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

#19501 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2022-February-26, 14:25

Because I listen to things like "Worst Year Ever", and my reading leans left (a quick reminder that the US has their centre-right party, and the Republicans) the consensus is that like most of the last 40 years, "we're" voting D because even the worst D candidate is less actively harmful than the R candidate. And if we have to accept "not actively harmful", we will.

Also, unfortunately, "we" did nominate the worst D candidate, so let's actually hope for "not actively harmful". And unfortunately, it looks like that's what they got.

So in answer to Chas_P, it is quite possible that I can not posit EVEN ONE thing Biden has done that improves the life of hoi polloi. But I guarantee that's still 5 things better than what the previous holder of the office did in any of the 4 years he had an opportunity, and at least one (fairly big!) thing better than what that same person did in 2021. And the chance that it is at least 5 things better than what would have happened if the election went differently is very high.
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#19502 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-February-26, 15:59

Matt Yglesias said:

Which domestic political rivals has Biden asked Zelensky to help him frame in exchange for handing over assistance?

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#19503 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2022-February-26, 16:06

The election was about Trump and folks with varying views backed Biden to prevent Trump's reelection. Any other benefits are gravy.

Biden did get a long-overdue infrastructure repair and improvement bill passed (over the protests of the beaten Trump), so that's already some gravy.
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#19504 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-February-26, 16:50

Here's a tangible benefit.
We are unlikely to see letters to foreign leaders like the one below.
Unless they've already been torn up and flushed down the toilet.

DJTrump said:

THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON
October 9, 2019 His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdogan President of the Republic of Turkey Ankara Dear Mr. President Let's work out a good deal! You don't want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people, and I don't want to be responsible for destroying the Turkish economy and I will. I've already gives you a little sample with respect to Pastor Brunson. I have worked hard to solve some of your problems. Don't let the world down. You can make a great deal. General Mazloum is willing to negotiate with you, and he is willing to make concessions that they would never have made in the past. I am confidentially enclosing a copy of his letter to me, just received. History will look upon you favorably if you get this done the right and humane way. It will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don't happen. Don't be a tough guy. Don't be a fool! I will call you later.

non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek.
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#19505 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-February-26, 18:27

"I need ammunition, not a ride." Volodymyr Zelensky

That makes me a contra Ukrainian, too. Ronald Reagan
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#19506 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2022-February-26, 21:40

View Postpilowsky, on 2022-February-26, 16:50, said:

Here's a tangible benefit.
We are unlikely to see letters to foreign leaders like the one below.
Unless they've already been torn up and flushed down the toilet.

Yes, I remember that letter, one of the many times Trump embarrassed the US internationally. The damage he did to us internally was worse.
The growth of wisdom may be gauged exactly by the diminution of ill temper. — Friedrich Nietzsche
The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists — that is why they invented hell. — Bertrand Russell
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#19507 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2022-February-27, 02:51

View PostPassedOut, on 2022-February-26, 21:40, said:

Yes, I remember that letter, one of the many times Trump embarrassed the US internationally. The damage he did to us internally was worse.


The damage he did internally to the guys that swallowed the bleach was probably worse still
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#19508 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-February-27, 09:28

View PostCyberyeti, on 2022-February-27, 02:51, said:

The damage he did internally to the guys that swallowed the bleach was probably worse still


There really has never been anything like him in the oval office. There are still Rs who support him, and R leaders who are afraid of him, and there is not much we can do about that. But there also still are, or I hope there still are, or I hope that there still are, some people out there who would support a traditional conservative. We should try to welcome them back to a reasonable discussion. I don't think we should require them do fifteen mea culpas, but it would really help if they would make it clear that they now recognize the threat of Trumpism and that they are ready to onsist that any R they will support must make it clear that the person they are supporting is a conservative rather than a Trumpie.

When I was in high school, in those ancient times in the mid 50s, we had discussions in civics class about how much funding for public schools should be federal, how much should be local. And we discussed the extent to which curriculum should be a local matter or a federal matter. These were reasonable discussions. If you asked a girl out on a date she did not base her answer on how you stood on such matters. Drinking bleach never came up for discussion.

