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Post 20 Mar 2019, 10:26 am

freeman3 wrote:"US officials said cash had to be flown in because existing US sanctions ban American dollars from being used in a transaction with Iran and because Iran could not access the global financial system due to international sanctions it was under at the time. "--CNN

https://www-m.cnn.com/2016/08/03/politi ... gle.com%2F

Though the whole thing leaves a bad taste.

Sounds like he circumvented Congress and the law.
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Post 21 Mar 2019, 8:29 am

rayjay
Sounds like he circumvented Congress and the law.


Except that, they were following the law. returning money legally owed to Iran. In the only way method possible, because of the nature of world wide sanctions on Iran and the constraints on their use of the electronic banking system - largely controlled by the US. So, "sounds like" is a flat earther kind of response. It "looks" flat...

Since the US has walked away from the nuclear deal, INSTEX has been created by the European signatories. This will end the control the US had over the international banking system. And weaken US influence in the world. Meanwhile the JCPOA continues. also without US involvement or influence.

back to the Trump isn't so bad argument... because " well, the economy is ticking along" ...

Since most of the gains in the economy are not being enjoyed by the working and middle class, and especially since any gains they did get were front loaded in to the budget ... That argument will carry less weight going forward. The China tariffs look to be continued and the Trump administration is actually holding back a report that they will use to justify automobile tariffs.
https://www.politico.com/story/2019/03/ ... ce-1228344

If he's dumb enough to go after the automobile industry in this fashion, and he is pretty dumb, economists are suggesting that this will trigger a recession...
A recession will effect pretty much everyone, including hard core Trump voters...
I think it will take something as personal as that to affect hard core supporters of Trump. But when he was elected with 46% of the vote, and he now stands at between 38 and 42% approval .... it won't take much to see him lose the election....

Say his approval slips to 35 to 39%? A 3% drop in approval that translates into only 43 or 44% of the popular vote in an election .... More than likely the vagueries of the electoral college won't save him from that kind of drop....
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Post 21 Mar 2019, 8:54 am

yep, money in a suitcase was Obama's solution, and you buy the party line without thinking about it. Those electronic banking rules are there for a reason. Seems to me that you are the flat earther.

Getting back to how the Democrats misplay their hand. Candidates are talking about packing the Supreme Court if they win the Presidency and the Senate. Middle America has no taste for this sort of tactic. How would liberals reach if Trump decided to do that now because Republicans control the Senate? Even Trump isn't willing to stoop that low. People would see it as brazen party politics. And yet that's what Democrats propose? Unbelievable.
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Post 21 Mar 2019, 2:01 pm

Not considering an Obama nominee for the Supreme Court for a year was also a pretty extreme tactic...
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Post 21 Mar 2019, 2:37 pm

freeman3 wrote:Not considering an Obama nominee for the Supreme Court for a year was also a pretty extreme tactic...


I agree …
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Post 22 Mar 2019, 7:42 am

rayjay
Those electronic banking rules are there for a reason.

Yes. What reasons? And what does that have to do with your claim?

Iran wasn't part of the electronic banking system. There had to be another way to return Iran's money to them.
Keeping the money would have been theft. And would have ended the denuclearize deal before it started.

rayjay
Middle America has no taste for this sort of tactic


Other than your personal feeling, is there any evidence for this? The supreme Court has always been seen by Americans as the institution in which the American public had the most faith. However that faith has been eroding and with the Kavanagh hearings probably dropped more. Because of Kavanaugh (see below) and because of Republicans refusal to consider Merritt, I suspect almost a majority now see the SCOTUS as a political body...

Code: Select all
In his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, Brett Kavanaugh dropped the demeanor of a neutral jurist and launched into a deeply partisan speech. The use of such nakedly political rhetoric during a Supreme Court confirmation hearing is highly unusual. Of course, they were unusual circumstances. Would-be justices typically present themselves as politically disinterested arbiters of law, and strenuously avoid saying anything that would pigeonhole them on hot-button issues. Now, if Kavanaugh is confirmed to the bench — and perhaps even if he isn’t — some commentators are questioning whether the Supreme Court is heading towards a crisis of faith. If confirmed, will Kavanaugh be forever marked as a political operative? And if he’s not, has his confirmation process shattered the notion that the court is truly independent from politics?

