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The General 'Murican Politics Thread

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2 hours ago, PaddyFancy said:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-43827386

Absolutely dispicable act by the lawmakers. Made worse by comparing the statues removal to ISIS's destruction of Palmyra and other such ancient sites. Anyone see the sense in this comparison?

They don't understand history belongs in a museum and something in a public square should probably be relevant to our modern values.

Which is why it's humorous Lost Cause people almost never call for monuments to General Longstreet. You know, the top-ranking Confederate officer who later on supported Reconstruction and led a black military unit to crush a white supremacist riot.

Surely someone like Longstreet, representing repudiation of slavery and both races working together to crush divisive racial animosity, would surely be worth honoring over all these other officers with a tendency to become Klansmen and the like?

It's like their movement is rooted in racism rather than individualism and heritage or something.

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58 minutes ago, Bergamo (Ogilvie) said:

Surely someone like Longstreet, representing repudiation of slavery and both races working together to crush divisive racial animosity, would surely be worth honoring over all these other officers with a tendency to become Klansmen and the like?

It's like their movement is rooted in racism rather than individualism and heritage or something.

So is there ever an actual retort these people have to this point, or do they just continue to parrot the typical “I’m not racist and this isn’t about race, you just don’t get it, this has to do with ____” mantra?

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5 hours ago, KHCast said:

So is there ever an actual retort these people have to this point, or do they just continue to parrot the typical “I’m not racist and this isn’t about race, you just don’t get it, this has to do with ____” mantra?

I fortunately have never had the discussion with one of them.

At best, best, they can legitimately claim they did not know about Longstreet, because ironically, neo-Confederates have done their part to erase him from history. If Longstreet is depicted at all, it is as an incompetent fool who cost the Confederacy the War. This in spite of most historians agreeing he was one of the best (if not the best) officer of the War, who happened to serve under Lee (who Longstreet was critical of as a general, which pisses off a lot of Lost Cause people because Lee is their Second Coming figure).

If nothing else, it could be an eye opener about the strong racist intentions of the prominent founders and leaders of the movement. I could see why someone might buy into the idea it's an innocent ideology about individualism, self-sacrifice, what have you that can be separated from the racist intentions of Confederate leadership, but the way the literature and monuments were handled indicates the biases and intentions in play. A person who can't rethink the ideology when confronted with the Longstreet issue is probably lost forever.

But here's the best part: Civil Rights leaders in the 1960s actually evoked Longstreet multiple times. Why? Because the way his legacy is treated subverts the whole idea neo-Confederate ideology is colorblind in nature. Even if a person who has neo-Confederate sympathies is not racist themselves, they are buying into an ideology largely framed by racists.

It is impossible to separate the formation of the South's identity from racism and slavery, because it framed so much of the politics and culture of the region. However, it is absolutely possible to separate Southern pride from that past, as the South has given rise to so much more than slavery and segregationists.

Question is if the person will. Of all the Southern things to cling to, the Confederacy should be at the bottom of the list. Can you imagine a German idolizing the Third Reich when Germany has given so many other things to the world? It's stupid.

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https://www.opendemocracy.net/levi-van-sant/redneck-revolt-radical-responses-to-trumpism-in-rural-us

Somewhat of a segue from talk of conservative whites and how they can change, Redneck Revolt is getting a lot more attention.

Redneck Revolt was originally a mutual aid society in rural Kansas, but has since grown to be a prominent left-wing organization in most red states. While the organization mentions that it originated to empower the white working class, it proceeds to go in a radically different direction from Trumpism: promoting solidarity with other working class people and arguing all racism has done is divide the poor and working classes and empowered the rich. To this end, Redneck Revolt has been increasing its presence at bastions of rural and conservative culture: gun shows, rodeos, NASCAR races. These are areas traditionally ignored by urban liberal elites (let's be honest, they do exist and it's not just a right wing buzzword), but as people familiar with gun and rural culture, Redneck Revolt has made significant headway in providing an alternative to fascism, white supremacy, and conservative for rural people.

Redneck Revolt butts heads with the mainstream left because they are staunch defenders of gun rights, but they defend gun rights from a collectivist rather than individualist perspective, in line with how the Supreme Court traditionally viewed them. As an extension of these gun rights, they tend to open carry around left-wing demonstrations (for example, around 20 Redneck Revolt members were carrying weapons to protect counter-protestors in Charlottesville), providing a deterrent.

