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  #2381  
Old Posted May 12, 2017, 2:22 PM
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Trump is safe providing the Republican party cracks don't fracture.
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  #2382  
Old Posted May 12, 2017, 2:31 PM
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As long as the Democrats continue with the status quo and celebrate losing by a smaller margin in midterm elections Trump probably doesn't have too much to worry about. Barring something that would go to the courts, of course.

I'm sure the resident deep-thinker will say something about millenials being dumb, but it's slightly terrifying that a sitting president can take to social media in the manner he has to threaten Comey (regardless of what a poor job he may have done).
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  #2383  
Old Posted May 12, 2017, 2:38 PM
kwoldtimer kwoldtimer is offline
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Originally Posted by WhipperSnapper View Post
Trump is safe providing the Republican party cracks don't fracture.
That is true, but I find myself increasingly wondering how much the the powers will put up with before they start to put pressure on the politicians that they have paid good money for ( ).

I take zero satisfaction in thinking like this, but the idea of the USA Administration as anything other than steady, predictable, and reliable is profoundly disturbing to me. Shaking things up is one thing, but bringing down the house is another thing entirely. Perhaps I just need to back away from the daily media flood and wait to see how he does with health care, the tax cuts, North Korea, the wall, etc.
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  #2384  
Old Posted May 12, 2017, 2:53 PM
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Originally Posted by 1overcosc View Post
One thing that makes this whole thing suspect...

Isn't the obvious solution to ensure that every citizen has photo ID? Issue a national ID card to every American citizen. Then boom, this whole problem goes away. Shouldn't the Republicans insisting on complaining about voter fraud be putting this proposal to the front of the list of proposed solutions?

Unless of course, they WANT certain demographics to be less likely to be able to vote.
Let's disregard - if we can - the notion that there are certain interests who would rather not see certain groups vote.

Beyond that, the United States hasn't seemed to figure out:

1) How to use the Federal government to coordinate coherent, equivalent services across states;

2) How to divorce politics from public service through independent, third-party but publicly-financed agencies.

With regards to elections, these are organized by the states rather than by an organization that is fully independent and national like Elections Canada. Similarly, the Americans are spectacularly bad at organizing a large scale, coordinated government response. Remember how after Katrina they gave out those useless debit cards, and housed them in hotels or the Superdome? Every other country would move people en masse to shelters that provide the same basic services - food, clothing and shelter.

The sclerotic mess of confusing services that cost way more than they should and provide little to their users is a big part of the reason why Americans hate government. When Reagan said that the scariest words anybody could hear were "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help" he wasn't exactly wrong.

The big exception to this is the US Armed Forces. I think the reason why Americans are ardent supporters of their military is because it is a very efficient social welfare program for its service members.
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  #2385  
Old Posted May 12, 2017, 3:01 PM
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Originally Posted by hipster duck View Post
The big exception to this is the US Armed Forces. I think the reason why Americans are ardent supporters of their military is because it is a very efficient social welfare program for its service members.

I listen to a leftist military podcast hosted by actual military members (two officers and a senior NCO) which points out that the US military is possibly the only successful implementation of large scale socialism in the country. While there are certainly some failures in implementation - particularly at the State level - things like the GI Bill and healthcare for former service members are generally effective. It's an interesting viewpoint for sure, particularly since as a whole the military leans right.

For anyone interested the podcast is called "What a Hell of a Way to Die" - it's worth listening to.
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  #2386  
Old Posted May 12, 2017, 3:51 PM
geotag277 geotag277 is offline
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Originally Posted by hipster duck View Post
Let's disregard - if we can - the notion that there are certain interests who would rather not see certain groups vote.

Beyond that, the United States hasn't seemed to figure out:

1) How to use the Federal government to coordinate coherent, equivalent services across states;

2) How to divorce politics from public service through independent, third-party but publicly-financed agencies.

With regards to elections, these are organized by the states rather than by an organization that is fully independent and national like Elections Canada. Similarly, the Americans are spectacularly bad at organizing a large scale, coordinated government response. Remember how after Katrina they gave out those useless debit cards, and housed them in hotels or the Superdome? Every other country would move people en masse to shelters that provide the same basic services - food, clothing and shelter.

The sclerotic mess of confusing services that cost way more than they should and provide little to their users is a big part of the reason why Americans hate government. When Reagan said that the scariest words anybody could hear were "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help" he wasn't exactly wrong.

The big exception to this is the US Armed Forces. I think the reason why Americans are ardent supporters of their military is because it is a very efficient social welfare program for its service members.
Not to repeat myself too much, but Congress is the problem with virtually everything wrong with the United States' political system. It's a dysfunctional composition of 535 "free voting" representatives who are all taking money from a myriad of different special interests.

It's a recipe for hand outs over public service, perpetuated by both parties, while they pretend to fight battles over things like "voter id" (or guns, or abortion, or healthcare) because that is what they think will inspire people to vote for them. Democrats could solve voter id issues by putting forth a free national voter id program. They don't, because firstly that doesn't align with their donors, and secondly they think by using voter id as a perpetual wedge issue they can inspire historically disenfranchised demographics to continue voting. The end effect is not much different than what Republicans are doing - intentionally standing in the way of progress in the name of political opportunism.

That attitude sums up Congress' approach to everything from health care to immigration. Don't actually solve any problems, while in the open fighting over "core Democratic principles versus core Republican principles" while companies continue to lobby for special favors and crony capitalism.

