House Ways and Means Committee sues Trump Regime for Trump's tax returns.

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House Ways and Means Committee sues Trump Regime for Trump's tax returns.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-07-03 01:42am

https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/02/politics ... 1562132371
(CNN)The Democrat-led House Ways and Means Committee filed a lawsuit on Tuesday to enforce subpoenas and obtain President Donald Trump's tax returns, an escalation in a fight for the President's personal financial information.

The lawsuit was filed in D.C. District Court against Treasury and the IRS and their respective leaders, Steve Mnuchin and Charles Rettig.

House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal is seeking the President's tax returns using a little-known IRS provision known as 6103, which allows the Chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee to request and obtain an individual's tax information for a legitimate legislative purpose.

The move comes months after Neal made his initial request for the President's tax information and as outside groups and other liberals on the Ways and Means Committee grew impatient with the pace of Neal's efforts. Neal initially made his request for Trump's tax returns on April 3. After a series of follow-up letters, the Treasury Department formally denied the request at the beginning of May, and Neal issued subpoenas to the IRS and Treasury Department on May 10.

"In refusing to comply with the statute, Defendants have mounted an extraordinary attack on the authority of Congress to obtain information needed to conduct oversight of Treasury, the IRS, and the tax laws on behalf of the American people who participate in the Nation's voluntary tax system," House attorneys wrote in the complaint.

Jay Sekulow, counsel to the President, responded to the suit Tuesday afternoon by saying in a statement, "We will respond to this latest effort at Presidential harassment in Court."

The complaint states that the "refusal to produce the requested materials" has deprived the House panel of "information necessary to complete its time-limited investigation," and goes on to say that the committee is asking the court to order the defendants "to comply with Section 6103(f) and the subpoenas by producing the requested information immediately."

The complaint argues that the committee is not required to justify its reasons for seeking tax returns under Section 6103, but states that the panel "is investigating the IRS's administration of various tax laws and policies relating to Presidential tax returns and tax law compliance by President Trump, including whether the IRS's self-imposed policy of annually auditing the returns of sitting Presidents is working properly."

According to the suit, a bipartisan group of committee staff members met with Treasury and IRS officials on June 10 in order to learn more about the presidential audit program.

However, none of the officials from Treasury or IRS at the meeting had ever worked on the Presidential audit program, the lawsuit states, adding staff committee members left the meeting with more questions than answers.

The committee, at the request of the Treasury department, sent Treasury and the IRS 300 questions after the meeting about the presidential audit program, "the vast majority of which had not been answered in the meeting," the complaint states.

The top Republican on the Ways and Means committee, Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, reacted to the lawsuit on Tuesday by saying he will introduce a resolution opposing the move.

"The Democrats' partisan, flawed lawsuit continues their unprecedented and illegitimate pursuit to expose President Trump's private tax information," Brady said in a statement. "This is a dangerous course of action. For this reason, I am introducing a resolution to preserve the integrity of the People's House from the attacks of the elite few and restore the voice of every American."

Democrats had argued that under 6103 authority, Neal did not need to issue a subpoena, but internal deliberations with House Counsel got Neal to the point where the advice was that a subpoena could bolster the case in court. The Democrats on Neal's committee have argued that they need access to the President's tax returns in order to understand how the IRS administers the presidential audit program.

Meanwhile, the Treasury Department has argued it is not a legitimate legislative purpose.

The lawsuit piles onto several other court fights involving other committees and members of Congress seeking Trump financial records.
In two other court cases, Trump has tried to stop the House Oversight Committee, the House Intelligence Committee and the House Financial Services Committee from getting his financial records from Capital One bank, Deutsche Bank and the accounting firm Mazars USA.

So far, trial-level judges have sided firmly with Congress, saying the committees have broad authority to pursue investigations with subpoenas like these. Trump is appealing both court decisions, and the cases aren't likely to be resolved until at least next month.

"There can be no doubt as to the power of Congress, by itself or through its committees, to investigate matters," federal Judge Edgardo Ramos said at a court hearing in May. "Without the power to investigate ... Congress could be seriously handicapped in its efforts to exercise its constitutional function wisely and effectively."

