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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#13241 User is offline   jjbrr 

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Posted 2019-July-24, 09:43

View Posthrothgar, on 2019-July-23, 03:51, said:

Oh Chas...You stupid stupid *****khead.No one, least of all myself disputes that Democrats and particular Southern Democrats had members who were deeply deeply racist in years past. Indeed, there are such members today. Here's the rub... The racist Southern Democrats of whom you speak bolted from the party when the Democratic Party passed the Civil Rights Act and started to support policies like school desegregation. Claiming that Forrest or Byrd are representative of the modern Democratic party is as ridiculous as the modern day Confederates that comprise the Republican party still trying to claim the mantle of the party of Lincoln.Nearly everyone has managed to figure this out aside from brain addled idiots like yourself. Seriously, this whole transformation happened 50 years ago.What's the point of advancing such a ludicrous, easy to disprove claim? Seriously, do you actually believe that posting such a ludicrous trope is at all convincing?FWIW, there's a new book out called "American Carnage"... Well worth taking a look at. I'd be interested to know what you think.



View Postcherdano, on 2019-July-23, 10:41, said:

But it's still illuminating that Chas_P thinks it is a defense. It's all about us vs them, never about what's the right thing to do.


This is a perfect example of a conservative using "logic" and "reason" to own the libtards. It's exactly the product Fox News and Facebook are hoping to achieve.
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#13242 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-July-25, 07:10

From John Cassidy at The New Yorker:

Quote

For the past two and a half years of Donald Trump’s Presidency, I have consoled myself with the argument that, despite all the chaos and narcissism and racial incitement and norm-shattering, the American system of government is holding itself together. When Trump attempted to introduce a ban on Muslims entering the country and sought to add a citizenship question to the census, the courts restrained him. When he railed at nato and loyal allies like Germany’s Angela Merkel, other members of his Administration issued quiet reassurances that it was just bluster. When the American people had the chance to issue a verdict on Trump’s first two years in office, they turned the House of Representatives over to the opposition party.

All of this was reassuring. But, while watching what happened on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, when Robert Mueller, the former special counsel, testified before two House committees, I struggled to contain a rising sense of dread about where the country is heading. With Republicans united behind the President, Democrats uncertain about how to proceed, and Mueller reluctant to the last to come straight out and say that the President committed impeachable offenses, it looks like Trump’s blitzkrieg tactics of demonizing anyone who challenges him, terrorizing potential dissidents on his own side, and relentlessly spouting propaganda over social media may have worked. If so, he will have recorded a historic victory over the bedrock American principles of congressional oversight and equality before the law.

The morning session was largely devoted to Volume 2 of Mueller’s report, in which he relates ten instances of Trump seeking to interfere with the Russia investigation. Sitting before them, the G.O.P. members of the House Judiciary Committee had a seventy-four-year-old registered Republican and decorated hero of the Vietnam War, who subsequently spent decades as a public prosecutor, was appointed to the position of F.B.I. director by George W. Bush, in 2001, and served twelve years in that post. Yet some of the Republican members of the Committee treated their distinguished witness with thinly disguised contempt.

Louie Gohmert, of Texas, who has made a career of scaremongering, gay-bashing, and Islamophobia, began his questioning by entering into the congressional record a screed he authored titled “Robert Mueller: Unmasked.” Matt Gaetz, of Florida, sneered at the former special counsel as he sought, unsuccessfully, to get him to comment on the conspiracy theory that the allegations against Trump in Christopher Steele’s Russia dossier were part of a Russian government disinformation campaign. Ohio’s Jim Jordan threw his arms in the air and mocked Mueller for his refusal to answer questions about Joseph Mifsud, the mysterious Maltese professor who allegedly told George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign aide, that the Russians had damaging material on Hillary Clinton. John Ratcliffe, another Texan, asked why Mueller bothered to write his report at all, given the Justice Department guidelines that say a sitting President can’t be indicted on criminal charges. Wisconsin’s Jim Sensenbrenner went further, questioning whether Mueller should have even carried out the investigation, which he described as “fishing.”

