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David Libra

Speak about destruction


Joined: 27 Jul 2003
Location: in a time zone

PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:13 pm
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pietillidie wrote:
Just for the record: there was unambiguous and substantial interference in the 2016 election from the Russian influence machine; Assange did indeed conspire to interfere in that election; Trump did indeed welcome interference from both Russia and Assange.


Apologies if people are getting tired of this discussion, but can I ask why you think releasing the Podesta emails constituted election interference and not, say, the publication of the Access Hollywood tape (i.e. previously unaired footage that was leaked to Democratic Party operatives and then subsequently sat upon until an opportune moment in the campaign)? Exclusively describing only the first as "interference" seems a bit selective and designed to imply that one form of information – i.e. the one that hurt the bad candidate – was more legitimate than the other, even though both were factual and in the public interest.

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90 nice 



Joined: 24 Jul 2019


PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:34 pm
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I reckon he’ll become the mayor of nyc too there’s also the mayor of Miami up for grabs too I reckon don will take sometime off to re coup then get back into it like running for mayor roles creating his own political party even re entering the entrepreneurial industry and even running the United Nations
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pietillidie 



Joined: 07 Jan 2005


PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:37 pm
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David wrote:
pietillidie wrote:
Just for the record: there was unambiguous and substantial interference in the 2016 election from the Russian influence machine; Assange did indeed conspire to interfere in that election; Trump did indeed welcome interference from both Russia and Assange.


Apologies if people are getting tired of this discussion, but can I ask why you think releasing the Podesta emails constituted election interference and not, say, the publication of the Access Hollywood tape (i.e. previously unaired footage that was leaked to Democratic Party operatives and then subsequently sat upon until an opportune moment in the campaign)? Exclusively describing only the first as "interference" seems a bit selective and designed to imply that one form of information – i.e. the one that hurt the bad candidate – was more legitimate than the other, even though both were factual and in the public interest.

You're confusing your interests with mine. Here's what I said and why I think it's important:

pietillidie wrote:
Just for the record: there was unambiguous and substantial interference in the 2016 election from the Russian influence machine; Assange did indeed conspire to interfere in that election; Trump did indeed welcome interference from both Russia and Assange.

That would get an Australian or British PM removed from either office or consideration for office within 30 seconds of publication. 'Period', to use the Amercanism.

How much of an influence it had in the scheme of things is up for debate. Comey's timing was the central factor in enabling it to be weaponised at the critical moment, though.

I simply want this on record, because accepting this very simple fact, and applying consistent standards rather than normalising a clear and clearly corrupt nutcase, would've saved a heck of a lot of death and destruction. A Democrat would not have survived this; we saw what happened over the use of a private email server, for goodness' sake. You can't lead a country and encourage or at incredulous best knowingly tolerate electoral interference from a foreign power, let alone a hostile foreign power, or encourage your minions to soil their hands with this on your behalf, regardless of the history of Russian hysteria that the left has rightly documented yet here tripped over as if enacting an Abbott and Costello routine.

The failure to stay with the main story here and nip the reckless menace in the bud showed extraordinarily poor judgement from those distracted by the partisan noise, just as happened with Lexit.

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think positive Libra

Side By Side


Joined: 30 Jun 2005
Location: somewhere

PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:10 pm
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When we wake up, it will alllll be over! Cheers
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David Libra

Speak about destruction


Joined: 27 Jul 2003
Location: in a time zone

PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:28 pm
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pietillidie wrote:
You're confusing your interests with mine. Here's what I said and why I think it's important:

pietillidie wrote:
Just for the record: there was unambiguous and substantial interference in the 2016 election from the Russian influence machine; Assange did indeed conspire to interfere in that election; Trump did indeed welcome interference from both Russia and Assange.

That would get an Australian or British PM removed from either office or consideration for office within 30 seconds of publication. 'Period', to use the Amercanism.

How much of an influence it had in the scheme of things is up for debate. Comey's timing was the central factor in enabling it to be weaponised at the critical moment, though.

