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#306170 - 03/29/18 12:55 AM Do they realize what they're doing?
NW Ponderer Online   content
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 16059
I believe, perhaps naively, that most politicians, even Republicans, generally believe in the rule of law, the Democratic process, and what is best for the country. I do not believe, however, that that sentiment prevails among Republican leadership, and certainly not in the administration.

There are a number of trends that have disabused me of that quaint notion, and that have certainly come to the fore since Trump came on the scene. After the 2010 census the efforts of gerrymandering permanent control contrary to the wishes of voters was extreme. Over the last decade the voter ID laws were designed to suppress minority votes. McConnell's extreme efforts to thwart every Obama initiative despite popularity and the demonstrated issues and then the packing of the judicial branch with unqualified ideologues, culminating with the refusal to seat Merrick Garland. Now we have the spectical of the Trump administration, and their anti-democratic across are, literally, too many to catalogue.

I have a hard time believing that they don't know just how corrosive these processes have been to those very values- democracy, the rule of law, and preservation of the nation.
_________________________
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

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#306171 - 03/29/18 01:36 AM Re: Do they realize what they're doing? [Re: NW Ponderer]
Jeffery J. Haas Offline


Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 13201
Loc: Whittier, California
Nope, no belief in rule of law.
That ship sailed a while ago.
I tried to believe, I wanted to believe, I fought with myself and with others in my effort to STILL believe.

At this point I am counting down the days to our manufactured attack and plans for war, and the Enabling Act which shall crown Donald Trump as fuehrer, or as they say over here, "Unitary Executive".
Strict measures shall be imposed due to "national emergency" and we will be informed that there will be crackdowns on anyone who takes positions in opposition to such measures.

"The power of the President shall not be questioned."

We heard that shortly after he took office.
Did you doubt it for even a moment?

The right wing trifecta is prepared to be the rubber stamp that they were destined to be, and on the occasions where they are something more, it will simply be a reverse process described years ago by Grover Norquist, when he said that "all we need is a man who can hold a pen".

In the end, it doesn't matter if Congress rubber stamps decrees from Herr Trump or if Trump signs pre-baked bills from the Hill, one hand washes the other, and all fingers are in all pies, with one finger firmly implanted somewhere else.
_________________________
"He wakes up in the morning, ****s all over Twitter, ****s all over us, ****s all over his staff, then hits golf balls."
---Congressman Peter King

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#306172 - 03/29/18 01:37 AM Re: Do they realize what they're doing? [Re: NW Ponderer]
Jeffery J. Haas Offline


Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 13201
Loc: Whittier, California
Where is your finger?
I know where mine is. wink

(There's a famous Johnny Cash poster which I probably shouldn't link to but if you know of it, just mentioning it should be enough laugh )
_________________________
"He wakes up in the morning, ****s all over Twitter, ****s all over us, ****s all over his staff, then hits golf balls."
---Congressman Peter King

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#306176 - 03/29/18 02:08 PM Re: Do they realize what they're doing? [Re: NW Ponderer]
Ujest Shurly Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/16/16
Posts: 314
Loc: Sterling Heights, MI, USA
It is not that they do not know, it is that they do not care.
_________________________
Vote 2018

Life is like a PB&J sandwich
The older you get, the moldery and crustier you get.

Now, get off my grass!

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#306177 - 03/29/18 03:07 PM Re: Do they realize what they're doing? [Re: Ujest Shurly]
NW Ponderer Online   content
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 16059
Originally Posted By: Ujest Shurly
It is not that they do not know, it is that they do not care.
Sadly, this is the conclusion that I have reached myself. Some of it is deliberate blindness, I think. There is a desire - expressed openly since at least Newt Gingrich and Karl Rove's ascendancy - for power over principle or duty to country. It's unseemly, but undeniable. McConnell's unprincipled actions and Trump's election are just the greatest manifestations of the disease.

I love my country. I love the principles upon which it is founded. I love democracy as a form of government - the greatest expression of rule "by the people" known in the world, however it is engineered. I think the Constitution, while flawed, is the best "proof of concept" for balancing individual freedom and group accountability. I hate to see all of that threatened.
_________________________
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

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#306187 - 03/30/18 06:15 PM Re: Do they realize what they're doing? [Re: NW Ponderer]
jgw Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 2033
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
I suspect that what its all about is WINNING! The job is simply ignored in favor of WINNING! I also think that both parties are involved with WINNING! The difference, as far as I can tell is that the Dems seem to be marginally more honest than the Republicans who have abandoned all pretenses of just doing their jobs so they can WIN!

I wonder if this has something to do with winning the war in Afghanistan for 18 years with nothing to show for it except the loss of lives and treasure and it continues unabated. This too, I think, is all about WINNING! The real problem is that winning is not really defined so winning is actually about beating down the other side and little else. Same with politics?