Yet none of these Republicans questioned any of the factual accounts of Trump’s behavior contained in Mueller’s report, which included attempting to fire Mueller, and, when that effort failed, trying to get the Attorney General to limit the special counsel’s remit. Rather than trying to refute Mueller’s findings, the Republicans sought to switch attention to the origins of the Russia investigation, which is, of course, precisely what Trump has been doing for the past two years.

The wanton disrespect that these elected Republicans showed Mueller was perhaps the most alarming testament yet to Trump’s total conquest of the Party. In today’s G.O.P., as in Stalin’s Russia, evidently, decades of loyal public service count for nothing when the leader and his henchmen decide someone represents a threat and the apparatchiks have been ordered to take that person down. All that matters is carrying out the order and staying in the leader’s good graces. That isn’t congressional oversight. It is scorched-earth politics of a kind that is entirely antithetical to the notion of checks and balances enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.

It was left to the Democratic members of the committee to remind the millions watching about the Bronze Star that Mueller received for rescuing a wounded fellow-marine while under enemy fire, and the fact that the U.S. Senate confirmed him and reconfirmed him unanimously to the F.B.I. job. Mueller was too modest to mention any of this. Sadly, and for whatever reason, he also seemed reluctant to return the Republicans’ fire in like fashion. Particularly in the morning hearing, he appeared hesitant. Many times, he asked for a question to be repeated. About the only occasion in which he displayed some genuine passion was in defending his colleagues on the Russia investigation, whom the Republicans—again, taking their lead from Trump—were trying to portray as Democratic political operatives.

Sticking to his promise not to stray beyond the contents of his report, Mueller frustrated the Democrats’ hope that he would bring the lengthy document to life. In confirming the damning accounts of Trump’s actions, which Democrats read out, he answered, simply, “Yes,” “True,” or “That’s correct.” When Ted Lieu, a California Democrat, asked him to read out a section of the report, he declined.

Despite Mueller’s reticence, the Democrats succeeded in countering the White House’s messaging, and showed that the report provides ample legal justification for opening an impeachment inquiry. In his opening statement, Mueller undermined months of White House obfuscation, saying, “We did not address collusion, which is not a legal term.” And, during his initial exchange with Nadler, the former special counsel completed the demolition job by stating unequivocally that his report hadn’t exonerated Trump on the obstruction question.

There was more. Toward the end of the morning session, Hakeem Jeffries, a Democrat serving Brooklyn and Queens, seemed to get Mueller to confirm that Trump’s effort, in the summer of 2017, to have Don McGahn, then the White House counsel, fire him satisfied the three requirements for a criminal indictment: an act that is obstructive, a link to an official proceeding, and corrupt intent. Also, Lieu twice got Mueller to say that the reason he didn’t press charges was the Justice Department’s guideline that rules out such a course of action. Unfortunately for the Democrats, Mueller subsequently clarified this statement, which went further than anything he had said in his earlier answers, or in his report. “That is not the correct way to say it,” he said at the start of his afternoon appearance before the House Intelligence Committee. “As we say in the report, and I said at the opening, we did not reach a determination on whether the President committed a crime.”

Even after this clarification, however, the overriding impression that Mueller left was that the President knowingly attempted to obstruct his investigation, and that such attempts can be criminal even if they don’t succeed. In the afternoon session, he also left hanging the question of whether Trump made false statements to the investigators, affirming “generally” that the President’s written answers to his questions weren’t always truthful.

The tragedy is that this might not matter. Even as Mueller was still testifying, some media commentary was intimating that his appearance wouldn’t change anything. “Those who wanted to begin impeachment proceedings needed bombshells from the former special counsel,” Politico’s Playbook newsletter said. “Mueller gave them nothing besides affirmation about what was in his report, and a series of sidesteps when he did not want to answer questions.” Later in the afternoon, the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake wrote, “If Democrats hoped this would be a seminal moment, they will apparently leave sorely disappointed—in large part because their star witness was no star.”

It is now up to the House Democrats. Leaving a meeting of her caucus on Wednesday afternoon, Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters, “The American people now realize more fully the crimes that have been committed against our Constitution.” But, in a subsequent press conference, she indicated that a move toward impeachment wasn’t imminent. “We still have outstanding matters in the courts,” she said.

