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February 10, 2020

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I'm not sure who you're talking about here, McKinney, but you weren't acquainted with us, were you, when Marc Rich was pardoned? So you don't really know whether we were critical or not at the time. As to Democrats at the time, prominent Democrats criticized the pardon, including Jimmy Carter. Many of Clinton's prominent staff, including John Podesta, testified [yes, those were the days when staff would testify] in Congress in a manner critical of the pardon. The New York Times editorial board (often accused by Republicans of being biased towards Democrats) criticized it. So if you were deafened, it wasn't by silence

This seems pretty definitive to me (I wasn't with ObWi yet either, but I'm betting there was a lot of criticism here), and we have bobbyp and my personal experience too. So, McKinney, your equivalence doesn't hold up. Nobody claims things in Washington were perfect before, but Trump is sui generis and has trashed norms that nobody even thought to question in the past, they were so taken for granted.

"What good have the sanctions accomplished, sixty or so years on?"

Killed Fidel Castro. The exploding cigars must have been sent by USPS.

Let me answer a different way.

Cuba is big, about 800 miles east to west, roughly the distance from NYC to Chicago. We're not talking St. Bart's here. It's 40,000 square miles, 300 times the size of the US Virgin Islands, about as big as Ohio or Kentucky.

How much money do US tourists spend in the Caribbean islands? How big a chunk of that would Cuba draw away, and how much would that sum increase if Cuba were accessible? Remember, it has, besides beaches, interesting history, potentially lovely architecture, terrific music and performing arts.

I wouldn't want to own a hotel in the Caribbean if Cuba opened up to US tourists.

France, Germany and even the UK are not opening their borders to Mexican and Central American immigrants

France, Germany, and the UK all have quite significant immigrant populations. They're not from Mexico or Central America, granted.

This isn't a contest, and every country and context and history is different. Some things are better here than they are in other places, some things are better in other places then they are here.

There isn't, and doesn't have to be, a "number 1".

We should figure out what is going to work best, for us, and do that. What we do now, especially as regards health care but also as regards housing, transportation, and a number of other things, is not optimal.

We have better choices available to us.

If you think tu quoque is an effective and substantive rejoinder to taking objectively inconsistent views, have at it.

if you think tu quoque is an effective way out of dealing with taking responsibility for the fucked up situation your shitty party has brought us to, then you shouldn't be talking about politics in public.

I wouldn't want to own a hotel in the Caribbean if Cuba opened up to US tourists.

What other country has the intricate set of social relationships that can keep a 1953 Chevy on the street and in use for 60 years?

If you want to unleash this awesome power, end sanctions now.

A fair subset of DT's corruption is Clinton times X.

That is some fancy barbering, right there.

A long time ago, I had a conversation with a local conservative notable about the USA Patriot Act. She wanted to make sure I was not just some lefty yahoo, so to take my temperature she asked, "What do you think of Bill Clinton?"

I said, "Gifted politician, personally kind of a corrupt guy, which is a shame because a lot of what he could have done was wasted".

I passed her "not full of shit" test.

Neither of the Clintons are my favorite people. The Mark Rich pardon was arguably an abuse of office, however one that (a) was within the scope of presidential power and (b) happened on the way out the door, so not much opportunity to do anything about it.

And all of that said, Bill Clinton on his very worst day is an innocent schoolboy compared to what we have now.

"Subset" and the variable "X" are carrying one hell of a lot of water here.

Trump is a fucking crook. His dad was, his kids are, his associates are, he is. There is nothing whatsoever straight or whole in the man. As far as I can tell, he is incapable of acting other than from vanity, cupidity, and malice.

There a long conversations we can have, and have had, and probably still will have, about the Clintons. There are worthwhile points to make in criticism of them.

Trump is a different kettle of fish.

An upside to Trump is that he hasn't been a politician for decades. So he doesn't know where all the leavers are and how far they can be shifted.

What other country has the intricate set of social relationships that can keep a 1953 Chevy on the street and in use for 60 years?

If you want to unleash this awesome power, end sanctions now.