So, these days, winning is the goal. Its not defined, nobody knows what it means, and everybody knows its the only thing that's important.

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#306193 - 03/30/18 07:31 PM Re: Do they realize what they're doing? [Re: NW Ponderer]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7692
Loc: North San Diego County
Acute Football Toxicity: The tendency to see football as a metaphor for all human activities.

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#307104 - 06/26/18 02:01 PM Re: Do they realize what they're doing? [Re: jgw]
logtroll Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 8807
Loc: New Mexico (not old Mexico)
Originally Posted By: jgw
I suspect that what its all about is WINNING!

... The real problem is that winning is not really defined so winning is actually about beating down the other side and little else. Same with politics?

So, these days, winning is the goal. Its not defined, nobody knows what it means, and everybody knows its the only thing that's important.

I've been trying to find some cracks where the light can shine through on a rightie blog for a long time. None have been found. Recently, I asked a couple of questions that I thought might not be too loaded to allow for at least a bit of discussion; one was, "is it unavoidable that every issue must have a winner and a loser?" Another was simply, "can we find some common ground, even on a small thing?"

There was no response to the common ground question. None. I'm certain it was regarded as a trick question. It is a fact that they do not want any common ground.

There was one response to the win/lose question, and that was to say "everything runs on winners and losers, always has and always will". I followed with the question, "is causing the other side to lose the same as winning?" It was apparently recognized as another trick question, and there was no response. Except to castigate me for being condescending....

I don't see any opportunity for problem solving in this current game of winners and losers, in that interacting with the players in control is like arguing with three year olds. Winning is all that matters and there are no rules. Even the meanings of words are not fixed. And the ability to think and consider and respect and compromise is not developed in them.

What conflict resolution techniques work with three year olds (especially when the adults are not in charge)?



Edited by logtroll (06/26/18 03:46 PM)
_________________________
"You can't fix a problem until you understand what the problem is." Logtroll

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#307105 - 06/26/18 06:57 PM Re: Do they realize what they're doing? [Re: NW Ponderer]
jgw Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 2033
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
In a perfect world we have a system that really works. It goes something like:

We have 2 sides to every problem. What happens is that the two sides sit down and look for common ground. I think it probably starts with something like; "we agree that (something) is wrong or needs fixing" (say, for instance, rape and what can we all agree needs to be done). Once the problem is defined then its time to decide what both sides can agree on. It may be nothing or it might be something. If its nothing then both sides agree that neither can agree about the fix/problem and they move on. If they can agree then that is the legislation, ie. points where both sides agree on how to deal with the problem.

What makes the system great is that the system has built in safeguards about going too far. Neither sides wins, but the product of the effort gives is a solution which, at the very least, both sides agree will mitigate the problem at worst or actually fixing the problem. That is, in a nutshell, how the system is supposed to work. In such a system there is really only one instance that calls for general agreement - going to war. All the rest involves debate and fact checking the other side each step of the way.

Now, however, winning has become the standard, on either side. Sitting down, defining a given problem, and then negotiating a solution both sides can live with is no longer an option. Now one side wins and the other loses and the result is that the very thought of going too far is tossed out the window and the nation, basically, gets to suffer. When the voters switch their votes, so the losing side gets in, then the losing side gets to 'win' and the nation continues to suffer.

We are, in other words, running the nation like a horse race or a football game. The problem is that we, the 'fans' get screwed no matter who wins because, in the current system, "going too far" becomes the norm.

Our system has never worked perfectly but it has actually worked. One of the pillars of the system was that both sides respected and listened to the other side without either side being terribly concerned with 'winning" (there are actually procedural rules that support this - if followed). Our system also used have other systems in place that tended to help the whole. "Earmarks", for instance. These were little expenditures that the elected class got to do for their own districts, they never really amounted to much, but were important as the elected class was expected to "bring home the bacon" to keep their jobs. To "bring home the bacon" meant that you had to get along with the other elected so that you could get approval of your 'earmark'. In our efforts to clean up the swamp, change things, and 'win' we, the electorate AND our elected class, have well and truly screwed things up.

I have no idea if we can ever fix that WE have wrought. We have, in other words, the "my way or the highway" system and its not working!




Edited by jgw (06/26/18 06:59 PM)

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#307110 - 06/27/18 02:39 AM Re: Do they realize what they're doing? [Re: NW Ponderer]
chunkstyle Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 885
It's been a long sustained class war. They very much know what they are doing and are reaping the benefits.

THEY!
DON'T!
WANT!
DEMOCRACY!

They are engaged in a revolutionary act of political force and economic violence to bring down democracy, sustained by racism and neoliberalism.



