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Author Topic: Random Political Musings  (Read 61036 times)

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Zafer Kaya

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Re: Random Political Musings
« Reply #1440 on: November 29, 2018, 01:40:25 AM »

I'm not so sure it's still easy to be a moderate democrat.

Why?  The New Democrats are going to pick up maybe 30 members.  The Blue Dogs picked up 7, which is a ton when you consider how small they are.  The Progresive Caucus might pick up 20, maybe less. 

Democrats are more Conservative than they have ever been.  Probably a 1/3 of them would have been Republican 25 years ago.

TBF, I think once everyone is settled and the infighting begins, and as liberals grow increasingly pissed off at Trump I think weíll see more of the extreme left.  But the Dems did a decent job in the midterms running moderate Dems in suburban areas, with the message that the moderate Republicans those areas typically elect are not very moderate. 

I think more parties is generally better, or at least the people should decide on the number of parties.

But Trump is not a product of the two party system. No, Clinton was not a very good candidate, but Trump was ten times worse.  This idea of people voting for Trump because they thought Clinton was corrupt, or being bamboozled by him needs to go.

As weak as Clinton was, the choice was very easy.  And you are not seeing a ton of voters ruing their decisions.  Trump maintains an unshakable 40% rating.  His numbers are not that far from Obamaó or for you conservativesó Reagan.  Which is a joke.

A multi-party system would have been good for Trump.  It favors minority groups with Uber-strong preferences, which is Trumpís base.  You figure Sanders would have taken a decent number of votes from Clinton, Kasich or Jeb would have got very little, and Trump would get pretty much the same votes.  I mean, if after all this people are still sticking by him why would they vote for anyone else.

Like I said before, if you want to split the Republican vote, you need someone farther right of Trump or more politically pure in their Facism.  No, thatís not exaggerating.  A straight up White Supramicist who went after Trump and is politically slick could probably take 15-20% of the vote right now.  I mean, I doubt it plays out too well in the electoral college but I assume most people in favor of ditching the two party system view the electoral college as a big part of it.

If anything, Trumpís ascension is an argument against the necessity of a two party system.  These guys who would have been considered fringe loonies 15 years ago actually took the Presidency and both branches of Congress in a short time, working within the system.  I mean, not the legal system because they cheated quite a bit, but within the party system.

Markalot

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Re: Random Political Musings
« Reply #1441 on: January 03, 2019, 07:00:00 AM »

I switched my conservative news source to the Washington Examiner last year and so far have been pretty happy with the coverage.  This editorial is a good one IMO.  Meanwhile the junior senator from Kentucky is criticising Romney for speaking ill about our king. 

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/editorials/real-rather-than-rhetorical-checks-sen-romney

Real rather than rhetorical checks, Sen. Romney
by Washington Examiner | January 02, 2019 05:20 PM
 
With a shot across the White House lawn, Mitt Romney announced his arrival in the Senate. Amid applause for Romneyís op-ed from the same Beltway press types who spent 2012 painting him as an evil, striped-pants plutocrat and misogynistic cold warrior, there were some tut-tuts daring Romney to bolster his harsh words for President Trump with serious deeds.

It's obvious what the media really want Romney to do, and that is to vote like a liberal. If you really think Trump isnít presidential, they imply, you should oppose lower corporate rates, oppose border security, and reject conservative nominees to federal agencies and courts. This is standard disingenuous nonsense from swampy scribblers who just six years ago were accusing Romney of evading taxes and binding women, or something.

But the new junior senator from Utah really can and should follow his words with actions. He should be the sort of senator who uses his seat for the purposes of serious legislating and oversight. If Romney and his Republican colleagues want to be men of action, want to be conservatives, and want to be statesmen, thereís plenty the Senate can do in the name of good government under our unusual president.

They could pass bills and conduct oversight that limit the executive to its proper powers. They could also fulfill Congress' duty to oversee and advise the president and his officials.

Start by making it harder for Trump to raise taxes unilaterally. Trump has abused Section 302 ďnational securityĒ tariffs more than his predecessors. His tariffs are obviously not about defending the nation from actual threats, but are heavy-handed industrial planning.

If the president wants to protect the steel industry from foreign competition, he should convince Congress to pass a law to do so. He shouldnít have the power to impose tariffs by himself.

A bill already exists to prevent unilateral action by the president. It was sponsored last Congress by Sens. Bob Corker and Pat Toomey, and it should be voted on and passed now.

