Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

TemporalFlux wrote:

What happened here?

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/En17g4rVoAEF9Lc?format=jpg&name=small

Looks like they moved in the kids’ table from Thanksgiving

pilight wrote:

It's a bill signing desk, normally used when they need extra space for guests

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/En1Q99DW4AASV6z.jpg

And it's a desk sized so the person sitting behind it can share the spotlight with others. But when that person sits behind that desk alone, you see how small and weak that person is.

Joe Biden is not the candidate I wanted, but he has been becoming more of the candidate I wanted. It's interesting to look at his outburst with a plant worker who accused him of being part of a conspiracy to shutter second amendment rights. "You're full of shit!" Biden shrieked at him, ranting about how he owned guns himself for hunting and howling, "I don't work for you!" When a student asked him why Democrats should support him during his weak primary performance, Biden snapped that democracy is a caucus and a discussion (as opposed to a competition) and asked her if she'd ever even been to a caucus. When she hesitantly (and untruthfully) said she had, Biden shrieked at her that she was "a lying, dog-faced pony soldier" (?!?).

The back chatter is that when Obama formally began coaching him, the advice was to stop losing his cool like this. "You're not running for Senate, but for President," Biden's former boss allegedly told him. "Don't be senatorial. Be presidential." What does that mean?

In practice, it means that later, when a black kid asked Biden what he could do for black people and mocked Biden for saying that any Trump voters weren't really black -- Biden responded with a full and polite answer about giving black-owned businesses startup funds to encourage other investors to chip in, childcare that would allow black families to work and build wealth -- and no anger at the jibe or resentment at the mockery which he so richly deserved. It means that when a college student asked Biden why young people should support him, Biden responded by telling him that this current generation of youth is the generation that is the most educated informed and also the least prejudiced and ignorant, and that Biden would try to serve as a transitional president to their leadership.

I watched Biden saying after he won that Democrats should find ways to unite with Trumpists.

Joe Biden wrote:

For all those of you who voted for President Trump, I understand the disappointment tonight. I've lost a couple of times myself. But now let's give each other a chance. It's time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again. To make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as our enemies. They are not our enemies. They're Americans. They're Americans.

This is a silly fantasy. This is saying that we should be kind to the arsonist burning down our house, that we should have a listening ear to the racist shrieking that Chinese people are making good Christian Americans sick, that we should treat Men's Rights Activist terrorists as having a legitimate point of view in declaring that women are required to provide sex to any man who wants it. That we should be concerned with the well-being of the person who refuses to wear a mask during a pandemic.

But this is also the job: a president sets the tone he wants people to find. A president's job is to treat you like the absolute best version of yourself, the most honourable and self-sacrificing and empathetic incarnation of your being -- even if you aren't there yet, even if you may never get there at all. A president speaks to you as though you have conquered your failings and weaknesses so as to remind you that can choose to do so. And a real president sits at that tiny desk and allows himself to look smaller to make space for the other people around him. A real president does not sit there alone.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

This was the "real photo"

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/En7fLYdW8AAJayZ?format=jpg

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I think Trump is slowly getting where he needs to get.  He admitted at his Baby Table press conference that he'd leave the White House if the Electoral College voted him out - he said all the Trumpy things about how it'd be the wrong decision and it's a fraud and all that.  He also admitted this weekend that his Supreme Court plan may not ultimately work, saying "it's hard to get to the Supreme Court"

I don't really need Trump to concede.  Or for him to pay for his crimes.  I really just need him to leave the White House, and I need the GOP to clean up as much of his mess as they can.  I need McConnell or someone else to admit that the election was fair for anyone who will listen.  Of course, there will be those that don't.  There will be people who have their doubts or flat-out believe that the election was a sham.  I'm hoping the GOP does their best, once they've gotten everything they can out of Trump, to convince Trump voters that their voice was heard.  If a segment of the GOP doesn't want to believe the results and won't listen to their own leadership, then I don't think there's anything people could do to convince them.  Republicans were big winners this election so it's not like they can even claim the whole election was a scam.  Or even that the Democrats were very good at it.

And I think a lot of those people will move on too.  Just like the pissed off liberals who eventually just went back to life with Trump as president, most of the Trumpists will eventually forget how mad they are now.  OAN and Newsmax and Fox News will go after the Biden administration instead of harping on the election.  I'm sure the Republicans will try and impeach Biden for something weak.

But not hearing Trump's name in the news every day will be nice.  That's all I really need right now.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

https://mobile.twitter.com/ditzkoff/sta … 3838488576

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Very interesting.

I think the next four years will be really interesting for Trump.  I think he can essentially write his own plan.  He has the support inside the Republican party to do whatever he wants.  If he wants to run in 2024, he doesn't need all 74 million people that voted for him to support him - he just needs enough to win a primary.  And the Republicans in power seem to be kneeling to that idea.  That while he won't be in office, Trump will still be in charge of the party for the next four years.

But, and I've said this a bunch, does Trump want to run again in 2024 or does he just need to say that to do what's next?  If he said he was done, he doesn't really have any power.  If he says he's running in 2024, whether he is or not, he has enough power to have all the power.  And everything that comes with that.  But, and we've seen this in the last few weeks, he doesn't really seem particularly interested in doing the job.  He likes that he travels the world and gets to do what he wants.  And I think, once he's out of office, he'll realize that he gets all the "president" stuff without having to do the work.

And while everyone talks like it's a certainty, Trump will be 78 in 2024.  The same age Joe Biden is.  Biden has obviously slowed mentally since 2016 (not to the level everyone says but it is obvious).  Trump gets by because he's quick on his feet - if he slows, he's not Trump anymore.  Barry Allen without his speed is just a guy.  Trump who takes a second to come up with a zinger or who can't speak for an hour off the cuff is just a guy.

And that's if he's alive.  I don't want Trump to die, but he's coming across the average lifespan.  And he's not exactly in great shape.  If he's truly had a stroke or truly showing signs of dementia, all the money in the world may not save him.  Especially if he spends all his time traveling and speaking and all that.

The thing that gives me peace, at least for now, is that no one has really stepped up to take Trump's place.  None of his kids are capable of doing what he did.  I think Ivanka probably has the best chance to follow in her dad's footsteps, but she has zero of his charisma.  She'd be a different type of politician, and that means she's vulnerable to things that he wasn't vulnerable to.  She'd need to build up herself and her public image for a while - running for Congress or governor might work for her first.  I don't think any of the other Trumps could win a real election outside of areas where Trump was popular - they'd win on their dad's name - not theirs.

So if Trump were to die or before 2024, I think the Republicans would struggle - do they try to carry Trumpism without Trump?  Is there Trumpism without Trump?  If Trump decides not to run in 2024 because he can't or doesn't want to, he could pick his successor, but the successor still has to be the person.  I don't think Ivanka could do that.  Jared certainly couldn't.  Eric and Don Jr are laughable compared to Donald.

It'll be interesting.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

My hope is that Trump will be in jail by 2024.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Maybe.  That would surprise me a bit, but New York will throw everything at him.

