign manager, put a team together.”

That’s where 314 Action comes in. With over 80,000 donors and mentors including Trippi and climate scientist Michael Mann, Naughton hopes that it will help scientists to make good on any newfound political ambitions. To start, they are scheduling a webinar for March 14th—Pi Day, naturally—to go over the basics of successful campaigning. Following that, they’ll focus on boosting particular strong candidates.

“In my interactions with them, I’ve had my eyes opened,” says Gill. “There’s all this insider knowledge. And to be told that if you decide to run, you’d have support and financial backing, is tremendously empowering.”

For now, 314 Action will only back Democratic candidates. I wonder if that risks turning science into yet another partisan issue, but Naughton argues that it is already on that road. “When we’re talking about climate change, there’s a clear distinction between the two parties,” she says. Knuth agrees. “It’s hard to say if it would politicize science even more than it already has been,” she says. And at the very least, if 314 Action succeeds, it would expose congressional representatives from both parties to a scientific mindset.

Knuth also argues that this shouldn’t just be about shoving science into government, as if the former will save the latter. It works in reverse too. “When I ran, I spent two to four hours a day, five to six days a week, knocking on doors and listening to people,” she says. “I never felt like I knew more about how people were thinking about the problems in their community, what they wanted from government, and their hopes and dreams for the future. Is that scientific information? No. Is it vetted through peer review? No. But it was invaluable. Scientists need to learn and appreciate the value of other ways of knowing about how the world works.”

“If you believe that the scientific method alone is going to solve the world’s problems, I don’t think you’re going to be a good politician,” she adds. “A politician’s job is to understand how the world works and then make hard decisions about how we should move forward together. Evidence can make those decisions better and it helps us to understand the consequences of different decisions. But it doesn’t tell us what the right decision is.”


On one hand: it's good to see scientists taking a stand.

On the other hand: I'm getting a bad feeling that we're living in Kim Stanley Robinson novel at the part where things really go to shit. :wtf:
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Re: Thanks to Trump, Scientists Are Planning to Run for Office

Postby SolarpunkFan » 2017-01-25 03:44pm

And before I forget, here's 314 Action's site: http://www.314action.org/home
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Re: Thanks to Trump, Scientists Are Planning to Run for Office

Postby Wild Zontargs » 2017-01-25 06:08pm

This will have unfortunate side-effects. We have separation of Church and State because, when the State gets to have a say in the running of the Church, the Church gets to have a say in the running of the State. Religion becomes politics, and politics becomes religion.

Science is already indirectly political. Now we have a group of scientists who are explicitly siding with a political party. That's only going to light the afterburners on the other party (y'know, the one that's in charge right now?) doubling down on anti-science policies. They have the next 4-8+ years (depending on elections and appointments) to gut funding for science education and research across the board, and to further delegitimize science in the minds of the electorate.

Unfortunately, I don't have any good suggestions on how to un-fuck the current mess, but I suspect this is only going to make things worse.

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Re: Thanks to Trump, Scientists Are Planning to Run for Office

Postby madd0ct0r » 2017-01-25 07:06pm

But things have got worse under the status quo anyway.

It'll come down to wether the candidates can tell the best story, not facts.
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Re: Thanks to Trump, Scientists Are Planning to Run for Office

Postby Gaidin » 2017-01-28 11:45pm

Wild Zontargs wrote:This will have unfortunate side-effects. We have separation of Church and State because, when the State gets to have a say in the running of the Church, the Church gets to have a say in the running of the State. Religion becomes politics, and politics becomes religion.

Science is already indirectly political. Now we have a group of scientists who are explicitly siding with a political party. That's only going to light the afterburners on the other party (y'know, the one that's in charge right now?) doubling down on anti-science policies. They have the next 4-8+ years (depending on elections and appointments) to gut funding for science education and research across the board, and to further delegitimize science in the minds of the electorate.

Unfortunately, I don't have any good suggestions on how to un-fuck the current mess, but I suspect this is only going to make things worse.
Religion has been blatantly political for...decades if not longer. What your seeing hear is scientists at least on an individual level on a massive scale going "fuck it all, we're in the game too" and making sure their side has a voice instead of just trying to see that the data is out there.

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Re: Thanks to Trump, Scientists Are Planning to Run for Office

Postby Alyrium Denryle » 2017-01-29 12:05am

Wild Zontargs wrote:This will have unfortunate side-effects. We have separation of Church and State because, when the State gets to have a say in the running of the Church, the Church gets to have a say in the running of the State. Religion becomes politics, and politics becomes religion.