This story has been updated with additional developments Tuesday.
CNN's Pamela Brown contributed to this report.
Fucking finally. I guess they got tire of waiting for the Treasury Department and IRS to comply with the law voluntarily.
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Re: House Ways and Means Committee sues Trump Regime for Trump's tax returns.

Post by GrosseAdmiralFox » 2019-07-08 03:39pm

The thing is that the Dems have been -so far- giving Trump and the GOP all the rope to hang themselves with and the outs that could let them escape with lesser charges at most.

So far? The GOP has ignored those lifeboats so to speak and tied themselves to the sinking ship.

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Re: House Ways and Means Committee sues Trump Regime for Trump's tax returns.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-07-08 10:20pm

GrosseAdmiralFox wrote:
2019-07-08 03:39pm
The thing is that the Dems have been -so far- giving Trump and the GOP all the rope to hang themselves with and the outs that could let them escape with lesser charges at most.

So far? The GOP has ignored those lifeboats so to speak and tied themselves to the sinking ship.
Yup. The Party of Trump, lock, stock, and barrel.

May they all sink with him.
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Re: House Ways and Means Committee sues Trump Regime for Trump's tax returns.

Post by GrosseAdmiralFox » 2019-07-09 10:28pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-07-08 10:20pm
Yup. The Party of Trump, lock, stock, and barrel.

May they all sink with him.
It would take something worse than American Civil War 2: Nuclear Bungolo to kill a party in the US... and sadly that's a fact. :banghead:

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Re: House Ways and Means Committee sues Trump Regime for Trump's tax returns.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-07-09 10:42pm

I don't know. There have been some third party/independent runs in the past that nearly succeeded (outside of the Civil War era)- the recently-departed Ross Perot being the most recent. And of course, while they continued to exist in name, the major parties have changed massively over the years in terms of their platforms (or rather, reversed, in many cases). So while I don't think the moment has come now for the collapse of a major party, I don't rule it out in the future.

And if it does take a civil war... well, I truly hope that I am wrong, but I feel increasingly that we are soon going to reach a point where the choices are genocidal fascist dictatorship or civil war. When the President and AG ignore Congress and the Supreme Court to rule by dictatorial fiat, there are really only three possible places to go from there- arrest them, kill them, or capitulate to them. I'd prefer the first option by far, but no one's had the balls to try it yet, sadly, and even attempting that would likely be resisted by force.

Honestly, if I was Governor of a state in which Trump had a residence, I'd order my AG to try and build a case against him, then order state police to arrest him the next time he entered the state- let's put that DOJ policy about arresting a sitting President to the test, especially since state police aren't part of the DOJ.
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Re: House Ways and Means Committee sues Trump Regime for Trump's tax returns.

Post by GrosseAdmiralFox » 2019-07-10 11:00am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-07-09 10:42pm
I don't know. There have been some third party/independent runs in the past that nearly succeeded (outside of the Civil War era)- the recently-departed Ross Perot being the most recent. And of course, while they continued to exist in name, the major parties have changed massively over the years in terms of their platforms (or rather, reversed, in many cases). So while I don't think the moment has come now for the collapse of a major party, I don't rule it out in the future.

And if it does take a civil war... well, I truly hope that I am wrong, but I feel increasingly that we are soon going to reach a point where the choices are genocidal fascist dictatorship or civil war. When the President and AG ignore Congress and the Supreme Court to rule by dictatorial fiat, there are really only three possible places to go from there- arrest them, kill them, or capitulate to them. I'd prefer the first option by far, but no one's had the balls to try it yet, sadly, and even attempting that would likely be resisted by force.

Honestly, if I was Governor of a state in which Trump had a residence, I'd order my AG to try and build a case against him, then order state police to arrest him the next time he entered the state- let's put that DOJ policy about arresting a sitting President to the test, especially since state police aren't part of the DOJ.
Historically third parties in the US are flat out insane as a general rule outside of the Progressive (aka Bull Moose) Party that spoiled for Wilson... and it got second in the general.

Also, US (major) parties are 'big tents', similar to the coalitions in Europe. However, the GOP has tied itself to Trump and his ilk, and the only way for the GOP to die now is basically a civil war. They've got an extensive propaganda network setup and are more than willing to use it. Not to mention they're also dabbling into memetic weapons as well...

