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

#20141 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-July-19, 10:26

Jonathan Chait at NYMag said:

The most depressing thing about the demise of the Biden administration’s social-policy agenda — other than the demise itself, of course — was the atmosphere of sheer economic illiteracy that surrounded it. Critics of the measure, ultimately including Joe Manchin himself, made arguments against it that were not so much misguided as lacking any elemental grasp of the basic principles involved (“not even wrong”).

The main argument used against Biden’s plan was that it would worsen inflation. Most of them scolded Biden for ignoring the sage insights of Larry Summers. Here, to take just one example, is conservative pundit Marc Thiessen: Biden signed an economic stimulus in March 2021 “despite warnings from even liberal economists, such as former Treasury secretary Lawrence H. Summers, who cautioned the president that his plan would ‘set off inflationary pressures of a kind we have not seen in a generation,’” Thiessen scolds. “The first rule of holes is: When you are in one, stop digging. So, when you are in a hole of spiraling inflation, the obvious first step is: stop spending.”

Later in the same column, Thiessen switches metaphors, scolding again, “But instead of trying to tamp down the flames, Biden keeps trying to pour gasoline on the inferno, with more spending and more free money from Washington.” The tone of this column, like many of the right-wing polemics, is one of incredulous condescension. Biden is such a blithering idiot that he is ignoring the obvious conclusion and instead digging holes and pouring gasoline or whatever.

Whatever the case against Build Back Better, this was not it. The American Rescue Plan did contribute to inflation. Its purpose was to stimulate demand by injecting deficit-financed spending into the economy. Build Back Better had a different purpose: to address social needs over a long period of time and finance that spending through taxation.

Spending financed by new taxes is not inflationary. That is why Summers himself endorsed Build Back Better. Yet conservatives spent the better part of a year citing Summers as the authority on why Biden’s long-term plans would cause inflation, oblivious to the fact that any economist, very much including Summers, would say otherwise.

In deference to public concerns about inflation, Manchin ultimately reshaped the last version of the bill as an anti-inflationary measure. The plan would have raised $1 trillion in new revenue (or reduced spending) and used half the proceeds for deficit reduction. This would not have had a large effect on inflation, but there is no question that, directionally, it would place downward pressure on prices.

Conservatives simply refused to acknowledge this aspect of the plan at all. In the end, even Manchin himself abandoned his own plan, which was designed in part to reduce inflation, on account of inflation, which is like deciding not to cut greenhouse-gas emissions because it’s too hot.

Playbook reports, via a source close to Manchin, “when the 9.1% inflation number was released Manchin just said to Schumer, ‘Why can’t we wait a month to see if the numbers come down structurally? How do you pour $1 trillion on that tempo with inflation?’”

Remember, $1 trillion is not the size of the spending in the bill; $1 trillion is the size of the revenue. That’s the pay-for aspect of the bill Manchin insisted on maintaining in order to fight inflation. The $1 trillion would not be poured onto economic growth. It would be poured out of economic growth.

In the end, Biden’s attempt to enact permanent social change died in an atmosphere in which the most ignorant fallacies carried the day.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#20142 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-July-19, 12:38

Hooray for Washington! That screwy ballyhooey Washington!
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20143 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-July-19, 12:52

  • Dr. Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist who resides in Ireland.

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IF YOU NEED TO PANIC ABOUT DOJ'S INVESTIGATION INTO JANUARY 6, PANIC FIRST ABOUT DOUG MASTRIANO

IF YOU NEED TO PANIC ABOUT DOJ'S INVESTIGATION INTO JANUARY 6, PANIC FIRST ABOUT DOUG MASTRIANO
July 19, 2022/33 Comments/in 2020 Presidential Election, 2022 Mid-Term Election, January 6 Insurrection /by emptywheelYesterday, Rachel Maddow reported the exciting news that Merrick Garland released the same memo that Attorneys General always do during election years.

"As in prior election cycles, I am issuing this memorandum to remind you of the Department's existing policies with respect to political activities." Rachel was really upset that Garland integrated the requirement for prior approval that was already the norm, but which Barr put into writing (which arose, in part, out of Michael Horowitz's IG Report on Carter Page, which showed that not everyone had learned of the investigation into Trump's flunkies in timely fashion). After months and months of inflammatory commentary suggesting that the decision on whether or not to investigate Trump rested exclusively with Garland (and not, as is the reality, a hierarchy of DOJ personnel, starting with a team of career AUSAs), Rachel wailed that the memo requires Garland to do what everyone has long assumed was true: that Garland would have to approve any investigation into Trump.

