BBO Discussion Forums: Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? - BBO Discussion Forums

Jump to content

  • 1031 Pages +
  • « First
  • 772
  • 773
  • 774
  • 775
  • 776
  • Last »
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#15461 User is offline   Zelandakh 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 10,663
  • Joined: 2006-May-18
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 2020-May-26, 20:44

View Postbarmar, on 2020-May-26, 08:28, said:

Only if you have auto-play enabled.

For me, when the first clip ends, the video player is replaced with a mosaic of 9 stills from other videos in my queue.

To be honest I would recommend following the sort of links Chas provides in an incognito window rather than using your normal YouTube account. The trouble is that every video you watch adjusts the algorithm for future videos that will be put forward to you, so if you follow the links you will at some point start finding that YouTube thinks you are a right-wing loony and sending you bubble videos. Just a heads up on the way the internet works in 2020. Give it a few more years and the search algorithms might start joining together with other personal data, so best to be careful what you choose to link yourself to.
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
4

#15462 User is offline   Winstonm 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 16,944
  • Joined: 2005-January-08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Interests:Art, music

Posted 2020-May-26, 23:01

View Posty66, on 2020-May-26, 20:03, said:

Sounds right. This is what passes for integrity in Coulter's world where integrity is relative.


When Murdoch's Wall Street Journal Editorial Board turns against him, I'm positive this is all about positioning themselves as Trump-thumpers.

Quote

President Donald Trump was slammed by the editorial board of the conservative Wall Street Journal on Tuesday evening.

“Donald Trump sometimes traffics in conspiracy theories—recall his innuendo in 2016 about Ted Cruz’s father and the JFK assassination—but his latest accusation against MSNBC host Joe Scarborough is ugly even for him,” the newspaper noted. “Mr. Trump has been tweeting the suggestion that Mr. Scarborough might have had something to do with the death in 2001 of a young woman who worked in his Florida office when Mr. Scarborough was a GOP Congressman.”


Also, there's this:

Quote

....polling experts Nate Silver and Harry Enten both poured cold water on the notion that a V-shaped recovery would be sufficient enough to lift the president above former Vice President Joe Biden, who has consistently led him in polls throughout the year
.

Keep an eye on Hannity and Rush. If they reposition, it will mean the Hindenburg has exploded in a fireball.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
0

#15463 User is offline   kenberg 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 10,883
  • Joined: 2004-September-22
  • Location:Northern Maryland

Posted 2020-May-27, 06:40

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-May-26, 20:44, said:

To be honest I would recommend following the sort of links Chas provides in an incognito window rather than using your normal YouTube account. The trouble is that every video you watch adjusts the algorithm for future videos that will be put forward to you, so if you follow the links you will at some point start finding that YouTube thinks you are a right-wing loony and sending you bubble videos. Just a heads up on the way the internet works in 2020. Give it a few more years and the search algorithms might start joining together with other personal data, so best to be careful what you choose to link yourself to.


I checked this morning to see if youtube had any new suggestions for me. It did. Eric Clapton playing and singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

https://www.youtube....h?v=iwlFTYT2Fdw

Exactly ow the algorithm worked out that someone who likes Artie Shaw and who also inadvertently watched a spliced video of a Biden interview would surely like Clapton's rendition of Rainbow? Maybe it figured I needed some relief.

Of course if I am to be serious I acknowledge a problem. Like most people, I grew up with anonymity. Except for friends and family, nobody cared what I watched, thought or did. There is a lot to be said for anonymity.
Ken
0

#15464 User is offline   y66 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 6,496
  • Joined: 2006-February-24

Posted 2020-May-27, 06:48

From Noah Millman's book review at NYT (Jan 2020):

Quote

THE AGE OF ILLUSIONS
How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory
By Andrew J. Bacevich

Andrew J. Bacevich, a trenchant critic of American foreign policy and the author of several studies of international affairs, begins his latest book, “The Age of Illusions,” with a quote from Harry Angstrom, the protagonist of John Updike’s “Rabbit” novels. “Without the Cold War,” Angstrom asked, “what’s the point of being an American?”

