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2020 American Political Scene

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  • it's an easy win because there's no real political losers here. usually the debt people would be screeching, but under Trump they have no party anymore.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    • Originally posted by astralis View Post
      it's an easy win because there's no real political losers here. usually the debt people would be screeching, but under Trump they have no party anymore.
      Hey, yeah! Whatever happened to those people who were so concerned about the debt? What were they called again?
      Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

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      • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
        Hey, yeah! Whatever happened to those people who were so concerned about the debt? What were they called again?
        Fiscal conservatives (eg. Bill Weld).
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        • Originally posted by JRT View Post
          Fiscal conservatives (eg. Bill Weld).
          Well yeah but wasn't there like a whole organization?
          Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

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          • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
            Well yeah but wasn't there like a whole organization?
            Tea party.

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            • Originally posted by hboGYT View Post
              Tea party.
              Tea Party talked about reducing the deficit, but I do not recall seeing the Tea Party actively push for anything that would significantly increase the revenue side of the balance sheet. They were semi-anarchists fighting to tear down government under a false flag of deficit reduction.
              Last edited by JRT; 15 Mar 20,, 14:02.
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              • Former Judge Resigns From the Supreme Court Bar

                Slate.com, Mar 13, 2020 https://slate.com/news-and-politics/...ts-letter.html

                James Dannenberg is a retired Hawaii state judge. He sat on the District Court of the 1st Circuit of the state judiciary for 27 years. Before that, he served as the deputy attorney general of Hawaii. He was also an adjunct professor at the University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law, teaching federal jurisdiction for more than a decade. He has appeared on briefs and petitions as part of the most prestigious association of attorneys in the country: the Supreme Court Bar. The lawyers admitted to practice before the high court enjoy preferred seating at arguments and access to the court library, and are deemed members of the legal elite. Above all, the bar stands as a sprawling national signifier that the work of the court, the legitimacy of the institution, and the business of justice is bolstered by tens of thousands of lawyers across the nation.

                On Wednesday, Dannenberg tendered a letter of resignation from the Supreme Court Bar to Chief Justice John Roberts. He has been a member of that bar since 1972. In his letter, reprinted in full below, Dannenberg compares the current Supreme Court, with its boundless solicitude for the rights of the wealthy, the privileged, and the comfortable, to the court that ushered in the Lochner era in the early 20th century, a period of profound judicial activism that put a heavy thumb on the scale for big business, banking, and insurance interests, and ruled consistently against child labor, fair wages, and labor regulations.

                The Chief Justice of the United States
                One First Street, N.E.
                Washington, D.C. 20543

                March 11, 2020

                Dear Chief Justice Roberts:

                I hereby resign my membership in the Supreme Court Bar.

                This was not an easy decision. I have been a member of the Supreme Court Bar since 1972, far longer than you have, and appeared before the Court, both in person and on briefs, on several occasions as Deputy and First Deputy Attorney General of Hawaii before being appointed as a Hawaii District Court judge in 1986. I have a high regard for the work of the Federal Judiciary and taught the Federal Courts course at the University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law for a decade in the 1980s and 1990s. This due regard spanned the tenures of Chief Justices Warren, Burger, and Rehnquist before your appointment and confirmation in 2005. I have not always agreed with the Court’s decisions, but until recently I have generally seen them as products of mainstream legal reasoning, whether liberal or conservative. The legal conservatism I have respected– that of, for example, Justice Lewis Powell, Alexander Bickel or Paul Bator– at a minimum enshrined the idea of stare decisis and eschewed the idea of radical change in legal doctrine for political ends.

                I can no longer say that with any confidence. You are doing far more— and far worse– than “calling balls and strikes.” You are allowing the Court to become an “errand boy” for an administration that has little respect for the rule of law.

                The Court, under your leadership and with your votes, has wantonly flouted established precedent. Your “conservative” majority has cynically undermined basic freedoms by hypocritically weaponizing others. The ideas of free speech and religious liberty have been transmogrified to allow officially sanctioned bigotry and discrimination, as well as to elevate the grossest forms of political bribery beyond the ability of the federal government or states to rationally regulate it. More than a score of decisions during your tenure have overturned established precedents—some more than forty years old– and you voted with the majority in most. There is nothing “conservative” about this trend. This is radical “legal activism” at its worst.