The American people now realize more fully that crimes against the Constitution have been committed? I don't think so.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#13243 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2019-July-25, 07:47

View Posty66, on 2019-July-25, 07:10, said:

From John Cassidy at The New Yorker:


The American people now realize more fully that crimes against the Constitution have been committed? I don't think so.


A very good article, as are many of the articles that you post!

But the problem lies where it has lain from the beginning: Does the American electorate want Trump as president? If the answer to that is yes, then, one way or another, we will have Trump or some variation of Trump. No one will be surprised to hear that I would see that as a disaster.

The solution? I acknowledge that I might be naive, but I see the solution to be that the Democrats give serious thought to both what positions they espouse and which candidates they put forth.

Solving the problem through impeachment has always seemed, to me, to be simultaneously unrealistic and too easy. Unrealistic because it isn't going to happen, and it would not really solve the long term fundamental problem if it did happen. Too easy? Well, too easy to fantasize about, thus distracting the leadership from giving the necessary thought to what really needs to be done.

Fundamentally, if the country really wants someone like Trump as president, we are beyond salvation. So we need to go forward with the faith that we are better than that. If that faith is naive, then nothing can be done.
Ken
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#13244 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-July-25, 13:07

View Postkenberg, on 2019-July-25, 07:47, said:

A very good article, as are many of the articles that you post!

But the problem lies where it has lain from the beginning: Does the American electorate want Trump as president? If the answer to that is yes, then, one way or another, we will have Trump or some variation of Trump. No one will be surprised to hear that I would see that as a disaster.

The solution? I acknowledge that I might be naive, but I see the solution to be that the Democrats give serious thought to both what positions they espouse and which candidates they put forth.

Solving the problem through impeachment has always seemed, to me, to be simultaneously unrealistic and too easy. Unrealistic because it isn't going to happen, and it would not really solve the long term fundamental problem if it did happen. Too easy? Well, too easy to fantasize about, thus distracting the leadership from giving the necessary thought to what really needs to be done.

Fundamentally, if the country really wants someone like Trump as president, we are beyond salvation. So we need to go forward with the faith that we are better than that. If that faith is naive, then nothing can be done.


I have a lot of sympathy for your position. I read recently that a key element in a strongmen's takeover is to replace optimism with cynicism - that a hopeful and optimistic electorate offers a much stronger resistance to totalitarianism.

At the same time, I would like to see an impeachment inquiry begun, not because it would lead to impeachment but it would use the House's constitutional oversight powers and strength to overcome the stonewalling of this administration. The courts have little input into impeachment proceedings.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#13245 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2019-July-25, 18:00

View PostWinstonm, on 2019-July-25, 13:07, said:

I have a lot of sympathy for your position. I read recently that a key element in a strongmen's takeover is to replace optimism with cynicism - that a hopeful and optimistic electorate offers a much stronger resistance to totalitarianism.

At the same time, I would like to see an impeachment inquiry begun, not because it would lead to impeachment but it would use the House's constitutional oversight powers and strength to overcome the stonewalling of this administration. The courts have little input into impeachment proceedings.


I want to be clear here because I think it is critical. I think impeachment is a mirage in a desert. Worse, I think it absorbs attention and energy that could be used elsewhere.

Here is my fear: Trump wins re-election, the Dems will explain that this is because the electorate is filled with stupid people and bigots, because the founders put in that electoral college thing, because the Russians used robotic trolls etc etc. Any explanation other than they did not put up a strong candidate with a clear message that the ordinary person can look at and say "Hey, that looks good and I trust him/her to bring it about".



Having faith here is not based on some rosy idea that it is really a nice thing to have faith. As I said, if that faith is misplaced, then we are doomed. If you are in a fire and can jump out of the window to a net below, you have faith in the net and the people holding it because, well, what else? If you survive, maybe later you can look at how the fire started. A year from now, Trump will be in office and Trump will be the R candidate for re-election. No i have not done any time travel, but do you really think otherwise?
Ken
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#13246 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-July-25, 18:10

View Postkenberg, on 2019-July-25, 18:00, said:

I want to be clear here because I think it is critical. I think impeachment is a mirage in a desert. Worse, I think it absorbs attention and energy that could be used elsewhere.