In response to her irresponsible sensationalism, people immediately concluded that by releasing the memo, Garland had nixed any further indictments before the election.

One reason I'm certain that's not true is because after Garland released this memo, DOJ arrested declared candidate for Governor of Michigan, Ryan Kelley. Kelley never entered the Capitol on January 6. But in addition to charging him with entering restricted grounds (that is, entering inside the barricades set up around the Capitol), DOJ also charged him with vandalizing the scaffolding set up in advance of the Inauguration. The charging documents also cited some of his other efforts to undermine democracy in the lead-up and aftermath of the 2020 election.

In October of 2020, KELLEY attended the "American Patriot Council Nationwide Freedom March" in Allendale, Michigan. During that event, KELLEY wore a blue shirt, a black coat, a watch with a red watch band, and aviator sunglasses. Parts of this attire were also worn by KELLEY in photos and videos from the U.S. Capitol grounds on January 6, 2021. KELLEY appears at this event in the image below.

In November of 2020, KELLEY was a featured speaker and introduced by name at a "Stop the Steal" rally at the Michigan Capitol in Lansing. During that event, KELLEY indicated that those attending the rally should stand and fight, with the goal of preventing Democrats from stealing the election.

He gave a speech while wearing a name tag and stated "Covid-19 was made so that they can use the propaganda to control your minds so that you think, if you watch the media, that Joe Biden won this election. We're not going to buy it. We're going to stand and fight for America, for Donald Trump. We're not going to let the Democrats steal this election".

Kelley was arrested on June 9, technically within the 60 day window in advance of the August 2 primary. But DOJ did arrest the gubernatorial candidate in time for voters to learn of his actions during the insurrection (it even was an issue at a recent debate), without creating last minute news before an election like Jim Comey did against Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Kelley's not the only one against whom DOJ has taken overt investigative steps in the wake of the memo, either. DOJ seized the phones of a number of high ranking subjects in the fake electors plot, including the Chair of Nevada's Republican Party, Michael McDonald. Indeed, the likelihood a number of subjects of the fake elector plot would be covered by the DOJ policy may be why the January 6 Committee is finally making an exception regarding their refusal to share interview transcripts for that part of DOJ's investigation: while they've been refusing, the window on pre-election indictments for fake elector plotters is closing.

Besides, all this panic-mongering seems really, really badly targeted.

I'm impatient to have some accountability for Trump and his flunkies, just like everyone else (even if, because I've followed the investigation, I know that DOJ is investigating Trump's flunkies). I think, for the reasons I laid out here, a hypothetical Trump indictment wouldn't come for some time yet, but I'm also confident that if the investigation isn't open now or soon, Trump's campaign roll-out would do nothing to thwart opening an investigation. It would require the same Garland approval that would be obtained in any case. Trump wouldn't even be affected by the DOJ policy on pre-election actions, because he's not on the ballot this year.

But there is a key player in January 6, someone known to have been under investigation, for whom the window to prosecute is closing as the election draws near, someone who presents a far more immediate threat to democracy than Trump: Doug Mastriano, the GOP candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania.

Mastriano technically could be charged, just for his actions on January 6. Like some other political figures — in addition to Kelley, Couy Griffin, and key influencers like Owen Shroyer and Brandon Straka (though Straka's original complaint included civil disorder) — Mastriano appears to have been at the Capitol, inside the barriers, but did not enter the building.

The images, shared with NBC News, appear to show Mastriano holding up his cellphone as rioters in the front of the mob face off with police at the Capitol steps. Reconstructed timelines and other videos filmed nearby show rioters would breach this police line within minutes, ripping away a crowd control rope line and rushing past officers up the stairs. The timelines and videos, including unedited versions, that show Mastriano in the crowd were reviewed by NBC News.