There is a reason that I went into the authoritarian side of things anymore. Sometimes you have to simply acknowledge that what used to work doesn't work anymore. :(

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Re: House Ways and Means Committee sues Trump Regime for Trump's tax returns.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-07-10 07:07pm

GrosseAdmiralFox wrote:
2019-07-10 11:00am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-07-09 10:42pm
I don't know. There have been some third party/independent runs in the past that nearly succeeded (outside of the Civil War era)- the recently-departed Ross Perot being the most recent. And of course, while they continued to exist in name, the major parties have changed massively over the years in terms of their platforms (or rather, reversed, in many cases). So while I don't think the moment has come now for the collapse of a major party, I don't rule it out in the future.

And if it does take a civil war... well, I truly hope that I am wrong, but I feel increasingly that we are soon going to reach a point where the choices are genocidal fascist dictatorship or civil war. When the President and AG ignore Congress and the Supreme Court to rule by dictatorial fiat, there are really only three possible places to go from there- arrest them, kill them, or capitulate to them. I'd prefer the first option by far, but no one's had the balls to try it yet, sadly, and even attempting that would likely be resisted by force.

Honestly, if I was Governor of a state in which Trump had a residence, I'd order my AG to try and build a case against him, then order state police to arrest him the next time he entered the state- let's put that DOJ policy about arresting a sitting President to the test, especially since state police aren't part of the DOJ.
Historically third parties in the US are flat out insane as a general rule outside of the Progressive (aka Bull Moose) Party that spoiled for Wilson... and it got second in the general.

Also, US (major) parties are 'big tents', similar to the coalitions in Europe. However, the GOP has tied itself to Trump and his ilk, and the only way for the GOP to die now is basically a civil war. They've got an extensive propaganda network setup and are more than willing to use it. Not to mention they're also dabbling into memetic weapons as well...

There is a reason that I went into the authoritarian side of things anymore. Sometimes you have to simply acknowledge that what used to work doesn't work anymore. :(
Well, if the only way to beat dictatorship is dictatorship, it doesn't really matter all that much who wins, except from a purely self-interested standpoint. So I'll continue to stand with democracy. Democracy has beat challenges from authoritarianism before (the Civil War, WWII, etc.). It can do so again.

You're right on the money, though, about most third parties being nuts. They're usually built around devotion to a single issue, and/or knee-jerk rejection of a vaguely-defined "establishment" (which can conveniently be defined to suit the speaker's agenda). They usually run on ideological purity, and attract people who pride themselves on refusal to ever compromise. And so, of course, they lose, and they refuse to take any of the steps that would allow them to win. I've tried explaining this to third partiers, and the response is pretty much invariably some variety of "We're actually a majority! The establishment is rigging it against us! Both Sides!"

You can't help people who don't want to change, I guess. But that's why we don't have a viable third party right now, unlike at certain points in the past, and probably never will unless one of the big ones collapses.

You're also right that you need a big tent party to win. This is true of every system of government ever devised, though even more so of democracy: you need a majority, or at least close to it, to support you to maintain power- or at least to not actively hate you. Which is why the Republicans, in tying themselves to the likes of Trump, have already deteriorated to the point that they have to engage in wide-spread election-rigging to maintain themselves as a national party. Very soon, it will probably reach the point where they have to engage in widespread ethnic cleansing to maintain themselves as a national party, which goes a long way to explaining our current border policy. There's a bit of good news here, though, which is that the Republicans have done the stupidest possible thing (in the long term, at least) that you can do in politics, particularly in a democratic or semi-democratic system. They have willingly chosen to alienate the majority of the public. That may give them a devoted base of fanatics, and they may be able to prolong the inevitable by divide and conquer tactics and election rigging, but at the end of the day, they have traded long-term viability for short-term gains (how very, very capitalist of them). Short of outright murdering or deporting tens of millions of US citizens, they're fucked. And I cannot believe that we are so far gone as a country that they could do that quietly or peaceably.

