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The present-day GOP has never removed the strain of the Tea Party, which fundamentally distrusts and fears all government, and wants to tear down the status quo that McConnell wants to return to. That faction of the party seems to be lining up with those personally loyal to Donald Trump. I don't see a hive-mind, I see a deeply fractured party with no sense of direction, which will be hard pressed to get enough people to vote for them to keep their jobs. All Joe Biden has to do is a good job -- get the populace vaccinated, clean up the immigration backlog, keep the economy strong, score a few international wins for prestige -- and the GOP's electoral appeal will grow even dimmer. If they can't get elected their corporate donors will see no point in continuing to fund them. At that point who's in the SCOTUS won't help them.

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On another note...

Holy #$#$! China is making threatening moves towards both Tawain and Vietnam...

meanwhile, Putin seems to be wanting to take another bite out of the Ukraine, possibly as a distraction as much as dreams of USSR reclamation

 

And some theorizing it's coordinated (But I don't know if that's bull or not) to stretch the US so thin we can't help either .. even if we want to, which is questionable.

 

Any of you folks with better international insight than I got some straight dope on this?

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12 minutes ago, Hermit said:

Any of you folks with better international insight than I got some straight dope on this?

 

Not really.  American media is extraordinarily bad at covering anything outside of Europe--outside of the UK, really.

 

China has been following a policy of gradual expansionism for at least a decade.  On paper their navy is now about equal to that of the U.S. (save for carrier aviation), and they have well over 1000 modern combat aircraft (approaching the numbers of the USAF and easily outnumbering any USAF assets in theater).  It's been pointed out that the constant, long term internal propaganda about retaking Taiwan almost guarantees that they'll have to try it at some point.  It's possible that they may have gauged that the U.S. has been greatly weakened by internal division, pandemics, and military mismanagement, and that now is the time.

 

Putin's timing is a little harder to figure out.   You'd think that if he were going to finish the job in Ukraine, he'd have done so while his puppet was still in office.  That said, he may also figure that he has so thoroughly pissed off the current administration that he has nothing to lose by going ahead. 

 

I'm a bit more worried about Taiwan than Ukraine.  I doubt if Russia can sustain a protracted hot war--this is no longer the mighty Red Army.  Ukraine might be able to hold out with NATO air support operating out of Romania and Poland, though I don't know about taking back the Donbass region under the nose of Russian artillery.  Taiwan, conversely, is only 100 miles offshore, and the PLA/PLAN forces arrayed against it are numerous and formidable.  The conventional ballistic missiles alone would likely trash Taiwan pretty quickly.

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I think we're returning to a type of cold war. What we're seeing is the maneuvering of the major powers on the chessboard of the world. They're going to make threatening gestures, posture and push, to test the boundaries of what the others will let them get away with. Neither China, Russia, nor the United States want a "hot war" with any of the others (including their allies), because none of them could win without devastating costs to their own countries. They'll make every effort to avoid a precipitating incident, while trying to steal as much advantage as they can short of that.

Sadly, as we learned from the last cold war, unintended consequences are a lot harder to avoid in the face of that much tension.

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"White Lives Matter" is an attempt to start a movement with nothing to justify it but hurt feelings. This demographic don't experience any oppression remotely close to what others in American society have faced for generations. They're finally starting to be treated like everyone else instead of the normative, privileged group everyone is supposed to act like. When a privileged group loses those privileges, to them it feels like oppression. But when you ask them why they're upset, all they can give you is vague platitudes, or outright lies they've been fed by those who want to exploit them. The difference in what BLM and WLM stand for is -- yes, I'm going to go there -- like night and day. :P

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Self-declared conservative Evangelical blogger David French makes pretty much the same point, I am told. The only grievance he can extract from his fellow white Evangelicals is a vague feeling of being disrespected. Which he does not consider much of a grievance.

 

It's really quite strange. If you truly believe you are a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven, why would you care about your status here on Earth? You are due to receive literally infinite benefit -- and you're upset that other people (the heathens!) aren't saying enough nice things about you?

 

Dean Shomshak

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24 minutes ago, DShomshak said:

It's really quite strange. If you truly believe you are a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven, why would you care about your status here on Earth? You are due to receive literally infinite benefit -- and you're upset that other people (the heathens!) aren't saying enough nice things about you?

 

That's because it's not really about the eventual infinite benefit. That's just the justification to brag and gloat and lord it over the heathens.

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2 hours ago, DShomshak said:

Self-declared conservative Evangelical blogger David French makes pretty much the same point, I am told. The only grievance he can extract from his fellow white Evangelicals is a vague feeling of being disrespected. Which he does not consider much of a grievance.

 

It's really quite strange. If you truly believe you are a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven, why would you care about your status here on Earth? You are due to receive literally infinite benefit -- and you're upset that other people (the heathens!) aren't saying enough nice things about you?

 

Dean Shomshak

 

From the sixth chapter of the Gospel of St. Matthew:

Quote

 

v. 2: Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

 

v. 5: And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

 

v. 16: Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

 

 

I'm noticing a pattern here....

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Tucker struck a nerve when he started ranting about Canadian internment camps the other day. I realize Trudeau isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, and that his government has it's problems, but to call sending travelers refusing to quarantine properly upon entering the country, to guarded hotels to complete said mandatory quarantine is somehow akin to Nazi deathcamps makes my blood boil. This is from a guy who supports the open air caging of illegal adults and children in terrible and unjust conditions! 