Posted Image A man who appears to be Doug Mastriano takes photos or video with his cellphone near the steps of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.@MichaelCoudrey via TwitterOnline sleuths also identified a video posted by "Stop the Steal" organizer Mike Coudrey on Jan. 6 that appears to show Mastriano taking photos or video with his cellphone as rioters face off with police on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. Coudrey's tweet celebrated the mob, which he said "broke through 4 layers of security at the Capitol building.

Mastriano's campaign did not respond to NBC News' request for comment. Mastriano previously said that he "respected all police lines as I came upon them" and that he never stepped foot on the Capitol stairs. One of his campaign aides, Grant Clarkson, was near the front of the mob, NBC previously reported. There has been no evidence that Clarkson entered the Capitol that day and he has insisted he did not.

Mastriano has had ties with a number of the people charged for more serious roles in the insurrection, most notably Sam Lazar, who was arrested a year ago on charges of civil disorder and assaulting cops.

And perhaps to an even greater extent than some other influencers who were arrested for their presence inside the barricades at the Capitol, Mastriano spent the months leading up to the insurrection laying the foundation for it, actions that might make him susceptible to an obstruction charge. This article describes his key role in sowing The Big Lie, most notably arranging for the quasi-official hearing at which Rudy could spread false claims. Mastriano also spoke at the "Jericho March" on December 12, 2020, which was a key networking event in advance of the insurrection.

As laid out in the SJC Report on the topic, Mastriano also pressured DOJ to intervene to overturn the election. When Trump complained to DOJ that they were ignoring fraud claims on December 27, for example, Mastriano was — along with Jim Jordan and Scott Perry — one of the people whose complaints he directed Jeffrey Rosen to attend to.

Trump twice calls Rosen. During the second call, Rosen conferences in Donoghue, who takes extensive notes on Trump's claims that the "election has been stolen out from under the American people" and that DOJ is failing to respond. Trump mentions efforts made by Pennsylvania Representative Scott Perry, Ohio Representative Jim Jordan, and Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano, and asks Rosen and Donoghue to "just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican Congressmen." Trump also references Jeffrey Clark and potentially replacing DOJ's leadership.

Mastriano also paid $3,000 to bus people into the event.

On paper, then, Mastriano is the kind of influencer-organizer that DOJ has been investigating for some time, but he has not yet been charged.

The FBI have carried out investigative steps with regards to Mastriano. A CNN report from last month says he was interviewed last summer (and sat for an interview with the January 6 Committee).

The FBI has been conducting an expansive investigation into the January 6 riot and questioned Mastriano last summer after photos emerged of him on Capitol grounds that day, according to the source familiar with the interview, which has not been previously reported.

Mastriano has not been accused of committing any crimes and cooperated fully with the FBI, according to the source. Asked about Mastriano's interview, an FBI spokesperson told CNN that the bureau "cannot confirm the existence of an investigation or comment on details."

The lapsed time since his FBI interview doesn't mean he won't be charged; such delays, even longer ones, are common for those arrested for January 6. Plus, Mastriano is someone whose communications, including with Rudy and probably John Eastman and Ali Alexander, have likely shown up in materials seized or subpoenaed by DOJ.

But if DOJ is going to charge Mastriano, they have slightly more than 50 days to do so in order to comply with the DOJ guidelines.

And when I say he poses a more urgent threat to democracy right now than Trump, that's not just about the impending election. In addition to regressive policies that are typical of the GOP these days, such as a no-exception ban on abortion, he poses an immediate threat to democracy itself. He has publicly committed to attacking democracy itself.

Those concerns are made especially acute in Pennsylvania by the fact that the governor has the unusual authority to directly appoint the secretary of state, who serves as chief elections officer and must sign off on results. If he or she refuses, chaos could follow.

"The biggest risk is a secretary of state just saying, 'I'm not going to certify the election, despite what the court says and despite what the evidence shows, because I'm concerned about suspicions,'" said Clifford Levine, a Democratic election lawyer in Pennsylvania. "You would start to have a breakdown in the legal system and the whole process."

Mastriano's backers appear well aware of the stakes. A video posted to Telegram by election denial activist Ivan Raiklin from Mastriano's victory party on Tuesday showed the candidate smiling as Raiklin congratulated him on his win and added, with a thumb's up, "20 electoral votes as well," a reference to the state's clout in the electoral college.

"Oh yeahhhh," Mastriano responded.

Mastriano did not respond to a voice mail or an email sent to a campaign account for media.