Actually, it is pretty amazing. Lots of the engines have been replaced, but not all. Some car owners will tell you, FWIW, that the engines have a million miles on them.

So he doesn't know where all the leavers are and how far they can be shifted.

I'd opine he is picking up on how those levers work pretty quickly, aided by a compliant Senate, and an increasingly compliant judiciary.

There are no upsides with Donny Trump. Not a f*cking one.

If we discarded the sanction policy, we could steal all of Cuba's doctors and totally devastate their healthcare system.

But when it comes to health care, we are institutionally opposed to free trade.

Biden's done.

Looked more like Bloomberg went downhill through the debate. Or, as one Post headline put it, Bloomberg's best moment was 5 minutes before the debate started.

Bloomberg should have been much better prepared on stop and frisk and #metoo. What, money doesn't buy debate prep? But I thought his attack on Sanders' economics was effective.

Warren was good attacking Bloomberg on #metoo. I was thinking to myself that her virtue signaling should have rang more hollow given her cultural appropriations but it came off well. IMHO, if she didn't come off as a scold it would play even better.

Currently about 2.8 million people of Turkish origin living permanently in Germany (only counting immigrants and those whose both parents are immigrants from Turkey, so including mixed origin would add quite a lot to that).
The vast majority came from the poorer parts of Turkey (Anatolia) as guest workers.
The majority of problems we have with them are the direct result of anti-integration policies by our conservative parties (the organized xenophoboia has shifted a bit towards other groups these days since even most nazis would sorely miss the Turkish greengrocers).
Our social safety net massively profits from them since they put much more into it than taking out and they keep the population from shrinking. We could not do without them (but we could very well do without meddling by the Turkish government which is also opposed to Turks integrating into German society too much).

WRS @ 10.22. Comparing Trump to Clinton on the corruption front (or any other front, with the possible exception of metoo) is completely absurd. Trump is sui generis in American presidential politics, an open sewer of corruption, vanity and malevolence who has exposed the current GOP for the hypocrites and frauds they are, and pretending otherwise is a fruitless effort to feel better (or less bad) about one's general political allegiances.

There are no upsides with Donny Trump

Sure there are.

Tax cuts.
Deregulation.
Judges.

Plus he makes liberals cry.

Also, as a conservative friend opined, "He's a businessman and he gets things done". No fancy-pants politician deal-making with him, he just fucking does shit and lets lesser folk clean up the mess.

If all of that sounds good to you, he's your man.

Among the things that Trump corrupts are his supporters.

Currently about 2.8 million people of Turkish origin living permanently in Germany

Germany also took in something like 600k Syrian refugees, if I'm not mistaken.

WRS, too.
One might add that Clinton did not set out to undermine the entire basis of US democracy.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/02/trump-regime/606682/
...Authoritarian nations come in many different stripes, but they all share a fundamental characteristic: The people who live in them are not allowed to freely choose their own leaders. This is why Republican Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, in his speech announcing his vote to convict on the first article of impeachment, said that “corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office that I can imagine.”

Democracies are sustained through the formal process by which power is contested and exchanged. Once that process is corrupted, you have merely the trappings of democracy within an authoritarian regime. Such governments may retain elections and courts and legislatures, but those institutions have no power to enforce the rule of law. America is not there yet—but the acquittal vote was a fateful step in that direction.

The process by which a democracy becomes an authoritarian regime is what social scientists call authoritarianization. The process does not need to be sudden and dramatic. Often, democratic mechanisms are eroded over a period of months or years, slowly degrading the ability of the public to choose its leaders or hold them to account.

Legislators in functioning democracies need not agree on substantive policy matters—they might fight over environmental safeguards, for example, or tax rates, or immigration, or health care. But no matter the party or ideology they support, they must hold sacred the right of the people to choose their own leaders. The entire Senate Republican Conference has only one legislator willing to act on that principle....

Germany also took in something like 600k Syrian refugees, if I'm not mistaken.

