Monitoring Biden and other Contemporary Events

Frank Apisa
Reply Sat 2 Jul, 2022 12:32 pm
hightor wrote:

Democrats and Republicans both majority agree that the current government is heading in the wrong direction.

No, that's not what the poll says. It says that both Democrats and Republicans think the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Democrats are appalled at the the gun lobby, attempts by red states to suppress voter turnout, racial and gender prejudice, inaction on climate change, inflation, income inequality, christian nationalism, the packed Supreme Court, etc.

Republicans are apoplectic over LGBTQ issues, urban crime, secular humanism, taxes, contraception, abortion, sexuality in general, scientific expertise, BLM, public health measures to combat covid, inflation, Biden, etc.

Our government is hamstrung by partisan gridlock and is actually not going in any direction.

Great catch, Hightor!
0 Replies
Reply Sat 2 Jul, 2022 01:58 pm
The National Ambitions of States’ Rights Reactionaries

Jamelle Bouie wrote:
One way to understand the work of the Republican Party and its six-member majority on the Supreme Court is to think about the American political system in terms of its defensive and offensive potential. Here, a historical example is in order.

For the political and economic elites of the Jim Crow South, states’ rights, federalism and the counter-majoritarian institutions of the American system were the shields used to defend their interests from national authority.

With a controlling stake in the political fortunes of the Democratic Party through the presidential nomination process, a de facto veto on legislation in Congress through the filibuster and a favorable Supreme Court ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson, Southern elites could keep their system of race hierarchy and class domination away from the reach of the federal government. They could not impose a system of national segregation but they could — for most of a century — stop federally mandated desegregation.

If the intellectual father of Southern reaction was the slaveholder and statesman John C. Calhoun, then this was a kind of “concurrent majority,” an informal version of the system he imagined at the end of his life, where “each division or interest has, through its appropriate organ, either a concurrent voice in making and executing the laws or a veto on their execution.”

When Calhoun developed this idea, however, the South was not on the defensive. Southern elites held powerful positions in every branch of government. They elected presidents, dominated the Senate and could claim the Supreme Court as their own. And as political antislavery sentiment took hold in the North in the decade before the Civil War, these Southern elites — operating at the apex of their power — used those same tools of states’ rights, federalism and the counter-majoritarian institutions of the American system to try to extend and entrench their power over the nation.

The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 did not require Northern states to condone slavery, but it did force them to assist in apprehending escaped slaves. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 did not impose slavery in the territories, but it did give slaveholders a chance to expand the institution through plebiscite. And in 1857, although the Supreme Court chose not to invalidate state laws forbidding slavery in Dred Scott v. Sanford, it did say that the Constitution could not and would not recognize the rights of Black Americans.

Two different generations of Southern elites used many of the same tools. But where one wielded them like a sword, the other used them like a shield.

Here in the present, the conservative movement has, through the agency of the Republican Party, also weaponized federalism, states’ rights and the counter-majoritarian institutions of the American system. But they’re not using them to defend a particular, localized social order; they’re using them to create and extend one beyond the borders of so-called red states to the rest of the country.

To that end, conservatives on the Supreme Court have used their majority to either shield Republican-led states from federal interference — invalidating much of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and freeing lawmakers to engage in extreme partisan gerrymandering — or to prevent Democrat-led states from encroaching on conservative priorities like gun rights or an expansive vision of religious freedom — so much so that it swallows the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

The court has also freed Republican-led states to try extend their authority beyond their borders. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, overturning Roe v. Wade, Republican lawmakers have introduced bills that try to curb abortion with limits on the right of travel between states.

In its next term, the Supreme Court will take up the “independent state legislature doctrine,” a theory that, if affirmed in the Constitution, would give state legislatures power to shape federal elections, up to and including the power to circumvent the voters when they make a choice the legislatures don’t like.

States’ rights, national reach.

Much of this is hypocritical and inconsistent. But to point to hypocrisy and inconsistency among Republican lawmakers and Republican justices is to miss the larger picture: a government of reactionaries, by reactionaries and for reactionaries.