But Mastriano told Stephen K. Bannon, a former adviser to Trump who now hosts a podcast popular on the right, that he had already selected the person he would appoint as secretary of state if elected.

"As far as cleaning up the election, I mean, I'm in a good position as governor," he said in the April 23 appearance on Bannon's "War Room" podcast. "I have a voting-reform-minded individual who's been traveling the nation and knows voting reform extremely well. That individual has agreed to be my secretary of state."

Mastriano has been buying followers from the far-right social media site, Gab. And he has ties to Russian-backed far-right propagandists.

A number of people have said, with no exaggeration, that a Mastriano win would virtually guarantee no Democratic candidate could win the state's presidential votes in 2024.

If DOJ is going to expand its prosecutions to those who laid the groundwork for January 6, they are going to be charging people like Doug Mastriano. There's little doubt that Mastriano, as much as anyone who went inside the building on January 6, as much as Trump, was trying to prevent the lawful transfer of power.

Yet DOJ only has seven weeks left to charge Mastriano before DOJ's election guidelines would prevent that from happening.

If you want to panic, panic first about Mastriano. Because the threat he poses to democracy is far more imminent than the very real threat Trump poses.

Update: Politico has a piece on Mastriano talking about how close it is in PA, and NYT has a piece using Mastriano as illustration of the increasing embrace of conspiracism on the far-right.

Quote

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"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20144 User is online   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-July-20, 06:53

The results from the Maryland Republican primary are not yet final but Cox is way ahead and the presumed winner. This from WaPo;

Quote

Maryland Republicans picked Del. Dan Cox, a first-term delegate who embraced Donald Trump’s rhetoric and tried to impeach Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, as their nominee for governor Tuesday, according to an Associated Press projection, elevating him into a contentious fight to keep control of the governor’s mansion in a deeply Democratic state.

The Republican primary race for governor tested the potency of the former president’s influence in a state that’s also backed the pragmatic conservatism of term-limited Hogan, who won twice by appealing to independents and Democrats. Outside Democratic groups flooded the airwaves with ads tying Cox to Trump in the final days of the race, hoping it would boost a candidate they viewed as ultimately easier to defeat.






The boldface is mine. The claim seems like a conspiracy claim, I guess it is a conspiracy claim, but I gather that the effort really was not hidden. I find such a strategic effort to be unforgivable. Pathetic and unforgivable. We all benefit from having the two major parties put up their best candidates and then have the voters choose. I guess those who make their living as political strategists see it otherwise. That's too bad for the rest of us. The strategy might work, and with Cox as the R candidate, we have little choice but to hope that it does work. Truly repulsive strategies have been known to backfire. Maybe it's time to move.


Ken
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#20145 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-July-20, 11:47

View Postkenberg, on 2022-July-20, 06:53, said:

The results from the Maryland Republican primary are not yet final but Cox is way ahead and the presumed winner. This from WaPo;

[/size][/font][/color]




The boldface is mine. The claim seems like a conspiracy claim, I guess it is a conspiracy claim, but I gather that the effort really was not hidden. I find such a strategic effort to be unforgivable. Pathetic and unforgivable. We all benefit from having the two major parties put up their best candidates and then have the voters choose. I guess those who make their living as political strategists see it otherwise. That's too bad for the rest of us. The strategy might work, and with Cox as the R candidate, we have little choice but to hope that it does work. Truly repulsive strategies have been known to backfire. Maybe it's time to move.

[/font]

Move or expatriate?
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20146 User is online   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-July-20, 16:02

View PostWinstonm, on 2022-July-20, 11:47, said:

Move or expatriate?


Oh, I don't really suppose that I will do either. Probably Toronto is about as expatriated as can imagine being, and I don't expect to be doing that. Apparently, the Democratic Governor's Association has followed a strategy of trying to tilt R primary elections toward Trump supporters in a number of states. A very cynical move. I have thought for some time that Dems often take some perverse pleasure with Trumpism but I have only recently become aware of it becoming a strategy. I find it repulsive, I expect many find it repulsive, and that could mean the results will not be quite as good for Dems as they expect. Idealism can be naive. So can extreme cynicism.
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#20147 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-July-20, 17:54

View Postkenberg, on 2022-July-20, 16:02, said:

Oh, I don't really suppose that I will do either. Probably Toronto is about as expatriated as can imagine being, and I don't expect to be doing that. Apparently, the Democratic Governor's Association has followed a strategy of trying to tilt R primary elections toward Trump supporters in a number of states. A very cynical move. I have thought for some time that Dems often take some perverse pleasure with Trumpism but I have only recently become aware of it becoming a strategy. I find it repulsive, I expect many find it repulsive, and that could mean the results will not be quite as good for Dems as they expect. Idealism can be naive. So can extreme cynicism.