I simply want this on record, because accepting this very simple fact, and applying consistent standards rather than normalising a clear and clearly corrupt nutcase, would've saved a heck of a lot of death and destruction. A Democrat would not have survived this; we saw what happened over the use of a private email server, for goodness' sake. You can't lead a country and encourage or at incredulous best knowingly tolerate electoral interference from a foreign power, let alone a hostile foreign power, or encourage your minions to soil their hands with this on your behalf, regardless of the history of Russian hysteria that the left has rightly documented yet here tripped over as if enacting an Abbott and Costello routine.

The failure to stay with the main story here and nip the reckless menace in the bud showed extraordinarily poor judgement from those distracted by the partisan noise, just as happened with Lexit.


And yet for all the weeping and gnashing of teeth, nothing was done about him and nothing could have been done about him. Even the (first) impeachment ended up being a circus. All we got was a useless unbroken four-year tantrum from our side of politics, gallons of emotional energy poured down the drain.

We can all breathe a sigh of relief now that he’s gone, at least, but I would like to think some lessons can be learned – I’m just not sure that you and I quite have the same ones in mind. You write as if principles matter in this realm, or there is an objective umpire out there who will step in to make sure that gross indecencies won’t be permitted. But they don’t, there isn’t, and they were. Nothing could be less relevant to anything than comparing the unfairness of the handling of Clinton’s email servers vs Trump’s welcoming of Russian interference. This was never about "emails" or "Russia"; it was about what could be weaponised and what could be gotten away with.

"You can’t—" Yes you can. We know that because Trump did it. Someone else will do it next time. None of this gets changed unless the system gets overhauled.

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pietillidie 



Joined: 07 Jan 2005


PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 1:19 am
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David in Wonderland Wink wrote:
And yet for all the weeping and gnashing of teeth, nothing was done about him and nothing could have been done about him.

Huh? Nothing? Only if you have a time horizon of five minutes and a very eccentric value system. Trump lost control of the House in the mid-terms. He is one of the very few incumbents to not get a second term. He's leaving in complete disgrace, in repudiation of fasco-populism. A serious government is going to deal with a pandemic that has killed 400,000 people and collapsed the superpower economy one term earlier than usually scheduled. Bernie has been placed in a perfect position where he can really impact society rather than being powerless on the sidelines. People representing a broad spectrum of minorities are being granted serious, actual, proper positions of influence. Climate change is finally central to the agenda. The highly dangerous archaisms of the Executive have been exposed. And much more besides.

All that despite counterproductive leftist false equivalence and pet distractions. Imagine if they'd listened to you: malignant narcissist Trump gets another term to chase down Chairman Mao's death toll, but at least grandiose narcissist Assange is free Exclamation

The lesson is that while good judgement involves a mix of concerns, in an imperfect world it's always and ever about prioritising. Critically, in other-facing spheres that also means prioritising beyond one's own ideals and pet interests. If I imposed my unfiltered concerns on everyone else, they'd be overwhelmed with worry and destitute in about five minutes Laughing

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Pies4shaw Leo



Joined: 08 Oct 2007


PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 7:00 am
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Some private footage of the Official Donald Trump "Leaving the White House" function:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qy9_lfjQopU
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Tannin 

Can't remember


Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Location: Ballarat

PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 7:05 am
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Pies4shaw wrote:
The whole problem with much of the posting in the last few pages of this thread is that it proceeds on a misconception that just because Biden might have all sorts of shortcomings, Trump was not and is not lower than dirt, anti-democratic filth.

The two issues are not connected. We all know that the Democrats are mostly arseholes - they are, generally-speaking, a collection of centre-right big business supporters with little to offer the universe, save in the very limited, negative sense that at least they are not Republicans. That does not make Trump any more acceptable or diminish the appalling damage he has done to the US and to the world at large.


^ This.

Some people could lose both legs in a car accident and spend the whole ambulance journey moaning about the nick they got shaving.

There are some who think of themselves as the "modern left" and wear an inability to think clearly or keep a sense of proportion as if it was something to be proud of.

Trump was the worst disaster to strike the American Presidency in living memory.