Here is my fear: Trump wins re-election, the Dems will explain that this is because the electorate is filled with stupid people and bigots, because the founders put in that electoral college thing, because the Russians used robotic trolls etc etc. Any explanation other than they did not put up a strong candidate with a clear message that the ordinary person can look at and say "Hey, that looks good and I trust him/her to bring it about".



Having faith here is not based on some rosy idea that it is really a nice thing to have faith. As I said, if that faith is misplaced, then we are doomed. If you are in a fire and can jump out of the window to a net below, you have faith in the net and the people holding it because, well, what else? If you survive, maybe later you can look at how the fire started. A year from now, Trump will be in office and Trump will be the R candidate for re-election. No i have not done any time travel, but do you really think otherwise?


Here is my concern. We are quickly reaching a point where the Congress is irrelevant. Gridlock has made it all but impossible to pass any legislation other than by partisan force. This has led to the presidency using executive orders to essentially rule the government.

This is not how this republic is supposed to work. It is imperative that the Congress fight back to restore its powers as an equal branch of government, because right now AG Barr does not hold that view and neither does Trump. With the SCOTUS under conservative control, the Senate, the Department of Justice, the State Department, and the White House, it is imperative to restore a balance of power.

This did not happen overnight and it is not due to Trump - he is only a symptom of a problem built to over many decades; howver, he, along with Barr, bring an urgency to begin to undo the damage. The House must be able to investigate wrongdoing accusation against the president - and with the DOJ and the WH both stonewalling, it is mandatory to start in impeachment inquiry as the courts view that as a legitimate action of the House and the courts tend then to expedite those cases and rule for the Congress.

Without that power, it is a bunch of Democrats against the Trump bunch, and the Democrats have no win in that situation.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#13247 User is online   cherdano 

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Posted 2019-July-25, 18:20

The point of impeachment isn't to remove Trump from office. The point of impeachment is to uphold the principle that presidential candidates shouldn't tacitly encourage law-breaking foreign interference in US elections to their benefit, that presidents shouldn't break or circumvent the emoluments clause to let foreign governments funnel money into their hotels and resorts while negotiating deals with the US government, that presidential candidates shouldn't conspire to suppress crucial news stories via payments that are breaking the letter and the spirit of campaign finance laws, and that US presidents shouldn't obstruct justice by tampering with witnesses and trying to curtail investigations of his aides and organisations that have broken the law. That, generally speaking, US presidents are not above the law.

Today, Mitch McConnell blocked two bills improving elections security arguing that making elections more secure would give Democrats a "partisan benefit". Yup, he has become this shameless. Still, it is worth making him, and every other Republican senator, cast a vote "Yes, I do support the president breaking the law". Let them go on the record of supporting obstruction of justice, and maybe some voters will decide to vote out senators who support obstruction of justice.
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#13248 User is online   cherdano 

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Posted 2019-July-25, 18:24

I should add that in my impression, the Democratic reluctance to even start impeachment hearings has emboldened Trump's government further. Sometimes, administrations decide to fight Congress in court. The Treasury's refusal to provide Trump's tax return is brazenly and openly breaking a simple and clear law. Why should voters punish them for that if Democrats don't even go on the record to say that this is breaking the law?
The easiest way to count losers is to line up the people who talk about loser count, and count them. -Kieran Dyke
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#13249 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2019-July-25, 19:49

View Postcherdano, on 2019-July-25, 18:24, said:

I should add that in my impression, the Democratic reluctance to even start impeachment hearings has emboldened Trump's government further. Sometimes, administrations decide to fight Congress in court. The Treasury's refusal to provide Trump's tax return is brazenly and openly breaking a simple and clear law. Why should voters punish them for that if Democrats don't even go on the record to say that this is breaking the law?


It's a good bet that we won't agree here, but this can illustrate my point. Imo there might be fifteen voters in the US whose 2020 vote will be mildly influenced by whether the Dems do or do not pursue this issue. I will even grant that there might be twenty-five such voters. It is my very strong view that if the Dems wish to win in 2020 rather than have a satisfying explanation as to why they lost, then they need look elsewhere for issues. I suppose this could be considered cynicism, I see it as realism.