Or, put a little differently, Heads we win, tails you lose.

0 Replies
Reply Sat 2 Jul, 2022 07:31 pm
The orange shitgibbon is threatening to announce his candidacy this month. I’m hearing murmurs that Garland’s likelihood to indict will decrease if T-wretch is an active candidate for president. This mess gives me stomach acid.
Reply Sat 2 Jul, 2022 08:11 pm
snood wrote:

Garland’s likelihood to indict will decrease if T-wretch is an active candidate for president.

Hasn't seemed likely in any case.
Reply Sat 2 Jul, 2022 09:40 pm
roger wrote:

snood wrote:

Garland’s likelihood to indict will decrease if T-wretch is an active candidate for president.

Hasn't seemed likely in any case.

Opinions vary widely on that
0 Replies
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2022 02:00 pm
The Sleeper ‘Wire Fraud’ Scheme That Could Nail Trumpworld
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2022 02:31 pm
“You don’t get to say things you know to be false,” Adams said, and the testimony of campaign officials copping to their true beliefs could trip the federal wire fraud statute.

“It’s not whether you know something absolutely for sure,” she explained. “It’s if it’s ‘reasonably foreseeable’ to you that people will believe promises and statements that you either know aren’t true, or are reckless or deceptive, which you are trying to use to get something of value.” Natalie Adams

The lady lawyer describes the entirety of the usa, from the Founding Liars, Genocidists, Slavers, Terrorists [before it became a usa meme], ... .
0 Replies
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2022 02:32 pm
I wonder when JTT returned from his vacation?
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2022 03:01 pm
I’m hearing murmurs that Garland’s likelihood to indict will decrease if T-wretch is an active candidate for president.

So much for rule of law usa.

This mess gives me stomach acid.

This mess is but an infinitesimal bit of nothingness compared to the entirety of usa messes that define its entire pure evil history.

Odd that it should so affect any thinking person compared to all the rest, the stuff that remains hidden but all know about.
bobsal u1553115
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2022 03:46 pm
Or X or max.
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2022 03:49 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
It's JTT. I'd know him anywhere.
0 Replies
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2022 03:50 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
Tomayto, tomahto…
Nutbag, goofball…
0 Replies
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2022 06:59 pm
Classic derangement syndrome.

This reminds me of how Trump voters were holding out for when the voting fraud would be exposed. How'd that turn out, huh?

This is why I stopped voting...
0 Replies
Reply Mon 4 Jul, 2022 01:59 am
Interesting take on the US from a former NSW premier.
Via Twitter

I’ve decided against visiting the US because of the homelessness and crime, especially the once exhilarating cities of SF and LA sunk in filth and inequality.

And this reply


I was astonished when I went to the US, I did not expect to see the level of homelessness I seen all over the country.
Comparable and worse than the poorest countries I have been to in Asia.
Their economy is clearly broken and I can't understand how they don't see it.

Reply Mon 4 Jul, 2022 02:00 am
My question is. Can Americans not see it, or do simply not enough of you care?
0 Replies
Reply Mon 4 Jul, 2022 05:38 am
We know about it but that's beside the point. Got to feed the military, the rich, and corporations. They tell us there is no money left over for the ones paying the tax money.
Reply Mon 4 Jul, 2022 07:37 am
That's not what's happening.

The left is doing most of the money allocations now (Republicans oppose them, but they're not in office), and they're spending money on "the poor". Oh really? So how is it these poor are not out of homelessness? Well it could have something to do with the fact that unlike church money (which depending on whether it's a mission or a full church) may or may nor be able to give its full income to charity, any "charity" given by the state raises taxes by $2 for every dollar spent, and then inflates money because it's screwing around with debts.


For our liberal friends, life is simple. “Hey, here’s a social problem,” they’ll say, in essence. “Let’s throw some money at it. That will solve it.” If we disagree, they take it as proof we care more about money than about people.