Coming from the radical left, Redneck Revolt tosses out a great deal of liberal thinking and tactics. It sees little merit in rambling about white privilege, because that does not help build solidarity between poor whites and poor non-whites. Rather than writing off the countryside as most liberals have done, Redneck Revolt is in the heart of that region, reviving the populism that once made those areas solid bases of support for Democrats. And since they are gradually moving the rural public towards support of a more inclusive left that benefits everyone, they are surely making elitists like Pelosi and Perez, who so routinely scoff at the values of rural people, fear for their jobs (and their money, because Redneck Revolt sees rich liberals as little better than rich conservatives) as these people move into the Democratic Party and change it from within.

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I can understand throwing a fit about Robert E. Lee or Jefferson Davis statues to a certain extent, but it's just amusing Nathan Bedford Forrest is a hill people want to die on in 2018 when he's currently most known for "founding the KKK" and "being Forrest Gump's namesake, where it was also noted that he founded the KKK".

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https://www.redneckrevolt.org/single-post/2017/11/02/WHY-SOME-MEMBERS-OF-THE-FAR-LEFT-ADVOCATE-AGAINST-GUN-CONTROL

Some interesting far left takes on gun control.

Some points are made about how gun control objectively reinforces white supremacy with the way the regulations are generally enacted, and how what private citizens can bring to bear pales in comparison to what the police have. Mention is made of groups like the NRA encouraging their membership to arm themselves against groups like Black Lives Matter.

In fact, one of the interviewees basically points out it's kind of strange how liberals decry police brutality and bias with minority communities, then tell those same minority communities they have no need for guns, they can just call the police. Like, damn, he's got them there.

On the whole, though, while most of them could get behind lighter regulations like banning bump stocks or stronger background checks, they break with the mainstream "left" in America on a lot of points. For starters, they point out cultural and economic issues and how those look to be the problem, rather than guns themselves. On top of that, they feel it is disingenuous to ask communities to disarm without also disarming the police in the same go.

While it has been found that guns' usefulness for individual self-defense is overblown and in fact can make things more dangerous, groups like Redneck Revolt emphasize collective defense, and so no doubt would see the merit in duty to retreat laws. The point of having guns from a left-wing perspective is to alter the power balance between the state/capital and communities, rather than gung ho fantasies about singlehandedly protecting one's excuse for a castle.

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7 minutes ago, Bergamo (Ogilvie) said:

Some points are made about how gun control objectively reinforces white supremacy with the way the regulations are generally enacted, and how what private citizens can bring to bear pales in comparison to what the police have. Mention is made of groups like the NRA encouraging their membership to arm themselves against groups like Black Lives Matter.

Yeah my friends have discussed this issue regarding gun regulations and even the Florida survivors proposals, and I definitely see the argument and agree there. I initially didn’t see the problem until they brought this up, since historically gun regulation has definitely negatively targeted and harmed minority groups 

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https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/03/jeff-sessions-pushes-the-death-penalty-for-drug-dealers/

This got lost in the deluge of bullshit spewing forth from Washington these days. Jeff Sessions is pushing prosecutors to use a provision in a drug statute to give the death penalty to large drug traffickers. That part of the statute has largely been ignored, with death being pursued only in drug cases that involved homicide.

Of course, it will run into constitutional hurdles immediately: you may remember that the Supreme Court once struck down the death penalty for rape, stating the penalty can only be applied when homicide has occurred. Otherwise it is disproportionate to take human life.

Personally, I say the death penalty should be eliminated entirely. It is a flawed, irreversible punishment that has been disproportionately been used on racial minorities and has even been used on innocent people. Capital punishment is more expensive than life imprisonment. And finally, no matter what specially curated list of "okay" cases for execution you can come up with, any supporter of death for any reason is saying that it's okay for the state to kill citizens after they no longer pose an immediate threat. Considering the cultural issue of people shrugging at the idea police summarily execute defenseless people, I think the best place to start messaging that shit is wrong is right at the very top of the system.

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I really cannot get over how many people defend mass shootings with "muh rights", when their rights are not. Being. Threatened. At. All. Gun control doesn't have anything to do with them. The only people impacted would be the ones that wouldn't use a gun responsibly. That's it.

