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  • Originally posted by GVChamp View Post
    TBM,
    I am absolutely center-right, especially against the broad spectrum of the country. I am hard-right amongst Millennials, since so many of THEM are basically commies, but that's a generatonal measurement. People are my ideological tempermanent tend to vote for Hillary and Biden, if my Twitter and Facebook are any indication.

    I am, however, hyper-partisan. I may be center-right, but I am NOT voting for Democrats. I think the people of my ideological stripe who ARE voting for Biden are ultimately short-sighted fools, and it is highly amusing to see them rail against what they see as excesses: all of those will get worse under Biden, just like they got worse under Obama, despite Obama portraying himself as a technocratic moderate.
    I must correct myself and removed center from center right. The first clue was "so many of them are basically commies" There are very few commies in this country compared to fascists by a wide, wide margin. Now while there are some things about Millennials that bug me being commie is not one of them as I see very few through my glasses compared to what you see through your blinders. The next clue was everything else you said which looks like it was lifted off a FOX website therefore making it babble.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by GVChamp View Post

      If you don't like any of those things, you're not center-right, or just generally misinformed, or just generally contrarian against whoever happens to be in the office at the time. I suspect the last, but it doesn't really matter. If you don't want your crummy pennies, you can feel free to send them to me.

      From the actual center-right perspective, portions of Trump's tax cuts have a good chance of becoming permanent (same way the Bush tax cuts did). Those oil pipelines are substantially safer than many existing oil pipelines and will bring in some extra dollars. If you think gays should be married, whatever, that's the law of the land now, but that was an extreme liberal position until relatively recently, so you really shouldn't be surprised that fantastic jurists like Clarence Thomas are not persuaded by your online temper tantrums and will hold to their original views, since there was no Constitutional amendment passed in the last decade. Not to mention a huge warping of the actual position, which is that states (including blue states like California) should not have their marriage laws tossed out by the Supreme Court based on stuff that's not actually written in the law and the writers of said law did not think was in there. If Massachusetts wants to allow gay marriage, go for it.

      Lessee...president above the law...okay, that's a mischaracterization, too. First, those were 7-2 decisions, which means even LIBERAL justices disagree with you. Which means, again, not a lot of center-right in your posts, please go ask Bernie and Warren how the fall leaves are in New England while you're up there. On the merits, the decision seems pretty reasonable, Congress shouldn't be able to just launch fishing expeditions against people it doesn't like, particularly the President. That's not saying the President is above the law, it's saying Congress doesn't have unlimited power.

      Whatever health plan gets passed ultimately cannot be just Trump's plan, it has to get the votes necessary to pass the Senate. As ACA demonstrated when it was passed, massive schemes floated by the executive aren't going to get anywhere, they need to go through the sausage-making process to arrive at a final bill, and fringe senators like Lieberman, Manchin, McCain, Murkowsi, etc get a lot of say over the final bill.

      TBM,
      I am absolutely center-right, especially against the broad spectrum of the country. I am hard-right amongst Millennials, since so many of THEM are basically commies, but that's a generatonal measurement. People are my ideological tempermanent tend to vote for Hillary and Biden, if my Twitter and Facebook are any indication.

      I am, however, hyper-partisan. I may be center-right, but I am NOT voting for Democrats. I think the people of my ideological stripe who ARE voting for Biden are ultimately short-sighted fools, and it is highly amusing to see them rail against what they see as excesses: all of those will get worse under Biden, just like they got worse under Obama, despite Obama portraying himself as a technocratic moderate.
      I'm going to guess that you didn't actually look at the links provided. You mentioned you're quite busy, so I'll spell things out right here:

      Unnecessary tax cuts cause the deficit to balloon? No, I don't like the deficit to balloon. Not sure how liking that would make me center right. Also, my taxes apparently went up so I don't even have a few pennies to add to yours. You say they have a chance to become permanent. Well, give me a call when they do. Because right now it's only corporations and the wealthy that have permanent ones in the bag, not you or I.

      The oil pipelines aren't safer than existing ones because I'm fairly certain that the Keystone 1 Pipeline that leaked about 383,040 gallons of oil wasn't exactly "safe". That's just one example but I don't know if you have time or the care to read any more. Not sure how liking a 383,000 gallon oil leak would make me center right.

