Trump presidency

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Mutex
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Sat Jul 22, 2017 7:02 pm UTC

Liri wrote:No, I get that it's what President Pence would theoretically do, but it's not a perfect example of pardoning someone before they commit a crime.

Elasto was talking about pardoning someone before they're found guilty, not before they actually committed the crime.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Sat Jul 22, 2017 7:42 pm UTC

Pardoning someone before they committed a crime would be the equivalent to declaring someone completely above the law, and that I am pretty damned sure is unconstitutional (and I'm sure the Supreme Court will agree with me 5-4).
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:10 pm UTC

Good thing I'm not on the Supreme Court.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Vahir » Sun Jul 23, 2017 1:59 am UTC

I'm unsure how excessively tangential this is to the topic at hand, but...

Congress Considers Sweeping Bills to Fine & Jail Backers of BDS

Civil rights groups are warning a pair of bipartisan bills targeting boycotts of Israel and Israeli settlements would criminalize free speech and peaceful protest. The Israel Anti-Boycott Act would make it a felony for U.S. citizens to support boycotts of Israel and Israeli settlements, punishable by at least a $250,000 fine, with a maximum penalty of a fine of $1 million and 20 years in prison. So far, 46 senators—31 Republican, 15 Democrat—and 234 congressmembers, from both sides of the aisle, support the legislation. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, known as AIPAC, reportedly helped craft the bill and has made its passage one of the group’s top lobbying priorities for the year.


Not to get into the high pressure can of explosive worms that is the Israel/Palestine mess, but I have a hard time registering that this is a thing. Unless I'm misunderstanding it, there's a bipartisan (!) effort to criminalize boycotting a country. Is that even constitutional?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ucim » Sun Jul 23, 2017 2:57 am UTC

Vahir wrote:...to criminalize boycotting...
How does that even work? It becomes a crime to not buy something? To not say something? to express an opinion publicly? to express an opinion by writing to Congress?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Sableagle » Sun Jul 23, 2017 9:27 am UTC

Anyone up for a quick photoshop to put a Teutonic-looking senator's face under that helmet and change "Kauf nicht" to "Kauf nur" on the poster?

Vahir wrote:I'm unsure how excessively tangential this is to the topic at hand, but...

Congress Considers Sweeping Bills to Fine & Jail Backers of BDS

Civil rights groups are warning a pair of bipartisan bills targeting boycotts of Israel and Israeli settlements would criminalize free speech and peaceful protest. The Israel Anti-Boycott Act would make it a felony for U.S. citizens to support boycotts of Israel and Israeli settlements, punishable by at least a $250,000 fine, with a maximum penalty of a fine of $1 million and 20 years in prison. So far, 46 senators—31 Republican, 15 Democrat—and 234 congressmembers, from both sides of the aisle, support the legislation. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, known as AIPAC, reportedly helped craft the bill and has made its passage one of the group’s top lobbying priorities for the year.


Not to get into the high pressure can of explosive worms that is the Israel/Palestine mess, but I have a hard time registering that this is a thing. Unless I'm misunderstanding it, there's a bipartisan (!) effort to criminalize boycotting a country. Is that even constitutional?


I saw that one. I note that the current government is also keen to make it a crime not to boycott Iran. That probably ought to be against some sort of rule, too.

ucim wrote:
Vahir wrote:...to criminalize boycotting...
How does that even work? It becomes a crime to not buy something? To not say something? to express an opinion publicly? to express an opinion by writing to Congress?

Jose

Pretty much, yes, for a private citizen.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Huh. Well, never mind that. It's probably not aimed at Joe Bloggs.