 

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32 minutes ago, SSF1991 said:

I really cannot get over how many people defend mass shootings with "muh rights", when their rights are not. Being. Threatened. At. All. Gun control doesn't have anything to do with them. The only people impacted would be the ones that wouldn't use a gun responsibly. That's it.

Basically where the left and right wing gun groups break.

The right focuses very heavily on "rights" and their abstract conception of the Constitution. Like a Biblical literalist, they cling to the document and toss out any data that shows there might be a better way to do things.

Meanwhile, the (actually) left groups think of firearms as a means to shift power away from the state and capital and towards the masses. They don't generally entertain the "we'll overthrow the government" delusions you hear from the right however, but instead think of it as a collective thing: if a whole community is armed and in solidarity, for example, a bank will proceed carefully with repossessing homes in it. It also reduces dependency on the state to provide security, when the state has shown it values some people more than others.

One might raise the issue of the police. That's why those same left wingers want to demilitarize and generally disarm the police.

The left-wing arguments have some resemblance to the right, but it's noticeable they have a new spin on them. It's less about "rights" and "me" and more about redistributing power towards the people. The actual people as a whole, not the largely white, male people that groups like the NRA are focused on. And because "rights" are not the basis of discussion, but class struggle, most leftist gun groups are okay with some basic regulations. They're more wary of high licensing fees than mandatory training (which they would actually encourage) or banning of assault weapons.

Though more simply, leftist gun groups are in line with how a lot of ethnic gangs formed: when the state failed to protect a downtrodden community, another group took up the role. Leftist gun rights focus on the community and how groups interact, whereas right wing groups are more individualistic and have ultimately been subverted by white supremacist agendas.

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Trump's doctor, and nominee for the open VA leader post, may not be all that and a burgerlicious bedtime lip-smacking good time after all:

Quote

Top Senate Dem on Veterans Affairs asks for delay in Ronny Jackson's confirmation hearing

The ranking Democrat on the Senate Veterans Affairs committee is concerned about allegations he's hearing about Ronny Jackson, the president's pick to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana, asked the chairman of the Committee, Sen. Johnny Isakson to postpone Jackson's confirmation hearing, which was scheduled for Wednesday, in light of stories about Jackson told by current or former White House medical staff about the work environment.

Sources familiar with the tales say that Tester's staff is reviewing multiple allegations of a "hostile work environment." The accusations include "excessive drinking on the job, improperly dispensing meds," said one of the people familiar, who was granted anonymity to speak frankly about the situation. The other people familiar with the stories also confirmed those details.

If proven true, "it'll sink his nomination," said one of the sources.

Tester's office began hearing the allegations from current and former employees in the last several days and over the weekend, said one of the people familiar with the ongoing probe.

As of late Monday, it was unclear if the veterans committee planned to postpone Jackson's hearing. Some -- though not all -- of the seven Democratic senators on the Veterans Affairs Committee met Monday evening to discuss what to do about the allegations.

Isakson was out of town, delivering the eulogy at the funeral of his best friend. He is expected to return to Washington late Monday evening.

Jackson was tapped to be VA secretary after President Trump fired former secretary David Shulkin. The Iraq War veteran is best known for his January press conference in which he gave Mr. Trump a clean bill of health.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/top-senate-dem-on-veterans-affairs-asks-for-delay-in-ronny-jacksons-confirmation-hearing/?ftag=CNM-00-10aab7e&linkId=50858217

If these allegations are on point (and being a Trump nominee, I expect that they probably are), this obviously calls Trump's clean bill of health into question, and adds further clouds of scandal to an already stormy midterm year. The narrative of a corrupt Trump administration is only reinforced by this. Who's going to be next?

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https://www.texastribune.org/2018/04/23/analysis-poll-showing-close-race-texas-might-be-right-if-most-texans-v/

Texas' Senate race is absurdly tight in polls, but there is the caveat that a lot of pollsters are not accounting for likely voters.

Either way, the GOP is likely to spend a lot more resources on Texas' race than it wanted to, and Beto O'Rourke's Senate candidacy will possibly deliver down ticket races to the Democrats even if he doesn't win.

http://thehill.com/latino/384520-supreme-court-to-consider-texas-redistricting

Speaking of Texas, scores of their Congressional and state legislative districts are likely to be reviewed by the Supreme Court. Given how badly the gerrymandering cases have been going for the GOP, there are expectations this could deal a blow to the GOP's hold in the state.

https://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/politics/2018/04/16/poll-cindy-hyde-smith-mike-espy-neck-and-neck-mcdaniel-distant-third-senate-race/520331002/

Hell continues to freeze over. The Democrat is ahead of the Republican in the Mississippi Senate race by a fraction of a percent. This is a poll of likely voters. A caveat is there is another Democrat and Republican gunning for the seat, at 6 and 12 percent respectively.