      No, ISIS is not defeated and they are in fact growing again. And, no, I don't like it when America's allies are thrown into the furnace. Not sure how liking that would make me center right.

      No, thinking that gays should be allowed to get married if they want was not only an "extreme liberal" position. It's also a libertarian position. Also I've never once spoken even passionately about gay marriage until now, let alone "temper tantrums", but by all means, please provide WAB links to where I have.

      No, "president above the law" is not a mischaracterization. It's literally what Trump and his lawyers have been arguing all the way up to the Supreme Court. This is not a liberal or media talking point, as surfgun likes to pretend. To repeat: It's literally what Trump and his lawyers have been arguing all the way up to the Supreme Court. This is part of the court record.

      And, I'm not sure what SCOTUS decision that you're talking about because no liberal judge disagreed with me. They disagreed with what Trump and his lawyers have been arguing all along: That the President is immune from prosecution (to say nothing of "mere" investigation) up to and including the President shooting someone on Fifth Avenue. In other words, Trump and his lawyers argued that the President is above the law. I mean, what would you call it if someone was immune to everything from murder charges on down to a jaywalking citation?

      Healthcare has to get passed through the Senate? True! But you're putting the cart before the horse here. You have to have a plan, even a basic framework of a plan, to put before the Senate and Trump has spent the last 4 years doing fuck all about presenting a plan....other than lying about it with every breath. He Has No Plan And He Never Did.


      My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

      Comment


      • Art of the Crazy: Trump’s Insane Twitter Negotiations
        About last night’s eruption of more than 40 drug-induced tweets and retweets.

        When I look at President Trump’s Twitter-centric negotiation over the possibility of a second COVID-19 stimulus package in the past 24 hours, I just gotta say, I think he might be fouling this up.

        I know, I know.

        He is the Great Negotiator. He “wrote” a whole book on the subject, you may have heard of it.

        And here I am, a liberal arts major. A person who did not not go to Wharton Business School while pretending that I did. I’m no businessman (I don’t “Think Big” enough). I am merely a humble writer-at-large for a niche political webmagazine who is poor to quite poor at salary negotiations.

        So I freely admit that maybe there is a method to the madness that I do not understand, having neither been versed in Jack Welch’s Six Sigma nor spun the wheel of domination.

        But speaking as a novice, this stimulus negotiation looks like an epic self-own on par with bankrupting a casino or selling steaks in a home electronics store. For those who aren’t juiced up on steroids or slamming dexamethasone, it might be hard to keep up, so let’s look at how Tuesday’s absolutely bonkers self-negotiations played out on our nation’s premiere microblogging platform.

        For the last few months, Democrats and Republicans have been—slowly, distractedly—fighting over the details of a supplemental COVID stimulus package that would address the severe economic hardships brought upon many families and businesses by the pandemic. On Tuesday, the president, who had been largely absent from these discussions previously, crashed through the wall like the Kool-Aid Man in an attempt to demonstrate his mediation prowess.

        First, around 2:30 p.m., he executed one of his patented gambits straight out of Art of the Deal:

        "Know when to walk away from the table." The Art of the Deal
        The “economic populist” timed this power move on the heels of a conversation with Austerity-for-Thee Cocaine Mitch, blindsiding his own advisers (element of surprise!) in a series of tweets announcing that he will end negotiations on the stimulus package until after the election. As part of the tweetstorm, he also kindly ensured that people are aware that Nancy Pelosi wanted to pass a munificent $2.4 trillion in aid for people still struggling through a once-in-a-century pandemic.

        Here—within half an hour after his tweeting began—is how the stock market responded to his announcement:

        Click image for larger version  Name:	EjqtyynXsAE8Bul?format=jpg&name=large.jpg Views:	0 Size:	189.9 KB ID:	1566623


        So, as an opening bid, it left a little bit to be desired, I would say. Jonathan Chait, another non-businessman mind you, called it “the worst political blunder in history.” A tad dramatic maybe, but not a great sign.

        Regardless, it seemed like the dire reaction in the markets left Trump in a bad negotiating position vis-à-vis Speaker Pelosi—and she agreed, firing off a single tweet about how the president’s ploy exposed his heartlessness.

