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In the defense of various government agencies, they haven't been covering Donald Trump's ass. They've been covering the ass of the President of the United States. Their responsibility is to the office, regardless of what they may think of a given occupant.

 

The conflict many of them are facing is that their first responsibility is to the American Constitution, not the President; and lately those appear to conflict more and more. (Republicans in Congress often seem to conveniently forget that, though.)

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The other aspect of the Intelligencer article is, it's trivial for Trumpeteers to ignore.  Just another bash.  At least in public.  It would be interesting to hear their thoughts in private.  The RNC has to be terrified, because the midterm elections were a debacle.  If Trump is still President a year from today, then the Party will be completely swept out in 2020...White House, House, and Senate.  I'd also be worried that the backlash would damage the Party for a couple election cycles.  To be sure, some of this may depend on the Democrats finding a candidate with a clue.

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8 minutes ago, unclevlad said:

The other aspect of the Intelligencer article is, it's trivial for Trumpeteers to ignore.  Just another bash.  At least in public.  It would be interesting to hear their thoughts in private.  The RNC has to be terrified, because the midterm elections were a debacle.  If Trump is still President a year from today, then the Party will be completely swept out in 2020...White House, House, and Senate.  I'd also be worried that the backlash would damage the Party for a couple election cycles.  To be sure, some of this may depend on the Democrats finding a candidate with a clue.

So, maybe a 50/50 chance then.  ;)

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11 minutes ago, BoloOfEarth said:

So, maybe a 50/50 chance then.  ;)

 

I don't think I'd give Trump a 50% chance;  I'd take the under.  That might be my hopes speaking but...we'll see.  The whole "I'll shut down the government.  I'll own that!" rant has to rattle the Republicans.  The various allocutions, all the things that are coming out, provide a foundation for an impeachment.  Statements like the shutdown provide the impetus to bail on the idiot before he draws the entire Party down with him.  It can't happen with what we have right now, not even come January, but the potential is definitely on the upswing.

 

 

On a different front:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/13/health/gun-deaths-highest-40-years-cdc/index.html

 

Yet we can barely manage a restriction on even such a fringe aspect of guns as bump stocks.

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1 hour ago, pinecone said:

My "solution" is to bring back the draft...for reps, and senators(?) Various parties win seats then random members , who are registered to that party are drafted. ;)

 

Hey, many of them would be perfectly good draftees for John Scalzi.

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1 hour ago, unclevlad said:

On a different front:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/13/health/gun-deaths-highest-40-years-cdc/index.html

 

Yet we can barely manage a restriction on even such a fringe aspect of guns as bump stocks.

 

On a somewhat related front, Maria Butina has pleaded guilty to espionage with the intent to influence the 2016 election.  It will be interesting to see how much Russian money was distributed to GOP candidates via the NRA.

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6 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

Foreign leaders have had two years to deal with Trump. I have no doubt they're very well aware of his flaws and inadequacies by now. But it might be salutary to make such testimony public, just so the man's supporters can see incontestable proof of those things. (Then again, for many of his supporters nothing negative about him seems to be incontestable.) :(

Steven Pinker's Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress tries to stay away from Trump directly, but Pinker admits that Trump's election gave the impetus for the book and he does discuss Trump followers' ability to loudly cheer and repeat whatever insane thing he says. He calls these "blue lies," by comparison with incidents where cops lie to protect each other. Statements are not believed (or at least claimed to be believed) because there is evidence for them, but as a show of loyalty to one team and hatred toward another. For instance, he cites claim circulating in far-right circles that Barack Obama must have known about the 9/11 attacks -- and even been part of the plot! -- because on that day, he stayed away from the White House. Does any sane person need to be reminded that in 2001, was not president! Not even a senator yet? But it's repeated and affirmed to show how deeply one hates him. Likewise, the other alternative facts of the Trumpverse, such as the crowd at his inauguration being the biggest ever. You say it to show the other cultists that you're loyal, and to show contempt for the elites whom you believe feel contempt for people like you.

 

Dean Shomshak

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ADDENDUM: In fairness, I can cite examples of equally delusional blue lies from the Left. My personal favorite came from the Kosovo campaign, when a woman calling i to a local public radio program insisted that the campaign had nothing to do with stopping genocide and mass expulsion, it was Evil Imperialism to help the Oil Companies by securing a Mediterranean terminus for a Caspian Sea oil pipeline. Never mind that Kosovo is land-locked, and the Balkan peninsula is rather overshooting the mark for such a pipeline, which was merely hypothetical in any case. But it's a good orthodox far-left America Is The Root Of All Evil rant to show one's political and moral superiority to the common herd.

 

Dean Shomshak

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Oh yeah.  The polarization is extreme.  I even question the loyalty to our side aspect, relative to the kneejerk rejection of the other side.  I think politics is driven by the negative...so what that Trump is a terrible choice, he's not Clinton!!!  And that strikes across the board.  Our guy might be a nightmare but as long as he'll vote Our Way, he's golden.  Oh, if he's white, and yes, male is *strongly* preferable.