I suspect the law is more aimed at businesses, intended to force everyone to stock Israeli Settler Movement products. It'll only apply to individuals who actually go on some kind of record as giving a damn about related issues. It's to scare dissenters, rights campaigners and peace-makers into silence, not a precursor to sending the Imperial Stormtroopers to go through your shopping bags and make sure your olive oil was produced on stolen land. It's going to be interesting to watch the shit-storm if Israelis who do respect Palestinians' human rights get arrested in the US for not being "pro-Israel" enough. Are people known to have eaten in Netanya's Hummus Bar going to find US visas suddenly unobtainable?

Our mission is to inform the Israeli public about human rights violations, and to pressure the State institutions to redress these injustices. In a time in which a nationalist and isolationist understanding of Jewish tradition is heard frequently and loudly, Rabbis for Human Rights give expression to the traditional Jewish responsibility for the safety and welfare of the stranger, the different and the weak, the convert, the widow and the orphan.
They sound like good people.
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Guess whoever wrote that would agree, although whoever wrote the bit just before that was having an Ayn Rand kind of day. Still, those Rabbis want to pressure the State institutions to redress injustices? What are they, constitutionalists? We'll have no respect for the Constitution here!
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Yeah, right.

Our government over here tried the same sort of thing, but they got told not to by our version of the Supreme Court:
After accepting a judicial review, the judge said Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, acted unlawfully in issuing guidance to restrict local councils from pursuing boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel through their pension schemes.

The judge said the department's guidance fell outside the proper scope of Mr Javid's statutory powers, because it was issued for non-pensions purposes.

The case, brought by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), concerned guidance affecting the Local Government Pension Scheme (LPGS) and how its funds are - and are not - invested.

The guidance was issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government in September last year and is directed at those responsible for preparing LPGS investment strategy.
Short version of the verdict: government can't tell pension scheme managers not to care about ethics.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:14 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
Vahir wrote:...to criminalize boycotting...
How does that even work? It becomes a crime to not buy something? To not say something? to express an opinion publicly? to express an opinion by writing to Congress?

Jose


I'm really confused about this issue.

http://www.aipac.org/learn/legislative- ... ?agendaid={B499D12C-C5ED-4CA6-93CF-61266D842328}

[The] Combating BDS Act of 2017 (S.170 and H.R. 2856) would grant state and local governments the right to disassociate pensions and contracts from entities that boycott, divest from or sanction Israel.


Wait, so local / state governments don't currently have the ability to make "social justice" type investments with regards to their pension funds? I'm somewhat surprised if this is the current standard, and that this bill is being made to change that. I guess I just don't fully understand the current laws with regards to state / local government pension funds.

---------------

Anyway, it doesn't criminalize boycotting. It actually allows State / Local governments to boycott groups that specifically are Boycotting Israel. So if anything, its allowing a boycott that wasn't allowed before.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-con ... %5D%7D&r=1
https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-con ... %5D%7D&r=1

I dunno, it seems like this bill makes a lot of sense to me. I'm simply surprised that States / Local governments weren't allowed to do this already.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby idonno » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:54 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:I'm really confused about this issue.

http://www.aipac.org/learn/legislative- ... ?agendaid={B499D12C-C5ED-4CA6-93CF-61266D842328}

[The] Combating BDS Act of 2017 (S.170 and H.R. 2856) would grant state and local governments the right to disassociate pensions and contracts from entities that boycott, divest from or sanction Israel.


Wait, so local / state governments don't currently have the ability to make "social justice" type investments with regards to their pension funds? I'm somewhat surprised if this is the current standard, and that this bill is being made to change that. I guess I just don't fully understand the current laws with regards to state / local government pension funds.

---------------

Anyway, it doesn't criminalize boycotting. It actually allows State / Local governments to boycott groups that specifically are Boycotting Israel. So if anything, its allowing a boycott that wasn't allowed before.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-con ... %5D%7D&r=1
https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-con ... %5D%7D&r=1

I dunno, it seems like this bill makes a lot of sense to me. I'm simply surprised that States / Local governments weren't allowed to do this already.

