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The General 'Murican Politics Thread

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5 hours ago, Bergamo (Ogilvie) said:

moderates like Heller and Flake have a mixed record where they believe marriage should be heterosexual only, but otherwise often vote pro-LGBT.

I can only assume they do this because the alternative puts them in danger of loosing come Re-election. They’re smart and understand how reality works and how consequences play out, unlike a lot of the GOP.

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On 7/13/2018 at 10:20 AM, KHCast said:

I can only assume they do this because the alternative puts them in danger of loosing come Re-election. They’re smart and understand how reality works and how consequences play out, unlike a lot of the GOP.

They also both come from fairly swingy states. :P Though they have a very unenviable position of needing to please moderate constituents and a hardline conservative primary base. 

That said, Flake is retiring this year and he basically gave his reason as not liking how the GOP is turning into a looney bin under Trump.

But yeah, one major culprit to how garbage America's political system is stems from how sorted so many constituencies are. If more areas were purple, there'd be a lot less hardline talk. You'd hear less "abortion is murder" and less "a fetus is a lump of cells" and more "let's find some sort of compromise." Ditto for guns, social services, any issue really. As it stands, though, most Democrats and Republicans can get away simply towing the party line... so that's what they do. Moderates have largely disappeared in the House and they're in danger in the Senate.

Moderate voters are partly to blame for this. Out of disgust for the polarization of the parties, they tend to abstain from participation in the primaries. This has made the parties grow further apart, and most moderates happily support the lesser evil come election day. If moderates involved themselves more in the whole election process, we'd see a lot less craziness, as the primary constituency would start to resemble the general election constituency.

Of course, some districts are just lopsided to begin with. But that speaks to the merit of enlarging or getting rid of districts.

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https://www.bbc.com/news/business-44823852

Papa John's is erasing its founder John Schnatter from its history, and will be removing him from its logo.

This is in response to news breaking of him using the n-word in a conference call. The call was about teaching him sensitivity and how to handle various sensitive issues so he would not cause another public relations disaster. He proceeded to complain that Colonel Sanders got away with using the n-word (Schnatter did not censor the n-word) without issue.

Sanders died in 1980.

Schnatter still owns about 30% of the company but he has resigned as Chairman and he lacks the voting power to do fuck all about this branding shift.

Icing on the cake: shares of Papa John's rose 3.1% after word got around of how he was being removed from the company's branding. For reference, most companies lose value whenever news breaks of a founder being forced out, dying, etc.

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19 minutes ago, Bergamo (Ogilvie) said:

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-44823852

Papa John's is erasing its founder John Schnatter from its history, and will be removing him from its logo.

This is in response to news breaking of him using the n-word in a conference call. The call was about teaching him sensitivity and how to handle various sensitive issues so he would not cause another public relations disaster. He proceeded to complain that Colonel Sanders got away with using the n-word (Schnatter did not censor the n-word) without issue.

Sanders died in 1980.

Schnatter still owns about 30% of the company but he has resigned as Chairman and he lacks the voting power to do fuck all about this branding shift.

Icing on the cake: shares of Papa John's rose 3.1% after word got around of how he was being removed from the company's branding. For reference, most companies lose value whenever news breaks of a founder being forced out, dying, etc.

Mental image:

PAPA JOHNS: Papa John's was named after John Johns, a perfect man who was not racist.

Random person: But I thought it was John Schnatter, and he was a bigoted assho-

PAPA JOHNS: NO! THAT MAN DOESN'T EXIST! WE WERE NEVER ASSOCIATED WITH HIM! EVEEEEEEEER!

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What does the balloon accomplish  though? Like I heard it cost the UK.....why does it matter to them. Around 28K US to have that  made. Like couldnt that have gone to a charity instead of that? but hey they got the free time to do things like that and it is their money. sort of like how i think some famous star had fans make them a go fund me to make them a billionaire. Lol i WISH my fans would do that for me.