So I am actually optimistic, long-term. Trumpism WILL lose. This will not be the time that the wheel stops turning. It may come too late for us to do anything about the climate disaster barrelling toward us, and it may come too late for a lot of innocent people (indeed, it already has), but short of them discovering a way to mind-control the entire populace, They. Will. Lose. And we do not have to abandon our most basic principles for it to happen.
"We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"-The Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, 1776.

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Re: House Ways and Means Committee sues Trump Regime for Trump's tax returns.

Post by GrosseAdmiralFox » 2019-07-10 08:50pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-07-10 07:07pm
Well, if the only way to beat dictatorship is dictatorship, it doesn't really matter all that much who wins, except from a purely self-interested standpoint. So I'll continue to stand with democracy. Democracy has beat challenges from authoritarianism before (the Civil War, WWII, etc.). It can do so again.
We're going to be heading towards authoritarian-ish things no matter what we do mate. Technology changed that. I wouldn't be surprised that right now has been rhyming with the years leading up to WW1 in terms of technology upending what we assumed was the order of things. Our assumptions are likely to get us killed at this point.
You're right on the money, though, about most third parties being nuts. They're usually built around devotion to a single issue, and/or knee-jerk rejection of a vaguely-defined "establishment" (which can conveniently be defined to suit the speaker's agenda). They usually run on ideological purity, and attract people who pride themselves on refusal to ever compromise. And so, of course, they lose, and they refuse to take any of the steps that would allow them to win. I've tried explaining this to third partiers, and the response is pretty much invariably some variety of "We're actually a majority! The establishment is rigging it against us! Both Sides!"

You can't help people who don't want to change, I guess. But that's why we don't have a viable third party right now, unlike at certain points in the past, and probably never will unless one of the big ones collapses.
There has only been one party collapse in US history and that was the Whigs in the years leading up to the Civil War, and they had four candidates when it came to a presidential election.

There hasn't been another since. Period, end of story. Hence my current disdain for the various third parties and the "don't hold your breath" style comments on the GOP going down.
You're also right that you need a big tent party to win. This is true of every system of government ever devised, though even more so of democracy: you need a majority, or at least close to it, to support you to maintain power- or at least to not actively hate you. Which is why the Republicans, in tying themselves to the likes of Trump, have already deteriorated to the point that they have to engage in wide-spread election-rigging to maintain themselves as a national party. Very soon, it will probably reach the point where they have to engage in widespread ethnic cleansing to maintain themselves as a national party, which goes a long way to explaining our current border policy. There's a bit of good news here, though, which is that the Republicans have done the stupidest possible thing (in the long term, at least) that you can do in politics, particularly in a democratic or semi-democratic system. They have willingly chosen to alienate the majority of the public. That may give them a devoted base of fanatics, and they may be able to prolong the inevitable by divide and conquer tactics and election rigging, but at the end of the day, they have traded long-term viability for short-term gains (how very, very capitalist of them). Short of outright murdering or deporting tens of millions of US citizens, they're fucked. And I cannot believe that we are so far gone as a country that they could do that quietly or peaceably.

So I am actually optimistic, long-term. Trumpism WILL lose. This will not be the time that the wheel stops turning. It may come too late for us to do anything about the climate disaster barrelling toward us, and it may come too late for a lot of innocent people (indeed, it already has), but short of them discovering a way to mind-control the entire populace, They. Will. Lose. And we do not have to abandon our most basic principles for it to happen.
Nope, they've got a widespread propaganda machine, getting serious into memetics (aka 'weaponized memes', which, I wouldn't be surprised, would likely get into Warhammer 40k Chaos 'I can basically turn you into a puppet at best' Fuckery sooner than later), have edited the maps in such a way that it is a hard fight (we got lucky in 2018, as the Dems were basically screwed with that map), and stacked the courts in their favor.

We'll be dealing with them for decades at the mimiumum, if not centuries if we simply keep up with our current assumptions in our technological context.

There is a reason that it has become a habit of mine to scream at the world saying 'you are NOT to turn my 'future history' setting into reality...

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Re: House Ways and Means Committee sues Trump Regime for Trump's tax returns.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-07-11 02:35am

You warn against the danger of making assumptions, then assume that the victory of authoritarianism is inevitable. You are dangerously attached to the idea that some form of tyranny must win, so you're committed to it being your tyranny instead of the other guy's tyranny. Whereas I don't find that a very compelling cause to fight for.