It’s a funny question. America is a young country, but the Cold War is a late episode even in our short history. From Ben Franklin to Langston Hughes, Americans have articulated our distinctiveness in ways that did not implicitly culminate in a twilight struggle with Communism. But the central argument of Bacevich’s book is that, for America’s major institutions, its ruling class and the intelligentsia that serves them both, Angstrom’s question was deeply threatening. Too much was riding, psychologically and financially, on the economic policies, military posture and cultural orientation that had outmatched the Soviet Union. As a consequence, when that pole star suddenly winked out, we didn’t consider changing course. We opened the throttle and surged forward in the dark, guided by the illusory stars in our eyes.

Three major illusions led us. First, capitalism’s victory over Communism meant that the more unbounded capital was, through freer trade and more open capital markets, the better off Americans — and the world — would be. Second, as America’s military superiority was now overwhelming, we had the right, the ability and the obligation to dictate the terms of global peace, and to enforce that peace by making war. Finally, as freedom had proved itself superior to tyranny, Americans no longer had any reason to accept limits on their autonomy, or any reason to worry that other nations might take a different view of freedom than we did. Guided by these illusions, we drove our ship of state straight onto the rocks: We dismantled our industrial base, mired ourselves in unwinnable wars and tore apart the social fabric that bound city to country, worker to employer and soldier to civilian.

It’s a compelling narrative, and one congruent with the story of “American carnage” that brought Donald Trump to the White House. Aware of that fact, Bacevich is at pains to stress his disgust at the current president, whom he views as a demagogue capitalizing on the failure of these illusions rather than offering any kind of helpful response. In the course of breezily narrating the deficiencies of the past four presidencies, he breaks periodically to remind the reader what an unedifying spectacle Trump was making of himself at each point in time, and how that spectacle exemplified something ugly about the America aborning.

Yet Bacevich’s narrative is also congruent with older critics of America’s way of life and its way in the world. Readers of Thorstein Veblen, William Appleman Williams or Christopher Lasch, of which Bacevich is one, would hardly be surprised by the choices America’s elites made after the Soviet Union collapsed. And if our national illusions go deeper than one generation, Bacevich’s argument becomes an indictment not just of how America handled the post-Cold War period, but also of what America had already come to be by the time the Cold War ended, or even was at its start.

This indictment is ultimately a spiritual one: of obsessive consumption, and freedom defined as escape from restraint rather than self-mastery. Aware of America’s need for a great moral mission, Bacevich calls on us to turn that impulse toward fighting climate change, a profound and real threat rather than an illusion. Still, while there are deep American roots for such a call, they constitute a countercultural tradition that stands against what the United States has most readily represented. If America neglected to look inward after the end of the Cold War, as Bacevich wishes we had done, is that a reflection of its failures, or of the natural temptations of our position? History records few if any emperors who willingly set aside power’s poisoned chalice.

Meanwhile, though Bacevich doubts whether America’s distinctive illusions actually won the Cold War, I wonder whether Mikhail Gorbachev would agree. Would he have been so willing to withdraw peacefully and see his own empire dismantled if he had not, to some degree, taken our professed beliefs at face value? If so, then our case is classically tragic. The very illusions that brought us victory are what powered our subsequent hubris, and nemesis rose from the inevitable disillusion of a world that trusted us in our folly.

re: America's failure to look inward after the end of the Cold War, the Economist's review of Bacevich's book and 2 others includes these observations:

Quote

However, in “The Age of Illusions”, Mr Bacevich’s gloss is that the country’s military, political and commercial elites came to believe American motives were beyond reproach, and that their world-view was sure to prevail. They therefore took it upon themselves to become global enforcers. They built a new operating system designed to cement American primacy, based on globalisation, military dominance, the individualistic pursuit of fulfilment and an imperial presidency.

The enemy within

Yet this system, Mr Bacevich argues, has been plagued by unintended consequences. Globalisation was meant to create wealth, but many Americans complain of inequality; military dominance sucked the country into never-ending wars that sacrificed the children of lower-income families (but, for the most part, no one else’s); the pursuit of fulfilment led to the withering of duty and a selfish, atomised society; and the supremacy of the presidency became a recipe for voters’ disappointment.

All this culminated in the election of Mr Trump. The president’s critics, this book argues, overestimate him even as they underestimate the importance of his victory. Mr Trump is “a mountebank of the very first order”, Mr Bacevich writes, but his presence in the Oval Office is a rejection of the post-cold-war operating system and all it stands for. The elites’ focus on Mr Trump’s wickedness, he maintains, spares them the pain of having to acknowledge how pitifully their own project failed.

