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The General 'Murican Politics Thread

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There's a point where trying to be civil to those who are being uncivil is simply a bad idea, however - for example, the Allied Powers appeasing the Nazis to try and avoid war right up until the invasion of Poland.

At some point, civility against someone who is actively hostile towards you and will go to any lengths to destroy everything you represent is a fool's errand. And considering the GOP under Trump and the right-wing are actively repeating the history of the Nazi Party (actual historians are raising the alarm about this), you have to keep in mind that specific threshold in question may have already been crossed.

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https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/10/supreme-court-makes-it-harder-for-tribal-north-dakotans-to-vote/

Heitkamp is pretty much guaranteed to get tossed out on her ass anyway. The Supreme Court has upheld a ruling protects voter ID laws in North Dakota, and basically guarantees Heitkamp will lose her seat. She won by only 3,000 votes in 2012, and she owes a lot of that to the Native American population. If the midterm enthusiasm is not strong, she will lose.

The GOP is actively doing its best to weaken Democrats with these "fraud prevention" measures. Civility has no place here. They want to monopolize power. Democracy is about freely competing for power.

It's really telling there is tons of evidence for voter fraud in the form of purchasing votes, but the GOP does not talk about that. I can't imagine why not.

But yeah, screw civility. This is not politics anymore. This is war between an aristocracy and the public will. If one of the major parties cannot win without actively suppressing the vote and upholding undemocratic institutions, there is something wrong.

The Democrats should absolutely consider doubling the size of the House of Representatives at the next opportunity, and should nuke the filibuster to get there. Make it even sweeter: invoke the 14th Amendment to cut the representation of all states with voter ID laws.

On the plus side, Bush's REAL ID law might end up weakening the strength of voter ID laws. Voter ID laws rely on the low utility of having an ID to be effective. A lot of people being told they can't fly or use federal facilities will convince a lot of people to get an ID.

https://www.marijuanamoment.net/trump-plans-to-back-legal-medical-marijuana-after-midterms-gop-congressman-says/

Meanwhile, Trump has said he will be discussing legalizing medical marijuana after the midterms. Other than the fact it is likely to be legalized in several jurisdictions on Election Day, the odds of Democrats making a sweep of the House will make the political climate more favorable to discussing loosening laws.

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8 hours ago, Coyote (Ogilvie) said:

On the plus side, Bush's REAL ID law might end up weakening the strength of voter ID laws. Voter ID laws rely on the low utility of having an ID to be effective. A lot of people being told they can't fly or use federal facilities will convince a lot of people to get an ID.

https://www.marijuanamoment.net/trump-plans-to-back-legal-medical-marijuana-after-midterms-gop-congressman-says/

Many of those who don't get IDs are those who live in cities, who utilize their public transportation infrastructures and have neither the need nor the money to get a proper ID. Are they really going to be convinced to get an ID just because some comparatively rich muckety-muck can't get on a plane?

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https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/10/11/1803668/-VICTORY-Death-penalty-abolished-in-Washington-by-order-of-State-Supreme-Court?utm_campaign=trending

Washington has abolished the death penalty by state Supreme Court order.

The ruling is made under the basis of state law, so presumably the federal courts will not get involved unless someone wants to make a constitutional case that states cannot outlaw the death penalty. Good luck with that.

https://www.vox.com/world/2018/10/11/17963714/stock-market-crash-dow-jones-global-trump

Play your Cosmic Fall music, because the stock market is in freefall and it looks like Trump had a hand in it. He is currently blaming the Federal Reserve's tightening of the money supply for the problem.

I like how when it's up, it's because of him, but when it is down, it's never his fault.

5 hours ago, TailsTellsTales said:

Am I the only one who considers giving massive tax cuts to the extreme wealthy a very evil and very immoral thing for a society to do especially in times of extreme income and wealth inequality? Like does anybody share that viewpoint?

Absolutely.