Two questions that I can't seem to get answers to:

1. All but one of Trump's lawsuits have been knocked down, but if you listen to what his lawyers say, this is all part of the plan to get things to the Supreme Court.  I know the Supreme Court picks their own cases and it only takes four justices to decide to hear a case - which I'd think they'd easily get with six conservatives.  But is there any sort of deadline on that?  The electoral college votes in 10 days.  I'd think the longer this goes, the harder it would be for the Court to overturn.  I'm assuming the Supreme Court would either reject the cases entirely (as they've been knocked down pretty seriously by lower courts), but aren't we on some sort of clock?  Even if they wanted to, could the Supreme Court overrule the election in March?  How would that even work?

2. Trump is thinking about pardoning himself and his children.  Let's assume that the self-pardon works or that Trump does the "resign and Pence pardons him" trick.  What would that eliminate?  What federal charges are there looming over all their heads?  Would that eliminate all the impeachment stuff?  All the Mueller stuff?  Or is any of that state-level crime?  Is the Ivanka Trump lawsuit a federal or a state issue?  I guess I'm just wondering what that would clear the Trumps of and what would still be outstanding if he gave himself and everyone around him a blanket pardon.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Trump will use the $170 million he has raised to fight in court in order to sustain his political whims for the next several years.  Beyond that who knows.  If Biden has COVID out of play and economics are moving up by the mid-terms, what would Trump even have as a slogan then?  He's failed to win 47% of the vote, twice, and his results have mostly been due to the simple aspect that people do not like him one bit.  That won't change.  2-3 years of him and his family bitching about their legal issues, crying the election was rigged?  People are already sick of hearing it.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Grizzlor wrote:

2-3 years of him and his family bitching about their legal issues, crying the election was rigged?  People are already sick of hearing it.

I don't expect his base to be sick of it.  People stayed angry for four years of Trump.  I expect the GOP to stay angry for four years.  And while polls show that most don't buy Trump's bull, Trump can keep his base angry, either popping on OAN randomly, having a homebase there (or Newsmax), or on his own network.

But again, Trump's future depends on his own endurance, his own mental acuity, and his personal freedom.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Trump has proven he can't win with simply his base.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Grizzlor wrote:

Trump has proven he can't win with simply his base.

He can win a primary with it.  He has a stronger base now than he did in 2015/2016 when he won the nomination.

And you don't have to take my word for it - look around.  The whole party is still deferring to him.  Either he's still the king or he's the kingmaker.  And either way, he still has the most influence.  Again, the person to look at is Ted Cruz.  Cruz wants to be president.  If Cruz thought that Trump was wounded, dying, or dead, he'd be pouncing.  He's not.  In fact, he's doubling down - pushing conspiracy theories and backing Trump's plays.

Why would he do that?  It doesn't necessarily help him in Texas, where Trump still won but not hugely.  Trump continued to lose major cities in Texas, and that would put Cruz in a dangerous spot next time he's up for reelection.  Cruz could easily separate himself as the next big thing by rallying Republicans around him.

But he's not.  And I think he's not because he's angling.  Maybe he's hoping to be the VP candidate in 2024 and logical successor in 2028?  Or maybe he's just trying to continue to show loyalty so Trump will anoint him as the next step in Trumpism.  I don't know.  But Cruz certainly is acting like Trump will be the nominee in 2024.

Maybe he's wrong.  But he's working against his own interests so he must be pretty convinced.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201 … scientist/

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Huh.  And they picked Cardassians for their picture?

I think Trump would've blabbed it.  I just don't think he's capable of keeping a secret like that

**********

Word came out today that Trump is planning on taking Air Force One to Florida to run a competing rally on January 20th to announce his 2024 campaign.  Cool.  Fine.  Whatever.  Let's just move forward.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

Huh.  And they picked Cardassians for their picture?

That’s what really caught my eye - what an odd choice of picture!

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

And Texas has done it:

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020 … ion-rules/

It will be interesting to see what other states now join in the suit.

Forget all of the other noise, this is the case to watch.  I really don’t think there’s enough time; the Trump team truly blundered this.  But if anything will change the outcome, this case is it.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

This fucking state.

Yes, things were changed.  But there's a pandemic.  People are staying home.  The rules have been known for months.  Sue then.  Get things straightened out then.  Doing it after the fact makes people like me (since they're doing it on my behalf) look like sore losers.  And for this state of all states to cross the line into other states' politics is insane.  How would Texas feel if California said they didn't like how they were doing something and sued to the Supreme Court?  They'd be pretty pissed off.

I don't know where I'll be in 2024, but I know what I'll be doing.  Actively working on the campaign of whoever runs against Ted Cruz.  He's embarrassed me enough.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

The last time a state sued another, the Supreme Court took 15 months and still threw the case out.  They denied the PA case today, it's as over as it was a month ago.  This one will go adios as well, it has no merit.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

It's a ridiculous case. Texas has no chance of getting this case forward because their case is dependent on claiming there were tens of thousands of fraudulent signatures -- and there is absolutely no evidence of that whatsoever. (Absence of evidence to the contrary isn't evidence.) They can't establish evidence of injury or just cause for this lawsuit to go anywhere. (Not liking the results of a vote is not injury or just cause.)

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Well the Attorney General of Texas is Ken Paxton.  Look up his very extensive list of crimes if you're interested.  But the theory I've seen is that he's just doing this to try and get attention from Trump so he can get a pardon.  Makes sense - although Paxton also faces state-level crimes and this wouldn't solve all his problems.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

17 states have thrown their support to the Texas lawsuit:

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/09/states- … n-win.html

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Well, then that's 18 states supporting an absurd and incoherent lawsuit, the basis of which is that voter fraud was somehow widespread in 2020 because there was no evidence of voter fraud and therefore no evidence that there wasn't voter fraud. As Transmodiar might say, "You can't prove a negative" -- which isn't true, but the underlying point still stands -- the absence of evidence is not evidence. Biden doesn't need to prove his votes weren't fraudulent he's not the one alleging fraud.

And, to my surprise, Trump's judges are not falling in line for their benefactor. Across the board, Trump-nominated judges are striking down his ridiculous lawsuits.

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/ … ump-444023

Why is the Texas attorney general doing this? He's under investigation for corruption and he's hoping this hopeless lawsuit will win him a presidential pardon.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas said the following...."I read just the summary of it, and I frankly struggle to understand the legal theory of it.  Number one, why would a state, even such a great state as Texas, have a say so on how other states administer their elections? It's an interesting theory, but I'm not convinced."

The suggestion that one state has any say in how another state conducts its election is laughable.  The Trump legal team (whoever isn't COVID positive) is now 1 for 55 in court.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

All 50 states (and DC) have certified their results.  These lawsuits are pointless.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Grizzlor wrote:

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas said the following...."I read just the summary of it, and I frankly struggle to understand the legal theory of it.  Number one, why would a state, even such a great state as Texas, have a say so on how other states administer their elections? It's an interesting theory, but I'm not convinced."

The suggestion that one state has any say in how another state conducts its election is laughable.  The Trump legal team (whoever isn't COVID positive) is now 1 for 55 in court.

Yeah I can't believe I'm agreeing with Cornyn, but it's very important that he speak up like this.

Again, if other states were suing Texas, Texans would be freaking out and threatening to secede.  And what's so stupid is that Republicans don't see how short-sighted this is.  This will bite one of them in the butt at some point.  There will be a close race and some BS lawsuit is going to cost them the election.  This stuff always comes back around and always bites the other party in the butt.  I just cannot understand how people who won elections this year can go along with the idea that their own election wins could've been fraudulent.