        This sense was confirmed five hours later when the president took a new/old tack, recanting his earlier contention that Pelosi’s offer was overly generous and adding a dollop of his trademark schoolyard misogyny:

        Crazy Nancy Pelosi and the Radical Left Democrats were just playing “games” with the desperately needed Workers Stimulus Payments.They just wanted to take care of Democrat failed, high crime, Cities and States. They were never in it to help the workers, and they never will be!
        With balance restored to the negotiating table, you might think he would wait to see how Pelosi would respond.

        Not this president.

        No he needed to further demonstrate his position as the alpha.

        So in between IVs, presumably during commercial breaks from the shows, possibly wearing his preferred nightgown, he began to unleash a torrent of tweets negotiating against himself like a person suffering from a bout of psychosis due to a corticosteroid therapy.

        First he did a complete 180 on his earlier position that Congress should pass no stimulus legislation, retweeting a news story about the Federal Reserve chair that implied Congress should spend even more!

        Then he retweeted the esteemed Paul Sperry of Investor’s Business Daily—not once, not twice, but twenty-two separate times—on matters ranging from #Obamagate to the “disgraceful” moderator of the debate that Trump totally won to a not-all-that-veiled attack on Joe Biden for being concerned about health care when his wife and child died in a tragic car accident.

        Trump followed that up with eight retweets of Fox News analyst Gregg Jarrett, calling for the jailing of his former opponent Hillary Clinton and disparaging Speaker Pelosi’s looks.

        He then tweeted a meme depicting the late Chris Farley—in character as the thrice-divorced homeless motivational speaker Matt Foley from the classic SNL sketch—berating Attorney General Bill Barr for not arresting enough political opponents.

        It’s unclear to me if any of these missives were part of the gamesmanship of the ongoing negotiations but I wanted to make sure that everyone had a clear picture of the state of play.

        Around 10 p.m., on day five (we think) of the experimental drug regimen he is taking for combating the coronavirus, the president then launched back into the stimulus negotiations that at this stage are taking place only between himself and his earlier tweets.

        No longer wanting to walk away completely, the president demanded that Congress pass two pieces of standalone legislation, the first bailing out the airline industry, the second sending a round of $1,200 stimulus checks out to our “great people.”

        In the final tweet at the time of writing, he tagged Nancy Pelosi—whose visage he had insulted hours earlier and who has been silent as he dickered for hours—presumably in an attempt to reopen the line of communication with his counterparty.

        Whew.

        Given that I have never been “in a boardroom” for a high-stakes parley like this and that I cannot take the full measure of Donald Trump since he spent the day hiding from the cameras as the novel coronavirus infection consumed him, I can only turn to a celebrity negotiator for his expert analysis on what transpired:

        “The worst thing you can possibly do in a deal is seem desperate to make it. That makes the other guy smell blood, and then you’re dead.” —Donald J. Trump.

        Hard to argue with that.
        ____________

        Can somebody tell me why it's so important to ramrod a new Justice onto the SCOTUS before the election, but the American people who can't afford food or rent can wait until after the election?

        Anybody?
        My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post

          I must correct myself and removed center from center right. The first clue was "so many of them are basically commies" There are very few commies in this country compared to fascists by a wide, wide margin. Now while there are some things about Millennials that bug me being commie is not one of them as I see very few through my glasses compared to what you see through your blinders. The next clue was everything else you said which looks like it was lifted off a FOX website therefore making it babble.
          I was today years old before I knew....looks at notes....that I am a commie.
          “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
          Mark Twain

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post

            I was today years old before I knew....looks at notes....that I am a commie.
            Of course you're a commie, wtf did you think you were?
            My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

            Comment


            • ‘Where are all of the arrests?’: Trump demands Barr lock up his foes
              The day-long run of tweets and retweets marked the most frantic stretch of Trump’s public activity since he left Walter Reed.
              Donald Trump mounted an overnight Twitter blitz demanding to jail his political enemies and call out allies he says are failing to arrest his rivals swiftly enough.