Science is already indirectly political. Now we have a group of scientists who are explicitly siding with a political party. That's only going to light the afterburners on the other party (y'know, the one that's in charge right now?) doubling down on anti-science policies. They have the next 4-8+ years (depending on elections and appointments) to gut funding for science education and research across the board, and to further delegitimize science in the minds of the electorate.

Unfortunately, I don't have any good suggestions on how to un-fuck the current mess, but I suspect this is only going to make things worse.


Double down? They can't really go too much farther than they already go. Science is already on the chopping block across the board because reality has a liberal bias that one party rejects in favor of alternative facts.

We're part of the electorate, we have an interest in making sure that policy is based on reality, and if we want to make sure that happens we need to have something that looks like representation in government.
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Re: Thanks to Trump, Scientists Are Planning to Run for Office

Postby Flagg » 2017-01-29 12:17am

Wild Zontargs wrote:This will have unfortunate side-effects. We have separation of Church and State because, when the State gets to have a say in the running of the Church, the Church gets to have a say in the running of the State. Religion becomes politics, and politics becomes religion.

Science is already indirectly political. Now we have a group of scientists who are explicitly siding with a political party. That's only going to light the afterburners on the other party (y'know, the one that's in charge right now?) doubling down on anti-science policies. They have the next 4-8+ years (depending on elections and appointments) to gut funding for science education and research across the board, and to further delegitimize science in the minds of the electorate.

Unfortunately, I don't have any good suggestions on how to un-fuck the current mess, but I suspect this is only going to make things worse.

:wtf:

What the fuck does separation of church and state have to do with scientists running for office? This may come as a shock to you since I think you may be suffering from a massive head wound, but tons of scientists are religious. Some aren't. And one has nothing to do with the other. Go to the ER immediated so maybe they can save the 0.39% of your brain that hasn't become the consistency of a slurpee.
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Re: Thanks to Trump, Scientists Are Planning to Run for Office

Postby Wild Zontargs » 2017-01-29 09:10am

Flagg wrote:What the fuck does separation of church and state have to do with scientists running for office?
analogy
[uh-nal-uh-jee]

noun, plural analogies.
1. a similarity between like features of two things, on which a comparison may be based:
the analogy between the heart and a pump.
2. similarity or comparability:
I see no analogy between your problem and mine.


It's already hard enough to convince people that things like climate change are science and not politics. Y'know what won't help? Having the same scientists doing politics. Publicly support only one party? Alienate the other parties' voters and politicians. I mean, if you want to give up on the ~50% of the country who doesn't vote D ever believing you, that's fine, but I think it's a dumb idea.

And now comes the really bad part. You're supporting and supported by only one party. Since you're doing politics, you're going to start re-wording things to appeal specifically to that party's politicians and voters. AKA: doing exactly what the climate change denialists have been screeching about, except now it's true.

TL;DR: scientists becoming explicitly partisan might strengthen their position with their current supporters, but it'll reduce their influence on the rest of the country in equal or greater measure. You'll probably widen the current divide, rather than bridging it.

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Re: Thanks to Trump, Scientists Are Planning to Run for Office

Postby Flagg » 2017-01-29 09:27am

Wild Zontargs wrote:
Flagg wrote:What the fuck does separation of church and state have to do with scientists running for office?
analogy
[uh-nal-uh-jee]

noun, plural analogies.
1. a similarity between like features of two things, on which a comparison may be based:
the analogy between the heart and a pump.
2. similarity or comparability:
I see no analogy between your problem and mine.


It's already hard enough to convince people that things like climate change are science and not politics. Y'know what won't help? Having the same scientists doing politics. Publicly support only one party? Alienate the other parties' voters and politicians. I mean, if you want to give up on the ~50% of the country who doesn't vote D ever believing you, that's fine, but I think it's a dumb idea.

And now comes the really bad part. You're supporting and supported by only one party. Since you're doing politics, you're going to start re-wording things to appeal specifically to that party's politicians and voters. AKA: doing exactly what the climate change denialists have been screeching about, except now it's true.

TL;DR: scientists becoming explicitly partisan might strengthen their position with their current supporters, but it'll reduce their influence on the rest of the country in equal or greater measure. You'll probably widen the current divide, rather than bridging it.