You compare the situation to right before WWI. If that parallel holds true, then we're in for a pretty horrible few decades on a global scale. But, here's the thing: fascism didn't win. Marxism and Stalinism didn't win. There is no reason to assume that despotism must win this time. Of course, you could also argue that the conflicts going on now are largely direct successors to the ones WWI set in motion, and that we are still fighting the same fight, the outcome of which is yet to be decided. There's a lesson there, too: broad historical trends are hard to make out when you're living in the middle of them (see those who thought the fall of the Soviet Union was the "end of history" and a permanent victory for Western capitalism and liberal democracy).

Is bigotry going to go away in a few years? No. Is the Republican Party as it currently exists going to remain viable as a national party for much longer, barring systematic ethnic cleansing of America? Also no. You have no real argument to the numbers, other than "Nu-uh" and some vague stuff about "weaponized memes", which you seem to treat as an invincible God-mode of politics, as though propaganda has never existed before.

Here's the truth: We don't know exactly what is going to happen. So we might as well work toward the best possible outcome, rather than deciding that we "know" all the alternatives are bad and using that to justify our own bad ideas. Beware of prophets who tell you that a certain future is inevitable- they're usually trying to sell you something.

And we didn't "get lucky" in 2018- we ran good campaigns and the majority of people decided they wanted to teach the Republicans a lesson after the Republicans pissed on them. It happened because people got off their asses and made it happen, instead of just sitting back and deciding that despotism was inevitable.
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Re: House Ways and Means Committee sues Trump Regime for Trump's tax returns.

Post by GrosseAdmiralFox » 2019-07-11 01:41pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-07-11 02:35am
You warn against the danger of making assumptions, then assume that the victory of authoritarianism is inevitable. You are dangerously attached to the idea that some form of tyranny must win, so you're committed to it being your tyranny instead of the other guy's tyranny. Whereas I don't find that a very compelling cause to fight for.
Problem is the moral calculus in this situation... which has started shifting in response to the technological marvels that we've been using.

It used to be only nation-states that could make bioweapons worth a shit for over a century, but now it is -last I've heard- gone to mid-to-low sized biotech corp level and only going to have the bar go lower from there... and that is just one aspect of technology that is shifting the moral calculus.

Memes have been weaponized, as 2016 has shown... and it will only get more dangerous from here on out. I wouldn't be surprised that Project Itoh: Genocidal Organ would come partially true with memetics...
You compare the situation to right before WWI. If that parallel holds true, then we're in for a pretty horrible few decades on a global scale. But, here's the thing: fascism didn't win. Marxism and Stalinism didn't win. There is no reason to assume that despotism must win this time. Of course, you could also argue that the conflicts going on now are largely direct successors to the ones WWI set in motion, and that we are still fighting the same fight, the outcome of which is yet to be decided. There's a lesson there, too: broad historical trends are hard to make out when you're living in the middle of them (see those who thought the fall of the Soviet Union was the "end of history" and a permanent victory for Western capitalism and liberal democracy).
The thing is that we're rhyming with late 19th/early 20th so well that it scares the shit out of me.
Is bigotry going to go away in a few years? No. Is the Republican Party as it currently exists going to remain viable as a national party for much longer, barring systematic ethnic cleansing of America? Also no. You have no real argument to the numbers, other than "Nu-uh" and some vague stuff about "weaponized memes", which you seem to treat as an invincible God-mode of politics, as though propaganda has never existed before.

Here's the truth: We don't know exactly what is going to happen. So we might as well work toward the best possible outcome, rather than deciding that we "know" all the alternatives are bad and using that to justify our own bad ideas. Beware of prophets who tell you that a certain future is inevitable- they're usually trying to sell you something.

And we didn't "get lucky" in 2018- we ran good campaigns and the majority of people decided they wanted to teach the Republicans a lesson after the Republicans pissed on them. It happened because people got off their asses and made it happen, instead of just sitting back and deciding that despotism was inevitable.
You haven't looked into some of the stuff that has been coming out, have you? A while back FM-9 and studies about Russian Information Warfare had been released to the public, and that information is very troubling for our assumptions of what is right and wrong. People say that give your opponents the right information, they'll be persuaded. That sadly isn't true. Never has been.