It's also profoundly stupid from a historical standpoint. Social welfare was invented not by Marxists eager to overthrow the capitalist class, but by conservatives realizing that starving, homeless people are the most likely group to decide a violent overthrow of the government sounds appealing. Rome saw the usefulness of social welfare. Muhammad too, and he institutionalized forced charity a lot better than Jesus did. The list goes on.

If you give people a stake in the system, they have more to lose. And so the modern welfare state was born.

Conversely, those with the most stake in the system should absolutely pay the most for its upkeep. The rich need us. We don't need them. Observe how casually a company tosses out CEOs. Now how many companies do you know that fire every single worker at once, or ban everybody from shopping there?

We have the power. Not them. They should pay their say, 50% tax rate, and be grateful for the opportunity to have so much more than all of us after it's collected.

3 hours ago, Patticus said:

Many of those who don't get IDs are those who live in cities, who utilize their public transportation infrastructures and have neither the need nor the money to get a proper ID. Are they really going to be convinced to get an ID just because some comparatively rich muckety-muck can't get on a plane?

A lot of people of all income levels fly at least occasionally, though. Plus it is possible Real ID could be used even for something like Amtrak.

It is not that IDs are insurmountably expensive, just that there is currently low utility to dropping the $10 to $100 (depending on how many steps a person needs to go through) necessary to get one. Were it more practically useful to have one, more people would get one. Consider this: a lot of poorer people will still scrape the money together to rent a suit for a job interview; there is a high utility to that expense.

Most of my family lives in poverty yet we still manage to travel. If we can't come up with the money ourselves, it is usually scraped together by other family members. Cost is less of a barrier than utility; is the cost of x worth the price? That is the question.

REAL ID will, overall, raise the utility of having a photo ID. And any state that tries to say that ID is not good enough is liable to get smacked hard with the Supremacy Clause.

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1 hour ago, Coyote (Ogilvie) said:

Muhammad too, and he institutionalized forced charity a lot better than Jesus did.

To be fair, Jesus wasn't exactly the ruler of Israel (the folks in charge of Israel were the aforementioned Romans), nor did he intend to be, whereas Muhammad basically ruled his own kingdom.

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16 hours ago, Coyote (Ogilvie) said:

Rome saw the usefulness of social welfare. Muhammad too, and he institutionalized forced charity a lot better than Jesus did. The list goes on.

You do know that Jesus at least preached about being more generous, right?

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10 minutes ago, Jiren (Metro) said:

Question, if Democrats are able to gain a majority in Congress, would the be able to do something about gerrymandering?

That's a state level issue, but you never know, they might be able to place some limits on it.

I'm more concerned about re-establishing net neutrality at this point.

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https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/09/opinions/mitch-mcconnell-has-damaged-all-three-branches-of-government-begala/

While we like to hate on Trump for the damage he is doing to our institutions, let us give a round of applause for Mitch McConnell, the man who really got things dirtied.

He threatened to paint the intelligence agencies as partisan if they dared come out against Trump's campaign by mentioning Russian influence.

He pushed through two Supreme Court nominations that really should not have happened.

He used the filibuster to block more nominations under Obama than all the other Presidents combined.

May he go down in history as much an asshole as Andrew Jackson.

The House of Representatives really just might become the most respected body in our government if those new rules get passed. There could not be a more delicious rebuke of Framers' intent than that, that the most democratic body in the government would be the least of a shitshow.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/12/politics/georgia-voter-lawsuit-brian-kemp/index.html

Georgia's election might heat up. There is a class action lawsuit against the state government because of voter laws that require ID verification to vote. The Secretary of State is defending it on the basis people can still vote, it just requires a provisional ballot. Except provisional ballots tend to carry a requirement you bring an ID somewhere else a week later, which discourages a lot of people from actually casting their vote.

You know, usual Republican legal hoops to voting. The same way opt-out registration over opt-in registration is classed as infringing on "choice."

Just remember how Jim Crow voter suppression was defended. "It's to prevent fraud." "Oh everyone can vote they just need to pass this, this, and this test." "Everyone can vote they just need to pay this small fee many months ahead of the election."

