@danandlisa@FritzCat@KitMarlot apologies for letting my disgust get the better of me and sling an epithet at the former president. I meant it more tongue in cheek than it came off, but still, I prefer more reasoned debate.
Nonetheless, I think the man is corrosive to this country’s politics. And he’s a symptom more than a cause to be sure. I just wish he’d leave public life so we could all move on.
I don’t think there is “too much credit” considering the percentage of Republicans that polls show believe the election was stolen/rigged and that violence was/is justified. 66% believe it was stolen, increasing to 86% of Fox News viewers and 96% for One America New and Newmax viewers. A YouGov/CBS poll indicated only 34 percent of Republicans expressed strong disapproval of the Jan. 6th riot and 42 percent said they only “somewhat” disapproved. I’m always amazed at those numbers, even if there’s some error in the polls that over-estimate those percentages.
These opinions exist at the same time when people will soon vote for individuals who want to change the election process/laws to allow political parties to certify/change election results.
What do you folks think of the law passed in NYC that allows legal permanent residents (and DACA recipients) to vote in municipal elections?
Not sure how I feel about the DACA recipients, but I like the idea of green card holders being able to vote in local elections.
@rjquillin That’s an interesting point, Ron. I hadn’t thought about the maintenance issues. Although that always makes me go back to the question of why we don’t just institute a national voter registry - it would prevent so many issues we currently have. In particular, it also solves the problem of people moving to different districts and records not getting updated properly. If you tie in the correct data sources it also gets rid of the problem of not un-registering people who die and such. But I think the technology we have in 2022 should be able to solve that logistical problem if only we let it.
@Mark_L I understand the reaction, but are there reasons in particular you feel that way?
Not expressing support for the idea but the list maintenance would not be hard. We already do something similar in OH with 17 year olds, who are allowed to vote in Primary Elections as long as they will be 18 on or before the date of the General Election that year. They have a special status in our registration system which allows them to vote for candidates only, not issues. We change their status about a week before the General Election so that they have full voting privileges from that point.
Only Canadian citizens can vote
Section 3 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms reads:
Every citizen of Canada has the right to vote in an election of members of the House of Commons or of a legislative assembly and to be qualified for membership therein.
And in Mexico (via wiki)
In order to be able to vote, all Mexican citizens must obtain a photographic voter identification card from the National Electoral Institute (Instituto Nacional Electoral [INE]). To receive a card, potential voters need:
Proof of either their birth in Mexico or their naturalization
Some form of photo ID
Proof of their residence
With these three documents, a potential voter can request their Credentials to Vote card (Credencial para Votar).
The constitutional amendments nowhere say that only US citizens can vote. It says that the government may not abridge voting rights based on certain characteristics. Hell, it doesn’t even guarantee the right to vote writ large, as some of the shenanigans in some states along with the judicial responses will tell you.
The Canadian Charter or Rights and Freedoms has a similar structure - except that it actually guarantees all citizens the right to vote. Nowhere does it say that the government is forbidden from permitting non-citizens to vote. (FWIW, I think a realistic update of many constitutional provisions here could take some direction from the Charter. It’s so much more clear about most things, having been written only 40 years ago.)
The Mexican law is harder to parse, especially since that appears to be a summary rather than the text.
Regardless, that’s all beside the point. I’m not advocating for one position or the other here - I’m trying to discuss the merits of allowing non-citizens to vote in certain local elections. I’m not advocating getting rid of the federal law that says non-citizens may not vote in federal elections. And I’m certainly not suggesting that non-citizens must be permitted to vote - that’s nonsensical.
As a green card holder who pays fairly significant amounts in state and local taxes I would certainly welcome the ability to vote in the races that will most directly affect me. But then again, it’s obviously not compelled.
@chipgreen@Mark_L@rjquillin Sure, I’ve been here long enough that I could apply. Obviously to date I’ve not thought that the costs (both time and money) of getting citizenship were worth the benefits.
But that again misses the point, which is to discuss the merits of allowing non-citizens to vote. You could easily say “there are zero merits”, but without further explanation I wouldn’t know how to understand that position. Perhaps it’s just “that’s how it’s always been” or some other notion in that vein. That’s why I am trying to discuss it and hear other people’s points of view!
@chipgreen@klezman@Mark_L@rjquillin Pragmatically, it makes more sense to focus the energy into making sure folks who are already entitled to vote are not prevented from doing so. Sorry Klez, I see this as a distraction.
@chipgreen@davirom@Mark_L@rjquillin Also a very fair point, one that I agree with wholeheartedly. I only mentioned it because I saw the headline yesterday about the NYC law. But then again, I don’t think our little forum here matters a bit in the broader discussion of voting rights.
To me it seems reasonable to propose an amendment stating unequivocally that all citizens of the United States have the right to vote and no branch of government may raise a barrier to exercising that vote. But good luck with getting any of the (much needed) constitutional amendments through these days.
Interesting too, Monmouth University Polling Institute found, according to a Yahoo!news report
Additionally, 84 percent of non-white respondents said they supported requiring photo ID, along with 77 percent of white respondents. People with college degrees were less likely to support ID requirements, with 69 percent of respondents with four years of college supporting compared with 85 percent of respondents with no degree.
Why is it those with a higher education are less supportive?
Could it be that CRT influence in higher ed?
Perhaps I need a content filter after x-ml of processed grape juice. Even if it is only 13.9%
I’ve said many times here (and in person, I suspect) that I have no problem with requiring identification in principle. As long as it comes with a commitment from all levels of government to make obtaining a satisfactory ID an easy task.
@CroutonOllie@losthighwayz@Mark_L@rjquillin to address the federal election issue, there is already a law saying that non citizens may not vote in federal elections, and that would obviously preempt state law. That’s why you’d prefer the federal law in this case…
I agree, in the law that they passed, there is the provision that says their ‘right’ to vote is limited to the local matters only, but it establishes a lousy precedent, in my opinion. Maybe this is a good thing, as all illegals might be drawn there, and relieve other places of having to deal with the nonsense we have brought upon ourselves.
Edit to add: Maybe FL could park all those that they got foisted upon them, there. States need to stand up for themselves, and not sell out to a central government that hurts them; enough is enough.
@CroutonOllie@losthighwayz@Mark_L@rjquillin I don’t know why illegal immigrants would flock there since those laws only apply to green card holders and those with work authorization. Illegal immigrants don’t meet either of those criteria. And like many other legal immigrants, I’m no fan of illegal immigration.
@CroutonOllie@losthighwayz@Mark_L@rjquillin I’m always down to share a bottle and ideas. I’ve got plenty you can choose from as well.
Not sure why you say that it’s proven illegitimate though. Are you suggesting that people have fake green cards and such? Those are not easy documents to forge.
As I’ve noted before, one reason I pay very close attention to the Israeli-Palestinian arena is that a lot of trends get perfected there first and then go global — airline hijacking, suicide bombing, building a wall, the challenges of pluralism and lots more. It’s Off Broadway to Broadway, so what’s playing there these days that might be a harbinger for politics in the U.S.?
Answer: It’s the most diverse national unity government in Israel’s history, one that stretches from Jewish settlers on the right all the way to an Israeli-Arab Islamist party and super-liberals on the left. Most important, it’s holding together, getting stuff done and muting the hyperpolarization that was making Israel ungovernable.
Is that what America needs in 2024 — a ticket of Joe Biden and Liz Cheney? Or Joe Biden and Lisa Murkowski, or Kamala Harris and Mitt Romney, or Stacey Abrams and Liz Cheney, or Amy Klobuchar and Liz Cheney? Or any other such combination. Before you leap into the comments section, hear me out.
In June, after an utterly wild period in which Israel held four national elections over two years and kept failing to produce a stable governing majority, the lambs there actually lay down with the lions.
Key Israeli politicians swallowed their pride, softened policy edges and came together for a four-year national unity government — led by rightist Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and left-of-center Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid. (They are to switch places after two years.) And for the first time, an Israeli Arab party, the Islamist organization Raam, played a vital role in cementing an Israeli coalition.
What forced everyone’s hand? A broad agreement that Israeli politics was being held hostage by then-Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, who resisted putting together any government that he would not lead, apparently because, if he didn’t lead, he could lose his chance at some kind of immunity from prosecution on multiple corruption charges that could lead to prison.
Netanyahu was just a smarter Donald Trump, constantly delegitimizing the mainstream media and the Israeli justice system and vigorously exploiting social/religious/ethnic fault lines to divide and rule. He eventually stressed out the system so much that several of his former allies broke away to forge a unity coalition with Israeli center, left and Arab parties.
As Hebrew University of Jerusalem religious philosopher Moshe Halbertal put it to me: “What happened here is that there is still enough civic responsibility — not everywhere, but enough — that the political class felt that the continued breakdown of the rule of law and more elections, which was leading nowhere, was an indulgence that Israel simply could not afford, given its highly diverse population and dangerous neighborhood.”
This new Israeli government will neither annex the West Bank nor make final peace with the Palestinians, Halbertal noted, but it is one “that will attempt to renew the relationship with the Palestinian Authority rather than weakening it. It is one that prevented a racist anti-Arab party allied to Netanyahu from entering the cabinet.” And it is one that is counterbalancing Bibi’s strong embrace of the less-than-democratic, ultranationalist states in Europe and evangelical Christians and Trump Republicans in America “by rebuilding ties with the Democrats, liberal American Jews and liberal parties in Europe.”
As Israeli leaders treat each other — and Israeli and Palestinians leaders treat each other — with a little more respect, and a little less contempt, because they are out of Facebook and into face-to-face relations again, stuff is getting done. Unity has not meant paralysis. This coalition in November passed Israel’s first national budget since 2018! So far, every attempt to topple it has failed.
Mansour Abbas, the Islamist party’s leader, even recently stunned many Israeli Arabs and Jews when he publicly declared, “Israel was born a Jewish state; that was the decision of the people.” He continued: “It was born this way, and it will remain this way. The question is, what is the status of the Arab citizen in the Jewish state of Israel?’’
Could this play come to Broadway? I asked Steven Levitsky, a political scientist and co-author of “How Democracies Die,” after he presented some similar ideas last week to my colleague David Leonhardt.
America is facing an existential moment, Levitsky told me, noting that the Republican Party has shown that it isn’t committed any longer to playing by democratic rules, leaving the United States uniquely threatened among Western democracies.
That all means two things, he continued. First, this Trump-cult version of the G.O.P. must never be able to retake the White House. Since Trump has made embracing the Big Lie — that the 2020 election was a fraud — a prerequisite for being in the Trump G.O.P., his entire cabinet most likely would be people who denied, or worked to overturn, Biden’s election victory. There is no reason to believe they would cede power the next time.
“In a democracy,” Levitsky said, “parties lose popularity and they lose elections. That is normal. But a democracy cannot afford for this Republican Party to win again because they have demonstrated a ton of evidence that they are no longer committed to the democratic rules of the game.”
So Biden-Cheney is not such a crazy idea? I asked.
“Not at all,” said Levitsky. “We should be ready to talk about Liz Cheney as part of a blow-your-mind Israeli-style fusion coalition with Democrats. It is a coalition that says: ‘There is only one overriding goal right now — that is saving our democratic system.’”
That brings us to the second point. Saving a democratic system requires huge political sacrifice, added Levitsky. “It means A.O.C. campaigning for Liz Cheney” and it means Liz Cheney “putting on the shelf” many policy goals she and other Republicans cherish. “But that is what it takes, and if you don’t do it, just look back and see why democracy collapsed in countries like Germany, Spain and Chile. The democratic forces there should have done it, but they didn’t.”
To put it differently, this Trump-cult version of the G.O.P. is trying to gain power through an election, but it’s trying to increase its odds of winning by gaming the system in battleground states. America’s small-d democrats need to counter those moves and increase their odds of winning. The best way to do that is by creating a broad national unity vehicle that enables more Republicans to leave the Trump cult — without having to just become big-D Democrats. We all have to be small-d democrats now, or we won’t have a system to be big-D or big-R anythings.
That is what civic-minded Israeli elites did when they created a broad national unity coalition whose main mission was to make the basic functions of government work again and safeguard the integrity of Israel’s democracy.
Such a vehicle in America, said Levitsky, should “be able to shave a small but decisive fraction of Republican votes away from Trump.” In a tight race, it would take only 5 or 10 percent of Republicans leaving Trump to assure victory. And that is what matters.
This is the democratic way of defeating a threat to democracy. Not doing it is how democracies die. I am quite aware that it is highly unlikely; America does not have the flexibility of a parliamentary, proportional-representation system, like Israel’s, and there is no modern precedent for such a cross-party ticket. And yet, I still think it is worth raising. There is no precedent for how close we’re coming to an unraveling of our democracy, either.
As Levitsky put it: “If we treat this as a normal election, our democracy stands a coin flip’s chance of survival. Those are odds that I don’t want to run. We need to communicate to the public and the establishment that this is not a normal donkeys-versus-elephants election. This is democracy versus authoritarians.”
This is not for the long term, noted Levitsky: “I want to get back as quickly as possible to where I can disagree with Liz Cheney on every policy issue” — and that is the most we have to worry about — “but not until our democracy is safe.”
OMFG. I pop back in and someone posts ridiculous Biden-anybody 2024 ticket as “Democratic”?? Biden who’s pushing for the end of the filibuster he (and other major Dems) once championed? All so they can stuff SCOTUS and Congress?
As bad as Trump is, Biden is by far a more dangerous choice! And none of the so-called Republicans mentioned would be acceptable!
Hey don’t shoot the messenger! @klezman brought up the article and posted the link. I simply copied and pasted the text in order for @rjquillin (and anyone else) to easily read it without dealing with the NYT paywall.
Copied poorly in defiance of the paywall (there is some text noise buried from images and captions):
Six weeks after Election Day, with his hold on power slipping, President Donald J. Trump directed his lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, to make a remarkable call. Mr. Trump wanted him to ask the Department of Homeland Security if it could legally take control of voting machines in key swing states, three people familiar with the matter said.
Mr. Giuliani did so, calling the department’s acting deputy secretary, who said he lacked the authority to audit or impound the machines.
Mr. Trump pressed Mr. Giuliani to make that inquiry after rejecting a separate effort by his outside advisers to have the Pentagon take control of the machines. And the outreach to the Department of Homeland Security came not long after Mr. Trump, in an Oval Office meeting with Attorney General William P. Barr, raised the possibility of whether the Justice Department could seize the machines, a previously undisclosed suggestion that Mr. Barr immediately shot down.
The new accounts show that Mr. Trump was more directly involved than previously known in exploring proposals to use his national security agencies to seize voting machines as he grasped unsuccessfully for evidence of fraud that would help him reverse his defeat in the 2020 election, according to people familiar with the episodes.
The existence of proposals to use at least three federal departments to assist Mr. Trump’s attempt to stay in power has been publicly known. The proposals involving the Defense Department and the Department of Homeland Security were codified by advisers in the form of draft executive orders.
But the new accounts provide fresh insight into how the former president considered and to some degree pushed the plans, which would have taken the United States into uncharted territory by using federal authority to seize control of the voting systems run by states on baseless grounds of widespread voting fraud.
The people familiar with the matter were briefed on the events by participants or had firsthand knowledge of them.
The accounts about the voting machines emerged after a weekend when Mr. Trump declared at a rally in Texas that he might pardon people charged in connection with the storming of the Capitol last Jan. 6 if he were re-elected. In a statement issued after the rally, Mr. Trump also suggested that his vice president, Mike Pence, could have personally “overturned the election” by refusing to count delegates to the Electoral College who had vowed to cast their votes for Joseph R. Biden Jr.
The new information helps to flesh out how the draft executive orders to seize voting machines came into existence and points in particular to the key role played by a retired Army colonel named Phil Waldron.
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According to people familiar with the accounts, Mr. Waldron, shortly after the election, began telling associates that he had found irregularities in vote results that he felt were suggestive of fraud. He then came up with the idea of having a federal agency like the military or the Department of Homeland Security confiscate the machines to preserve evidence.
Mr. Waldron first proposed the notion of the Pentagon’s involvement to Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, whom he says he served with in the Defense Intelligence Agency.
The plans were among an array of options that were placed before Mr. Trump in the tumultuous days and weeks that followed the election, developed by an ad hoc group of lawyers like Sidney Powell and other allies including Mr. Flynn and Mr. Waldron. That group often found itself at odds with Mr. Giuliani and his longtime associate Bernard Kerik, as well as with Mr. Trump’s White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone, and his team.
Around the same time that Mr. Trump brought up the possibility of having the Justice Department seize the voting machines, for example, he also tried to persuade state lawmakers in contested states like Michigan and Pennsylvania to use local law enforcement agencies to take control of them, people familiar with the matter said. The state lawmakers refused to go along with the plan.
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The meeting with Mr. Barr took place in mid- to late November when Mr. Trump raised the idea of whether the Justice Department could be used to seize machines, according to two people familiar with the matter. Mr. Trump told Mr. Barr that his lawyers had told him that the department had the power to seize machines as evidence of fraud.
Mr. Trump mentioned a specific state that had used machines built by Dominion Voting Systems, where his lawyers believed there had been fraud, although it is unclear which state Mr. Trump was referring to. Mr. Barr, who had been briefed extensively at that point by federal law enforcement officials about how the theories being pushed by Mr. Trump’s legal team about the Dominion machines were unfounded, told Mr. Trump that the Justice Department had no basis for seizing the machines because there was no probable cause to believe a crime had been committed.
It was only after several early options were exhausted that Mr. Waldron pitched the idea of using other parts of the federal government to seize the machines to both Mr. Giuliani and members of the Trump legal team, and to Mr. Flynn and his own associates, including Ms. Powell and Patrick Byrne, a wealthy business executive who funded many of the efforts to challenge the election.
Phil Waldron, a retired Army colonel, at his distillery in Dripping Springs, Texas, last year.
Phil Waldron, a retired Army colonel, at his distillery in Dripping Springs, Texas, last year.
Mr. Waldron, who owns a bar and distillery outside Austin, Texas, was previously best known for having circulated a 38-page PowerPoint presentation to lawmakers and White House aides that was filled with extreme plans to overturn the election.
Mr. Giuliani was vehemently opposed to the idea of the military taking part in the seizure of machines, according to two people familiar with the matter. The conflict between him and his legal team, and Mr. Flynn, Ms. Powell and Mr. Byrne came to a dramatic head on Dec. 18, 2020, during a meeting with Mr. Trump in the Oval Office.