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David Libra

Speak about destruction


Joined: 27 Jul 2003
Location: in a time zone

PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:05 am
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pietillidie wrote:
David in Wonderland Wink wrote:
And yet for all the weeping and gnashing of teeth, nothing was done about him and nothing could have been done about him.

Huh? Nothing? Only if you have a time horizon of five minutes and a very eccentric value system. Trump lost control of the House in the mid-terms. He is one of the very few incumbents to not get a second term. He's leaving in complete disgrace, in repudiation of fasco-populism. A serious government is going to deal with a pandemic that has killed 400,000 people and collapsed the superpower economy one term earlier than usually scheduled. Bernie has been placed in a perfect position where he can really impact society rather than being powerless on the sidelines. People representing a broad spectrum of minorities are being granted serious, actual, proper positions of influence. Climate change is finally central to the agenda. The highly dangerous archaisms of the Executive have been exposed. And much more besides.


All of that is true, but all of it had precious little to do with Russia, an issue that consistently ranked low as a priority for voters in polling despite the outsized focus that was devoted to it in the mainstream media for at least the first two years. Perhaps the wall-to-wall hysterical Trump coverage in general did aid voter turnout, proving the difference in keeping him to a single term in office and boosting the Democrats in the mid-terms (which have historically tended to be opposition landslides). But it nearly didn’t, did it? I’m not alone in observing that Trump looked very much on the path to victory twelve months ago, and that it was only the pandemic – and the opportunity it provided him to catastrophically bungle it – that did him in (in the end, by under 0.7% of the vote in the three swing states that proved the difference). If that hypothesis is correct, then the strategy (insofar as there actually was any strategy) could just as easily have failed – and that would have been no small achievement given Trump’s relatively small constituency and the plethora of weaknesses to seize upon.

My position, for what it’s worth, was never to sit back and hope Trump self-immolated. I was inspired by the mass protests against the immigration bans, thought much more should have been made of his disgraceful tax-cut agenda and always believed in an organised opposition – a "resistance", if you will – that would simultaneously acknowledge some of the valid disillusionments that had gotten him elected, expose him as the phoney con man he was and, most importantly, provide a strong alternative vision for how the country could be. I always backed a fierce opposition to Trump’s policies.

We can debate this until the end of the world, but I was convinced then and I’m convinced now that much of the stuff that the US media and the Democrats chose to focus on in the last four years – the stuff you want us to focus on even now – only ever gave Trump a free kick. Every minute spent talking about the Russia beat-up was a minute not devoted to Trump’s rudderless healthcare agenda, his lack of action on climate change, the victims of his migration policies, Americans’ declining standard of living, the decimation of workers’ rights or, really, any coherent impression of what the other side was offering. Faced with the Trump administration’s spectacular incompetence, endless leaks and infighting and widespread unpopularity, a functional opposition should have won the presidential election in a landslide. Instead they squeaked home. This was a lot more like Steven Bradbury getting a gold medal than a strategy that should serve as any kind of blueprint for future political campaigns.

pietillidie wrote:
All that despite counterproductive leftist false equivalence and pet distractions. Imagine if they'd listened to you: malignant narcissist Trump gets another term to chase down Chairman Mao's death toll, but at least grandiose narcissist Assange is free Exclamation


Honestly, PTID – you say I’m in Wonderland and then come out with nonsense like this? Laughing You’re delusional if you think that the Glenn Greenwalds of the world – with their "pet distractions" like healthcare and non-violent foreign policy – were ever more than a flea on the backs of CNN, MSNBC and The New York Times in terms of sway on popular sentiment. But oh yes, it was the US Lexiteers Trump was counting on for his success. Imagine what damage they could have wrought if left to their own devices. Laughing Laughing Laughing Thank god Rachel Maddow was around to focus people’s minds on the really important stuff: Russian Facebook ads!

pietillidie wrote:
The lesson is that while good judgement involves a mix of concerns, in an imperfect world it's always and ever about prioritising. Critically, in other-facing spheres that also means prioritising beyond one's own ideals and pet interests. If I imposed my unfiltered concerns on everyone else, they'd be overwhelmed with worry and destitute in about five minutes Laughing