So scientists shouldn't run for office because idiots who don't believe in climate change anyway, won't believe in climate change harder? I mean... Did you eat paint chips as a kid or chug the shit right from the can?
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Re: Thanks to Trump, Scientists Are Planning to Run for Office

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-01-29 09:30am

Gaidin wrote:
Wild Zontargs wrote:This will have unfortunate side-effects. We have separation of Church and State because, when the State gets to have a say in the running of the Church, the Church gets to have a say in the running of the State. Religion becomes politics, and politics becomes religion.

Science is already indirectly political. Now we have a group of scientists who are explicitly siding with a political party. That's only going to light the afterburners on the other party (y'know, the one that's in charge right now?) doubling down on anti-science policies. They have the next 4-8+ years (depending on elections and appointments) to gut funding for science education and research across the board, and to further delegitimize science in the minds of the electorate.

Unfortunately, I don't have any good suggestions on how to un-fuck the current mess, but I suspect this is only going to make things worse.
Religion has been blatantly political for...decades if not longer. What your seeing hear is scientists at least on an individual level on a massive scale going "fuck it all, we're in the game too" and making sure their side has a voice instead of just trying to see that the data is out there.


Yeah. As much as science should be apolitical (because otherwise data is likely to get suppressed or interpreted for political ends), that's not really possible, because their has been a concerted effort by the religious (and corporate) right to use politics to suppress science.

This is someone getting tired of being beat on and (metaphorically) hitting back.
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Re: Thanks to Trump, Scientists Are Planning to Run for Office

Postby Civil War Man » 2017-01-29 09:37am

They only support one party because the other is essentially trying to eradicate the very concept of science. The Republican party has been engaging in an anti-science campaign across the board for decades, and Trump has turned it up to 11 by openly engaging in political retribution against scientists that report findings that disagree with the Republican worldview.

Scientists really don't have time to coddle Republicans in the name of political correctness. We are at the point where this is about trying to prevent the destruction of knowledge.

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Re: Thanks to Trump, Scientists Are Planning to Run for Office

Postby Wild Zontargs » 2017-01-29 09:37am

Flagg wrote:So scientists shouldn't run for office because idiots who don't believe in climate change anyway, won't believe in climate change harder?


No, they shouldn't make science a political issue because a lot of the people who aren't firmly convinced either way will look at scientists being political, say "gee, my friend / co-worker / cousin / TV or radio show was right" and will join the denialists. You'll drive the middle to the two political extremes, rather than converting them all over to the factually correct side.

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Re: Thanks to Trump, Scientists Are Planning to Run for Office

Postby Flagg » 2017-01-29 09:51am

Wild Zontargs wrote:
Flagg wrote:So scientists shouldn't run for office because idiots who don't believe in climate change anyway, won't believe in climate change harder?


No, they shouldn't make science a political issue because a lot of the people who aren't firmly convinced either way will look at scientists being political, say "gee, my friend / co-worker / cousin / TV or radio show was right" and will join the denialists. You'll drive the middle to the two political extremes, rather than converting them all over to the factually correct side.

That's fucking stupid. Science has been a political issue forever and always will be. But it's normally giant corporations paying off scientists with the moral compass of Ted Bundy to make up bullshit in order to protect them from regulations. For instance, the tobacco industry. Now it's the Oil Industry with climate change. Frankly you are concern trolling and removing the last few quantums of credibility you have about anything since we need scientists with something you're not familiar with (integrity) to both lobby and win election to, both state and federal legislatures.

Now please stop, I've been laughing at your ridiculousness so hard my ribs are going to shatter.
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Re: Thanks to Trump, Scientists Are Planning to Run for Office

Postby Napoleon the Clown » 2017-01-29 01:22pm

Wild Zontargs wrote:
Flagg wrote:So scientists shouldn't run for office because idiots who don't believe in climate change anyway, won't believe in climate change harder?


No, they shouldn't make science a political issue because a lot of the people who aren't firmly convinced either way will look at scientists being political, say "gee, my friend / co-worker / cousin / TV or radio show was right" and will join the denialists. You'll drive the middle to the two political extremes, rather than converting them all over to the factually correct side.

The Republicans have pretty blatantly declared a war on science that doesn't actively benefit them, that ship has sailed.
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Re: Thanks to Trump, Scientists Are Planning to Run for Office

Postby Civil War Man » 2017-01-29 02:11pm

Wild Zontargs wrote:
Flagg wrote:So scientists shouldn't run for office because idiots who don't believe in climate change anyway, won't believe in climate change harder?