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Re: House Ways and Means Committee sues Trump Regime for Trump's tax returns.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-07-11 05:17pm

Sometimes people change their mind, if you find the right argument- but I think its often less about the raw information you present than about framing it in a way that appeals to the audience emotionally.

But very often, people who are set in a particular view won't shift their position, out of stubborness or pride or distrust of the Other. Which is why our efforts are better focussed on the younger generations. Forget about winning over the Boomers. They are, by and large, who they are, and that's not going to change. Worry about winning over the people who are in high school right now.

The problem with your approach is that you seem to think we should just concede that Republicans/Russia are better at persuading people, so the only way to stop them is to engage in mass media censorship rather than to compete with our own message. I don't see why that should be the case, nor do I wish to concede that fight to them.
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Re: House Ways and Means Committee sues Trump Regime for Trump's tax returns.

Post by Tribble » 2019-07-11 05:29pm

GrosseAdmiralFox wrote:
2019-07-10 11:00am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-07-09 10:42pm
I don't know. There have been some third party/independent runs in the past that nearly succeeded (outside of the Civil War era)- the recently-departed Ross Perot being the most recent. And of course, while they continued to exist in name, the major parties have changed massively over the years in terms of their platforms (or rather, reversed, in many cases). So while I don't think the moment has come now for the collapse of a major party, I don't rule it out in the future.

And if it does take a civil war... well, I truly hope that I am wrong, but I feel increasingly that we are soon going to reach a point where the choices are genocidal fascist dictatorship or civil war. When the President and AG ignore Congress and the Supreme Court to rule by dictatorial fiat, there are really only three possible places to go from there- arrest them, kill them, or capitulate to them. I'd prefer the first option by far, but no one's had the balls to try it yet, sadly, and even attempting that would likely be resisted by force.

Honestly, if I was Governor of a state in which Trump had a residence, I'd order my AG to try and build a case against him, then order state police to arrest him the next time he entered the state- let's put that DOJ policy about arresting a sitting President to the test, especially since state police aren't part of the DOJ.
Historically third parties in the US are flat out insane as a general rule outside of the Progressive (aka Bull Moose) Party that spoiled for Wilson... and it got second in the general.

Also, US (major) parties are 'big tents', similar to the coalitions in Europe. However, the GOP has tied itself to Trump and his ilk, and the only way for the GOP to die now is basically a civil war. They've got an extensive propaganda network setup and are more than willing to use it. Not to mention they're also dabbling into memetic weapons as well...

There is a reason that I went into the authoritarian side of things anymore. Sometimes you have to simply acknowledge that what used to work doesn't work anymore. :(
IMO the fatal assumption here is that a “big tent” party will moderate its overall behaviour due to all the various groups within it competing with each other and needing a consensus.

This has been proven rather conclusively not to be the case, particularly with right wing parties; what happens instead is that an extreme wing of the party forms, eventually seizes control of the party, then drags the whole party with it, making the once extreme position the new norm. If and when the party loses, an even more extreme wing of the party evolves (figuring that the only reason they lost was for not being extreme enough) and the process repeats itself. It should come as no surprise that under such a system the end result could be an outright dictatorship and/or civil war.

This can happen multiple times within the same party and within the same generation- remember when other GOP contenders were calling Reagan a right wing nut for his “voodoo economics”? He’d be a hard-left Democrat in most respects by today’s standards. Hell, even George W. Bush falls more under the Democrats today than the GOP. Trump is bad enough, and I shudder to think of what his eventual replacement will look like. Probably make Trump look like Gandhi.
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Re: House Ways and Means Committee sues Trump Regime for Trump's tax returns.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-07-11 05:34pm

Pretty much the only place to go worse than Trump is "open Neo-Nazi" (probably also "open pedophile", rather than closet pedophile).
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Re: House Ways and Means Committee sues Trump Regime for Trump's tax returns.