But with the intention to get rid of them at the first opportunity. While the country can easily shoulder the burden economically, the situation served as a catalyst for the rise of the AfD party which has the potential to become our equivalent of the French Front National or, worse, the Greek Golden Dawn. We can have some pride in being (possibly) the last European country to get such a party but now we have it and the RW outliers of our traditional conservative parties have begun to undermine the general consent that any collaboration with that movement is anathema (don't these people ever learn?).

I doubt that the Syrians will be allowed (or even wish) to become what the 'German Turks' have become, an essential part of modern Germany.

I didn’t watch ( my wife did- I watched a show in weasels up until the rabbit was killed, then a part of show on cats and part of Dr Strangelove and the Pink Panther) but I gather that Bernie called for partial worker control of big companies and Bloomberg called this communism. I have the impression Warren is for something like this as well. Not sure.

Part of the problem in America is how we conflate ideas to give ordinary people more rights in the giant corporations where they work with putting people in gulags or having them shot in Central Park. It makes it hard to have rational discussions.

There are no upsides with Donny Trump. Not a f*cking one.

he's continually exposing the GOP for the fraud it is. from the moral to the fiscal, from military to political, he's showing us all how phony they are. how craven. how callow. how corrupt. how shallow. he's showing us all how stupid they are.

each day brings another example.

each day i learn some new topic on which i can justifiably ignore the braying of "conservative" jackasses.

Got home early, around 4, switching randomly between CNN & MSNBC while doing other things. Nothing about issues - entirely about who should attack who, or back off, or whatever political triangulation. Not that I expected anything else. I shouldn't be as wrapped up in the horserace as I am, but I can't get away from it.

Bloomberg's brand is info and preparedness. That wasn't on display last night, and I'm kinda shocked by it. He very much looked like the guy who bought his way in. Warren was impressive, but I just don't see enough traction there. And I say that as someone who would happily pull the lever for her. Mayor Pete looked petulant and somewhat out of his depth. Biden and Klobuchar disappeared.

Sanders is going to be the nominee. He might be the second coming of McGovern, but he's going to be the guy. I think he might get >30% in NV and may very well come out on top in SC. From there, Super Tuesday will make him a virtual lock, if the polls are anywhere close to accurate.

---

My understanding is that the number of refugees taken by Germany was around the million mark. In a year. I've heard there's a lot of available space in Wyoming. Near Dick Cheney's place. Just sayin'.

This isn't a contest, and every country and context and history is different. Some things are better here than they are in other places, some things are better in other places then they are here.

There isn't, and doesn't have to be, a "number 1".

This. Thanks.

Tax cuts.
Deregulation.
Judges.

Plus he makes liberals cry.

Are you sure you haven't gotten the order reversed? OK, this may be the priority order for GOP donors. But for their base voters? The tax cuts don't give them anything. The judges may do something for them in the culture wars, but the real upside is straight "whatever they are for I'm against partisanship."

but the real upside is straight "whatever they are for I'm against partisanship."

yup

"The judges may do something for them in the culture wars"

From what I can see, the RWNJ contingent just luvvs bitching about 'black-robed activist judges', and will do so under the slightest pretext, even if said judges were appointed by GOPers.

Since this is at least nominally an open thread:

I watched David Baddiel's BBC documentary on holocaust denial last night. For US people who don't know of him, he is a very funny, rather clever comedian. It was excellent, I thought, and he confronted full-on the argument that talking about and to deniers just gives them oxygen. But the bit I wanted to highlight here, in my normal anti-religious way, was the joke he tells at the beginning, which goes something like this:

Sometime after the war, a holocaust survivor dies, and goes to heaven, and God says, "tell me a holocaust joke". So the survivor does so, but God says "that isn't funny!" to which the survivor replies "I guess you had to be there".

And Baddiel follows this up with the words, "And of course, he wasn't."

Nothing more to be said (at least on the subject of the supposed omnipresence of the deity) in my opinion.

I think it was in a novel by Iain M. Banks ("Dead Air"?) that had a scene were the protagonist had a live on-air TV debate with a holocaust denier. The protagonist waited until both were wired up with mics in their chairs, then used wire-cutters to cut himself loose, crossed the stage, and punched the holocaust denier HARD in the face....