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At the meeting, Mr. Flynn and Ms. Powell presented Mr. Trump with a copy of the draft executive order authorizing the military to oversee the seizure of machines. After reading it, Mr. Trump summoned Mr. Giuliani to the Oval Office, according to one person familiar with the matter. When Mr. Giuliani read the draft order, he told Mr. Trump that the military could be used only if there was clear-cut evidence of foreign interference in the election.
Ms. Powell, who had spent the past month filing lawsuits claiming that China and other countries had hacked into voting machines, said she had such evidence, the person said. But Mr. Giuliani was adamant that the military should not be mobilized, the person said, and Mr. Trump ultimately heeded his advice.
Shortly after the Oval Office meeting, Mr. Waldron amended the draft executive order, suggesting that if the Defense Department could not oversee the seizure of machines then the Department of Homeland Security could, the person said.
Around that time, Mr. Trump asked Mr. Giuliani to call Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, the acting deputy secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, to ask about the viability of the proposal, according to two people familiar with the matter. Mr. Cuccinelli said that homeland security officials could not take part in the plan.
Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, was opposed to the idea of the military taking part in the seizure of machines, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, was opposed to the idea of the military taking part in the seizure of machines, according to two people familiar with the matter.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times
All of this was playing out amid open acrimony among White House aides and outside advisers about how best — and how far — to proceed with efforts to pursue Mr. Trump’s claims of fraud in the election. That same month, during a meeting on another matter, Mr. Trump asked Mr. Cuccinelli what he thought of appointing a special counsel to investigate election fraud. Mr. Cuccinelli, according to two people briefed on the conversation, said it was not a good idea for a variety of reasons.
When Mr. Flynn, Ms. Powell and Mr. Byrne arrived at the White House to discuss their plan to use the military to seize voting machines, they were not let into the Oval Office by a typical gatekeeper, like Mark Meadows, Mr. Trump’s chief of staff. Rather, they were escorted in by Garrett Ziegler, a young aide to another Trump adviser, Peter Navarro, according to Mr. Ziegler’s account.
“I waved in General Flynn and Sidney Powell on the Friday night of the 18th — for which Mark Meadows’s office revoked my guest privileges,” Mr. Ziegler said on a podcast, adding that he had done so because he was “frustrated with the current counsel” Mr. Trump was getting.
Even Mr. Giuliani, who had spent weeks peddling some of the most outrageous claims about election fraud, felt that the idea of bringing in the military was beyond the pale.
After Mr. Flynn and Ms. Powell left the Oval Office, according to a person familiar with the matter, Mr. Giuliani predicted that the plans they were proposing were going to get Mr. Trump impeached.
@rjquillin If the analysis is limited to the early part of the pandemic in the first part of 2020, then it’s not entirely surprising. Especially if the comparison point is what actually happened. Recall that the purpose of lockdowns early on was to try to eliminate it early and try to prevent its spread. I’d read the original article, but Newsmax is a rather suspect source. (I’ll look for it in a bit - gotta get the kids into bed.)
@klezman@rjquillin I skimmed but the framework is interesting for being Jan-Jun 2020 only wrt Europe and the US. Obviously lockdowns in China significantly reduced Covid19 mortality and it was not peaking in other parts of the world until much later.
@klezman@rjquillin i think it’s pretty safe to trust the reports of incredibly heavy handed lockdowns. We know their vaccine isn’t great after seeing it utilized throughout the world so their policy requires strict isolation.
@canonizer@klezman the reporting of mortality is what I was questioning; no doubt there were harsh lockdowns, as those were reported by multiple sources. The media can’t suppress all the citizens reports or lockdowns, but can be quite effective in controlling accurate mortality rate reporting.
@canonizer@rjquillin Not sure why the argument. The strict isolation type of lockdown (i.e. what people think of when they hear “lockdown”) clearly does prevent disease transmission. That China may likely have misreported their stats doesn’t change that reality.
The question is more about the benefits of individual and combination of measures for viruses like this.
@rjquillin - I think we can believe the low transmission in China at a given moment because we would know about the appearance of extraordinary lockdowns. I don’t know whether we can trust the deathcount to the number but I do have a level of confidence that their numbers fell dramatically to near zero levels following January 2020 while the rest of world implemented varying and differing strategies.
For a long time, there appeared to be an idea circulating the virus first appeared and was covered up in summer or early fall 2019 and it just strikes me as too contagious. If it is any part of the world it will be anywhere within a few weeks, not 6 months.
@rjquillin I don’t have the references handy, but I have read that studies of the 1918 Spanish Influenza pandemic also demonstrated that masking, social distancing and lockdown measures were ineffective.
Many people are so heavily invested in the virtue signaling of complying with isolation, social distancing, and masking - most of which they did from comfortable homes or apartments where everything they needed as delivered to them, by ordinary working people who were not members of the “laptop class” and who had to continue to work in order to survive, and did so throughout, mostly with grace and resignation - that they are suffering from severe cognitive dissonance in the face of the evidence of this and similar studies. The people who staffed the stores (mostly large ones, small business was shut down), delivered the food and other goods, those who were vital participants in the supply chain, and those who actually grew and produced food, and produced goods, were briefly applauded as heroes, but now that they have refused to continue to go along with the kabuki, they’re being denounced. The behavior of the health bureaucracy and government has been eroded what was already small trust in government. The appeals to science, which seem more about dirigiste demands people accept whatever they’re currently being told (which changes with alacrity - rather like in 1984), and attempts to suppress skeptical questioning absent hypotheses which have been tested and proven (which proof is replicable), which is the essence of the scientific method, has resulted in a thoroughly justifiable loss of trust in ‘science’ which is really scientism. You go, rq!
That said, mask wearing has downsides and transmission reduction does come at some cost. So the scientific question of whether masks reduce transmission leads to a mostly clear answer of “yes”, with a less clear answer to “by how much”. The policy question of whether mask wearing should be encouraged or mandated or forbidden obviously includes other considerations.
@rjquillin@rpm while I agree with much of what you have said. I think one point should be made regarding mask effectiveness. The Flu is generally spread through droplets on surfaces and briefly in the air through a cough or sneeze. Masking isn’t going to help much as it gets on your hands and people generally touch their face constantly.
SARS-COV-2 has been shown to spread in the air much more effectively than the flu which makes sense considering Omicron is approaching measles like R number. Masks have been shown to be very effective, I’m in the office where masks are required at all times for the 15 months and people sit near each other (100+) and we have not had community spread despite isolated cases. The same is true for my kids elementary school, isolated cases but no community spread. The events where this thing seems to spread rapidly is family events and social events that are indoors and mask free.
When this thing is over I’ll be the first to ditch the mask and burn it but so far they have kept my family COVID free through all the strains including Omicron despite having it around us.
When this thing is over I’ll be the first to ditch the mask and burn it but so far they have kept my family COVID free through all the strains including Omicron despite having it around us.
Yes, this. Hate masks but they are an invaluable tool. My kid’s school was the first to open when it was allowed and there has not been a single documented case of in-school transmission despite plenty of isolated cases. And that’s 2 years old through grade 8.
Over the weekend, on some news program I don’t specifically recall, a number for reported fatalities was mentioned I found hard to believe; I think it was around 8500. In a country with a population of ~ 1.5 billion!? Seems unbelievably, outrageously even, low. I poked around a bit during lunch today and ran across a site I know absolutely nothing about that has some numbers and graphs
@canonizer@CorTot@klezman@rjquillin@rpm After a quick search of Statista, it appears that their business model is to produce slick click-bait graphics then charge an annual subscription fee of about $460/year (no shorter term available) to folks who want to know critical things like the data source. So, in response to RJQ, what is missing is any way to validate the data, short of $460 or independent research into the topic. I agree with RJQ that the graphic is not credible and neither it would seem is Statista.
We use statista at work sometimes, and they are legit. Sure, the business model can be annoying, but I’ve not yet encountered anything other than solid data from publically available data sources. And there’s the rub - the official Chinese government statistics are no doubt a complete fiction.
Obviously lockdowns in China significantly reduced Covid19 mortality
is where I was going. I’ll not believe lockdowns were as effective in China as these numbers suggest given the reports they provided to the world, and how divergent they are from reports from other countries. More likely, imo, anything coming from CCP w/r/t Covid is pure fiction.
@klezman <sidebar> I presume your workplace is a paid subscriber and you can therefore identify the sources, but it is more than “annoying” for a company to publish charts such as the one above without citing the source. It is deceptive.
Statista’s chart may well be “legit”; i.e. it accurately represents the data. But there is no reasonable way to know who promulgated that data, their methodology, their sponsors, etc.
@davirom the data I’ve looked at from them is from sources in familiar with. We don’t have a subscription.
I think some of the public charts let you view the source link but not the actual source data.
I’m not suggesting that we should trust their specific reporting but I do not think we should underestimate the effectiveness of much more rigorous testing and draconian lockdowns. The country has been closed to foreigners/travel. These blunt instruments are a necessity for a covid 0 policy.
One portion of the country thinks the events of January 6 were political discourse and one considers them tantamount to treason. That’s a pretty broad range of perspectives, without discussing gun ownership, abortion or other issues that run the gamut of ideology.
Cruelty seems fairly rampant these days.
Separately: All Indians I know would certainly disagree. Tribes do not pay taxes, can issue their own passports (which have mixed value as far as traveling internationally) and have been treated unkindly, to put it mildly.
There is a broad range of perspectives, which is good, but we should focus most on what our commonalities are, rather than the differences.
Differences can be sorted out, once we have a basic modicum of respect between those sitting at the table. I do not believe that the way we are going about it now, is conducive to this goal. We do not need hyphenated Americans, we need Americans; that is more than good enough to get the job done.
As for your distinction about indigenous people, or continental Indians, the argument remains the same. The indigenous are, but can choose to be not, as is their choice. They are Americans in every way that I am, but are also sovereign, in and of themselves.
As for the vaccination thing that you alluded to, if you want to eat catfish in Friday night, do so; I’m having a hamburger.
Supreme Court Justices Have Forgotten What the Law Is For
By Adrian Vermeule
Mr. Vermeule is the Ralph S. Tyler Jr. professor of constitutional law at Harvard and the author of the forthcoming book “Common Good Constitutionalism.”
Justice Stephen Breyer last week announced that he will retire at the end of this Supreme Court term. If the recent past is any guide, whoever is nominated to replace him will face a barrage of attacks from political opponents. Every Supreme Court nomination is now a battleground, featuring slander and even angry demonstrations, as when protesters of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination invaded the Senate building and attacked the very doors of the court.
The great promise of our legal system as understood by many modern theorists — that law can create a framework to reconcile plural interests in a diverse society — has manifestly failed. Instead the law has become ever more politically contested and bitterly divisive; the tolerance celebrated by the proponents of liberalism appears to be more science fiction than fact. Something has gone badly wrong: It is unclear, in America in 2022, what the point of the law is, what higher ends it should strive to attain. We have forgotten what law is for.
Today’s reigning theories of law are exhausted. On one side, legal progressivism shamelessly instrumentalizes the law in the service of a particular vision of social justice centered on identity politics and libertine social and sexual mores. This relentless crusade undermines the family, traditional morality and the well-being of the citizenry — especially those who lack the resources to buffer themselves against societal disintegration.
On the other side, originalism, which pretends to separate law from justice, rests on an invented tradition that has projected itself back into the past. As the historian Jonathan Gienapp puts it, originalists’ understanding of the Constitution is “anachronistic, a species of modern constitutional thinking that they unwittingly and uncritically impose on the eighteenth century.” Supposedly originalist judges constantly appeal, explicitly or implicitly, to a contemporary view of justice to fix the meaning of general or abstract texts (like “due process of law” or “freedom of speech”) or otherwise to resolve hard cases.
Consider the strange 2020 decision in Bostock v. Clayton County. Some of the court’s self-described originalists provided the necessary votes to read the Civil Rights Act of 1964, implausibly, to protect sexual orientation and even transgender identity — quite obviously parroting the orthodoxy of the present.
Bostock was a crucial test of method: The decision was written by arguably the court’s most strident originalist, Justice Neil Gorsuch, and explicitly called for reading statutes (not just the Constitution) in light of their original public meaning. Yet at a key moment, Justice Gorsuch wrote that the law should be read at a remarkably abstract level of generality, sufficient to encompass protections that would have seemed risible in 1964 had they been imaginable at all, based on a contestable view of the equities of the issue; according to Gorsuch, following the original expectations of the legislators in 1964 “would tilt the scales of justice in favor of the strong or popular.” Bostock exposes that originalism betrays its own promise to leach arguments about justice out of interpretation.
Neither progressivism nor originalism has proved capable of transcending partisanship to produce solidarity and community. Every June, the Supreme Court breaks down largely along ideological lines — precisely in the great cases that attract the most public attention and concern, and that inevitably symbolize our national commitments. We lack an overarching legal framework to help all Americans argue over principles while still retaining the sense that they are participating in a common enterprise.
What’s missing from our law today is an emphasis on the common good, a concept that from the founding era onward was central to the American legal tradition, embodied in the references to the “general welfare” in both the preamble to the Constitution and its text. The classical legal tradition, the mainstream of the Western legal tradition until the 20th century, holds that laws should be interpreted in light of the legitimate aim of government, which is the flourishing of the community as a community. Classical constitutionalism holds that our political community can succeed only as a whole, rather than as a collection of warring interests, competing ideologies and isolated individuals — the underlying logic of modern jurisprudence. The aim of constitutional government and legal interpretation should be to promote the classical ideals of peace, justice and abundance.
The common good is no abstract idea; its absence is keenly felt today. In the past few decades, Americans have discovered that individuals and families cannot flourish if the whole community is fundamentally unhealthy, torn apart by conflict, lawlessness, poverty, pollution, sickness, and despair. Gated residences, private schools and Uber have not sufficed to immunize even the affluent against the consequences of living in a decaying, fractured and embittered polity. No family or civic association is an island, and the health of civic society and culture are themselves dependent upon the health of the constitutional order.
One needs no sectarian or contentious conception of the common good to think that America in 2022 desperately needs healing of the public community. Americans’ life expectancy is now roughly five years below that of people in comparable countries. Overdosing, rural despair and politicized anger are not hallmarks of a flourishing community in any reasonable view of what the common good means. Stable families, material security, dignified work and a sense of social harmony are objectively good for all. We may disagree on how precisely to achieve these ends, but denying they are something to aspire to as a community is irrational, and the laws should be interpreted accordingly. In hard cases, where legal sources are conflicting, ambiguous or unclear, the common good and its subsidiary ideals serve as principles for interpreting the laws.
American judges in the classical legal tradition applied the common good with a healthy measure of deference to the reasonable decisions of public authorities. In important cases from the past few decades, this approach would have changed both reasoning and outcomes. One example is the 2002 case Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, in which Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for a majority, struck down a federal law that barred the creation of virtual child pornography — images of people who appear to be minors, engaging in sexually explicit conduct, that were generated by computer or by adult actors posing as children. Justice Kennedy wrote that the law was “overbroad” because it prohibited speech “that records no crime and creates no victims by its production.” This neglects the diffuse harms to the community and the broader corrosion of the social fabric that occur when virtual child pornography is available. The law is a teacher of virtue, and it should not teach that animated or simulated child porn is somehow a victimless crime.
Likewise, the court erred in the recent decision in National Federation of Independent Business v. Department of Labor that, in effect, barred the Occupational Safety and Health Administration from requiring vaccination (or a test-and-mask regimen) in large workplaces. The safeguarding of public health is a core duty of governance, and Supreme Court precedent long ago established that “a community has the right to protect itself against an epidemic of disease which threatens the safety of its members.” The court held that because the relevant laws gave OSHA the power to regulate workplace safety specifically, it could not regulate more general public health risks, like Covid, that also have important effects in and through the workplace — a libertarian non sequitur. The fear of rule by unelected bureaucrats in government agencies does not justify actual rule by unelected bureaucrats on the bench.
Finally, the court also erred in the landmark 1992 decision in Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, which required plaintiffs to show a personal “injury in fact” in order to challenge inadequate enforcement of environmental laws in federal court — even if, as the Court recently clarified, statutes create a right to sue. This constitutional requirement of a private stake to bring suit is backward. The law should encourage, not hamper, those who wish to articulate public interests in legal proceedings, especially where the health of the natural environment is at stake — the ultimate common good.
All officials are duty bound to consider the common good. As Justice Antonin Scalia once put it, governmental decisions are subject to “the fundamental constraint that the decision must be taken in order to further a public purpose rather than a purely private interest.” Common-good constitutionalism urges that this principle be remembered and renewed to heal the ills of our law. One hopes that Justice Breyer’s replacement can transcend the tired opposition of progressivism and originalism, and revive the orientation to the common good that was once central to the American legal tradition.
@canonizer Not sure what you mean. It sounded to me like he was taking the progressives and originalists to task for not considering the common good in their decisions. And pointing out that institutional acceptance may come down to remembering this point.
It’s Parliament supported him, and his storm troopers trampling little old (indigenous) ladies in walkers, and his security apparat closing the bank account of a single mom who gave the protestors Can$50.
I don’t ever want to hear a Canadian criticizing the United States for its faults again.
@rpm As one of the resident Canadians I feel like I have to comment. I admit that I’ve not read much into what’s been going on in Ottawa. Therefore I have no substantive opinions thus far.
I will note that I’ve never said Canada has no faults.
@rpm The short lived autonomous zones were the worst things that ever happened in the history of the united states but a small group of people who don’t live in Ottawa shutting down the entire country is a reasonable expression of protest. Got it.
@FritzCat Don’t have time to watch this at the moment, but the quick hit description of “Biden ramping up tensions in Ukraine” is just…wrong…
Unless you think Trump is right on this one and that Vlad is a tactical genius and his invasion of Ukraine is something the rest of the world should just sit by and watch.
@FritzCat wow, I’ve really only watched clips of Jordan and Shapiro, maybe listened to a handful of episodes of Rogan about 8 years ago and had never listened to Russell Brand. That was a deeply unpleasant experience!
Anybody got any “less biased” media sources for the Ukraine invasion? I’ve been reading CNN, WSJ and NPR, and they seem convinced that this is “not going as Putin planned”, but that feels like hopeful Western media spin. You don’t send missiles into apartment buildings without expecting to get shot at. Specifically, I’d like to know:
What do the Russian people know about it, and how are they reacting?