What is my evidence? Well, I don't have any. I still regard this as correct.
Ken
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#13250 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-July-25, 20:12

View Postkenberg, on 2019-July-25, 19:49, said:

It's a good bet that we won't agree here, but this can illustrate my point. Imo there might be fifteen voters in the US whose 2020 vote will be mildly influenced by whether the Dems do or do not pursue this issue. I will even grant that there might be twenty-five such voters. It is my very strong view that if the Dems wish to win in 2020 rather than have a satisfying explanation as to why they lost, then they need look elsewhere for issues. I suppose this could be considered cynicism, I see it as realism.

What is my evidence? Well, I don't have any. I still regard this as correct.


I think you are very much wrong, here. What Nancy Pelosi is doing is sucking the air from the longs of the resistance and leaving a huge swath of young voters apathetic if nothing will change.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#13251 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2019-July-25, 21:30

I guess we will see. I got to thinking about saying that I have no proof. That is true, but consider this: Recently a bill was passed by the House close to unanimously to kill the tax (not really a tax) on Cadillac health plans. So the Dems vote for killing a part of the ACA, but they don't, I gather, pursue this stuff about the tax returns. My guess, again without proof, that this divide occurs because the Dems know, or think that they know, where the votes are and aren't. So it seems that the Dems are thinking along the same lines as I am regarding the tax return dispute. That doesn't prove anyone is right, or wrong, but it does seem that my views on the tax return business are shared by the Dem leadership. Now on impeachment there is divided opinion as to where the votes lie, but again I think it's a mirage to seek votes by going after impeachment. I acknowledge I can't prove it, but of course neither can you.
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#13252 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-July-25, 22:00

View Postkenberg, on 2019-July-25, 19:49, said:

It's a good bet that we won't agree here, but this can illustrate my point. Imo there might be fifteen voters in the US whose 2020 vote will be mildly influenced by whether the Dems do or do not pursue this issue. I will even grant that there might be twenty-five such voters. It is my very strong view that if the Dems wish to win in 2020 rather than have a satisfying explanation as to why they lost, then they need look elsewhere for issues. I suppose this could be considered cynicism, I see it as realism.

What is my evidence? Well, I don't have any. I still regard this as correct.


There will be a lot of anti-Trump voters that will be discouraged by the failure of Democrats to impeach and they may fail to vote in the 2020 elections. How many? Who knows, but if there is no impeachment the election will probably be determined by how much of the base turns out so failure to impeach will deflate their base, IMO.

As far as changing minds, impeachment is the only way to get the facts of the Mueller report and other impeachable offenses before the American electorate. Weeks, maybe several months of nationally televised daily impeachment hearings can't help but dominate the news cycle and get the facts out there. Seeing how there are 250 million Americans of election age (and 157 million actually registered to vote), there are probably 100+ million voters who know basically nothing about the Mueller report findings or other high crimes and misdemeanors committed by the president. Since estimate of independent voters is about 40+% of the electorate, that is the group that need to know what high crimes and misdemeanors have been committed.

I don't expect any/enough Republicans in the Senate to vote to convict, so Dennison won't be removed from office, but the widespread dissemination of facts will tip the electorate enough to make sure Dennison is not reelected.
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#13253 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-July-26, 05:00

From Jonathan Bernstein at Bloomberg:

Quote

A new budget deal passed the House on Thursday and is expected to easily clear the Senate next week. Assuming it does (and President Donald Trump signs it), there will be no debt-limit worries for two years, no sequestration, and little chance of a government shut down. Here are a few other things we’ve learned from this episode.

One is that it’s no coincidence that extended government shutdowns have happened in 1995-1996, 2013, and 2018-2019. They all began with Republican majorities in the House. So did the debt-limit brinkmanship of 2011. Although Democrats bargained hard for spending they wanted in this deal, they never really threatened to disrupt the government or the economy over it. Perhaps they’re more responsible than Republicans. But Democratic majorities have also always had substantive goals that they were out to achieve in these negotiations. Republicans? Not so much. They’re after confrontation for its own sake.