Although I heard an interesting stat on a podcast (I do not have a source, unfortunately) that said that while the majority of republicans think something fishy happened in the election, something like 90+% of republicans believe that their vote was counted correctly.  Which tells me that most people believe in elections as a whole and that this might be Trump-related.

Since, as far as I'm aware, this kind of stuff isn't happening down ballot, it gives me a bit of hope that this is Trump-specific and not something we'll be dealing with every election forever now.

1,725 (edited by Grizzlor 2020-12-10 14:54:18)

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

The solicitor general of the state of Texas refused to sign the lawsuit.  Sen Ben Sasse suggested the AG of Texas, an accused crook, is simply doing this to be pardoned by Trump.  The Republicans have become post-democracy, not to mention this lawsuit is as anti-states' rights as you can get.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

"The justices are not going to have the slightest interest in entertaining a sprawling lawsuit brought by an unaffected third-party state — one that, if Texas got its way, would forevermore thrust the Supreme Court into the thick of electoral politics."
https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/10/politics … index.html

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

A bunch of House members are getting on board.  I assume to stay on Trump's good side?  I don't see any other reason for them to do it.

I almost feel bad for Trump, who clearly doesn't have the cognitive ability to understand any of this and certainly has a bunch of yes men telling him that there's a real chance of it working.  He probably thinks he has a real chance of staying, and no one has the balls to tell him the truth.

I almost feel bad.  I'm still hoping they have to taze him on the way out.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Game over for the Texas lawsuit.

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/12/1 … ory-444638

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

And Trump is handling it very well.  Probably shouldn't have nominated three Deep State judges.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Biden got to 270 again!

The republican electors are sending their own votes to Congress in the hopes that it'll cause some problem.  From my understanding, Congress can retaliate.  Even if Congress fails to certify, the Democrat-led House can stall until Pelosi becomes president.  Or the House can just name Biden the Speaker of the House and he'd become president that way.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

And Trump is handling it very well.  Probably shouldn't have nominated three Deep State judges.

Or his Deep State Attorney General.  It's pure comedy that everyone is wrong but he is right.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Grizzlor wrote:

Or his Deep State Attorney General.  It's pure comedy that everyone is wrong but he is right.

And now McConnell is Deep State too.

It would not surprise me to see Trumpists break off to form their own party.  Everyone can't be a RINO.  I guess they could just capture more of the party, but I can't get a good sense of whether or not traditional Republicans outnumber Trumpists.  They both are happy/willing to vote for him, especially over any Democrat, but if push came to shove, would it be easier for Trump's agenda to do his own party (and destroy everything) or to try and primary anyone who didn't support him (which is going to end up being most of the Republican senate and House)?

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Do Americans really want to do this every time someone doesn't like losing an election... ?

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Not at all.  I was listening to a podcast and they talked about how the structures of democracy held....something that has helped calm my fears.  The Supreme Court didn't entertain him.  The state legislatures didn't try anything funny with electors.  All states certified their votes.  Even now, the GOP is starting to accept the results publicly.

....but

The podcaster followed that up with the idea that it only held up because of a few people.  The republican governors in Arizona and Georgia didn't blindly go along with Trump.  That one republican in Michigan didn't blindly vote against certification.  A lot of these lower level court cases have been decided by a single vote.  The system held, but a person here or a person there and things might've gone differently.  Maybe not differently enough to change the election but even one state going against the people is terrible for democracy.

I think the thing that makes me feel better about the long-term future is that Trump is unique.  Even Trumpist politicians down ballot didn't do this kind of thing.  We don't have 200+ contested elections in the House and Senate.  There's not fraud allegations and lawsuits in every election that far right politicians lost.  It's just Trump.  This seems unique to him, both because he has the power to screw with people who don't support him and because he's a child in a man's body.

If this doesn't work, and it looks like a one in a trillion chance now, then I think more established politicians (Rubio, Cruz, DeSantis, etc) wouldn't even go that route.

What worries me in the short-term is someone like Don Jr or Ivanka trying it again.  Not because I think they could win (I don't, they don't have the same power of persuasion that Trump has) but because I think they'd be more willing to try and would have nothing to lose.  And even if it was a colossal landslide, we could see chaos if they're able to get more Trump loyalists in places like Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Arizona.  Some of those one-vote decisions could go the other way and then I don't know what happens.

That's why it should be a priority to go after people who participated in this attempt.  Either politically or legally, there should be consequences so that there isn't the same problem next time.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

There's been a lot of chatter about how one Senator and one Democrat can challenge the results and then it's voted on by individual states (which the republicans control more of).

From everything I've read, before it goes to that step, both the House and Senate have to approve it.  So even if Rand Paul and the congressman from Alabama object on January 6, several Democrats would need to agree with the objection for it to pass.  Even then, apparently McConnell has privately told Republican senators not to go along with it.

We'll see.  Twenty days.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Trump has crashed the COVID relief package.
https://www.politico.com/news/2020/12/2 … ost-450343

On one level, Trump is calling for something good: larger cheques to people whose need is desperate. On a more realistic level, Trump is agitating for more attention because the nation is slowly but surely turning its eyes towards President-elect Biden and Biden's shockingly conventional and status-quo upholding cabinet picks which are everything Transmodiar warned against but may or may not be a political reality of contending with a GOP Senate.

Trump doesn't care about helping anyone. He just wants to be in the news, life is just a reality show to him. But it may lead to a government shutdown as the Trump-stalled stimulus is tied to the spending bill that would keep government in operation.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Trump is completely full of crap.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

He's doing the right thing for the wrong reason.  The "relief" bill is an obscene barrel of pork.

Just for perspective, about 330 million people live in the USA. $600 each is less than $200 billion. The stimulus bill is over $900 billion. The vast majority of the money is going to special interests rather than the people.  $2000 to each of 330 million people STILL wouldn't add up to $900 billion. It would be less than $700 billion.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

A fair and sensible assessment.

Thank you.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I agree.  Our leadership has no care for their own people that voted them into office - and that goes for Republicans and Democrats.  I can see the validity in targeting relief money (people who never lost their jobs don’t need money), but it’s beyond insulting to see the legislation include money for things like “gender studies” in Pakistan and refurbishing ships in Sri Lanka.  I don’t care that Congress merged multiple bills together to create this monster - it’s bad optics and a really bad taste in the mouth when people are expecting COVID relief and see all this other irrelevant mess tacked into it.

No matter who is blamed for it, people in the US are hurting out there; and it is one of the more critical times in memory that US citizens need the safety net of their own government that they’ve paid taxes into most of their lives.  Sri Lanka’s ships can wait.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Trump signed the package. *sigh* He tries to do one decent thing (for the wrong reasons) and has no backbone or follow through. That said, I have to ask pilight and Temporal Flux: was it worth it to get the package through to maintain unemployment benefits? Or are the benefits so scant that continuing them or severing them would have made no difference at all while pushing through useless financial support to seafaring vessels and academic research that has no bearing on the recession at all? I simply don't have the perspective to venture an opinion on this, so I would defer to yours for this one too.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I don't actually object to spending money on refurbishing ships or doing fringe research.  I do object to mislabeling it as emergency relief so they can come back and say "how will we pay for it?" when something more beneficial comes along or take credit for "$900 billion to help struggling Americans" when 90+% of it is going to other things.

