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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
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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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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
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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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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
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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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  #2391  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2017, 12:24 PM
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For anyone that is interested in a very well written, unbiased (in my opinion) and well sourced article on the russian conspiracy. https://theintercept.com/2017/06/27/...russia-threat/

I urge people to actually read this no matter their feelings on the issue (as I do feel it is important). Its a bit of a reminder of some of the stuff that has happened in the last 6 months or so.
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  #2392  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2017, 1:05 PM
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For anyone that is interested in a very well written, unbiased (in my opinion) and well sourced article on the russian conspiracy. https://theintercept.com/2017/06/27/...russia-threat/

I urge people to actually read this no matter their feelings on the issue (as I do feel it is important). Its a bit of a reminder of some of the stuff that has happened in the last 6 months or so.
I'm a bit sceptical that Greenwald (or anybody else) is truly "unbiased" on this subject but it is a good article.

Watching the somewhat fevered "all-Trump, all the time" coverage of CNN this year has become increasingly painful (to me). Whether it's internal politics, or the realities of commercially-driven 24/7 news coverage, or something else, I can't help but feel that the reputation of the media in general is taking a beating these days, as they continue to feed the political divide that has become so acute in the States. I don't know whether they can recover, or whether it will only become worse. Perhaps the CNN resignations offer a glimmer of hope, but I'm not convinced.
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  #2393  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2017, 1:20 PM
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I'm a bit sceptical that Greenwald (or anybody else) is truly "unbiased" on this subject but it is a good article.

Watching the somewhat fevered "all-Trump, all the time" coverage of CNN this year has become increasingly painful (to me). Whether it's internal politics, or the realities of commercially-driven 24/7 news coverage, or something else, I can't help but feel that the reputation of the media in general is taking a beating these days, as they continue to feed the political divide that has become so acute in the States. I don't know whether they can recover, or whether it will only become worse. Perhaps the CNN resignations offer a glimmer of hope, but I'm not convinced.
Agreed. Nobody is truely unbiased. I did find the article seemed to do a pretty good job of presenting just facts though, and I never felt it degraded or even came close to cheer leading for one side or the other.

Also the CNN resignations, on the face seem like a good thing. The reality is they were fired they didnt resign, and the reason was because they were threatened with a 100 million dollar lawsuit. It had nothing to do with them being responsible for their shoddy assed reporting. I had to lol a bit when I read that the CNN article was first debunked by "Sputnik News" (Fucking lol) then by Brietbart (further lol).

I would actually say the washington post is a worse offender then CNN in terms of publishing slanted, and or completely false information. All the american media giants are terrible though both on the left and right.

Last edited by Infrequent Poster; Jun 29, 2017 at 1:56 PM.
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  #2394  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2017, 1:55 PM
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I am in withdrawal these days as CNN was really for years my "go-to" source for what is going on in the U.S. (If not for analysis - which I got from multiple sources as is wise.)

But now I am left wondering if even the factual reporting isn't either biased or filtered, or both.

Journalism has always been a fine line. I mean, journalists are human too. They all have their leanings. But at some point they are supposed to put that aside - even if putting out a story can be damaging to the side they are more sympathetic to.

At this point, especially in the U.S., the focus of many journalists has shifted to "winning the battle" as opposed to "making the facts known".

In the Current Events thread, when I said this I was told that the media weren't a social service, that they were a business that has to make money.

I do get all of that, but historically a neutral perspective on the part of the media was a selling point and therefore good for business. People wanted just the straight facts and (I assume) analysed them themselves.

It could very well be that the straight unbiased facts are no longer good for business and that people just want to be fed their own views repeatedly in their "side's" echo chamber.

Assuming this is even true, I am not sure that this is a positive evolution.
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  #2395  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2017, 3:38 PM
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This whole Russia stuff is getting out of hand. Why is the established class so bent on reviving the cold war...
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  #2396  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2017, 3:52 PM
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To me it seems that there probably is something to the Russian stuff, if only because of how defensive Trump gets about it. An investigation is certainly a good thing, but I can't imagine anywhere near the level of what certain Democrat factions seem to think. Extremely unlikely to lead to impeachment, and even if it did I question whether that would even be a good thing.

