22
   

Monitoring Biden and other Contemporary Events

 
 
BillW
 
  2  
Reply Sun 28 Nov, 2021 07:27 pm
@edgarblythe,
I do have one theory; but, it needs inventions - self powered teleportation machines.

Whenever you view a star, planet, moon etc through a telescope, you are viewing that object in the past. So, you find an object that is at the time period you want to visit on earth. You teleport to that object, then, teleport back to earth and you should be in the past. Of course, don't forget to take teleport and survival equipment with you so you can make your next trips safely.
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 28 Nov, 2021 07:33 pm
@BillW,
Oh. That sounds simple enough. I bet Radio Shack has everything you need to make it go.
BillW
 
  2  
Reply Sun 28 Nov, 2021 07:43 pm
@edgarblythe,
Need a physicist 😜 beam me up Scotty!
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 28 Nov, 2021 07:49 pm
@BillW,
I just want to use it a few times after it's perfected.
BillW
 
  2  
Reply Sun 28 Nov, 2021 07:58 pm
@edgarblythe,
What Insurance company are you going to invest in? Or, are you going to just invest in a savings account in the Bank of England? Just think what a $5,000.00 investment in 1600 would be worth today. Be sure and take gold.
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 28 Nov, 2021 08:06 pm
@BillW,
I'm going to take comic books.
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2021 06:32 am
The ‘Visible Deterioration’ in American Democracy Is Just the Start

There’s no longer a place in this fight for centrists acting as if the guardrails of democracy will magically protect us even as GOP goblins dismantle them on a daily basis.

Quote:
While many in the media and political landscape are distracted by the phantom menace of wokeness, the US was just added to an annual list of “backsliding” democracies for the first time ever.

It’s an urgent reminder to Americans battling windmills like Critical Race Theory and The 1619 project, and desperately rehabilitating former Trump officials, that we have less than a year to try and save our ailing Republic from an increasingly radicalized and weaponized GOP death cult.

Earlier this week, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) based in Stockholm warned about a “visible deterioration” in US democracy that it says began in 2019 and rapidly accelerated after Trump refused to concede the 2020 election. For the fifth straight year, more countries moved towards authoritarianism than democratisation, according to IDEA, which currently sees only 98 democracies around the world—the lowest number in years.

In addition to the Big Lie, which is believed by a majority of Republican voters and promoted by most Republican elected officials, the think tank also cited our decline in civil liberties and checks on government. A co-author of the report also pointed to the “decline in the quality of freedom of association and assembly during the summer of protests in 2020” after the murder of George Floyd.

The acquittal and subsequent adulation of shooter Kyle Rittenhouse—who says he supports the BLM movement and showed it by bringing an AR-15 to a protest and killing two of its supporters—surely isn’t an auspicious sign for the future of our democracy. It is springtime, however, for violent vigilantes and gun enthusiasts who no longer have to wear their hoods in public or abide by laws and election results they don’t like. Republicans in the House are publicly competing to make Rittenhouse their Congressional intern, while Marjorie Taylor Greene has a bill to give him a gold medal.

The Republican Party is now considered an illiberal, far right movement, with rhetoric “closer to authoritarian parties, such as Fidesz in Hungary,” according to a massive V-Dem Institute study in 2020 that surveyed the policy positions of political parties around the world. Coincidentally, Hungary, which is beloved by conservatives, is no longer considered a democracy but a “hybrid regime.”

This is exactly why Tucker Carlson recently went there to host his top-rated Fox show in part thanks to a recommendation from conservative writer Rod Dreher, who admires Orban for “willing to take the hard stances necessary to keep his country from losing its collective mind under assault by woke loonies.” Those “hard stances” include promoting virulent nationalism, anti-Muslim bigotry, and anti-semitic conspiracy theories, as well as silencing the press, purging academics, and replacing critical voices in the government and courts with subservient yes-men. No wonder Steve Bannon said Orban was “Trump before Trump.” Hungary is your ideal blueprint if you’re a white, Christian, nationalist movement that seeks to abuse its power to ensure minority rule at all costs.

Republicans are trying their best to play catch-up. In addition to the failed coup attempt of Jan. 6, they have introduced pernicious voter suppression bills across the country to make sure people of color can no longer tilt once reliably red states like Arizona and Georgia.