I wouldn't count on the summaries being completely accurate especially when what the ACLU alleges involves bringing in other existing statutes. The fact that their lawyers see a problem is at least enough to warrant closer examination.

I am not a lawyer, haven't read the full bills, and have only tangential knowledge of how this currently works so don't take my understanding of it as a statement of fact but the following describes what I think is going on. A managing entity of a fund can invest in anything within the rules for acceptable investments (often things like junk bonds are not allowed). I believe what this is granting is the authority for the legislature to set rules based on certain political grounds that would restrict what the managing entity is allowed to invest in.

While I am undecided with granting this power directly to the legislative body (there are a lot of scenarios to think through and over time politicians can get very proficient at abusing things like this), I will say that if this allows something like a state restricting a cities investments based on political criteria (I am 99% certain that they can on financial criteria), that would be a major issue since the city has an independently elected governing body and different political make up from the state.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:48 pm UTC

idonno wrote:I wouldn't count on the summaries being completely accurate especially when what the ACLU alleges involves bringing in other existing statutes. The fact that their lawyers see a problem is at least enough to warrant closer examination.


On the one hand yes, its important to take into account what the ACLU alleges. On the other hand: the ACLU is a political action group, trying to raise awareness of itself and gather donations. They're prone to exaggerating issues.

Anyway, I was confused because there's another "antiboycott act of 2017".

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-con ... %5D%7D&r=1

Apparently, this is the one the ACLU is against.

---------

The issue is that the underlying law has a million dollar fine + 15 years in jail penalty. The Senators are proposing to change that law, but it looks like they weren't aware of the underlying penalties associated with changing that particular law. Law is complicated: and that sort of thing strikes me more of an honest mistake in a draft-bill that hasn't even gone before committee yet.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:12 pm UTC

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 ... telligence
Kushner's defense against Russia collusion is "I can't be guilty, because I'm utterly incompetent and Trump should have never hired me".

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby LaserGuy » Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:25 pm UTC

sardia wrote:https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/24/jared-kushner-ignorant-trump-russia-senate-intelligence
Kushner's defense against Russia collusion is "I can't be guilty, because I'm utterly incompetent and Trump should have never hired me".


To be fair, there is plenty of evidence to support the conclusion that most, if not all of the members of the Trump administration are indeed incompetent.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby RCT Bob » Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:03 pm UTC

sardia wrote:https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/24/jared-kushner-ignorant-trump-russia-senate-intelligence
Kushner's defense against Russia collusion is "I can't be guilty, because I'm utterly incompetent and Trump should have never hired me".


Glancing at his statement now. He's already guilty of using a horrible layout with way too much line spacing. Secondly, he's guilty of adding unnecessary paragraphs. Why is this in there?

It is also important to note that a campaign's success starts with its message and its messenger. Donald Trump had the right vision for America and delivered his message perfectly. The results speak for themselves. Not only did President Trump defeat sixteen skilled and experienced primary opponents and win the presidency; he did so spending a fraction of what his opponent spent in the general election. He outworked his opponent and ran one of the best campaigns in history using both modern technology and traditional methods to bring his message to the American people.


Finally, writing entire sentences in bold does not make it more true. It just makes you seem like you try to be slightly classier than writing in CAPS. Of course he still writes the title to his statement in CAPS, so he's not even that classy.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ucim » Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:30 pm UTC

...and what the ch*rp is this gibberish?

5
P]E]BHBG] OI LETBM @. KRPJGBT ]O @OGNTBPPAOGEC @OHHA]]BBPLucy 4=, 465>
A eh vocugteracy provamagn tjas stetbhbgt, sudhattagn mo`uhbgts, egm sattagn ior agtbrvabws ag ormbr to sjbm canjt og assubs tjet jevb dbbg reasbm edout hy rocb ag tjb ]ruhp ior Vrbsambgt @ehpeang egm muragn tjb tregsataog pbraom.A eh got e pbrsog wjo jes sounjt tjb spotcanjt. Iarst ag hy dusagbss egm gow ag pudca`sbrva`b, A jevb workbm og e`jabvagn noecs, egm jevb cbit at to otjbrs to work og hbmae egm pudca` pbr`bptaog. Db`eusb tjbrb jes [... the rest snipped ...]