Congress should also take back its authority over war. The legislature long ago ceded this power to the executive, and one result has been endless involvement in hostilities in such places as Libya and Syria. If you want to check Trump, start with his most fearsome power, the war power.

Romney can also check Trumpís worst leanings by blocking any unqualified or cronyistic nominees. Most of Trumpís judicial and executive picks have been good, but some bad ones have gotten through thanks to GOP deference to the president. One senator can slow a nominee, and four Republican senators can probably kill one. Do this to one or two subpar picks and the president will have to improve his quality control.

For current bureaucrats and appointees, Congress has the even more fundamental tool of oversight. In the federal government, Congress is the boss. The executive is supposed to do simply what Congress has told it to do. Congress controls the purse strings. Regular hearings and basic investigations to ensure our agencies are doing what theyíre supposed to and not wasting money are mostly forgotten aspects of Congressí job. Romney and his friends can ensure that they are remembered.

Congress can make sure our border forces are aggressive and effective, yet also humane. Congress can look to see if our regulators are neither going rogue nor getting captured by the interests they are supposed to regulate. Oversight neednít be partisan or ideological.

Romney could also join Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., on a couple of her ethics proposals: Pass a bill that would place lifetime lobbying curbs on cabinet members and would extend conflict-of-interest laws to the president and vice president.

On that score, a conservative interested in good government would welcome or even initiate a congressional investigation into links between Trumpís business ventures and his administration policies. Is there any evidence of favoritism or cronyism? Are there conflicts of interest?

This is a perfect area for congressional investigation because plenty of what could be going on with, say, a Trump hotel in the Philippines might be perfectly legal while still inappropriate. Conservatives still believe there is a difference between unethical and illegal.

Any of these actions would check Trump without being partisan #Resistance theater. They would also have the happy effect, after Trump is gone in two or six years, of restoring constitutional order to a place where it has not been since long before 2016.
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Zafer Kaya

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Re: Random Political Musings
« Reply #1442 on: January 03, 2019, 11:43:51 AM »

Quote
It's obvious what the media really want Romney to do
Is the Washington Examiner the media?  Yep.  I think they are.

Quote
and that is to vote like a liberal.
So the Examiner wants Trump to vote like a liberal.  Got it.

Quote
If you really think Trump isnít presidential, they imply, you should oppose lower corporate rates, oppose border security, and reject conservative nominees to federal agencies and courts.

oh, okay.  So it sounds like none of the media have any legitimate complaints.  It's all just a front for opposing Trump because they don't like his policies.  Wow the media sure sucks. 

Quote
This is standard disingenuous nonsense from swampy scribblers who just six years ago were accusing Romney of evading taxes and binding women, or something.

So the Washington Examiner is filled with swampy scribblers spouting disingenuous nonsense.  Okay, no point in reading the rest of this article, then.

That is an impressive stack of logical fallacies.  Attacking a strawman messenger with appeals to emotion via implied no true scotsman argument. 

Of course no Republican is going to say bad shit about Trump, because if they do they will get lumped in with liberals and articles like this are encouraging that way of thinking.

You have to believe that people are able to differentiate between broad conservative/liberal philosophies, policy positions, and Trump's behavior.  As a liberal, I need to know that there are conservatives that even though they like all these policies I vehemently disagree with, we still agree on certain core values.  Conservatives need to believe the same thing about liberals.

If you don't believe that people can do this then what's the point of complaining about Trump stomping on the constitution?  If he doesn't do it, the other side will anyway.  Everyone fights dirty so pick the side where you can at least agree on the policy.  Which is exactly what Trump supporters and the remaining GOP are thinking. 

Markalot

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Re: Random Political Musings
« Reply #1443 on: January 03, 2019, 01:24:32 PM »

But you're doing the same thing, reading what you want into the editorial.  The point, as I read it, is to take power back from the president because we know this can happen again.  It's not really the point that Trump is a horrible person, the point is that if the government is functioning correctly we are protected from most of his bullshit.   That, and tariffs are taxes.  I'd like to see that played up more, since the repubs are so happy they cut corporate taxes only to re-apply them with tariffs ... the money going back to the government. 
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Zafer Kaya

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Re: Random Political Musings
« Reply #1444 on: January 03, 2019, 08:52:06 PM »

That, and tariffs are taxes.  I'd like to see that played up more, since the repubs are so happy they cut corporate taxes only to re-apply them with tariffs ... the money going back to the government. 

Well yeah, they could have expounded on why tariffs are taxes.  Youíre making a good point, and one that should be especially convincing to free market fiscal conservatives.  But they didnít make that point, because it was more important to them to devote their first two paragraphs on a tired BS rant against the media, liberals, etc.