And Republicans are furiously redrawing maps in absurd and byzantine ways to wipe out competitive House districts and rig the map for their party. Some of these new maps in Ohio, where 45% of voters went for Biden, are deliberately diluting Black voters, making it nearly impossible for Democrats to win even if they receive the majority of votes—which is exactly what happened in Wisconsin after Republicans shamelessly chiseled and molded their maps with surgical precision.

If gerrymandering doesn’t work, then Republicans will use their majorities in state legislatures to rewrite the rules and strip Democrats of power, which is what they did in 2018 after Governor Tony Evers defeated Scott Walker in Wisconsin. Conservative hacks in courts across the nation, packed thanks to Mitch McConnell and the Koch brothers’ money, will follow their Federalist Society marching orders and uphold these laws solely designed to maintain the party’s grip on power.

To make sure the next coup doesn’t fail, the MAGA cult is also purging and culling fellow Republicans to ensure that only wide-eyed loyalists remain. In 2020, America was able to avert Trump’s coup attempt thanks to some Republicans like Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger who refused to cave even as Trump pressured him to “find” votes. Like Rep. Liz Cheney, Raffensperger is now exiled and ex-communicated. Pathetically, he’s still open to voting for Trump again in 2024, just like Chris Christie, who almost died from COVID-19 most likely given to him by Trump. Desperation and an addiction to relevance are its own powerful, self-destructive drugs.

Not all is lost. There’s still time to take on the death cult.

President Biden’s number one priority has to be amending or nuking the filibuster, an obstructionist instrument of Jim Crow, so Democrats can pass voting rights protections before the 2022 midterms. In a public letter, more than 150 scholars of U.S. democracy warned, “Defenders of democracy in America still have a slim window of opportunity to act. But time is ticking away, and midnight is approaching.” Unfortunately, Democrats are saddled with Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema, who remain committed to the ghost of bipartisanship even as Manchin’s Freedom to Vote Act was killed by Republicans using — wait for it — the filibuster.

In the midst of this internal assault on US democracy by Republicans and the conservative movement, President Biden is preparing to host the international democracy summit. Ironically, he can show his resolve and commitment to democracy by exercising his bully pulpit like LBJ to do whatever’s necessary to win over these conservative Democrats, who are currently being rewarded by corporate lobbyists for their obstructionism, and pass voting rights protections and the Protecting Our Democracy Act. Bribe, bully, sweet-talk, deal, adulate, punish — whatever it takes, because democracy is at stake.

As he’s trying to win over Manchinema, who will be busy gutting Biden’s expansive and popular Build Back Better plan, Democrats have to finally take off their hoops and shoes, roll up their sleeves, and dive into the culture war, attacking Republicans on issues concerning race, religion and gender. They can no longer sheepishly retreat and blame “progressives'' for every humiliating loss, such as the one they recently suffered in Virginia.

Over 81 million people elected Biden to replace Trump and hold him and his cronies accountable. In addition to the Justice Department aggressively following up on the massive evidence of GOP complicity in the Jan. 6 insurrection, Democrats have to attack Republicans in the media, relentlessly focusing on messaging, painting them as the dangerous extremists they are and warning Americans about what will happen to their rights, their health care, the climate and democracy if the GOP returns to power in 2022.

There’s no longer a place in this fight for centrists promoting platitudes about bipartisanship, engaging in asymmetrical and reductive both-sides narratives and acting as if the guardrails of democracy will somehow magically protect us even as GOP goblins are openly and actively dismantling them on a daily basis.

You have to take a side.

Do you want to stand with those that want to slide us back to American democracy of the 1950s, when white men were on top, able to stand their ground, hold their smoking guns, and look down upon the rest of us to feel great?

Or, do you want to stand with a multicultural majority that is committed to moving forward and expanding this country to embrace and fulfill its still unrealized potential as a democracy in progress?

Democrats have to choose, but the clock is about to strike midnight and, like our democracy, they are running out of time.

dailybeast
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  4  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2021 07:30 am
The portion of this NYT piece which I've bolded makes a point which is too often not grasped or properly appreciated.
Quote:
...This hints at a weakness of the new focus on misinformation: It’s a technocratic solution to a problem that’s as much about politics as technology. The new social media-fueled right-wing populists lie a lot, and stretch the truth more. But as American reporters quizzing Donald Trump’s fans on camera discovered, his audience was often in on the joke. And many of the most offensive things he said weren’t necessarily lies — they were just deeply ugly to half the country, including most of the people running news organizations and universities.