Mississippi is not as Republican as Alabama, raising the possibility a Democrat will steal the seat.

Like Doug Jones with Jeff Sessions' seat, whoever wins this special election will need to run again in 2020.

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https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/arizona-8-special-election-result/

As predicted, the GOP won the Arizona 8th district election. What people were watching was the swing towards the Democrats, and that proved far less disappointing: the GOP won by only 5 points, when the GOP won by 25 points in 2016.

Because the Arizona election is a very mundane one, with neither candidate particularly sticking out and both candidates raising the same amount of money, it is considered a "generic" Congressional district useful for measuring where the wind is blowing. Which is why the GOP losing so much of its lead is extremely concerning.

Particularly since the district was won by heavy amounts of GOP early voting, generally something Democrats lead in. If not for the early votes, it is possible the Democrat would have carried victory instead.

There are many districts bluer than the Arizona 8th. Which means the GOP's House majority is in serious danger 6 and a half months from now.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/24/politics/daca-ruling-new-applications/index.html

Meanwhile, another judge has issued an injunction stating that Trump must reopen DACA to new applications, though he delayed the ruling by 90 days to give the administration a chance to make its case.

Noteworthy is Trump argued, way back when he issued the Executive Order ending DACA, that the courts would strike down the program anyway, so there was no harm in ending it himself. The opposite keeps happening.

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http://thehill.com/homenews/house/384638-pelosi-rejects-litmus-test-on-abortion

Reflecting the Democrats' 50 state strategy this year, Nancy Pelosi has said that while the Democrats as a whole will continue to push for pro-choice legislation, endorsements will not be withheld from pro-life Democrats running nationwide. She feels getting votes on issues like healthcare, the minimum wage, and social services take precedence over trying for party purity.

Considering how many abortions are motivated by financial need in the first place (and the fact bills like Obamacare were only possible by working with more conservative Democrats), she's not wrong. Two birds with one stone.

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Honestly, I can't really say I had a good view of Pelosi over the past few years and have been wanting someone to replace her in lieu of the negative atmosphere in the party. But this is a good start of things to come.

Guess it took having Trump in office to give them a good kick in the ass over what really needs to be done.

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On 4/19/2018 at 12:57 PM, KHCast said:

“Take him out with us and let Mike [Pence] take over. At least then we could sleep well at night”

I sure as fuck couldn’t...I mean yeah I get that compared to trump he’s better, but still...is fucking Pence. And I have tons of issues with the guy that would have me not breathing a sigh of relief to see him as leader 

I dunno man. I abhor just about everything Pence stands for, especially regarding LGBT rights, but I wouldn't hesitate to put him in the Oval Office if it meant giving Trump the boot. At the very least Pence is a politician, he understands that if he wants to get anything done he needs good PR, which gives us, as the public some influence over him. Unlike Trump, who just does whatever the hell he wants, then retreats into his echo chamber and deludes himself into thinking everyone agrees with him. While Pence may initially be able to ride the support of Trump's cult of personality I doubt he'd be able to hold it together, he's just too mild to get people whipped up into a mindless frenzy like Trump does. He'd also be infinitely better for diplomacy, since he can at least form a coherent sentence and maintain a basic level of decorum, unlike this asshat:

Image result for trump shove gif

 

Now, I'm not gay or trans, so I don't have the perspective of somebody worrying that a person who openly hates me could become president (though, as an atheist, I'm sure Pence isn't too fond of me either) but, for what it's worth, there's some good news regarding Pence's ant-LGBT stances. Namely, LGBT rights are largely under the aegis of Supreme Court rulings, meaning that, for all intents and purposes, they are written into the Constitution, beyond the reach of the executive and legislative branches. The only way rights granted by a Supreme Court ruling can be revoked is if SCOTUS makes another ruling which reversing the initial decision, which almost never happens. Even with Gorsuch on the bench the principle of stare decisis is so thoroughly ingrained in legal tradition that there's little risk of relevant rulings being overturned.

