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On 10/11/2020 at 3:22 PM, DShomshak said:

Sadly, I heard on All Things Considered yesterday that a three-judge appelate panel overturned the judge's order and restored the one-box-per-county rule. All three judges are Trump appointees.

 

There's not even a pretense of judicial independence here, so I no longer see any reason not to pack the courts if Dems can manage the trifecta. Or start legislatively firing and replacing judges as was done in Poland. Then make micro-states out of the District of Columbia to pack the Senate, so Republicans will never be in a position to do the same, and say, "We win."

 

Dean Shomshak

 

Can never there. If we say, tyranny as long as it is mine, it is time to give up.

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I feel this needs to be shared.  

You remember 4, 8, and 12 years ago a candidate going so far beyond the pale that their own party disavowed their statements? You remember former Presidents from the candidate's own party refusing to

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Trump wasn't the cause.  Trump was the symptom.

The only way a guy like that rose above the other 15-16 Republican candidates is because that level of aggression and vitriol appealed to half of the country.

 

The impeachment and the recent discussion of Amendment 25 proceedings and the insane level of hostility during recent supreme court nominations compared to the old ones are similarly symptoms of the out of control animosity between the two parties.  The party's are losing their ability to work together and like fans of rival footballs teams the public is forming up into sides capable of mass violence.

 

Both sides are losing their damn minds, imo.

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Trump administration admits that herd immunity is official government strategy.

 

A senior administration official told reporters in a background briefing call Monday that the proposed strategy — which has been denounced by other infectious-disease experts and has been called “fringe” and “dangerous” by National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins — supports what has been Trump’s policy for months.

 

“We’re not endorsing a plan. The plan is endorsing what the president’s policy has been for months. The president’s policy — protect the vulnerable, prevent hospital overcrowding, and open schools and businesses — and he’s been very clear on that,” the official said. “Everybody knows that 200,000 people died. That’s extremely serious and tragic. But on the other hand, I don’t think society has to be paralyzed, and we know the harms of confining people to their homes,”

 

https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/nation/proposal-to-hasten-herd-immunity-grabs-white-house-attention-appalls-top-scientists/

 

Here's also a link to The Great Barrington Declaration which is the pro-infection pseudo-science document, mentioned in the article, which is guiding White House COVID policy.

https://gbdeclaration.org/

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California GOP refuses to comply with attorney general’s order to remove “illegal” ballot drop boxes

 

Hector Barajas, a spokesman for the California Republican Party argued that a 2016 law allowing "ballot harvesting," which allows a third party to submit mail ballots on voters' behalf, protects the practice. "There is nothing in any of the laws or regulations cited in that advisory that indicate private organization drop boxes are not permitted," he said. "The way Democrats wrote the law, if we wanted to use a Santa bag, we could."

 

in contrast, the cease-and-desist letter from the state to the GOP read, "The use of unauthorized, non-official vote-by-mail ballot drop boxes does not comply with state law governing ballot collection activities, which also require that persons to whom a voter entrusts their ballot to return to county election officials provide their name, signature and relationship to the voter," 

 

So the issue appears to be the chain of custody of the ballot. If the ballot isn't dropped into an official box but instead into an unofficial box, no one knows what happens to it before it is delivered. The state law is specifically written to prevent this exact scenario from happening.

 

THIS is why I think penalties for breaking election laws are much too lenient in this country. Obviously, there's no real penalty for blatantly, publicly breaking the law.

 

https://www.yahoo.com/news/california-gop-refuses-comply-attorney-164005103.html

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4 hours ago, ScottishFox said:

Trump wasn't the cause.  Trump was the symptom.

The only way a guy like that rose above the other 15-16 Republican candidates is because that level of aggression and vitriol appealed to half of the country.

 

The impeachment and the recent discussion of Amendment 25 proceedings and the insane level of hostility during recent supreme court nominations compared to the old ones are similarly symptoms of the out of control animosity between the two parties.  The party's are losing their ability to work together and like fans of rival footballs teams the public is forming up into sides capable of mass violence.

 

Both sides are losing their damn minds, imo.

The Great Era of Bipartisan Compromise ended in 1993.  There were occasional deals made but by and large it's been obstruction and open partisan warfare since then.  Newt Gingrich bears a lot of responsibility imho.

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2 hours ago, megaplayboy said:

The Great Era of Bipartisan Compromise ended in 1993.  There were occasional deals made but by and large it's been obstruction and open partisan warfare since then.  Newt Gingrich bears a lot of responsibility imho.