It’s more comfortable to reckon with an information crisis — if there’s anything we’re good at, it’s information — than a political one. If only responsible journalists and technologists could explain how misguided Mr. Trump’s statements were, surely the citizenry would come around. But these well-meaning communications experts never quite understood that the people who liked him knew what was going on, laughed about it and voted for him despite, or perhaps even because of, the times he went “too far.” ...
snood
 
  4  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2021 02:19 pm
@blatham,
Quote:
. But these well-meaning communications experts never quite understood that the people who liked him knew what was going on, laughed about it and voted for him despite, or perhaps even because of, the times he went “too far.” ...


I've tried to make a connected argument in the last few years. It usually came up when someone was talking about what a great businessman or salesperson Trump is, or how instinctive and talented he is at finding an audience of aggrieved people to play populist for... They were saying those things to explain his rapid takeover of, and continued sway over, the Republican party.

It's not because he was so good or skilled at anything in particular. He just became a vessel for everyone pissed about having to kowtow to an erudite black fellow and his scandal-free family for 8 years. The audience was hungry for pent-up racism; they were starving for a chance to scream "Amurika, love it or leave it!" again. They saw someone who would allow them to hate, unfettered.
snood
 
  3  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2021 02:23 pm
Under the part of the thread title "...and other Contemporary Events":

Chris Christie's new Book sold just 2,289 copies during its first week of release, making it one of the BIGGEST flops in history despite nonstop coverage on every cable news network.



hightor
 
  3  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2021 02:31 pm
@snood,
Quote:
For a long time now, the American electorate has been resigned to a “permanent campaign,” an unceasing carnival of exploratory committees, chicken dinners, and cable excitements. The 2024 campaign for the Presidency is unique in that it kicked off at around 2 A.M. on November 4, 2020, with a brazen act of seditious rhetoric broadcast live from the East Room of the White House. With the outcome still in question, Donald Trump declared “fraud.” And, when all the votes were counted with Biden as the winner, Trump set about fomenting the insurrection that ended with a mob of his delusional loyalists storming the U.S. Capitol.

Trump remains unapologetic, even serene, about those events. He told the journalist Jonathan Karl that he recalls January 6th as “a very beautiful time with extremely loving and friendly people.” Five people died as a result of that “very beautiful” moment, and nearly seven hundred of the “loving” marauders have been charged with various crimes. No matter. Just as pro-slavery Southerners refused to accept Lincoln as their President after the election of 1860, millions of Americans have been convinced by Trump and the social-media swamp that Biden’s Presidency is illegitimate.

Even as Trump is threatened with prosecution, he could run again. And he could win. Or he might step aside for one of his maximalist imitators: Ron DeSantis, of Florida; Josh Hawley, of Missouri; Ted Cruz or Greg Abbott, of Texas. The recent gubernatorial race in Virginia, however, hints at another sort of Republican future. Glenn Youngkin, a demi-billionaire, who made his pile in private equity, defeated the Democrat, Terry McAuliffe, an echt Clintonian, by carrying out a shrewd strategy of MAGA lite. Youngkin, a sober cynic, recognized that, in a state such as Virginia—which went for George W. Bush twice, then Barack Obama twice, then Hillary Clinton, in 2016, and Biden, in 2020—he would do well to gesture in Trump’s direction without mimicking his most lurid tactics. Youngkin never quite endorsed Trump’s election-conspiracy theory but said that he would vote for him if he got the Republican nomination in 2024, and that he was all for “election integrity.” He made a point of vowing to ban critical race theory in schools, even though it’s not part of the state’s curriculum. This kind of slick signalling allowed him to hold on to the Trumpian purists in rural areas, while luring back just enough swing voters in the suburbs. Youngkin beat McAuliffe by two per cent in a state that, just a year before, Biden won by ten.

Last week, Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey, published “Republican Rescue,” a book that seeks, in effect, to take the Youngkin strategy national. Many erstwhile members of the Trump circle have written books or blabbed to receptive journalists in the hope of cleansing their reputations. Christie is going to the literary laundromat because he may want to run for President in 2024. It’s hard to see how he has enough detergent.

Christie has been Trump’s friend, dinner companion, and adviser for two decades. He endorsed Trump early, wrote memos for him, prepped him for debates with Clinton, and encouraged him to appoint right-wing judges and to follow the path of America First. He ran Trump’s transition team—until Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon pushed him out. In fact, he writes, “very few people were as publicly invested in the success of Donald Trump as I was.”