Here is something I don't understand. I posted above about Doug Mastriano, Republican candidate for governor in Pennsylvania. Mastriano is a retired U.S. Army Colonel. He served for 31 years. Presumably, he, like me, was educated and raised in the United States. He, like me, would have been introduced over and over the notion that the fascists and Nazis were the enemies of freedom and democracy. I still believe this is so. Apparently, somewhere along the way Mastriano changed his mind and now embraces Trumpian fascism and denounces the democratic process that risks producing results of which he disagrees. He would prefer to do away with the elections as called for by the Constitution and instead hand-pick electors for the electoral college who would then cast Pennsylvania's 20 votes for the candidates for whom he subscribes.


This is a totally un-American viewpoint. He has-in his mind and worldview-found something more important to him the American democracy. This is most likely either white entitlement or Christian Nationalism, which tend to overlap anyway. There are candidates like him all over the country, many in local elections that will eventually be able to pick electors. The goal is to overturn the will of the voters.

I don't care how they are defeated. If it takes dirty tricks I don't care. These are not normal times. I submit you are trying to be a gentleman and bring boxing gloves to a gunfight.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20148 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-July-20, 19:25

Where did you get the strange notion that "Americans" prime motivation when approaching their posture in world affairs was opposition to Fascism?
The motto on the Presidential seal doesn't say "for the good of the people" or "care for all", it says "from many comes one".
This may mean to some that that one person will emerge from the primordial slime and care for the poor, feed the hungry and vaccinate people that tend to vote conservative: but to others it means something quite different.

To many it means the freedom to get away with whatever they can in order to acquire as much wealth possible.
The United States was not constituted with the objective of providing a pluralistic democracy.

A reasonable semblance of democracy in the United States was not achieved until 1965.
Since that time Democracy in the USA has been drying its wings in the sun and struggling to find a tailwind.

So long as government in the USA permits one small group to make laws that prevent ordinary people from having a modicum of self-governance (abortion rights, marriage rights, right to be educated and purchase basic needs without fear of being shot by disaffected teenagers with automatic rifles) then its citizens cannot be described as "free".
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek.
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#20149 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-July-20, 19:38

View Postpilowsky, on 2022-July-20, 19:25, said:

Where did you get the strange notion that "Americans" prime motivation when approaching their posture in world affairs was opposition to Fascism?
The motto on the Presidential seal doesn't say "for the good of the people" or "care for all", it says "from many comes one".
This may mean to some that that one person will emerge from the primordial slime and care for the poor, feed the hungry and vaccinate people that tend to vote conservative: but to others it means something quite different.

To many it means the freedom to get away with whatever they can in order to acquire as much wealth possible.
The United States was not constituted with the objective of providing a pluralistic democracy.

A reasonable semblance of democracy in the United States was not achieved until 1965.
Since that time Democracy in the USA has been drying its wings in the sun and struggling to find a tailwind.

So long as government in the USA permits one small group to make laws that prevent ordinary people from having a modicum of self-governance (abortion rights, marriage rights, right to be educated and purchase basic needs without fear of being shot by disaffected teenagers with automatic rifles) then its citizens cannot be described as "free".


As usual, excellent points. However, what I decry is the blatant attacks on the fundamental processes of the republic, especially as those attacks are coming from many who wore a military uniform and swore to protect the republic from all enemies foreign and domestic.

We used to look back at Mussolini and Franco and say it could happen here.
Now we have to say it is happening here.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20150 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-July-20, 20:27

Question of the day: when did Rosemary Wood start training the Secret Service
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20151 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-July-21, 06:44

Every time Peter Thiel opens his mouth I think about this Bible verse: “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I thought as a child, I understood as a child.”
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20152 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-July-21, 07:08

 Winstonm, on 2022-July-21, 06:44, said:

Every time Peter Thiel opens his mouth I think about this Bible verse: "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I thought as a child, I understood as a child."