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6 minutes ago, KHCast said:

As opposed to everything trumps said and done lol? To me it’s quite fitting 

Just saying, putting almost $40000 in £ just to make fun of Trump sounds immature at best. 

4 minutes ago, Meta77 said:

What does the balloon accomplish  though? Like I heard it cost the UK.....why does it matter to them. Around 28K US to have that  made. Like couldnt that have gone to a charity instead of that? but hey they got the free time to do things like that and it is their money. sort of like how i think some famous star had fans make them a go fund me to make them a billionaire. Lol i WISH my fans would do that for me.

Thank you!

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Probably to make a loud and clear statement? Idk may as well call people spending money on signs and markers to make protest statements wasters of money as they serve the same ultimate purpose. Is it petty, sure, but I don’t think they were intending to start a dialogue regarding their view that trumps a baby 

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For me the big thing about that protest wasn’t the balloon, but it was that they got a quarter of a million people to give the finger to trump. 

But anyway I’m still trying to grasp this shit going on with putin and the sheer ridiculousness of it all. Trump asks putin if he did it, putin says no and deflects it back to Hilary, and that’s good enough for the president to side himself with him over the intelligence agency of his country. Just...wow

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21 minutes ago, SenEDDtor Missile said:

But it got your attention didn't it?

Yes, but is it really worth it when it could've been used for better purposes like charity, especially when it was a large amount of money?

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5 minutes ago, KHCast said:

I mean you could say the same regarding a lot of the needless things trump and the gop have used money for ranging from vacations to golfing to parades to missle strikes, etc.

Oh, I agree those are wastes of money as well.

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Quote

Reporter: Just now, President Putin denied having anything to do with the election interference in 2016. Every U.S. intelligence agency has concluded that Russia did. What- who- my first question to you, sir, is, who do you believe? My second question is, would you now, with the whole world watching, tell President Putin - would you denounce what happened in 2016 and would you warn him to never do it again?

Trump: So let me just say that we have two thoughts. You have groups that are wondering why the FBI never took the server. Why haven't they taken the server? Why was the FBI told to leave the office of the Democratic National Committee, I've been wondering that, I've been asking that for months and months and I've been tweeting it out and calling it out on social media. Where is the server? I wanna know where is the server and what is the server saying? With that being said, all I can do is ask the question. My people came to me, Dan Coats [U.S. Intelligence Chief] came to me, and some others, they think it's Russia. I have President Putin, he says it's not Russia. I will say this, I don't see any reason why it would be but I really do wanna see the server, but I have, uh, I have confidence in both parties - I really believe that this will probably go on for a while but I don't think it can go on without finding out what happened to the server? What happened to the servers of the Pakistani gentleman that worked on the DNC? Where are those servers? They're missing. Where are they? What happened to Hillary Clinton's emails? 33,000 emails, gone. Just gone. I think in Russia they wouldn't be gone so easily. I think it's a disgrace that we can't get Hillary Clinton's 33,000 emails. I have great confidence in my intelligence people but, uh, I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today and what he did is an incredible offer. He offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators with respect to the 12 people. I think that's an incredible offer, okay? Thank you.

BUT HER EMAILS! CROOKED FBI!!

What a goddamn sickening joke of a man.

President Trump got up on stage today alongside Vladimir Putin, and made it abundantly clear that he takes Putin's word at face value, over the hard work and dedication of the US' entire intelligence community. Countless diligently spent man hours, increasing reams of evidence, actual indictments and more, rejected out of hand because he has been completely taken in by a veteran KGB agent (a man well used to handling intelligence assets and manipulating people), who also happens to be the Russian President. This, after referring to the European union as a foe, insulting and disrespecting multiple allies, and threatening to wreck NATO.

I say again: Trump got up on stage, alongside Putin, and didn't even attempt to defend the US. No, he blamed it. Victim blaming is what he does, and he did it in front of the entire world today. That is not the action of a man who cares one jot for his country or its interests.