But yeah, the media needs to stop freaking out about it and actually focus on real issues. Not to say it shouldn't be mentioned when there are legitimate updates, but at this point people seem to be getting burned out. And of course there's the pretty important issue of healthcare happening right now, and the fact that significantly more people seem to be getting killed in the Middle East under this administration...
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  #2397  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2017, 4:14 PM
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I am in withdrawal these days as CNN was really for years my "go-to" source for what is going on in the U.S. (If not for analysis - which I got from multiple sources as is wise.)
Does CNN even do "news" anymore?

Every time I tune in, its a host, a panel of 4 people from various locations, and a bunch of blathering and yelling back and forth.

I just stick to getting actual news from the Canadian channels.
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  #2398  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2017, 4:24 PM
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Because I've been attempting to balance what I see through the "other side" I've been getting some Fox News videos in my Youtube feed, and they've been positively gleeful in pushing this "CNN: Crisis of Credibility" line.

I mean...Christ! The very raison d'etre of Fox News has been to spread falsehoods, rumours, fearmongering and an insane world-view. For eight years it and the rest of the right/alt-right media world pushed the most inane conspiracies and doggedly defended every idiotic right wing talking point about Obama going, but now, my gosh, look at how CNN is emblematic of the fundamental corruption of "the left"!

There has been an avalanche of thoughtful, worried introspection on the "liberal" side of the political world since this came out. Though it's always been there: "Trump is right about media bias" declared a story on April 30 on--you guessed it--CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/30/opinio...ley/index.html). But how many "birthers" at Fox have been forced to resign? None.

The non-insane part of the world has been rattled by the election of Trump. CNN and the rest of the non-insane media world have been more adversarial than with Obama because of a good dash of liberal bias, certainly, but mostly because, well, fucking hell...Donald Trump is president of the United States.

It's been six months, and it doesn't sound any less hard to believe. Or terrifying.

So the end result of this brou-haha seems to be introspection on most of the liberal side of the equation (not Salon.com, of course) and promises by CNN to maintain more rigorous editorial standards, while the right-wing nut-o-sphere and its leader in the White House are going into "Fake News!" overdrive and doubling down on the crazy accusations that are their standard stock in trade.
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  #2399  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2017, 4:26 PM
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Does CNN even do "news" anymore?

Every time I tune in, its a host, a panel of 4 people from various locations, and a bunch of blathering and yelling back and forth.

I just stick to getting actual news from the Canadian channels.
Even before this latest "crisis in confidence", CNN was increasingly slipping towards the infotainment trap anyway.

(Note that I was only referring to CNN as my main go-to for U.S. news, not for news in general.)
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  #2400  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2017, 4:28 PM
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Because I've been attempting to balance what I see through the "other side" I've been getting some Fox News videos in my Youtube feed, and they've been positively gleeful in pushing this "CNN: Crisis of Credibility" line.

I mean...Christ! The very raison d'etre of Fox News has been to spread falsehoods, rumours, fearmongering and an insane world-view. For eight years it and the rest of the right/alt-right media world pushed the most inane conspiracies and doggedly defended every idiotic right wing talking point about Obama going, but now, my gosh, look at how CNN is emblematic of the fundamental corruption of "the left"!

There has been an avalanche of thoughtful, worried introspection on the "liberal" side of the political world since this came out. Though it's always been there: "Trump is right about media bias" declared a story on April 30 on--you guessed it--CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/30/opinio...ley/index.html). But how many "birthers" at Fox have been forced to resign? None.

The non-insane part of the world has been rattled by the election of Trump. CNN and the rest of the non-insane media world have been more adversarial than with Obama because of a good dash of liberal bias, certainly, but mostly because, well, fucking hell...Donald Trump is president of the United States.

It's been six months, and it doesn't sound any less hard to believe. Or terrifying.

So the end result of this brou-haha seems to be introspection on most of the liberal side of the equation (not Salon.com, of course) and promises by CNN to maintain more rigorous editorial standards, while the right-wing nut-o-sphere and its leader in the White House are going into "Fake News!" overdrive and doubling down on the crazy accusations that are their standard stock in trade.
Hopefully you are right. The more liberal media like CNN (and indeed the entire liberal "side") can't win by playing the Trump/GOP/Tea Party's own game anyway. They need to get back to their fundamental values.
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