He's an impressive intellect for sure: I learned a new word from him - had to look it up in the Urban dictionary.
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#20153 User is online   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-July-21, 07:44

 Winstonm, on 2022-July-20, 17:54, said:



Here is something I don't understand. I posted above about Doug Mastriano, Republican candidate for governor in Pennsylvania. Mastriano is a retired U.S. Army Colonel. He served for 31 years. Presumably, he, like me, was educated and raised in the United States. He, like me, would have been introduced over and over the notion that the fascists and Nazis were the enemies of freedom and democracy. I still believe this is so. Apparently, somewhere along the way Mastriano changed his mind and now embraces Trumpian fascism and denounces the democratic process that risks producing results of which he disagrees. He would prefer to do away with the elections as called for by the Constitution and instead hand-pick electors for the electoral college who would then cast Pennsylvania's 20 votes for the candidates for whom he subscribes.


This is a totally un-American viewpoint. He has-in his mind and worldview-found something more important to him the American democracy. This is most likely either white entitlement or Christian Nationalism, which tend to overlap anyway. There are candidates like him all over the country, many in local elections that will eventually be able to pick electors. The goal is to overturn the will of the voters.

I don't care how they are defeated. If it takes dirty tricks I don't care. These are not normal times. I submit you are trying to be a gentleman and bring boxing gloves to a gunfight.


I acknowledge that a large part of my thinking comes down to "This isn't right". But as to strategy, a bit of browsing shows that there are Dem strategists who don't think well of this either. Their reasons seem to be somewhat different from mine, I'll explain mine.

Larry Hogan became governor in 2014 and was re-elected in 2018. He was no Trumpee, not at all, and maybe he wasn't great but he was good enough to be elected twice. Maryland elects a lot of Democrats. So, what should the Ds do about 2022?
Possibility 1: Run a strong D candidate. That should take care of matters, no matter who wins the R nomination.
Possibility 2: Try to tilt the R primary so that Cox wins, the idea being that even a weak D candidate can beat him.
The Democratic Governors Association decided to go with the second idea, in Maryland and elsewhere.
My comments so far are history, now I speculate about November.

With a strong D candidate, that candidate wins. It's a D state. With a weak D candidate, of course the voter will not switch to Cox. But will the voter vote? (Skip the linguistical argument that they are not a voter if they don't vote. By voter I mean someone who usually does vote.) Some voters might be just enough ticked off at the Dems for following Possibility 2 instead of Possibility 1 that they decide to punish Ds by not voting. A far more likely reason is that people are really tired of voting for X on the grounds that at least X is not as awful as Y. At any rate, the D thinking is "Oh goodie, we get to run against Cox. Cox clearly can't win no matter who our candidate is". Yeah. Trump couldn't win in 2016 either.

I think that the extreme cynicism of going with Possibility 2 naively ignores how ordinary people actually think and act. The strategists might not like the results.

But yes, my first objection and my main objection is that going with Possibility 2 is a disgusting approach to politics. As a Democrat, I hate to see my party follow that approach.
Ken
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#20154 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-July-21, 14:16

 kenberg, on 2022-July-21, 07:44, said:

I acknowledge that a large part of my thinking comes down to "This isn't right". But as to strategy, a bit of browsing shows that there are Dem strategists who don't think well of this either. Their reasons seem to be somewhat different from mine, I'll explain mine.

Larry Hogan became governor in 2014 and was re-elected in 2018. He was no Trumpee, not at all, and maybe he wasn't great but he was good enough to be elected twice. Maryland elects a lot of Democrats. So, what should the Ds do about 2022?
Possibility 1: Run a strong D candidate. That should take care of matters, no matter who wins the R nomination.
Possibility 2: Try to tilt the R primary so that Cox wins, the idea being that even a weak D candidate can beat him.
The Democratic Governors Association decided to go with the second idea, in Maryland and elsewhere.
My comments so far are history, now I speculate about November.