It is smack in the middle of the article and is encoded thus:

<figure class="element element-embed" data-alt="Kushner">
<iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" src="https://www.scribd.com/embeds/354584565/content?start_page=1&amp;view_mode=scroll&amp;access_key=key-On9CNmc6RJqnmozQ3eNc&amp;show_recommendations=true" data-auto-height="false" data-aspect-ratio="0.7729220222793488" scrolling="no" id="doc_71993" width="100%" height="600" frameborder="0"></iframe>
</figure>


(Viewing the target url directly is even worse)

Google Translate detects the language as English.

Jose
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby RCT Bob » Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:41 pm UTC

ucim wrote:...and what the ch*rp is this gibberish?

5
P]E]BHBG] OI LETBM @. KRPJGBT ]O @OGNTBPPAOGEC @OHHA]]BBPLucy 4=, 465>
A eh vocugteracy provamagn tjas stetbhbgt, sudhattagn mo`uhbgts, egm sattagn ior agtbrvabws ag ormbr to sjbm canjt og assubs tjet jevb dbbg reasbm edout hy rocb ag tjb ]ruhp ior Vrbsambgt @ehpeang egm muragn tjb tregsataog pbraom.A eh got e pbrsog wjo jes sounjt tjb spotcanjt. Iarst ag hy dusagbss egm gow ag pudca`sbrva`b, A jevb workbm og e`jabvagn noecs, egm jevb cbit at to otjbrs to work og hbmae egm pudca` pbr`bptaog. Db`eusb tjbrb jes [... the rest snipped ...]


It is smack in the middle of the article and is encoded thus:

<figure class="element element-embed" data-alt="Kushner">
<iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" src="https://www.scribd.com/embeds/354584565/content?start_page=1&amp;view_mode=scroll&amp;access_key=key-On9CNmc6RJqnmozQ3eNc&amp;show_recommendations=true" data-auto-height="false" data-aspect-ratio="0.7729220222793488" scrolling="no" id="doc_71993" width="100%" height="600" frameborder="0"></iframe>
</figure>


(Viewing the target url directly is even worse)

Google Translate detects the language as English.

Jose


I think it's some kind of copy-paste protection on the website. I don't see the gibberish on the guardian but it appeared here in my post when I copy-pasted the paragraph in my previous post, so I typed it over manually.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:14 pm UTC

There's some interestingly repeated 'words', mostly sticking to alphabetic characters in a very wordlike manner,

It's not QWERTY touch-typed by accident on a Dvorak, or vice-versa, is it? Maybe just a not-quite-QWERTY keyboard.

I'd look for a keyboard that has back-quote and the shift-activated close-square-bracket in a oosition where another keyboard has a letter, and the (shifted) @-sign on another. In particular, "]ruhp ior Vrbsambgt @ehpeang egm" looks very like "Trump ??? Forename Surname ???" with the "???"s representing two (different) common three-letter words (e.g. "for" and "and").

Basic cryptanalysis for basic (but non-Caesar/rotational) substitutions might reveal all in a trice. But I'll let someone else crunch the numbers.

edit: Yes, "]rihp">"Trump" would make "ior">"u?r", not "for". And there aren't enough back-quotes for the expected number of 't's in any given text. It was just a snap thought, at first glance. But I still bet that ] is a capital letter for a name or proper noun... There's other confusing bits, but that's now my "on second glance" opinion...

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Koa » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:51 pm UTC

It's a scribd option. The text is encrypted in a very simple fashion, and then it gets decrypted live using javascript for display. When you copy it you're copying the original encrypted text without the javascript decryption. It's a little obnoxious.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:11 am UTC


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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:38 am UTC

He's there to show you what happens when nobody follows the central Scouting tenet of "Be Prepared", obviously.