It is telling that three such different books all try to understand what went wrong after the Soviet collapse not by looking overseas but within, at the nature of America itself. In their various ways, they all condemn Mr Trump. Mr Nye doubts his morality. Mr Kimmage sees him as the first anti-“West” president. Most interesting is Mr Bacevich, who warns that, although Mr Trump offered no definition of post-cold-war America, just a rejection, there is no going back. That is a lesson for Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, who gives the sense that going back is what he would most like to do.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
0

#15465 User is offline   Winstonm 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 16,944
  • Joined: 2005-January-08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Interests:Art, music

Posted 2020-May-27, 08:06

Even the ultimate stumper is turning non-Trumper (when it comes to masks):

Quote

While President Donald Trump and Fox News personalities mock face masks amid the coronavirus pandemic, pro-Trump Fox News host Sean Hannity lectured Missouri partygoers on Tuesday night who didn’t practice social distancing or wear masks over the Memorial Day weekend, telling them they needed to do it for their older relatives.

“There’s no mask-wearing here that I see,” Hannity said while airing a clip of revelers crowding a Lake of the Ozarks bar. “I see no social distancing. But if they get the virus and they’re in contact with older, more vulnerable Americans, that could be a disaster... If you can’t social distance, please wear the mask for your mom, dad, grandma, grandpa. My humble advice.”


Could Hannity be in the early stages of trying to untangle?

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
0

#15466 User is offline   kenberg 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 10,883
  • Joined: 2004-September-22
  • Location:Northern Maryland

Posted 2020-May-27, 10:04

View Posty66, on 2020-May-27, 06:48, said:

From Noah Millman's book review at NYT (Jan 2020):


re: America's failure to look inward after the end of the Cold War, the Economist's review of Bacevich's book and 2 others includes these observations:




Quote

Three major illusions led us. First, capitalism's victory over Communism meant that the more unbounded capital was, through freer trade and more open capital markets, the better off Americans — and the world — would be. Second, as America's military superiority was now overwhelming, we had the right, the ability and the obligation to dictate the terms of global peace, and to enforce that peace by making war. Finally, as freedom had proved itself superior to tyranny, Americans no longer had any reason to accept limits on their autonomy, or any reason to worry that other nations might take a different view of freedom than we did. Guided by these illusions, we drove our ship of state straight onto the rocks: We dismantled our industrial base, mired ourselves in unwinnable wars and tore apart the social fabric that bound city to country, worker to employer and soldier to civilian.




The Wikipedia says the Soviet Union disolved in December of 1991. Clinton was elected in 1992 and took office in early 1993. Is Bacevich saying that Clinton was blinded by any or all of these illusions? He refers to "America's major institutions, its ruling class and the intelligentsia that serves them both". Well, ok, but these are not specific. Clinton was president. Is he saying that the president was under one or more of these three illusions?

There are always illusions and I can well believe that the break-up of the Soviet Union led to some.

Ken
0

#15467 User is offline   johnu 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 4,630
  • Joined: 2008-September-10
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2020-May-27, 12:27

Senate GOP Has No Plan To Help Millions Of Americans Losing Health Insurance During Pandemic

Quote

As millions of Americans slip into unemployment and lose their health insurance during a public health crisis, Senate Republicans still see no need to act on health care.

More than 36 million people have filed for unemployment benefits due to the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, meaning millions will be left without health insurance. In mid May, left-leaning think tank Economic Policy Institute estimated 16.2 million people have lost health insurance once provided by their employer — how roughly half of Americans get their health insurance. That number could be as high as 26.8 million if those who lost their jobs don’t sign up for other coverage, the Kaiser Family Foundation found.

But the Republican majority in the Senate isn’t interested in pursuing additional emergency relief for those who suddenly find themselves uninsured.

This is wildly inaccurate reporting that the Republicans don't have a plan. Of course they have a plan.

First, they are fervently praying that the Supreme Court rules that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional so millions more Americans will lose their healthcare.

Second, if the first plan doesn't work, they can always try to pass another law repealing the Affordable Care Act which they have done at least 70 times, again causing millions more Americans to lose their healthcare.