With a strong D candidate, that candidate wins. It's a D state. With a weak D candidate, of course the voter will not switch to Cox. But will the voter vote? (Skip the linguistical argument that they are not a voter if they don't vote. By voter I mean someone who usually does vote.) Some voters might be just enough ticked off at the Dems for following Possibility 2 instead of Possibility 1 that they decide to punish Ds by not voting. A far more likely reason is that people are really tired of voting for X on the grounds that at least X is not as awful as Y. At any rate, the D thinking is "Oh goodie, we get to run against Cox. Cox clearly can't win no matter who our candidate is". Yeah. Trump couldn't win in 2016 either.

I think that the extreme cynicism of going with Possibility 2 naively ignores how ordinary people actually think and act. The strategists might not like the results.

But yes, my first objection and my main objection is that going with Possibility 2 is a disgusting approach to politics. As a Democrat, I hate to see my party follow that approach.




I still do not think you and many others have quite assimilated the reality that the Republican party is an imminent threat to democracies here and worldwide. The Republican party now has gone full-blown authoritarian fascist and have no interest in facilitating the orderly transfer of power. This is a party that must be crushed, not beaten, and it is indeed warfare in which we are engaged.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20155 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-July-21, 14:23

 pilowsky, on 2022-July-21, 07:08, said:

He's an impressive intellect for sure: I learned a new word from him - had to look it up in the Urban dictionary.


https://en.wikipedia...iki/Peter_Thiel



Quote


The Education of a Libertarian
Peter Thiel • April 13, 2009 •

I remain committed to the faith of my teenage years: to authentic human freedom as a precondition for the highest good. I stand against confiscatory taxes, totalitarian collectives, and the ideology of the inevitability of the death of every individual. For all these reasons, I still call myself "libertarian."

But I must confess that over the last two decades, I have changed radically on the question of how to achieve these goals. Most importantly, I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible. By tracing out the development of my thinking, I hope to frame some of the challenges faced by all classical liberals today.

my empasis
https://www.cato-unb...on-libertarian/

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20156 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2022-July-21, 15:16

 Winstonm, on 2022-July-21, 14:23, said:

I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible

Putin is so misunderstood - he is really just a libertarian giving freedom to the Russian people.
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#20157 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-July-22, 07:15

PS: I was thinking of expatriating to Pluto but since its downgrade I doubt it qualifies for public assistance programs, however, a little alliteration is likely.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20158 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-July-22, 07:24

View PostGilithin, on 2022-July-21, 15:16, said:

Putin is so misunderstood - he is really just a libertarian giving freedom to the Russian people.


I think the telling quote is this: “I remain committed to the faith of my teenage years.”
I have been told that AA teaches that alcoholics remain at the same emotional level as the age when they first began to drink, I have come to the conclusion that there are no substance problems only problems of development.
Which explains how we just had a child in the White House.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20159 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-July-22, 10:41

David Broder at NYT said:

https://www.nytimes....dit_ty_20220722

ROME — “If this is to end in fire, then we should all burn together.”

These ominous words aren’t from an apocalyptic poem: They’re from a politician’s memoir. Giorgia Meloni, the leader of the far-right Brothers of Italy party, opened her 2021 book with this strange call to arms, eschewing the more prosaic style favored by most politicians. But then Ms. Meloni, whose party carries the symbol adopted by defeated lieutenants of the Mussolini regime and describes itself as “post-fascist,” is hardly a mainstream political figure.

At least, she didn’t used to be. Yet just two months after Ms. Meloni published her best-selling memoir, her party topped national opinion polls for the first time. Since then, it has continued to boast over 20 percent support and has provided the only major opposition to Mario Draghi’s technocratic coalition. On Wednesday, in a sudden turn of events, the government collapsed. Early elections, due in the fall, could open the way for the Brothers of Italy to become the first far-right party to lead a major eurozone economy. For Europe and the country, it would be a truly seismic event.

It would also mark a remarkable rise for a party that in 2018 secured just 4 percent of the vote. At its heart is Ms. Meloni itself, who skillfully blends fears of civilizational decline with folksy anecdotes about her relationships with her family, God and Italy itself. Conversant with pop culture and fond of referencing J.R.R. Tolkien — the line in her memoir, from an Ed Sheeran song that soundtracks a film in the Hobbit series, combines the two — Ms. Meloni presents herself as an unusually down-to-earth politician.

