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Gender: Male
Hometown: Illinois
Current location: Oregon
Member since: Fri Jul 23, 2004, 09:38 AM
Number of posts: 12,898

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Which of these outcomes do you think more likely

Question: What do we do if tomorrow morning, Trump pardons everyone.

Unconditionally. His idiot son, Kushner, Manafort, Flynn. The whole lot, top to bottom, even the Russians.

I posed this question in response to an O/P, and got very little in the way of response. But we all know Trump as no moral scruples whatsoever, so why wouldn't he pardon everyone? Game over, investigation done. Does he give a shit how it would look? All that would be left possible is his own impeachment, and the GOP has shown no inclination to go there.

So what would we do? I think we'd better consider this as a real possibility.

Love to hear everyone's thoughts. As far as I know, the President's pardon authority is total and cannot be overridden.

I was thinking of Trump's supporters and how they'll react at the end of this road we're on.

No matter how Trump goes down, and I believe he's going down, they will never accept it. If he resigns, if he's forced from office under the 25th amendment, if he's impeached, if he just has a heart attack and keels over on the 8th hole at Mar a Lago, they'll never believe it or accept it. It will be a liberal/Clinton/Obama conspiracy and we will have a severe internal fight, possibly even civil war, on our hands. His supporters have shown themselves to be able to believe anything, to be convinced of anything, and that anything is acceptable if it furthers their cause. I'm afraid I don't see this ending well. Comments?

My mother used to call it manners

I'm getting old (66 this year), but we didn't have political correctness when I was growing up. It was called basic manners. You didn't say mean things about people's skin color. You didn't say bad things about religion. You didn't know or want to know what they did in the privacy of their homes. It was simply none of your business, so keep your mouth shut. Now, in an over-reaction to what they deem "political correctness" Trump's followers are emboldened to say any damn thing that pops into their decaying heads. My mom would say they don't have any manners. And she'd be right.

So what do we do now, post Russian coup?

This morning I have been reading the astonishing story of Russian government interference in the election of our next President, and the complicit actions by the head of our FBI. As a political science major and lifelong political junkie, I am profoundly shocked on many levels. I believe that this is the greatest crises in the Obama administration, and perhaps the greatest crises to the nation since the Civil War. Our very fate as a democratic nation is in jeopardy.

When a people loses faith in their electoral processes, they have lost faith in their government; it is illegitimate. We are there. The current results of this election are worthless.

I do not know what President Obama is going to do, but he must do something, and quickly. It cannot be business as usual, ho hum, lets just swear him in and see what happens. That gives legitimacy to what is essentially a bloodless Russian sponsored coup.

I think we need to go back and re-count every single vote in every precinct in the country, even if it takes a year and costs 10 billion. What could be more important than our democracy? We also need to hold public hearings on exactly what the Russians did, and how they did it, find out who was complicit and charge them with crimes if necessary, and take steps to see it can never happen again. Perhaps fundamental changes to the way we hold elections, e.g. federal control of the Presidential vote? Perhaps we even need to vote again after having done all this. I don't know and I do not know who runs the country in the meantime. Obama? Some triumvirate? No one? I'm floundering in a sea of questions, and I do not envy our President.

If he takes actions, will the Republicans back him? They never have, but we have never faced a crises of this magnitude. It's time for people to put country ahead of politics. If this goes badly, we may never see free, fair elections in our lifetimes.

This is a constitutional crises of monumental proportions.

My Nephew's Epic Facebook Rant

My nephew posted this yesterday. I've never posted here, but had to share, as it's going viral, apparently.