1,743 (edited by ireactions 2020-12-28 15:48:34)

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I said earlier that if Trump won the election, I would write Part 7 of SLIDERS REBORN. Just in case I had to (although it seemed unlikely), I wrote an outline. The title is "Redemption." The story:

Sliders Reborn: Redemption (7)
In the merged San Francisco, Quinn and Rembrandt are deeply alarmed by reports of four coma victims who have been drained of brain fluid. Quinn and Rembrandt and Laurel (Quinn's daughter) stake out a medical supply company that's been ordering a suspicious number of syringes for a safe injection site that doesn't seem to exist; they spot Colonel Rickman (with Neil Dickson's face) who recognizes Quinn and Rembrandt and runs. Laurel dives after Rickman while Quinn and Rembrandt placidly stay in the car, saying they are over forty and should no longer be chasing people.

Laurel pursues Rickman across a giant Tamagotchi parade, through an oxygen bar, past a Napster concert, a mapmaker's convention, a POG tournament but loses him in a macarena dance off. After a recharge at the oxygen bar, she staggers back to Quinn and apologizes for losing him. Quinn says it's fine; they tagged all the syringes and will track Rickman. Laurel demands to know why Quinn and Rembrandt let her chase Rickman then (QUINN: "We needed him to think he got away.") and where is Rembrandt anyway? 

Rickman enters his apartment only to find Rembrandt waiting for him. Rickman immediately overpowers Rembrandt, brags about how he drained the Professor nearly dry and then jabs Rembrandt with the syringe in his usual fashion. Rembrandt collapses. Rickman injects himself with Rembrandt's fluid -- only to scream as his face begins to morph between Dickson and Daltrey. Rickman falls over, shrieking as though his body is being stretched between two points.

Rembrandt stands, says that Rickman's a creature of habit, always aims his needle at the same place on a victim -- and Rembrandt's got a subcutaneous fluid sack implanted in him there courtesy of Dr. Diana Davis. It contains fluid with a special recipe just for Rickman. Rickman gasps out a demand to know if Rembrandt's poisoned him.

Rembrandt responds with questions of his own: where was Rickman born? Why was Rickman a Colonel in the US Army with an English accent? Why was an army officer performing medical experiments on himself and preying upon victims in a military base instead of checking into a hospital for his condition? How did he even come to self-medicate with brain fluid anyway? Why was Rickman always so inept at combat and strategy and so uncharacteristic of a military man? Rickman says his mind is beyond Rembrandt's dim comprehension: Rickman's past is irrelevant, Rickman's nature is what matters: he is the apex predator, he is death in human form, a massacre incarnate.

Rembrandt says that Rickman is a glitch in reality. There is no Colonel Angus Rickman; there is a British character-actor named Angus Rickman who was playing a slasher killer in a horror movie filmed on a military base. When the Geiger Combine experiment retroactively warped reality, it twisted Angus Rickman's timeline into a mixed and matched mess of his character and his real life, driving him and the world around him insane, leaving him this wretched madman.

Rembrandt says he hasn't poisoned Rickman; he has cured him. The fluid contains modified Glow nanites (from "New Gods For Old") that will stabilize Rickman's spacetime superposition, revert him to Roger Daltrey and reposition him within the merged San Francisco as whoever actor Angus Rickman would have been in this reality. He may be a madman again in which case the sliders will stop him; he may be a quiet civilian, a drama teacher at a school, perhaps a star of San Francisco theatre.

Rickman, feeling his identity and memory begin to shift, tries to hang on, snarls at Rembrandt that he would rather die than be reverted to whatever he might have been before. He says he killed the Professor, why won't Rembrandt just kill him? Rembrandt says that they are the same: they are sliders, they are the victims of a cosmic event, and this city of sliders is a chance for everyone to be reborn.

Rickman's face stabilizes into the visage of Roger Daltrey and then he loses consciousness. Around him and Rembrandt, the apartment reforms from a bare, stripped down space into a pleasant home with posters of Angus Rickman's plays and movies and TV shows and bookshelves full of volumes on acting and stageplays and scripts. Rembrandt examines what becomes a printed autobiography of Rickman's career as a musician, actor, writer and teacher filled with photos of a benign, smiling Rickman.

Rembrandt moves a sleeping Rickman to a sofa, puts a blanket over his resting form and quietly exits the apartment, leaving his former foe to reawaken to a new life and a new beginning.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Eq584cpW4AErGHm?format=jpg&name=large

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I'm not sure anything will come from that.  Nothing seems to stick to Trump, and he could get a pardon for anything federal.  I did see that Georgia might go after criminal charges of electoral tampering, but I'd be shocked if that went anywhere.

But I do wonder if the scandal makes the GOP opposed to the electoral vote work harder to convince Cruz, Hawley, and his cronies not go go down that road.  Probably not, but I just can't wait for Wednesday to be over and we can start the final countdown. 

I think after Covid and undoing some of the Trump madness, Biden should focus on election integrity.  We need to make sure this is as close to a constitutional nightmare as possible.  I don't think a simple majority in both chambers should be enough to overturn an election.  I do think we need to work on getting as much transparency as possible into the process so that if someone else tries this crap again, it can be shot down immediately instead of dragged out for months.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Biden doesn't want to spend political capital on a process issue.  Neither does anyone else.  That's why we maintain this antiquated election structure.

1,747

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

They can't "overturn" the election, there's nothing to change.  The Senate cannot touch the results once the states have certified them.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Grizzlor wrote:

They can't "overturn" the election, there's nothing to change.  The Senate cannot touch the results once the states have certified them.

They can't this time.  But if the one dude in Michigan hadn't gone against the wills of Trump, Michigan wouldn't have certified.  If the secretary of state in Georgia had done what Trump asked him to do, Georgia would've been certified for Trump.  There were a number of lawsuits in Wisconsin that were decided by a single judge's vote.  In 2020, there's no way to overturn.  In 2024, there absolutely could be.

I think both sides are ready for a change in elections.  The electoral college won't go away, but they can work on shoring up some glaring holes in the system that could've easily led to Trump stealing the election.  Both sides could easily claim wins, and we can prevent a situation where either side actually pulls off what Trump tried.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

GEORGIA!

I don't want one party to control everything.  I'm moderate enough that a lot about conservatism appeals to me.  But Trump has to be eliminated.  He'll keep the evangelicals and the radical right until he's dead, but there aren't enough of those people to make a big enough difference.  Most of the GOP establishment has moved away from him already (I expect tons of republicans to vote to certify Biden today), and others will fall in line once they see that it doesn't benefit them anymore.

We have to remain vigilant.  We need to support anti-Trump republicans and defeat Trump republicans.  And we need to shore up the electoral process so that we can't get this close to chaos ever again.

But today will be a great day

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Ossoff and Perdue are still too close to call. Ossoff seems confident that he's won, his team seems confident that he's won -- but let's not be like Trumpists insisting that they won because they should never be allowed to lose.

1,751 (edited by Slider_Quinn21 2021-01-06 12:46:51)

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

They haven't been called but experts in the field have already stated that not only will both win, but that they'll both win by margins exceeding the amount to get a recount.