Third, if unemployed people lost their jobs and health insurance, Republicans strongly suggest that they get a job with health insurance and quit bitching. After all, we are in the strongest economy in American history with record low unemployment. B-) Maybe they can get elected to Congress which has some of the best healthcare plans in the country. As the Grifter in Chief says after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US, "Happy times are here again".
0

#15468 User is offline   y66 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 6,496
  • Joined: 2006-February-24

Posted 2020-May-27, 13:45

View Postkenberg, on 2020-May-27, 10:04, said:

Is Bacevich saying that Clinton was blinded by any or all of these illusions? He refers to "[/size][/color][color="#1C2837"][size="2"]America's major institutions, its ruling class and the intelligentsia that serves them both". Well, ok, but these are not specific. Clinton was president. Is he saying that the president was under one or more of these three illusions?

Yes, but not just Clinton.

In this New Yorker interview he was asked "How would you distinguish between the five Presidents we have had since the end of the Cold War? Do you think they all succumbed to a similar hubris?":

Quote

I think they were all really creatures of a postwar consensus. I think that, in the way we talk about Presidents, when we talk about the process of electing a President, we assume somehow that the President is the supreme master of the universe, somebody who is directing the fate of humankind. That notion is very much an expression of post–Cold War hubris. But what I tried to argue in the book is that the President really is a creature of his time, and that the President’s ability to bring change is actually limited by circumstances. And so, without for a second denying that there are very important differences between Clinton and George W. Bush and Barack Obama as the post–Cold War Presidents, I do try to make the case that their similarities outweigh their differences. And the similarities come from their efforts to implement the post–Cold War consensus. Bill Clinton was the principal promoter of globalization. He said that we now know an unleashed corporate capitalism has the capacity to create wealth on an unprecedented scale, in which he insisted all would share. And I think that that notion had a very powerful effect.

It was in December, 1989—that’s, like, what, six weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall—that the elder Bush ordered the U.S. intervention in Panama, Operation Just Cause. As a military episode, it was very brief. But I think that was the template of how we could put American military power to work. In contrast to the Cold War, when the principal—not sole, but the principal—rationale for American military power was to prevent war, the idea was to contain the Soviet Union, to deter the Warsaw Pact. And every President thereafter did his own experimenting with how to use American military power to do good things abroad from [his] perspective. Even Barack Obama, who, when he ran for the Presidency, promised to get out of Iraq and to win the good war in Afghanistan, became a significant interventionist, whether we’re overthrowing the regime in Libya or embarking on a policy of assassination that, of course, Donald Trump has now himself embraced.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
0

#15469 User is offline   Winstonm 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 16,944
  • Joined: 2005-January-08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Interests:Art, music

Posted 2020-May-27, 15:11

View Posty66, on 2020-May-27, 13:45, said:

Yes, but not just Clinton.

In this New Yorker interview he was asked "How would you distinguish between the five Presidents we have had since the end of the Cold War? Do you think they all succumbed to a similar hubris?":


Brain Klaas at the WaPo: (commentary)

Quote

....U.S. politics is now defined by a phenomenon called “motivated reasoning,” the tendency to see reality through the lens of desired outcomes. For many Trump voters, reality stretches to fit a prior worldview. Every Trump scandal proves that the “deep state” exists. Every new revelation about Trump’s unfitness for office proves that he’s the victim of “fake news.” Everything in our politics is filtered through the prism of pro-Trump/anti-Trump divides. We’ve reached the dystopian moment in our politics in which taking common-sense actions to stop the spread of a virus by wearing a mask is a partisan act.

None of this is to say that Trump can get away with everything. He is losing support among key demographics during the pandemic, most notably with the crucial voting bloc of Americans 65 and older. In a competitive election, even modest changes can spell doom for a candidate.

But let’s be frank: American democracy is badly broken if few people change their minds about a president who falsely accuses someone of murder or boasts about his TV ratings while 100,000 Americans lose their lives and nearly 40 million lose their jobs. And that says as much about the dysfunctional state of our country as it does about Trump.


Regardless of what happens in November, we have a long, long way to go to restore decency and a stable democracy.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
0

#15470 User is offline   kenberg 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 10,883
  • Joined: 2004-September-22
  • Location:Northern Maryland

Posted 2020-May-27, 15:44

View Posty66, on 2020-May-27, 13:45, said:

Yes, but not just Clinton.