              Trump twice amplified supporters’ criticisms of Attorney General William Barr, including one featuring a meme calling on him to “arrest somebody!” He wondered aloud why his rivals, like President Barack Obama, Democratic nominee Joe Biden and former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton hadn’t been imprisoned for launching a “coup” against his administration.
              Advertisement

              “Where are all of the arrests?” Trump said, after several dozen tweets on the subject over the past 24 hours. “Can you imagine if the roles were reversed? Long term sentences would have started two years ago. Shameful!”

              By early afternoon, Trump was letting loose his frustrations in an all-caps missive that seemed aimed at nobody in particular.

              “DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS, THE BIGGEST OF ALL POLITICAL SCANDALS (IN HISTORY)!!! BIDEN, OBAMA AND CROOKED HILLARY LED THIS TREASONOUS PLOT!!! BIDEN SHOULDN’T BE ALLOWED TO RUN - GOT CAUGHT!!!” Trump tweeted.

              The day-long run of tweets and retweets marked the most frantic stretch of Trump’s public activity since he left the presidential suite at Walter Reed Medical Center and returned to treatment at the White House. They also underscored the degree to which Trump remains fixated on his grievances over the Russia probe, and often on obscure aspects of that investigation that are unintelligible to all but its most careful followers.

              Since late Tuesday, Trump has vowed to declassify all documents he claims will show improper activity by Obama and his intelligence advisers — before quickly reversing himself and suggesting he had already done so “long ago” — and repeatedly cited Russian intelligence services’ claims that Clinton “stirred up” the Trump-Russia collusion scandal that has dogged his presidency.

              The Trump administration has never held a firm position on whether the president’s tweets constitute direct orders; various tell-all books have described how top officials learned which of his instructions — lawful or otherwise — to ignore and which to accommodate. Courts have at times treated Trump’s tweets at official statements. But on other occasions they’ve been brushed off as political banter that lacks the force of law.

              Trump’s Twitter feed tends to be a realtime barometer of his offline moods and whims, however — and themes he hits on repeatedly over 280 characters tend to surface in conversations he holds in private.

              A Justice Department spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment about whether Trump had ever directly asked Barr to order the arrest of his rivals or if his tweet suggesting as much had veered into territory that Barr once said made his job “impossible.”

              In past interviews, Barr has signaled that he has no intention of prosecuting senior Obama administration officials, though he has cast doubt on the motives behind the Russia probe and launched an investigation into its origins.

              The review Barr ordered has disappointed Trump in recent weeks as the U.S. attorney tapped to lead it, John Durham, has signaled he might not pursue the kinds of high-profile prosecutions the president and his allies are demanding. Durham’s deputy in the review, veteran Justice Department prosecutor Nora Dennehy, recently quit the faltering effort and returned to the private sector.

              “NOW THAT THE RADICAL LEFT DEMOCRATS GOT COUGHT [sic] COLD IN THE (NON) FRIENDLY TRANSFER OF GOVERNMENT, IN FACT, THEY SPIED ON MY CAMPAIGN AND WENT FOR A COUP, WE ARE ENTITLED TO ASK THE VOTERS FOR FOUR MORE YEARS,” Trump declared late Wednesday morning. “PLEASE REMEMBER THIS WHEN YOU VOTE!”

              Trump’s tweet barrage was particularly jarring when set against the political backdrop. Biden has widened his lead over Trump in recent polls, as the president’s support has eroded among women, seniors and other voting blocs that helps him scratch out a victory in 2016. Trump flummoxed his allies Tuesday by summarily shutting down — also via Twitter — negotiations over a coronavirus stimulus bill, only to backtrack hours later by calling on Congress to pass more targeted measures.

              But Trump has made clear that he remains focused on punishing perceived enemies regardless of the political cost. While recovering at Walter Reed Monday morning, his chief of staff Mark Meadows told Fox News that Trump had kept busy that morning in part by directing the declassification of documents related to the Russia probe — a set of files he claimed were conclusive proof that Clinton had concocted the notion that his campaign team had ties to Russia even though the Senate Intelligence Committee and the special counsel’s team had rejected the allegations as unverified.