That’s pretty ironic given what I actually believe in and the actual things I argued for incessantly here and anywhere else I got the chance (as opposed to whatever straw version of me you’ve put up today, willing to throw the world on the bonfire so long as Assange gets to go free Rolling Eyes) compared with all the nonsense that actually got prioritised (see above). It’s not merely a mix of concerns that was needed, but more like a coherent political agenda: get out and talk to people; focus on their material needs; organise against injustice and oppression; acknowledge society’s weak spots and left-behind areas and offer an agenda for rectifying them; have a vision for a better future and an ability to explain how you will achieve it.

Just talking incessantly about the boogieman on the other side may have some use and, as I said above, may have even helped this time around. But it’s an inherently limited politics and one that will ultimately be doomed by its own lack of scope. Unfortunately, for various reasons, it seems to have become the first resort of liberal / centre-left politics in much of the West, and has generally proven useless, giving us a parade of tepid "at least we’re not the other guys" oppositions and increasingly grotesque governments, occasional moments of respite like the Biden win notwithstanding. Maybe it’s time for a different paradigm.

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pietillidie 



Joined: 07 Jan 2005


PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:29 am
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^As if on cue, here's Bernie Sanders 'doomed by a lack of scope' with the most expansive, influential and powerful political platform he's ever had:

Bernie Sanders wrote:
The worst pandemic in 100 years, more than 90 million Americans are uninsured or underinsured and can’t afford to go to a doctor when they get sick. The isolation and anxiety caused by the pandemic has resulted in a huge increase in mental illness.

Over half of American workers are living paycheck to paycheck, including millions of essential workers who put their lives on the line every day. More than 24 million Americans are unemployed, underemployed or have given up looking for work, while hunger in this country is at the highest level in decades.

Because of lack of income, up to 40 million Americans face the threat of eviction, and many owe thousands in back rent. This is on top of the 500,000 who are already homeless.

Meanwhile, the wealthiest people in this country are becoming much richer, and income and wealth inequality are soaring. Incredibly, during the pandemic, 650 billionaires in America have increased their wealth by more than $1tn.

As a result of the pandemic education in this country, from childcare to graduate school, is in chaos. The majority of young people in this country have seen their education disrupted and it is likely that hundreds of colleges will soon cease to exist.

Climate change is ravaging the planet with an unprecedented number of forest fires and extreme weather disturbances. Scientists tell us that we have only a very few years before irreparable damage takes place to our country and the world.

And, in the midst of all this, the foundations of American democracy are under an unprecedented attack. We have a president who is working feverishly to undermine American democracy and incite violence against the very government and constitution he swore to defend. Against all of the evidence, tens of millions of Americans actually believe Trump’s Big Lie that he won this election by a landslide and that victory was stolen from him and his supporters. Armed rightwing militias in support of Trump are being mobilized throughout the country.

In this moment of unprecedented crises, Congress and the Biden administration must respond through unprecedented action. No more business as usual. No more same old, same old.

Democrats, who will now control the White House, the Senate and the House, must summon the courage to demonstrate to the American people that government can effectively and rapidly respond to their pain and anxiety. As the incoming chairman of the Senate budget committee that is exactly what I intend to do.

What does all of this mean for the average American?

It means that we aggressively crush the pandemic and enable the American people to return to their jobs and schools. This will require a federally led emergency program to produce the quantity of vaccines that we need and get them into people’s arms as quickly as possible.

It means that during the severe economic downturn we’re experiencing, we must make sure that all Americans have the financial resources they need to live with dignity. We must increase the $600 in direct payments for every working-class adult and child that was recently passed to $2,000, raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, expand unemployment benefits and prevent eviction, homelessness and hunger.

It means that, during this raging pandemic, we must guarantee healthcare to all. We must also end the international embarrassment of the United States being the only major country on Earth not to provide paid family and medical leave to workers.

It means making pre-kindergarten and childcare universal and available to every family in America.