No, they shouldn't make science a political issue because a lot of the people who aren't firmly convinced either way will look at scientists being political, say "gee, my friend / co-worker / cousin / TV or radio show was right" and will join the denialists. You'll drive the middle to the two political extremes, rather than converting them all over to the factually correct side.


So I'm reading this argument, and what it seems to boil down to is that conservatives are these special snowflakes who are unprepared to deal with the real world, so scientists should stay out of the political arena so it can act as a conservative safe space where they can gather without fear of being triggered by exposure to something that disagrees with their preconceived worldview and shatters their fragile egos.

Napoleon the Clown wrote:The Republicans have pretty blatantly declared a war on science that doesn't actively benefit them, that ship has sailed.


You don't understand! By challenging them on this, we run the risk of being, horror or horrors, politically incorrect!

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Re: Thanks to Trump, Scientists Are Planning to Run for Office

Postby Tribble » 2017-01-29 02:25pm

Would Republicans simply hire more "scientists" in response? Without a basic grasp of scientific knowledge, how will the average voter be able to differentiate between the two? I guess we're already at the point where most of the genuine scientists are Democrat while most of the fringe ones are Republican, but will voters really be able to tell them apart and if so will they vote accordingly? Does the average voter even care?
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Re: Thanks to Trump, Scientists Are Planning to Run for Office

Postby Dragon Angel » 2017-01-29 03:09pm

Tribble wrote:Would Republicans simply hire more "scientists" in response? Without a basic grasp of scientific knowledge, how will the average voter be able to differentiate between the two? I guess we're already at the point where most of the genuine scientists are Democrat while most of the fringe ones are Republican, but will voters really be able to tell them apart and if so will they vote accordingly? Does the average voter even care?

That's been done already with science even beyond climate change, e.g. the anti-vaxxers. It isn't enough that the vast majority of scientists will declare gravity to be real; someone with a political agenda will always take the fringe and believe with all seriousness that gravity is not real, it's just a coincidence that we are not floating into space right now and the effect is caused by something else. Every other scientist is probably suppressing the truth for their own political ends, or worse, they're part of a conspiracy by China!
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Re: Thanks to Trump, Scientists Are Planning to Run for Office

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-01-29 04:12pm

Tribble wrote:Would Republicans simply hire more "scientists" in response? Without a basic grasp of scientific knowledge, how will the average voter be able to differentiate between the two? I guess we're already at the point where most of the genuine scientists are Democrat while most of the fringe ones are Republican, but will voters really be able to tell them apart and if so will they vote accordingly? Does the average voter even care?
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Re: Thanks to Trump, Scientists Are Planning to Run for Office

Postby mr friendly guy » 2017-01-30 08:33am

Wild Zontargs wrote:
Flagg wrote:So scientists shouldn't run for office because idiots who don't believe in climate change anyway, won't believe in climate change harder?


No, they shouldn't make science a political issue because a lot of the people who aren't firmly convinced either way will look at scientists being political, say "gee, my friend / co-worker / cousin / TV or radio show was right" and will join the denialists. You'll drive the middle to the two political extremes, rather than converting them all over to the factually correct side.

Hate to point this out to you (since we actually agree on a lot of the anti SJW stuff) but science has been a political issue in the United States loooong before the climate change debate got political.

The Scopes monkey trial in the 1920s, where the prosecutor William Jennings Bryan also ran for president of the united states. The subject of the ruling was whether Scopes did anything illegal in teaching evolution (he did, and it was illegal). However the point of the trial was to publicly challenge the bad idea against teaching evolution. In the 1980s we had trials against Creationism where scientists were forced to define science via the scientific method we all know and quote on this board. In the 2000s there were trials against intelligent design. Heck K.A. Pital started a thread on this and good laughs was had by all.

Like someone said, that ship has already sailed. And it last sailed just a bit more than a decade ago. As for whether those who are in the middle, whether they would turn against scientific findings remains to be seen. Especially when the results of the above 3 cases went in science's favour, including the Scopes trial which relied on public sympathy even though Scopes lost, the damage to Bryan's reputation set back Christianity in science classrooms back quite a bit.
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Re: Thanks to Trump, Scientists Are Planning to Run for Office

Postby Gandalf » 2017-01-31 08:24am

I'll believe this when it materialises. I remember when waves of veterans from the invasion of Iraq were going to take politics by storm and break the GOP's hold over the military vote.
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Trump releases statement on LGBTQs.