See a pattern here? And considering the alignment of Jim Crow states with red states... hmm.

10 hours ago, RedFox99 said:

You do know that Jesus at least preached about being more generous, right?

Yes, but it seems to fall flat compared to zakat.

Then again, it's more American Protestantism than Christianity that has this issue. Catholics and Orthodoxists are very fond of social welfare in addition to private charity.

Holy books are the same as constitutions I suppose. People read into them what they want to read.

9 hours ago, Jiren (Metro) said:

Question, if Democrats are able to gain a majority in Congress, would the be able to do something about gerrymandering?

In theory, yes.

They could repeal the law mandating single member districts for the House, but that would need to pass Trump's veto.

It would also need a condition that multi-member districts be allocated proportionally and not at large. Historically, multi-member districts have been used to suppress minority votes.

Federalism and the 14th Amendment have a fun relationship which will basically allow Congress to regulate federal elections with more leeway. It's why some states have "None of these candidates" as an option for offices, but only those that are not federal.

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https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/13/politics/the-forecast-democratic-hopes-taking-senate/index.html

Mixed political forecasts.

In all likelihood, the GOP will keep the Senate, but the forecast shows catastrophic losses to the GOP in the House and Governors' races. It is possible the coattails will go down and give Dems control of a lot of state legislatures as well.

This will put Dems in a position to roll back GOP gerrymandering for state and federal seats, and also allow them to freely disrupt the GOP agenda with noncompliance laws like sanctuary state bills.

https://www.cnn.com/election/2018/forecast/senate

The Senate is far from settled, however. Current margins of error mean that we could end up with a Senate with anywhere from 47 to 57 Republicans. It all comes down to turnout.

CNN is currently forecasting the GOP having a net gain of 1 seat.

Here's a real crucial takeaway though: the Democrats are owning it in the Great Lakes region. If they can keep their numbers there, Trump will not win reelection.

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3 hours ago, Coyote (Ogilvie) said:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/13/politics/the-forecast-democratic-hopes-taking-senate/index.html

Mixed political forecasts.

In all likelihood, the GOP will keep the Senate, but the forecast shows catastrophic losses to the GOP in the House and Governors' races. It is possible the coattails will go down and give Dems control of a lot of state legislatures as well.

This will put Dems in a position to roll back GOP gerrymandering for state and federal seats, and also allow them to freely disrupt the GOP agenda with noncompliance laws like sanctuary state bills.

https://www.cnn.com/election/2018/forecast/senate

The Senate is far from settled, however. Current margins of error mean that we could end up with a Senate with anywhere from 47 to 57 Republicans. It all comes down to turnout.

CNN is currently forecasting the GOP having a net gain of 1 seat.

Here's a real crucial takeaway though: the Democrats are owning it in the Great Lakes region. If they can keep their numbers there, Trump will not win reelection.

I don't like the GOP keeping the Senate, but I don't see them losing it either. I'll have to be happy with the House flipping. The race to watch for the Senate, though, will be Beto O'Rourke vs Ted Cruz - though I'll be keeping an eye on Heitkamp too, though with most forms of Native American IDs now being rejected due to not having a home address on them, I expect she'll lose. In similar news, apparently Indiana has struck over 400,000 voters from the rolls, in violation of a court order. The only way the GOP can win is by cheating, and boy howdy are they going at it this time...

The scariest part of Trump losing in 2020 is the likelihood that he'll run again in every general election until he dies, or him rejecting the election results outright. He won't be able to fathom the idea that he could lose, after he won before.

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https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/13/politics/white-house-ninth-circuit-judges/index.html

Trump has submitted three nominations for the 9th Circuit Court, which currently has 6 vacancies. Just in case the GOP does somehow lose the Senate, they're rushing through appointees to the most liberal Court in America.

Don't feel too discouraged by conservative courts, however. Besides the possibility of packing, Democrats have another weapon to use against a conservative judiciary: under the Constitution, Congress can declare the judiciary unable to rule on certain kinds of cases in terms of appeal. Since most of the federal court's power comes from hearing appeals... yeah, this would neuter the courts very fast.