What do the people/gov’t in China actually think about it?
I keep reading that the Russian people are protesting and the Chinese people are cheering, but that doesn’t seem quite right.
@KitMarlot Check out the Daily Mail online. Also Bill Roggio (who had a piece in the Mail yesterday), who has a less optimistic take on how it’s going. I suspect his take make be more accurate than the tales of how badly its going for the Russians - not that he suggests they haven’t had problems, but that the situation for the Ukrainians is more dire than much of the cheerleading in the west.
She publishes a translation of a Russian article that is a rpm MUST READ
If you’re trying to understand what Russia wishes to accomplish, the Kremlin-aligned Russian media is the best place to start, and I
commend to our readers’ attention, particularly, this article, “The
Resolution of the Ukraine Question.” (“The Ukraine Question,” my God!)
It was mistakenly published in the Kremlin-aligned media on the
morning of February 26. It celebrates Russia’s victory and the
collapse of the Ukrainian state within the anticipated two days.
It was, of course, swiftly taken down, but it’s archived, here. This
is what Putin had in mind and what his state media was prepared to
announce. It’s worth reading in full, so I’ll reproduce it all; the
emphasis is mine.
The coverage of Putin is challenging as he seems to be quite isolated. It’s clear that he did not anticipate getting stuck in the mud in the way to Kyiv. Have to feel like if he’d merely annexed/recognized Dumskaya there would have been little consequence to taking Ukraine one bite at a time.
The only 1st hand knowledge I’ve heard comes from his 90 minute call with Macron, where he said things were going according to plan (though, what else would he say?).
I don’t think L. Graham’s call for some Russian to assassinate Putin was particularly effective.
@chipgreen@KitMarlot@rpm They show up middle on the left-right but right on the edge between “fact reporting” and “analysis/opinion” on the reliability axis. Looks like a less reliable version of AP and Reuters from that take.
@rpm thanks for sharing, this is the kind of thing I was looking for. Can’t trust anything these days, but prose like this makes it believable:
“Denazification” and “demilitarization” are not analytical categories because they don’t have concretely formulated parameters by which meeting of the objectives can be evaluated.
I just hope the last 4 paragraphs (there’s no single nuclear “red button”, there’s an activation procedure that requires many parties, and Putin loves himself too much to start a nuclear war) are real and not deliberately planted to give false hope. It’s definitely more clear-eyed and believable than a lot of the Western analysis that I’ve read.
@rpm They would have been destroyed here, quickly, on the ground.
Their only hope, is in the arsenal, and hold back, they have at home. My instincts tell me one thing, with fat targets sitting there, but my intellect tells me another: ambush and excuse to escalate. They also may be quite stupid though, so who knows.
I think the fat bear should have tried to feast elsewhere, and my best to the Ukrainians.
Just a thought or two, entitled ‘The Myth of Putin’s Intellect’ that I sent to the BBS. Agree, or not, your prerogative.
First, I am certain that you are infiltrated, given your status and position in the global newsmarket.
Secondly, I would appreciate being anonymous, though I am aware this may not be possible. My perceptions are as follows:
The Myth of Putin’s Intellect
Once upon a time, there was a Head of State that seemed to be a good fit for his people. He got them through some trying economic times, restored their belief in themselves, and looked to be moving them towards a higher standard of living. He knew all of the catchwords, like freedom, liberty, justice, and used them quite often, with an engaging smile that reassured his people that he was in earnest. All was fine: he was happy, made sure that he was paid well, and loved to entertain the people with his story hours. KGB training served him well here, where notions were mixed with fiction, presented as fact, and all could escape into his alternate universe. Who’s counting, anyway?
Like all other Heads of State, he found a seat at the table where all Heads of State play. He played quite well, and developed a knack for strategy in these games. More good news on the homefront, they had a champ at the table, but unfortunately his time as Head of State was over. What could be done, he wasn’t done playing yet? Constitutions are small things to get around when you are a strategist, and have the power to create a position, fill it, then make the role of whom should be your boss, ceremonial. Some of his people noticed this, and a bit of the veneer came off, but for the most part, people shrugged. Some started counting, though.
He sat back down at the table, and most leaders just accepted it, as it was a matter for his people to decide who sat there, and it is a messy business to play in the internal affairs other nations; not good form at all. Some found it a bit disconcerting, but even they had to admire the craft with which he accomplished his goals. All was fine up until he started to believe in his own myth. A touch of dementia, fleeting delusion? Who could know. Even more people started counting, and the equations just didn’t seem to be adding up.
How could Russia be richer than she had ever been, but the standard of living be stagnant for the majority of her people? Where was the infrastructure that should have come from this wealth, and why were the benefits of it apportioned within such a narrow range of beneficiaries?
Now when he played at the table he started to show signs of belligerence towards other players, and a bit more of the veneer came off. Consolidation of power at home, imprisonment of dissidents on questionable charges, and even pursuing his critics into other sovereign nations to mete out his idea of justice. No veneer now, just the cheap wood of a common despot, and those damned people counting, well they really can’t be tolerated. It’s time to advance Dr. Mengele’s findings, and add a new chapter on how rare radioactive isotopes agree with the human diet. No tea or cookies for me, please, thank you, and I’ve never been interested in the fragrance industry, either.
Annexing the Crimea, more subtrefuge and disinformation. When that is righfully challenged by the owner, start a mess in the east to draw attention to that, and up the ante at the same time. Engage in diplomacy, buy time, and support the rebels. That doesn’t work? Break your agreements citing a plethora of fabrications, continue on with the disinformation campaign, make speeches that attempt to rewrite History, then invade on a set of pretexts that no-one in their right mind would believe; and all of that after telling the World that you had no intention of invading. No intellect there, just delusions of grandeur, and a major disregard for international law and human life. Where are those vestiges of intellect now, when the whole world clearly sees one thing, yet you profess another? The world can also clearly see you for what you are. Nothing honorable to be found, only a tiny dictator who is unworthy of anything other than the traditional dictators’ lot.
The Russian people deserve better, the World deserves better, and the people of the Ukraine deserve better. The reminders to the World of being a nuclear power are also quite juvenile: it must be remembered that there are others at the table, besides the Russian Federation, that also have them. It is a two edged sword. Is it desired that this be brought upon the Russian people, too? Maybe they should be consulted, as certainly there is no genius being displayed by their leadership. I’m certain that we could find many who would bargain in good faith, and not singular interest. They would also likely be in agreement that ‘peeing’ contests are best held during nights out at the pub, and not within the context of nuclear weapons.
[Rant over, sorry, and feel free to throw this in the trash. It’s not really for public consumption, anyway. As an aside, I’m proud to be able to trace my heritage back to the UK, and would like to offer my salute to your people, and government. I just wish there was something I could do for the Ukrainian people, when confronted by a mess like what Mr. Putin is handing them. I also wish that they could have been fast tracked into NATO, but Mr. Putin had already covered those bases, by creating a territorial dispute over the Crimea, and further with the 2 territorial regions in the east. His argument over impending NATO membership is invalid, as is most that comes from that State. No small nation should ever have to stand up, alone, to such aggression, and I hope that it comes back to haunt that little cabbage shitting autocrat in Moscow. A ghost, or two, should find their way to Washington, as well.]
May God help us all, and especially those unfortunate enough to share a border with Mr. Putin, or his clients. The Russian people are also suffering an occupation, and the sooner they can rid themselves of it, the better off the whole world will be.
@canonizer I, for one, am quite pleased to see a Supreme Court nominee who doesn’t seem to have a strong ideological bent nor an axe to grind.
The focus from the Republican committee members on sentencing of some past cases has gone way overboard and has crossed the line, imo, into disrespect.
@canonizer@CroutonOllie@davirom and of course that Gorsuch should have been justice Merrick Garland, another consensus pick.
The supreme Court with Garland and Gorsuch, then who knows if it would have been Kavanaugh or Barrett. That would be less offensive.
But I’ve come to like the plans of 18 year terms staggered one per Congress. And/or impose a minimum age for sitting on the court so that you can’t pick somebody who will be there for 50 years. And/or a mandatory retirement age.
@canonizer@CroutonOllie@davirom Ah, well in that case I agree.
It’s also incredibly sad and maddening that it appears only between 1 and 3 Republican senators will vote to confirm her. She’s clearly beyond qualified. She appears to be completely non-ideological. What else could they want aside from a pledge to vote with Thomas on every single case?
@Mark_L Yes and no. I thought Kavanaugh displayed a complete and utter lack of judicial temperament and should have withdrawn himself from consideration. I thought the nomination and rushed confirmation of Coney Barrett was a disgrace given what they did when Scalia died. I also think it’s debatable that Coney Barrett is fit for the supreme court given that she seems to be highly ideological - a concern that is lessened on lower courts that must adhere to precedent. I understand why only 3 Democrats voted for Gorsuch given the situation, but he deserved more votes best I can tell.
In general I have a lot of disappointment over the extreme partisanship in this country.
She is ideologically different, and am not sure the time spent, by either of us, would be of any benefit.
I believe in the institution of the Supreme Court, am not a part of the confirmation process, and will abide by the Court’s decisions until such time that they are contrary to the Constitution. I am sure most Americans believe this way (those that I know), so I have no problem with ideological differences, as long as the Constitution is upheld.
I do believe her selection was artificial and politically motivated, which discredits both her, and others suited to the position.
I do believe her selection was artificial and politically motivated, which discredits both her, and others suited to the position.
-All supreme court nominations are political to some degree.
-Reagan promised to appoint a woman to the supreme court - was Sandra Day O’Connor discredited?
-Trump explicitly said he was “saving” Coney Barrett in case he got to fill RBG’s seat. So I guess she’s discredited too?
The body and quality of the individual’s work is what should be considered, not artificial factors. The actual contributions, and suitability of an individual are diminished/discredited anytime artificial factors are introduced.
@CroutonOllie the Heritage Foundation’s endorsement was absolutely a necessity for any potential Republican nominee to the bench during trump’s admin and I believe it continues to be.
That’s among the many reasons it’s unmoving for Republicans to complain about Biden limiting himself to nominating a Black woman when trump limited himself to a list supplied by the Heritage Foundation and circulated prior to the 2016 vote. Which is more cynical?
I don’t think there’s anything terribly radical in what I’m writing. The electorate doesn’t have a lot of input into nominations beyond the presidency and, to a lesser extent, the senate majority
“I have known Dr. Oz for many years, as have many others, even if only through his very successful television show. He has lived with us through the screen and has always been popular, respected, and smart.” - Donald Trump, on his pick for PA senator. Thereby confirming his thesis that regular appearance on TV is sufficient qualification for office. Rolling Stone Magazine said it best: “Fraud Endorses Quack”
Fraud, I’m not concerned with, as it is an interpretive thing, at times.
Liked the last President for his business acumen, and getting rid of useless laws/bureaucracy. We need energy, the world needs it, and until such time as there are alternatives in place, we need to produce to feed consumers here and abroad.
I also believe in law, and immigration law is but another law that we need to have enforced as written; we don’t seem to be a nation of laws here. Change them as a representative function, or enforce them, period. To do less is to offer disrespect to our Legislature, and the bipartisan spirit that enacted them.
Glad you’re feeling better, and haven’t tried the soup recipe yet.
Replying to myself, as what we want should be the best.
Not garbage fitting some artificial ideas, just the best.
I chose the best, many times, and it didn’t matter what artificial things they were, if I chose them then they were the best. They could be proud, no gifts, they earned it. What kind of whacky shit puts people in places they don’t belong?
No-one does anyone, any favors, if they hand out things like ‘they are above’; let people make it, or not.
“Best” is not an objective determination. It’s both situational and subjective. What’s the “best” justice of the supreme court? Is it somebody with credentials from the top law school today? Of the top law school from when they went to law school? What about undergraduate degrees - do they matter?
Is the “best” person to fill an open spot on the supreme court best determined based on their individual accomplishments/credentials or based on what they bring to the court or both? Is there value to having people of different backgrounds on the highest court in the land?
I’d submit that the country is best served with a diversity of ethnic, cultural, religious, educational, and professional experience on the supreme court. These people are writing opinions about what the law of the land should be. Just like a jury of your peers, those people should represent a good cross-section of society.
You bet it is, and especially if I am paying for it, or care about the outcome.
Standards exist for a reason, and that is to insure that everyone who holds a position, has the capability to do so. Artificial elevation of capability, based upon some damned, preconceived notions, does not serve either; both the public and individual are short served.
Degrees are shit, sold by those in a position to do so, and I’ve chosen people with far less degrees, at times, over others. It doesn’t matter what you may be capable of doing, but what you do; Einstein wouldn’t be worth a damn if he only worked when he felt like it.
What matters is if you are the best candidate, nothing else.
There likely isn’t an objectively bad brain surgeon in America because of the rigorous process it takes to become one (largely a series of objective challenges). Anyone ‘doing their own research’ to find a good one is probably wasting their time.
I don’t understand the bringing up of spouses. Perhaps that’s why I’m single
The only thing that qualifies as setting a meaningful and (at least mostly) objective standard for the judiciary is the American Bar Association’s rating system.
I’ll note two facts (plus bonus for comparison):
Only 187 of 264 of Trump’s nominees to the federal bench were rated “well qualified” and 10 were “not qualified”. 8 of those 10 are sitting on the federal bench. I thought we wanted only the best.
Ketanji Brown Jackson has been rated “well qualified” multiple times, for all her appointments. Not a single Senator suggested she was anything other than amazingly well qualified for the Supreme Court.
(3. 66 of 75 of Biden’s nominees have been rated “well qualified” and the remaining 9 were “qualified”.)
(4. For comparison, 5 of the 8 GW Bush nominees ranked not qualified are on the bench. 3 of the 4 Clinton nominees ranked not qualified are on the bench. All of Obama’s nominees were “qualified” or “well qualified”. Note that this was across 8 years, not 4, for each.)
What I took issue with, was the way in which candidates are being selected.
If we want the best, then it makes no sense to artificially limit the field that we look at.
Must be an ‘x’, but not a ‘y’, serves no-one. Are people equal, or not?
The same thing goes with a further reduction, must be a particular race, but not another. Why?
Are certain sexes, or races, just supposed to be marginalized? I thought we solved that bullshit.
Do you think that people in those categories are not capable, in and of themselves, to get a position on merit? They are, and you short change them from the pride, that they should be able to have, from busting their ass like everyone else to get there.
As for the Trump appointments, when are you going to get off it? Did being anti-Trump, gain you acceptance, or otherwise make you popular, to fill some kind of needy void in your life?
Good people here, nothing against anyone, but try thinking for yourself for a change.
I think for myself just fine, thank you.
I think outsourcing your appointments to a far-right organisation is a terrible precedent to set. I’d say the same if it was a far left group.
I’ve made clear that I am not the one passing judgement on Trump’s nominees, merely that all have acknowledged that Justice Jackson is supremely qualified. Including those Senators who (dishonestly, in my opinion) voted against her confirmation. The point is that your argument about “wanting the best” makes no sense if you’ve observed what was done during the Trump administration.
@CroutonOllie I declined to answer your questions because they are leading and because they don’t actually address the issue.
Your assertion that such a thing as “the best” is objectively knowable is the eagle shit you’re seeing on your windshield.
@canonizer@CroutonOllie@klezman I have been a member of the ABA for more than 40 years, and remain a member for reasons related to my own practice and completely unrelated to the politics of the organization… if you think the ABA ratings are objective, you are both naive and deluded. The ABA has been left-leaning since at least the ‘70s, and has been hard-left for at least 15-20 years… the judicial nominations ratings have been the provenance of left wing advocates since at least the early ‘80s and have been worthless since the turn of the century. Most of the fine lawyers whom I knew in the ABA over the course of my career are (1) dead, (2) have quit, or (3) like me, keep their heads down and deal solely with our own practice interests in our specific sections and committees. The larger organization - the governing body of the bar association and its lobbying efforts and the judicial selection process - has been run by activists who don’t have enough real legal work to do for a very long time.
You didn’t answer them, because you are incapable; a pretender.
He’s certainly more capable than you give him credit for, whether you’d like to admit it or not. He’s also capable of debating a variety of topics, without resorting to any sort of personal attack (99.9% of the time anyways).
What is so hard to understand that I don’t like artificial limits placed upon a field of prospective candidates?
Klezman already said:
I think outsourcing your appointments to a far-right organisation is a terrible precedent to set. I’d say the same if it was a far left group.
The Heritage Foundation’s list of jurors is an artificial and complete limit on the field of prospective candidates for Republicans so it is unclear why a different artificial (and perhaps corrective) limitation of skin/gender is so unpleasant, not to mention that presidents have routinely since Reagan said they would nominate women. I hate to put it so plainly but why is the “limitation” of a black woman getting stuck in your craw?
Some “artificial limitations” could be described as objective standards (bar association approval) or even qualifications (time/type of representation).
Makes no difference, to me, the individual under consideration; I expect nominees to be nothing more than supporters of our Constitution, and I want the best person for this job, regardless of artificial considerations.
@canonizer Quite the stir about this. I’ve long (since at least a decade before Roe v. Wade) been in favor of legal abortion, at least early in a pregnancy, perhaps more broadly in cases of rape, incest, or genetic abnormality, and always when there is a serious threat to the mother’s life, but Roe v. Wade is and always has been a terrible decision as a matter of Constitutional Law and legal reasoning.
Initially, it was a compromise result that everyone hated and most people could live with - no restrictions permitted early on, some restrictions permitted later on, and significant restrictions permitted towards the end.
The problem is the law moved towards almost unrestricted abortion, and the science moved in the other direction - that is, fetuses are viable at much earlier ages than the were in the early '70s. So the ‘trimester’ scheme, which once seemed appealing, no longer works as well as once it did.
If the opinion holds, I’ll be glad to see the issue returned to the states, and I’ll lobby to keep a fair measure of abortions legal.
@rpm it’s really nice to see you here, especially since you put the conversation aside earlier. Your consistency on the discussion re abortion has been appreciated.
It’s been a legislative impasse for such a long time, and there is so much doctrine based on Roe and Casey at this point, it feels…childish? to throw it out. I’d be happy to insert a different word if I had one handy.
We have already seen a woman yo-yo’d through a murder charge for a miscarriage. It feels like there is much more of that on the horizon (as well as both more risky abortions and risky pregnancies).