(In my time, I was a Cub Scout, Scout and Venture Scout and proud of it. Still not entirely prepared for everything, perhaps I needed that kind of shock.)

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ucim » Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:36 pm UTC

It seems to me that the Trump presidency is pretty much a libertarian administration. Yes, there are many flavors of libertarianism (and I'm simplifying a lot), but the key feature is that contracts between people are the highest form of interaction, and that government exists primarily to enforce these contracts. You can do anything you afford to get away with.

When I look at the way he handles things like the effect humans have on global climate, the interactions between countries and our role in them, the relationship between huge commercial enterprise and individual persons that have to deal with them, the right for people to decide to wither and die rather than pay for health care with money they don't have, and the entire "I'm rich, and you're not" attitude of entitlement that he brings to the presidency, it dawns on me that this is what we would get if we had an actual libertarian president.

And this is what we're getting.

walk... quack... duck.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:25 pm UTC

ucim wrote:It seems to me that the Trump presidency is pretty much a libertarian administration. Yes, there are many flavors of libertarianism (and I'm simplifying a lot), but the key feature is that contracts between people are the highest form of interaction, and that government exists primarily to enforce these contracts. You can do anything you afford to get away with.

When I look at the way he handles things like the effect humans have on global climate, the interactions between countries and our role in them, the relationship between huge commercial enterprise and individual persons that have to deal with them, the right for people to decide to wither and die rather than pay for health care with money they don't have, and the entire "I'm rich, and you're not" attitude of entitlement that he brings to the presidency, it dawns on me that this is what we would get if we had an actual libertarian president.

And this is what we're getting.

walk... quack... duck.

Jose

That's just insulting to libertarians. And rich people.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby trpmb6 » Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:16 pm UTC

<grabs popcorn>

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Dark567 » Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:40 pm UTC

ucim wrote:It seems to me that the Trump presidency is pretty much a libertarian administration.

...

Which completely ignores the travel ban and the anti-immigrant sentiment, how Session's is stepping up the war on drugs or increasing civil forfeiture, Trump's attacks on free trade, sanctuary cities or the free press or half a dozen other core libertarian positions. Trump isn't just about letting contracts rule everything(and hell in the past he hasn't been very good at obeying his contracts), he pushes a lot of government intrusion into peoples lives.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:34 pm UTC

Well, to be fair, the libertarian paradise that the wealthy actually want is a state where the police and military are fully privatized, a handful of corporations own everything, and censorship, propaganda, surveillance, and the police are used to control the population where economic burden cannot. Borders are made unnecessary by having all land owned by the corporations - they can simply refuse to sign a lease for anyone they consider undesirable in their country; after all, they own the land so they are free to choose who lives on it. In the same way, they can effectively write the laws.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:48 pm UTC

The healthcare bill just passed the motion to proceed. Nobody knows what they're going to actually pass, but this is a major step to repealing... Something.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:42 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:Well, to be fair, the libertarian paradise that the wealthy actually want is a state where the police and military are fully privatized, a handful of corporations own everything, and censorship, propaganda, surveillance, and the police are used to control the population where economic burden cannot. Borders are made unnecessary by having all land owned by the corporations - they can simply refuse to sign a lease for anyone they consider undesirable in their country; after all, they own the land so they are free to choose who lives on it. In the same way, they can effectively write the laws.