Christie wants Republicans to accept him as the one member of Trump’s circle who always gave him unvarnished advice, who was always out for the good of the country and the Administration, never for himself: “I told him hard truths when no one else would.” But the portrait he paints of his friend is laughably selective. He ignores or doesn’t much care about the racism, the cruelty, the assault on voting rights, the authoritarian impulses. He describes Trump’s fits and furies as quirky charm—“norm-busting behavior.” As governor, Christie revelled in his own tantrums. And so, when he allows that he admires Trump’s “let-’em-squirm fearlessness,” he is also admiring himself.

Christie finally reaches his limit when Trump refuses to accept the election results and helps provoke the January 6th insurrection. Not that Christie, for all his insider status, had thought it was in Trump’s character to do so. The night before the election, he assured a Canadian interviewer that Trump and Biden were “both responsible men” and that, should Biden win, there was “no question in my mind that President Trump will participate in a peaceful transition of power.” Rather than admitting that he was wrong all along about Trump, he touts his own bravery when he tells George Stephanopoulos, on ABC, that “I disagree” with Trump’s seditious course. This is rather like disagreeing with the assault on Fort Sumter.

Christie is a canny narrator. He maintains over-all fealty to Trump, but wants you to know that he understands what kind of human being Trump is. In the waning months of the Administration, Christie was invited to the White House to attend the Rose Garden introduction of Amy Coney Barrett as a Supreme Court nominee and to help prepare Trump for a debate with Biden. Christie confirms how heedless Trump and his Administration were about COVID—masks were scorned in the White House—and, predictably, many officials and visitors, including Trump and Christie, got sick. While Trump was hospitalized at Walter Reed, he called Christie, who was suffering at a hospital in New Jersey. The President wanted to know one thing: “Are you gonna say you got it from me?”

Christie doesn’t blame Trump. He doesn’t dare. He lets him off the hook. “And that was the last call I got in the hospital from Donald Trump,” he writes.

Christie will never say bluntly what he knows to be true: that Trump’s Presidency had dire consequences for the country. Trump was impeached twice, yet Christie does not grapple much with that record. Instead, he insists that the Republicans must look forward. They must part ways with the militia crazies and the conspiracy theorists, to be sure, but above all they must wage battle with Biden, an “anticapitalist” who is imposing critical race theory on “unsuspecting” children. The climate catastrophe, the menace of authoritarianism at home and around the world—the biggest challenges that we face seem to interest Christie no more than they do the political party he hopes to lead. In “Republican Rescue,” he is asking the G.O.P. to support him because he was by Trump’s side until the ugly coda, when he wasn’t. The campaign slogan that comes out of this book might as well be “Vote for Chris Christie. Saner than Rudolph Giuliani.” Not exactly “Tippecanoe and Tyler too,” but it’s what he’s got.

nyer
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  3  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2021 02:57 pm
@snood,
It seems to me a fairly complex phenomenon. But it clearly precedes Obama's tenure. I can recall, for one example, a right wing dude who came onto A2K very early (close to twenty years ago) who stated that his entire purpose in posting was to upset liberals. He was at war and would support and celebrate any post from others which played the same game. Honesty was irrelevant.

And this has been the value set of the conservative movement from the time of Goldwater or even earlier. Liberals were the internal enemy threatening to destroy the nation. No question it has gotten much worse now since Limbaugh, Gringrich, Fox and finally with Trump. And I think that the progress that has been made by movement conservatives has made many of them quite giddy and gleeful. To them, this is now more akin to cheap entertainment than substantive political or moral problems.
blatham
 
  3  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2021 03:00 pm
You folks really must listen to this phone conversation between Michael Flynn and Lin Wood (recorded by Wood) QAnon Celeb Michael Flynn Privately Admitted QAnon Is Baloney
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2021 03:11 pm
@blatham,
Quote:
I can recall, for one example, a right wing dude who came onto A2K very early (close to twenty years ago) who stated that his entire purpose in posting was to upset liberals.

Tantor?
georgeob1
 
  -3  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2021 06:25 pm
@blatham,
blatham wrote:

It seems to me a fairly complex phenomenon. But it clearly precedes Obama's tenure. I can recall, for one example, a right wing dude who came onto A2K very early (close to twenty years ago) who stated that his entire purpose in posting was to upset liberals. He was at war and would support and celebrate any post from others which played the same game. Honesty was irrelevant.


This is actually quite amusing. Bernie, how would you describe your pursuits and focus during your 20 years on the site?