Post by GrosseAdmiralFox » 2019-07-11 06:07pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-07-11 05:34pm
Pretty much the only place to go worse than Trump is "open Neo-Nazi" (probably also "open pedophile", rather than closet pedophile).
No, it'll likely be worse -as in Imperialist-era Japan (i.e. ~late 1920s to 1945) worse- given the tools at the GOP's disposal.
Tribble wrote:
2019-07-11 05:29pm
IMO the fatal assumption here is that a “big tent” party will moderate its overall behaviour due to all the various groups within it competing with each other and needing a consensus.

This has been proven rather conclusively not to be the case, particularly with right wing parties; what happens instead is that an extreme wing of the party forms, eventually seizes control of the party, then drags the whole party with it, making the once extreme position the new norm. If and when the party loses, an even more extreme wing of the party evolves (figuring that the only reason they lost was for not being extreme enough) and the process repeats itself. It should come as no surprise that under such a system the end result could be an outright dictatorship and/or civil war.

This can happen multiple times within the same party and within the same generation- remember when other GOP contenders were calling Reagan a right wing nut for his “voodoo economics”? He’d be a hard-left Democrat in most respects by today’s standards. Hell, even George W. Bush falls more under the Democrats today than the GOP. Trump is bad enough, and I shudder to think of what his eventual replacement will look like. Probably make Trump look like Gandhi.
Slight problem with that is that, as a general rule over much of history, moderation was indeed the case. Problem is that the technological context -specifically those related to information flow- changed the game to the point that moderation is no longer the case. This, in combination with the Dixiecrats, made the rule no longer the rule in the US.

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Re: House Ways and Means Committee sues Trump Regime for Trump's tax returns.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-07-11 06:19pm

GrosseAdmiralFox wrote:
2019-07-11 06:07pm
No, it'll likely be worse -as in Imperialist-era Japan (i.e. ~late 1920s to 1945) worse- given the tools at the GOP's disposal.
I'm not going to argue over whether Imperial Japan is worse than Nazism (or child molesters). At some point, things are so bad that quibbling over which is technically worse is kind of missing the point.
Slight problem with that is that, as a general rule over much of history, moderation was indeed the case.
You don't know much of history, do you?
Problem is that the technological context -specifically those related to information flow- changed the game to the point that moderation is no longer the case. This, in combination with the Dixiecrats, made the rule no longer the rule in the US.
This level of polarization is not unique, even in American let alone world history. I could be wrong, but frankly, I get the impression that you are looking at the world from the point of view of a privileged late 20th/early 21st. Century Westerner, concluding that what you are familiar with is the historical norm, and then imagining that the current crisis is some unique apocalyptic catastrophe without precedent in history (which conveniently justifies your authoritarianism). It isn't. The stakes are perhaps higher because humanity has greater power to wreak destruction on a global scale, and because we have the oncoming crisis of climate change barrelling at us, but there is nothing fundamentally new about Trumpism's bigotry, or corruption, or authoritarianism, or propaganda. Its just the newest permutation of shit that has been around for a very long time, and ultimately has its roots in the dark side of our basic human nature.
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Re: House Ways and Means Committee sues Trump Regime for Trump's tax returns.

Post by GrosseAdmiralFox » 2019-07-11 08:10pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-07-11 06:19pm
I'm not going to argue over whether Imperial Japan is worse than Nazism (or child molesters). At some point, things are so bad that quibbling over which is technically worse is kind of missing the point.
No, one is worse because even the vast majority of the Nazis knew when to give up when it was all falling down on them. Imperial Japan after the Imperialists took over flat out didn't.
You don't know much of history, do you?
I read history as a hobby actually...
This level of polarization is not unique, even in American let alone world history. I could be wrong, but frankly, I get the impression that you are looking at the world from the point of view of a privileged late 20th/early 21st. Century Westerner, concluding that what you are familiar with is the historical norm, and then imagining that the current crisis is some unique apocalyptic catastrophe without precedent in history (which conveniently justifies your authoritarianism). It isn't. The stakes are perhaps higher because humanity has greater power to wreak destruction on a global scale, and because we have the oncoming crisis of climate change barrelling at us, but there is nothing fundamentally new about Trumpism's bigotry, or corruption, or authoritarianism, or propaganda. Its just the newest permutation of shit that has been around for a very long time, and ultimately has its roots in the dark side of our basic human nature.
That isn't what I was saying. Polarization like this happened numerous times, but those times weren't in our technological context. Information has been far slower (usually taking a day at least, depending on various factors) than what we have today, which has been a limiting factor. The major reason that slavery had been a major fissure in the US is because of the fact that it was social-economic with a whole lot of ideological grandstanding to placate it to the masses. Problem is that technology -as it loves to do- changed the rules.