John McCain responded well:

DiPtZE8XkAMEM6B.jpg:medium

Source.

 

This man is far and away the worst president of the past century, maybe longer. Though he admires strongmen, he himself isn't strong, he's weak. He isn't a patriot, he much more closely resembles a traitor, weakening America to benefit one of its top geopolitical rivals.

 

Meanwhile...

Things just keep getting more interesting in the investigation.

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2 hours ago, RedFox99 said:

Am I the only one here who feels that the Trump balloon is extremely petty?

Given the fact that he insulted our European allies, I’d say it’s anything but.

If anything, that’s just their way of sending a clear message.

 

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I quite like this article on the fallout of the whole summit. I think it gives a very accurate assessment of what happened and what the consequences are, avoiding sensationalism without understating the severity and importance of Trump's words and actions, and also has a very well-thought out consideration of what it means for the future. A+ journalism right here:

https://www.afr.com/opinion/columnists/helsinki-is-a-political-disaster-for-donald-trump-20180716-h12rms

Long story short: For those of you hoping for Trump to make a mistake that even his supporters can't condone, you got what you wanted. And so much more, given that Republicans who silently tolerated the man are now speaking out against him more. Turned out all he needed to do was to act so complacent and spineless towards Putin that even those in denial couldn't hold onto the belief that he isn't sitting right in the palm of Putin's hand and smugly grinning like he's the one in control.

Short term, this is a massive win for Putin and his supporters. Surely, they must be thinking, "Fuck the rest of the world, we got an American leader to bow to us, now we're gonna milk it for all its worth." But long term? This is horrible for Russia too. The fallout from this is on the US side is merely the perception Trump is an egotistical idiot that-- one who is weak and traitorous, perhaps, but still motivated by self-centered idiocy instead of outright malice. Its practically public knowledge now if it wasn't before that his views don't reflect the views of most American people, and that's he's highly ineffective at most everything. His damage to US relations will be shorter term as a result, and may even be rectified by his successor with help from Congress. Whereas Putin is near unanimously seen as malicious, a manipulative force who should never be trusted with anybody and who has successfully cowed or brainwashed people into submission with dirty tactics. His damage to Russian relations will span much deeper. Now anything he or future leaders of Russia tries to deny will be treated as confirmation that he or his underlings were involved somehow-- and much in the vein of the tale of the boy who cried wolf, if they ever really didn't do something they were accused of or actually faced legitimately unfair treatment, they won't be believed no matter what and the world will carry on like the Russian government is guilty as charged and/or deserving of how it was treated. This hurts all people in Russia, unfortunately. But most of all, it will hurt the mega rich who are based in Russia in some way, which is of some comfort to me. Russia has too many rich people who have proven themselves unworthy of fortune-- its high time some bank accounts got drained.

Me right now though? I'm honestly questioning why Pence is defending Trump's words and actions at the summit. Strategically, Pence is second in line to the presidency, and this is such an incredible opportunity to show hardline conservatives just the kind of know-how that made them feel comforted by his presence in the White House-- given that Congress is Republican dominant with no shortage of hardliners, perhaps he could even corral enough votes to invoke impeachment trials. I mean, don't get me wrong, President Pence sounds awful to me. I'd much prefer contending with the fallout of a dumb president who periodically shoots himself in the foot with a rocket launcher because he thinks it makes him soar upwards to contending with the fallout an actually competent, but callous and smarmily righteous, wingnut president. But I imagine President Pence sounds awesome to Mike Pence and a fair amount of hardliners, so why would he not try to capitalize in some way while the market is turning against Trump?

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Well, Putin gave him a football.