In this New Yorker interview he was asked "How would you distinguish between the five Presidents we have had since the end of the Cold War? Do you think they all succumbed to a similar hubris?":




I was focusing on Clinton because his eight years were, roughly, right after the fall of the Soviet Union so what happens then at least could set the general approach for subsequent years. I want to go very easy on saying what anyone should or shouldn't have done, I'm sure it's complicated. The Wik sets the dates as 1947, I was 8 then, to 1991, when I was 52. A good fraction of my life. Obviously the ending was a big deal, with opportunities and traps. Clinton was there at the beginning, so I am interested in how they assessed his role in any illusions that there might have been.

I think I see the illusion mostly being the thought "Whew that's over, now we can relax". Of course the same sort of thing happened in 1945. The war is over, now we can relax. It didn't work out that way, it seldom does.



Ken
0

#15471 User is offline   y66 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 6,496
  • Joined: 2006-February-24

Posted 2020-May-28, 10:13

Peter H. Schuck, emeritus professor of Law at Yale said:

President Trump and his minions relentlessly grind out despicable acts — gratuitous insults to war heroes, over 18,000 (and counting) false or misleading statements, many decisions courts have ruled illegal. But Mr. Trump’s wantonly cruel tweets about the tragic death in 2001 of Lori Klausutis are distinctive: They may constitute intentional torts for which a civil jury could award punitive damages against him.

Here are the key facts. Ms. Klausutis, age 28, died in the Florida district office of a Republican congressman, Joe Scarborough, who was then in Washington. The police found no evidence of foul play and the coroner reported that the cause of death was a hard fall against a hard object precipitated by her floppy mitral valve disease.

That should have been the end of the story, but earlier this week the president tweeted to his 80 million followers that “some people think” that Mr. Scarborough, now a popular MSNBC news host who frequent criticizes Mr. Trump, “g[o]t away with murder,” calling Mr. Scarborough a “psycho” and a “total Nut job.”

The president has offered no evidence for this slander, because there is none. Last week, Timothy Klausutis, Lori’s widower husband, wrote a remarkably restrained, poignant letter to Jack Dorsey, the head of Twitter, citing the pain that Mr. Trump’s “horrifying lies” about his wife’s death have caused him and the family, and asking Mr. Dorsey to remove Mr. Trump’s tweet. Mr. Dorsey has refused, most likely because the 1996 Communications Decency Act probably protects him from defamation claims for publishing the words of another. However Twitter added a warning label to the president’s false tweets on Tuesday about mail-in ballots, the first time the service has taken such a step.

Mr. Trump’s first tort is called intentional infliction of emotional distress, which the courts developed precisely to condemn wanton cruelty to another person who suffers emotionally as a result. This tort, which is sometimes called “outrage,” readily applies to Mr. Trump’s tweets about Ms. Klausutis. They were intentional and reckless, and were “extreme and outrageous” without a scintilla of evidence to support them. And they caused severe emotional distress — the protracted, daily-felt grief described in Mr. Klausutis’s letter to Mr. Dorsey.

Although the tweets targeted Mr. Scarborough, his own infliction of emotional distress claim may be weaker than Mr. Klausutis’s. By shrugging off the tweet as simply political gamesmanship on the president’s part, Mr. Scarborough may not have suffered the “severe emotional distress” required for an intentional infliction of emotional distress claim.

Even so, Mr. Scarborough might succeed in a defamation suit against Mr. Trump for reputational harm. After all, the president’s innuendo that Mr. Scarborough may have murdered Lori Klausutis — presumably credible to the many Trump Twitter followers who subscribe to conspiracy theories — may seriously harm Mr. Scarborough’s reputation with them and others.

Mr. Trump, moreover, often aims his tweets to lead multiple news cycles affecting well beyond his Twitter followers. The president will surely argue that he has not actually accused anyone of murder and was merely “raising questions.” But courts have held that such calculated innuendo can constitute defamation, depending on the facts. This would be for a jury to decide.