Hiding in plain sight







Edited by chunkstyle (06/27/18 02:40 AM)

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#307112 - 06/27/18 02:50 AM Re: Do they realize what they're doing? [Re: NW Ponderer]
NW Ponderer Online   content
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 16059
A fundamental problem with the system as it now operates is the loss of the concept of "governing for all." Trump in particular, and Republicans in general, only look at governing with, by, and for "their side". Voters who voted the other side (even if there were more of them) simply don't count. "Negotiations" only include those of your own party. Trump recently cancelled the annual Congressional picnic rather than include Democrats in what has historically been a "bury the hatchet" moment. He lives for conflict. Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell steadfastly refuse to include any Democrats in official proceedings. "Negotiations" are between the right wing of the party and the tea party wing. The "Hastert" disaster has become normal practice, and even cheating and violating constitutional prerogatives are preferable to inclusion or compromise. It's a sickness, and the cure is obvious.

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#307119 - 06/27/18 06:37 PM Re: Do they realize what they're doing? [Re: NW Ponderer]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7692
Loc: North San Diego County
And the funniest thing of all, is that they are following a strategy invented by a child molester. Not even a straight child molester but a man who liked to abuse boys!

Maybe enough of them will lose their seats in November and then they can negotiate with their Freedom Caucus all they want over who will be Minority Leader.

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#307128 - 06/27/18 07:22 PM Re: Do they realize what they're doing? [Re: NW Ponderer]
jgw Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 2033
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
"Do they realize what they're doing?" is a good question. Another might be "Do WE realize what they're doing?" We all know what the jackass is doing as its what is being covered but what THEY are doing is, to my way of thinking, simply touched on occasionally whilst reporting on the jackass. This is exactly how THEY want it! If they do something particularly offensive, like destroying medicare, the jackass will step up and distract until nobody cares anymore. This is a pattern that works for them.

If you watch TV you will notice that those talking heads on the right will march in lockstep and never swerve from the agreed on talking point. The talking heads on the left, however, do not march in lockstep and adore covering the jackass more than anything else (just as they planned).

Just saying.............

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#307129 - 06/27/18 07:34 PM Re: Do they realize what they're doing? [Re: NW Ponderer]
Jeffery J. Haas Offline


Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 13201
Loc: Whittier, California
Do corporate controlled "bots" have the right to free speech?
According to the logic of Citizens United, it would appear that they do.
_________________________
"He wakes up in the morning, ****s all over Twitter, ****s all over us, ****s all over his staff, then hits golf balls."
---Congressman Peter King

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#307133 - 06/27/18 10:44 PM Re: Do they realize what they're doing? [Re: NW Ponderer]
matthew Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/24/16
Posts: 353
Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
I think the Constitution, while flawed, is the best "proof of concept" for balancing individual freedom and group accountability.

And yet, under that Constitution, here we are.
.
_________________________
Once, weapons were manufactured to fight wars; today, wars are manufactured to sell weapons

It is far easier to deceive folks than to convince them they are deceived

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#307203 - 07/01/18 05:41 PM Re: Do they realize what they're doing? [Re: NW Ponderer]
NW Ponderer Online   content
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 16059
I retired, early, on January 1, 2014. I have been prudent in my savings, to supplement my retirement income. In 1986 and 2008 my savings took major hits because of corporate irresponsibility and the resultant recessions that accompanied those crashes. Being on the other side of the savings line, however (now drawing, rather than expanding), I am seriously worried about the signs of a coming collapse. Here is one of the most serious - and predictable - results of the tax giveaway of 2018 (Five Ways That the Republican Tax Bill Is a Giveaway to the Super-Rich): The $6.3 trillion debt binge: American companies have never owed this much - CNN. Combined with Trump's trade war escapades (Trump's trade policy is a rerun of a ter...biggest losers') and the Fed increasing borrowing costs (Inverted Yield Curve and How It Predicts a Recession), all signs point to a major recession in the near future.

I think this next recession, rather than causing a change in leadership, is likely to exacerbate the totalitarian tendencies of the controlling party - austerity measures to pauperize the poor, marginalizing and stigmatizing minorities, voter suppression, gerrymandering and court packing. With the wolves already outside the door, I am not sure how liberal democracy survives the coming apocalypse. WWII may seem quaint.
_________________________
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

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#307223 - 07/02/18 06:13 PM Re: Do they realize what they're doing? [Re: NW Ponderer]
jgw Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 2033
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
I think that folks forget just what the Jackass has done. He claimed, for instance, that he was the king of debt and had a lot of experience with it. As far as I can tell his way to handle debt is to simply not pay his debts. Individuals and small companies, for instance, refused to work for him unless he pre-paid as they had been burned by him. Then there are his numerous bankruptcies. Bankruptcy, for most, is humiliating and financially trying. For the jackass, however, there is a different way to deal. As far as I can tell his bankruptcies happened after he was able to loot the company, this is especially true of the casinos where they say he stole all the cash before going banko. So, basically, anybody who invested with him was left swinging in the wind. If you extend this behavior to the United States we have already seen him with his "tax cuts" run the national debt up by one TRILLION dollars. His claim that he is cutting the debit is yet another lie and the simple fact is that the debit is going up by, literally, hundreds of billions of dollars (Obama, on the other hand, actually reduced the debit year after year).