[blatham wrote:

And this has been the value set of the conservative movement from the time of Goldwater or even earlier. Liberals were the internal enemy threatening to destroy the nation. No question it has gotten much worse now since Limbaugh, Gringrich, Fox and finally with Trump. And I think that the progress that has been made by movement conservatives has made many of them quite giddy and gleeful. To them, this is now more akin to cheap entertainment than substantive political or moral problems.


This too is very amusing. Would you accept the proposition that there also exists an aggressive Liberal/ Left Wing/Progressive "movement" in the USA who themselves see Conservatives as a threat to the nation?
The politics of the country has become increasingly polarized over the past two decades , and, as the old Pearl Bailey/Louis Armstrong song goes , "It Takes Two to Tango".

Pearl, and her husband, Jazz drummer Louie Bellson spent several days on my ship on a USO tour of the Middle East. They were a couple so we berthed them in my in port cabin, where we had dinner together most nights. She was a very likeable and memorable character. We set up a stage on the hangar deck and she did a show for about three thousand, sailors there. As I concluded my welcome and introduction she took the microphone and said "Captain you're standing in my light" I left the stage laughing.
bobsal u1553115
 
  2  
Reply Tue 30 Nov, 2021 08:15 am
@snood,
Every time Chris Christie is disappointed an angel gets their wings.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Tue 30 Nov, 2021 10:47 am
Biden Is Quietly Continuing a Trump-Era Ploy to Privatize Medicare
https://truthout.org/articles/biden-is-quietly-continuing-a-trump-era-ploy-to-privatize-medicare/?fbclid=IwAR08crklHHuGQ9r3_WZU-W0lb3jVpnDKnPSxrlBVF_swIWLSN72SC63vt50
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Nov, 2021 11:16 am
I'm such an asshole for mentioning these things.
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Tue 30 Nov, 2021 11:46 am
@hightor,
Quote:
Tantor?

Perhaps. I certainly recall that name but not sure if same fellow. He was around for a few months, if I recall correctly.
blatham
 
  3  
Reply Tue 30 Nov, 2021 12:46 pm
@georgeob1,
Quote:
Quote:
blatham wrote:
It seems to me a fairly complex phenomenon. But it clearly precedes Obama's tenure. I can recall, for one example, a right wing dude who came onto A2K very early (close to twenty years ago) who stated that his entire purpose in posting was to upset liberals. He was at war and would support and celebrate any post from others which played the same game. Honesty was irrelevant.


This is actually quite amusing. Bernie, how would you describe your pursuits and focus during your 20 years on the site?

Profoundly different in both motivation and in style/process. I don't write with the goal of upsetting conservatives (though often not caring if that is a consequence). I try to get it right. I have no use for people on the left who are motivated as this fellow was or who play the same games.

Quote:
Quote:
[blatham wrote:
And this has been the value set of the conservative movement from the time of Goldwater or even earlier. Liberals were the internal enemy threatening to destroy the nation. No question it has gotten much worse now since Limbaugh, Gringrich, Fox and finally with Trump. And I think that the progress that has been made by movement conservatives has made many of them quite giddy and gleeful. To them, this is now more akin to cheap entertainment than substantive political or moral problems.


This too is very amusing. Would you accept the proposition that there also exists an aggressive Liberal/ Left Wing/Progressive "movement" in the USA who themselves see Conservatives as a threat to the nation?


Your common refusal to make important differentiations doesn't help your thinking, george. You would, I'm certain, hold that Tucker Carlson and Rachel Maddow are merely two sides of the same coin. Nor are you helped by your refusal to do any sort of careful study of the history of the conservative movement that arose around the time of Goldwater and how that ideological framework has now gained dominance within the modern party. You would, I again suspect, argue here that past Republican presidents would echo your statements justifying the behaviors of Donald Trump as President and party leader. That they would echo the broad right wing campaign (from it's media systems to almost all sitting GOP politicos) to forward the lie that the last election was stolen. Or you would argue that American conservatism has not undergone any significant or noteworthy changes in the last fifty or seventy years. Eisenhower -> Trump: no real change at all.

Yes, of course, parties always feature a range of voices, those more extreme and aggressive and those less so. But if you imagine or believe that the Democratic Party is now totally in thrall to and dominated by extremist voices at the federal and state levels then that only tells us how sloppy you are at choosing information sources. Again, if you imagine that AOC and Marjorie Taylor Greene are two sides of the same coin, you really are not paying enough attention to justify sitting down at your keyboard and writing stuff about your politics.

But I like your Pearl story.
0 Replies
 
 

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