Bottom line though, I trust Pence not to start a nuclear war if Kim Jong Un says he has a tiny penis. Trump, not so much.

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52 minutes ago, Bowbowis said:

I dunno man. I abhor just about everything Pence stands for, especially regarding LGBT rights, but I wouldn't hesitate to put him in the Oval Office if it meant giving Trump the boot. At the very least Pence is a politician, he understands that if he wants to get anything done he needs good PR, which gives us, as the public some influence over him. Unlike Trump, who just does whatever the hell he wants, then retreats into his echo chamber and deludes himself into thinking everyone agrees with him. While Pence may initially be able to ride the support of Trump's cult of personality I doubt he'd be able to hold it together, he's just too mild to get people whipped up into a mindless frenzy like Trump does. He'd also be infinitely better for diplomacy, since he can at least form a coherent sentence and maintain a basic level of decorum, unlike this asshat:

Image result for trump shove gif

 

Now, I'm not gay or trans, so I don't have the perspective of somebody worrying that a person who openly hates me could become president (though, as an atheist, I'm sure Pence isn't too fond of me either) but, for what it's worth, there's some good news regarding Pence's ant-LGBT stances. Namely, LGBT rights are largely under the aegis of Supreme Court rulings, meaning that, for all intents and purposes, they are written into the Constitution, beyond the reach of the executive and legislative branches. The only way rights granted by a Supreme Court ruling can be revoked is if SCOTUS makes another ruling which reversing the initial decision, which almost never happens. Even with Gorsuch on the bench the principle of stare decisis is so thoroughly ingrained in legal tradition that there's little risk of relevant rulings being overturned.

Bottom line though, I trust Pence not to start a nuclear war if Kim Jong Un says he has a tiny penis. Trump, not so much.

Yeah I get that he’s the better pick, I’m saying don’t expect me to sigh a breath of relief. I mean lgbt being protected kinda means jack shit considering racism is still prevalent and institutionalized despite minorities being protected under civil rights laws. And the point is the message having a homophobic president sends and what that can potentially normalize. I mean imagine the president funding or encouraging anti-lgbt ideals or groups openly. Or endorsing god help us conversion therapy on the dl. I mean again, like my initial post says, I haven’t warrented reasons to still not feel safe with him as president. It’s understandable how straight people would feel more comfortable, as they aren’t in any danger, but even if legally I’m not in any foreseeable danger, societally I sure would be, when homophobes feel more legitimized.(not to mentioned I’m sure they could find workarounds to establish discrimination policies under the guise of religious rights like they’ve been doing if they really wanted. Gay marriage being legal doesn’t mean it’s a paradise for lgbt people in the legal sense all of a sudden)

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16 hours ago, Bowbowis said:

I dunno man. I abhor just about everything Pence stands for, especially regarding LGBT rights, but I wouldn't hesitate to put him in the Oval Office if it meant giving Trump the boot. At the very least Pence is a politician, he understands that if he wants to get anything done he needs good PR, which gives us, as the public some influence over him. Unlike Trump, who just does whatever the hell he wants, then retreats into his echo chamber and deludes himself into thinking everyone agrees with him.

No. A thousand times no. I think to suggest Pence would be better as a comparison point to Trump is a rather severe misunderstanding of the incompetence that the administration has when Trump is running as the mouthpiece. Trump can't actually do whatever he wants. He thinks he can and his core followers believe he can, and that makes him regularly look foolish when he tries and it doesn't work; but the end result of that is regularly that when he tries something outrageous and it immediately fails under scrutiny (either from lawmakers or federal courts), he pisses and moans and blames everyone else about it on Twitter but then usually gives up. It has been said many times that frequently the biggest stumbling block for the GOP ramrodding through shady backroom dealings with the amount of control they held over the government has been Trump himself, usually growing bored with the minutiae of politicking and either telling the GOP leaders that he doesn't care anymore or siding with the Democrats just so he act like he "won" something for his legacy. At the very least Pence is a politician, and an established bona-fide Neo-Con at that.

 

 

How much a shit did the previous actual Republican president give about popular sentiment? You know, the one that goes on late night talk shows and jokes with the host about how shitty Trump his; breathing a sigh of relief that everyone can't remember there were actual legislative bodies that wanted to charge his administration with war crimes, all forgotten because Trump threw a tantrum about something he saw at a football game. The one who had several views that were similar (granted, nothing I can remember being as extreme, but definitely similar) and let them shape some of his policy? Sure, come midterms Pence's ability to get anything through would be diminished greatly compared to the power Trump theoretically wields now; but how much of that power has Trump actually been able to successfully use? You know what Pence wouldn't do, as a career politician? Take everything acting against him as such a personal slight that he overreacts to the extent of torpedoing the very thing he was trying to get pushed through.