...then denied that he did it, in spite of witness, tapes, etc. "No, never happened. It's all a lie, maybe mass delusion.".

Karmic justice.

@GFTNC

I continue to be amazed by those who proclaim that "The Lord was watching over us", ignoring completely the tragedy and destruction around them. The Lord truly has an intent gaze.

Also, I second the request regarding Russell's transition from fundamentalism to unitarian, should he choose to expound. And I completely understand and respect if he does not.

Snarki, thank you for that excellent reminder that the only Iain M Banks books I have read were the Culture series. I must read more, that is indeed a a characteristically witty example of karmic justice.

Snarki: "No, never happened. It's all a lie, maybe mass delusion."

Once upon a time, in Crete, an old-school Cretan patriarch was testifying in some trial over sheep-stealing or murder or elopement or something. The old man testified that the accused was the perpetrator because he heard him talking while committing the act. The judge ruled the old man's testimony inadmissible because hearing was not the same as seeing. Indignant, the old man let out a rip-roaring fart as he left the stand. When the judge accused him of contempt of court, the old man gave the obvious reply and left the court amid cheers from the spectators.

My 94-year-old uncle, a Cretan patriarch in his own way, swears it's a true story. I've seen him tell it.

--TP

I've seen him tell it.

A masterly sentence, Tony P. I think we can all imagine the scene! I must say, I like the sound of your uncle.

So glad you're around again, hope all's well with you and yours.

fundamentalism to unitarian

OK, FWIW...

Really, the short form is "I grew up". It's hard to hold on to a black and white view of the world much beyond your early to middle 20's. There's more to it, of course, but that's probably 90% of it.

For a while I felt like my fundamentalist days were kind of a loss, later in life I began to see that that kind of rigidity was helpful, or at least functional in a way, to me, at that time in my life.

Some young people join the military to inject a sense of structure into their lives, I became a fundamentalist.

It was all a long time ago. 40, 45 years? I was so much older than, I'm younger than that now.

I still have a lot of friends from those days. Almost all of them have moderated their early dogmatism. Many of them have forged really interesting paths through life and ended up in some interesting places. Most, but not all, of them still have a religious practice of some kind.

I'm a Unitarian now because my wife and I stumbled into a church we like that happens to be Unitarian. My wife was invited to sing in the choir, she liked the minister, I went along to see what it was all about, we been there 10 years now. God moves in mysterious ways.

The "no creed" part is fine with me because as far as I can tell creeds are just a way to try to put a mystery in a box. And then argue about whose box is better. UU's have their own ways of being bizarre and annoying, but on the whole it's mostly upside, so there I am.

It's not an uncommon story, in one form or other.

A brief follow-up:

If I have regrets about my time as one of the religious hard-core, it's to do with the harsh and judgemental way that I manifested and expressed myself during those years.

I was an angry royal pain in the ass, and caused a lot of pain to people close to me.

I'd give a lot to take all of that back.

I've seen him tell it.

If it's not true, it oughta be.

@russell

"Fundamentalist" threw me a bit, given your consistently sensible, matter-of-fact, and down-to-earth manner. Thank you for sharing this.

Our routes to and from religion can be fascinating. Growing up we were vaguely Lutheran. Mostly because (it was the 1950s after all) belonging to some church was the "done thing". And it was handy.

Then one day, on the way home from Sunday School, my mother asked what we had learned and one of my siblings said "I learned we are born evil." Mother snapped back "Well you weren't!" And that was the end of church attendance for our family.

Bravo for your mother, wj. Of all the pernicious religious teachings, that is one of the worst.

Was thinking about russell's post and this just kinda came out. It's way off-topic, but I have no place else to put it, and I feel like I need to put it somewhere. So ObWi-izens - you're stuck with it.