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On 4/13/2021 at 1:35 PM, Hermit said:

On another note...

Holy #$#$! China is making threatening moves towards both Tawain and Vietnam...

meanwhile, Putin seems to be wanting to take another bite out of the Ukraine, possibly as a distraction as much as dreams of USSR reclamation

 

And some theorizing it's coordinated (But I don't know if that's bull or not) to stretch the US so thin we can't help either .. even if we want to, which is questionable.

 

Any of you folks with better international insight than I got some straight dope on this?

I Think we want to assist Taiwan. The Ukraine I don't know much about. But Biden does seem to have connections there. I think Putin is desperate to distract the Russian people away from how poorly he has handled Covid also he wants to safely pose for the Chinese who he is likely starting to fear.

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1 hour ago, unclevlad said:

Tucker:  "I can't think of another reason."

 

Well, duh.  You've demonstrated the limits of your intellectual capacity for years now.

 

 

He's deliberately lying to promote his agenda, nothing more, nothing less.

 

He knows the answers to the questions, he's just saying what his audience wants to hear so he can hold on to them as an audience. The audience wants the other side to be idiots or bullies or authoritarians or fill-in-the-blank...and that tool of pretending that you don't understand the publicly-available answers to simple questions lets the host paint the other side to be what the audience wants and expects the other side to be. 

 

If the host was always honest and painted the other side as being on occasion reasonable people who had valid arguments to back their points of view, his audience would leave him to find someone who would instead feed their own inner narcissist (it's MY opinion which means I must be right, how DARE you present contrary information).

 

Unfortunately, he's not alone in doing that among TV hosts. 

 

I love Rachel Maddow to death. But when she hits one of her hot button issues, if the other side hasn't said or done something inflammatory that she can point to, she pretends to misunderstand something to suck up to her audience. That lack of inflammatory stuff wasn't something she had to worry about in the Trump administration but she's gone off on a couple of rants since Biden came to town because the other side quieted down.

 

To her credit, her little ploys never deliberately try to rack up a body count. But she uses the same tactic.

 

The TV host who follows Maddows' show does the same ploy all the time. His name escapes me at the moment.

 

The CNN host who comes on after Cuomo does it.

 

Former FOX host Bill O'Reilly used to do it all the time.

 

I haven't watched FOX since doing opposition research in mid-2016 so I don't know their current line-up. But I'd guess they all do it at some point every week, especially since Biden is a lot more low key than the Democrat leaders they've gotten used to.

 

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1 hour ago, archer said:

I haven't watched FOX since doing opposition research in mid-2016 so I don't know their current line-up. But I'd guess they all do it at some point every week, especially since Biden is a lot more low key than the Democrat leaders they've gotten used to.

 

 

Fox talking heads are literally complaining about how boring the Biden presidency has been so far.  Specifically, that the lack of gaffes and toilet tweets shows that there must be some shadowy conspiracy that's really in charge.

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As much as I dislike/mistrust the current composition of the Supreme Court and the ridiculous political shenanigans that lead thereto, I can't say I'm thrilled with this move. I think it has to potential to set a dangerous precedent.

 

Democrats to introduce bill to expand Supreme Court from 9 to 13 justices

 

I think this is probably just a statement; I don't think they've got the votes or the political capital to pull it off. 

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On 4/14/2021 at 2:07 PM, Old Man said:

 

As if the Bible had anything to do with modern evangelicals.

I'm reading G. K. Chesterton's "Father Brown" mystery stories. In one story, it is repeatedly said of a certain man that "He read his Bible." The wily priest comments on this that it is not enough to read your Bible: You must read other people's Bibles, too, because people who read the Bible tend to find what they already want to believe. And some of those Bibles are not very nice.

 

Dean Shomshak

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11 hours ago, Pariah said:

As much as I dislike/mistrust the current composition of the Supreme Court and the ridiculous political shenanigans that lead thereto, I can't say I'm thrilled with this move. I think it has to potential to set a dangerous precedent.

 

Democrats to introduce bill to expand Supreme Court from 9 to 13 justices

 

I think this is probably just a statement; I don't think they've got the votes or the political capital to pull it off. 

 

Speaker Pelosi throws cold water on a progressive bill that would expand the Supreme Court to 13 seats

 

Pelosi says there are higher-priority bills Congress needs to deal with first, and won't bring this one to the floor. However, she notes that President Biden has established a blue-ribbon panel studying this and other issues, which is due to report in six months.

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35 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

Speaker Pelosi throws cold water on a progressive bill that would expand the Supreme Court to 13 seats

 

Pelosi says there are higher-priority bills Congress needs to deal with first, and won't bring this one to the floor. However, she notes that President Biden has established a blue-ribbon panel studying this and other issues, which is due to report in six months.

 

It actually makes a lot of sense in context.  Originally there was one Supreme Court justice for every federal circuit.  Over the years the courts have expanded to 12 circuits (and needs another based on caseload) but the SCOTUS has not expanded with it.  This limits the number of cases the SCOTUS can address.

 

13 also has that cool number-of-colonies thing going for it.

 

Besides, if one party reduces the number of Supreme Court justices to 8, they can't really complain when the other party tries to change the number themselves.

 

Really though, the answer is term limits.  Kick out the longest serving justice every two years and confirm a replacement.

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