@canonizer Thanks for kind words. I won’t be here long… I hear you, but I was around before Roe (and Casey) and I remember the issue as far less contentious because states where most people favored liberal abortion laws usually had legal abortion (and the number was growing), and states where the population was generally opposed had much more restrictive laws. But, at least the political system was working as it should, the issue was being debated openly and honestly. Roe changed that, enraged the religious right, including Catholics who had generally been voting Democrat, and with Casey, it became even more contentious.
In the almost 50 years since Roe - all but 4-5 of which were spent as a law student or lawyer, I’ve never met a Constitutional lawyer - regardless of his or her view on the appropriateness of readily available legal abortion - who thought the decision constituted good legal reasoning. The most you’ll get among lawyers who are actually talking about the quality of the decision, is that it was a necessary result, and a pretty good outcome along the lines I usually suggest - that the 3 degrees of restriction from none to a little to a lot more or less accord with common sense - and it didn’t really matter that it wasn’t good legal reasoning.
People’s energy should be focused on thoughtful arguments about the circumstances under which abortion ought to be legal, or not. The arguments should be discussed in the political arena where, if the laws go too far for the voters - one way or the other - they can throw the bast*rds out and change the law. Or, they can vote with their feet and move to a state with laws more in keeping with their views.
I’d point out that the European countries all have more restrictive abortion laws than the ‘law’ under Roe and Casey. Only the former communist countries ever had (and sometimes still have) virtually on demand legal abortion.
Will there be problems? Of course. But, the old lawyer’s saw is that hard cases make bad law because the temptation to fit the reasoning to the result you want often leads to severe unintended consequences. Which I’d argue Roe and Casey certainly did!
@canonizer@rpm Great to see you back here rpm!
I read the draft opinion. (Insert disclaimer about not being a lawyer, although I do read a good number of legal opinions for work.) It seemed to me that it commits many of the same sins it accuses Roe and Casey of doing. I also found it disgusting that Alito attempted to imply that this case and reversal of precedent is on the same moral authority as reversing Plessy and Lochner. Venting over.
I’m more interested in the other outcome of this decision, if it holds. In a good part of the country it will be illegal for a woman to terminate her pregnancy. It will not, generally, place any responsibility on the other half of those who created said pregnancy. This, to me, sounds like it opens the door to de facto subjugation of women to accidents of reproductive biology and forces pregnancy on unwilling hosts. How can that be squared with anything resembling the liberty guaranteed by the Constitution?
(I’m basing the above on the very last part of the draft opinion that identifies rational basis review as the proper standard for evaluating claims around abortion going forward. It’s essentially a carte blanche for governments to do as they wish.)
Also, I’m deeply interested in who leaked this draft and for what purpose. I can envision the logic from several angles.
@klezman@rpm I’m sort of less interested in the motivations of the person leaking the document. It’s quite galvanizing. Scotus was naive to think its drafting procedures would be indefinitely maintained. They see fewer cases, decide more often from the shadow docket and have become more explicitly partisan. In the face of the public’s heightened interest in their process, leaks seem inevitable.
@canonizer@klezman - I could not care less about the motivations of the leaker, but he or she needs to be disbarred (permanently, everywhere) and, possibly, prosecuted. You have no idea how unprecedented this leak is, or how it makes judicial deliberation virtually impossible. Whatever trust has existed among the justices and their clerks, and of justices for others’ clerks, is gone forever. This is a sea change in how courts function, and not one for the better.
@canonizer@klezman Actually, it’s on precisely the same level as Plessy, imho. To reiterate the old legal saw that hard cases make bad law, basing your view on whether the case should be reversed on whether or not you like the outcome is a very bad idea.
@canonizer I know what you mean by wanting to understand the deliberation process, but it’s really a discussion or set of arguments back and forth among the scholars, who write with the idea that their reasoning will be persuasive to other legal scholars (the other justices) - which is like watching sausage being made - and the idea is that the decisions as finally agreed and written, and the various concurrences and dissents, if any (and there usually are) will speak for themselves. In writing a legal brief, I might make arguments I later discard, modify arguments, or add new ones… what I end up with is the only thing anyone should see outside the ‘shop’ where I’m honing my arguments with my partners. It’s the same with the courts, they need to be able to try things on, see if the argument works (persuades) or whether someone comes upon with a better argument or a counter argument (or finds a case someone else missed, which is rare, but happens)…if that’s not confidential, there can be no trust among those who otherwise disagree. I’m all for you and anyone else understanding how that process works, but I don’t think anyone but the justices (and their clerks) should know the deliberations in any given case.
I can’t tell you how bad this is for the court. If it was a Justice that did it, it would be grounds for impeachment.
Agreed that the breach of confidence is troubling, to say the least. That’s actually why I’m curious to learn who did it and why. Some claim it’s out there to convince a potentially wavering justice in the current majority to stiffen their spine. Others claim it’s out there to put pressure on the court to move away from that decision. I don’t think one is better than the other, but I am interested in which part of the spectrum that’s on.
I agree if the leaker was indeed a lawyer that it appears to be the sort of ethical breach for which they could/should be disbarred. If you can identify the law that was broken, prosecuted seems fine as well.
I’m curious why you think Roe and Casey are as bad as Plessy. Roe and Casey prevented the state from abridging freedoms while Plessy blessed the ownership of other humans. Sure, that’s result-based, but results matter. How can the law care only about high-minded principles and ignore effects on the ground? If guaranteeing women reproductive freedom is the correct result but the reasoning is shoddy, then it seems that one ought to fix the reasoning, not allow women’s bodies to become subject to government regulation. (Maybe this is why I’m not a lawyer…)
@canonizer@rpm Now that I’ve wiped the egg off my face and reviewed Plessy a bit, at a high level it seems like overruling Roe and Casey would do exactly what Plessy did. It looks like it would give states broad authority to treat certain citizens with different sets of rules if the legislatures wish it. Especially if anything not “deeply rooted in US history and tradition” is automatically suspect according to this new rule.
The draft as written does seem to provide plenty of fodder for overturning other decisions that we regard now as fundamental rights (in the colloquial, not legal sense, I suppose). Alito tries to say otherwise, but it’s hard to trust that statement given the rest of the reasoning in the draft.
(I’m sure I’m wrong on some parts of the above, but that’s why I defer to those more educated in the law to set me straight.)
@canonizer@klezman ….the basic rule of the Constitution is that the powers not expressly delegated to the United States (that is, to the federal government) are reserved to the states. It’s a (now) 50 state laboratory in representative government; and, yes, the states have a great deal of leeway because the powers expressly delegated in the Constitution are limited… the elasticity of the Commerce Clause is an open and somewhat sore point these days…and, the entire apparatus of the administrative state (the executive branch agencies that exercise powers Constitutionally belonging to Congress under purported delegation by Congress) is also a difficult and open Constitutional question - there is a strong argument that the entire edifice is essentially an illegitimate return to the ideas of the Royal Prerogative that was at the heart of the English Civil War…
All coming together to suggest that the federal government has far, far overreached the powers the Founders and the States agreed to……
But, there is nothing wrong with the notion that states may have very different legal regimes - Louisiana still has a funny combination of the Code Napoleon (modified) and common law, and six states out of the 50 have ‘’community property’ … citizens, of course, can ‘vote with their feet’ and move from states that have laws they dislike to states where they find the legal climate more congenial… which is happening now as people are net fleeing states like California, New York, Illinois and Connecticut for places like Texas, Idaho, and Florida (and others).
… which is happening now as people are net fleeing states like California, New York, Illinois and Connecticut for places like Texas, Idaho, and Florida (and others)
To circle back to the topic of this thread: the flight would be in the other direction for those who want or need medical procedures that are or soon will be prohibited in the latter states you mention
Well davirom that is not entirely true according to CNN and like the people who want an abortion cannot afford to fly to those states for the service, well except for the ones with money who will take a leisurely vacation to get it done and then return home to the above mentioned states.
@canonizer@klezman@rpm A feature for whom? Those with the wherewithal to pick up and transplant? It’s a problem for all the others.
The larger point is that the originalists on the court are trying to force 21st century circumstances to be seen through a lens that was created and remains focused in the 18th century. Abortion, gender reassignment, automatic weapons, electronic surveillance, etc., are 21st century realities that the Founders could not possibly have considered. One can not reasonably expect to know “what the Founders intended” with regard to concepts and developments that were incubated after they and all their contemporaries were dead. It is one thing to speak of derived principles and quite another to speak of intention or how the Founders might react if faced with the world we live in today.
To @ScottW58 's point, the Founders also could not have foreseen the discrepancy between the ease of transportation between states for people of means and the lack of options for those without. A poor woman’s access to health care will be determined by what state she is in when she becomes pregnant. As Anatole France said: “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread.” We have to be better than that. The court’s purported decision is regressive.
@canonizer@davirom@klezman@rpm@ScottW58 I have strong opinions with this being a female and having things done to me without my consent. I unfortunately, or fortunately am old enough that this does not concern my biology. But I am angry. If my situation resulted in a different situation, there is no way I would not want a choice. If you are not given a choice, you need the power to choose.
I’m interested in why Gorsuch and Kavanagh decided to lie to the Senate about respecting precedent and considering Roe settled law and then signing on to an opinion that says Roe was wrongly decided and needs to be thrown out. It feels unnecessary given their confirmations by simple majority.
I guess we’ll see how the commerce clause plays out as women from states with the most punitive anti abortion laws seek treatment out of state. It begs to come back to the sc.
@canonizer@CroutonOllie@rpm knowing that states have already banned abortion in anticipation, that’s hard to square with you saying people (and especially the government) should let people do what they want.
You are mistaking my drawing attention to your inconsistent statements as arguing with the (supposed) majorities in those states. Depending on the question asked, large supermajorities in this country support the right for a woman to choose whether she wants to incubate an embryo or fetus. Regardless, that has nothing to do with my point, which you so (in)elegantly ignored.
You made a comment that was, imo, more or less a statement of libertarian values. You said “If you want America to be America, worry about your own business, and keep your big ass out of everyone elses.” [sic]
Can you please explain how that is consistent with allowing the state to tell women they must incubate a child they do not want? (Or, for that matter, if you support criminalizing personal drug use, why that is consistent with your professed belief?)
@davirom i’m not arguing your point just saying I don’t think anybody is fleeing to California. I am a firm believer in Roe vs Wade and even if I wasn’t I would have to be seeing that I grew up with two sisters and have 3 daughters and a wife, hell even my dog is a girl
@ScottW58 Two (small) points: 1. California has seen a significant net outflow over the past couple of years for the first time in forever. Check out the stats…. 2. Believing that abortion should be legal (under some more or less broadly defined set of circumstances) is not the same thing as believing in a particular federal court decision, or even believing it should be a federal question at all.
The Taliban, in a statement released today praised the United States Supreme Court, calling the proposed reversal of Roe v Wade “an important first step”.
“The subjugation of women is an important first step in establishing a theocracy. We applaud the Court for joining us in denying that anything can change, anything can be learned, or anything can be new, after one’s foundational document is set.
“Like Afghanistan, SCOTUS has seen the virtue of rejecting modern thought in our joint effort to return to simpler times when men were men, and women were chattel. As an established theocracy, we are pleased to serve as a model for the US to follow. In that light and in an effort to maintain our lead in the disdain for women, we have ruled that all women must wear a burqa in public. We are able to do this by proclamation, but since the US is a fledgling theocracy, the Court must obscure its intent in procedural mumbo jumbo. The court majority (now there’s irony, in neither of our countries do our views align with those of the majority of the population) knew to avoid discussion of the effect of this ruling on women because that consideration would be tantamount to granting them personhood. Only men are persons. And corporations.
The Taliban stands ready to support SCOTUS in their forthcoming reversals of “rights” to privacy, contraception, and same-sex marriage.</satire>
@klezman I think there can be a distinction between a better argument and a constitutional protection.
The court’s hearing on Cruz perpetuates the money=speech proposition. The Constitution is quite concerned with bribery (see Article I, Section 9, Paragraph 8 ) for foreign nationals so it is disappointing to see the Court take such a liberal position on money in this circumstance domestically. Of course Kagan’s argument, much like the “umbrella/dry/rainstorm” was likewise sensible, that post election fundraising for the purpose of debt retirement opens the door to corruption makes perfect sense.
I was somewhat surprised to see Gorsuch writing the other dissent. It seems out of step with his process, as I see it, though quite reasonable in its premise.
@canonizer Since Heller was egregiously wrong on the day it was decided perhaps we can return to sanity in this country and let states regulate firearms. /snark
Honestly, this one made me viscerally angry. Maybe it has to do with my kids being more in school age now. Maybe it’s the senselessness of it all. Maybe it’s the fact that some aspects of gun culture in this country have no place in a civil society and that this was completely preventable.
Edit: I don’t hate guns per se. But this country’s approach to them is ridiculous.
Step 1 - repudiate the travesty that is Heller
Step 2 - encourage gun buy-backs
Step 3 - ban all firearms that are outside a narrow range of hunting and self-defense weapons
Step 4 - require trigger locks and/or biometrics to fire a weapon
Fantasy? Probably. But this country that claims to value life so much that many are willing to force women to carry unwanted pregnancies to term can’t seem to recognize that the status quo is pro-death. (As an aside, I greatly appreciate Pelosi’s rebuttal to the yutz who won’t give her communion - basically, where’s your outrage for politicians supporting the death penalty?)
@kawichris650 True, I omitted that. In part because I don’t think that’s enough. Unless you’re talking about a full on mental evaluation to get a gun license that then has to be renewed periodically, and if you fail said evaluation all your guns are confiscated until the condition is rectified. I could get behind that.
As you know, more broadly, mental health care in this country is woefully inadequate.
Something along those lines is exactly what I meant. I’m not an expert by any means and I know this may vary from state to state, but I believe the current screening is something like a simple yes or no question on a form asking the applicant if they are mentally sound. With background checks mostly having a focus on criminal history. That process clearly needs to be more thorough, and the only people who’d likely have a problem with that are the people who probably aren’t mentally sound enough to safely possess a firearm.
Devil’s advocate… If all or most of the guns were magically removed from existence, people with mental health issues could still utilize alternative methods to commit violent acts resulting in mass casualties.
So in that regard it’d be easy for one to conclude “darned if you do, and darned if you don’t.” However, if society as a whole can get a better grasp on addressing and managing mental health issues, THAT would go a long way in helping to reduce acts of violence similar to what happened in Texas yesterday, IMO.
@kawichris650@klezman The mental health argument is a smokescreen. The people who want to blame gun violence on mental illness instead of the prevalence of guns are the same people who won’t fund or otherwise support mental health screening. Except for lip service.
With regard to Pelosi’s response to the archbishop, to be “pro-life” and pro death penalty is at best to be “pro-birth”. Once you’re born you’re on your own.
@davirom Yes to “pro-birth”. It also accords with Republicans’ general distaste of funding anything that will help poor people.
@kawichris650 There are not many (any?) readily available weapons that can be used to kill large numbers of people quickly the way a gun can. If all guns were magically removed we would see the rate of mass casualty incidents plummet. Not to zero, sure, but this is a case where every little bit helps.
If tools are used irresponsibly, the problem lies deeper.
No values, morality that isn’t worth a damn, these are your TRUE problems.
Let’s try not enforcing more laws, let more nuts run about, and see if it addresses the issue; it won’t.
I left this area for a time, you aren’t worth talking to, so get the result you brought upon yourselves, and then cry your big tears over the result that you created.
100 years ago people could buy automatic weapons, not this semi crap that you think looks so spooky. How many times did this happen then, outside of organized crime? It is not the tool, it is the mindset.
It isn’t the job of government to look after you, it is your job to look after you, and if you can’t do it, maybe it is time for you to try and get along. JMO.
In terms of general politics and the “lip service” of particular politicians, you might be right. I’d otherwise have to disagree. Have you read the statements on the mental health issues of Salvador Rolando Ramos? It’s evident he had been in need of help for quite some time. May happens to be mental health awareness month and this is another unfortunate example of the fact that mental health doesn’t get the awareness it deserves. The moment he turned 18 years old, the “kid” legally purchased weaponry with the full intent to commit the tragic violence that occurred yesterday. Hindsight is 20/20 as they say, but it’s clear he should NOT have been allowed to purchase said weaponry. For anyone in favor of supporting the 2nd amendment, it can still be supported while also accepting the great responsibility that comes along with it. It’s far too easy for someone to purchase a firearm and there needs to be better screening implemented.
I agree every little bit helps. The main reason I brought up the devil’s advocate argument is due to the idea of “where there’s a will, there’s a way.” The two examples that come to mind are past events where people have used explosives, and people that have used vehicles. Anyone (without a license even) can unexpectedly hop into a vehicle and drive into a crowd of people at any sort of large outdoor gathering.
So my overall point was the fact that there should be just as much (if not more) focus on mental health issues, as there is focus on the means of delivery, whatever form that may be.
@kawichris650 Perhaps I was not clear, but i think we are in agreement. I intended “smokescreen” to apply to primarily blue state politicians (like Gov. Abbott yesterday), who raise mental health as a specter but have never proposed, let alone passed or funded, legislation linking mental health to the ability to buy, own, carry, or conceal a weapon. Just today the Senate failed to consider a domestic terrorism bill, with every Republican senator voting against, that would have, inter alia, expanded background checks for commercial gun sales. The House had forwarded the bill. FWIW, the Democrat Senate majority leader said he hoped the bill could become the basis for negotiation, not that he expected it to pass in its present form. But Senate Republicans don’t even want a discussion.
They’d rather send thoughts and prayers and continue sacrificing our kids (and innumerable others) on the altar of the gun lobby and the radical reimagining of the second amendment under the current court.
The Constitution is fine, most laws are fine, what is lacking is in the messages that are being delivered, and our underwriting of it.
Kill funding for any venue that is not pro American.
Edit to add: Pro thought is fine, but pro pushing of agendas not beneficial to the state, and people, are not.
Edit, once again: If we have laws, we need to enforce them. It is not the prerogative of elected officials to undermine them. Laws should be enforced, or those preventing this should be removed; it isn’t rocket science.
@CroutonOllie I appreciate what you’re trying to say but I think it’s unamerican to censor speech when two reasonable people can disagree with what Pro American means.
I do think it’s a straw man to say that people could buy automatic weapons 100 years ago. Growing violence spurred enacting the National Firearms Act (1934) with the express purpose of making many guns almost prohibitively expensive. We have accepted limitations on gun sales in the past. The idea that the 2nd amendment precludes any such limitations is a modern, novel and dangerous idea. It is radical.