My parents were/are religious. Mom more so - Elder, member of Session, the whole nine yards in the Long Island suburban Presbyterian Church in which I was raised. Dad was Lutheran, like everyone else in the German enclave in Queens he grew up in. Neither wore it on their sleeve. This may sound flippant - or even cruel - but I credit them for instilling in me the wherewithal to leave religion behind.

I went to Sunday School every week and somewhat diligently adhered to what I was taught. I don't remember when, exactly, but it was fairly early in primary school... eight, perhaps? Things began to seep in despite my youthful distractions. Noah and his family were spared, but what about everything else that had drowned? People who weren't baptized went to Hell? For eternity? God asked Abraham to do what? And he was gonna do it???!

This stuff was really beginning to not comport with my nascent grasp of concepts like "merciful" and "good".

I spent no small amount of time being grounded for the impetuousness of youth, but I was pretty sure I wasn't evil. Or irreparably compromised by some audacious tart who dared to partake of the Tree of Knowledge. Mom was a teacher. Dad, an engineer. The "Tree of Knowledge" was there for the taking at every opportunity! Encouraged! I was as God made me. WTF?

So... I went through the motions all the way through 9th grade to my Confirmation. My first official act as a Member of the Church in Good Standing was to not go back. Or so I thought. Mom guilted me into singing in the choir for another year. This is particularly funny if you knew how poorly I sing (sang?).

Looking back, for an institution with such a long history, my church was almost secular. No fire and brimstone. Sunday School went by the numbers, but the sermons were almost always against judgment and about just being a decent human being. We sponsored Laotian refugees. I don't recall any exclusivity. At all. It was only when I got to college that I discovered what Presbyterian and Lutheran looked like in places like West Virginia and Wisconsin. I can't imagine being brought up in that.

Sometimes I think things are easier with religious guardrails. Stay inside the lines and you're good. Not so easy without them.

You can't get to Dad's house without driving by the church. It is still a historical fascination to me. I got a concussion falling off a ladder fixing the roof on the utility shed in the back. I babysat for the kids of the steeplejacks who repaired the bell tower. I worked as a sexton for a college summer. I was an honorary member of the family down the street because they needed one more person to light the Advent candles. I know every inch of it, down to the ratty "organ shoes" used by the Choral Director.

I've been back once since that sexton job.

Mom passed 10 years ago last week. Her birthday is Valentine's Day. Dad just told me that he has moved her ashes to the Memorial Garden that my friend and I built for the church as a summer project in High School.

I will be back to visit the garden next week.

Thank you for that, Pete. So far from being any kind of imposition, it was interesting, touching and actually beautiful in parts.

I'm also with you all the way in being unable to imagine russell being what anybody sane would call fundamentalist. But on the other hand, I can't disbelieve russell's story, because it is russell telling it, so it just goes to show how extreme a personal evolution can be.

Obviously, given my great Dylan fandom, I was also delighted by russell's quoting of a line I think of often:

Ah but I was so much older then,
I'm younger than that now.

I was pondering the other day how many phrases from songs I hear in my head as life flows past.

Some are the punch lines like the Dylan line or more recently,

Makin the best of a worst day kind of night

While others are buried in the heart of a song, not the punch line but a great line like

I don't care what you think you heard, we're still learning how to fly

For me, interesting enough to ponder, unforgettable in context.

Just an incredible body of good thoughts to support me. Made me feel blessed.

I loved the story Pete. I havent been in a church except for a wedding in 30 years, but I am still sustained by the fellowship of christian souls.

No point just felt like

https://youtu.be/WI7YCYR4EyM

https://youtu.be/EFrpzPR6TLY

Ya just gotta love stuff like this:
https://www.uscis.gov/policy-manual/volume-8-part-g-chapter-12

Briefly, when someone applies for a green card, the official is supposed to make a subjective assessment of whether he will make use of public benefits "at any time in the future." That's so subjective, that the Citizenship and Immigration Services published some additional guidance. One of the negative factors (indications that someone might one day use welfare services)? Applying for a green card.

You read that right. The act of applying for a green card may be grounds for denying you a green card. I suppose it depends on whether the officer likes your race and ethnic group. Although your religion might matter more to some. Blank check to discriminate there.

