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Author Topic: Random Political Musings  (Read 86608 times)

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Markalot

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Re: Random Political Musings
« Reply #1500 on: January 24, 2019, 09:50:20 AM »

You know I'm a big George Will fanboy.  They even link to all the big words he uses so I can understand what the heck he's saying.  :D

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-do-people-such-as-lindsey-graham-come-to-congress/2019/01/23/9830a174-1e68-11e9-8e21-59a09ff1e2a1_story.html?utm_term=.45c76d3e2e1f

Why do people such as Lindsey Graham come to Congress?
How Lindsey Graham went from being a critic to one of Trump's top Senate allies


By George F. Will
Columnist
January 23 at 5:01 PM

Back in the day, small rural airports had textile windsocks, simple and empty things that indicated which way the wind was blowing. The ubiquitous Sen. Lindsey O. Graham has become a political windsock, and as such, he — more than the sturdy, substantial elephant — is emblematic of his party today.

When in 1994, Graham, a South Carolina Republican, first ran for Congress, he promised to be “one less vote for an agenda that makes you want to throw up.” A quarter-century later, Graham himself is a gastrointestinal challenge. In the past three years, he had a road-to-Damascus conversion.

In 2015, he said Donald Trump was a “jackass.” In February 2016, he said: “I’m not going to try to get into the mind of Donald Trump, because I don’t think there’s a whole lot of space there. I think he’s a kook, I think he’s crazy, I think he’s unfit for office.” And: “I’m a Republican and he’s not. He’s not a conservative Republican. He’s an opportunist.” Today, Graham, paladin of conservatism and scourge of opportunism, says building the border wall is an existential matter for the GOP: “If we undercut the president, that’s the end of his presidency and the end of our party.” Well.

Six years after its founding, the Republican Party produced the president who saved the nation. The party presided over the flow of population west of the Mississippi, into space hitherto designated on maps as the Great American Desert. (The Homestead Act of 1862 was enacted by a Republican-controlled Congress.) The Morrill Act of 1862 (Vermont Rep. Justin Morrill was a Republican) launched the land-grant college system that began the democratization of higher education and advanced the science-intensive agriculture that facilitated the urbanization that accelerated the nation’s rise to global preeminence. The party abetted and channeled the animal spirits that developed the industrial sinews with which 20th-century America defeated fascism and then communism. Now, however, Graham, whose mind might not have a whole lot of space for pertinent history, thinks this party’s identity and survival depend on servile obedience to this president’s myopia.

During the government shutdown, Graham’s tergiversations — sorry, this is the precise word — have amazed. On a recent day, in 90 minutes he went from “I don’t know” whether the president has the power to declare an emergency and divert into wall-building funds appropriated by Congress for other purposes, to “Time for President . . . to use emergency powers to build Wall.” The next day, he scrambled up the escalation ladder by using capitalization: “Declare a national emergency NOW. Build a wall NOW.” Two days later, he scampered down a few rungs, calling for his hero to accept a short-term funding measure to open the government while wall negotiations continue. Stay tuned for more acrobatics.

But stay focused on this: Anyone — in Graham-speak, ANYONE — who at any time favors declaring an emergency, or who does not denounce the mere suggestion thereof, thereby abandons constitutional government. Yes, such a declaration would be technically legal. Congress has put on every president’s desk this (to adopt Justice Robert Jackson’s language in his dissent from the Supreme Court’s 1944 Korematsu decision affirming the constitutionality of interning of U.S. citizens and noncitizens of Japanese descent) “loaded weapon, ready for the hand of any authority that can bring forward a plausible claim of an urgent need.” Or an implausible one. However, an anti-constitutional principle would be affirmed. The principle: Any president can declare an emergency and “repurpose” funds whenever any of his policy preferences that he deems unusually important are actively denied or just ignored by the legislative branch.
 
Why do they come to Congress, these people such as Graham? These people who, affirmatively or by their complicity of silence, trifle with our constitutional architecture, and exhort the president to eclipse the legislative branch, to which they have no loyalty comparable to their party allegiance?