No untrustworthy man could give you a football now could they?

https://images.cdn.yle.fi/image/upload//w_1198,h_799,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/13-3-10307820.jpg

But yeah, seriously speaking, it is kind of interesting he said he trusts Putin more than his own country's people, that are pretty much working as his eyes and ears if I'm not too mistaken again. But then again, looking from here, it didn't seem to me like any other "witty remarks" of his, really. Though others are kinda taken aback. Of course it's not a good thing, but it wasn't too surprising, he's spontaneous like that as far as I can see.

I dunno, I'm not sure why Trump came here but I think Putin got at least something what he'd prolly wanted to get; talks with probably the most influential western president. Maybe they just wanted to diss others in peace.

Also I find it funny how they were here right now with this unexpected heat wave in here (dansing around 30 Celsius degrees), I wonder how heated it got.

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This is basically why Congress voted overwhelmingly to limit Trump's ability to cut deals with Russia, with veto-proof majorities.

The GOP is well-aware Trump is compromised, they just are too scared to outright overthrow him. They'd rather just keep him from being able to do much with Russian policy, and otherwise keep him around to keep his base loyal to the Party. President Pence would be just as useful for the GOP agenda, if not moreso, but putting Mike in charge would quite possibly alienate a lot of MAGA folks and cost the GOP the 2020 elections.

Should the GOP get massacred at the polls in a few months, they'll probably start thinking Trump is no longer a useful idiot, and just a plain idiot.

Quote

E92B1CDD-5C43-4F27-A4F2-291B8F792CB5.jpeg

For a guy who screams MAGA with legions of followers who scream the same, it's kind of amazing he doesn't realize there's reasons prior leaders refused to buddy up too closely to Russia. Being overly friendly with Russia has never really been in America's interests.

Which is where the America First nonsense is pretentious as shit. It assumes prior administrations did not make their decisions with US interests in mind.

Why have we chosen China over Russia all these years? Because as sad as life is for the people laid off by outsourcing, our trade deals with China rock for everyone else. And part of a good relationship with China is not getting too close to Russia.

14 hours ago, Meta77 said:

Like couldnt that have gone to a charity instead of that

13 hours ago, RedFox99 said:

Yes, but is it really worth it when it could've been used for better purposes like charity, especially when it was a large amount of money?

The same thing could be said of any money spent on campaigns.

Democracy is expensive. One reason it often runs into huge issues when it's established in poorer countries.

We could probably absolutely spend money on things besides elections and political statements. But at that point we may as well become an autocracy.

There's another way for a politician to avoid huge amounts of money being spent by their opposition: they can stop being a massive tool.

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58 minutes ago, Bergamo (Ogilvie) said:

And part of a good relationship with China is not getting too close to Russia.

Umm, this may be a bit of a dumb question, but how? What is it that makes it so?

As far as I'm aware, the second Western countries started to give sanctions to Russia over the Ukraine stuff, they went to make buddies with China. At least that's the picture I've got.

Is it something special with the relationship US has with China or something, since, you know, we got pandas in here this year and Russia is our land-border neighbour, is there just something I can't see? It's not like you can't ever be in some kind of terms with both...

Sorries if this was a dumb question, but I just got a bit curious about that thing. 😅

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6 minutes ago, BlueSky said:

Umm, this may be a bit of a dumb question, but how? What is it that makes it so?

As far as I'm aware, the second Western countries started to give sanctions to Russia over the Ukraine stuff, they went to make buddies with China. At least that's the picture I've got.

Is it something special with the relationship US has with China or something, since, you know, we got pandas in here this year and Russia is our land-border neighbour, is there just something I can't see? It's not like you can't ever be in some kind of terms with both...

Sorries if this was a dumb question, but I just got a bit curious about that thing. 😅

China and Russia's issues became serious with the rise of Communism in both countries. The USSR pushed heavily for Soviet Communism, but Mao wanted to implement his own take on Communism which eventually became known as Chinese Communism. This is surprisingly common with different Communist factions-- they're all for everybody becoming united under world Communism, but it better be THEIR take on Communism that becomes the norm around the world because only their take on Communism is best or good. Others are a good start and can be useful, but the others' take on Communism becomes perceived as inferior the moment it deviates. And at the time, none wanted to deviate harder than Mao Zedong.