 

16 hours ago, Bowbowis said:

Namely, LGBT rights are largely under the aegis of Supreme Court rulings, meaning that, for all intents and purposes, they are written into the Constitution, beyond the reach of the executive and legislative branches.

That's not true and has never really been true in this country. There was a discussion about line item vetoes a few pages ago that are very much absolutely unconstitutional as of the back half Clinton's administration; and the following two administrations both asked for and nearly received similar, deliberately-written-around-the-court-ruling powers for the president anyway. Would they have failed under court scrutiny? Maybe, but until they actually went before a court they could have been used all the same.

 

Trump also asked for it, and if he wasn't such a doddering divisive idiot the House probably would have tried to get him them as well.

Quote

The only way rights granted by a Supreme Court ruling can be revoked is if SCOTUS makes another ruling which reversing the initial decision, which almost never happens.

You mean like how Brown vs Board made it so black people have been on a fully equal standing with white people for the past 65 years?

 

 

The homosexual rights recently "granted" (meaning codified as being Constitutional rights) by Supreme Court rulings are:

Marriage.

Having sex.

 

That does nothing for transsexuals, who have their own issues completely unrelated to those of the fights of LGB people (and is incidentally why there have been objections for the use of LBGT as an umbrella term). That does nothing to automatically stop the executive or legislative branches of any backwards yokel state or the subsequent federal representatives for them from taking punitive measures that are deliberately targeted towards gay people; nevermind things like bathroom laws.

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18 hours ago, Candescence said:

Say what you will about Pelosi, she's a brilliant whip and a smart woman. It'd be difficult say if anyone is capable of replacing her as leader of the house Dems at this time, considering how competent she is.

 

14 hours ago, Conquering Storm's Servant said:

Honestly, I can't really say I had a good view of Pelosi over the past few years and have been wanting someone to replace her in lieu of the negative atmosphere in the party. But this is a good start of things to come.

Guess it took having Trump in office to give them a good kick in the ass over what really needs to be done.

Honestly the people making the most fuss over Pelosi's decision are the ones who aren't in politics and frankly shouldn't be.

Neither party or its base is ideologically homogeneous. Compromise is a must to be successful. Look at all the good "no compromise" politics has been doing to the GOP. The Senate has, under various administrations, worked out bipartisan bills only for the House to throw a fit and not pass them.

So Pelosi said, "you know what, while our Party will push social liberalism as a whole, people who are conservative on some issues are still welcome within the Party."

Which is a good take, because objectively, fiscal liberalism is generally more important than social liberalism. This is why the "socially left, fiscally right" Libertarians are objectively right wing, because their fiscal conservatism basically undermines all the rights being socially left would give.

With more social services, we see a dramatic reduction in abortions, reducing that issue's salience.

With higher wages across the board, we see less crime.

With a stronger, unconditional social safety net, marginalized communities mehave a much easier time getting back on their feet.

With more education, people are more likely to vote, reducing the effectiveness of many voter suppression tactics.

And so on.

Are socially liberal policies still important? Of course. But if we have to pick and choose at any given moment (which you do, considering you can only pass so much of a platform), moving to the left economically is rightly a priority. Affirmative action is a boon for equality, but you know what's even better? Increasing funding for lower education so minorities who don't come from rich families benefit too.

http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/op-ed/article201578004.html

Meanwhile, the Center for American Progress think tank has unveiled a healthcare plan. The CAP is very close to a lot of Democratic leaders, meaning this plan will likely inspire whatever healthcare proposals the Dem majority would put forward. Main points:

-Everyone is eligible for the plan; you can keep your existing plan

-Anyone without insurance is automatically enrolled when they show up for care; children are automatically enrolled at birth

-Incomes below 150% of the poverty level pay no premiums, anyone above that pays a sliding scale premium capped at 10% of income

-Deductibles, co-payments, and out-of-pocket costs also vary by income

-Employers could choose to shift to a Medicaid Extra plan

It's not a full on single payer plan, but holy crap is it getting there.