Historically, few challenges to the Court's appellate jurisdiction have succeeded. This was generally because the Court took a step back and avoided Congressional reprisal. But in an era where every tradition is at risk, I think jurisdiction stripping might become a salient topic of discussion.

I would not be surprised if we see a shift to semi-Presidential government within our lifetimes. The Senate outright refusing to appoint the President's nominees unless they're people the Senate wanted first, the courts actively being stripped of their jurisdiction, the House starting to look like it should be the future and not the Senate...

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Of course, that system only benefits the Democrats when they're in office. When they inevitably get booted out by the electorate, the GOP suddenly has a means of ramming their agenda home with far, far less resistance (if any) from the judiciary.

I seems, from my perspective, to be a very dangerous path to go down.

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Of course, that same GOP can easily just pack the judiciary as it is doing now.

There is no real clear answer here, because our democratic system requires that we give the government the tools we'd be content to have used against us when we're not in power.

Should the courts start displaying open partisan hackery, annihilating their status as a relevant player becomes a lot more appealing.

http://thesource.com/2018/10/12/new-jersey-sets-october-29th-as-date-for-recreational-marijuana-legalization/

Days before the midterms, New Jersey is expected to pass a legal marijuana bill on October 29th.

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On 10/12/2018 at 8:26 AM, Candescence said:

To be fair, Jesus wasn't exactly the ruler of Israel (the folks in charge of Israel were the aforementioned Romans), nor did he intend to be, whereas Muhammad basically ruled his own kingdom.

Israel didn't exist in early imperial Rome. The province was called Judae. 

Also, Jesus did expect to rule over the world with his twelve disciples each representing the tribes of Israel. He envisaged God coming in his lifetime to establish a Kingdom of Heaven which he would rule over. After his death this obviously didn't happen.

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4 hours ago, Plasme said:

Also, Jesus did expect to rule over the world with his twelve disciples each representing the tribes of Israel. He envisaged God coming in his lifetime to establish a Kingdom of Heaven which he would rule over. After his death this obviously didn't happen.

I don't recall him ever saying that. 

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
Matthew 24:36 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.24.36.KJV

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6 hours ago, RedFox99 said:

I don't recall him ever saying that. 

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
Matthew 24:36 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.24.36.KJV

I'm not going to spend too much time on this because I don't want to stray too off topic. It's well established that Jesus interpreted himself as the Son of Man and a divine ruler of heaven, something which he expected would be established on earth in the lifetime of his followers. The Kingdom of Heaven (or God) was the idea of God's divine law established on earth.

Just as one example, from the Gospel of Matthew:

"For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” Matthew 16: 27-28.

This is a consistent point in the Gospels and it is mentioned at numerous points in the Synoptics that Jesus will descend on earth alongside God with his angels in the clouds to establish the Kingdom of God. I've studied New Testament literature in depth, have studied Koine Greek and am doing a PhD in Classics so kind of know what I'm talking about 😛 

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https://www.wsj.com/articles/republicans-attack-cuomos-plan-to-restore-felons-voting-rights-1538520147

Governor Cuomo of New York has been spearheading an effort to restore voting rights to parolees, and tens of thousands had their rights restored.

This follows 2016's mass restoration efforts in Virginia, where Governor McAuliffe responded to a court ruling he could not mass pardon 200,000 people by instead pardoning a bunch of them with an autopen.

Personally, I hope if Democrats take a lot of Governorships this year, they do the same thing. If the GOP wants to play dirty, let's jump down in the mud with them. There are millions of Americans who cannot vote due to felony disenfranchisement, and it is a population that leans Democratic.

If Florida votes to restore ex-felons' voting rights this November, I anticipate we will see a snowball effect not only of Democrats mass pardoning, but Republicans getting on board with the national popular vote. If Florida passes that amendment, it is game over for the Florida GOP and the national GOP's ability to win the Electoral College.