Only Rs can reuse the R party. I hope they do it.
Ken
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#19509 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-February-27, 12:46

There are quite reasonable people now writing and speaking about these times as so much more than Democrats v Republicans, that it is an attempt to end liberal democracy and replace it with authoritarian nationalism. There is no law to prevent this. If whoever holds power ignores norms there is no mechanism in place to thwart those efforts. It all comes down to us, the people .
Just ask Ukraine if you think this exaggeration.

Here in the US that needs to begin not with defeat of Trump and Trumpism but with a total repudiation of both. In Nixon’s era John Dean warned of a cancer on the presidency. That cancer has metastasized and now threatens to kill the host. As with all cancers, it cannot be isolated and ignored but must be destroyed entirely. To leave even a scrap is to invite relapse.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#19510 User is online   cherdano 

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Posted 2022-February-27, 19:39

View PostChas_P, on 2022-February-22, 20:02, said:

You boys really are amusing. Rather than continuing to flog an inanimate equine please tell us just ONE thing that your boy Joe has done to improve the lives of we plebeians. Please. Just one.

Imagine that your country gets rid of an incompetent, corrupt, misogynistic head of government who came to power with racist rhetoric, *****ed up dealing with the pandemic of a lifetime, try a pathetic attempt at a coup after he lost the election - and your only question is "What's in it for me?"

Just get the f* out of BBF once and for all, we don't need a resident racist troll here. I am sure you are a nicer person in real life than on here (not difficult), so just do yourself a favour and stop it.
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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#19511 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-February-27, 20:46

Eliot A Cohen at JHU School of Advanced Intl Studies said:

https://twitter.com/...026780204191747

Stipulating that we have no idea how this will turn out, it is worth tallying some of the surprises thus far.

  • Apparent lack of punch in Russian initial attack, to include on Ukrainian air forces; ineffective airborne assaults and spetsnaz raids; ferocity of Ukrainian resistance in depth.
  • Unanimity of western response, to include arms supplies (e.g. Sweden of all places), and Germans not only participating in sanctions, but deciding to lay out double their annual defense budget. This on top of demonstrations, etc.
  • Extent of sanctions, to include suspending SWIFT [except Energy transactions], and much more; closing of air space to Russian aircraft, and the general move to make Russia a pariah state. This includes denunciations from, e.g. Kenya and other non-European states.
  • Western and Ukrainian superiority in the information warfare realm -- to include heartening videos and stories, pictures of Russian soldiers looting or being pushed around by Ukrainian civilians, etc. all on top of effective release of US and allied intel before the crisis
  • What appears to be considerable Ukrainian tactical successes against Russian armored columns, and serious problems with the battalion tactical groups which we have heard so much about.
  • A variety of forms of opposition to the war being expressed in Russia, which takes considerable courage on the part of those doing it. Including more muted criticisms from within the elite.
  • The leadership qualities of President Zelensky, grossly underestimated by a lot of Western analysts.
  • And I could go on. The point is that analysts who were (a) mesmerized by Russian hardware; (b) impressed by Russian doctrine; © inclined to pessimism about Western democracy in general and the willingness to push back of our leaders missed a great deal.
  • Instead, some old truths, all found in Clausewitz and Tolstoy, viz., the moral element matters in war, as do the decisions of many individuals; that the fog of war exists; that war is the domain of surprise; and that it is about interaction, not mechanical planning.
  • Finally: we do not know how this will unfold, but one does sense that history is moving remarkably quickly here. And - at great cost in human suffering - the outcome may be the end of the road for a brutal dictator, and renewed confidence in free institutions. One hopes.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#19512 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-February-27, 22:47

Belarus is sending troops to support Russian invaders. Belarus does not have nuclear arms. Belarus should be bombed into oblivion, or be told that such will happen if they join the Russian war efforts.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#19513 User is online   johnu 

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Posted 2022-February-27, 23:18

View Postmycroft, on 2022-February-26, 14:25, said:

Also, unfortunately, "we" did nominate the worst D candidate, so let's actually hope for "not actively harmful". And unfortunately, it looks like that's what they got.

:lol: The worst D candidate would have been somebody who got beat by the Manchurian President Trump. A good D candidate is anybody who would have won, and Biden won.
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#19514 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-February-28, 08:47

View PostWinstonm, on 2022-February-27, 22:47, said:

Belarus is sending troops to support Russian invaders. Belarus does not have nuclear arms. Belarus should be bombed into oblivion, or be told that such will happen if they join the Russian war efforts.