That's anarcho capitalism, and no sane libertarian nor anarchist supports an-caps. Best way I've found to deal with an-caps? And anarchists for that matter? Ask them very specific and complicated questions with serious real world impacts. Something they can't just go back to platitudes and talking points. The example I use for an-caps is what should be done if a husband is in the middle of raping his wife, and both have signed to different mercenaries private defense agencies, the husband with one where it's illegal for a wife to withhold sex and the wife with one that bans marital rape; who gets arrested, and should it matter which set of mercenaries shows up first? Loved the fish-face I got from the an-cap when asked.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:52 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
Thesh wrote:Well, to be fair, the libertarian paradise that the wealthy actually want is a state where the police and military are fully privatized, a handful of corporations own everything, and censorship, propaganda, surveillance, and the police are used to control the population where economic burden cannot. Borders are made unnecessary by having all land owned by the corporations - they can simply refuse to sign a lease for anyone they consider undesirable in their country; after all, they own the land so they are free to choose who lives on it. In the same way, they can effectively write the laws.


That's anarcho capitalism, and no sane libertarian nor anarchist supports an-caps. Best way I've found to deal with an-caps? And anarchists for that matter? Ask them very specific and complicated questions with serious real world impacts. Something they can't just go back to platitudes and talking points. The example I use for an-caps is what should be done if a husband is in the middle of raping his wife, and both have signed to different mercenaries private defense agencies, the husband with one where it's illegal for a wife to withhold sex and the wife with one that bans marital rape; who gets arrested, and should it matter which set of mercenaries shows up first? Loved the fish-face I got from the an-cap when asked.


This is getting off topic.

But in my experience, this only causes the An-Cap guy to say "well, all systems have their flaws" and then they leave it at that. You really can't convince people to change their fundamental outlook of life, even if they're a friend or otherwise close to you.

sardia wrote:The healthcare bill just passed the motion to proceed. Nobody knows what they're going to actually pass, but this is a major step to repealing... Something.


Is it though? It required a tie-breaking vote from Mr. Pence. Again, this was simply a motion to begin debate on the bill, and Congress is already 50/50 split with a tiebreaker.

If they lose literally one Senator during the debate, then its all over for the bill. I'd be surprised if the bill actually gets passed. (But I've been surprised plenty of times this past year...)
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ucim » Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:39 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Again, this was simply a motion to begin debate on the bill
Why would the (Republican) senators that opposed the bill be in favor of opening it up to debate? Either (they think) the thing is such a stinker that it needs to go back to Mount Doom, or (they think) there is enough there that it can be "saved". If the former, then even opening it up for debate is dangerous. If the latter, then it will almost certainly end up passing.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:42 am UTC

ucim wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:Again, this was simply a motion to begin debate on the bill
Why would the (Republican) senators that opposed the bill be in favor of opening it up to debate? Either (they think) the thing is such a stinker that it needs to go back to Mount Doom, or (they think) there is enough there that it can be "saved". If the former, then even opening it up for debate is dangerous. If the latter, then it will almost certainly end up passing.

Jose

I think there're varying amounts of political calculus going on about how they think it'll play during primaries to have voted for or against different procedural steps, amendments, and bills. The ones who don't want anything to pass are playing a dangerous game though, certainly.

Like, "Hey, I voted to debate healthcare, but what came out of it wasn't right for my constituents, that's why I said no to the final bill."
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:14 am UTC

Liri wrote:
ucim wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:Again, this was simply a motion to begin debate on the bill
Why would the (Republican) senators that opposed the bill be in favor of opening it up to debate? Either (they think) the thing is such a stinker that it needs to go back to Mount Doom, or (they think) there is enough there that it can be "saved". If the former, then even opening it up for debate is dangerous. If the latter, then it will almost certainly end up passing.

Jose

I think there're varying amounts of political calculus going on about how they think it'll play during primaries to have voted for or against different procedural steps, amendments, and bills. The ones who don't want anything to pass are playing a dangerous game though, certainly.

Like, "Hey, I voted to debate healthcare, but what came out of it wasn't right for my constituents, that's why I said no to the final bill."