Catch-22.

...or the Groucho Marx club membership rule in reverse.

speaking of green cards...

my brother recently married a woman who was originally from Nigeria. they had a baby last year and took her to visit her grandparents in Nigeria last month.

but when they got to the airport, they discovered that the US won't let her come back, even though she has a green card, and is married to an American, and her daughter is American.

because: Nigeria.

lawyers have been summoned.

family values!

Jesus wept cleek, that's awful. When you say "when they got to the airport" do you mean they only discovered this on their way back? Or were they made aware of it on their way out, so were able to abort the trip and fight it in the US? Either way, it's a fucking travesty....

cleek, I'm so sorry this is happening to your family (or anyone's). Living in this fascist nightmare isn't just theoretical.

I hate them more every minute.

When you say "when they got to the airport" do you mean they only discovered this on their way back?

yep. she was prevented from boarding the plane back to the US.

Oh my god. I'm so sorry to hear this. And sapient's right, this feels particularly raw because you are, as one might say, someone "we" know. But of course this is happening to thousands of people we don't know. It's unspeakably horrible, and a horrific indictment of America in 2020. Do please let us know how it progresses, if you feel comfortable doing so.

I'm having trouble finding words to describe my feelings about cleek's sister-in-law's situation - her whole family's situation. Why? Why? Why?

looks like it's some paperwork thing. she's being told she was supposed to have a particular magic document (because Nigeria?) instead of the other magic document that she does have that's worked on all of the other border crossings they've done.

it's ridiculous.

it's ridiculous.

It's fuckery.

They don't want black and brown people, or people from "shit-hole countries", in the US.

I live in an area where there is no small number of illegal Irish immigrants. Irish people are not being prevented from boarding planes, to or from the US.

Why is that, you may ask?

The confusion about what magic document is needed is a feature, not a bug.

I got an email from my son's high school about his senior trip to Disney next year. He'll have turned 18 by then, and will have to have a Real ID (or an unexpired passport or one of a number of federal IDs that no high school kid has) to board a plane, even for domestic travel.

He just got his "basic" driver's license on Wednesday, which is not a Real ID. The good news is that it's only good for a year, after which he gets a regular license, with the option to have it produced as a Real ID.

I'm not sure what problem is being solved.

Here's an op-ed from 2018 on Real ID.

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-ulin-real-id-20180730-story.html

California, along with many other states, still offers licenses that are “non-compliant,” although after October 2020, they won’t be accepted at airports or get you into many federal buildings — courthouses, for example.

I guess if you're subpoenaed you can get into the courthouse without one?

Without Real ID, the U.S. has not experienced another 9/11-scale attack, and terrorism remains (thankfully, fortunately) an abstraction to most of us. If another strike is brewing, IDs will not protect us. The 9/11 hijackers, remember, had passports, and all but one had legal visas that would have allowed them to travel freely in the United States even under Real ID rules.

Again, I'm not sure what problem is being solved.

The confusion about what magic document is needed is a feature, not a bug.

oh, no doubt.

and they say shit like this:

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told a crowd at a private gathering in England on Wednesday night that the Trump administration “needs more immigrants” for the U.S. economy to continue growing, according to an audio recording of his remarks obtained by The Washington Post.

“We are desperate — desperate — for more people,” Mulvaney said. “We are running out of people to fuel the economic growth that we’ve had in our nation over the last four years. We need more immigrants.”

GOP: Make America Cruel And Incompetent

I still don't really get the notion that economic growth, even when dependent on a growing population, is something to strive for. Who's better off if your economy grows by 5% only because your population grew by 5%? Maybe it's more for the oligarchs and plutocrats to skim from.

He probably means indentured not immigrant workers but believes that the former means 'dental care included' which of course would be communism.

Cleek:

Nigeria was just added to the travel ban 1/31. It was over non-sharing of security info and they expect it to be lifted soon, as Nigeria had a few more things to fix to allow full sharing of info (e.g. criminal convictions). It wasn't supposed to go into effect until today or tomorrow,though. It shouldn't affected her, but she may have simply been caught up in implementation errors.