@CroutonOllie@rjquillin OK, repealing the direct election of senators is a topic that’s come up from time to time. I do not understand a modern argument in favour of returning to them being appointed by state executives. I don’t think an appeal to “this is how the founders started the country” is a sufficient argument, but I am open to reasons as to why it would be a good idea in today’s context.
First of all, I would like to thank everyone for being civil. I am not always at my best when I write (most times), but thanks for being considerate; I’ll try to do the same.
Not a setup, I agree with most of what was posted above, but please know I care about the same thing as you do: America/Western thought, which covers many nations, and I am concerned that we are moving in the wrong direction, distracted by too many ‘silly assed’ issues, and losing the ability to deal with real matters.
How do our cops not work? Very easy, when they have to stand there and scratch their asses because they don’t know what to do. They used to know, and you would have too, if you had to deal with them then. Dizzy notions created this mess too.
I care about what works, not what doesn’t, and I am afraid that not many here will be up to what will likely come.
Take what I say seriously, or not, as it will be you that has to deal with them.
Edit to add: I have seen places where the fabric of civilization was gone, and I can guarantee you don’t want this.
It’s hard to say which of the Republican responses to the latest mass shooting was most reprehensible. The reliably awful Senator Ted Cruz attracted considerable attention by insisting that the answer is to put armed guards in schools, never mind that Uvalde’s school system has its own police force and officers seem to have been on the scene soon after the shooter arrived.
And the Buffalo supermarket that was the location of a mass shooting just 10 days earlier also had an armed security guard, who was killed because his gun was no match for the shooter’s body armor.
But if you ask me, the worst and also most chilling response came from Dan Patrick, the lieutenant governor of Texas. What we need to do, declared Patrick, is “harden these targets so no one can get in, ever, except maybe through one entrance.”
That restriction would have interesting consequences in the event of a fire. But in any case, think about Patrick’s language: In a nation that’s supposedly at peace, we should treat schools as “targets” that need to be “hardened.” What would that do to public education, which has for many generations been one of the defining experiences of growing up in America? Don’t worry, says a writer for The Federalist: Families can keep their kids safe by resorting to home-schooling.
Actually, if you take the proposals by Cruz, Patrick and others literally, they amount to a call for turning the land of the free into a giant armed camp. There are around 130,000 K-12 schools in America; there are close to 40,000 supermarkets; there are many other venues that might offer prey for mass killers. So protecting all these public spaces Republican-style would require creating a heavily armed, effectively military domestic defense force — heavily armed because it would face attackers with body armor and semiautomatic weapons — that would be at least as big as the Marine Corps.
Why would such a thing be necessary? Mass shootings are very rare outside the United States. Why are they so common here? Not, according to the U.S. right, because we’re a nation where a disturbed 18-year-old can easily buy military-grade weapons and body armor. No, says Patrick, it’s because “We’re a coarse society.”
I know it’s a hopeless effort to say this, but imagine the reaction if a prominent liberal politician were to declare that the reason the United States has a severe social problem that doesn’t exist elsewhere is that Americans are bad people. We’d never hear the end of it. But when a Republican says it, it barely makes a ripple.
And I guess I should say for the record that I personally don’t believe that Americans, as individuals, are worse than anyone else. If anything, what has always struck me when returning from trips abroad is that Americans are (or were) on average exceptionally nice and pleasant to interact with.
What distinguishes us is that it’s so easy for people who aren’t nice to arm themselves to the teeth.
OK, I think everyone realizes that none of what Republicans are saying about how to respond to mass shootings will translate into actual policy proposals. They’re barely even trying to make sense. Instead, they’re just making noise to drown out rational discussion until the latest atrocity fades from the news cycle. The truth is that conservatives consider mass shootings, and for that matter America’s astonishingly high overall rate of gun deaths, as an acceptable price for pursuing their ideology.
But what is that ideology? I’d argue that while talk about America’s unique gun culture isn’t exactly wrong, it’s too narrow. What we’re really looking at here is a broad assault on the very idea of civic duty — on the idea that people should follow certain rules, accept some restrictions on their behavior, to protect the lives of their fellow citizens.
In other words, we should think of vehement opposition to gun regulations as a phenomenon closely linked to vehement (and highly partisan) opposition to mask mandates and vaccination in the face of a deadly pandemic, vehement opposition to environmental rules like the ban on phosphates in detergent, and more.
Where does this hatred of the idea of civic duty come from? No doubt some of it, like almost everything in U.S. politics, is related to race.
One thing it doesn’t reflect, however, is our national tradition. When you hear talk of home-schooling, remember that the United States basically invented universal public education. Environmental protection used to be a nonpartisan issue: The Clean Air Act of 1970 passed the Senate without a single nay. And Hollywood mythology aside, most towns in the Old West had stricter limits on the carrying of firearms than Gov. Greg Abbott’s Texas.
As I suggested, I don’t fully understand where this aversion to the basic rules of a civilized society is coming from. What’s clear, however, is that the very people who shout most about “freedom” are doing their best to turn America into a “Hunger Games”-type dystopian nightmare, with checkpoints everywhere, loomed over by men with guns.
@CroutonOllie There it is, the only solution to gun violence is more people with guns. That sure has worked for the last 10 years.
Regarding your other response above, if you read the other posts, I think it’s pretty clear that several possible solutions and ideas to reducing gun violence were offered. Instead of responding with rebuttals as to why you think those ideas won’t work, you post something nonsensical about transvestites and dildos. That’s a wonderful way to engage an actual discussion with people having opinions different to yours. That response, and most of your posts, are why I have not added anything to this board until my post this past week. I also don’t plan to contribute much in the future.
@CroutonOllie do you have any substantive comments on the Krugman article? A researched rebuttal? An alternate explanation of how to view the (well documented) anti democratic tendencies of today’s GOP? As Krugman said, this isn’t a policy preference dispute, this is about democracy in the United States.
Was gone long enough to where I can’t append to my earlier response.
When dealing with the violent, it is often like they don’t understand anything other than the language of violence. Nothing placed in any other terms are understood, or acknowledged.
Not always, but sometimes.
I was always good at what I did, never inherently hated anyone, but had to deal with them in this manner. That is what law enforcement has to deal with, so my heart kind of goes out there for them. It is no picnic, and no, I was not a cop. Functioned in that area in times and places, but that was never my primary role.
A long form piece on the topic of transgender people competing in elite sports. Too long to repost the entire thing, but a worthwhile read if you can get past the paywall. (And in case it matters, this piece does not take a specific stance. It outlines the scientific and social and cultural arguments on all sides.)
So much for trying to be gracious to your silly notions.
Nobody gives a shit about what anyone does in the sexual arena, except if it involves kids.
Crap is crap, deviant is deviant. If you don’t like the definition, remember statistics. Outside of the norm = deviant.
I don’t give a rat’s ass about what others do, but I get a little tired of clowns having parades over their sexuality; grow up and quit being obnoxious. Keep pushing, and you may be forced to remember of what happens when you keep pulling a dog’s tail.
You never have anything original, just re-barfed crap that is worked into the media somewhere; a true genius.
Having a parade because I’m heterosexual, wanna come?
@rjquillin was the discussion of the actual science behind these debates all old hat for you? It was certainly new to me. Among the reasons I thought it was a worthwhile post.
I also liked it because it didn’t actually push a view.
As I’ve maintained for as long as I can remember, science gives us useful information. But it doesn’t tell us what policy should be.
You do realize science says that they are still “men”, right? While I agree they should be able to compete, there are still physical attributes that mean they have an unfair advantage against biological women (shown by science).
Also realize that the NY Times “opinion” section isn’t necessarily truthful. Behind a paywall (weird because I haven’t visited there since early May, if then) !!!
There needs to be an Open Sports section, for anyone, be they biological male, biological female, or transgender. Otherwise you’re not for Women’s Rights.
Mark, if you didn’t read the article you’re hardly in a position to comment on it. As I said, it was a very thoughtful piece and quite broad in terms of the science it uses.
Note that I’m not necessarily disagreeing with your position here. But for you say “the science says they’re men” is simply not accurate.
Science is pretty clear that sex - for the purpose of reproduction - fits into a small number of distinct categories. For many animals it’s far more than two.
For humans, it’s also not as simple as two distinct categories, although it would be far simpler to grapple with these issues if it was. There are dozens of genetic conditions that break the simplistic mapping of XX -> female and XY -> male. That doesn’t even begin to account for trisomies, monosomies, chimerism, and other stuff that happens much more frequently than we’d previously known - because now we have the tools to actually investigate.
As a policy matter, I have quite mixed opinions on the subject. I also have a gut instinct that the answer for casual sports maybe ought to be different than school sports which ought to be different from semiprofessional or professional sports.
@canonizer@klezman@MarkDaSpark I am currently reading Lies My Teachers Told Me by James Leowen. I recommend it, unless of course you are not interested in researched and source referenced history. I checked out the ebook from my local library - free and easy.
Language, being imprecise, is perhaps part of the problem here.
America, being free, does not mean that anyone can do whatever they like; that couldn’t work anywhere.
What it means is that we are all free, under the law, to choose our own paths. We are free to have our own ideas, manage our own lives, and be provided with a set of expectations that go with being an American, protected from governmental intrusion. The law is the arbiter here; we need it for equality.
Recently, it seems that many want to impose their ideas and notions upon the rest of us. This is un-American. Your silly notions don’t mean any more to me, than my silly notions do to you, nor should they. We are all free to steer our own ship, and we find our comradeship in this equality. When the balance of this equality is compromised, we find pissed off Americans.
It isn’t guns, TV, or video games that cause people to go off, it is us, and unless we change this, we’re going to have more pissed off Americans. Confine your shit to your domain, expect the same of others, and live a happy life. If you can’t, or won’t, afford others their rights, don’t be surprised and try to blame the world for your own shortsightedness.
To be an American should offer the same benefit and protection to all of us, regardless of where we live. Some idiot, in one part of the country, has no right to choose a path, that sets their constituents in a worse situation than those in other jurisdictions. Politicians, public servants, do not have the right to place you at this kind of a disadvantage, and if they have, the law provides for their removal.
Just my 2 cents, need no crap from the village idiots, but go right ahead if it floats your boat.
You are free to do so, just as I am free to let you stew in your own piss.
@CroutonOllie Dude, guns impinge on the liberty of others. An unfettered right to bear arms necessitates the murder of innocent people with very violent weapons.
Many things we appreciate/consume have downsides -
Traveling by car/plane means there will be travel accidents (and we have spent years making them safer and require licenses and insurance)
People drown swimming.
People burn houses down smoking (although we’ve made cigarettes safer with different papers).
There are lots of risks we accept as part of life. Accidental deaths and murder are an expected consequence of gun ownership. More guns do not make people safer. More restrictions do not endanger people.
Yes, of course. I was speaking about the threat you pose personally when responding to someone else.
Policies deal with the aggregate. We live in a society. It comes from the same root as social. It involves the interaction of people.
We currently believe that there is a level of gun suicide, accidental deaths from gun discharge, gun partner murder and mass gun shootings (children and adults) that is acceptable for everyone to have almost immediate access to firearms. There is a small group that believes any delay in acquisition, registration requirement, age restriction or insurance of guns is anathema.
Obviously most gun owners take the responsibility seriously. It does not take many irresponsible ones with legally acquired weapons to jeopardize the liberty of others. Until very recently, legislating any restriction on gun ownership was not divisive.
I protect my own, and others, and do not expect the government to do so.
It is my job, not theirs, and have no need of people analyzing the mess, after the fact.
I do it for me, I would do it for you, and do not wish to be placed on the other side of the law for doing so.
My rights are my rights, and do not want them abridged, simply because a subset of the population can’t seem to manage themselves.
PS: It might help if people actually raised their kids, and passed on culturally significant values, instead of letting others do that for them. Grow up, for crying out loud, and get off of the little world, as you see it.
@canonizer@CroutonOllie Wouldn’t it be much easier to protect your family by preventing weapons well suited to mass murder from being commonplace? An arms race didn’t really do much good in the Cold War and I’d posit that it does this society no good today either.
Also, the constitution uses the word “infringe” to denote limits on the government with respect to personal rights. “Abridge” is for state action. According to the strict text you have to somehow account for that linguistic issue. Heller didn’t. At least that’s what I’d read from many a constitutional lawyer.
First off, you realize that the 2nd Amendment was put in to protect the rest of our rights? The Founding Fathers feared (correctly) a large Centralized Federal Government. That’s why there was no Federal Income Tax until the 16th was ratified in 1919!
Second, the Constitution wasn’t “giving” us our rights, but limiting what the government (local, state, or federal) could do. Driving a car or flying are considered “privileges”, thus the restrictions on them. It’s also why we’re a Constitutional Republic and not a Democracy (where a simple Majority can take or limit your rights).
Third, do you really think if firearms are taken away (realizing that’s pretty much impossible with 300 million plus legal guns out there) that criminals won’t still have access? Nor that other means would be used? See how successful the “War on Drugs” has been!
We have the UK as an example … after guns were banned, knives became the criminal tool of choice. Such that ALL knives became restricted, even Wedding Cake knives! AND murders still went up.
We also have other examples, Oklahoma City, 1996 Alanta Olympics Centennial Olympic Park bombing, and Boston Bombings, and the Tokyo subway sarin attack.
Fourth, we already have laws on the books, BUT they are useless without prosecution! Parkland happened because the Police didn’t want their crime stats to go up, so they minimized the crimes of the shooter (before shot people)! IIRC, the Las Vegas shooter wouldn’t have been able to buy if the Air Force had put his information into the system.
Fifth, between “Defund Police” calls and current systems that response time can be 5 to 10 minutes (or more!), do you not want to defend your life and/or your family?
It’s hypocritical for celebrities, politicians, and the wealthy to say we don’t need guns when they live in gated communities and have armed bodyguards protecting them! Are they going to protect you? Nope!
As to “Red Flag” laws … when we have people calling out someone as “bigoted” for disagreements or when Pelosi called fellow lawmakers “Enemies of the State”, those laws will be abused. Just look at treatment of parents exercising their 1st Amendment right at School Board meetings!
Sixth, we need better protection for our kids! Gun Free zones don’t work! We protect lawmakers, banks, airports, etc. with armed security , why not our kids? After Parkland, there were many ads for hardened areas in each classroom … what happened?
Basically, we have many issues, but most are Mental Health related.
@canonizer@CroutonOllie@MarkDaSpark@rjquillin Ah, of course. It’s all about mental health issues. It’s true that the medical insurance system here is worse than all other developed countries and access to mental health care is difficult. But we don’t have significantly more mental health issues here than the rest of the developed world where literally this does not happen.
I cannot explain how vehemently I do not want to send my kids to a militarized school. Do you all not understand the trauma we’re putting them through with “active shooter drills”?
I totally disagree. Where there are more guns, there will inevitably be more weapons improperly stored. The useful lifetime of a gun far exceeds that of humans and can be lost, spread irresponsibly, etc.
The mental health thing is ridiculous and impractical. Gun advocates would prefer a big brother nanny state than any limitation on access to weapons. Why my instead require registration and insurance?
And I would say the air force not speaking to other systems is a feature not a bug to many because having centralized systems has been kiboshed routinely
Values are not getting passed, but perhaps it is because those that we expect to pass them, have never grown up themselves.
This isn’t Sesame Street, where everything that someone does is a ‘great job’ like most have been conditioned to accept.
They grow up, face the real world, and what a shocker: their output isn’t worth a shit.
They already know, after a lifetime of lies, that they can’t trust what is given them, as ‘great job’ followed no output/effort whatsoever.
As for the cops in the unfortunate affair, doomed if they did, and doomed if they didn’t. If they acted, allegations they cause it, if they didn’t, blamed for standing around/cowardice/etc. Unfortunately, this is what you get, when you erode institutions because of the lack of perfection.
Perfection is fine, as a goal, but not attainable by man. Time to grow up and face that, or accept the consequences.
I feel it too, but you have to look past your own take, and think a little larger.
Edit for stupidity. 2 instances of the same word, in a row.
@FritzCat Yes. He and very few others are the only moderate Republican politicians left. Others have walked away or are being (creating a verb here) primaried out of the party. Note: I am defining “moderate Republican” here as someone who values country over party.
@davirom@FritzCat but should be clear that adherence to the laws of the land doesn’t make one a moderate. Pence, if given the chance, would attempt to bring in something akin to a religious Christian state here. That’s not moderate.
I think we just need a different label for the portion of the republican party that doesn’t care about democracy.
@FritzCat@klezman I used the word “here” to indicate a particularly low bar for moderation in this specific circumstance. Otherwise, I agree with you.
Republican leadership has done a remarkable job in consolidating their “base”, which used to be called their “fringe”. They don’t care whether they have anyone else because (1) they vote as a block, (2) they know they will always pick up some undecideds, (3) they have successfully gerrymandered safe districts, and (4) they, with the complicity of Republican appointed judges, are suppressing the votes of those likely to disagree with them.
Democrats, imo, do not even have a base because they are too fractured. There still exists such a thing as moderate Democrats and they still think of folks to their left as “fringe”. But the Pelosi’s of the party are not driving out the AOC’s or vice versa. There is a tilt to the left, but nothing on the order of the rightward tilt of the Republicans.
@davirom@FritzCat Precisely why I think this country desperately needs a true centrist party. Here that roughly amounts to fairly socially liberal policies and moderate fiscal policy.
I wish Pelosi could afford to argue the AOC types away. Especially their antisemitism.
@klezman This is how I see the realpolitik of a centrist party: Each of the R’s and D’s lay claim to 40% of the voters. That leaves 20% (less adherents of the Greens, American Independents, etc.) that I’ll call “willing to be persuaded”. Some of the WTBP are ideologically in tune with one or the other existing parties even if not registered that way and while a <capital> Centrist Party may bleed some folks from the major parties, in sum I’m guessing it’s a wash and the available number is still close to 20%, certainly less than 30%. That means that, out of the gate, the CP’s candidates are losers, even (especially?) in states like CA with top 2 primaries. As I said above, the R’s have done a better job of consolidation, so I would expect more defections from the D’s and with 3 candidates to split the vote, more R’s getting elected. Be careful what you wish for.