I think that even without expanding on the tariff policy issue, the second half that article is a useful call to action.  Itís not that the entire article is bad, itís that they undercut their good arguments with a bunch of ridiculous crap at the start.

They want to convince people/Congress to put a check on the Presidentís power.  Tariffs are constitutionally a power of Congress which they have opted to delegate to the Executive.  They can vote and take it back.  Thatís all very rational.

But if they do this, then a sizable chunk of that power falls in the hands of the Dem-controlled House.  And, having established that Liberals are a bunch of irrational dickheads...why exactly would anyone want to do that?

If you give power to liberals, maybe you get rid of the tariffs...and honestly maybe not.  Anti-tariff is more strongly a traditional conservative argument than it is a progressive one.  But those liberals will definitely want to raise taxes, re-regulate industry, give money to gays and all sorts of awful shit.  So you are losing more than you gain.

Thereís a checks-and-balances argument to be made, but if liberals are not going to check their power why give them any?

Itís a perfectly rational decision (if you swallow the crap in the first two paragraphs) to decide that Trump is the lesser poison.

Zafer Kaya

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Re: Random Political Musings
« Reply #1445 on: January 06, 2019, 03:51:49 PM »

I hope it dies not happen, but I think Trump declaring a national emergency to build the wall is going to prove a bridge too far for even some of his supporters.  They're also about to find out it's too late now.

Markalot

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Re: Random Political Musings
« Reply #1446 on: January 08, 2019, 05:58:42 PM »

I hope it dies not happen, but I think Trump declaring a national emergency to build the wall is going to prove a bridge too far for even some of his supporters.  They're also about to find out it's too late now.

I don't think it's going to far, his supporters have already showed themselves to be nothing but Trump supporters.  The only thing I can see stopping the wall is when he tries to acquire land in Texas from the fiercely libertarian landowners who will see it as stealing.  I still don't have much faith though ...  The RINOs ended up being the ones who called themselves real republicans.
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Zafer Kaya

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Re: Random Political Musings
« Reply #1447 on: January 08, 2019, 11:53:16 PM »

I agree with that, totally.

I guess what Iím saying is that declaring a National Emergency is the political and legal opening he needs to start seizing land and tariffing all sorts of authoritarian stuff that not only offends what few legit libertarian senses they have left but will also impact them personally.  They might not see it right away, but they will soon and they will regret it.  Thatís what I meant by them finding out too late.

daytime drinking

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Re: Random Political Musings
« Reply #1448 on: January 09, 2019, 10:15:26 PM »

i'll go on record as saying that an open borders libertarian is pretty rare.  any practical person wants government at some capacity.  i mean, i'm not practical but am realistic.  maintaining a sovereignty to allow prosperity to manifest to begin with most likely takes precedence over land ownership quibbles.  i assume could be a rationale

a wall would be an effective deterrent but i just wish the countries these people hail from would do a better job keeping them.  unless of course the people fleeing are all murderers and rapists and are directed north.  snicker



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euro60

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Re: Random Political Musings
« Reply #1449 on: January 09, 2019, 10:51:08 PM »

Why is this so complicated?

1. Countries have immigration laws. If you wanted to move to, say, Australia tomorrow, could you do it? No. If you wanted to move to, say, France, tomorrow, could you do it? No. Neither can anyone move to the US, just because they feel like it.

2. That said, there are asylum rules. People fleeing for their lives because of horrible human conditions (violence, religion, etc.) should be granted asylum. The US is the richest country in the world. We should accommodate legit asylum seekers.

3. The way Trump sees it, there are no legit asylum seekers. They are all murderers and rapists. Shame on him (and anyone who supports him on that).

Look, I'm an immigrant to the US myself, a legal immigrant to be clear. I don't support "opening the border" to anyone who just feels like moving here. But I strongly support the US accommodating legit asylum seekers. The US is the richest country in the world, we have the resources. What Trump said about the "human caravan" from Central America, calling it a "national immigration crisis" is just deplorable.