                Without trying to write a law review article, I believe that the Court majority, under your leadership, has become little more than a result-oriented extension of the right wing of the Republican Party, as vetted by the Federalist Society. Yes, politics has always been a factor in the Court’s history, but not to today’s extent. Even routine rules of statutory construction get subverted or ignored to achieve transparently political goals. The rationales of “textualism” and “originalism” are mere fig leaves masking right wing political goals; sheer casuistry.

                Your public pronouncements suggest that you seem concerned about the legitimacy of the Court in today’s polarized environment. We all should be. Yet your actions, despite a few bromides about objectivity, say otherwise.

                It is clear to me that your Court is willfully hurtling back to the cruel days of Lochner and even Plessy. The only constitutional freedoms ultimately recognized may soon be limited to those useful to wealthy, Republican, White, straight, Christian, and armed males— and the corporations they control. This is wrong. Period. This is not America.

                I predict that your legacy will ultimately be as diminished as that of Chief Justice Melville Fuller, who presided over both Plessy and Lochner. It still could become that of his revered fellow Justice John Harlan the elder, an honest conservative, but I doubt that it will. Feel free to prove me wrong.

                The Supreme Court of the United States is respected when it wields authority and not mere power. As has often been said, you are infallible because you are final, but not the other way around.

                I no longer have respect for you or your majority, and I have little hope for change. I can’t vote you out of office because you have life tenure, but I can withdraw whatever insignificant support my Bar membership might seem to provide.

                Please remove my name from the rolls.

                With deepest regret,
                James Dannenberg
                Trust me?
                I'm an economist!

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                • Trump wants to suspend payroll taxes.

                  As of 14 February 2020: The payroll tax rate for social security is 6.2% for the employer and 6.2% for the employee, which is 12.4% total for Social Security. The payroll tax rate for Medicare is 1.45% for the employer and 1.45% for the employee, which is 2.9% total for Medicare. The total Payroll tax rate for both is 15.3%.

                  The retiree benefit is based on age and payments into the system. If they suspend payments into the system, it would seem that may reduce the benefit paid out to the retiree for the remainder of that retiree's life, most of which is at an age when the retiree may not be able to supplement with continued work.
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                  • Originally posted by Firestorm View Post
                    To be fair, Russians or no Russians, there is little to stop the Bernie train now. He is wiping the floor with just about everyone...
                    Still hold that opinion?

                    Given the ages of Geezer-Joe and old Angry-Bernie, much could change if they both catch a dose of COVID-19.
                    Last edited by JRT; 15 Mar 20,, 15:02.
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                    • Trump wants to suspend payroll taxes.
                      he didn't get it with the just-negotiated coronavirus funding legislation.

                      to show how worthless the GOP Senate is, note that the entire negotiation was done between Pelosi and Mnuchin.

                      GOP Senate won't move on anything unless it has the President's blessing first. and the President, because he is clueless, has delegated complete control of his legislative agenda to Mnuchin.
                      There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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                      • Originally posted by JRT View Post
                        Trump wants to suspend payroll taxes.
                        Which doesn't do jackshit for anybody. People who keep on earning their normal wages don't need help. It's not as if life is going to get more expensive for people who continue to earn the same wages as they did before the outbreak. They'll probably have more disposable income and savings as their wages remain level, while their spending on bars, restaurants, theaters, vacations, airline flights, etc. is reduced.

                        It's the people who have or are going to lose their jobs, get furloughed, or face a reduction in work hours who will need assistance.
                        Last edited by Ironduke; 16 Mar 20,, 00:02.
                        "Every man has his weakness. Mine was always just cigarettes."

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                        • Originally posted by astralis View Post
                          he didn't get it with the just-negotiated coronavirus funding legislation.
                          That is a little good news.
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                          • Originally posted by Ironduke View Post
                            Which doesn't do jackshit for anybody. People who keep on earning their normal wages don't need help. ... It's the people who have or are going to lose their jobs, get furloughed, or face a reduction in work hours who will need assistance.
                            Fully agree with the quoted material

                            A lot of people will be unemployed and in need of some assistance.

                            Regardless, with all of the closings, I think that we are all hearing a very big loud flush and see that the economy is spiraling down the crapper.

                            Much of the electorate will blame those in power.
                            Last edited by JRT; 16 Mar 20,, 01:59.
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                            • Some weirdness in Arizona... 13 March 2020, Scott Jarrett, the Maricopa County, Arizona election director, walked away from podium in the middle of a press conference regarding the upcoming March 17 primary balloting.

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                              • More from the Party of “peace.”
                                https://www.theblaze.com/news/democr...a_shot_herstam

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