Postby MKSheppard » 2017-01-31 08:11pm

Linkypoo

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
January 31, 2017

President Donald J. Trump Will Continue to Enforce Executive Order Protecting the Rights of the LGBTQ Community in the Workplace

President Donald J. Trump is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the LGBTQ community. President Trump continues to be respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights, just as he was throughout the election. The President is proud to have been the first ever GOP nominee to mention the LGBTQ community in his nomination acceptance speech, pledging then to protect the community from violence and oppression. The executive order signed in 2014, which protects employees from anti-LGBTQ workplace discrimination while working for federal contractors, will remain intact at the direction of President Donald J. Trump.


So uh guys....

My troops in Right Wing Death Squad KriegKorps Battalion 656, specifically the attached unit from the CHRISTIAN COALITION are demoralized this afternoon, due to this statement. Even giving them memes from 4chan is having no effect.

Request permission to withdraw the CHRISTIAN COALITION unit and replace them with the TED CRUZ battalion.
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Re: Trump releases statement on LGBTQs.

Postby Shroom Man 777 » 2017-01-31 08:19pm

This would be nice. Though from what I've seen on my front, it won't be a surprise if a lot of the cabinet and staff play COURT ASTROLOGERS divining the meaning of the leader's celestial configurations before he ends up making them look like idiots by saying something that's the exact opposite of their statements...

And the GOP's shitness towards Planned Parenthood already screws over a lot of people. So the fundie fuckfaces *are* getting what they want in lots of fronts.
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Re: Trump releases statement on LGBTQs.

Postby LaCroix » 2017-01-31 08:32pm

What did they say, back then, in good ole eastern Germany?
Oh, right -"No one has the intention to build a wall"

I hear what Trumps says. I see the people he appoints.

"The executive order signed in 2014, which protects employees from anti-LGBTQ workplace discrimination while working for federal contractors, will remain intact"

Which means that the new bills coming soon will give everyone else the right to discriminate.
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Neil M. Gorsuch nominated for SCOTUS

Postby SCRawl » 2017-01-31 10:01pm

According to the New York Times:

The New York Times wrote:WASHINGTON — President Trump on Tuesday nominated Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, a federal appeals court judge in Denver, to fill the Supreme Court seat left open by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, elevating a jurist whose conservative bent and originalist philosophy fit the mold of the man he would succeed.

“Judge Gorsuch has outstanding legal skills, a brilliant mind, tremendous discipline and has earned bipartisan support,” Mr. Trump said, standing beside the judge and his wife, Louise, in the East Room of the White House. “It is an extraordinary résumé — as good as it gets.”

If confirmed, Judge Gorsuch would restore the 5-to-4 split between liberals and conservatives on the court, handing Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, 80, who votes with both blocs, the swing vote.

At 49, Judge Gorsuch is the youngest nominee to the Supreme Court in 25 years, underscoring his potential to shape major decisions for decades to come. In choosing him, Mr. Trump reached for a reliably conservative figure in the Scalia tradition but not someone known to be divisive.

Mr. Trump, who recognized Justice Scalia’s wife, Maureen, in the audience as he announced his choice, heaped praise on the “late, great” jurist, saying his “image and genius was in my mind throughout the decision-making process.”

Judge Gorsuch said he was humbled by his “most solemn assignment.”

“I will do all my powers permit to be a faithful servant of the Constitution and laws of this great country,” he said. He also praised Justice Scalia as “a lion of the law.”

The announcement presaged a bitter political battle on Capitol Hill, where Democrats in the Senate, still stung by the Republican refusal to confirm President Barack Obama’s nominee for the seat, Judge Merrick B. Garland, have promised stiff resistance.

A Colorado native who was in the same class at Harvard Law School as Mr. Obama, Judge Gorsuch is known for his well-written, measured opinions that are normally, though not exclusively, conservative.

He holds a Ph.D. from Oxford University, where he was a Marshall Scholar, and a pedigree as a law clerk at the Supreme Court to Justices Byron R. White and Kennedy. President George W. Bush nominated Judge Gorsuch to the federal bench in 2006.

Judge Gorsuch’s personal connections to Justice Kennedy are no accident. By choosing a familiar figure, several officials said, the White House is sending a reassuring signal to Justice Kennedy, 80, who has been mulling retirement.