I am a millennial. I am not soft. And I support Bernie Sanders.
A while back, an acquaintance of mine posted a meme that in addition to likening Bernie Sanders supporters to Nazis, claimed that young people only like Bernie because "the old guy is going to make the government give them free stuff."
I'll leave the Nazi shit alone, it's just stupid, but as for soft young people supporting Bernie cause they want free shit, I'll hit back on that score.
I support Bernie Sanders. I have worked damn near my entire adult life in power plants, hydrogen methane reformers, biomass plants, and waste incinerators. I've made my living by flying pretty much all over the world and venturing into places approaching, and sometimes exceeding, 200 degrees, putting in 70 hour work weeks, and then flying home. I've worked and had prolonged stays on 3 continents, I sweat, I bleed, and I have hands that would make your mechanic uncle look like a Country Crock hand model. I'm a working dude.
I am a millennial. I'm not soft. And I support Bernie Sanders. Not because he'll give me free shit, but because I legitimately believe that he's best for our country, and further, humanity in general.
I support Bernie because in traveling all over the world, I've learned that people are people, I don't care if you're Japanese, German, Czech, or American; Muslim, Christian or agnostic, you're a person; you want a job, security, a meal on your plate, and you probably wanna get laid every now an then. Period. We're all in this together. Jingoism, Nationalism and Racism serve only to smear the fact that we're all HUMAN.
I support Bernie Sanders because I don't feel it's right that damn near everyone my age who went out and got a degree is still paying for it 10 years later. I've also learned 1st hand how important education is. As a 24-year-old working in Rome, Georgia, I was floored when my waitress asked me how many kids I had, not whether or not I had any (shit you not, the next time I went to that little town, I heard that waitress was in jail for possession of meth). Took a while to wrap my mind around the fact that among the less privileged, having kids that young, and single-parenthood in general, is pretty normal. Further, as a younger dude working in heavy industry, I'm always floored, that even now, at 31, I'm almost always the youngest person around. Free, or deeply discounted 2 year degrees, would be the best thing that's happened to our society in years, we are running out of electricians and plumbers and technicians. An accessible 2 year degree would open many doors for many people, and would only help our aging infrastructure.
I support Bernie Sanders because after my time in Europe, it's easy to see how screwed up the American health care system really is. I broke my foot in Europe. A visit to the ER, crutches, a walking boot, and a couple prescriptions set me back $125. 125 bucks, and 3 weeks later I was back at work, no debt, no bullshit.
I support Bernie Sanders because he wants to address health care, the skyrocketing costs of education, and the ridiculous gap between the haves and the have nots. I support Bernie because he acknowledges that climate change is an existential threat, and that muslims in general are anything but.
I'm a millennial, I'm not soft, and I support Bernie Sanders. Not because I want free shit, but because he supports what I believe in.


The difference between right-wing conspiracies and left wing conspiracies

is that right wing conspiracies always seem to be actual real conspiracies.

I give you the recent revelation that Richard Nixon did in fact sabotage the Viet Nam peace talks so he would win the 1968 election. Add to that the fact that Ronald Reagan did get the Iranians to hold the hostages so he could win the 1980 election. OK, throw in that the White House was behind the Watergate break in. How about that Dick Cheney started the Iraq war so he could steal their oil for his buddies. We on the left also believe that Karl Rove stole the 2000 and 2004 elections so W could become President. Anybody think that isn't true as well?

On the other side, I give you what right wingers believe are left wing conspiracies: That the Clinton's had Vince Foster murdered. What a joke. Or "Benghazi"? Please. How about that Acorn was stealing elections? The IRS is hunting down right wing groups? See, they are all bullshit.

This is what happens when you wake up at 3am.

My 5000th Post: Crunch Time

As I write my 5000th post, I am struck by a few things. First, there are a hell of a lot of you who have a lot more posts, and many who have been around a lot longer than I. I have also long taken note of the incredible number of people on this site who are smarter and better informed than I am. Heres to you all, thank you.

Nevertheless, it seems to me that I am posting this at what is perhaps one of the most crucial times in our nation’s political and economic history. Certainly at least since the Nixon impeachment, but it remains to be seen if this is a watershed moment; it might be delayed for three or six months, but I think it just might be right now. I’m not going to throw around terms like treason and sedition, although a case can be made that one or both are happening as we speak. I believe we need to consider what is really at stake below all the posturing, political maneuvering and cable talk.

I see several forces which have been more or less active over the last fifty years, all converging on a single point. These forces include a long dormant but now very active left of the Democratic Party, enegized by the Occupy movement and revulsion over decades of needless war and endless recession. Standing beside them, is the “yellow dog” wing of the Dems, who have for decades compromised and kow-towed to the right wing, giving up shred after shred of New Deal programs, labor rights, and most recently civil rights until the fabric left is almost unrecognizable. They seem to be finally at long last fed up, and turning their political rudder to the left. Yesterday, even Chris Matthews, who for me symbolizes this group, said “Obama can’t give an inch”. I think the yellow dogs finally may get it.