Another takeaway was that Trump’s alleged control over the Republican Party was, as usual, shown to be illusory. Trump signed on to the budget deal, tweeted that Republicans “should support” it and then watched as they opposed it by a two-to-one margin. The dynamic among House Republicans is the same as it’s been for years: Radicals try to differentiate themselves from mainstream conservatives by opposing any compromise legislation, then mainstream conservatives, fearful of being called moderates, also vote “no.” That – and not Trump’s anger or his Twitter feed – is what they’re really afraid of. As a consequence, the party is collectively dysfunctional and its leaders lose leverage in negotiations.

Meanwhile, the much-anticipated “Tea Party of the left” remains AWOL. Some Democrats certainly are very liberal, even more liberal than the bulk of the caucus, which is hardly a group of moderates. But while the “Squad” and some others might be ideologically extreme, they aren’t radicals – they’re willing to compromise and to accept half-victories when they’re available. This vote, in fact, split the Squad, and despite a lot of unhappiness over high levels of military spending, most of the handful of Democratic “no” votes came from the small group of moderates.

One other thing: Republicans say they opposed the deal because of budget deficits. Don’t believe it. If you’re not willing to support any trade-offs to reduce the deficit, then you’re not actually concerned about it – and I didn’t hear any Republicans complaining that their leadership sold them out by accepting a larger deficit instead of lower defense spending or higher taxes. They’re not against larger federal budget deficits; they’re just against spending on programs they don’t like. In other words, this is the old Republican War on Budgeting.

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#13254 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2019-July-26, 06:26

View Postjohnu, on 2019-July-25, 22:00, said:

There will be a lot of anti-Trump voters that will be discouraged by the failure of Democrats to impeach and they may fail to vote in the 2020 elections. How many? Who knows, but if there is no impeachment the election will probably be determined by how much of the base turns out so failure to impeach will deflate their base, IMO.

As far as changing minds, impeachment is the only way to get the facts of the Mueller report and other impeachable offenses before the American electorate. Weeks, maybe several months of nationally televised daily impeachment hearings can't help but dominate the news cycle and get the facts out there. Seeing how there are 250 million Americans of election age (and 157 million actually registered to vote), there are probably 100+ million voters who know basically nothing about the Mueller report findings or other high crimes and misdemeanors committed by the president. Since estimate of independent voters is about 40+% of the electorate, that is the group that need to know what high crimes and misdemeanors have been committed.

I don't expect any/enough Republicans in the Senate to vote to convict, so Dennison won't be removed from office, but the widespread dissemination of facts will tip the electorate enough to make sure Dennison is not reelected.


Who would get discouraged by what is a legitimate issue, I think it can cut various ways. Here is a dichotomy:


1. Try to win by explaining how awful Trump is

2. Try to win by explaining what the Dems plan to do, why it will work, who is best placed to implement these plans and so on.


Yes, ideally we do both. In practice, probably not. The current focus is much much more toward 1. than it is toward 2. I think that this is a really good way to lose the election. I will try to elaborate on this, but right now I have some other matters to tend to.

But a quick quote from WaPo:

"Most notably, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), who elicited several of Mueller’s criticisms of Trump at the hearings, sharply played down the prospects of removing the president through impeachment.“We do need to be realistic, and that is, the only way he’s leaving office, at least at this point, is by being voted out, and I think our efforts need to be made in every respect to make sure we turn out our people,” Schiff said during an interview on CNN."


Ken
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#13255 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-July-26, 07:33

View Postkenberg, on 2019-July-25, 21:30, said:

I guess we will see. I got to thinking about saying that I have no proof. That is true, but consider this: Recently a bill was passed by the House close to unanimously to kill the tax (not really a tax) on Cadillac health plans. So the Dems vote for killing a part of the ACA, but they don't, I gather, pursue this stuff about the tax returns. My guess, again without proof, that this divide occurs because the Dems know, or think that they know, where the votes are and aren't. So it seems that the Dems are thinking along the same lines as I am regarding the tax return dispute. That doesn't prove anyone is right, or wrong, but it does seem that my views on the tax return business are shared by the Dem leadership. Now on impeachment there is divided opinion as to where the votes lie, but again I think it's a mirage to seek votes by going after impeachment. I acknowledge I can't prove it, but of course neither can you.


I also think it is wrong to seek votes by impeachment - and that is not the object. The reason to do it is so we a have "a republic, if we can keep it."