              In releasing them, Trump’s own hand-picked intel chief, John Ratcliffe, acknowledged the documents, sourced to Russian intelligence, might have been “exaggerated” or even “fabricated” to deflect from their culpability in the election interference effort.
              __________
              That poor stupid sick bastard is coming unglued faster and faster

              Next he'll be stumbling through the halls of the West Wing at 3am screaming to have his crown brought to him...
              My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

              Comment


              • Conservative Sites Spreading Russian Propaganda

                “On any given day over the past two years, visitors to the home page of RealClearPolitics were likely to see its famous average of political polls, a roundup of news and center-right commentary—and, near the bottom, a link or two to stories from RT.com,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

                “The provenance of the RT headlines was obscured. Readers didn’t immediately know they were clicking on headlines from a Russian state-backed publication that American intelligence officials considered the Kremlin’s ‘principal international propaganda outlet.'”

                “The company responsible for RT’s presence on RealClearPolitics is Mixi.Media. Since its launch in 2018, Mixi has assembled a network of right-leaning publishers, including National Review, The Daily Caller and Newsmax, as well as mainstream sites like RealClearPolitics. Also in Mixi’s fold are RT and another Russian state-backed outlet, Sputnik.”
                ______________

                From the comments section:

                American conservatism is so fucking bankrupt they had to turn to the Russians. I love irony.

                Very much like the Trump family's finances...

                How many of these guys would have ended up in Sing-Sing for long stretches or the hot squat in the 1950s?

                My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by GVChamp View Post

                  TBM,
                  I am absolutely center-right, especially against the broad spectrum of the country. I am hard-right amongst Millennials, since so many of THEM are basically commies, but that's a generatonal measurement. People are my ideological tempermanent tend to vote for Hillary and Biden, if my Twitter and Facebook are any indication.

                  I am, however, hyper-partisan. I may be center-right, but I am NOT voting for Democrats. I think the people of my ideological stripe who ARE voting for Biden are ultimately short-sighted fools, and it is highly amusing to see them rail against what they see as excesses: all of those will get worse under Biden, just like they got worse under Obama, despite Obama portraying himself as a technocratic moderate.
                  I still find it disappointing that most of the centre right in the United States chose to cast its lot with Donald Trump rather than align with centre to centre left forces like in countries like France or Germany to keep out the far right. Granted, this is partly due to the hyper partisanship of the two party system that makes co-operation with members from the opposite party more difficult.

                  The policy wins mentioned in the post above while not insignificant, would have probably been accomplished by any Republican President. On the other Trump's erratic behavior, his disdain for rules, deliberate inciting of racial and religious tensions, weakening of the Western Alliance has caused lasting damage, even from a centre right perspective.

                  And as said by Astralis, it is likely going to lead to a backlash against Trump and the Republicans that might lead to unified control of the US Government by Democrats, with an agitated and emboldened far left exerting increasing influence over the party.

                  I still find it hard to believe that many on the 'centre-right' consider all this a better outcome than enduring most likely four or at the most eight years of a weakened Hillary Presidency.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post

                    I was today years old before I knew....looks at notes....that I am a commie.
                    Welcome to the club, but the first rule is don't talk about the club.

                    = = =

                    On a more fiscal note, sudden surges in federal deficits are almost always the result of a shock loss of revenue. Spending simply takes too long to kick in.

                    Reagan's first, unprecedented round of deficits began to slow in 1986-87, when revenues finally caught up with spending. When the income ran out of steam in 1990-91, the deficits came roaring back, at unprecedented levels once again.

                    Big surge in 1990s revenues and a very temporary (1993) and small ($26 bn) reduction in spending contributed to Clinton's surpluses, but again, it was the revenues that did all the heavy lifting.

                    Bush Jr destroyed revenues – from annual $110-185 bn increases to a three-year combined fall of nearly $250 bn – while spending like a drunken sailor. By the time his economy crashed in 2008-09 it took six years to rebuild revenues to where they were in 2007.

                    Gosh, those tax crazy Obama years sure were something, weren't they?



                    Trust me?
                    I'm an economist!

                    Comment


                    • By all means let's start arresting people....

                      Changing official documents, whether intentionally or inadvertently, is a federal crime.