@davirom@rjquillin Well, a fair enough prognostication. I am operating from a potentially false premise that many of the both GOP and Dem voters don’t like where the “fringes” of their parties are. (Despite the recognition that much more of the GOP represents the “fringe” belief than the Dems at this stage.) But yes, if your premise holds then it could easily lead to plurality candidates getting elected with not a lot of popular support.
I think the entire electoral system in this country is crazy. Primaries run by the state make no sense to me - each party should decide who their candidates are, by whatever means they prefer. What’s sorely needed is breaking this absurd hold that two parties have on everything. Ranked choice instant runoff voting is, imo, by far the best way to elicit the true preferences of the voters.
Here’s some (imo) worthwhile reading regarding the testimony of (retired) judge J. Michael Luttig - a deeply conservative judge who is extremely influential in Republican legal circles and was apparently shortlisted for the Supreme Court seat that went to Scalia.
So it’s fine for the supreme court to take away the rights of literally half the population now…
Let’s line up the other precedents and bits of settled law that we can get rid of now that we can just do that when we don’t like it.
@klezman I’ve always been a fan of states’ rights, given we are a large country of large states that often will have a different makeup of people, ethnicities, economies, etc… Kind of like a European Union. However, some of the basic rights that national law protects are things like discrimination–things that a local state may not want to protect. So laws on abortion to me fit this–discrimination. That opens up debate, and honestly I’m not looking to debate abortion except to say, as an Ob/Gyn, is that it is never as black and white as anyone thinks. Which is why I’ve always supported abortion rights. What I am trying to say, I’ve always felt this topic is a national rule, not a states’ rights rule that the Supreme Court is now saying.
@mwfielder I totally agree that this topic is far more complicated than the far right wants to pretend it is. To me there’s a complete miss in that they don’t acknowledge that in order to ban abortion you have to declare in practice (if not outright) that a woman has no rights of her own once pregnant. Seems pretty cut and dried to me…
And fwiw, I also largely agree that states have fairly broad rights to enact their laws and have differing policies.
@mwfielder You nailed it: National Law. Which was why the badly reasoned Roe v. Wade precedent needed to be overturned. Most state legislatures had laws ready to go once this day came, now national politicians can decide if they want to codify in the Federal code or just let states do what their citizens think is best.
Federal law and State law clashes from time to time (see: Pot legalization), all part of our messy Federalist system.
@KitMarlot@mwfielder Kit, if it was badly reasoned but reasonable law, why was it imperative to overturn it? At least until Republicans retake both chambers and the presidency, the filibuster appears mightier than superprecedent. No national legislation of any type is forthcoming except under reconciliatory properties until then.
I don’t see fetal personhood in the constitution but I do see the right to practice religion, and this Christian ruling directly conflicts with tenets of non Christian religions and people who do not practice.
Let me put it very clearly: Judaism believes that life begins at birth, not conception. Embryos and fetuses are not conferred legal status of their own, rather as property of its progenitors.
On guns - the words “well regulated” appear in 2A but apparently no regulations, not even century old ones, can pass muster with SCOTUS.
A gun for every fetus, I say. (I know we currently have more than 325M on hand)
@KitMarlot@mwfielder As a political matter - but not as a matter of Constitutional law - the original Roe v Wade ruling was probably a reasonable compromise that satisfied no one: abortion ok early on, then restrictions are ok later on, then almost no abortions in the last trimester. That accords with most polling - the support for late term abortions is very thin - and with most European law, which typically allows abortions in the first 12-16 weeks or so, but limits or prohibits it thereafter. I would support that regime as a matter of state law. Casey went much further and is what gave us some close to abortion on demand right up until birth. I can’t support that.
But, as a matter of the Constitution, the right to abortion just isn’t there. Roe was horrible legal reasoning, an example of the worst sort of judicial lawmaking. The old saying is ‘hard cases make bad law’. Certainly the case here.
Congress may or may not attempt to pass a national abortion law, which may or may not be Constitutional, depending on how it’s written.
Until then, our laboratory of liberty is functioning as intended: different states can have different laws on many issues, including abortion.
@canonizer Saying a decision is settled law is not the same thing as saying that you will not consider - and perhaps be persuaded by - an argument that the decision was wrongly decided and should be reversed. As a lawyer, listening to judicial nominee say something was settled law, I would not conclude that they agreed with the decision, or that if the case came up they would automatically vote to uphold the precedent. If I were concerned about what they would do if faced with a case, I would ask more probing questions…. I suspect Collins heard what she wanted to hear and did not inquire further. Plenty of times that happens with all sorts of nominees: senators don’t want to vote for (or against) a nominee when the vote will anger some portion of his or her constituents, so they ask questions that can be answered ambiguously. The statements described in the article simple tell me the justices wouldn’t be going out of their way to go after Roe…. Nothing remotely Shermanesque about them.
The term ‘Shermanesque’ is derived from a remark made by Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman when he was being considered as a possible Republican candidate for president in 1884. Sherman declined, saying, “I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected.”
@rpm I appreciate this editorial but the notion that justices do not prejudge the cases is undermined by how few cases scotus chooses to hear, which have all been thoroughly argued at lower courts. They could easily have declined all of these previously adjudicated Roe tests.
Sens. Susan Collins and Joe Manchin said Friday they feel Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch deceived them on the precedent point in testimony and in their private meetings with the Justices. We weren’t in those meetings, but we’d be stunned if either Justice came close to making a pledge about Roe.
@canonizer@rpm to me that’s the stunning part - for all the hand wringing from conservatives over “liberal activist judges”, the conservatives are being far more activist, and have been since at least the Heller decision.
Much as I think they should have left precedent alone, Roberts’ approach I could probably have lived with. He recognized that there is a fundamental right at stake, while the others apparently don’t care that some state governments will view women as merely a gestation vessel.
My state banned abortion immediately today, and they’re contemplating how to stop women from traveling to get one. It’s not great living in a red state now. I feel sorry for the very young girls who will be forced to carry a pregnancy.
@chemvictim “forced” is a bit of a strong word. Fifth grade children are forced to learn how pregnancy begins in my district, but a wise parent will address it first. Ultimately, the choice was made weeks before an abortion is considered. Our country would be far better off if we took responsibility for our actions.
A 12 year old might make a bad choice, which would shock no one. Or maybe it wasn’t her choice at all. Either way, it’s ridiculous by modern standards for her to carry a pregnancy and give birth. Her body is immature. These are rare cases, but they matter to me.
@chemvictim@KitMarlot I actually hate the argument of “abortion can be illegal because people need to take responsibility for their actions”. It ignores the very real issues that (a) no contraception is foolproof and (b) accidents happen, even to those who “take responsibility”. In the end, it just comes off, to me, as a puritanical argument of “sex bad unless married”.
(Oh, and of course, most abortions are for women, many/most in stable relationships, who already have kids and can’t support another either emotionally or financially.)
@chemvictim@KitMarlot Let’s not forget the 12 y.o. who made the bad choice to be raped by a relative, it’s on her to take responsibility. Same for a woman who chose to develop a life-threatening ectopic pregancy. If not terminating the pregancy results in her death, that’s on her, there’s always a risk that a pregancy could turn out that way, she chooses to get pregnant, she has to accept that it could kill her. Oh, the fetus wouldn’t be viable in any case? No matter, it’s the principle of the thing. No exceptions. If it results in the death of living women, so be it. How else will they learn to take responsibility for their actions?
@chemvictim@KitMarlot Fifth graders learn human sexuality as part of curriculum because kids, at the age of puberty, deserve to know WTF is happening with their bodies and why regardless of how clued in the parents are.
They aren’t “forced” to learn it any more than they’re “forced” to learn ratios and algebra. It’s called education and it’s woefully tragic that things like religious bias and bigotry are being used across the country to prevent the early education of the validity of racial, religious, and gender identity differences at grade-level appropriateness.
@chemvictim@KitMarlot Kit, as others have said, children are not considered to have the same responsibilities for their actions as others. It makes less sense to me that abortions should not be available to them.
Children are not entitled to the same rights as adults and a fetus is not even a child (or person for that matter). I can’t think of a more insidious phrase than unborn child.
How many states have, or plan, to enact a total ban? Not at all taking into account rape, incest or medical issues? Was pre Roe really all that onerous? It’s not like I wasn’t around then and I don’t recall much controversy.
@rjquillin The fact that they could is, imo, enough. The fact that the majority decision allows the state to declare ownership over a woman’s body from the moment of conception (technically at ~2.5-3 weeks pregnant) should terrify every American.
@rjquillin Yes, it’s onerous to not be allowed to do with your body as you wish. Recall that many of the anti-choice people were the very same ones who said “it’s my body and you can’t force me to wear a mask” to keep others safe.
I highly recommend reading the dissent in its entirety. (I’m partway through and will probably read the remainder tomorrow when we return from SD.) https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/21pdf/19-1392_6j37.pdf
@rjquillin I read the draft opinion in full when it was leaked. The published slip opinion is substantially the same. I’ve read the syllabus in full and the entirety of the concurring opinions.
In my opinion the majority opinion misses the entire concept of personal liberty and the dissent outlines exactly why it’s wrong. It also neglects to discuss the de facto subjugation of a pregnant woman to the state’s desires.
@rjquillin I think this is a false equivalency. Anti abortion people have absolutely murdered (tiller and others). Pro choice people may in the future (although this is specious).
Women will terminate pregnancies. Wealthy ones will do so relatively safely. Poorer ones will face more challenges. Regardless, some of the women not able to terminate their pregnancies will die. It’s not an exaggeration; it is the cost of an anti abortion regime.
Over and over again, I make the point that lives are collateral damage to ideology. It seems heavy handed but no less true.
@CroutonOllie Somehow we managed ~180 years or so before Roe. Not sure how we managed to survive. All the Robes did was say we incorrectly took a position, when we really didn’t have a say; States issue.
Yes, I remember those days, which is why I don’t believe Roe vs Wade should have ever been entertained at the Federal level, and why I believe that handing jurisdiction back to the States was appropriate.
This ruling takes nothing away from anyone, except maybe the modern day body snatchers/organ harvesters who created a federally subsidized industry on it (I hope.) It allows ‘local’ people to decide local policies, but prevents no-one from doing anything.
@CroutonOllie I am sorry, but I disagree. The poor women in states who don’t believe in a woman’s choice is just wrong. I am a female and I believe strongly in God, but if I lived in a state where men think they know better than me what to do with my own body and my child, they should jump. We need to choose, not the states, not the government.
Exactly why it should be a matter left up to the people themselves, at a local level, where your voice is much louder, and not at the Federal level.
Does this guarantee that everyone will get what they want, no, but at least you’ll be able to talk/argue about the points with the people you live around, and not just be stuck with an edict from afar. This ruling took no freedom away, it only gave people the right, at the local level, to decide, as they did in the past.
It really isn’t the monster that some purport it to be, it is simply giving back a freedom to the States that they had before. This is my understanding, and if I thought it actually hurt the American people, I wouldn’t be for it. The Supreme Court only passed jurisdiction in these matters to the State, nothing else.
Yeah I remember when the feds banned slavery (well not me personally) a lot of states were pissed off and wanted to make that choice themselves. God we are a deeply flawed species!
@CroutonOllie@danandlisa@ScottW58 and forcing women to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term is not far removed from slavery. I’ve yet to hear a persuasive argument as to why the government should be able to take somebody’s rights away like that.
@CroutonOllie Unfortunately the people get lost and it is not the people who decide, but the politicians. If I lived in Texas, I would have to travel to a state that allowed it. I am sorry, but that it is not acceptable. It should be accessible to all.
@CroutonOllie@danandlisa@klezman@ScottW58 Where, in the Constitution, Bill of Rights or amendments, do you find this ‘right’? Those not enumerated are remanded to the States.
For ~180 years there was no Federal intervention.
@CroutonOllie@danandlisa@rjquillin@ScottW58 so if it’s not enumerated then it’s not a right? Ok, then no more interracial marriage. Women have zero legal status apart from their husbands.
But the supreme court seems to think that disregarding the establishment clause is just fine.
@CroutonOllie@danandlisa@ScottW58 sorry crouton that’s BS.
So if a woman gets pregnant and doesn’t want to have a child then there’s no abrogation of her rights to force her to carry it? Sorry, no. (It’s also against the universal declaration of human rights, which this country has signed.)
I understand, and do not have a solution except through your State or Federal legislators. Your best remedy is through your Senators/Representatives in Congress, or in Texas. When it comes to law, only they, or successful challenges to statutes, brought before a court, can effect change.
I agree adults should be held responsible for their actions. However, by prohibiting access to abortions, the mother isn’t the only one facing consequences. What about the child? Do they deserve to starve or grow up in poverty because their mother can’t provide for them? Or end up in the “system” which then uses state/federal tax dollars, and is likely to fail the child so they still end up falling through the cracks? In some cases, the mother is doing the responsible thing by aborting the pregnancy. Not to mention cases of rape, incest, or health complications.
The bottom line is no one should be forcing the woman one way or the other. It should be her decision to make, and she shouldn’t have to cross state lines in order to have access to the resources she needs.
Please attempt to reframe abortion momentarily as a healthcare decision by a ‘woman’ involving her own body and not as a ‘presumptive mother’ or vessel for a fetus. It should not be subject to legislation. Abortion should be decided only by the person pursuing it and not state or federal apparatus.
Aren’t we making some dangerous ethical decisions, if we are to decide when abortions are right or wrong, outside of those that most would agree upon, ie: rape, incest, or health complications?
Nothing is forced, it is a matter of the ‘creek’ being clearly marked ‘there be dragons’, and then some waltzing along like society will foot the bill for their irresponsibility.
Common dragons can be warded off, and responsible people do so by outfitting themselves before they go. Others goof, and pick a lousy guide to take them there, once again, not the problem of society, but society does have protections against lousy guides. The best one is a contract, aka marriage, but it is not required. It was the traditional manner of protection, for both sides.
Why are these things codified? I don’t know, but perhaps to give humans additional protections, not found in the animal world.
I think the only “dangerous ethical decision” is that of any government to think it knows better than a pregnant woman whether she is in a position to mother a child.
Also, since forced motherhood appears to be okay with some in this country, are you also willing to make laws that demand a genetic test to prove who the father is? And that said father is required to be financially responsible for their offspring until the age of majority? Since your argument appears to be one of “don’t have sex if you don’t like the consequences” then this is the logical conclusion. Unless, of course, you believe women and men are inherently unequal.
@CroutonOllie@kawichris650 I dunno…if the state is going to force parenthood on people then the state should support those unwilling parents and the innocent child.
Are you pro-life or pro-gestation/birth? Perhaps you don’t care either way. The observation is that most people who support prohibitions on abortion don’t seem to give a crap about the human they’re forcing into the world, at least once they arrive.
Edit: And in case you think I want abortion legal “up until the minute of birth”, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. (Let alone the fact that it’s a straw man argument.) I’d actually have been fine if Roberts’ concurrence-in-judgement had carried the day.
I took too long to add, sorry, but this was a PS to the message above: Edit to add: We elect our local officials and legislators, even our local judges, so where would you rather have things decided? Far off, in an appointed body that is tasked with interpreting Federal Law and Constitutional matters and then applying them, or those that are local, that do the same with regards to your State? Law exists, but we elect legislators who have the power to change them. It is much easier to cause ripples in a pond, than an ocean. Best of luck in all, c
I agree that local elections are very important, and the lack of voter participation and turnout in non-presidential election year’s has always frustrated me. With that, there’s a problem with the simple suggestion of just electing local representatives to represent your beliefs, and that’s gerrymandering. What about the states that have gerrymandered the districts such that it’s nearly impossible for one party not to have control (both parties do it)? How difficult would it be for a pro-choice legislature in Ohio or a pro-life legislature in Oregon, both of which have F grades for partisan district maps according to the Princeton Gerrymandering Project.
Good point, and a shame that cheating seems to have enjoyed such prominence. Not my way of doing things, but my jurisdiction can only cover myself. A good time for others to think about it, and put the brakes on it.
For those of you framing the issue as states’ rights or local control, where will you stand when (not if) Congress passes a federal abortion ban?
Will we hear your protest? Thought not.
How about when a state brings a SCOTUS challenge to that federal law and the court refuses to hear it?
Will that prompt you to defend states’ rights?
Didn’t think so.
And today’s opinion continues this right wing ideologue majority’s thrashing of existing precedent under the guise of “religious freedom”, which now takes priority over literally all other rights except perhaps the right to brandish weapons whenever and wherever somebody wants.
The notion that a coach praying on the field immediately at the conclusion of a football game, in full view of the attendees, and with the players all still there, is not easily deduced to be state endorsement of religion is just pure fantasy. I hope a Jewish person’s religious command to get an abortion when needed will receive such deference from this court.
And no doubt, next up is the thrashing of more precedent to neuter the government from doing anything to regulate business and ensure we have a habitable planet in the coming centuries.
And yes, I’m angry.
@rjquillin I am certainly sad for the intolerance that has crept into American society. But “issues” like not allowing the government to promote religion are not new to this generation. The formative cases were from many decades ago. And back then the pledge of allegiance didn’t contain the words “under God”… (I’m actually not exactly sure when they were added, but I thought it was in the 60’s or something.)
I suppose you also want to remove “In God We Trust” from our currency.
June 14, 1954, by Dwight D. Eisenhower for those that know or care to research American history. I recall well when the change was made. Originally it was recited with a comma after “one Nation” that first school year. The following year it became a single phrase “one Nation under God”. That’s my recollection
@rjquillin no, I honestly don’t care myself about either. I’m just saying that the country has had more religion imposed on the populace over the last several decades.
Again, read the dissent from today. The rub for this one appears to be a very different understanding of the facts. As a non Christian I cannot stomach the idea of my school team coach leading a prayer and the idea that it’s not coercive.
@rjquillin do you forget what it’s like to be a kid? Peer pressure? The fear, justified or not, that your coach won’t give you playing time of you don’t participate? That is precisely why the government is not allowed to endorse religion in any way. The current right wing majority on the court seems to have lost that perspective along with any empathy for actual humans.
@klezman@rjquillin Given all the anti-religious coercion that goes on in schools, a little pro-religious coercion seems like it would give a healthy balance.
FWIW, I understand that many religions pray, and some argue that the monotheistic religions pray to the same God. We spend so much time and energy interpreting the Establishment Clause as an iron barrier separating Religion from State functions, when all it says is that Congress can’t establish a State religion or prohibit the free exercise thereof.