The impeachment process is 3 steps: 1) judiciary committee investigation 2) referral and House vote 3) Senate trial

What is needed is to take step 1. Step 1 alone will compel testimony that the WH and DOJ has stonewalled because it is a valid constitutional reason that the courts will back with expedited decisions.

This is what this is all about: from NBC coverage of an Amash town hall

Quote

But of particular interest was a quote from one Republican local voter, whom NBC News spoke to after the event.

Cathy Garnaat, a Republican who supported Amash and the president said she was upset about Amash’s position but wanted to hear his reasoning. She said that she will definitely support Trump in 2020 but that Tuesday night was the first time she had heard that the Mueller report didn’t completely exonerate the president.

I was surprised to hear there was anything negative in the Mueller report at all about President Trump. I hadn’t heard that before,” she said. “I’ve mainly listened to conservative news and I hadn’t heard anything negative about that report and President Trump has been exonerated.”
my emphasis

When you totally control the narrative, you can get away with murder; since all other norms are violated, and the DOJ is an active participant in cover-up, impeachment is the only avenue left to penetrate the Omerta.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#13256 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-July-26, 11:27

As far as the Schiff quote, I agree totally. Impeachment inquiry is not an alternative to that notion but a supplement to it in order to find out and show the American public all those things that this administration is trying to hide, including whether or not the president is benefiting financially from his policy decisions.

Policy ideas - Warren, Sandsers, etc. - can be accomplished at the same time. However, nothing the House passes is now even getting to the Senate floor for votes, and there is little news coverage of what the Democrats are passing that the Senate Republicans are killing.

The Dems are losing the PR struggle to someone who knows a thing or two about ratings - maybe all he does know.

As it turns out, this WaPo article agrees with me:

Quote

Politico reported recently that Nadler raised the idea with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who shot it down. But Judiciary Committee members have grown convinced that launching an inquiry is important for the pragmatic purpose of increasing Democrats’ legal leverage to overcome the Trump administration’s maximal resistance to oversight on all fronts.....

....The House is set to sue to make this happen, with the goal of getting a judge to rule on the administration’s claim that the White House can assert “absolute immunity” to such requests. If Democrats win that, it could compel more cooperation on other fronts.

But an impeachment inquiry would make that more likely to succeed. As the Times reports, Judiciary members believe a unilateral inquiry without a full House vote would accomplish that goal:

Doing so, they think, would strengthen their hand in the courts and potentially persuade judges to move more quickly on cases like the potential one against Mr. McGahn, while building on any momentum generated by Mr. Mueller.
my emphasis
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#13257 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-July-26, 12:28

+ a gazillion for the quote of Adam Schiff channeling kenberg. The dudes abide.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#13258 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-July-26, 13:45

View Postkenberg, on 2019-July-26, 06:26, said:

But a quick quote from WaPo:

"Most notably, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), who elicited several of Mueller’s criticisms of Trump at the hearings, sharply played down the prospects of removing the president through impeachment.“We do need to be realistic, and that is, the only way he’s leaving office, at least at this point, is by being voted out, and I think our efforts need to be made in every respect to make sure we turn out our people,” Schiff said during an interview on CNN."


Before the Mueller hearings, chances that enough Republican senators would vote to convict were slim to none. There are 53 Republican senators. At least 20 of them would have to vote to convict, assuming 100% of the Democrats and independents also voted to convict. There are zero Republican senators that have shown any inclination to vote to remove Dennison. Without getting responsive answers from Mueller during the hearings, there was probably some movement in the court of public opinion, but not anything close to a tidal wave that would cause 20+ Republican senators to feel political pressure to change their positions.

Thus Schiff is just stating a fact that at the present time, there isn't a realistic chance that Dennison will be convicted and removed in an impeachment process.

Removing isn't the same as impeaching, so I still believe the House will impeach Dennison this year.
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#13259 User is online   cherdano 

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Posted 2019-July-26, 16:12

View Postkenberg, on 2019-July-26, 06:26, said:

Who would get discouraged by what is a legitimate issue, I think it can cut various ways. Here is a dichotomy:


1. Try to win by explaining how awful Trump is

2. Try to win by explaining what the Dems plan to do, why it will work, who is best placed to implement these plans and so on.