                      How do I know? Because of my annual records management training I've been taking for over 20 years.

                      https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/07/polit...nts/index.html
                      “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                      Mark Twain

                      Comment


                      • Bryan Caplan, an economics professor at George Mason University with ties to the all-regulation-is-bad Cato Institute, started a blog post with this:


                        “Simplistic summary of a long debate on paternalism:
                        Hard Paternalist:Government should force weak human beings to do what's in their own best interest.
                        Knee-Jerk Libertarian: No, that's totalitarian.
                        Soft Paternalist: Government should nudge weak human beings to do what's in their own best interests.
                        (Nowhere is there any mention of who should decide what's right and wrong, so don't even go there.)

                        He then goes on to suggest that there is no difference between forcing and nudging.
                        End of Prof Caplan's responsibility for anything posted here.



                        Later parts of the post weren't visible when I first saw this, so my mind filled in the blanks:
                        • Hard Paternalist:Government should force weak human beings to do what's in their own best interest.
                        • Knee-Jerk Libertarian: No, that's totalitarian.
                        • Soft Paternalist: Government should nudge weak human beings to do what's in their own best interests.
                        • Behaviorist Economist: No, that's much too inefficient.
                        • Democratic Policy Wonk: What if we simultaneously make it attractive to do what people should do, and unattractive to do what they shouldn't do?
                        • GOPer Spin Doctor: That proves it! Those Godless Commies are coming for your guns and bibles! Quick, enact a massive tax cut for the richest and most powerful people on earth! It's our only hope!

                        Trust me?
                        I'm an economist!

                        Comment


                        • And more people who need arresting....

                          https://www.npr.org/2020/10/08/92165...itmer-fbi-says
                          “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                          Mark Twain

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
                            And more people who need arresting....

                            https://www.npr.org/2020/10/08/92165...itmer-fbi-says
                            I'm sure there are some 'very fine people' in that group.

                            ....what state does Surfy live in?
                            sigpic

                            Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by InExile View Post

                              I still find it disappointing that most of the centre right in the United States chose to cast its lot with Donald Trump rather than align with centre to centre left forces like in countries like France or Germany to keep out the far right. Granted, this is partly due to the hyper partisanship of the two party system that makes co-operation with members from the opposite party more difficult.

                              The policy wins mentioned in the post above while not insignificant, would have probably been accomplished by any Republican President. On the other Trump's erratic behavior, his disdain for rules, deliberate inciting of racial and religious tensions, weakening of the Western Alliance has caused lasting damage, even from a centre right perspective.

                              And as said by Astralis, it is likely going to lead to a backlash against Trump and the Republicans that might lead to unified control of the US Government by Democrats, with an agitated and emboldened far left exerting increasing influence over the party.

                              I still find it hard to believe that many on the 'centre-right' consider all this a better outcome than enduring most likely four or at the most eight years of a weakened Hillary Presidency.
                              "Part" perhaps try all. America has been designed to change very slowly and not be particurly democratic. Advantages and disadvantages to that no doubt. But the demographics underneath have been changing far more quickly than washington. There should always be a disparity, but this gap is too great and as society continues to shift socially and technologically at an accelerated pace expect the problems and frustrations to increase.

                              The incentives are all wrong. There is nothing to draw the republicans back to the centre as there is no short term pathway to political victory for them there, even if its the only long term redemption available for them.

                              In europe its seems to be centre right vs centre left means some totally different. Not as divided on ethnic and cultural issues, more economic. The same groups are present but the majority in the centre parties are pulled towards the middle and those who go further right or left just form a new parties and then attract those who have less moderate views. This makes it easier for the moderates to stay moderate and to avoid governements that shift too far away from the middle. Even when problems arise there are more and easier pathways back than the american system faciliatates. Its also bemusing to imagine there are only "2 ways" to advance society.

                              Iam curious what are the prospects of adding new states to the federation, the candidates and obstacles in the coming years?

                              And likewise how would american change the way senators are distributed?

                              And how would america go about installing preference voting/ranked voting?

                              Comment


                              • Time to Rewrite the History Books

                                High school history books generally portray Warren Harding as the most corrupt president ever. That's probably unfair to Harding, since he was probably a more-or-less honest man (by politician standards) but he was in charge when his secretary of the interior, Albert Bacon Fall, pulled off the Teapot Dome caper, leasing some oil reserves to his cronies at bargain-basement prices after taking bribes from them. But a new story in The New York Times makes it clear that even Fall was a very small time operator compared to Donald Trump. The article documents dozens among the hundreds of times businessmen got big "favors" from the government after either making big donations to Donald Trump's campaign or spending mucho moola at one of his properties. No president in history has even come close to approaching this level of direct corruption. If Trump loses and the new attorney general hires to a special prosecutor to dig through the muck, it will take many years to uncover even a fraction of it.