@KitMarlot@rjquillin I completely disagree that pro-religion coercion is and should be absolutely verboten. I also disagree that absence of religious teaching is anti-religious coercion. Could you please explain what you mean by anti-religious coercion in school?
@davirom@FritzCat@klezman@rjquillin Do we know for sure the committee won’t call them? One of them has already testified. Do we have a credible source for the statement that these two agents won’t be invited to testify? Every hearing I’ve listened to has included an invitation for new witnesses to come forward, and for prior witnesses to return, if they have new information to share with the committee.
NBC News chief White House correspondent Peter Alexander tweeted on Tuesday night that two Secret Service staffers are set to testify that Trump neither lunged at the wheel of the presidential vehicle, nicknamed “The Beast,” nor in any way assaulted them in a bid to get them to take him to the Capitol.
As NBC’s Alexander tweeted: “A source close to the Secret Service tells me both Bobby Engel, the lead agent, and the presidential limousine/SUV driver are prepared to testify under oath that neither man was assaulted and that Mr. Trump never lunged for the steering wheel.”
@davirom@FritzCat@rjquillin like InFrom said…I will hear their testimony under oath just as I’ve listened to the others’.
I also noted the introduction of witness tampering ideas at the end. This could get very interesting indeed.
This article describes some of the new privacy considerations for girls and women of child bearing age who live in anti-womens’-rights states. This article
explains why shortly more than half the states will fit that description.
It’s not paranoia if they really are out to get you. Recall that the SC refused to hear a challenge to Texas’ law providing an automatic $10,000 bounty to private citizens who prevail in civil suits that identify anyone (except the woman who terminates her pregnancy) “aiding or abetting a post-heartbeat abortion.”
@CroutonOllie For the record, “established fact” does not mean “anything CroutonOllie believes to be true”. This is an opinion forum and some of us support our opinions by citing sources, something I can’t recall you ever doing. People on either side of an issue are frequently polemical, it comes with the territory, and something you frequently engage in. That is, when you are not being personally derogatory. Some of your recent posts have included the phrases “grow up”, “get bent”, and “stew in your own piss”.
This is the second time recently (the first being June 12) that I have cited my sources and you have rejected them without the benefit of actually looking at them. In the earlier instance you attempted to reply to my post and said “it would be nice to see some substantiation.” The point of my post was to provide substantiation on a number of topics, if you had bothered to look.
Within this most recent post, you manage to demand my authorities and admit that you won’t read them. If you won’t open your eyes you will always be in the dark.
@canonizer@KitMarlot and furthermore the reasoning, such as it is, reads history very selectively and ignores the fundamental liberty interest in having control over your own body and future. And as the dissent noted, the reasoning also ignored the impact on women, the men who get them pregnant, and society writ large.
The reasoning of several of the recent decisions also reveals the entire textualist and originalist methods to be no different than the supposed results oriented reasoning this method supposedly prevents.
@canonizer@KitMarlot Agree? No, especially not with the reasoning. But it’s an outcome I could have accepted, even though Roberts’ approach would be far more arbitrary than the line drawn in Roe. Reaffirming that women have the right to control their reproduction would have been a good thing. (At least viability outside the womb is an objective marker and a logical spot to put the demarcation where the state’s interest in future life may outweigh the inherent liberty interest of the mother.)
@canonizer I was being serious. You said in your objection “Alito et al decided to overturn Roe when he was being asked to decide whether limiting termination to 15 weeks was constitutional.” Despite what your favorite news organization says, the supreme court takes its job seriously. Chief Justice Roberts wrote "Roe adopted two distinct rules of constitutional law,” he writes. “One, that a woman has the right to choose to terminate a pregnancy; two, that such a right may be overridden by the State’s legitimate interests when the fetus is viable outside the womb. The latter is obviously distinct from the former,” he writes, stressing that “there is nothing inherent in the right to choose that requires it to extend to viability . . . so long as a real choice is provided.”
@canonizer You insinuate that fearmongering only happens on Fox News. All the “news” organizations do it because self-righteousness sells and outrage draws eyeballs and clicks. That stuff only works on the persuadable; it’s a pity that 13 years of mandatory public education can’t produce civic literacy.
…but the reports of the Republic’s death are greatly exaggerated.
@canonizer@KitMarlot You’re both correct, imo. There’s plenty of fear-mongering all around and sensationalist news reporting was the first step that led to clickbait and Twitter. However, anything called “fear-mongering” in regards to things like losing fundamental rights appears to not have been fear mongering because the current 5 justice majority just eliminated a constitutional right.
I hope you’re right, kit, and canonizer is wrong that this is a slow death march for the republic. But right now it doesn’t look good. Remember, it was only 18 months ago that a presidential candidate refused to accept the outcome of an election and stoked violence to try to take power.
@KitMarlot, I candidly do not believe that even the most vocal infotainment liberals ever challenged the 2016 election result. Clinton conceded at once. The entire republican party is organized largely around a fake issue of fraud, with a specific focus that the 2020 election was not free and fair. It is cynical and will only increase voter suppression and further actual fraud once the belief that elections are honestly counted. Their whole media system reinforces that.
It is a false equivalency to suggest that the “2016 not my president democrats” are the same as the “2020 Trump actually won the election republicans”.
This working as intended line is bs - the house of representatives has not increased in size in over a century. There has never been such disproportionate minority power in the US. I’m excited to see the supreme court give the power to select to the president to the legislators instead of citizens. It’s a grand time to be autocrat.
If you think that the regular selection of the president legally by a minority of the population is a recipe for a healthy country then have not created an effective working model for a democracy.
@canonizer I don’t think it matters which polarized side is worse, but we can agree to disagree. You’ve apparently forgotten the “Russian Collusion” saga that went on for years. More importantly, it wasn’t infotainment liberals, it was elected representatives:
According to a C-SPAN recording of the joint session that took
place four years ago, the following House Democrats made objections:
Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) objected to Alabama’s votes.
Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) objected to Florida’s votes.
Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) objected to Georgia’s votes.
Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) objected to North Carolina’s votes.
Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) objected to the votes from North Carolina in addition to votes from South Carolina and Wisconsin. She
also stood up and objected citing “massive voter suppression” after
Mississippi’s votes were announced.
Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) brought up allegations of Russian interference in the election and malfunctioning voting machines when
she objected following the announcement of Michigan’s votes.
Maxine Waters (D-Calif) rose and said, “I do not wish to debate. I wish to ask ‘Is there one United States senator who will join me in
this letter of objection?’” after the announcement of Wyoming’s votes.
And lets not forget Stacy Abrams, who still hasn’t conceded her 2018 gubernatorial loss.
@KitMarlot I would not be condemning republicans for contesting the state certifications if Trump had conceded in November, nor would I be particularly aware of the procedural certification in January had Trump not encouraged Pence under threat of violence to follow John Eastman’s “counsel” to overthrow the goddamned fucking election in a fucking coup.
Things can be similar without being the same, notwithstanding Jim Jordan’s petulance.
@canonizer@KitMarlot generous of you to call them similar.
Previous objections to the electoral count were purely symbolic. Never had a member from each house gotten it to the point where they even debated it (I think). Like many things in politics that was (a) for show and (b) to raise a policy point about voter access.
@CroutonOllie i think you misunderstand your own ideology. You actually want a country where the minority of the population has outsized representation. There is a constitutional basis for that opinion, though It is not a the clear cut issue since would want to believe because there is nothing in the constitution limiting the size of the house or the judiciary.
I also don’t know what it means to want a dead general. What do you want him for? Are you sponsoring the zombie apocalypse?
Our past is filled with gruesome shit involving the enslavement of people from Africa, the wholesale slaughter of native peoples, the continual codification of oppression against minorities. You can bury your head in the sand and say but we fixed all that, anyone can do anything because America was always great and is great now. It’s your right as an American to say those things.
chip, I don’t understand your comment. Are you suggesting that the most marginalized people and minority in the country are actually in control? (Regardless of the proliferation of letter onto LGBTQ)
No, I thought canonizer’s comments were kind of ironic given the many vocal minorities that fall on the left side of the political spectrum and referenced one the most vocal of vocal minorities to illustrate the point.
Also, mea culpa for the extra letters. I really wasn’t trying to comment on the LGBTQ movement itself and the extra letters constituted an unnecessary cheap shot. My apologies.
@canonizer@chipgreen@CroutonOllie no worries my friend!
There may be some extremely vocal people out there on the far left, but I’d say no more than on the far right. That’s neither here nor there, though. You commented on representation. There are not nearly as many LGBTQ people in Congress as their population would expect. Conversely there are a lot more far right legislators in Congress compared to their population. Which I think was the point of the post. Gerrymandering of districts within States and also the gerrymandering of the existence of States (e.g. two Dakotas) have led to this effect.
I think the best solution for the house is they need about 200 more seats. Harder to fix the Senate.
@chipgreen @ @klezman chip, I don’t think acknowledging the existence of lgbt people endows them with actual power, especially compared to living in less populated states and having a significantly greater say in the body politic. Ahem, cough cough, privilege check!
I’ll just continue harping - having the minority of the country regularly selecting the president, gerrymandering minorities out of representation, maintaining the size of the House, along with the anti democratic selection of supreme court justices, are collectively recipe for disaster. It feels as plain to me as the blemish at the end of my nose.
I can’t disagree that the right is just as bad as the left when it comes to vocal minorities (NRA comes to mind) and engaging in underhanded methods (i.e. gerrymandering) to gain political advantage. It certainly cuts both ways.
I deeply regret my original reply which was meant to make a point but did so in a completely ham-fisted way. To be clear, I am strongly in favor of equal rights for all people and am horrified at the thought that I may have offended, or worse, hurt, anyone who read those comments.
@canonizer@chipgreen It’s all good. That’s why I try to ask questions rather than make assumptions.
In any case, it’s far easier when I know somebody in the real world and can moderate my reaction based on that. And I know you’re a thoroughly reasonable and good guy.
It just reminds me I need a reason to get back up to the Cleveland area so we can have another night out!
Gerrymandering? You mean like the California Super-Majority Democrats did before? As well as in other states?
Like when they Gerrymandered our Republican Congressman out of a District? Just because he represented a primarily Democrat District and kept getting re-elected because he actually represented his District, not kowtowing to the GOP Party line every time?
Or how we used to be able to vote in the General Elections for the top Candidate for each party (including Libertarian, Peace & Freedom, Green Party, etc.), but now get (in most districts) only Democratic Candidates because it’s only the Top Two vote getters? All courtesy of our Super-Majority Democrats.
Or when the Democrats in Congress removed the 2/3rds Majority needed to confirm SCOTUS and other Nominees?
Or when 60 Democrats Filibustered the Civil Rights Act in the 60s, creating the longest Filibuster in history (look it up)?
Then, when it bites them in the behind, create new ways of screwing the Constitution? And us!
Not that Republicans are any better, but they don’t seem to be off their meds!
@canonizer@chipgreen@MarkDaSpark I will take it as a win that you acknowledge Republicans have done anything wrong in this area.
I’ll note that Republicans removed the filibuster for supreme court nominees, not Democrats.
As for historical versions of each party, the Republicans from Lincoln’s time until the 1960s or so were generally on the right side of history. Then everything switched after they decided to go after the racists and segregationists. (More appetizingly called the southern strategy, I suppose.)
@canonizer@chipgreen@MarkDaSpark@rjquillin what, specifically, did I get wrong? I know I may have the timing of the southern strategy off by a bit, but that was, AFAIK, the cause of the resorting of the political parties after the passage of the civil rights act.
OMFG … No, the only change was State Rights to Big Government.
If “Systemic Racism” was a thing, then the Democrats are still Racists … they have been in control of 23 out of the top 25 Metro areas for Decades! New York (except Giuliani), LA, SF, Detroit, Atlanta, Baltimore, etc have all been Democratic Strongholds, yet residents still have problems.
They are the party saying if you “don’t vote Democrat, you ain’t Black”!
@canonizer@chipgreen@MarkDaSpark@rjquillin as for electoral mechanics, I think the closed primary system is corrosive. It promotes extreme views rather than consensus views. The jungle primary is one possible answer, but I’ve long been an advocate of ranked choice instant runoff elections. Kind of like what they use in Alaska now. It (a) allows better access to additional political parties, and (b) the outcomes better reflect the will of the populace.
@canonizer@chipgreen@MarkDaSpark Mark, I don’t understand your argument here.
I don’t wish to debate you on the existence of systemic racism. There is much scholarship on this topic. The only thing I will ask is how you explain the persistence of poverty and such in minority (especially black) communities in the absence of systemic racism.
(I’ll also note, for clarity, that systemic racism doesn’t mean individuals are racist. It means that the existing infrastructure and/or systems were created during times with more overt racism and those systems create/perpetuate dramatically unequal outcomes.)
Perhaps you misinterpreted my statement about the current predominant primary system as promoting extreme views and candidates. That is (a) well proven and (b) not specific to any one party.
I don’t know who you are describing as democratic leaders that use that sort of language. AOC sure as hell isn’t a leader on the party even if she is one of the loudest members. Ditto Ilhan Omar and taxis Rashida Tlaib, who I view as a pox on the party.
First off, I linked to Pelosi saying that. You know, Speaker of the House? Third in line? That leader.
And before any claims like:
It promotes extreme views rather than consensus views.
Can be used, you need that agreed definition of “Extremist Views”. Because otherwise we can talk past each other! And where are these “proven links”? Peer reviews?
And the point is that Democrats have been in power for decades … yet if situations are that bad, why would anyone keep voting for them? Leading back to your misconceptions of the “Switch” after the CRA. Democrats are still just as racist as before!
@canonizer@chipgreen@MarkDaSpark@rjquillin I missed the link before, my bad. Having read it, though, it doesn’t support your claim. Saying that people who try to thwart the democratic process are enemies of the country may be a poor choice of words but it’s hardly inaccurate.
Nonetheless, I disagree with the use of heated rhetoric in the political arena. That’s actually why I despised Trump from the minute he announced his candidacy - his rhetoric was appalling in my view. I didn’t care one bit about anything else he proposed because his manner of “discourse” was appalling to me.
Back to your misinterpretation of “extreme” views, though, it simply means views farther from the mainstream. It is not specific to left or right wing views or any other political affiliation.
Lastly, this was about gerrymandering, not about policy or anything of that ilk. I’m not sure how the winners’ policies for into this - gerrymandering is corrosive on its face. And again, that is equally applicable to any party and I’m not interested in debating who is “worse”.
There’s a lot here conflating national and local issues.
The filibuster of voting rights and ultimate passage was part of the split the Dixiecrats from the Democratic party and created the aforementioned southern strategy lasting from the nixon era to the present.
The chipping away of the vra has been motivated by making political gains at the expense of the rights of Americans who happen to be Black.
Why? Because I’m treating your President the way you treated the last one? He’s weaponized the DOJ, the IRS, and other Federal Agencies. I don’t remember Orange Man doing that! Mean tweets yes … behaving like a wannabe dictator no.
I almost did a spit take when I read the comment that Trump never weaponized the DOJ. That cannot be a serious comment, although Faux news wants you to believe It. You might want to read what former Assistant US Attorney, and long-time Republican that volunteered for 2916 Trump campaign and transition team, Geoffrey Berman has said/wrote on that subject.
When in court, lawyers only ask questions to which they already know the answers…and presumably have evidence.
So, the necessity to take the 5th 440 times must be horribly stressful.
I actually feel sorry for TFG; although that sympathy is completely overwhelmed by the schadenfreude.
@canonizer@FritzCat It’s almost like running for president and then winning puts a spotlight on your prior activities. It invites the kind of scrutiny that leads to this sort of thing if you’re dishonest in business.
@canonizer@FritzCat@MarkDaSpark so when Trump is convicted of stealing classified documents what will the excuse be? And the civil fraud case? The the forthcoming criminal fraud and tax evasion cases? And the Georgia criminal prove? What, exactly, is the spin in court?
@FritzCat@klezman@MarkDaSpark trump was the one who said only criminals plead the fifth. Maybe we’re just respectfully agreeing. Also, there is a mountain of evidence about his criminality. You can judge him to your heart’s content without it generating a conviction.
So with the continuing court proceedings in Florida regarding the stolen classified documents, can we all agree yet that Trump is selling pure cow dung when he says he “declassified” all those documents? If he had actually done so, why hasn’t he produced the evidence? And if he had done so, why wouldn’t his lawyers say so in court?
I’m also very curious to see how the NY civil fraud suit goes. Given the publicity this is going to get throughout I really hope the NY AG has done all her homework and then some.
@rjquillin reads, imo, largely like a screed full of conspiracy theories and debunked right wing talking points. Just enough truth scattered throughout that it’s not outright false but the unreferenced allegations are kind of over the top and also bear little resemblance to the results of trying these things in court.
I need to sleep instead of refuting this point by point.
@rjquillin so you’ve presented this without comment. Is this intended to be a serious discussion of what happened on January 6? Satire? Persuasion of some sort? Click bait headline? Is this a statement that there was nothing doing that day and it was just another ho hum day in DC?
@rjquillin Well, it seems to me like conspiracy theorizing, whataboutism, and projection.
The recent news that Special Counsel John Durham is indicting Michael Sussman, a lawyer who covertly worked for the Clinton campaign and lied to the FBI, is welcome news. But it seems like small beer given the rampant higher-level corruption that saturated the Russia collusion hoax.
Do you think if Durham, Trump and Barr’s hand-picked investigator, would have found evidence that could sustain any charge he wouldn’t have filed them?
In truth, there is little threat of domestic terror in this country.
In 2020, most attacks related to demonstrations (58 percent) were conducted by violent far-right perpetrators, including white supremacists, militia members, and other anti-government extremists. Many of these attacks were related to the 2020 presidential election or opposition to racial justice protests and Covid-19 restrictions. In 2021, however, 73 percent of attacks related to demonstrations were orchestrated by violent far-left individuals, including anarchists, anti-fascist extremists, and violent environmentalists. These incidents were largely related to opposition to far-right ideologies and opposition to law enforcement, including perceptions that law enforcement was sympathetic to the far-right or operated with corruption or bias. While this ideological opposition has long existed, the sharp increase in violent far-left activity related to demonstrations likely is linked to the historically high level of far-right violence in 2020, which coincided with extensive media coverage of police violence against Black individuals and heightened tensions surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic and 2020 presidential election. As Rose City Antifa and other far-left groups have articulated, in the face of perceived state inaction or complicity, far-left extremists may see themselves as the only ones able to act.29
Lastly, the author fails to adduce any evidence to support the title or oft-repeated assertion that the insurrection was a hoax. He does marshal a few statements in support of his assertion but nothing was backed up with evidence.