I don't think Hillary lost because she didn't have enough plans, or was too hesitant to talk about her plans... And it's easy to forget, but Hillary did win all the debates.

Obviously Democrats need to explain that they have policies that improve people's live. As Ken Berg and Ilhan Omar say:

Quote

It is not enough to condemn the corruption and self-dealing of this administration. We must support policies that unmistakably improve working people’s lives


But I think you also must convince at least some voters that Trump isn't on their side. That while he plays the guy who'd pick their side in a fight, in fact he didn't. Instead of improving healthcare access, he tried to take away healthcare from millions of Americans like you many times. He stood quietly as all Republicans blocked a long-needed raise of the minimum wage. Which side did he pick? The side of the billionaires who funnel millions of dollars into his account via his hotels and Mar-a-Lago memberships, who in return got the biggest tax cut for billionaires and foreign corporations in the history of the planet. And you know what, we don't even know who is paying him. When Ken Berg earns some extra money working helping a business friend on the weekends, he has to get approval from his College. President Trump could be getting millions of dollars from foreign oligarchs, and you, the voters who put him into office, and for whom he is supposed to work, aren't even allowed to know about it. The craziest bit? He directly told his Treasury Secretary to break the law and not provide his tax returns to Congress, as he is supposed to. President Trump, what do you have to hide? The American People want to know who is paying you. You have made excuse after excuse - the dog ate my tax returns, sory the IRS is auditing me, but last March your administration started breaking the law, plain and simple, to hide who is paying you.
THe day I come into office, our government will stop working for billionaires shilling out millions for Mar-a-Lago memberships. No, I will work for you, I will fight for you, to [into standard 2 min pitch on what X wants to do on minimum wage, healthcare, sensible immigration, ...]
The easiest way to count losers is to line up the people who talk about loser count, and count them. -Kieran Dyke
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#13260 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-July-26, 20:40

From Karl Smith at Bloomberg:

Quote

There was good news and bad news in Friday’s report on U.S. economic growth, but the bad outweighed the good. If President Donald Trump wants to improve conditions — both in the economy and for his re-election — then he might start by ending his trade war with China.

First the good news. Growth for the second quarter was 2.1%, much better than expected. Year-over-year growth had reached a low of 1.3% in the second quarter of 2016, in the midst of a global slowdown and a crash in oil prices. The rebound was stronger than originally thought. With an added boost from the 2017 tax cuts, year-over-year GDP growth hit a peak of 3.2% in the second quarter of 2018.

Which brings us to the bad news: Ever since then, growth has been slowing. It’s now lower than it was in the second quarter of 2015. If growth continues to fall, then on Election Day 2020 growth could be as low as it was in 2015.

There are reasons to think growth will keep falling. While most of the economy is consumer spending, the business cycle is primarily driven by investment, either in the business sector itself or in residential housing. Neither look good.

A major revision of past figures shows that business-sector investment is weaker than previously thought. Business investment recovered strongly from the 2015 slowdown, but not as well as previously estimated. Like overall GDP, business investment peaked in early 2018 and has been headed down ever since. That’s precisely when Trump began to ramp up his trade war.

Since then, business investment has fallen far more than expected and looks to be headed toward recessionary territory soon. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the whole economy will experience a recession; in 2016, for example, the business sector went into recession, but the rest of the economy held up.

Unfortunately, the other major driver of cyclical demand — housing — is not doing nearly as well today. The sector was going strong in 2015, but has itself been in recessionary territory since the beginning of last year. Combined with the decline in business investment, this suggests that the economy may be on an even weaker footing than it was before a mini-recession in 2015.

The upshot of all this? Although the economy is growing well now, its fundamentals are weaker than economists thought. Absent a change in policy, overall growth is likely to slow substantially in the coming year.

I’ve argued before that Trump is in danger of recreating the economic conditions that doomed Democratic chances in 2016. That looks even more probable now.

What can be done to restore growth? The Fed is widely expected to cut rates when it meets later next week, and that will help. More important, the data suggest that investment and overall growth turned south just as Trump ramped up the trade war. Bringing that war to an end — and quickly — may be his best hope for re-election.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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