There’s a certain irony at work here. Sure, money is a concern. After all, scarce resources are being taken, either from the taxpayers or borrowed from future generations. But it isn’t just — or even primarily — the money that bothers us. It’s all the regulations, all the big government, that goes along with it.

Because when actual flesh-and-blood people are being considered — when we consider how big government affects human beings — we find many victims of its policies not among the rich, but among the poor.

The problem of big government crops up in many different ways. The rules, the regulations, the fine print — they all affect what you can buy, or how much it costs, or what you can do. They dictate whether you can run a lemonade stand, or sell roses on a street corner, or even just drive a car without having to go through some overly complicated governmental process.

A new Heritage Foundation report, “Big Government Policies that Hurt the Poor and How to Address Them,” outlines the phenomenon in detail. One of the charts shows exactly why big government amounts to misplaced compassion — the one that shows household spending as a percent of after-tax income.

It’s broken down by income quintiles, and guess what? Government data show clearly that it is the poor who pay the biggest percentage of their income for things such as housing, food, clothing, electricity and gasoline. So when regulations and other government policies jack up the cost of these items, the poor are the ones hit the hardest. Not those of us who are fortunate enough to have done better and moved up the income ladder.

You wanna know why there are so many homeless? It's because people are driven into homelessness when they can no longer pay housing. Throwing money at a problem means you gotta take it back, because it wouldn't do to have government representatives out on the street! What would people think, if our leaders suffered with us. Government isn't the solution, it's the problem. Poverty and homelessness are not problems that can be solved by throwing money at them. For one thing, some of the homeless people used to be fairly wealthy until being laid off, and are unwilling to take charity. This means you could throw all the money you wanted around, and they wouldn't go to the homeless shelter or take relief money.

Spending money on those programs is easier, because ir doesn't go into a black hole, but actually helps the military or whatever, while spending to prevent poverty draws from somewhere, and you have to raise gas prices to give everyone a free car. Unless those in government are willing to sell their limousines, the poor will never be helped by their half-hearted "charity".
0 Replies
Reply Mon 4 Jul, 2022 09:06 am
The Supreme Court’s Gone Rogue — And This is a Judicial Coup

When the Supreme Court’s the One Attacking the Constitution, Democracy’s in Deep Trouble

The correct way to understand what’s happening in —or rather, to — America is this. A series of coups are underway. Where and when one fails, the next one kicks into gear. As the Jan 6th Committee has revealed the inner workings of that fateful day — how the President, it seems, hoped to personally lead a violent attempt to stop the counting of electoral votes, replete with armed militants hunting down the Vice President and leader of the opposition — instead of stopping, another coup has simply begun.

This time, it’s judicial. It comes courtesy of what might be called a rogue Supreme Court. It’s been deliberately stacked with fanatics and lunatics. When I tell my European friends that a woman now sits on it who’s a member of a fundamentalist sect where women were literally called Handmaids and took vows of submission and obedience to men — their eyes nearly pop out of their heads. They’re lost for words. They laugh, as if I’m joking around. Then I tell them I’m not, and they shake their heads in disbelief.

The end of Roe. Prayer in schools. Making it possible to carry guns even in States that don’t want them. Hobbling the EPA’s ability to tackle climate change. Next up, not just gay marriage, but being gay — “sodomy” laws back on the books. Then comes contraception.

Then come the other big targets: the end of “interracial” marriage and the reinstitution of segregation, though it’ll be under the guise of something less malign.

In what sense is all this a judicial coup — and a constitutional crisis?

Let’s go back to the very basics of democracy, as it’s instituted in America. The executive branch carries out — executes — laws. The legislative branch — Congress — makes law, in accordance with the constitution. And the judicial branch — whose ultimate arbiter is the Supreme Court — decides whether legislation is constitutional.

But there are limits even to all that, and those limits are in the constitution itself. Constitutions contain inalienable rights. Even a Supreme Court doesn’t have the authority to take such rights away. And when and where those rights have been amended — in constitutional amendments — the Supreme Court has no authority to take those rights away, either.