And as a complete aside, Trump's policy on cracking down on work visas is just terrible for US business. We need more qualified workers from abroad. I hear it all the time from my clients. The man just has no clue.
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dirk

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Re: Random Political Musings
« Reply #1450 on: January 09, 2019, 10:56:33 PM »

In what world is a wall an effective deterrent? You may have heard about this place called Berlin that used to have a wall separating the east and west sides. Not only did they have a wall, but they had soldiers all along the wall ready and willing to kill anyone even attempting to cross the wall. You know what happened? Thousands of people still crossed over that wall. But you keep thinking a wall out in the middle of the desert without anyone watching it is going to deter people.
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daytime drinking

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Re: Random Political Musings
« Reply #1451 on: January 09, 2019, 11:39:56 PM »

well, i mean, it's a better deterrent than no wall.  don't we already have walls that are effective?  the berlin wall isn't a good example for a host of reasons.  what about the great wall of china?  that seemed to work

i'm sure trump has scaled down what he wants in a wall.  the initial video i saw had a track running along atop the perimeter with roving surveillance.  thirty feet by thirty feet, is that what they're calling for now?  sounds formidable

just so you're keeping score, i'm an open borders person at heart.  so how do you deal with the situation?   
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Zafer Kaya

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Re: Random Political Musings
« Reply #1452 on: January 10, 2019, 12:50:43 AM »

Why is this so complicated?

1. Countries have immigration laws. If you wanted to move to, say, Australia tomorrow, could you do it? No. If you wanted to move to, say, France, tomorrow, could you do it? No. Neither can anyone move to the US, just because they feel like it.

2. That said, there are asylum rules. People fleeing for their lives because of horrible human conditions (violence, religion, etc.) should be granted asylum. The US is the richest country in the world. We should accommodate legit asylum seekers.

3. The way Trump sees it, there are no legit asylum seekers. They are all murderers and rapists. Shame on him (and anyone who supports him on that).

Look, I'm an immigrant to the US myself, a legal immigrant to be clear. I don't support "opening the border" to anyone who just feels like moving here. But I strongly support the US accommodating legit asylum seekers. The US is the richest country in the world, we have the resources. What Trump said about the "human caravan" from Central America, calling it a "national immigration crisis" is just deplorable.

And as a complete aside, Trump's policy on cracking down on work visas is just terrible for US business. We need more qualified workers from abroad. I hear it all the time from my clients. The man just has no clue.

The wall is different from border security.  Border security is different from border policy.

No one is actually against border security.  Of course you need to guard against criminals coming in or out or some country trying to invade us and human trafficking and stuff like that.  Itís just that the wall is a rather expensive and not very secure choice.

But just because you CAN stop people at the border, doesnít mean you should.  The border not being secure is a POTENTIAL problem.  Itís not an actual problem.  We donít need to deport every illegal immigrant because theyíre probably either providing us a net benefit, or we are breaking even.  We are not being overrun with rapists and terrrorists.  It would cost a shit load of money to hunt down and deport all of them.  Itís easier just to give them a path to citizenship.

So yeah, have a way to stop people if we need to, but at this point in time we should probably let most people in.

Trump is deliberately conflating these issues, because his goal here is not to control the borders.  Itís to keep America white for his rural supporters out in Iowa.  They want to close the borders AND shut down immigration AND deport illegals.

None of this is actually about a wall.  The Democrats realize this, and thatís why they are willing to take a stand over a measly $5b.  And I support them in that.

Zafer Kaya

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Re: Random Political Musings
« Reply #1453 on: January 10, 2019, 01:14:58 AM »

so how do you deal with the situation?   

Iím 100% in favor of not doing shit as long as Trump is in charge.

This is part of the breakdown.  Republicans point at some valid issues at the border and that Democrats and the majority of the US have supported border security in the past.

They no longer do, because Trump is in charge.  To Trump supporters, this seems hypocritical and motivated by politics. 

It isnít.  I am in favor of gun rights, but I am not handing a loaded gun to a two year old.  So yes, ifís entirely about Trump, but not because Trump is Republican.  Because Trump is an incompetent boob being controlled by a bunch of racist assholes.  The context has changed.  The wall is no longer just a physical structure, itís a Nationalist symbol. 

This is a culture war.  At some point the two sides were always going to make a stand.  That point seems to have arrived. 

As for Libertarians, the number of pragmatic libertarians is rather small.  Most Libertarians support dumb shit because they are not actually Libertarians at all.  They just filter their beliefs through a libertarian framework, torturing the shit out of facts and logic in the process.  Why they feel the need to do that, I have no idea.  But I think those days might be done now, too.  Thereís no real point in continuing the charade. 

Butter

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Re: Random Political Musings
« Reply #1454 on: January 10, 2019, 07:04:16 AM »

just so you're keeping score, i'm an open borders person at heart.  so how do you deal with the situation?

A good guideline, that's not ALWAYS accurate but works in most situations, is to be against whatever Trump wants.  I think it works in this case.
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