We can wait until it's official, but in my opinion (*not the opinion of Sliders.tv*) it's over.

This dog and pony show is such a waste of time.  I cannot wait to assist the campaign of whoever runs against Ted Cruz next.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I personally agree with you, but we must always be gracious in (presumptive) victory because at some point, we'll be on the losing end and we'd probably want our opponents to give us the chance to have made every effort before we conceded.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

To quote Bobby Singer....

Idjits.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

This piece of shit Trump has incited a riot!!!!!!  They are rioting into the Capitol Building in Washington.  Police had guns drawn.  The DoD is refusing to send in the National Guard.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ErEyfePXMAAtbLp?format=jpg

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ErE0nuMXUAA2rdv?format=jpg

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ErEzNKXW4AM7l7j?format=jpg

ARREST THIS SON OF A BITCH TRUMP FOR TREASON AND SEDITION

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Yeah, no more kid gloves in the name of unity.  Trump and Trumpism need to face serious consequences.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

He is STILL Tweeting about the election fraud!!!!

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/sta … 2595885058

He should be arrested for inciting a riot immediately.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Just for the sake of comparison, this was the Capitol during the BLM demonstrations

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ErEzy9YW4AAGLWJ?format=jpg&name=small

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

https://mobile.twitter.com/sugaspov/sta … 3238000645

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Well, on the bright side, Ossoff's win is confirmed and Democrats can now use VP-elect Harris' vote as a tiebreaker. Slider_Quinn21 may commence his victory celebration without comment from me.

(I've learned in recent years to never say anything to someone that I wouldn't want rightly thrown back in my face if the circumstances were reversed.)

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Perhaps it's time to modernize the transition process.  Other modern democracies transfer power within a week of the election, often the next day.  The US still allows enough time to reach Washington by horse.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

I don't want one party to control everything.

One party does control everything. Just because it has two names doesn't mean it's not one entity, out to screw us all.

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Transmodiar wrote:
Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

I don't want one party to control everything.

One party does control everything. Just because it has two names doesn't mean it's not one entity, out to screw us all.

I respect this point of view. It's not something I would say and it's not how I see the world -- but I understand why someone would think this, I would agree with many of the positions that come from this foundation, and it's a rational assessment even if it isn't mine.

**

I feel that Democrats are in an extremely weak position and Republicans are in a weaker position. I am shocked and astonished that Democrats won the Georgia runoffs which I had a terrible feeling were lost to the GOP. But Democrats won and the Biden administration will go from having about as much power as the Queen of England to, under current congressional rules, potentially having about as much power as the Queen of England if Biden's ever short by one senator's vote. This is a considerable improvement from how it looked in November when Democrats looked like they'd have a presidency but only the House.

Now that Biden's won, I have to say -- I am not looking forward to his presidency although it's preferable to four more years of Trump, a diseased and deranged lunatic. Biden didn't support Medicare for All, isn't in favour of cancelling all student debt, has filled his cabinet with the Obama-era staffers who oversaw the rise of Trumpism, isn't the progressive figure of defunding the police I wanted and far from being Elizabeth Warren or Andrew Yang or Bernie Sanders and I am disappointed that it's President Biden.

Biden struck me as volatile, incoherent, vapid and entitled, easily provoked into screeching at people. As the presidential campaign began in earnest after his nomination was secured, however, he disappeared into his basement for months. Then he re-emerged and was suddenly polished -- having been privately coached into altering his conduct from "senatorial" to "presidential," as coached by Obama. Biden suddenly received most insults with cool, warmth, understanding and patience.

He had slipups, saying black people weren't black if they were Trump voters, snarling at a reporter asking him if he'd had a cognitive test. Then he got himself under control again. A man standing atop a truck screaming Trump slogans at him was met with a cool call of, "Don't jump!" A black college kid calling him out for his remarks about black identity before asking him what he could do for people entering the workforce received a detailed, kind answer about government investment in black-startup businesses -- without a single response to the (deserved) insult. A president speaks in a respectful, idealistic fashion with vocabulary to encourage discourse and is open to new information, dissent, alternate reasoning and perspective.

I can tell that Biden has anger management problems. His stutter is a source of frustration; he often gets blocked on a word and will replace it with a substitution that is incorrect. He's afraid to admit that he's been overly handsy with women. He is deeply hurt by some of the things his son has done and said to him. He rambles and is so fixated on good relationships that he drives bad bargains.

I can also tell that he's not really that keen to lead the country. Instead, he wants to preside over it, set the general goals and the tone, encourage and suggest and be a good spokesperson -- but only engage in executive action and rulership during emergencies. And because he would rather preside than lead, the policies he will put forward will be what you'd expect of a mediocre centrist, a Republican in blue. He's like my grandfather. I loved my grandfather. My grandfather was a hardworking, decent man who cared about people and took advice from experts. I would not have wanted Grandpa to be president because Grandpa would have been little more than a maintainer of the status quo with a few nods to progressivism.

But who would you be more likely to see some results from for student debt forgiveness, immigration, vaccine distribution, virus response, PPE distribution, American manufacturing and economic relief -- America's grandfather or America's deranged abusive father?

Transmodiar would say neither and he could be right about it. His accuracy rate for predictions has been about the same as mine which would indicate that neither of us are born prognosticators, but we occasionally hit the mark.

I have hope that the decency, gentleness, warmth, empathy and love that Biden has shown on the campaign trail, that he performs on TV and that I confess reminds me of my grandfather and occasionally moves me to tears -- I pray that it's real. I don't know if that's who he really is. But I hope it. I don't live in America. But if America goes down, we all go down.

I didn't want Biden to be president. But Trump has to go.

Mitch McConnell wrote:

We are debating a step that has never been taken in American history: whether Congress should overrule voters and overturn a presidential election. I have served 36 years in the Senate. This will be the most important vote I have ever cast.

President Trump claims this election was stolen. The assertions range from specific local allegations to constitutional arguments to sweeping conspiracy theories. I supported the President’s right to use the legal system. Dozens of lawsuits received hearings in courtrooms across the country. But over and over, the courts rejected these claims — including all-star judges whom the President himself nominated.

Every election features some illegality and irregularity and it’s unacceptable. I support strong state-led voting reforms. Last year’s bizarre pandemic procedures must not become the new norm. But nothing before us proves illegality anywhere near the massive scale that would have tipped this entire election. Nor can public doubt alone justify a radical break when that doubt was incited without evidence. The Constitution gives Congress a limited role. We cannot simply declare ourselves a national Board of Elections on steroids.

The voters, the courts, and the states have all spoken. If we overrule them all, it would damage our republic forever. This election was not unusually close. Just in recent history, 1976, 2000, and 2004 were all closer. This Electoral College margin is almost identical to 2016. If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral. We’d never see the whole nation accept an election again. Every four years would bring a scramble for power at any cost.

The Electoral College would soon cease to exist, leaving the citizens of entire states with no real say in choosing presidents. The effects would go even beyond elections themselves. Self-government requires a shared commitment to truth and shared respect for the ground rules of our system. We cannot keep drifting apart into two separate tribes; with separate facts, and separate realities; with nothing in common except hostility toward each another and mistrust for the few national institutions that we still share.