Mr. Scarborough, as a public figure in his own right, must satisfy the Supreme Court’s demanding test for defamation liability in its landmark New York Times v. Sullivan decision. Under this test — designed to free public debate from being unduly constrained by fear of legal liability — Mr. Scarborough must prove that Mr. Trump made his defamatory comment either with actual knowledge that it was false or with “reckless disregard” for whether it was true or false. But the president’s tweets about the Klausutis case probably satisfy this test. After all, he has not cited any evidence to support his calumny either before the tweets or in response to the backlash since then. If the jury found for Mr. Scarborough, it could require Mr. Trump to pay substantial punitive damages in addition to compensation for his reputational harm.

Under the court’s unanimous 1998 ruing in Paula Jones’s sexual harassment suit against President Bill Clinton, both of these lawsuits — by Mr. Klausutis and by Mr. Scarborough — could proceed against the president while he is still in office. Because his tweets reach followers nationwide, the lawsuits could probably be brought in any state. And since the subject of his tweets had nothing to do with his presidential responsibilities, he probably could not hide behind an assertion of executive privilege.

The Klausutis family has suffered enough for almost 20 years without having to endure Mr. Trump’s crocodile tears and malicious raking of the coals. Tort law might hold our brutish president to account.

https://www.nytimes....e&region=footer

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
0

#15472 User is offline   y66 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 6,496
  • Joined: 2006-February-24

Posted 2020-May-28, 10:50

Matt Yglesias @mattyglesias said:

60 years of sanctions on Cuba have failed, but 60 years of letting Cubans flee from Castro for the United States have been a huge success.

We should apply those lessons to China’s stomping out of Hong Kong autonomy.

https://www.vox.com/...ace-based-visas

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
0

#15473 User is offline   cherdano 

  • 5555
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 9,503
  • Joined: 2003-September-04
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2020-May-29, 06:24

It's only May. I really worry what he'll do in October if it still looks like he will lose to Biden.
The easiest way to count losers is to line up the people who talk about loser count, and count them. -Kieran Dyke
0

#15474 User is offline   y66 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 6,496
  • Joined: 2006-February-24

Posted 2020-May-29, 08:21

Jonathan Bernstein at Bloomberg said:

Donald Trump is constantly claiming powers he doesn’t actually have while ignoring those he’s entitled to. That’s the theme of an excellent Jill Colvin story:

Threatening to shut down Twitter for flagging false content. Claiming he can “override” governors who dare to keep churches closed to congregants. Asserting the “absolute authority” to force states to reopen, even when local leaders say it’s too soon.

As she notes, all of this is Trump, as is his failure to fully exploit the Defense Production Act as part of his reaction to the pandemic.

Regular readers will recognize this combination as signs of presidential weakness that nonetheless is dangerous to democratic government. Another way to put it is that it’s the essence of lawlessness. It’s not that Trump necessarily breaks laws (although he surely has done that), but that he appears oblivious to the whole idea of the rule of law — the idea that there are rules that apply to everyone, including the president.

Another way of looking at it is that Trump doesn’t seem to understand that he’s been hired to do a job, and that he has more than 300 million bosses. As with any job, it comes with written rules, and an employee — that’s what he is — must thoroughly master the terms of employment if he or she hopes to perform well. Instead, Trump seems to believe he’s won some sort of honor, and it entitles him to things. That’s simply not the reality of the presidency. Sure, there are perks (as there are with many jobs), but more than anything, it’s employment.

The worst part of this is that failing to recognize and uphold the rule of law is a fundamental abuse of power by the government employee whose job it is to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” That is the core of his obligation to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” It is the heart of the presidency.

Now, for normal presidents this gets complicated very quickly. Defending the rule of law is not incompatible with disputing what exactly the law means, including the rules constraining the president. Every modern president (and at least many of those before the modern era) has pushed around the edges of what the Oval Office is able to do. All of them fought to further enlarge an office already loaded with far more powers than their 18th- and 19th-century predecessors had. We all expect presidents these days to do things that were simply not part of the job for Martin Van Buren or James Garfield, and we provide them with a large White House staff to fight for the president’s program. So it’s hard to say that this or that attempt at presidential power crosses a line into autocracy.