Here is a little thought. What will happen if the jackass decides to simply call the American national debt null and void? (kinda like a national bankruptcy but without giving anything up except honor, our word, our friends, jobs, you know, just about everything). Before that happens, however, I am sure he will take, loot, and steal whatever he can.

So, to recap. He has now got us into a trade war with Canada, China, and the EU with, I am sure, Mexico sure to follow. Basically we are now in a trade war with the entire rest of the world! On top of that he is also doing everything in his power to destroy any alignments with everybody but Russia and Saudi Arabia (the source, basically, of 95% of Muslim extremists). So, Pondering, you are wise to fear the coming Republican economic downturn and, I think, this one is going to be a duzy (we have been pulling back for the last 6 months and have started to take the money rather than reinvest. I retired in 2006) Our only real fear is that the Jackass will also take down the American dollar and then we will be in trouble.

I just looked this over and apologize. I suspect I was a bit too harsh.

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#307225 - 07/02/18 06:59 PM Re: Do they realize what they're doing? [Re: NW Ponderer]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7692
Loc: North San Diego County
I don't think the President can declare US debt instruments cancelled. There's something in the Constitution about "full faith and credit of the United States of America", so it would require a constitutional amendment. What he can do is to print more money, diluting the debt, but that harms everybody who holds any sort of US bill, bond, or currency. In other words, the rich!

Just like China can't "call our debt". All they can do is to sell it to other people, corporations, or countries on the world's markets. If they sold it quickly, they would lose a lot of money and the people who bought it at a discount would make a lot of money. But it would not hurt America much for the Swiss banks to hold our debt rather than China.

You know what they say: If I owe you a million dollars, it's my problem. If I owe you a billion, then it's YOUR problem.

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#307227 - 07/02/18 08:07 PM Re: Do they realize what they're doing? [Re: NW Ponderer]
jgw Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 2033
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
This president does all sorts of things we are told he can't do so this wouldn't exactly surprise me. After all, he has half the country firmly behind him <G>

I understand completely what you say about my selling the debt thing. I also have seen what happens when somebody does start to sell it. Interest goes up, dollar goes down, etc. Your thought about somebody losing money to do that is a good one but the jackass is not the only crazy out there. My other thought is that I continue to be paranoid about the future.

I also don't believe that the jackass has a clue and is seriously ignorant. Given that, and the fact that any administration of the right always ends up wrecking the economy to one degree or another. I do remember, however, when Reagan actually raised taxes to "pay the bills". Its pretty obvious that the Jackass doesn't have the same concerns and the supposed party of the fiscally conservative (a title they have NEVER lived up to (and nobody has ever called them on)) sure as hell isn't paying attention.

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#307229 - 07/02/18 09:53 PM Re: Do they realize what they're doing? [Re: NW Ponderer]
Jeffery J. Haas Offline


Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 13201
Loc: Whittier, California
And then there's this little issue with inverted Treasury yield curves which, on the face of it, seem to be an incredibly accurate predictor of upcoming recessions. And you're right, this one's probably gonna be a whopper.

By the way, has it occurred to anyone that he's doing this specifically so that his wealthiest admirers can short the market in advance?
That way, as usual, when the collapse comes, they can vacuum up all the severely depreciated assets at fire sale prices, hoard them for a little while and then resell them to the next generation of rubes and yokels.
_________________________
"He wakes up in the morning, ****s all over Twitter, ****s all over us, ****s all over his staff, then hits golf balls."
---Congressman Peter King

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#307242 - 07/03/18 07:06 PM Re: Do they realize what they're doing? [Re: NW Ponderer]
jgw Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 2033
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
That too is a possibility. The problem with that one has always been "timing the market" The really rich are the ones that have banks of computers that just take a little bit here and a little bit there. These are also the ones who really hate the thought of a tax on trades as they do, literally, a million+ every day. This system also doesn't care what the market is doing as they can automatically go both ways and are, for the most part doing it free as they either own a chair or part of a chair.

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#307250 - 07/04/18 01:19 AM Re: Do they realize what they're doing? [Re: NW Ponderer]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7692
Loc: North San Diego County
I think the real rich don't short the market. They hold and hold forever, and have people to clip the bond coupons and cash the dividend checks for them. They have family income trust funds that pay everyone in their extended family more money than they can spend every year.

It's the money guys that are doing the active trading. Totally different people. Rich people don't have to take those kind of risks. If their conservative investments only make 5% a year, that's still a billion dollars!

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