Every time in the last 30 years that Democrats have lost a presidential race, they’ve tried a challenge like this one — after 2000, 2004, and 2016. After 2004, a Senator joined and forced this same debate. Democrats like Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, and Hillary Clinton praised and applauded the stunt. Republicans condemned those baseless efforts. And we just spent four years condemning Democrats’ shameful attacks on the validity of President Trump’s own election.

There can be no double standard. The media that is outraged today spent four years aiding and abetting Democrats’ attacks on institutions after they lost. But we must not imitate and escalate what we repudiate. Our duty is to govern for the public good. The United States Senate has a higher calling than an endless spiral of partisan vengeance.

Congress will either overrule the voters, the states, and the courts for the first time ever or honor the people’s decision. We will either guarantee Democrats’ delegitimizing efforts after 2016 become a permanent new routine for both sides… or declare that our nation deserves better. We will either hasten down a poisonous path where only the winners of elections accept them… or show we can still muster the patriotic courage that our forebears showed, both in victory and in defeat.

The framers built the Senate to stop short-term passions from boiling over and melting the foundations of our Republic. I believe protecting our constitutional order requires respecting limits on our own power. It would be unfair and wrong to disenfranchise American voters and overrule the courts and the states on this thin basis. And I will not pretend such a vote would be a harmless protest gesture while relying on others to do the right thing.

I will vote to respect the people’s decision and defend our system of government as we know it.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl … -9-11.html

Mike Pence was forced to call in the National Guard because Trump would not.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Lindsay Graham:
I think it’s a uniquely bad idea to delay this election. Trump and I, we had a hell of a journey. I hate it being this way. I hate it being this way. From my point of view, he's been a consequential president. But today, all I can say is -- count me out.

Enough is enough. I don’t buy this. We’ve got to end it. Vice President Pence, what they are asking you to do -- you won’t do because you can’t.

If you’re a conservative, this is the most offensive concept in the world, that a single person could disenfranchise 155 million people.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are lawfully elected and will be the president and vice president of the United States on January the 20th.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Transmodiar wrote:

One party does control everything. Just because it has two names doesn't mean it's not one entity, out to screw us all.

I get it.  I really do.  And I agree with you.  I've said that Democrats didn't do enough to stand up to Trump because, deep down, they're all the same.  I understand that.

The problem is....there's no point in discussing that.  If it's Deep State or one party or one world government or whatever you want to call it, that's not something we can fight or stop.  If they have all the money and all the power, we could rise up and vote them out or rise up and kill them all and it won't matter.

It's like being mad at God.  You can curse him.  You could scream at him.  You can find those he loves the most and take it out on them.  You could destroy his symbols and his places of worship.  But at the end of the day, God holds all the cards.  And unless you're a Winchester living in the Supernatural universe (hi, ireactions), we play his game by his rules.  That's how I see politics.  You can hate the system, but the system is the system.  And it's the same system in Canada and Europe and Australia and Africa and Asia and the whole world.  We can hate it and spit on it and complain about it, but it doesn't matter.

And we can vote for Bernie or Pete or Yang, but they're all the system.  And if they're not, as soon as they get where you want them to go, they're the system.  So we just do the dance. 

But just because the game is dumb and the rules are stacked against us, there's still a way to win and a way to lose the game.  And at the end of the day, that's all we can focus on.  Because it's the only thing that's even theoretically possible to affect.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

And in the name of healing, I respect the 40+ Republican senators that didn't vote on party lines last night.  And I respect the half dozen Republican senators that changed their mind in the wake of what happened.  Late is better than never.  I felt better about being an American with some of the speeches I heard from Republicans.  Even Lindsey Graham.

Josh Hawley has to be dealt with.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

https://youtu.be/L0eT8e9T-_Q

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

In the name of observing when parties have no interest in healing: I said that the election was over and that I wouldn't talk about Informant anymore. But Informant has decided that the election is not over and declared that it was stolen because... he doesn't like the fact that his cult leader lost. Informant has also declared that he supports everyone who smashed into the US capitol to interfere with the certification of electoral votes. Informant has thrown in his lot with domestic terrorists seeking to overthrow government because he doesn't like that his cult was short by seven million votes. Informant doesn't want an elected government; he wants a coup where his cult leader is appointed for life. Informant supports insurrectionist sedition. Informant is a traitor to his country. I suppose it shouldn't come as a surprise given that Informant has previously supported the Men's Rights Activist terrorist movement and neo-Nazis and screams blue murder every time black people march but is supportively serene when white people are running around making everyone get sick because they won't wear masks.

Even Mitch McConnell and Lindsay Graham have standards (apparently), but I see now that Kyle -- who is unworthy of his sobriquet -- does not have standards. Kyle doesn't even want to be a Republican anymore and wants them to lose. Four years ago, Republicans had the White House, the House and the Senate. Today, Republicans have lost all three thanks to Donald Trump, but Kyle insists that Republicans have betrayed the cult of Trump and lays the blame on them as opposed to the deranged fool he voted into office and wants to stay there through intimidation and deceit.

I am ashamed that I ever considered Kyle a friend.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

And now, for other forms of dissent:

I'm proud to be friends with Temporal Flux and Transmodiar. They didn't support Donald Trump. Joe Biden didn't win their support, so both TF and Transmodiar wrote names in and honoured the electoral process. That really is the way to do it. And Transmodiar's view that Democrats and Republicans are fundamentally the same in making sure that the federal government insulates the rich from the concerns of the average citizen -- can we really claim that Transmodiar is wrong to say it?

As TF has noted, people have voted for "hope and change" only to continue losing jobs, losing opportunity, losing hope, living in squalor and poverty and starvation and that was with Democrats in power. Voting for Trump was a cry for help, fist pounding on the self-destruct button in the hopes that the explosion would be a distress beacon. But under Trump, we've seen an even further diminished level of governmental capacity to respond to crisis. The Obama administration would not have ignored a global pandemic or failed to engage in basic containment measures for even its own staff facilities. The Obama administration would not have held superspreader events. The Obama administration, when staring down the barrel of an incoming presidency they found abhorrent, did not refuse to engage in a peaceful transition of power. The claim that Trump's presidency is interchangeable with Obama's is -- I can understand why someone would feel that way. I can understand why someone would say it. I don't agree with it, but I don't disagree with the validity of the argument that government doesn't seem like it's designed to help anyone other than government itself. To Transmodiar, this means that government isn't here to help anyone period.

To me, it says that democracy is the worst system of government except for all others which have been tried to date. It says that democracy has people who don't believe in it but are predisposed to gaming it for their own gain. It says that the Obama administration was stymied from the start by not having all its senators seated in time, by Republican obstructionism to any economic recovery measures with the plan to blame Democrats for the failures, by the rise of social media serving to radicalize people like Kyle -- in addition to far too many elected officials being precisely what Transmodiar and TF say they are -- people who are completely disinterested in the well-being of those who elected them. I don't think that's every single politician ever, but there are a lot of them and we've seen this week that either most of them are Republicans -- or the Democrats who are like them tend not to declare that out loud.