On the other side, we have a convergence of the modern day John Birch Society, personified by the Koch Brothers, who were long thought to be so far out of the mainstream as to be politically dead. Over the last 50 years since their heyday in the Goldwater era, they have risen to not only have a voice in Republican politics, but so loud a voice as to drown out those once thought to be on the radical economic fringe such as Grover Norquist and Ron Paul. Joining them from the right at this convergence are the Christian Dominionists, who want to supplant the Constitution with the Bible, and base our laws on those written thousands of years ago for illiterate camel drivers. I include in this sect the End-Timers, the rabid Anti-Abortion activists (including, oddly enough, Scalia type Catholics and most Mormons), Quiverfull proponents, home schoolers, and the like. They are not all completely unified, but they overlap enough to form a united front, where religious constraints rule rational thought. Michelle Bachman, the Catholic Bishops (who want a shutdown over contraception!) and others of their ilk are examples. They give a naked power grab the shimmer of God’s will. Call them Christian Jihadists, if you will. It is as good a term as any.

Caught in the middle, and who have no time to pay attention to any of this crap, but being dragged feet first into this fray are the ordinary Joes and Janes, who are working two or three jobs in a continually failing effort to maintain what their parents had on one income. It is a losing battle, and if they are at fault for this, it is only in their lack of participation, which has been reinforced by poorer educations and longer work hours, combined with fear of job loss.

The convergence point of which I speak seems to be coming more clear by the day. The point is whether a tiny, but extremely well funded and radical minority, can enforce its will on the vast mass of Americans, using a combination of the threat of economic destruction and religious ferocity. If they are able to successfully bring the country to it knees by causing a shutdown of the government, default on our debt, and severe economic destruction, then they have completely and totally subverted our Democracy. Once this happens, all bets are off, and whether Democracy returns in our lifetimes is an open question. These combination of forces represent the complete opposite of the ideas on which this country was founded. If the Koch/Jihadists get their way, this economic and political extortion will happen again and again, until nothing at all is left of our Liberal Democracy. If they don’t and the economy collapses, look for a right wing coup of some sort, capitalizing on the ensuing chaos.

What you see daily is no longer just about Obamacare, or about a government shutdown, or even about whether we go past the arbitrary “debt ceiling”, although this will have disastrous consequences. No it is a full blown constitutional crisis, which will determine whether the mechanisms which have been successful at holding this country together will continue to function. We simply cannot allow a tiny minority to govern in this manner.

I’m sure there are a multitude of examples of a wealthy minority being able to do just that; just think of the serfs in the middle ages, kept down endlessly by a combination of military power, economic injustice, and religious indoctrination. It ended, but it took centuries. I am quite sure that more modern comparisons exist, but none that have existed in America, with the possible exception of the actions of the southern Congress in the years prior to the Civil War. In that case, although a minority did attempt to hold the nation hostage to enforce its will on the majority, it was only peripherally about economics and did not seek to use the power of religion as a weapon.

Even the so called “Golden Age” of the elites in the 1880-1910 era, dwarfed the power that is condensed in a few people today. And those elites, the Rothschild’s, DuPont’s, and Vanderbilt’s, did not seek to combine their economic power with religious fundamentalism. They were content to pull the levers of government and make more money. Today’s autocrats seem to be seeking nothing less than the destruction of Democracy itself, installing themselves or their minions in power, and giving their uber-religious partners free reign in the social area.

No, today, this crisis, is unique in my opinion. What President Obama decides to do, or even not do, will seal our fate for decades, perhaps forever. I don’t pretend to have the correct answer, and maybe there isn’t one. We are all feeling for the light switch here. A wrong move either gives power to despots, or destroys the economy and perhaps the nation.

I’m reminded of the Chinese curse; “May you live in interesting times”.

An American citizen is seeking asylum in a foreign land

An American citizen must seek asylum from America.

Just think about that concept. How strange and odd and foreign that seems in the mind. The America I grew up in was a place others sought asylum. I cannot quite get my head around this idea. It isn't supposed to be this way.

But now we have:
secret courts, http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/21/us-usa-security-fisa-judges-idUSBRE95K06H20130621

secret laws, http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57588763-38/senators-call-for-end-to-justice-departments-secret-law/

secret trials, and http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/bradley-manning-wikileaks-and-the-secret-trial-at-fort-meade-proceedings-begin-for-the-soldier-charged-with-leaking-national-secrets-8641393.html

secret evidence. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/18/fbi-secrets_n_3457258.html

I have an older friend who was a young boy in Nazi Germany during the war. This America is starting to look like the country he grew up in, not the one in which I grew up.

What happened to the "land of the free". How can this not be wrong?

This is not an anti-Obama scree, this is beyond one single President; a system out of control. I submit this is not a right/left issue. It's an American issue, and one we had best adress quickly, while we are still able.

Any biologists out there that can identify this?

Can anyone identify this? The cups are about 9.5mm wide and 17mm deep. Found on a twig on the ground near the Pacific ocean.

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