I am not at all up for saying what we should or should not do, but for this I will make an exception.
If we are up for all out war then bombing Belarus could be a good way to start it. If we are not up for all out war then we should not do it.
If we recall nothing else from Viet Nam we should recall that bombing this and that but not bombing some other stuff doesn't work out.
Or there is the Korean example. Repelling the North Korean invasion, pushing the North Koreans back to the 38th parallel, worked fine.
Crossing the 38th parallel did not work out fine.
We needed to think first: Were we or were we not prepared for all out war with China. If not, maybe stop at the 38.
Short answer; Let's not do that.
Ken
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#19515 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-February-28, 09:25

Charlie Savage at NYT said:

https://www.nytimes....ter_new_arm_5_1

WASHINGTON — Former Attorney General William P. Barr writes in a new memoir that former President Donald J. Trump’s “self-indulgence and lack of self-control” cost him the 2020 election and says “the absurd lengths to which he took his ‘stolen election’ claim led to the rioting on Capitol Hill.”

In the book, “One Damn Thing After Another: Memoirs of an Attorney General,” Mr. Barr also urges his fellow Republicans to pick someone else as the party’s nominee for the 2024 election, calling the prospect of another presidential run by Mr. Trump “dismaying.”

“Donald Trump has shown he has neither the temperament nor persuasive powers to provide the kind of positive leadership that is needed,” Mr. Barr writes.

The memoir — an account of Mr. Barr’s time as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush and then again under Mr. Trump — defends his own actions in the Trump administration that led to sharp criticism of a Justice Department setting aside its independence to bend to White House pressure.

Mr. Barr was long considered a close ally of Mr. Trump. But the two fell out toward the end of the Trump administration, when Mr. Barr refused to go along with Mr. Trump’s baseless claims that the 2020 election had been stolen.

In a statement last June, Mr. Trump denounced his former attorney general, calling him a “swamp creature” and a “RINO” — meaning Republican in Name Only — who “was afraid, weak and frankly, now that I see what he is saying, pathetic.”

For his part, Mr. Barr portrays Mr. Trump as a president who — despite sometimes displaying “the menacing mannerisms” of a strongman ruler as a “schtick” to project an image of strength — had operated within guardrails set up by his advisers and achieved many conservative policy goals. But Mr. Trump “lost his grip” after the election, he writes.

“He stopped listening to his advisers, became manic and unreasonable, and was off the rails,” Mr. Barr writes. “He surrounded himself with sycophants, including many whack jobs from outside the government, who fed him a steady diet of comforting but unsupported conspiracy theories.”

Throughout the book, Mr. Barr scorns the news media, accusing them of “corruption” and “active support for progressive ideology.” The political left, he writes, became radicalized during President Barack Obama’s second term. He compares its support for social justice issues to “the same kind of revolutionary and totalitarian ideas that propelled the French Revolution, the Communists of the Russian Revolution and the fascists of 20th-century Europe.”

Mr. Barr also denounces the inquiry by the F.B.I. and then the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, into links between Russia and Trump campaign aides in 2016. He writes that “the matter that really required investigation” was “how did the phony Russiagate scandal get going, and why did the F.B.I. leadership handle the matter in such an inexplicable and heavy-handed way?”

Mr. Barr rejects as “drivel” the criticism that his summary of the special counsel’s report that he issued before the report became public was distorted in a way that favored Mr. Trump. Mr. Barr insists that his description — including his declaration that Mr. Trump did not commit obstruction of justice — was “entirely accurate.”

In defending that conclusion, Mr. Barr writes that it was a “simple fact that the president never did anything to interfere with the special counsel’s investigation.”

But his book does not address any of the specific incidents that Mr. Mueller’s report laid out as raising potential obstruction-of-justice concerns, such as the fact that Mr. Trump dangled a pardon at his former campaign chairman, Paul J. Manafort, while urging Mr. Manafort not to cooperate with the inquiry.

In a chapter titled “Upholding Fairness, Even for Rascals,” Mr. Barr defends his handling of two other cases arising from the Mueller investigation. Mr. Barr writes that it was “reasonable” for him to overrule line prosecutors and seek a more lenient sentence for Mr. Trump’s ally Roger J. Stone Jr.

And addressing his decision to drop the prosecution of Michael T. Flynn, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, for lying to the F.B.I. — even though Mr. Flynn had already pleaded guilty — he writes that the evidence was insufficient, the F.B.I.’s handling of the case had been “an abuse of power” and Mr. Mueller’s charges against him were not “fair.”