But the Brothers of Italy doesn’t just owe its success to toning down its message. It’s also the beneficiary of a much wider breakdown of the barriers between the traditional center-right and the insurgent far right, playing out across Western Europe and America. Heavily indebted, socially polarized and politically unstable, Italy is just the country where the process is most advanced. If you want to know what the future may hold, it’s a good place to look.

Quote

Perhaps we will not all burn together in the fire. But if the far right takes over the government, in Italy or elsewhere, some of us surely will.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#20160 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-July-22, 11:41

Jonathan Bernstein at Bloomberg said:

The Jan. 6 Hearings Hit the Bull’s-Eye

What was once billed as six hearings over two-plus weeks by the House Select Committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol of Jan. 6, 2021 has now reached a break after eight hearings, stretched out over more than a month, with more promised in September. The committee has done about as good a job with that time as possible.

It’s found a way to take a well-known story of a president who attempted to overturn an election and keep the focus on the big picture of exactly what former President Donald Trump and his allies did to undermine the republic, while at the same time filling in lots of relevant and fascinating new details. The inquiry also planted within that story a number of sidebars likely to spark interest from the press and in social media.

Thursday night’s unnecessary but entertaining example was a swipe at Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, who famously raised a fist in solidarity with the mob — only, as the committee showed with new footage, to run for his life from the rioters a few hours later. It was a perfect made-for-social, comic-relief moment while taking nothing away from the seriousness of the proceedings.

So the committee is doing well. Does it matter? Yeah. It does.

One obvious audience going into the hearings were the journalists in the non-aligned media. For them, the hearings are basically a framing operation: The committee is trying to get them to cover Trump and his allies as opponents of democracy, rather than as opponents of Democrats. As long as the story is Democrats against Republicans, non-aligned media are going to be tempted to treat the story as if both sides should be treated as equals. But if the story is Trump against democracy, then those same journalists will be more comfortable siding with democracy.

That kind of framing was helped by giving the two Republicans on the committee, especially Wyoming’s Liz Cheney, a central role. On Thursday, with Committee Chair Bennie Thompson isolating with a mild case of Covid-19, Cheney (and not the next-ranking Democrat) presided. It’s been helped, too, by the parade of former Trump administration officials who are testifying against the former president. But it’s been helped most by just holding the attention of politics professionals and forcing them to reckon with how badly Trump violated his oath of office, and how monstrous his actions were.

A second audience was those Republican party actors who are neither die-hard Trump fans nor never-Trumpers — those Republicans who recognize what Trump is, but have usually gone along with him and his supporters for a variety of reasons. For them, the big case to make is that Trump is more dangerous to the party than to those in the party who oppose him. It’s not clear whether the hearings are having much effect on them or not. If Trump has lost support from this cohort, it may be more because of his limited success promoting candidates during the 2022 primaries. But his inability to put the 2020 election behind him doesn’t seem to be helping him with this group within the party.

And that points to an important audience that I didn’t recognize going in: Trump himself. Perhaps he would be focused on 2020, anyway. But surely the committee is helping fix his attention there. That means that Trump has been attacking Cheney and the Republican witnesses, which doesn’t do Republicans trying to win the 2022 midterms any good. It probably makes the case that Trump is yesterday’s news more compelling (even though, as we learned in the wobbly outtakes from a Trump statement recorded on Jan. 7, 2021, Trump finds “yesterday” a hard word to say). With the conditions otherwise excellent for a strong Republican midterm performance in November, the hearings are a good reminder of how disruptive Trump can be for his own party.

Plenty of Republican party actors are still solidly in Trump’s camp. The best comic relief from Thursday night’s session came from the House Republicans’ Twitter account, which declared early in the hearing, “This is all heresy.” The social-media managers eventually managed to replace “heresy” with “hearsay,” which was scarcely more accurate. There’s a ton of first-hand evidence; many of those who could give first-hand evidence are refusing to testify; and this isn’t a trial, but a congressional hearing.

But “heresy” perfectly captured the sense of cultish belief in Trump as the only defense his supporters have. Almost two years after Trump lost the 2020 election, he’s still claiming against all the evidence that he won in a landslide, despite having been told by all of his own campaign professionals that he lost.

Republicans can choose to avoid heresy and stick with Trump. But they know where that got them. And Cheney and her colleagues on the Jan. 6 committee are doing what they can to remind them.

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