Is fighting the political system like fighting God? I'd say that's a step too far; I'd say it's more like fighting a hostile dungeonmaster in a DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS game who is relentlessly exercising every loophole and vagary in the rules to benefit his own comfort and power and well-being and satisfy his desire for control at the expense of the people trying to play the game. And dungeonmasters who do that have a tendency to self-destruct.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I'd be fascinated to see an impeachment vote in the Senate.  I think you could easily get 50 votes.  Can you get to the threshold?  I'm thinking maybe.  We just had 92 and 93 votes.  Do more than 20 or so think that removal is that much different?  Were more than 20 of them convinced that Trump is dangerous as they were ushered out of the Capitol?

Or was Trump's clearly-written-for-him speech enough to convince Republicans to vote no just because it's a waste of time?

I'd do it - just to get people on the record

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

It's better to do something, even symbolically and procedurally, than to do nothing and declare that the president gets a free pass for ordering his supporters to engage in a terrorist attack upon his own country because the president didn't like losing an election.

Functionally, I do think impeachment is a waste of time. There's no point, to me, in trying to fire someone who's leaving in less than two weeks. I personally don't think Trump has anything left in him. He's going to order McDonalds. Lie in bed staring at the sealing eating fistfuls of fries. Go golfing. And maybe hire that Obama impersonator to whine at him. I think Trump is done.

The world at large does not agree with me. The world at large is terrified of him and desperate to curtail him. I don't think it's going to happen fast enough to matter, but it's still worth doing.

1,773 (edited by Slider_Quinn21 2021-01-08 14:18:33)

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I think his speech yesterday shows that he wants something and is willing to trade for it.  Maybe it's enough time to pardon himself.  Maybe it's just not having the shame of being removed.  If he's removed, he can't take Air Force One to Mar-A-Lago to do his rally.

And maybe promising to behave for two weeks saves him because Republicans will see it as a waste of time since he's gone.  But you just need a dozen or so Republicans (plus your Romney, Collins, Murkowskis) to remember being attacked and get revenge.  Lindsey Graham was accosted at an airport today, I believe.  Think he cares enough to support those guys when he's got a job until 2026?

The thing about impeachment isn't just that he's gone, though.  They could make it so that he can't run again.  I don't know if Trump will be mentally sharp enough at 78 to do what he does best, but if you impeach and remove him...even on the morning of the 20th, you're not just ending this presidency.  You're pre-emptively ending any future ones.  I think that's why you do it.

1,774 (edited by Grizzlor 2021-01-08 16:15:07)

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Arrest them all, put them on trial, whatever.  There must be a reckoning for all this.  Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley must resign from the Senate.

Meanwhile, 4,000 people died of COVID in the United States yesterday.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Even if Trump is pardoned, he's going to have his hands full with the coming lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems.  They've already sued his lawyer, Sidney Powell, and are undoubtedly waiting for Trump to leave office to go after him.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I don't believe that impeachment will take effect in time to have any effect on Trump whose time in office is just about up. I don't believe it will make any difference. I don't believe he will run again in 2024 because he will be tried on tax crimes, fraud, sedition, sexual assault and treason whether impeached or not. But they should impeach anyway.

I could be wrong, of course. I was sure Georgia was lost to Democrats.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

The president has been banned from Twitter

1,778 (edited by ireactions 2021-01-08 17:44:07)

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

News story here about the ban. Thank you for posting the news, pilight.
https://www.theverge.com/2021/1/8/22218 … onaldtrump

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Trump will not be able to use White House or US President Twitter accounts or third party accounts to circumvent his ban.

CNN wrote:

Twitter will enforce its policy against ban evasions to ensure that President Donald Trump does not circumvent his personal account's suspension, the company told CNN.

"If it is clear that another account is being used for the purposes of evading a ban, it is also subject to suspension," Twitter said in a statement. "For government accounts, such as @POTUS and @WhiteHouse, we will not suspend those accounts but will take action to limit their use. However, these accounts will be transitioned over to the new administration in due course and will not be suspended by Twitter unless absolutely necessary to alleviate real-world harm."

Twitter's policy would also prohibit Trump from directing a third party to operate a Twitter account on his behalf. https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/08/tech/tru … index.html

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

DC Attorney General wants to charge Trump, Trump Jr, and Rudy.  Cannot be pardoned away, as that's not a federal court.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Also, Kyle is so upset that his cult leader is no longer allowed to incite riots and try to overthrow democratic government on Twitter and Facebook that Kyle says he may move to Parler. I’d follow him there just to report back, but Parler doesn’t seem to be available for download (hahahahahahahahahahaah).

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Trump tried to tweet from his POTUS and TeamTrump accounts. Twitter deleted the new tweets from the first and simply suspended the second account.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Trump tried to use his digital director's Twitter account (@GaryCoby) and later @thedonalddotwin. Twitter had of course been monitoring both accounts and promptly suspended those as well.

It's hard being a fascist, but Trump is perfectly free to post videos and updates on the White House website. He has free speech, social media is simply disinclined to lend them their megaphone.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I see the usual arguments out there about freedom of speech, but many people don’t understand the concept.  Twitter is a business; and just like a private forum, Twitter has the right to control what happens on the service they provide.  Twitter is not a public square.

What concerns me is Google removing Parler from their store (with Apple and Amazon considering the same action).  That action brings up monopoly concerns again because we have a handful of companies that can and apparently will coordinate to kill any other business they choose.  There is an argument that the “big tech” alliance is simply controlling what their service promotes; and Parler does have questionable content such as pornography.  However, big business crushing other businesses with such a ban smells of unfair trade practices.

Google and the like could simply put an advisory about Parler in the store listing; and they can add an advisory on Twitter while they’re at it because not all content is controlled there either.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I think it’s the concern about inciting violence that makes Parler a problem. There is really nothing stopping Parler from being a progressive web app that can be installed via browser bookmark on any device, app store or no app store. I think it’s fine for any company to decline to support Parler or be complicit in Parler. I have Instagram on my iPad. There is no iPad app for Instagram, I just put the bookmark on my homescreen and it opens as a non-browser app window. Twitter has been a progressive web app for years. Oh god, now I’m giving them ideas.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

But it’s not Google’s place to ban a communication channel because they believe it may incite sedition or violence.  Allowing such a ban would place Google in the law enforcement and judicial role of deciding who offended and issuing punishment.  Google should report their concerns to authorities and let them follow process.  The FCC; FBI; DHS; judges; etc still have people appointed or hired during multiple administrations - they can do their job.

To give an example - banks.  If someone is drawing out and depositing large sums of money on a regular basis, is it the bank’s place to, on their own, seize all monies in the account because it seems to them like it’s illegal, money laundering behavior.  No.  The bank reports the activity and lets the proper authorities investigate and follow process.

We have this system in place because one day you and I may be on the receiving end.  It’s meant to be fair for everyone; and companies like Google shouldn’t have that kind of power over us.  It’s like the publisher of the phone book deciding which radio stations get to stay on the air.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I agree on both points with TF.  Twitter/Facebook can toss anybody they want, it's their platform.  Similar to Christian baker who refuses to make a wedding cake for same-sex marriage, which the Supreme Court upheld. 

Monopoly is a tougher argument only because by definition, Google and Apple are competitors and not single monopoly.  Also, in the past, Microsoft got into trouble for including IE and Office with the monopoly Windows OS, which Word Perfect and Netscape sued them for.  Don't recall how that resulted, but the latter two are out of business.  That being said, there are plenty of apps which Apple/Google prohibit from their stores. 

The solution is for Parler to sue, and see where the courts take it.