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http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/385128-ousted-house-chaplain-ryan-told-me-to-stay-out-of-politics

Separation of church and state issues aside, the GOP just exposed how little it actually gives a damn about the very faith it likes to invoke.

Because the House chaplain hinted the GOP should look out for the poor (you know, a pretty strong Christian value) in crafting a tax bill, he was forced out by Ryan.

A stark contrast to Speaker Boehner, whose reason for resignation probably had something to do with the fact the Pope outright said Boehner's faith and his politics were at odds.

Ryan and the GOP leadership revealed their true colors here. He's not a Christian, he's an Objectivist who plays Christian when convenient, such as you know, not baking cakes for gay people.

I guess it should not be surprising that the elites turn the common people on each other as usual. They play believers against secularists, whites against blacks, men against women, etc.

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It's an incredibly overt display of modern Republican ideals, a chaplain forced to resign by the party of choice for many Christians, just for asking the aforementioned party to think of the poor during their tax bill debate. Clearly Ryan is not, and was never, a man who has had the poor's best interests at heart.

Meanwhile, the Russian lawyer who met with Donald Jr. at Trump Tower in 2016, has admitted that she's an informant for the Kremlin:

Quote

The Russian lawyer who met with Trump campaign officials in Trump Tower in June 2016 on the premise that she would deliver damaging information about Hillary Clinton has long insisted she is a private attorney, not a Kremlin operative trying to meddle in the presidential election.

But newly released emails show that in at least one instance two years earlier, the lawyer, Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, worked hand in glove with Russia’s chief legal office to thwart a Justice Department civil fraud case against a well-connected Russian firm.

Ms. Veselnitskaya also appears to have recanted her earlier denials of Russian government ties. During an interview to be broadcast Friday by NBC News, she acknowledged that she was not merely a private lawyer but a source of information for a top Kremlin official, Yuri Y. Chaika, the prosecutor general.

“I am a lawyer, and I am an informant,” she said. “Since 2013, I have been actively communicating with the office of the Russian prosecutor general.”

The previously undisclosed details about Ms. Veselnitskaya rekindle questions about who she was representing when she met with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and others at Trump Tower in Manhattan during the campaign. The meeting, one focus of the special counsel investigation into Russia’s election interference, was organized after an intermediary promised that Ms. Veselnitskaya would deliver documents that would incriminate Mrs. Clinton.

Ms. Veselnitskaya had long insisted that she met the president’s son, son-in-law and campaign chairman in a private capacity, not as a representative of the Russian government.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/27/us/natalya-veselnitskaya-trump-tower-russian-prosecutor-general.html

Don Jr., meeting with an actual Russian spy (sort of) for dirt on Clinton. Mueller has to be all over this. Collusion doesn't get that much more overt.

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https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/29/politics/pompeo-iran-nuclear-deal-intl/index.html

In a meeting with the Saudis, Pompeo has dropped further hints the US will be pulling out of the Iran deal.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/26/middleeast/iran-deal-scenarios-lister-intl/index.html

However, there is considerable pressure on the US to not tear it up. Not only are the European powers interested in maintaining the deal, there is a concern that any Korean peace process will fall apart if the US casually shreds the deal due to the fallout for diplomatic legitimacy.

What the allies are pushing for is crafting a second deal that would address issues with the original: limits on Iran's ballistic missile program, pushing back the 2025 "sunset provision" and reaching agreements on Iran's activities in Yemen, Syria, and elsewhere. These would address the main issues Trump and his allies have with the deal in the US, and help the deal stay intact.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/28/politics/trump-stabenow-tester-comey/index.html

Trump slammed several Democrats by name in a speech in Michigan. Most amusing is his statement that if he said some of the things Jon Tester said, he would never be elected again. I'm sorry but LOL.

In the same speech Trump kind of slammed the people in Michigan for electing Senator Stabenow, so hopefully that will turn into a deplorables moment for him and weaken the GOP's November turnout in the state.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/29/politics/trump-london-embassy-lousy-intl/index.html

In what is likely another front to Trump's feud with the mayor of London, Trump has attacked the new embassy in London for having a "lousy" location. President Bush finalized plans to move the embassy back in 2008 amid concerns that it was not secure enough as well as to allow the USA to actually own the land beneath the new embassy.

Kind of shows he should have stuck to real estate when he's more concerned with looks than important things like safety and sustainability.

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