I disagree. The more accurate part is ucim. The GOP has the votes for it, the Republicans are just trying to play musical chairs. Maybe Heller will eat the blame, or Paul, or maybe they'll all blame each other, and end up nobody's fault. Then individually, they can pass a bill they like without saying they caused the suffering or bad effects.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ivnja » Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:41 am UTC

Liri wrote:I think there're varying amounts of political calculus going on about how they think it'll play during primaries to have voted for or against different procedural steps, amendments, and bills. The ones who don't want anything to pass are playing a dangerous game though, certainly.

Like, "Hey, I voted to debate healthcare, but what came out of it wasn't right for my constituents, that's why I said no to the final bill."

Collins (R-ME) is one of the two Republicans (the other being Murkowski (AK)) who voted against even bringing it up for debate. She's been accused of playing that game before by liberal opposition in the state, who claim that she votes no on conservative bills that will safely pass in order to bolster her moderate credentials but will usually vote in lockstep with the party when they really need her. Valid accusation or not, she's legitimately bucking the party on this one and doing what a Senator should - taking a stance based on what is best for the residents of her state, not her party. Maine is currently the oldest state in the nation, with a lot of low-income seniors, and we'd be hit hard by the repeal and most of the replacement options.

There might be an attempt to primary her from the right using this as ammunition, but she should survive it (and then has a lot of independent support, so will do fine in the general - this vote will only help her there). I'm pretty proud of us for the quality of the people we've sent to the Senate over the years.

Also, a Tea Party congressman said yesterday that if she were a man he'd consider challenging her to a duel over the whole thing, which is...something.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zohar » Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:34 pm UTC

I don't get John McCain. He basically said he wants this process to fail - why vote Yes on it? It would have been easy for him to just abstain. What's for him to gain in all of this, other than seeming like someone who talks a lot and doesn't back up his words with actions?
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:08 pm UTC

As 538 is fond of reminding us, McCain isn't much of a maverick. Like Richard Burr, for instance, he has his area where he's willing to be fairly independent, but when it comes to economic policy, which he apparently doesn't know much about, he's happy to toe the party line. He was one of the 47 Yes votes on the first amendment, too.

It's like he doesn't think he could defend himself if he voted no.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zohar » Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:36 pm UTC

The man's almost on his deathbed. He should just take a very long vacation.

EDIT: Asshole who claimed he "would do everything to protect the LGBTQ community" hurts the LGBTQ community, to the surprise of no-one: Trump bans transgender soldiers.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:22 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:The man's almost on his deathbed. He should just take a very long vacation.

EDIT: Asshole who claimed he "would do everything to protect the LGBTQ community" hurts the LGBTQ community, to the surprise of no-one: Trump bans transgender soldiers.

McCain is going to take the senator Kennedy route out. He's going to vote it in with his dying breathe. The parallels are striking.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ivnja » Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:59 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:EDIT: Asshole who claimed he "would do everything to protect the LGBTQ community" hurts the LGBTQ community, to the surprise of no-one: Trump bans transgender soldiers.

No, see, he *is* protecting us - if we can't join the military, we can't get sent overseas to get shot at by the evil turbaned bad guys. Right benevolent move, this is, keeping us out of danger.

I was talking with a friend about this after I saw the news this morning. I understand, to a point, not allowing people to actively transition while in. The new hormones can do pretty weird things to your state of mind and stress responses, even as they help decrease dysphoria, and I completely understand the objection in principle to having the government paying to address what is essentially a pre-existing condition. But this sounds like someone who started their transition at 18 and was stable by say 22 or 23 wouldn't be allowed to serve in their later 20s, which makes no sense at all. Forget sex, forget gender, forget orientation - if you can keep up, you should be able to serve, full stop. I guess it's back to a sort of trans-specific "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" now. I feel particularly badly for any current service members who came out after the Obama directive - where does this leave them? Involuntary separation?
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zohar » Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:17 pm UTC