1,788 (edited by ireactions 2021-01-09 15:12:43)

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

TemporalFlux wrote:

But it’s not Google’s place to ban a communication channel because they believe it may incite sedition or violence.  Allowing such a ban would place Google in the law enforcement and judicial role of deciding who offended and issuing punishment.  Google should report their concerns to authorities and let them follow process.  The FCC; FBI; DHS; judges; etc still have people appointed or hired during multiple administrations - they can do their job.

To give an example - banks.  If someone is drawing out and depositing large sums of money on a regular basis, is it the bank’s place to, on their own, seize all monies in the account because it seems to them like it’s illegal, money laundering behavior.  No.  The bank reports the activity and lets the proper authorities investigate and follow process.

We have this system in place because one day you and I may be on the receiving end.  It’s meant to be fair for everyone; and companies like Google shouldn’t have that kind of power over us.  It’s like the publisher of the phone book deciding which radio stations get to stay on the air.

I have a lot of time for this argument and I really need to give it some more thought. For now, I’d note that the reason given for not carrying Parler anymore is that Parler’s policies permit efforts to plot terrorism and incite violence with no effort to curtail or report it. Twitter and Reddit have policies about not glorifying and encouraging assault. Parler doesn’t.

Google and Apple can’t really stop Parler as progressive web apps mean any website is easily an app for any device — which to me says that Google and Apple are declaring they don’t want to be involved with them, don’t want to offer them any support, but they couldn’t actually take Parler off the internet even if Parler no longer has a listing in their app stores.

Of course, I could be totally wrong. Maybe they can. Milo Yiannopoulos apparently went bankrupt from deplatforming him, although the deplatformed Alex Jones continues to hawk vitamins.

EDIT: I just put Parler on my phone via a browser homescreen bookmark and it’s functionally no different from the app and I never installed the app.

I’ll keep the account. If TF watches CNN and FOX, I can browse Parler if inclined.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

ireactions wrote:

I’ll keep the account. If TF watches CNN and FOX, I can browse Parler if inclined.

You’re ahead of me - I haven’t even looked at Parler.  I didn’t even start reading Twitter regularly until June last year.  lol

But I have enjoyed reading things from various comics professionals (including art they share).  Last week I was able to use Twitter to commission Darryl Banks for some art I’m putting on my grave marker.  Don’t worry - I plan to continue living my interesting life for awhile yet.  wink

I just try to think a couple of steps ahead with regard to things like this Parler action.  There tends to be payback down the line, and I don’t want the cost to be more than any of us are willing to pay.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Parler may not work after Sunday. Amazon Web Services is kicking it out, citing numerous discussion threads bragging about the need to assassinate government officials, content they told Parler they had to start moderating if they wanted to stay hosted. Parler ignored the warnings and Amazon is disinclined to host a forum for terrorists. Google and Apple and Amazon all have clear policies: contents and platforms are not to incite violence and must have means of monitoring and curtailing such content. Parler won’t follow the house rules and is being evicted.

Temporal Flux may be able to explain to me why that’s unreasonable, of course. I’ve learned over the years to always keep an open mind to his perspectives. I imagine that Parler will find another host. I’ll recommend Hosting Check to them. In my view — if domestic terrorists are plotting and want to brag about their plans like a comic book supervillain kindly explaining their means and intentions to the heroes trying to stop them, why not give them a space for law enforcement to surveil? But is anyone required to give it? I personally don’t think so.

Hosting Check used to host this forum which we had to rebuild like four times due to constant crashes. “Ib, if you have to explain the joke, it’s too inside baseball to qualify as a joke.” (Thought I’d save Transmodiar the trouble.)

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

No interest in Parler, and from what I've read, the UI is a mess.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

It's an ugly place of angry, delusional people who think the Democrats stole the election (because if you were going to steal the US election, naturally, you'd neglect to bother winning the Senate by a 60-seat supermajority and barely make it to 50 seats in a pair of longshot runoffs).

**

Trump has been threatening to make his own media platform. Politico points out (a) he has no money to do this (b) he has no lenders who'd take him on (c) he has no advertisers who would want to touch his crumbling empire and (d) Amazon, Google and Apple wouldn't open their doors to him. https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/ … ire-456888

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I would note a different angle too.  How are law enforcement finding many of these people that attacked the Capitol?  Through social media.  If those people had been banned, removed or not given an outlet to talk, then authorities may still be searching for even just a lead (much less an arrest).

I remember when Congress banned sites like Craig’s List from allowing people to advertise prostitution.  It seems like a no-brainer, right thing to do; but it also took a tool away from law enforcement.  Many of those being advertised were kidnap victims forced into human trafficking; and that gave law enforcement leads on where to find them.  Were all saved?  No.  But if you could save just a few, wouldn’t it be worth it?  Human trafficking did not stop just because it was removed from Craig’s List; the removal instead accomplished making it more difficult to find and help people.  Without things like Craig’s List, even the stupid criminals now have a better chance of getting away with horrors.

The truth about this Capitol attack is that it was not a secret.  It was openly planned days and weeks before on public social media.  This was a failure of law enforcement for either not taking it seriously or allowing it to happen.  Without the activity on social media, it would have been more difficult to see it coming.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

And I know the below link is likely conspiracy stuff, but you have to look at it to be prepared.  It’s not always bunk - it can just as easily be what’s coming:

https://rumble.com/vclygj-omg-omg-yall- … this..html

We are accustomed to saying, “Oh, that would never happen.”; but a lot of people would have probably said that about events at the Capitol on Wednesday

And it has been widely reported that Pelosi’s laptop was taken (along with several iPads).

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I feel that TF has made a very strong argument that the Department of Homeland Security should offer to host Parler and monitor it down to the last byte.

1,796 (edited by ireactions 2021-01-12 11:03:04)

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I’ve heard an extremely unsubstantiated claim that one of the marchers on Wednesday was trying to steal a Capitol painting only to accidentally taser himself in the testicles with the stun weapon lodged in his pocket leaving him too immobilized to disable it and he died of a heart attack. If this is true, the incompetence of these domestic terrorists was matched by the incompetence of the police which is why it wasn’t worse.

EDITED TO ADD: The story isn't true.
https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/capit … n=recycled

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Damn, too bad it's not Demolition Man, and we could vote for this guy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_P-0I6sAck

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

This is why I watch this stuff my co-worker sends me.  This is gold!

https://www.simonparkes.org/post/10th-january-update

The pope has been a hologram since last year!   There has *got* to be a Sliders story in there!

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I really appreciated Arnold's story (I can never spell his last name right) and I liked his comparing democracy to a sword that must be plunged into heat and cold to temper the steel -- but I really really really really could have done without the music.

There's certainly a precedent in fiction for the heroes battling a theocratic dystopia discovering that the supposed faith leader is a simulation. SLIDERS toyed with it a bit where the Sorcerer turned out to be a Quinn-double with a lightshow which itself was a nod to THE WIZARD OF OZ.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

TemporalFlux wrote:

This is why I watch this stuff my co-worker sends me.  This is gold!

https://www.simonparkes.org/post/10th-january-update

The pope has been a hologram since last year!   There has *got* to be a Sliders story in there!

That PURPLE background, clearly written in HTML 1.0, doesn't throw you off??????????