Seven times, Graham has taken the oath of congressional office, “solemnly” swearing to “support and defend the Constitution” and to “bear true faith and allegiance” to it, “without any mental reservation.” Graham, who is just 1 percent of one-half of one of the three branches of one of the nation’s many governments, is, however, significant as a symptom. When the Trump presidency is just a fragrant memory, the political landscape will still be cluttered with some of this president’s simple and empty epigones, the make-believe legislators who did not loudly and articulately recoil from the mere suggestion of using a declared emergency to set aside the separation of powers.
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Zafer Kaya

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Re: Random Political Musings
« Reply #1501 on: January 24, 2019, 04:36:10 PM »

Classic Will.  That is a lot of paragraphs and big words to say that Graham is a hypocritical dickhead.  Which everyone already knew.

I have never really understood the "intellectual elite" label that gets assigned to liberals.  There's way more people like Will at Ivy League colleges than liberals.  And I mean, college graduates historically vote Republican.  That was the GOP base until maybe the last few years.

But anyway, yeah he's right.

Zafer Kaya

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Re: Random Political Musings
« Reply #1502 on: January 24, 2019, 05:04:06 PM »

Anderson Cooper calling Lara Trump entitled is a bit rich.  I mean, he's not wrong but I also kinda doubt he understands the plight of the government workers. 

Do we really think that if Anderson Cooper were in that situation and asked his mother for a couple of thousand bucks just as a loan until he got his paycheck that there would be any chance she would say no?

Zafer Kaya

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Re: Random Political Musings
« Reply #1503 on: January 24, 2019, 08:16:28 PM »

Trump seems pretty much screwed now.  I think his best option now is to just declare a National Emergency.

Dan

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Re: Random Political Musings
« Reply #1504 on: January 25, 2019, 11:22:24 AM »

Trump seems pretty much screwed now.  I think his best option now is to just declare a National Emergency.

That's not how he works. He's bulletproof. He'll be fine, unfortunately.
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Markalot

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Re: Random Political Musings
« Reply #1505 on: January 25, 2019, 11:40:50 AM »

Did you see the cov cath kids parents hired some big famous defamation attorney?

Not saying they might be rich or anything!   :-[
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-- Mark

Zafer Kaya

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Re: Random Political Musings
« Reply #1506 on: January 25, 2019, 01:29:00 PM »

Trump seems pretty much screwed now.  I think his best option now is to just declare a National Emergency.

That's not how he works. He's bulletproof. He'll be fine, unfortunately.

Trump is far from bulletproof and no one is afraid of him, not even Republicans.  Breitbart and Fox are the ones pulling the strings. And I don't think the Bannons and Stones of the world have ever seen Trump as anything other than a useful tool.  And his usefulness to them is just about done.

Trump is actually quite awful as a politician.  I'm not even talking about his viewpoints or his corruption or whatever.  I'm saying just in terms of PR.  The right wing media is working overtime to try and back all the incredibly stupid things that Trump does and says.

Like literally, they call him every day so they can coordinate PR strategy.  And Trump still screws it up and goes off script.  It's not like they have to actively turn on Trump.  Breitbart and Fox are not so much pro-Trump as they are anti-liberal. 

They don't need to change their fundamental messages or anything.  All that has to happen is for the lines of communication to be disrupted due to the investigation.  They're winning on immigration, they're just losing on the wall and Trump.  Winning on immigration is way more important.

Cockney Rebel

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Re: Random Political Musings
« Reply #1507 on: January 25, 2019, 07:09:14 PM »

I don't think the world have ever seen Trump as anything other than a useful tool.
FTFY
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Zafer Kaya

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Re: Random Political Musings
« Reply #1508 on: February 06, 2019, 05:23:26 PM »

Well, this has been an interesting couple of days in Virginia politics.

The governor, Rob Northam, has a photo of a dude in blackface and a guy in a KKK costume in his college yearbook page.  He says that it isn't him in the photo.... but he did dress up as blackface Michael Jackson.  Or something.  Also, he's pro-infanticide.

The lieutenant governor, Justin Fairfax, allegedly sexually assaulted someone 15 years ago.

The AG, Mark Herring, also by his own admission attended a party in dark facepaint in 1980, but says he was just going as Kurtis Blow.  So, just trying to make the costume accurate, no political statement intended.

Of the three, the AG seems not so bad.  There was a lot of shit people did in 1980 times were different.  It would have been racist to actually dress up in minstrel blackface but no one really said anything if you just tried to look black.  This was when a huge chunk of colleges and pro sports teams had dudes dressing like Native Americans with face paint and everything. 

But yeah, it looks like all three may go, and the House is 51-49 Republican so who knows how this all shakes out.  The Republicans could take the executive but lose the legislative.