Is this really a "don't ask don't tell" situation? If a soldier is taking HRT, had any type of gender confirmation surgery, maybe even went through therapy to discuss options, or presents themselves in a way that's contrary to their sex assigned at birth, those all sound like things the military will know ahead of time. I suppose if you don't take any external steps towards transitioning then you could remain hidden (like a bi/lesbian/gay person choosing to abstain from same-sex relationships I guess), but how many people end up doing that?
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ivnja » Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:07 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:Is this really a "don't ask don't tell" situation? If a soldier is taking HRT, had any type of gender confirmation surgery, maybe even went through therapy to discuss options, or presents themselves in a way that's contrary to their sex assigned at birth, those all sound like things the military will know ahead of time. I suppose if you don't take any external steps towards transitioning then you could remain hidden (like a bi/lesbian/gay person choosing to abstain from same-sex relationships I guess), but how many people end up doing that?

It would require lying about your medical records, but someone who has fully transitioned and had the surgeries ahead of time could maybe possibly pull it off without revealing their birth sex? It does seem kind of unlikely, but some have slipped through the cracks only to be caught out later, including managing to transition in uniform by making the switch when being transferred from one unit to another. Time video (14m long, sorry); Washington Post article about Landon Wilson, a sailor who was one of the servicemembers featured in the video; Huffpost article about another soldier who managed to transition openly.

As far as remaining hidden, it does happen. There are thousands of transgender service members - one article I saw this morning (possibly even the WaPo one you posted?) had a very specific value a bit under 3,000; the Time video and Huffpo articles say 15,000. I don't know the breakdown, but I have to imagine that most of them are pre-transition (and that those probably skew toward FtM?).
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ObsessoMom » Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:16 pm UTC

The Senate Republicans love Sessions' agenda, and they are pissed that Trump is trying to browbeat Sessions into resigning. So Trump clearly thought to himself, "Hmmm, maybe it's time to placate the establishment conservatives a bit. Guess I'll throw them a scrap of trangender-harrassment--they eat that stuff right up."

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby pogrmman » Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:36 pm UTC

ivnja wrote:Forget sex, forget gender, forget orientation - if you can keep up, you should be able to serve, full stop.


I'm in complete agreement here. Why should any of that matter to military service? I don't get why people make things like this an issue. If you are physically able to participate in the military, and you want to join, you should be able to serve. None of the other stuff should matter.

When has discrimination against a group ever been the right answer to anything?

ivnja wrote:I feel particularly badly for any current service members who came out after the Obama directive - where does this leave them? Involuntary separation?


So do I. They are stuck in a really tough place right now. What are they supposed to do now?

Personally, I have a sneaking suspicion that this announcement was made to take scrutiny off of the healthcare fiasco that's currently going on in Congress. It's still a terrible move though. Transphobia shouldn't be normalized by more moves like this. It'll only serve to further marginalize the trans community.

Again, further discrimination should never be the answer.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:35 pm UTC

ObsessoMom wrote:The Senate Republicans love Sessions' agenda, and they are pissed that Trump is trying to browbeat Sessions into resigning. So Trump clearly thought to himself, "Hmmm, maybe it's time to placate the establishment conservatives a bit. Guess I'll throw them a scrap of trangender-harrassment--they eat that stuff right up."


I can't help but think this is what Trump is thinking.

Its not going to work however. The conservative base likes Sessions for reasons beyond policy. Sessions is legitimately a nice guy in person and very cordial, which is probably his biggest asset. Trump is going to try to deflect the issue by making something shiny elsewhere, but politics don't work like that.

In any case, it was a mistake for Sessions to swear loyalty to Trump all throughout last year. Sessions was Trump's first mainstream supporter, and he has remained rather loyal throughout this year. Sure, there will be a bunch of Trumpers who will take Trump's side on the issue, but a good portion of Trump's base has greater loyalty to Sessions than Trump.

I'm talking about Rush Limbaugh here, who has been staunchly taking Jeff Session's side through this debacle. That's a rather large block of conservatives.
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