But Trump? His entire approach to the presidency ignores all the lines about what he’s authorized to do and what he isn’t. It’s true, as my Bloomberg Opinion colleague Francis Wilkinson and the political scientist Dave Hopkins say, that the Republican Party paved the trail Trump is on and are deeply implicated in all of this. But it’s also true that Trump is very different than George W. Bush, George H. W. Bush, or Ronald Reagan in this regard. It’s always hard to tell what’s in someone’s mind, but I’ve never heard anything from Trump that suggested any real respect for the rule of law.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
0

#15475 User is offline   cherdano 

  • 5555
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 9,503
  • Joined: 2003-September-04
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2020-May-29, 08:29

Like a toddler, he wants all the power but none of the responsibility.
The easiest way to count losers is to line up the people who talk about loser count, and count them. -Kieran Dyke
0

#15476 User is offline   kenberg 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 10,883
  • Joined: 2004-September-22
  • Location:Northern Maryland

Posted 2020-May-29, 08:54

View Postcherdano, on 2020-May-29, 06:24, said:

It's only May. I really worry what he'll do in October if it still looks like he will lose to Biden.


Absolutely. This is my biggest concern of all political concerns. I am sure that if we look at past elections we can see some things that happened that should not have happened. Happened here, and in other democracies as well. But whatever happened in the past, we are at a new level. Trump recognizes no constraints. If he can getaway with it, or thinks he can, he does it. "Politics is not tiddly-winks". True enough. But Trump recognizes nothing except his own ego. We can acknowledge that lines have sometimes been crossed and still believe that standards are important, that they should not be scuttled completely.

Ken
0

#15477 User is offline   y66 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 6,496
  • Joined: 2006-February-24

Posted 2020-May-29, 10:27

View Postkenberg, on 2020-May-29, 08:54, said:

We can acknowledge that lines have sometimes been crossed and still believe that standards are important, that they should not be scuttled completely.

The walls are closing in on Trump like a scene in the old Batman tv show the difference being that Trump is in a trap of his own making and has zero scruples about taking the country down with him. Meanwhile, Robin and Alfred are nowhere to be found.

It is encouraging to see Jack Dorsey at Twitter stepping up somewhat and trying to uphold some standards.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
0

#15478 User is offline   y66 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 6,496
  • Joined: 2006-February-24

Posted 2020-May-29, 10:37

Vincent Blevins at NYT:

Quote

If you read the commentary coming out of New York and Washington, or speak with elites in Western Europe, it’s easy to find people panicking about the loss of “American leadership.” From Joe Biden’s campaign pledges to trans-Atlantic think tanks, exhortations to revive American supremacy and contain China are everywhere.

They have reason to be worried: This moment is shaking the foundations of America’s hegemony. It is painfully clear that the United States is ill-equipped to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, which does not play to American strengths (we can’t shoot it, after all). President Trump has for years been dismissing allies and antagonizing international institutions. And China is seemingly laying the groundwork for its arrival as a great power. American officials are now talking openly about a “new Cold War” to confront Beijing, and China now seems such a threat that Hal Brands of the American Enterprise Institute wonders whether the United States should get back in the business of covertly toppling unfriendly governments.

It’s unsurprising that establishment pundits, American policymakers and their allies would be alarmed about American decline. The United States and Western Europe have been the winners of the process that created this globalized world, the main beneficiaries of Washington’s triumph at the end of the Cold War. But a lot of people feel very differently.

In early April, I received a message from Winarso, a man I know in Indonesia who runs an organization that cares for the survivors of the mass murder that took place there in the 1960s. He was trying to raise money to buy rice so his community wouldn’t starve under lockdown. A dollar still goes a very long way in Indonesia, as Winarso knows too well. To explain America’s economic and political power, he points to the Cold War. It’s easy to see that Washington was truly victorious in the 20th century, he told me, because “we all got the U.S.-centered version of capitalism that Washington wanted to spread.” I asked him how America won. He answered quickly. “You killed us.”

I have spent the last three years with the losers of that great game, the individuals whose lives were shattered so this global order could be constructed. I spent most of my time interviewing the victims and survivors of a loose network of mass murder programs that targeted civilian opponents of Washington’s Cold War allies. I got to know people on four continents who lived through the coups and C.I.A. plots that Mr. Brands is talking about. To fully understand the nature of American power — and its future — their experiences are as important as those of anyone in a Paris boardroom or Washington think tank.

Winarso’s country is the most significant example. In 1965 and 1966, the American government assisted in the murder of approximately one million Indonesian civilians. This was one of the most important turning points of the Cold War — Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous country, and policymakers at the time understood it was a far more valuable prize than Vietnam. But it’s largely forgotten in the English-speaking world precisely because it was such a success. No American soldiers died; little attention was drawn to one more country pulled, seemingly naturally, into the United States’ orbit.