Choosing a more ideologically extreme candidate, the officials said, could tempt Justice Kennedy to hang on to his seat for several more years, depriving Mr. Trump of another seat to fill.

Still, Judge Gorsuch’s conservative credentials are not in doubt. He has voted in favor of employers, including Hobby Lobby, who invoked religious objections for refusing to provide some forms of contraception coverage to their female workers. And he has criticized liberals for turning to the courts rather than the legislature to achieve their policy goals.

There had been speculation that Mr. Trump would choose someone with a less elite background for the court. The other finalist for the post, Judge Thomas M. Hardiman, was the first person in his family to graduate from college, and helped pay for his education by driving a taxi.

Vice President Mike Pence with Justice Antonin Scalia’s wife, Maureen. Credit Al Drago/The New York Times
The White House had stoked suspense over Mr. Trump’s court choice in the hours before announcing it. A senior Trump administration official said both Judge Gorsuch and Judge Hardiman, the apparent runner-up, were summoned to Washington for the nomination ceremony. But only Judge Gorsuch appeared at the ceremony shortly after 8 p.m.

In an allusion to the intense foreshadowing he and his team had done to build speculation over the pick, Mr. Trump interrupted his own announcement to marvel at his showmanship: “So was that a surprise?” the president said after announcing Judge Gorsuch’s name. “Was it?”

The East Room was filled with White House officials, Republican lawmakers and reporters as Mr. Trump revealed his choice.

The president, staring down what is likely to be a bitter partisan battle over Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation, expressed hope that he could avoid such a dispute.

“I only hope that both Democrats and Republicans can come together for once, for the good of the country,” Mr. Trump said.

Judge Gorsuch is the son of Anne Gorsuch Burford, who became the first female head of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Ronald Reagan. He attended Georgetown Preparatory School, outside Washington, before going to Columbia University.

Democrats, who declined invitations from Mr. Trump to attend the White House announcement ceremony, seemed unlikely to be satisfied with Mr. Trump’s choice. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, has said he is ready to block any candidate he sees as outside the mainstream, a stance that could touch off a Senate showdown.

Judge Gorsuch will need to draw the support of eight Democrats to join the 52 Republicans in the Senate to surmount a filibuster and move forward with an up-or-down confirmation vote. But Mr. Trump is already urging Republicans to change longstanding rules and push through his nominee on a simple majority vote.

Liberal activists rallied in front of the Supreme Court building in a swift condemnation of Mr. Trump’s choice. They derided Judge Gorsuch as a right-wing ideologue who would lay waste to important judicial decisions in areas including civil rights and abortion rights as well as environmental and worker protections.

Nan Aron of the Alliance for Justice called Judge Gorsuch “a disastrous choice,” adding that his record showed “no sign that he would offer an independent check on the dangerous impulses of this administration.” Ilyse Hogue of Naral Pro-Choice America said that Judge Gorsuch “represents an existential threat to legal abortion in the United States and must never wear the robes of a Supreme Court justice.”

Conservative groups started their own push in defending Mr. Trump’s nominee. Within minutes of the president’s announcement, organizers said, the Judicial Crisis Network was to begin the first phase of a $10 million television advertising campaign on the nominee’s behalf, along with a website promoting Mr. Trump’s pick. More than 50 groups were backing the effort, including gun rights and anti-abortion rights activists and the Tea Party.

Tom Fitton, president of the right-leaning group Judicial Watch, called Mr. Trump’s nomination “a major step in the right direction in defining his presidency and moving the Supreme Court away from dangerous and destructive judicial activism.”

“It is good to see the president nominate someone who will follow the rule of law rather than legislate from the bench,” Mr. Fitton said.

Juanita Duggan, the president of the National Federation of Independent Business, an organization representing small businesses, said she was also heartened by the choice, because of Judge Gorsuch’s willingness to challenge “regulatory overreach.”


This nominee definitely seems to have the necessary bona fides to get through the confirmation process. I disagree with him on just about every issue, but it's hard to argue with his qualifications. And if there's one thing you really needed on the bench, it was another white man.

Edit: confirmation, not nomination
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Re: Neil M. Gorsuch nominated for SCOTUS

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-01-31 10:15pm

Great, Colorado. Now my home state can be regularly shamed at the highest levels of government for the foreseeable future.

And no shit they picked the youngest guy they could get. They want to make sure the Justices they pick are rewriting, sorry, interpreting the Constitution for as long as possible.
"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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