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https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/15/politics/donald-trump-elizabeth-warren-dna-1-million/index.html

Elizabeth Warren has taken a DNA test that has confirmed her Native American ancestry. Trump has denied he ever said he would pay her $1 million. He later clarified his promise to pay $1 million to a charity of her choice was only if she won the Democratic nomination first.

In fairness, Warren has taken the test so he can't try and use her ancestry against her should she start running next year.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/15/politics/saudi-arabia-congress-trump-khashoggi/index.html

The Senate has begun discussing taking action against Saudi Arabia for its alleged role in the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi. Voices from Marco Rubio to Bernie Sanders are saying investigations should be made and action taken. We might see a veto-proof bipartisan sanction bill against Saudi Arabia like we saw with Russia a while back.

Trump continues to warn against sanctions because of the weapons deal with the Saudis, and has said cutting the deal would cost jobs.

Unfortunately for him, most members of Congress have little reason to care about that. Most of them will be re-elected no matter what they do, as any job losses would inevitably be blamed on Trump. Senators in particular would be content to throw Trump under the bus. Your typical Senator can look at the President and go, "We were here before you, and we will be here after you, Mr. President" with a snide grin.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/15/politics/democrats-protest-grassley-judicial-nominee-recess/index.html

After McConnell cut a deal with Democrats to clear a slate of judges in exchange for the Democrats being able to go back home and campaign, Chuck Grassley is moving several nominations forward during the recess (that is, when there will be a minimal Democratic presence to oppose any of them). He blasted Democrats for "obstruction" that has left many vacancies. Pretty sure he was quiet on his buddy Mitch doing it.

I am glad he is 86 and will be 90 when his seat is next up. Also this is his seventh term. Good Lord do we need term limits.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/15/politics/trump-painting-the-republican-club-presidents-white-house/index.html

Meanwhile there's this. Trump has hung a painting of himself having a drink with past Republican Presidents in the White House.

The fact he is so close to Lincoln, Teddy and Ike disgusts me.

Him being right next to Ford and Nixon is right on the money, though.

In the spirit of bipartisanship, I think he should be having an exclusive party with Andrew Jackson, personally.

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1 hour ago, Coyote (Ogilvie) said:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/15/politics/donald-trump-elizabeth-warren-dna-1-million/index.html

Elizabeth Warren has taken a DNA test that has confirmed her Native American ancestry. Trump has denied he ever said he would pay her $1 million. He later clarified his promise to pay $1 million to a charity of her choice was only if she won the Democratic nomination first.

In fairness, Warren has taken the test so he can't try and use her ancestry against her should she start running next year.

He can and will use it - the Pocahontas epithet is not going to disappear, and he'll use the likelihood of her indigenous ancestor being 8 generations back to make comments like, "I heard Pocahontas got tested! Yeah, she's only a thousandth Indian, but then, aren't we all? She's not a real Indian," or, "I've been hearing from many good people that she bribed the DNA test center," or maybe, "It's junk science, folks, these liberal scientists are changing our DNA, yeah it's true I looked into it, and it's they're setting fire to our heritage!"

He lies on a daily basis about the most basic things in his quest to reaffirm the dominance of conservative white men, so even though Warren now has something of a shield with which she can defend herself against his attacks, I wouldn't expect his race baiting attacks to just stop.

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https://www.twincities.com/2018/10/15/plan-aims-to-boost-native-american-voting-in-n-d-after-supreme-court-decision/

In response to the Supreme Court ruling allowing North Dakota's voter suppression, Native American leaders have delved deep into all the nuances of North Dakota voting laws and have crafted a strategy to counter the suppression. They will be standing outside all the tribal polling centers with laptops they can use to access the voter database so they can prove each indigenous person's right to vote.

North Dakota is the only state that does not require voter registration. All it asks for is proper identification. The tribal leaders will be using computers to provide it on the spot.

They say it doesn't matter if Heitkamp wins or loses, they just want to show they're not taking this laying down.

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