I guess the "no brown people" theory will be tested by whether the ban is lifted soon. If it is just a security issue, it should be as Nigeria is committed to fixing the issues.

FWIW, Nigeria rates 3rd on the list of visa overstays. That shouldn't affect a permanent resident, but in my past experience (way back, like 20 years ago when I practiced some immigration law and it was just the INS) it did. Almost anything did and it was somewhat random.

Again, I'm not sure what problem is being solved.

As with most of the TSA's security check-in requirements (the ones no other country has found necessary), this has one overriding purpose: to give politicians something, something sufficiently obnoxious to be memorable, to point to and say "steps have been taken." Of all the stuff implemented since 9/11, only 3 items have actually made a useful difference:

  1. Reinforced cockpit doors.
  2. Increased passenger willingness to attack a would-be hijacker.
  3. The presence of armed air marshals on more flights.
Everything else is just posturing. (As in, tests show that around 90% of attempts to get weapons, etc. thru airport security succeed.)

Zing!
https://mobile.twitter.com/neonrated/status/1230660039028789248?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Poor choice of targets, Mr President.

[and... crisis over. they made it back.]

crisis over. they made it back.

And there was much rejoicing....

Yes, RealID is a stupid thing.

If it's something needed for flying, etc., just get a passport. The passport is good for longer, a kid of 16 can get a "10 year" adult passport. (A younger kid can only get a "5 year" passport, but doesn't have the option of a driver's license either).

But the main thing? A passport is the ultimate "Want my ID? Is THIS good enough, fuckyouverymuch?"

cleek: hallelujah!

Great news! (Not fake news...)

Yay, cleek!

I'm glad to hear that, cleek!

wj, there are also algorithms that prevent people from entering the US and even harass US citizens at the border - this is all very concerning

https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2020/february/the-algorithm-is-watching-you

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/19/arts/design/forensic-architecture-founder-says-us-denied-him-visa.html


there are also algorithms that prevent people from entering the US and even harass US citizens at the border

And the more you know about algorithms, and about the code which is supposed to implement them, the more concerning it is.

On the cleek sis-in-law situation, if this was a pure administrative mistake on their part (while admittedly being about to implement a horrible policy) as bc seems to suggest, in that they penalised her before the date when they were entitled to, is there any way cleek's bro and sis-in-law can sue for either the additional costs they incurred, or emotional distress etc? I assume not, and that the USG always indemnifies itself for any such errors, but I'd be interested to hear from any lawyers around.

Undermine and disrupt. Wash, rinse, repeat.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/22/politics/grenell-impact-diplomatic-community/index.html

Thank you for the kind words, Marty & GFTNC.

Glad to hear things worked out with cleek's family, although it does little to diminish the anger that it happened.

Just saw on the Twitter that Biden is strolling around a caucus site. For a guy who's had some issues with boundaries... he's still got some issues with boundaries.

On the subject of unfair tests...
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/02/sotomayor-trump-wealth-test-bias-dissent.html

Who's better off if your economy grows by 5% only because your population grew by 5%?

people whose job it is to brag about GDP growth numbers.

"Who's better off if your economy grows by 5% only because your population grew by 5%?"

The guys who take a half of a percent off the top.

So who are "the guys who take a half of a percent off the top", Marty?

--TP

Who's better off if your economy grows by 5% only because your population grew by 5%? Maybe it's more for the oligarchs and plutocrats to skim from.

Maybe the immigrants who make up the incremental 5% of the population?

So who are "the guys who take a half of a percent off the top", Marty?

wok college students, their radical professors, reporters, and hollywood actors. Sometimes the poors get into the act...you know, living high off SSI and food stamps.

my bookie gets 10%. The real oppressor.

It looks as though you’ll get to test the proposition that a socialist cannot win in the US.

It looks as though you’ll get to test the proposition that a socialist cannot win in the US.

Granted, but Bernie is more like Henry A. Wallace than Gene Debs.