As he did while in office, Mr. Barr laments that Mr. Trump’s public comments about the Justice Department undermined his ability to do his job.

“Even though I was basing decisions on what I thought was right under the law and facts, if my decisions ended up the same as the president’s expressed opinion, it made it easier to attack my actions as politically motivated,” he writes.

Mr. Barr also describes resisting Mr. Trump’s bidding in some cases. He declined to charge the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey Jr. for allegedly leaking classified information; insisted that the administration had run out of time to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census; and rejected Mr. Trump’s “bad” idea that he could use an executive order to end birthright citizenship for children born in the United States to undocumented immigrants.

Lawyers at the White House and the Justice Department had to talk Mr. Trump out of those ideas, which could be “bruising” and amounted to “eating grenades,” Mr. Barr writes.

On the scandal that led to Mr. Trump’s first impeachment, in which Mr. Trump withheld aid to Ukraine as leverage to try to get Ukraine’s president to announce an investigation into Joseph R. Biden Jr., Mr. Barr was scathing.

He calls it “another mess — this one self-inflicted and the result of abject stupidity,” a “harebrained gambit” and “idiotic beyond belief.” But while Mr. Barr describes the conversation Mr. Trump had with Ukraine’s president on the topic as “unseemly and injudicious,” he maintains that it did not rise to a “criminal offense.”

Similarly, Mr. Barr writes that he did not think Mr. Trump’s actions before the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol — which he had condemned in a statement the day after as “orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress” and “a betrayal of his office and his supporters” — met the legal standard for the crime of incitement, even though they were “wrong.”

The book opens with a Dec. 1, 2020, meeting with Mr. Trump hours after Mr. Barr gave an interview contradicting the president’s claims of a stolen election, saying the Justice Department had “not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”

Mr. Trump was furious, he writes, accusing Mr. Barr of “pulling the rug out from under me” and saying he must “hate Trump.” After Mr. Barr says he explained why claims of various fraud were unfounded, he offered to resign and Mr. Trump slammed the table and yelled “accepted!” Mr. Trump reversed himself as Mr. Barr left the White House, but Mr. Barr stepped down before the end of the month.

His book expands on that theme, going through specific “fact-free claims of fraud” that Mr. Trump has put forward and explaining why the Justice Department found them baseless. He lists several reasons, for example, that claims about purportedly hacked Dominion voting machines were “absolute nonsense” and “meaningless twaddle.”

“The election was not ‘stolen,’” Mr. Barr writes. “Trump lost it.”

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#19516 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-February-28, 13:21

Bill Barr is the worst kind of scum: pretends to be someone else. At least Trump wore his sleaziness out in the open.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#19517 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2022-February-28, 17:16

Barr calls prospect of Trump running for president again ‘dismaying,’ says GOP should ‘look forward’ to others

Quote

Barr, who had a famous falling-out with Trump late in his presidency, writes that Trump’s “constant bellicosity diminishes him and the office,” and that in the final months of the administration, he came to realize that “Trump cared only about one thing: himself. Country and principle took second place.”

What a disappointment! If there had been any evidence for that beforehand, Barr would never have teamed up with Trump...
The growth of wisdom may be gauged exactly by the diminution of ill temper. — Friedrich Nietzsche
The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists — that is why they invented hell. — Bertrand Russell
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#19518 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2022-February-28, 19:05

View Postkenberg, on 2022-February-23, 15:27, said:

I am not thinking that JB will be regarded as one of our great presidents.

Agreed.

Quote

But the previous guy was a lying scumbag that was and is an embarrassment to the nation.

Yes, Trump is a jerk. I truly hope the Republicans will pick DeSantis in 2024 (should he choose to run). But Trump is not dangerously incompetent. Biden is. (in my opinion)

#19519 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-March-01, 02:56

This explanation of the Ukraine crisis comes from U Chicago in 2015.
Nothing has changed.
He follows it up in Feb 2020 with this lecture.
John J Mearsheimer is a rock star.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek.
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#19520 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-March-01, 09:36

Matt Yglesias said:

With reform, peace, and integration into the European mainstream, Russia would be a richer, better place to be. On its current course, it’ll be the junior partner in an alliance with a China that has its own nationalist schemes.

Putin said:

A richer, better place for whom?

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