One of the major sticking points is that in Soviet Communism, there is a very rigid and specific order of progression that leads to implementation of Communism. A society that had not yet industrialized on a large scale is not considered able to be converted to Soviet Communism-- the best thing it can do is support the big landowners in hopes of speeding up the progression to industrialization. China had yet to fully industrialize, and would not attempt to until the Great Leap Forward (which was a complete failure), but Mao was not content with anything that implicitly required him to support the fascists in charge at the time (for all the wrong reasons-- he didn't like fascism because it wasn't favoring him in any way and its disastrous consequences for the country made for a good sticking point in pro-Communist propaganda) and not implement Communistic success as rapidly as he would like. As a result, the order of progression in Chinese Communism was there, but not nearly as rigid or confining as Soviet Communism. A peasant society could become fully Communist in Chinese Communism ideology and industrialize later so long as it had enough will and desire for Communism and economical advancement... but in Soviet Communism, a peasant society acting as an industrial society would is a reckless disaster waiting to happen.
 
But despite the mutualistic antagonism and other problems with Stalin, Mao at least respected the man enough not to act too hostile towards him. Mao could respect a strongman, because he was a strongman, who had convinced himself that countries need a strongman to have good leadership. Despite finding the man incredibly frustrating, Mao appreciated that Stalin was passionate and held conviction about everything he wanted. The frustration was mutual, but not the respect-- Stalin found Mao to be an annoying thorn in his side and an ally of convinience at best. On the other hand, Mao utterly despised Stalin's successor Nikita Khrushchev, and that's when Russian-Chinese relationships reached their nadir. Khrushchev was a lot quieter, and softer, than Stalin and very very open to negotiating deals with people of other ideologies including capitalists without forcing some kind of conversion to Communism. From Mao's perspective, Khrushchev was a weak, spineless, dispassionate leader. Putting down a couple of protests in a violent and aggressive manner makes not a strongman in Mao's worldview, and so Khrushchev's acts in doing so would not impress Mao regardless of what his motives were (some say it was to impress Mao, others say that he's just following standard protocol for dealing with untimely uprisings in Soviet Communism). As a result, the antagonism shifted to be perpetrated largely on the Chinese end with Russia mostly imploring China to accept reason. Khrushchev's successors would be more aggressive than him (though still less aggressive than Stalin), but at that point, the damage was done. One of the most sacred sacraments in Soviet Communism is respect for all Soviet Communist leaders who have guided the country to and through Communism. No matter how they went about it, if it was in the confines of Soviet Communism, they had to be treated with great respect and reverence. So no matter what Khrushchev's successors thought or did, they could not respect a man who hated one of their prior leaders and never felt regret about it, nor a society who believed this man's slander wholeheartedly.

While this is all going on, Russia and China put on a good show of looking friendly with each other on the surface. Both Soviet and Chinese Communism strongly urge a united world under Communism, and they were not about to let their infighting put a damper on the worldwide revolution or convince any capitalists or other outsiders to even consider that Communists are anything but a united unit with the same goals and philosophies. Turned out this was a pretty good move on the Soviet part... if only America didn't find out. Nixon of all people made an important and well-publicized diplomatic meeting in China, learned the truth about Russian-Chinese relations, and made efforts exploiting this that were excellent for America by working out special trade deals (many of which still influence the American, Chinese, and global economy today in a positive manner) and by convincing China to stop doing its part in keeping up the facade of friendly relations with Russia (dealing a very strong blow to Russia's insistence that Communism is a united force of people who want the same things, and also enabling greater factional conflicts between the two countries and their ideologues that significantly slows progress in regards to spreading Communism).

That's the condensed version of the answer, anyway. This is a fascinating subject, but one that's mired in complications and nuances, so I encourage you to do more research on it if it interests you.

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