"Look honey, these Anthrax Crisps got barely any anthrax in them!"

my bookie gets 10%. The real oppressor.

It's only 5%, isn't it? Oppressive nonetheless.

If we didn't have all these job-killing regulations on sports gambling it would be cheaper.

Maybe the immigrants who make up the incremental 5% of the population?

Most likely. But I somehow doubt that people who are pushing for economic growth as a good unto itself give a sh*t about the welfare of those hypothetical immigrants.

So I agree with you and cleek.

people whose job it is to brag about GDP growth numbers.

It's only 5%, isn't it? Oppressive nonetheless.

Not as oppressive as state lotteries that take over 50%.

If only some other people's denial of reality could have equally focused results.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2020/02/23/mad-mike-hughes-dead/

Not as oppressive as state lotteries that take over 50%.

State lotteries: a tax on ignorance of statistics.
But hey, at least it's a totally voluntary tax.

If only some other people's denial of reality could have equally focused results.

He proved the Earth was flat enough where it mattered.

Ok, that was horrible. I don't know what to do with a story like that but shake my head.

So, here's one that's a lot happier.

So much wasted talent (in pursuit of an illusion).

Not as oppressive as state lotteries that take over 50%.

I'm actually opposed to state lotteries, fat lot of good that does.

IMO a state government has an obligation not to take advantage of its residents, and lotteries do just that, especially of those in the lower economic classes.

Bookmakers can do what they like. Government ought to operate at a higher level.

IMO a state government has an obligation not to take advantage of its residents, and lotteries do just that, especially of those in the lower economic classes.

The thing is, states have a very limited ability to save people from themselves. (See Prohibition)

People will gamble -- including the poor gambling money that they cannot afford to lose. All a state lottery does is redirect some of the profits from that gambling into the state treasury, rather than into the pockets of bookmakers. Oh yes, and provide some level of honesty, should a long shot come in.

byomtov, Something we agree on.

That makes 3 of us. Buying lotto tickets should be means tested...only people with high incomes can play. And they would have to pee in a cup.

All a state lottery does is redirect some of the profits from that gambling into the state treasury, rather than into the pockets of bookmakers.

It is just a very regressive tax. I hear they tax bookmakers in Nevada. True story!

For those of you who are predisposed to see a Sanders' candidacy as akin to the McGovern shellacking....I'd say you are waging the last war, not this war. My analogy would be to point out that kind of thinking is the same kind of thinking that gave France the Maginot Line.

Naturally, opinions may vary, but it would be useful to actually read up on what actually took place in 1972, which, by the way was nearly 50 years ago.

What we are up against.

It is just a very regressive tax.

I thought the distinguishing characteristic of a tax is that it's involuntary. At least, that's part of the complaint of those who hate taxes on principle. To my knowledge, nobody is forced to buy a lottery ticket. And they're free to choose a different gambling game if they wish.

No argument that lottery tickets are a bad buy, especially for the poor. But a regressive tax it ain't.

bobbyp: What we are up against.

Unlike Nixon, Trump doesn't have an Enemies List. Probably because it would involve too much reading and writing. Unfortunately, he seems to be managing without one.

Unlike Nixon, Trump doesn't have an Enemies List.

He does; it’s just a very short one.

Anyone who does not pledge absolute fealty.

OK, I get that 'centrists' are a bit freaked out by a Sanders candidacy, don't like him, whatever - but come one seriously, what on earth?

Jewish Group Demands MSNBC's Chris Matthews Apologize for Comparing Bernie Sanders' Victory to Nazi Invasion

https://www.newsweek.com/jewish-group-demands-msnbcs-chris-matthews-apologize-comparing-bernie-sanders-victory-nazi-1488655

Washington Post: "How Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders Both Reject the Reality of Climate Change"

https://twitter.com/jayrosen_nyu/status/1231801587976331264

Unlike Nixon, Trump doesn't have an Enemies List.


of course he does.


https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/his-trial-winds-down-trump-s-enemies-list-takes-shape-n1130376

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