Also, we're talking about mostly elite old white dudes coming from old South backgrounds attending elite, old South colleges in the mid 1980's.  You gotta think at least half of them have some sketchy history.  Maybe not Northam level of sketchy, but certainly Herring/Kavanaugh-ish.

Dan

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Re: Random Political Musings
« Reply #1509 on: February 07, 2019, 09:45:32 AM »

Is it bad if I don't know if I think it's a "stepping down" worthy mistake? I think I take this viewpoint from the "if it were me" angle. Like, I know that I definitely made fun of other guys in the late 1990s when I was teenager by calling them gay. I am definitely shameful and apologetic of this in hindsight and wish I hadn't done it. So now take that knowledge and pretend I'm a recently elected governor. Would someone claiming this happened be enough to make me think I shouldn't be governor anymore? I know I have changed so much since then and I know that the person who I am, who was elected governor, is not the person who made those gay jokes anymore. I would like to think I wouldn't be forced out of my job for a mistake I made 20+ years ago.

I can't say that I know how Northam feels about minorities, or even which party he belongs to, or even if a jokey gay slur is indeed the sexual-orientation equivalent of blackface, but it still sort of bothers me. If Northam did this a lot, and actually is racist, and there's a host of other issues, then of course he shouldn't be governor. But if it's just this one thing....??

And on the same train of thought, Trump said in the mid-90s that you need to grab women "by the p***y" on TV and he hasn't stepped down yet. Is that similar?
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dirk

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Re: Random Political Musings
« Reply #1510 on: February 07, 2019, 01:04:16 PM »

Is it bad if I don't know if I think it's a "stepping down" worthy mistake? I think I take this viewpoint from the "if it were me" angle. Like, I know that I definitely made fun of other guys in the late 1990s when I was teenager by calling them gay. I am definitely shameful and apologetic of this in hindsight and wish I hadn't done it. So now take that knowledge and pretend I'm a recently elected governor. Would someone claiming this happened be enough to make me think I shouldn't be governor anymore? I know I have changed so much since then and I know that the person who I am, who was elected governor, is not the person who made those gay jokes anymore. I would like to think I wouldn't be forced out of my job for a mistake I made 20+ years ago.

I can't say that I know how Northam feels about minorities, or even which party he belongs to, or even if a jokey gay slur is indeed the sexual-orientation equivalent of blackface, but it still sort of bothers me. If Northam did this a lot, and actually is racist, and there's a host of other issues, then of course he shouldn't be governor. But if it's just this one thing....??

And on the same train of thought, Trump said in the mid-90s that you need to grab women "by the p***y" on TV and he hasn't stepped down yet. Is that similar?
I think it depends on which version of Northam's excuses you believe. The picture itself was pretty damn bad. It wasn't just someone in black face, it was in full minstrel makeup next to a guy in a KKK outfit. It's hard to argue anything about that is innocent or a mistake. And when the picture first surfaced, Northam apologized and said he was sorry for the picture, basically admitting it was him. Later, he backtracked and said it wasn't him in the picture, but one time he did dress up like Michael Jackson, including blackface. If you believe his second explanation, I don't think that is that terrible as a single incident. Lots of people did really stupid things in the 80s that by today's standards are clearly bad but weren't thought of that way back then. But if you believe it is him in the original picture, there just isn't an excuse for that.
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Zafer Kaya

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Re: Random Political Musings
« Reply #1511 on: February 07, 2019, 01:50:10 PM »

Is it bad if I don't know if I think it's a "stepping down" worthy mistake? I think I take this viewpoint from the "if it were me" angle. Like, I know that I definitely made fun of other guys in the late 1990s when I was teenager by calling them gay. I am definitely shameful and apologetic of this in hindsight and wish I hadn't done it. So now take that knowledge and pretend I'm a recently elected governor. Would someone claiming this happened be enough to make me think I shouldn't be governor anymore? I know I have changed so much since then and I know that the person who I am, who was elected governor, is not the person who made those gay jokes anymore. I would like to think I wouldn't be forced out of my job for a mistake I made 20+ years ago.

I can't say that I know how Northam feels about minorities, or even which party he belongs to, or even if a jokey gay slur is indeed the sexual-orientation equivalent of blackface, but it still sort of bothers me. If Northam did this a lot, and actually is racist, and there's a host of other issues, then of course he shouldn't be governor. But if it's just this one thing....??