Despite what you may have heard, there is no reason why we cannot do all of these things. Through budget reconciliation, a process that only requires a majority vote in the Senate, we can act quickly and pass this emergency legislation.

But that is not enough. This year we must also pass a second reconciliation bill that deals with the major structural changes that our country desperately needs. Ultimately, we must confront the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality and create a country that works for all and not just the few. Americans should no longer be denied basic economic rights that are guaranteed to people in virtually every other major country.

This means using a second reconciliation bill to create millions of good-paying jobs rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and constructing affordable housing, modernizing our schools, combatting climate change and making massive investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy.

It means making public colleges, universities, trade schools and Historically Black Colleges and Universities tuition-free and forcefully addressing the outrageous level of student debt for working families.

And it means making the wealthiest Americans and most profitable corporations pay their fair share of taxes. We cannot continue to allow profitable corporations like Amazon to make billions of dollars in taxes and pay nothing in net federal income taxes. And billionaires cannot be allowed to pay a lower tax rate than working-class Americans. We need real tax reform.

There is no reason Joe Biden could not sign into law two major bills that will accomplish most of the goals I listed above within the first 100 days of the new Congress. We cannot allow Mitch McConnell and the Republican leadership to sabotage legislation that would improve the lives of millions of working Americans and is wildly popular.

Let us never forget. When Republicans controlled the Senate, they used the reconciliation process to pass trillions of dollars in tax breaks primarily to the top 1% and multinational corporations. Further, they were able to confirm three rightwing US supreme court judges over a very short period of time by a simple majority vote.

If the Republicans could use the reconciliation process to protect the wealthy and the powerful, we can use it to protect working families, the sick, the elderly, the disabled and the poor.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jan/20/joe-biden-action-bernie-sanders

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David Libra

Speak about destruction


Joined: 27 Jul 2003
Location: in a time zone

PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:34 am
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I 100% support him in continuing to fight the good fight – and hope he can somehow be a thorn in the side of the new administration from his position on the Senate budget committee – but he and those who share his priorities are not the ones in charge of the agenda (and let us not forget, as Biden surely hasn't, that it was his agenda that was explicitly repudiated in the primaries).

Time will tell whether he is able to achieve more than a fraction of what he says he can in the opinion piece, but I obviously hope that he can. I'd be particularly interested to read more about what can be achieved through reconciliation bills, but from my cursory reading it seems that there are some substantial limitations around expenditure vs revenue – meaning, basically, that for every dollar that goes out, another has to come in. That's quite manageable if significant defence spending cuts and tax raises are proposed, but the big question is whether the Biden administration will have the appetite for either.

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Tannin 

Can't remember


Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Location: Ballarat

PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:30 pm
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They can't cut defence spending. Two reasons:

(1) It would be a political suicide note.

(2) China would go ballistic.

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David Libra

Speak about destruction


Joined: 27 Jul 2003
Location: in a time zone

PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 1:39 pm
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https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/its-time-to-rein-in-inflated-military-budgets/

Quote:
No other country’s military outlays come close. In FY 2019, the Pentagon’s budget was nearly three times bigger than China’s defense spending and more than 10 times larger than Russia’s. All told, the U.S. military budget in 2019 exceeded the next 10 countries’ defense budgets combined and singlehandedly accounted for a hefty 38 percent of military spending worldwide.


I think they can afford to cut it a little.

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Pies4shaw Leo



Joined: 08 Oct 2007


PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 1:45 pm
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Tannin wrote:
They can't cut defence spending. Two reasons:

(1) It would be a political suicide note.

(2) China would go ballistic.

Just ballistic - or “intercontinental ballistic missile” ballistic?
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stui magpie Gemini

Oh, the Premiership's a cakewalk


Joined: 03 May 2005
Location: Escaping Danistan

PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 1:52 pm
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The spend a lot more on health and social security and neither of those systems work.

Article from 2015 about the myth of defence spending.

https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2015/aug/17/facebook-posts/pie-chart-federal-spending-circulating-internet-mi/

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