By contrast, Canada has been very much aided by an overarching drive of provinces to retain control of their services and put checks and balances on Federal overreach. Provinces control their education, health care, and most public services.

In contrast, the United States playbook for large corporations is to orchestrate a federal takeover of some public service, bribe states with funding to get them dependant on the Federal program, and then threaten to withdraw funding unless they bend to your corporation-friendly legislation. Bingo, you now have an easy one way avenue to national laws in your interest.

The previous example of welfare funding was used in this thread, where states used to regulate what things like food stamps could be used for. The Federal government moved in, provided Federal funding for these programs, and all of a sudden the regulations became friendly to all sorts of things, and things that were previously disallowed like junk food, became acceptable under the Federal law, and now food stamps can be used for junk food nation wide.

The same pattern repeats itself with education, health care, and everything else. Is it any wonder how insurance companies stock has skyrocketed since the introduction of "Obama care"? Is it any wonder how Congress is hopelessly lost at proposing a replacement? How is Canada's Federal minister of education doing by the way? There is a good argument to be made that legislation has not been passed at the Federal level in the best interests of the public since the New Deal.

I believe the elections of both Obama and Trump represent a bit of a boiling point with the United States public being absolutely fed up with the status quo, and they vainly hope by electing an "outsider" as President will help. It doesn't, because the President is not and has never been the problem. The executive administration is usually the most well intentioned branch of government, but they can't possibly fix anything with the dysfunctional Congress.

Thankfully, there is one last avenue the United States can pursue to fix the problem - and that is the Convention of States, a mechanism whereby state legislatures can agree to amend the constitution, and finally potentially put a stop of Congress' bad behaviour. It is in all likelihood the last avenue left to save what is happening down there.
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  #2387  
Old Posted May 12, 2017, 5:22 PM
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Xelebes Xelebes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geotag277 View Post
It's a recipe for hand outs over public service, perpetuated by both parties, while they pretend to fight battles over things like "voter id" (or guns, or abortion, or healthcare) because that is what they think will inspire people to vote for them. Democrats could solve voter id issues by putting forth a free national voter id program. They don't, because firstly that doesn't align with their donors, and secondly they think by using voter id as a perpetual wedge issue they can inspire historically disenfranchised demographics to continue voting. The end effect is not much different than what Republicans are doing - intentionally standing in the way of progress in the name of political opportunism.
You may be discounting ultra vires issues that spring from the US Constitution. The Democrats do not even bring this up because it would go against the US Constitution. You would need an amendment for that to happen.

[Towards the end of the post, you're bang on though.]
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  #2388  
Old Posted May 17, 2017, 11:05 PM
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It's starting to look like it's all over now. Thank god. This mess will take a long time to clean up.
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  #2389  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2017, 6:33 AM
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Planned border cellphone, social media password searches for visitors to U.S. causing concern

By Jim Bronskill The Canadian Press

Canadian privacy could be imperilled by apparent U.S. plans to demand cellphone and social media passwords from foreign visitors, a federal watchdog says.

In a letter to the House of Commons public safety committee, privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien warns the recent pronouncements from the Trump administration could mean intrusive searches – even at preclearance facilities in Canada.

READ MORE: What you need to know about digital searches at the border

In February, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly suggested at a hearing that American officials could ask people entering the U.S. about the Internet sites they visit as well as passwords to help assess their online activities.

...

In many situations, Therrien says in the letter, “it would appear that Canadians who wish to enter the U.S. will, at preclearance locations in Canada as well as at border points in the U.S., have to face the difficult choice of either accepting a search without grounds or forgoing their wish to travel to the U.S.”

Under long-standing plans, preclearance is being expanded to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and Quebec City’s Jean Lesage International Airport, as well as for rail service in Montreal and Vancouver.

In March, Canada and the U.S. agreed to bring preclearance to other, unspecified locations.

...

http://globalnews.ca/news/3487231/us...word-searches/
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  #2390  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2017, 10:52 AM
Pinus Pinus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpongeG View Post
Planned border cellphone, social media password searches for visitors to U.S. causing concern

By Jim Bronskill The Canadian Press

Canadian privacy could be imperilled by apparent U.S. plans to demand cellphone and social media passwords from foreign visitors, a federal watchdog says.

In a letter to the House of Commons public safety committee, privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien warns the recent pronouncements from the Trump administration could mean intrusive searches – even at preclearance facilities in Canada.

READ MORE: What you need to know about digital searches at the border

In February, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly suggested at a hearing that American officials could ask people entering the U.S. about the Internet sites they visit as well as passwords to help assess their online activities.

...

In many situations, Therrien says in the letter, “it would appear that Canadians who wish to enter the U.S. will, at preclearance locations in Canada as well as at border points in the U.S., have to face the difficult choice of either accepting a search without grounds or forgoing their wish to travel to the U.S.”

Under long-standing plans, preclearance is being expanded to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and Quebec City’s Jean Lesage International Airport, as well as for rail service in Montreal and Vancouver.

In March, Canada and the U.S. agreed to bring preclearance to other, unspecified locations.

...

http://globalnews.ca/news/3487231/us...word-searches/
If this actually goes through, then the US can go stuff themselves. Count me as someone who would never set foot in that craphole again.
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