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6 hours ago, unclevlad said:

The other aspect of the Intelligencer article is, it's trivial for Trumpeteers to ignore.  Just another bash.  At least in public.  It would be interesting to hear their thoughts in private.  The RNC has to be terrified, because the midterm elections were a debacle.  If Trump is still President a year from today, then the Party will be completely swept out in 2020...White House, House, and Senate.  I'd also be worried that the backlash would damage the Party for a couple election cycles.  To be sure, some of this may depend on the Democrats finding a candidate with a clue.

 

The midterms were not as big a debacle as some Republican lawmakers feared. They did lose control of the House of Representatives, but not by as wide a margin as was being bruited about; and they solidified their hold on the Senate. There's reason to support the contention that Trump's campaigning in swing states made a difference to the outcome in Republicans' favor, which is likely to buttress the President's support from the party.

 

And in politics, a year is a lifetime. It's impossible to call where the ship of state will land by then, especially with Captain Chaos at the helm.

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4 hours ago, DShomshak said:

ADDENDUM: In fairness, I can cite examples of equally delusional blue lies from the Left. My personal favorite came from the Kosovo campaign, when a woman calling i to a local public radio program insisted that the campaign had nothing to do with stopping genocide and mass expulsion, it was Evil Imperialism to help the Oil Companies by securing a Mediterranean terminus for a Caspian Sea oil pipeline. Never mind that Kosovo is land-locked, and the Balkan peninsula is rather overshooting the mark for such a pipeline, which was merely hypothetical in any case. But it's a good orthodox far-left America Is The Root Of All Evil rant to show one's political and moral superiority to the common herd.

 

Dean Shomshak

 

So we have to go back twenty years to find a "blue lie" from the left, whereas I can open up Twitter and find half a dozen right wing lies that came straight from the White House bathroom this morning.

 

Not that delusional teamballers on the liberal side don't exist, but I'm done with the false equivalence and bothsiderism.

 

Also, the woman you describe was probably talking about the Trans-Balkan Pipeline, which today carries oil and gas from the Caspian to the Adriatic.

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6 hours ago, Old Man said:

Yes, but they're only poor people.  And many of them are brown.

 

I'm literally nauseous.

 

Just my view, Our best hope is if the middle class realizes that thanks to this, they, or their children, will be joining the lower class soon. 

Maybe THAT will light  a fire under our asses.

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We'll have to see on the Affordable Care ruling.  Ya gotta figure the plaintiffs filed in as favorable a court as they could.  It's not over by any means.

 

Apropos...what brought me here was this:

 

https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/14/uk/oxford-dictionary-word-of-the-year-toxic-gbr-intl/index.html

 

Toxic is the word of the year, chosen by the Oxford Dictionary.  Superb choice.

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18 hours ago, Hermit said:

Yeah, we will have to see about that. Like when the 9th circuit rules on issues for the other side of the aisle, it's always going to be appealed. And Roberts already lined up on the other side of this one. Not sure what will happen, but this isn't the end of the road on this issue.

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On 12/13/2018 at 6:08 PM, Old Man said:

 

So we have to go back twenty years to find a "blue lie" from the left, whereas I can open up Twitter and find half a dozen right wing lies that came straight from the White House bathroom this morning.

 

Not that delusional teamballers on the liberal side don't exist, but I'm done with the false equivalence and bothsiderism.

 

Also, the woman you describe was probably talking about the Trans-Balkan Pipeline, which today carries oil and gas from the Caspian to the Adriatic.

Well, that's one on me. I onlyt thought in terms of pipelines from the Caspian itself; I never thought of a pipeline across the Balkaqn Peninsula as an alternative to sending tankers through the Bosporus. Which is, I admit, a smart idea, considering how crowded the Bosporus is even without tankers.

 

The Guardian article suggests the real motivation for assisting the Kosovars was to sweeten Albania on the pipeline deal. Did that make saving more than a million people from murder and expulsion wrong? I don't think so. If a pipeline is the price for stopping ethnic cleansing, then God bless the oil industry. (Wow, those are words I never thought I'd write.)

 

For the rest... Okay, that's fair, too. Trumpist craziness is way beyond the bounds of anyone I can think of for the last 40 years or so, and I did not mean to suggest that far-left craziness was of the same quantity or virulence. Not yet, anyway, which means non-crazy people on the left can try to make sure it never gets that bad. (One possible tactic being to listen to non-crazy people on the right and trying to understand their concerns.)

 

In fact, I actually have to withdraw the suggestion of "blue lies" from the left. Social scientists such as Jonathan Haidt and Arlene Hochschilde have found that team loyalty forms the moral and emotional center of far-right beliefs: loyalty to flag, faith, race, community, leaders. Repeating a blue lie is a way of showing that your loyalty is so total and passionate that you are willing to say blatantly crazy and extreme things.

 

The moral and emotional core of liberalism, however, consists of care for those who suffer and liberation for the oppressed. (See Haidt's The Righteous Mind.) It results in different forms of virtue-signaling, with different lunatic extremes. But that is a discussion for another time.

 

Dean Shomshak

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