Four Years Later, Kavanaugh Probe Still Raising Questions
By Cara Bayles ·
Listen to article
Law360 (September 27, 2022, 4:58 PM EDT) – There were only two days left for the FBI’s investigation into alleged sexual misconduct by U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and the office of Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, had received dozens of emails in early October 2018 about the would-be justice.
One caught the eye of Murkowski’s deputy chief of staff, Nathan Bergerbest.
It was from Kerry Berchem, an Akin Gump partner who’d attended Yale around the same time as Kavanaugh. Berchem received texts from a friend indicating Kavanaugh had asked her to “go on record” and defend him against an accusation from former classmate Deborah Ramirez, who said he’d thrust his penis in her face at a Yale dormitory party. Reporters from The New Yorker were digging into the allegation, which wasn’t yet public.
Now Berchem thought the texts could serve as evidence that Kavanaugh lied when he told the Senate Judiciary Committee he hadn’t discussed the allegation with anyone before The New Yorker’s article ran.
“I came forward because I thought it was more than possible he had perjured himself,” Berchem told Law360. “As a lawyer, I felt it was my duty and obligation to provide the information and related questions I had, which I firmly believe should have been reviewed, considered and explored by the FBI.”
Berchem tried multiple times to relay the text messages to an FBI agent whose email she’d tracked down. But he kept pushing her to send a tip through the FBI’s public access line, or PAL, even after she told him she’d submitted online tips twice, called a local field office, and had yet to hear anything back. She then wrote to several Senate offices about her experience.
The FBI’s radio silence concerned Bergerbest. He emailed Jill Tyson, the FBI’s acting deputy director, telling her that Berchem “sought to be interviewed without success” and “believe[d] that she was walked into a dead end.”
“The full Senate, and not just the committee, is relying on the rigor and accuracy of information in the FBI’s background investigation of the nominee,” he wrote to Tyson. “I would appreciate a note on how [Berchem’s] concerns are being addressed.”
Tyson’s reply said Berchem should submit a tip to the PAL — the same “dead end” Bergerbest was concerned about. She then forwarded his email to colleagues, saying she’d “defer as to how the agents handle this.”
The correspondence was among thousands of pages of FBI documents made available last year.
Murkowski didn’t vote for Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Her office did not respond to requests for comment, nor did Bergerbest, who has since retired from federal service. The FBI declined to answer Law360’s questions.
Berchem continued to reach out to the FBI. Although she sent four online tips and made three calls to the PAL, she never heard back.
“To say that I was and remain disappointed by the so-called FBI supplemental investigation would be a gross understatement,” she told Law360.
Reports of the FBI shuttling credible witnesses to a tip line it seemed to ignore drew outrage even as the bureau finished its inquiry into Kavanaugh’s past in the fall of 2018. Four years later, the investigation remains shrouded in secrecy.
A Law360 review of the more than 4,500 Kavanaugh-related PAL tips made available through the Freedom of Information Act revealed that hundreds of pages had been deleted, and at least 1,000 tips were completely redacted.
The time stamps on redacted memos seem to suggest some tips may have piled up for days, sometimes weeks, without internal review.
It’s unclear if those delays would flout FBI policy because the bureau remains mum on PAL procedures and on the basic parameters of the Kavanaugh investigation. Questions linger about what resources were allocated to the probe, how long tips sat without being reviewed by FBI staff, and whether agents could expand its scope in light of credible allegations.
Even U.S. senators have struggled to get answers, although Democrats on the Judiciary Committee continued to press FBI Director Christopher Wray as recently as last month, when Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., got Wray to admit that the FBI did not investigate any Kavanaugh-related PAL tips.
“An organization should not be able to stall and delay its way out of accountability for bad behavior,” Whitehouse told Law360.
He worries that then-President Donald Trump had so much control over the supplemental background investigation, FBI agents either were not permitted or did not bother to follow up on credible tips.
This could have implications for future investigations into potential judges, justices and other nominees. Senators depended on the FBI for an independent investigation, Whitehouse said, and didn’t suspect that the bureau flouted its investigative practices to defer to the president.
“[That] would color how we would look at all supplemental background investigations in the future, because they would not have the imprimatur of FBI integrity and FBI policy,” he said. “They would instead be the political acts of the nominating agency.”
Weeding Through It
Kavanaugh had already been vetted in six FBI background investigations for various posts by September 2018 when Christine Blasey Ford publicly alleged he’d attempted to rape her while they were teenagers living in suburban Maryland.
Then more allegations surfaced, some more credible than others. Kavanaugh was accused of joining in the gang rape of inebriated girls, drunkenly shoving a girlfriend against a wall, raping a woman on a boat in Rhode Island, and forcing a woman to perform oral sex on him. Ramirez’s indecent exposure story made news a week after Ford became a household name.
Kavanaugh denied all these allegations, and he and Ford testified in a lengthy Judiciary Committee hearing on Sept. 27, 2018. The next day, Trump announced he’d asked the FBI to conduct a six-day supplemental background investigation into his nominee.
At some point in September, the FBI set up a PAL devoted to Kavanaugh — a first for any nominee awaiting Senate confirmation. It soon received more than 4,500 tips.
Most weren’t helpful. They included partisan rants and the theories of wannabe detectives. Some reported that Ford was a CIA operative or had hypnotized herself to create a false memory. Amateur body language readers scrutinized Kavanaugh’s fidgeting and water consumption during the hearing. One woman called repeatedly to claim she was in the room when Kavanaugh assaulted Ford, that she’d clerked with him for former Justice Anthony Kennedy, and that Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., had once tried to bite her face.
Sifting through 4,500 tips within a week “would have been insane,” according to Patrick Murphy, who, during his 26-year tenure at the FBI, worked on the background investigation for Justice Kennedy’s nomination.
“Probably 75% [of those tips] may be unfounded — anything ranging from lack of credibility to people out of touch with reality,” the former agent said. “But then you’ve got to weed through it, to say, ‘OK, which are the relevant ones?’ and then you’re going to try to track down where these people are at, and maybe do a little bit of vetting to decide, ‘OK, is this person worth talking to?’”
Buried amid the PAL noise, there were some possibly relevant tips from people who claimed to have personal knowledge of Kavanaugh’s past.
One attorney reported his client, a former Yale classmate of Kavanaugh’s, had seen him drunkenly “engage in conduct with a female student that was similar to the conduct since reported by Deborah Ramirez.” Another lawyer wrote about two people who’d known Ford in high school and were “aware of some very serious problems that are pertinent to her claims.” Others made allegations about Kavanaugh’s behavior at a law firm party and as a member of Yale’s Truth and Courage club.
The record also suggests that some tipsters with plausible stories struggled to be heard.
Joseph Hennessey tried to reach the FBI multiple times. He called and submitted an online tip on Sept. 30, and, when he didn’t hear back, submitted another that included a declaration explaining he’d been friends with Kavanaugh’s Georgetown Prep classmates, and that on multiple occasions at high school parties, Kavanaugh was “stupid drunk, aggressive and confrontational” when he realized Hennessey didn’t go to Prep, demanding he leave and needing to be physically restrained.
Another source, Kathleen Charlton, a former Yale classmate, wrote that Kavanaugh “tried to influence witnesses before the alleged assault accounts were published and possibly even before journalists knew about them,” adding that a mutual friend had told her Kavanaugh had called him to ask that he share “no bad” with reporters looking into Ramirez’s claim — an allegation in line with Berchem’s.
Charlton remembers watching Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., saying on “60 Minutes” midway through the supplemental investigation that Kavanaugh’s nomination would end if he was found to have told a lie to the committee.
“I was standing in my living room with my husband, going, ‘I have it!’” she told Law360.
She said she “didn’t have confidence that calling a tip line was going to go anywhere,” and tried other methods as well, using a D.C. lawyer with FBI connections to try to relay her information, and reaching out to her senator, Cory Booker, D-N.J., whose staff put her in touch with the special agent in charge of the New Jersey FBI field office. The agent said someone “from the appropriate FBI entity” would call Charlton soon, and she said she “literally did not move for 24 hours,” knowing that the investigation was on a tight schedule. But she never heard back. She also submitted a tip and a timeline of events through the FBI’s online PAL portal. Her tip was so long and detailed, she had to submit it in three parts. No one from the FBI ever followed up with her.
Then there was Chad Ludington, who wrote to the FBI that he’d “become deeply troubled by what has been a blatant mischaracterization by Brett himself of his drinking at Yale.”
Ludington said he drank often with Kavanaugh and had witnessed him slurring, staggering and “belligerent and aggressive.” He worried Kavanaugh had perjured himself when he testified at the Judiciary Committee hearing that he’d never drank to excess. And he offered proof — the police were once called after Kavanaugh started a bar fight. He suspected there was a police report.
Law360 reached out to Kavanaugh’s chambers through the Supreme Court’s press office for comment, but its requests went unanswered.
Records indicate Ludington went to the Raleigh, North Carolina, field office hoping to speak with an agent, but was referred to the PAL. An agent forwarded his statement to the PAL and Ludington himself wrote an online tip on Oct. 1. Ludington sent his tip again the next day, saying he was “waiting to hear back.” On Oct. 3, the day before the FBI’s report was due, he sent a third tip, noting, “I have still not heard back from anyone at the FBI.”
“I don’t want to say that they guaranteed they’d get back to me, but I was led to believe they’d be getting back to me very shortly. So I kept on filling it out,” he told Law360. “And then I realized that either they were not interested in my tip, or it was going to the tip equivalent of a dead letter office.”
‘Sooner Is Better’
While the tips from Ludington and Hennessey were processed the same day they came in, a Law360 review of PAL records found that others may have languished.
Internal memos written about each tip included a date at the top of the document, as well as a narrative indicating the date and time the PAL received the information. Reports for dozens of tips showed a lag time of more than five days between these two dates.
Four current and former federal law enforcement officials, some of whom spoke on background, told Law360 that the dates at the top of each memo likely indicated when the document was prepared for review. While none of those agents were familiar with this particular form, they said it was clear that the date/time received was when the tip came in, and that based on their experience, the date at the top of the document would have indicated when it was prepared.
Anatomy of an FBI Memo
FBI memos about tips that came in through the public access line raise questions about date discrepancies and the reason for some redactions. Hover over highlights for details.
If their supposition is correct, it would mean that on Oct. 3, the day before the investigation wrapped, FBI staff were still reading through and writing initial reports on tips that were days and sometimes weeks old. If any of those tips were plausible, it wouldn’t give the bureau much time to investigate before sending its report to senators, who’d decided to confirm Kavanaugh by Oct. 5, and held their final vote on the 6th.
Michael Tabman, who worked as an FBI agent for 24 years before leaving the bureau in 2007, said that generally, similar investigative memos had to be written within five days.
“I don’t know if that’s changed since I retired, but I doubt it. If anything, it would have gotten stricter,” he said. “It makes total sense that you have a short timeframe to write up your investigation.”
The FBI declined to answer questions about the dates on the PAL records, or about policies for processing PAL tips. Whitehouse’s office also didn’t have information on the formatting of such documents.
The bureau’s own training documents for PAL workers advise “sooner is better than later.” But those training documents are redacted as to details of the job of tip line workers.
Former agents wondered whether, amid the deluge of tips, a week was a realistic time frame to process and chase down relevant information, and whether the Trump administration’s limits on the inquiry constrained agents.
Although the six-day time frame was “even more compressed than what you’re typically dealing with,” Murphy said, it’s not unusual for background investigations to have deadlines set by the White House. But otherwise, the FBI usually takes the reins.
“Typically, if it’s an FBI investigation, the FBI is calling the shots,” he said. “This was a different duck.”
“I’ve done presidential appointment investigations,” Tabman said. “Never have I heard of a situation where information is developed and you weren’t allowed to pursue it, and you were not given extra time if you absolutely needed it.”
In the reports that seem to have long lag times, the tips have been entirely redacted, making it impossible to assess their value.
The reason for these redactions, an exemption to the Freedom of Information Act for “techniques and procedures of law enforcement,” applies to how agents investigate leads and to internal procedures that may not be well known to the public, according to Matthew Leish, a media law attorney at Miller Korzenik Sommers Rayman LLP.
It’s possible the FBI could assert that exemption to protect information about how they investigated a tip as well as the decision not to investigate one, Leish said, but “it’s surprising that they seem to have asserted the exemption as to the substance of the tips themselves.”
“If the exemption is being cited properly, that would mean the language was redacted because it reflected something about investigative techniques and procedures that they used to follow up on the tip,” he said. “But without knowing exactly what was redacted, we can’t tell if the exemption was properly cited or not.”
Same Tip, Different Redactions
There were some duplicate documents within the thousands of files provided by the FBI in response to a FOIA for Kavanaugh-related PAL tips. While all the files were redacted, they weren’t always redacted equally, illustrating how subjective such erasures can be. Here is how the same tip, sent through the FBI’s web portal, was redacted differently in two different files. Use the slider to compare.
Off the Rails
While Justice Kavanaugh has been seated on the high court for nearly four years now, questions about his past haven’t gone away. Senate Democrats have tried to learn more about the protocols that guided the supplemental investigation, and the degree to which the Trump administration controlled it.
In 2019, Whitehouse and Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, sent a letter to FBI Director Wray asking why credible witnesses weren’t interviewed, whether anyone at the bureau vetted or followed up on tips, and whether the Trump administration was involved in deciding what questions to ask witnesses.
Nearly two years later, Tyson, the FBI assistant director, replied, writing that the FBI was operating as an “investigative service provider” to the Office of White House Counsel when it requested a supplemental investigation into “limited inquiries.” She added that the FBI provided “all relevant tips” to the Office of White House Counsel.
This raised still more questions, which seven senators outlined in a subsequent letter. When was the PAL created? What policies guided how it was used? How was it staffed? What was considered a “relevant” tip worthy of sending to the White House? Were any tips investigated? Were any of the 10 witnesses interviewed for the supplemental investigation found through the PAL?
Whitehouse told Law360 that senators had a phone call with an FBI official assigned “the unhappy task of trying to answer these questions.” That person indicated “relevant tips” referred to any tip mentioning Kavanaugh, meaning the Office of White House Counsel received not just the credible tips, but all 4,500 of them.
“It was a pure sorting function,” the senator said of the FBI’s role.
He got clarity on a few more points last month, during a Judiciary Committee hearing where he asked Wray about whether tips were investigated by FBI agents.
Wray confirmed agents “did not further investigate” any Kavanaugh-related tips, and said the FBI took direction from the Trump administration about whom agents could interview.
That may be evidenced in the fact that the FBI flouted “Investigation 101” by not interviewing Kavanaugh or Ford, the two most obvious witnesses, Tabman said.
“I can’t believe it’s something the FBI did not think of,” he said. “It seems like they might have been prohibited from doing it.”
Tabman added that the limited scope of the investigation was also unusual. If there was credible evidence that Kavanaugh had perjured himself, that would have ordinarily been fair game.
“I couldn’t imagine being a part of an investigation where I’m uncovering information, and it’s of significant value, and I’m told to stop,” he said. “When an FBI agent gets information, they’re supposed to do their job and get more information. That’s what we do.”
Senate Republicans seem to consider the matter closed.
In November 2018, nearly two months after Kavanaugh was sworn in, the office of Sen. Chuck Grassley, D-Iowa, who at the time was the Judiciary Committee’s chair, issued a 414-page report saying committee investigators had interviewed more than 40 people and found “no evidence to substantiate any of the claims of sexual assault.” Grassley did not respond to comment requests.
But during an interview in August, Whitehouse remained concerned about the resources devoted to the FBI’s investigation and wondered if the bureau anticipated pressure from the administration to keep the investigation’s scope limited and supply it with scant resources.
“I think there would have been some unpleasant calls from the Trump White House over to the FBI if somebody [at the bureau] had announced they were detailing hundreds of agents to come and help sort through this stuff for a couple of days to make sure it all got done on time,” he said.
Many questions about the investigation remain unanswered. Whitehouse still hasn’t received documents outlining specific PAL procedures. It remains unclear whether the FBI was able to flag credible tips to see if the administration wanted them pursued. And the resources and staffers allocated to the investigation also remain a mystery.
“Your questions align with my questions,” Whitehouse told Law360 in August. “I don’t have answers that I can give you.”
At last month’s hearing, Wray committed to reply by early September to several letters Judiciary Committee members sent the FBI in recent months.
Whitehouse’s office confirmed that it had received a response from the FBI by mid-September, but said that “many questions remain.” The FBI’s reply has not yet been publicly released, and the FBI declined to provide a copy. The office of Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, indicated it did not have a copy of the letter. Other senate offices did not respond to Law360’s request for a copy of the letter by 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
Whitehouse plans to draft a report detailing the pitfalls of the Kavanaugh investigation, so the Senate can remedy problems with the process.
He hopes the bureau might compile better procedures for handling such investigations in the future and maintaining independence from the executive branch. If the FBI isn’t investigating credible tips, he said, then “something has gone off the rails.”
“As we continue to have this larger conversation about the legitimacy of this particular Supreme Court, knowing the facts of that political pressure becomes an important aspect of the analysis,” he said.
–Editing by Marygrace Anderson.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated Nathan Bergerbest’s title at Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s office. The error has been corrected.
@rjquillin this looks like proof that the system we have created to put guardrails on fraud is working (and has been working since he was previously charged). I’m not sure someone who lost served in Congress 42 years ago counts as an insider but perhaps that’s a debate
What am I missing? It doesn’t strike me as a reason to make registration less accessible, close balloting stations, or posit with no evidence that an election was stolen.
It doesn’t strike me as a reason to make registration less accessible, close balloting stations, or posit with no evidence that an election was stolen.
IMO there is never a reason to justify any of that. Voting should be easy, encouraged, and secure. (I’ve long been on record that I have no issue with voter ID requirements so long as the government makes it easy to get a valid ID.) Voting day should be a holiday and/or polling stations need to be regulated to have enough capacity to handle those assigned to it and/or mail-in voting needs to be more common. More participation means the will of the people is better reflected (modulo gerrymandering, which should be outlawed) and that should be the goal of a functioning democracy (or democratic republic for those who prefer that term for the USA).