And on the same train of thought, Trump said in the mid-90s that you need to grab women "by the p***y" on TV and he hasn't stepped down yet. Is that similar?
I think it depends on which version of Northam's excuses you believe. The picture itself was pretty damn bad. It wasn't just someone in black face, it was in full minstrel makeup next to a guy in a KKK outfit. It's hard to argue anything about that is innocent or a mistake. And when the picture first surfaced, Northam apologized and said he was sorry for the picture, basically admitting it was him. Later, he backtracked and said it wasn't him in the picture, but one time he did dress up like Michael Jackson, including blackface. If you believe his second explanation, I don't think that is that terrible as a single incident. Lots of people did really stupid things in the 80s that by today's standards are clearly bad but weren't thought of that way back then. But if you believe it is him in the original picture, there just isn't an excuse for that.

Right, but if you believe the second explanation, then what the hell was going on with the first explanation?  You don't look at the photo before you comment on it?

Northam's second version is the same as Herring.  But Herring basically said he did it and issued a straightforward apology.  Northam is still changing his story and attacking people.  So the contrast in how they handled their respective situations is as important as the initial difference in their situations.  At this point, I don't care if Northam is not in that picture and never dressed like Michael Jackson.  He still needs to go just on virtue of how he handled this issue.

Today it was revealed that a prominent Republican was the editor of a VMI yearbook that was filled with racist slurs.  Well of course he was.  It was VMI. 

When I went to William and Mary, KA still had Old South.  So once a year, everyone in KA would put on Confederate uniforms and walk around waving Confederate flags and at least one guy would go blackface.  If that happened at William and Mary in 1990, think about what was happening at UVA, University of Richmond, and VMI in the 70's.

Dan

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Re: Random Political Musings
« Reply #1512 on: February 07, 2019, 04:27:14 PM »

What is KA?


But I agree - I don't like the flopping and the inauthentic excuses, or the KKK element. Something certainly does smell fishy.
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Zafer Kaya

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Re: Random Political Musings
« Reply #1513 on: February 07, 2019, 05:25:51 PM »

Kappa Alpha Order. It's a fraternity that was founded at Washington College in Virginia.  Which became Washington and Lee College.  Which tells you a lot about the place.

But it goes back farther than that.  There was a Kuklos Adelphon fraternity that started in North Carolina and was popular before the Civil War.  That fraternity wasn't founded with a particular racist goal, it just was massively racist because it was the South in the early/mid 1800's.  So anyway, after Civil War, some college kids wanted to have their own fraternity modeled after Kuklos Adelphon.  That became Kappa Alpha Order.  And then some adult people who wanted a fraternity just like in they had in their good ol' college days started this thing called the Ku Klux Klan.

Anyways, any time you hear about some fraternity doing some kind of racist thing the odds are it's Sigma Nu, KA, or Alpha Tau Omega.  In Virginia --and this is surprisingly uniform across campuses-- KA is always the Southern kids with last name first names who went to Cotillion and people from New Jersey.  Don't ask me why, but people from New Jersey are really into the South.  They come into Freshman orientation wearing tight pants and chains, and one week later they're wearing pink polos with popped collars and Duckhead khaki shorts. 

It's really kind of hard to explain how deeply ingrained some of this stuff is in the South.  Like, I grew up in Northern Virginia which you know is a DC suburb and not particularly Southern.  But when I was in elementary school, US history was basically 2 years of learning about Jamestown/Williamsburg and then 4 years of Civil War.  And everything they taught us about the Civil War was wrong.  Not in a "well, history evolves and is never free of context" way.  Just like flat out, they made shit up.

Everyone here grew up learning the Lost Cause narrative.  They're racist without even knowing it.  That's the problem with the Civil War monument debate.  People don't understand why a true hero who hated slavery like Robert E Lee is deemed racist.  They don't know that Robert E Lee was racist, and those statutes were erected post-civil war as an FU to the North precisely BECAUSE they represented racist ideals to a butthurt South.  The majority of people here think that the Civil War was a war over State's Rights and not slavery.  You can't convince them otherwise, because they learned it in school, and they read it in all their fake history books.

And we're talking about 2019 here.  Imagine what it was like in 1990.  Or at VMI in 1970.  Of course they were all massive racists who did massively racist things. 

va-vacious

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Re: Random Political Musings
« Reply #1514 on: February 09, 2019, 10:07:08 PM »

Throwing Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) to the fraternity mix, too.
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