Now let’s think about some of the Supreme Court’s recent decisions. One of America’s bedrock constitutional principles is the separation of church and state. It’s literally the very First Amendment — the beginning of the famous Bill of Rights. And yet this Supreme Court has ruled that prayer in schools is perfectly fine. So much for separation of church and state.

On one level, prayer in schools is a small thing. People praying does no real harm. But I am bothered by the precedent it sets. It batters down the separation of church and state. In other words, this Supreme Court is challenging the very idea of a secular democracy — one in which religion isn’t enforced by the state.

The real fireworks, though, come with the end of Roe. What does that decision really do? In one titanic blow, it removes rights from more than half the population. And it doesn’t help to call them “birthing people.” Women. They have suddenly lost the rights to expression, speech, association, movement, privacy, and more.

In what way? States who are vehemently anti-women are already trying to pass laws which make it illegal for women to leave the state. There goes freedom of movement. But how will we know why women want to leave the state? Well, we have to monitor and check what they say. There goes privacy. “Aiding and abetting” them is already being criminalized, too. There go freedoms of association, speech, and expression. Just talking with a woman about reproductive healthcare is something this Supreme Court is making a criminal act.

But how can that be constitutional? We all know — more or less every half-educated person in the world knows — what the US constitution says. Its bill of rights guarantees precisely the freedoms above — speech, expression, privacy, association, and more — as inalienable. Nobody can take them away. Not kings. Not the President. Not Congress. And not the Supreme Court.

That is the entire point of the constitution, in a very real sense. It isn’t just a blueprint for the procedures of having elections. It’s much more than that. It is a guarantee. Of what can’t be done to you by the state, and conversely, what freedoms you must always enjoy as rights that nobody can take away from you. This is what it means to be a “citizen” — to have this set of rights, which are guaranteed by the constitution. The constitution sets out limits, in other words, that even government must adhere to. Nobody can take this away from the people.

That is what freedom — in the American sense — is. So what happens the Supreme Court goes rogue against the constitution itself?

Let’s do another example, to illustrate just how problematic this situation is for a democracy — a Supreme Court attacking and undermining the constitution it’s supposed to guarantee.

The fanatical justices on the bench have said out loud that they’re going to come for contraception and gayness next. But how do we know? How do we know if a woman’s using contraception (or a man, for that matter)? We have to check. Maybe now there’s a legion of secret police, seizing data from menstrual tracking apps — which are already willing to hand that data over. Bang. Now we can get you. Maybe people’s buying histories — easy to buy on data markets — are monitored and checked algorithmically. Easy. Too easy.

What about being gay — remember, they’ve said they’re coming to “correct the errors,” and that’s a literal quote, not just for gay marriage, but being gay. But how do we know if someone’s gay? Maybe, like in Virginia, we set up a tip line. Now you can inform on teachers and kids. I think that kid’s gay. He dresses funny. He acts “like a girl.” He doesn’t like sports, he likes art and music. Turn him in. Turn his family in. Now the family’s under surveillance. Social services show up. Knock-knock, hello. We have a report that your child might be gay. Is this true? Prove that they’re not.

If you think I’m kidding, that’s already happening to trans kids in Texas. Feel what you like about wokeness, but I think all thoughtful people can agree: the state literally intruding into people’s personal lives and forcing them one way or another is profoundly and dangerously wrong.

There go all the basic freedoms again. How do we know if you’re gay? Maybe you go to the wrong bar, cafe, club. Maybe you read the wrong books. Maybe people just think so. This was life before being gay was legal, by the way. A constant battle against suspicion, in which the slightest mistake could destroy your life.

In both these examples — contraception and gayness — basic rights simply disappear. There is no way — none — to “know” if someone is gay or using contraception or what have you without violating nearly every single right guaranteed by the first ten amendments. Privacy, expression, association, speech — all gone. Bang. Just like that. In just these two obviously upcoming decisions alone, the entire Bill of Rights disappears. And in its place, a far more sinister society begins to emerge. One made of the shadow institutions of totalitarian societies. Secret polices, informants, tip lines, knocks on doors — and people living in secrecy and fear right back.