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/is ... cy-crisis/

https://news.gallup.com/poll/219674/tru ... -down.aspx

If it is seen as a political body, and if then the majority wants justices that confirm Roe v Wade, and more progressive stances on other key issues .... packing might be seen as acceptable.

Delegitimizing SCOTUS may well be mcConnell's great legacy. And one of Trumps's as well.
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Post 23 Mar 2019, 10:53 am

Ricky:
and because of Republicans refusal to consider Merritt,


Cute Freudian, by the way.

The irony is that when Republican refused to consider Merrick Garland they justified it by looking at Democrats who said that they would do the same think in Bush II's last year. No doubt some time in the future if Republican choose to pack the court they will cite the Democratic candidates stating that they will do that if elected.

Perhaps Ricky is a Russian troll trying to destabilize our democracy. I say we honor traditions that are constitutional and/or 180 years old, such as the electoral college and the size of the Supreme Court. I mean that for both parties since they play the same games.
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Post 24 Mar 2019, 8:23 am

rayjay
The irony is that when Republican refused to consider Merrick Garland they justified it by looking at Democrats who said that they would do the same think in Bush II's last year.


Since the 1960s, the Senate has held a hearing for nearly every Supreme Court nominee, the exception being Harriet Miers, a 2005 George W. Bush nominee who faced opposition from Democrats and Republicans alike.
So when McConnell vowed, within hours of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, not to even consider the yet-to-be-named replacement, it was an unprecedented degree of opposition. And, no, there’s no tradition of not nominating a justice during a presidential election year.

https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-mete ... ts-never-/




Do you think the electoral college "stabilizes" ? democracy?
There are many ways in which the American constitution and in particular the electoral system for President and Congress falls short of being wholly democratic.
(The elimination of representation in Congress for citizens of Washington, the elimination of voting rights for nationals who reside in US territories, the unequal representation of the populace in the senate ...)
The electoral college, a vestige of the constitutional framing designed to protect slave holding states, is demonstrably there to ensure the possibility of the will of the minority in choosing governance. Surely something anti democratic doesn't promote stability...
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Post 24 Mar 2019, 10:22 am

It's to prevent the temporary passions of the majority to destroy the protections for the minority. The founders were conscious of this. Thank G-d slavery is a thing of the past, but we still don't want LA, Chicago, and NYC to rule over Des Moines, Oklahoma City, and Indianapolis. We are a compact of States.

Democrats who think the way you do will hand Trump a 2nd term.
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Post 25 Mar 2019, 10:06 am

rayjay
Perhaps Ricky is a Russian troll trying to destabilize our democracy.

Its cute that you reference your nation as a democracy but then defend the anti democratic institutions of your constitution...

rayjay
It's to prevent the temporary passions of the majority to destroy the protections for the minority. The founders were conscious of this

The whole point was that the notion of equal rights really only applied (in most original states) to landed white men. And the minority they were protecting was, themselves.

As the interpretation of the constitution and society changed, driven by "passions" like a passion for equal treatment under law, and in society ...
... and rights grew to include more people (the unlanded, women, blacks)- the privileged minority has always fought to minimize the effects on their privilege.
When you can argue that the will of 15.3 million people should bend to the will of 2.4 million people (The relative populations of the cities you name) it makes me wonder if the whole notion of democracy needs to be relearned.
In most western nations, change to institutions of governance evolve. Change reflects the will of the majority in wishing that change.
Much of the tension in the USA is because your political institutions do not represent the will of the people. When governments become unresponsive to desired change- they can fall apart.
Or, when change does finally come, instead of being digestible they create damage.

rayjay
We are a compact of States.

There are plenty of federations (what a compact of States is...) that exist without the distortions to democracy that the US constitution's protections of privileged minorities produces. In those countries, the need to be more responsive to the aspirations of the working and middle class, because they hold great political power, has produced societal benefits that make it much better to be either working or middle class.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Hap ... ess_Report

I think it is, at the root, the failure to be responsive to the needs of middle and working class that got Trump elected. Unfortunately he, and most republican policies on taxation and economic issues, have failed to get them what they thought he'd deliver.
Whether the great con can continue, is probably over which the next election will be fought.
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Post 27 Mar 2019, 5:53 am

Let's try again: the US is a Constitutional Democracy, or even more accurately, a Constitutional Republic. You seem to think that the legislature could ban the bill of rights because the majority says so. We have a Constitution, and we have laws on how to change that Constitution if people don't like them. It's imperfect. That's true of all Constitutions, including Canada's.