... have you even read the reports that I've linked?

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Re: House Ways and Means Committee sues Trump Regime for Trump's tax returns.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-07-11 08:15pm

GrosseAdmiralFox wrote:
2019-07-11 08:10pm
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-07-11 06:19pm
I'm not going to argue over whether Imperial Japan is worse than Nazism (or child molesters). At some point, things are so bad that quibbling over which is technically worse is kind of missing the point.
No, one is worse because even the vast majority of the Nazis knew when to give up when it was all falling down on them. Imperial Japan after the Imperialists took over flat out didn't.
I'm skeptical as to how much that is truth and how much is a racial/cultural cliche.

Notably, Germany surrendered after its home territory had been overrun. The main Japanese islands were never invaded.
I read history as a hobby actually...
As do I, albeit mostly with a focus on recent and Civil War era US history.
That isn't what I was saying. Polarization like this happened numerous times, but those times weren't in our technological context. Information has been far slower (usually taking a day at least, depending on various factors) than what we have today, which has been a limiting factor. The major reason that slavery had been a major fissure in the US is because of the fact that it was social-economic with a whole lot of ideological grandstanding to placate it to the masses. Problem is that technology -as it loves to do- changed the rules.

... have you even read the reports that I've linked?
New technologies have emerged in every era. The information age may be more revolutionary than most, but like most technology, its a double-edged sword. There is no reason that it can only benefit the authoritarians. It can also be used (and to some extent has been) to inform the public and mobilize reformers.

That's what I want to do- not concede the media game to the Alt. Reich and make a (probably futile) attempt to censor the media, but to beat them at the media game. That's the challenge before us.
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Re: House Ways and Means Committee sues Trump Regime for Trump's tax returns.

Post by GrosseAdmiralFox » 2019-07-11 08:38pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-07-11 08:15pm
I'm skeptical as to how much that is truth and how much is a racial/cultural cliche.

Notably, Germany surrendered after its home territory had been overrun. The main Japanese islands were never invaded.
No, Imperial Japan is literally something else. As in 'the only reason that we didn't invade the Home Islands of Japan is that the Emperor outright told the Japanese people to surrender after fully realizing the situation before him' else. What few people realize is that Imperalist-era Japan (something to differentiate from the era where the Old Men faction maintained control after the Meji Restoration) was something else.
As do I, albeit mostly with a focus on recent and Civil War era US history.
Mine is a general swathe of history...
New technologies have emerged in every era. The information age may be more revolutionary than most, but like most technology, its a double-edged sword. There is no reason that it can only benefit the authoritarians. It can also be used (and to some extent has been) to inform the public and mobilize reformers.
That... hasn't been the case, given that recent studies have basically told that unless you do it in a rather specific manner, people are more often willing to outright disregard information that challenges their beliefs.
That's what I want to do- not concede the media game to the Alt. Reich and make a (probably futile) attempt to censor the media, but to beat them at the media game. That's the challenge before us.
Problem is that we've already lost in the media game front, they've just got all that experience and infrastructure up. The left doesn't. Period, end of story.

Not only that, but we've got a bunch of nostalgic Russians deciding that the world should burn so they can relive the 'glory days' of Russia being a great power...

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Re: House Ways and Means Committee sues Trump Regime for Trump's tax returns.

Post by LadyTevar » 2019-07-11 11:39pm

Back to the OP:

Did anything come of this yet?
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Re: House Ways and Means Committee sues Trump Regime for Trump's tax returns.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-07-11 11:42pm

As far as I know, the case is ongoing. I'll likely post if I hear any further developments.

Edit: Some Googling reveals that the case is expected to last potentially a year or more, meaning the results could drop right before the 2020 election. Fun.

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/tru ... 3e482a01f3
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