 

Gingrich's credo was to push as hard as you can to get as much as you can, then cut a deal.

 

The problem, IMO, was that the people who came into office with him didn't understand that the reason to "push as hard as you can to get as much as you can" was to cut the best deal possible and not to hold out forever in an attempt to get absolutely everything that you want.

 

Gingrich as Speaker was raked over the coals in his own party for the deals he cut with Democrats, deals which served to move the existing Republican agenda forward. Boehner, Tom De Lay, Dick Armey and Bill Paxon came together to force him out. They were able to do that because Gingrich's deal-making was widely unpopular in the fairly-new Republican majority.

 

If you read Gingrich's writings or listen to his tape series training people how to run for public office, he very much pushed the idea of cutting deals and the need to be pragmatic rather than holding people to party dogma, like being understanding about farm belt representatives voting for pork-laden (so to speak) farm bills  or Florida representatives voting in favor of every proposed space program.

 

Gingrich is probably personally responsible for launching more Republican officeholder's careers than any other person in the modern era. But after those careers were launched, those people have very much done their own thing rather than follow Gingrich's own philosophy.

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To expand on that last thought, it's taken me decades to figure out exactly why I think it is that the people who were drawn in to run for Republican office haven't grasped the idea of compromise. But here it is (I'm very rambling tonight but hopefully this makes sense).

 

In the 1970's, the Republican party had moved away from ideology. It was vaguely pro-business but it was difficult to point to a set of principles and pull together a group of voters to tell them "we're moving in this direction".

 

Gingrich won election to the House in '76 or '78 and immediately began agitating for the party to do something other than being content to be out in the cold: the last time the Republicans had been in control in the House had been in 1958. Gingrich had the idea if the party could pitch a set of beliefs to the voters, that it could build a governing coalition. And that his set of beliefs were the perfect ones to pitch.

 

When Reagan ran for president in 1980, Gingrich was part of the group which helped Reagan pull together an economic message (instead of the mess of statements which contributed to Reagan's 1976 presidential campaign being narrowly unsuccessful). When Reagan won the nomination, he put Gingrich in control of his national outreach to Republican congressional campaigns, which was unusual for such a junior member of the House to get such an important assignment.

 

From that point forward, Gingrich was in a continual guerilla war against the Republican leaders in the House, who mainly wanted Gingrich and his growing number of elected members to go away. 

 

Unfortunately, I think a lot of the problems started here in 1980, not with Gingrich but with Reagan's winning coalition.

 

Gingrich's idea of an ideology was small government, limited spending, sound monetary policy, strong national defense, etc.

 

But as Reagan was running for president, the Moral Majority group had started up mainly among evangelical Protestants and Reagan welcomed them in as part of his coalition. Gingrich didn't even consider himself to be a Christian at that point in time (and wouldn't convert to Catholicism for a couple of decades afterward).

 

But Gingrich welcomed the evangelicals to the party and continued the message that you have to fight for your ideals and make the best deals you can. But most of the people who were coming into the party were evangelical Protestants first and Republicans second. Their religion had started because of their perception that Catholicism had compromised the original ideology of the church. 

 

Those newcomers were also pushing for various culture wars issues and Reagan invited them into the party on that basis. They accepted the vague pro-business stance of the traditional Republican establishment. They also accepted, at least to a limited extent, what Gingrich considered to be ideology.

 

But they blended it together in their minds to be THIS IS IDEOLOGY in the same sense that they considered their religious beliefs to be ideology.

 

So when the people Gingrich recruited to run for office actually won a majority in the House in 1994, he brought along a lot of people who believed on some level that compromise was a sin, an evil: compromising your political ideology is no different than compromising your religious ideology.

 

That seemed to catch Gingrich by surprise, since he had been "preaching the gospel" of cutting the best deal possible all along and that difference between Gingrich and the Republicans (who he had helped into office) played a role in his eventual ouster.

 

Ironically, their ideology has continued to evolve with them tossing out, little by little, almost everything Gingrich had considered to be ideology. And their culture wars message has called every white supremacist out of the woodwork to be active members of the party (greatly accelerated by the Trump presidency).

 

But their belief that compromise is somehow evil remains.

 

And as I've mentioned before, when earmarks were banned in the 2000's so that individual members of Congress couldn't be enticed into compromise, things really started falling apart. 