This is how a democracy dies.

Why is the Supreme Court doing all this? The answer to that is very simple. For the sake of fundamentalist religion. And that violates the very first amendment, the bedrock principle of the entire US constitution. Think about how dangerous and pernicious that is for a moment.

The rationale the Court’s given goes like this: things which aren’t “deeply rooted” in the nation’s history aren’t…to be had. Enjoyed. But that is not its job. The Supreme Court isn’t to be a crackpot historian, making a warped reading of history, and then deciding if something is “deeply rooted” or not. Who even knows, and who can say? Many things are “deeply rooted” in American history, like slavery and hate. Many things are deeply rooted in history, period. Feudalism. Misogyny. War. Shall we go all the way back to the Stone Age, then? Who decides?

This isn’t a rationale anyone should accept. Because it is the Supreme Court saying right out loud that it’s not willing to do it’s job. Its job is to defend the constitution. It isn’t to substitute “history” for the constitution. The constitution’s entire point was to defend (at least some) citizens against history, ironically — which until then had been made of tyranny, violence, iniquity, and ignorance.

Do you see how this is a serious and grave constitutional crisis now?

The Supreme Court has gone rogue. It is doing a very, very different job than the one it was tasked with. It isn’t defending the constitution anymore. It’s attacking it. It’s undermining it. One massive blow at a time, it’s stripping basic rights away from Americans — the very ones which the constitution holds are inalienable. It’s doing that in the name of fundamentalist religion, justified by a crackpot theory that things need to be “deeply rooted in history” — not the constitution itself.

And it’s a judicial coup in the sense that instead of defending the basic inalienable rights the constitution guarantees to Americans, the Supreme Court is the very one ripping them away.

Here we have a major, major problem for a democracy. What do you do when the final guarantor of the constitution — the Supreme Court — is the very one who has decided to attack and undermine it? What do you when the last line of defence for the constitution is the very set of hands tearing it up?

Nobody knows.

This is a deeply serious constitutional crisis precisely because it almost never happens. In most countries, politics never gets this broken. Even in hardcore failed states, the Supreme Court is usually the last line of defense. It still contains vaguely thoughtful people who are interested in preserving some last bastion of democracy and freedom. That’s because it’s usually hard to get to. It’s not like buying your way into a representative’s office — easy enough. It takes a lifetime of work to get a seat on it, even in failed states, and so it’s usually the last functioning institution left.

Let me say that again. Even in failed states, the Supreme Court is usually the last functioning institution left. That’s also because even the extremists usually want a fair referee — knowing that the other side might seize power one day, right back.

But in America, the Supreme Court has actually and really fallen. That’s incredibly grave. You have to look at situations like the Taliban or Iran or Russia to find cases where Supreme Courts have been replaced by fundamentalists or fanatics. That’s how bad this really is.

There’s no easy way out now. We all know what the Democrats have to do. Reform the court. Abolish the filibuster, and expand the court. Do away with lifetime tenure. Don’t make it so easy to get a seat on it. Make the Supreme Court functional again.


The Democrats, as usual, show no signs of life. They appear totally uninterested in doing any of the above. That’s incredibly bad. Because it tells us that either they don’t understand the above — or worse, they don’t care. Just “voting” isn’t going to fix this. A rogue Supreme Court actually needs to be challenged, reformed, and made to do its job again. That job is defending the constitution and the rights it guarantees, not stripping its very inalienable rights away from people.

Every American should understand the problem they’re facing now — a judicial coup and a constitutional crisis — carefully and intimately. What’s left of democracy depends critically on undoing them.

0 Replies
Reply Mon 4 Jul, 2022 10:57 am
Reply Mon 4 Jul, 2022 11:05 am
Spoken like havily armed white man with nothing to fear from the fascist supreme court.

It may stop black people voting and women from having an abortion, but there's no way it will stop you shooting up schools.
0 Replies

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