Getting back to the topic at hand (for some reason I have to keep saying that), if Democrats want to run on a larger supreme court, a Senate based on proportion representation regardless of which state or territory you live in, equal voting rights for all territories of the US, abolishment of the electoral college, the green new deal (which presidential candidates have endorsed, but didn't vote for), banning carbon in 10 years, pay regardless of whether you want to work, 2 Senators for DC, the notion that all people who believe in state rights and our Constitution are merely racists and Misogynists in disguise, etc.., they will lose the 2020 election.
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Post 27 Mar 2019, 10:16 am

rayjay
Let's try again: the US is a Constitutional Democracy, or even more accurately, a Constitutional Republic. You seem to think that the legislature could ban the bill of rights because the majority says so. We have a Constitution, and we have laws on how to change that Constitution if people don't like them. It's imperfect. That's true of all Constitutions, including Canada's.

I didn't say any of this...

I said that your current Constitution was designed, and continues to work, to impede the will of the majority of people.
The Bill of rights is about the protection of individual rights. It works pretty well, and seems to be a virtuous circle that, over time, has been expanding to more persons and has been increasingly well enforced by the courts. Its why it serves and has served as a model for many other nations when they seek to write their own.
The rest of the Constitution is about how laws and regulations are generated and enforced. And its that part of the Constitution that makes it hard for change to occur. Since the incumbents have always been privileged minorities, the use the constitutional mechanisms that provide them with out sized political power (i.e. the senate, the electoral college) to protect their privileges and slow change the majority wants. Its just reality RayJay.

Some of what the Democrats are promoting right now has majority support. Some doesn't.
To an extent, how popular an idea is, doesn't translate into politically possible because the majority that support the idea aren't represented in government to the extent they would in a more democratic institution.
That means, with the current representation, the idea has to have overwhelming popular support. Or if it does sneak through it can gain popular support quickly till it becomes insurmountable to change. (Gay marriage is one example of that, where change became widely accepted despite gaining approval as a slim majority).
Here's a list of topics that are currently polling as popular:
- action on climate change
- action of enhanced gun regulation.
-less expensive secondary education.
-improved primary education
-improved immigration laws, and more efficient and fairer enforcement
- improved health insurance and lower heath costs (The ACA has 60+ approval. and ..)
Where democrats can craft attractive policy for these issues, they should be able to use them to gain election at majority level, because there is appetite for change.


https://www.businessinsider.com/poll-me ... ort-2018-3

There are vested interest groups who don't want that change to happen. (NRA, Health insurance companies, big pharma, oil companies...)
The 2020 election will represent an opportunity for overwhelming support to be represented in the resulting Congress ... But if the representation in Congress falls a little short, then you can be sure those vested interests will use the levers to maintain the status quo to their benefit.
In a governance system where the majority will was better represented ... those changes would happen and would have happened some time ago.
In a system designed to protect privileged minorities ... change is difficult.
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Post 04 Apr 2019, 2:14 pm

Some terminology with regard to Biden's "tactile" politics...

The Seven Squeezed: Those who have complained about Uncle Joe creeping them out...
Biden's Bitches: Women who said they did not mind being groped by Biden...
Biden's Untouchables: Women, who for whatever reason, Biden did not have significant physical contact with...
The Biden Mind Meld: This is where Biden attempts, like the Vulcans, to connect with another mind by bumping foreheads together...
A Nose Too Far: This is where Biden runs noses with another woman...
"Cause I'm the wanderer yeah, the wanderer
I roam around, around": Biden's hand starts in a certain location on a woman's body and starts to roam...
"Do you use Head and Shoulders?": Biden testing whether a woman's hair smells good or not...
"Do you prefer Swedish or Shiatsu": Biden demonstrating various massage techniques for the woman's benefit...
The Creepy Kiss from THAT Relative: Uncle Joe's sloppy kisses on the back of a woman's head....