 

< /rambling >

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The latest from "On the Media":

October 9, 2020

The Unlucky Many

GOP Senator Mike Lee tweeted this week that "we are not a democracy." On this week's On the Media, why the Republican party's political future may depend upon anti-democratic — small-'d' — ideas. Plus, how the good luck of the so-called "silent" generation has shaped the politics of Joe Biden. And, how the bad luck of the millennial generation might shape our collective future.

1. Nicole Hemmer [@pastpunditry], Columbia University research scholar and author of Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics, on the origins and evolution of the "republic, not a democracy" slogan. Listen.

2. Matthew Sitman [@MatthewSitman], associate editor at the Catholic journal Commonweal and co-host of the Know Your Enemy podcast, on the anti-democratic state of the Republican party. Listen.

3. Elwood Carlson, sociology professor at Florida State University, on the "silent generation," members of which comprise much of the governing elite. Listen.

4. Anne Helen Petersen [@annehelen], author of Can't Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation, on the downwardly mobile millennial generation. Listen.

 
Well, now I have a better idea why so many Millennials like Bernie Sanders. Their experience is largely one of "precarity": Your job can vanish any moment, but your student debt load won't; the financial system can take your house or destroy your company without warning; a maniac might start shooting anywhere, anytime; you work your butt off, with no assurance that you will ever attain the promised security and prosperity. You may technically have a middle-class income, but you live as poor people always have. Under such circumstances, talk of "freedom" and "opportunity" is kind of a bad joke, and the possibility of a little Canadian-style "socialism" sounds pretty good.
 
The segments on the roots of Republican anti-democracy are quite interesting as well. Bluntly, what passes for intellectuals on the Right have concluded they can't win a true, democratic debate and persuade a majority of Americans to go along with their dogmas and policies. Their only hope is to lock in their place as a ruling minority, ram their policies down the majority's throat, and hope that being compelled to live righteously teaches people to like it.
 
Dean Shomshak
 
 
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13 hours ago, archer said:

 

Gingrich's credo was to push as hard as you can to get as much as you can, then cut a deal.

 

The problem, IMO, was that the people who came into office with him didn't understand that the reason to "push as hard as you can to get as much as you can" was to cut the best deal possible and not to hold out forever in an attempt to get absolutely everything that you want.

 

Gingrich as Speaker was raked over the coals in his own party for the deals he cut with Democrats, deals which served to move the existing Republican agenda forward. Boehner, Tom De Lay, Dick Armey and Bill Paxon came together to force him out. They were able to do that because Gingrich's deal-making was widely unpopular in the fairly-new Republican majority.

 

If you read Gingrich's writings or listen to his tape series training people how to run for public office, he very much pushed the idea of cutting deals and the need to be pragmatic rather than holding people to party dogma, like being understanding about farm belt representatives voting for pork-laden (so to speak) farm bills  or Florida representatives voting in favor of every proposed space program.

 

Gingrich is probably personally responsible for launching more Republican officeholder's careers than any other person in the modern era. But after those careers were launched, those people have very much done their own thing rather than follow Gingrich's own philosophy.

 

There is a difference, though. Gingrich actively pushed the idea of casting the Democrats, not just as another political party, but as the enemy. In public they categorized Democratic policies as bad for the country, in contrast to good Republican policies. They stressed that Democrats had to be defeated at the polls for the greater good of America. Voting Republican would be an act of patriotism. That strategy was a significant contributing factor to Reagan's presidential victory. Yes, Gingrich was practical in negotiating deals once in power, but gaining power became the party's first priority. Over time that's morphed into its only priority. That attitude has certainly infected the Democrats too, but under Trump the Republicans seem to have abandoned any pretense of other principles or goals.

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22 hours ago, ScottishFox said:

Trump wasn't the cause.  Trump was the symptom.

The only way a guy like that rose above the other 15-16 Republican candidates is because that level of aggression and vitriol appealed to half of the country.

 

I do believe there were other factors at play. For one, the other Republican candidates were mediocre in terms of being compelling, inspiring, or visionary. Trump stood out in no small measure due to his passion and his salesmanship, which while poppycock he still sold with apparent conviction. And of course, his being a political outsider, and a "successful businessman," also appealed to folks fed up with professional politicians and the status quo.

 

Moreover, I no longer believe that aggression and vitriol actually appealed to nearly as many Americans as voted for Donald Trump. In recent years I've encountered social media postings from many people who claim they had serious reservations about Trump, but who voted for him because they had a tradition of voting Republican, or they disliked/distrusted Hillary Clinton more, or they hoped Trump would "grow into" the job. They are now experiencing severe buyer's remorse.