But the process was not natural. The U.S.-backed military used a failed uprising as a pretext to crush the Indonesian left, whose influence Washington had been seeking to counter for a decade, and then took control of the country. Recently declassified State Department documents make it clear that the United States aided and abetted the mass murder in Indonesia, providing material support, encouraging the killings and rewarding the perpetrators.

It was not the first time the United States had done something like this. In 1954, the American ambassador to Guatemala reportedly handed kill lists to that country’s military. And in Iraq, in 1963, the C.I.A. provided lists of suspected communists and leftists to the ruling Baath Party.

Indonesia in 1965 was the apex of anti-Communist violence in the 20th century. The slaughter obliterated the popular, unarmed Partai Komunis Indonesia, the largest Communist party outside of China and the Soviet Union, and toppled President Sukarno, a founding leader of the Nonaligned Movement and an outspoken anti-imperialist, replacing him with General Suharto, a right-wing dictator who quickly became one of Washington’s most important Cold War allies.

This was such an obvious victory for the global anti-Communist movement that far-right groups around the world began to draw inspiration from the “Jakarta” model and build copycat programs. They were assisted by American officials and anti-Communist organizations that moved across borders. In turn, leftist movements radicalized or took up arms, believing they would be killed if they attempted to pursue the path of democratic socialism.

In the early ’70s, right-wing terrorists in Chile painted “Jakarta” on the houses of socialists, threatening that they too would be killed. After the C.I.A.-backed coup in 1973, they were. Brazilian leftists were threatened with “Operação Jacarta,” too. By the end of the 1970s, most of South America was governed by authoritarian, pro-American governments that secured power by mass murder. By 1990, death squads in Central America pushed the Latin American death toll into the hundreds of thousands.

In North America and Europe, if people think about these terror campaigns at all, the narrative is too often that the United States made alliances with unsavory characters, who committed unfortunate abuses. That is wrong. The United States government was behind much of the violence, and it was far from inconsequential. Most nations in the former third world were set on their current path by conflicts that took place during the Cold War. The violence made possible a version of crony capitalism that comprises daily reality for billions of people, and it is an integral part of the version of globalization that the world ended up with.

No reasonable person denies the great things the United States did in the 20th century, or that many countries enjoyed prosperity while in happy alliances with Washington. But as we move deeper into the 21st century, Americans are going to need to confront the darker side of American hegemony — because much of the rest of the world already has. Part of the reason the current order is so fragile is because so many people around the world know, indeed can physically feel in their bodies, that Washington used brutality to construct it.

We do not know yet what the world would look like were China to take up the position the United States is losing. There is no reason to believe that just because this world order has blood in its roots, something better will spring to life if it dies.

As Americans reckon with — and fret about — their country’s diminished position in the world, we need to understand that the United States is not, in fact, beloved as a beacon of freedom, democracy and human rights. From Argentina to the Democratic Republic of Congo, East Timor to Iran, millions of people are skeptical of Washington’s intentions, even if they have no particular desire to emulate China’s government, either.

A failure to recognize reality, however, and a desperate attempt to claw back a deeply imperfect global order, could be very dangerous for everyone.

Vincent Bevins (@vinncent) is the author of “The Jakarta Method: Washington’s Anticommunist Crusade and the Mass Murder Program That Shaped Our World.”
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
1

#15479 User is offline   Winstonm 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 16,944
  • Joined: 2005-January-08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Interests:Art, music

Posted 2020-May-29, 11:47

View Postcherdano, on 2020-May-29, 06:24, said:

It's only May. I really worry what he'll do in October if it still looks like he will lose to Biden.


I'm more concerned about what he and Barr in concert will do in November.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
0

#15480 User is offline   Winstonm 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 16,944
  • Joined: 2005-January-08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Interests:Art, music

Posted 2020-May-29, 11:48

On an unrelated note, I could not post earlier today until I went into my settings and found that they had been changed - without my consent or knowledge. Any ideas on how that could happen?
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
0

  • 1031 Pages +
  • « First
  • 772
  • 773
  • 774
  • 775
  • 776
  • Last »
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

40 User(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 40 guests, 0 anonymous users

  1. Google