                                Earlier stories in the Times show that most of Trump's properties are losing money big time and that he has a personal debt of $400 million coming due in the next 4 years, with almost no liquid assets to pay his creditors. If the debts are to Deutsche Bank, he can probably stiff the bank and get away with it. If the debts are to the Moscow-based Alfa Bank which is run by Vladimir Putin's cronies, that would not be a smart idea unless Trump likes tea that glows in the dark. In 2016, there were mysterious communications between Trump and the Alfa Bank, so that is a real possibility.

                                Although Trump promised to drain the swamp, he has done the opposite. He has monetized the presidency. If you want something from the government, you have to pay up, one way or another. The scale of the corruption is shocking. Over 200 companies, special-interest groups, and foreign governments decided they were willing to join the pay-to-play game, did so, and reaped government benefits.

                                Just 60 people with issues before the administration brought the Trump family business $12 million in the first two years of Trump's presidency. Almost all got what they wanted. The ones who didn't were likely victims of Trump's forgetfulness rather than his ire. The list of patrons at Trump's properties include foreign politicians, Florida sugar barons, a Chinese billionaire, a Serbian prince, clean-energy advocates and their adversaries in the oil industry, contractors seeking billions in government money, and much more. More than 70 groups threw lavish events at Trump's properties. Morgan Stanley spent over $156,000 at Trump's D.C. hotel for one event and Deloitte spent almost $350,000 there for another one. A lobbying group, the Food Marketing Institute, paid $1.2 million to Trump's Doral resort for some conferences there. Trump even had 34 fundraisers at his properties, which brought in $3 million to Trump himself as hotelier, in addition to what the campaign raised.

                                Anthony Pratt, known as the cardboard king, is the face of Australia's richest family, which makes packaging materials. He donated $1 million to Trump's inauguration and built a plant in Ohio. A provision in the 2017 tax cut increased his personal wealth by $2 billion. The GEO Group runs private prisons and wanted a bigger slice of the federal prison pie. It gave $250,000 to Trump's inauguration and held events at some of Trump's properties. It suddenly had its federal contracts go up from $500 million a year to $900 million a year, a pretty good return on investment. Franklin Haney needed some permits from the Dept. of Energy and a $5 billion loan. He contributed $1 million to the inauguration and hired Trump's fixer, Michael Cohen, for $150,000/month to help with Haney's projects. Cohen didn't deliver, so Haney found a new fixer. In the end, he got what he wanted. Evangelical leaders generally weren't after government contracts, but they all got VIP treatment at Trump's hotels. Is it surprising that they tell their flocks to vote for him?

                                The article is extremely long and very detailed. It goes on and on with details that might be of great interest to a special prosecutor working for a Biden Justice Dept. Will the disclosure of all this garden-variety corruption have any effect on the election? Probably not, because most of Trump's supporters will probably think it natural that if someone does you a favor (like donating $1 million to your inauguration), then it is only natural that you do him a favor (like awarding his company a billion-dollar government contract). People who don't like pay-to-play probably were not planning on voting for Trump anyway.
                                __________

                                It's been said that, should Biden win the presidency, he shouldn't go after Trump for such obvious corruption, as it would look like victor's justice or some such.

                                At one point I actually agreed with that. (The State of New York on the other hand....)

                                Now? Fuck it. Go after Trump with the full force and weight of the federal government. You know, that same force and weight that Trump used to both blatantly enrich himself and his Family, and also to shield himself from the legal consequences. Bury that fucker in the same grave that he tried buried things like the rule of law.

                                Of course, if Trump wins....we can pretty much bury the very idea of America in that grave. He'll have 4 years to run completely wild, unchecked, unhindered. The Trump kleptocracy will be encased in stone and burnished by so-called conservatives that couldn't stop drinking the Kool-Aid.
                                My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

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