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1 hour ago, wcw43921 said:

 

 

I think it's a deliberate, desperate outreach to the white supremacist voters...much like his recent remark of "If you're a young African American, [or] an immigrant, you can go anywhere in this state. You just need to be conservative, not liberal."

 

He's in deep trouble and he's written off the African-American vote. But if he can get every white supremacist out to the polls to vote and to hang around afterwards to intimidate minorities from voting, he still has a chance to win.

 

The polls are razor-thin. A few hundred white supremacists here and there might make the difference in the race.

 

If a white supremacist has the choice between waiting in line five hours to vote or saying to himself, "Frak this, I'm going to the cross-burning election after-party right now and get an early start on the beer", Lindsay wants him to choose to stay in line and vote for the Senate candidate who is going to bring back the good old days. Even if beer and a good old-fashioned cross-burning might sound more fun to him.

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We haven't discussed the fake Hunter Biden unencrypted laptop which was abandoned at a small pro-Trump repair shop. A laptop which just happened to have a lot of incriminating information on it.

 

You might not have heard about it because both Facebook and Twitter have banned links to the NY Post article about it. And real news outlets (aka non-Fox) aren't treating it as authentic.

 

But this article takes a good look at most everything that's fishy about the story.

 

https://techcrunch.com/2020/10/14/suspect-provenance-of-hunter-biden-data-cache-prompts-skepticism-and-social-media-bans/

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35 minutes ago, archer said:

We haven't discussed the fake Hunter Biden unencrypted laptop which was abandoned at a small pro-Trump repair shop. A laptop which just happened to have a lot of incriminating information on it.

 

You might not have heard about it because both Facebook and Twitter have banned links to the NY Post article about it. And real news outlets (aka non-Fox) aren't treating it as authentic.

 

But this article takes a good look at most everything that's fishy about the story.

 

https://techcrunch.com/2020/10/14/suspect-provenance-of-hunter-biden-data-cache-prompts-skepticism-and-social-media-bans/

 

Some further analysis, indicating that the emails were forged.

 

https://eddiekrassenstein.medium.com/alleged-hunter-biden-email-from-giuliani-appears-forged-2d55b08140cc

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55 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

The comments on that TechCrunch story re the NY Post's presentation are fascinating.

 

That kind of thing happens when trolls are paid to post.

 

I think it's much more likely an intentionally-botched Russian effort (designed to sow confusion) than a Trump campaign unintentionally botched effort (designed to incriminate the Bidens).

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I'll have to admit I'm not a fan of Facebook and Twitter deciding what constitutes real news and having the filtering done by their guy who has worked for several Democrats in the past.

 

Stone even wears his own bias on his sleeve: The quick biography he posts on Twitter shows his long history of working for Democrats, including lefty former Sen. Barbara Boxer of California and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

 

We're 3 weeks out from election day and the supposedly platform, not publisher guys are deciding what we can and cannot see.  I get if you think it's bunk or a dirty political October surprise (this is my guess), but let that play out.  Let the fact checkers shred it in the light of day instead of sowing suspicion by so blatantly playing favorites.

 

Crazy times.

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45 minutes ago, ScottishFox said:

I'll have to admit I'm not a fan of Facebook and Twitter deciding what constitutes real news and having the filtering done by their guy who has worked for several Democrats in the past.

 

Stone even wears his own bias on his sleeve: The quick biography he posts on Twitter shows his long history of working for Democrats, including lefty former Sen. Barbara Boxer of California and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

 

We're 3 weeks out from election day and the supposedly platform, not publisher guys are deciding what we can and cannot see.  I get if you think it's bunk or a dirty political October surprise (this is my guess), but let that play out.  Let the fact checkers shred it in the light of day instead of sowing suspicion by so blatantly playing favorites.

 

Crazy times.

 

The problem with that is the mindset of some Trump supporters.

 

A good portion of Trumps base will latch on any crazy theory and will ignore any fact checking or debunking done. They will cry, "fake news" or "deep state lies" and endorse and spread these false narratives to the point of belligerence when continually shown the flaws in their new dogma.

 

Then there is the even more despicable crowd that embraces this as a way to more followers to their power while knowing they are pushing propaganda.

 

Better to deny fuel for those fires at the source, than to run around trying to squelch hundreds of blazes.

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