September 2021 U.S. Government and Politics megathread
By - AutoModerator
What would happen if Donald Trump was Obama?
Have there been any past cases like the Rittenhouse one?
I'm sure most are aware of the Kenosha incident involving Rittenhouse. I'm curious if there have been similar past cases that might point at how the court tends to rule on an incident like this. Basically, a minor has an illegal gun and shoots people in self defense.
In terms of US History, when did the war on terror end? or is considered to have ended...if at all?
Off the top of my head, I can think of two answers. Either in 2013/14 when Obama declared the war on terror was over and that the combat role of the US was coming to an end, or this year when Biden recently pulled the last of our troops from Afghanistan. But I'm not sure which of these is more correct
It was an inchoate concept, not a real war against a defined enemy. It defined a certain way of approaching the world rather than a particular military conflict. So I guess I’d say it’s whenever Obama announced it to be over.
What's the point of secret service code names for the president and their family if the names are all public?
Pretty much tradition at this point. And to ensure all communications are clear. Biden could mean anyone in the Biden family, obviously Joe is too vague, POTUS and President are awkward, but Celtic and Pioneer are clear and not confusing over a radio or phone.
wtf is mitch's problem? when does self preservation get through that mans narsissm and socio-pathology to need to personally live to the next morning? he wants to have a tantrum about everything? where do I go to submit a he be impeached for grossly overstepping the spirit of his authority. Untill such time the earth stops rotating. He's not the POTUS.
He's a Senator - and in some cases, that means he has more power than the President.
You could ask the people that voted him in - the people of ~~Alabama~~ Kentucky - to get rid of him. They've voted him in 7 consecutive times in 40 years, so you may have a hard time convincing them.
He's the Senate Minority leader. You could ask the Republican Party to elect someone new. But, there are some that are far more conservative.
As a member of the Senate, only his fellow Congress people can impeach him. See if your elected representatives think that will work. They probably won't attack someone like McConnell- he hasn't raped any children on the floor of the Senate yet.
It’s generally accepted that senators and congressmen can’t be impeached
Well, only in that there is a separate process called expulsion.
>You could ask the people that voted him in - the people of Alabama
In the US, when the Senate “sends a bill to the House”, how exactly do they do that? Do they walk it over? Is there an email address like [email protected]?
That's a good question. For historic, tradition (and practicality), physical coppies are left on peoples desk. I think they have an email tree for the minitia. Otherwise it's a a figure of speach to meen the idea, and legalities of it are submitted to all the members of the senate to get a TLDR, BLUF, Exectives summery to read. Staffers will read the full thing. Or at least try to. Lawyers, and law libraries review the mechanics. for financing, possible legal issues, etc. and advise the senators in someway
Assuming Puerto Rico becomes a state.....
I know it adds 2 Senators, but how many representatives and electoral votes?
I agree with the other posters, but nite that the size of the House is fixed only by statute. Congress could expand it as part of the admitting legislation, or by separate bill.
It would add 2 Senators, but it would not expand the House of Representatives. It would simply take 5 house seats from the 5 most overrepresented states in the country. Yes, 5, I checked. It would also expand the electoral college from 538 to 540 since the electoral college votes is just equal to the number of Senators + number of Representatives + 3.
Per precedent the last time this happened with Alaska and Hawaii, PR would be given the number of House seats a current comparable sized state does (so, probably five) and the size of the house is temporarily increased to support it. No states lose representatives yet.
After the next Census, the House is reapportioned with 435 seats. This is where some states (well, likely five states) lose seats.
And yes, this means the electoral college increases by seven, then decreases by five.
PR is closer in population to Utah (the largest 4-seat state) than it is to Connecticut (the smallest 5-seat state).
Ah yes. I was basing the numbers on the 2010 census.
Did you calculate that based on the 2020 census or the 2010 census?
Aw shit it was the 2010 census. With 2020 data, they would have 4 representatives.
Side note: Would polling aggregator FiveThirtyEight change their name if the electoral college count changed, too?
Considering the amount of electoral votes has not changed in 60 years, we have no precedent. You could argue they would change because FiveForty would be more accurate, but you could also argue they wouldn't change since they have brand recognition as FiveThirtyEight.
The number of representatives is fixed at 435. Puerto Rico would probably get 4 or 5 representatives, giving it a total of 6 or 7 electoral votes (4-5 reps + 2 senators) but the representatives would have to be allocated by taking districts away from other states. If I'm reading the tables for the 2020 census right, New Jersey, Michigan, Idaho, Virginia, and maybe California would lose a seat to give to Puerto Rico but the formula's kind of complicated.
Non-American here but genuinely curious: How are just 2 democrats (Manchin and Sinema) holding up Biden’s infrastructure plan? Shouldn’t it simply be the majority vote that counts? If 100% agreement is required then how does anything get done? Thanks in advance.
Just a gloss on previous answers to make things clear: “Just two Democrats” aren’t holding up the infrastructure plan. 50 Republicans and two Democrats are doing so.
Yep, I got that but thanks. No surprise and saddening that Republicans don’t want to improve the lives of ordinary Americans.
There are 50 members of the Republican Party and 50 members of the Democratic Party in the Senate right now. Since Kamala Harris, Biden's Vice President, will serve as the tiebreaker vote, he needs at least 50 votes plus her to get a majority. Since no Republicans are willing to approve anything he proposes as a matter of principle, losing support from Manchin and Sinema means he only has 48/100 votes.
>Since no Republicans are willing to approve anything he proposes as a matter of principle...
I will just caution that this statement isn't true. There's currently a $1 trillion plan that Biden has pushed with bipartisan support that currently the Democrats are threatening to vote against.
I would add some additional context.
If something is going to pass regardless (and Manchin/Sinema made clear there was), there's incentive for them to make it look bipartisan and hope to get concessions. There's also chance to shrink/kill the reconciliation bill by supporting a smaller bill.
It's still bipartisan, so some credit is due, but it should come with a healthy skepticism as well. If they had an actual way to block the bipartisan bill, it's quite likely DOA. They're operating under constraints here.
Perfect, thank you for the explanation.
What u/blahblahblah said isn't accurate.
Some Republicans agreed to a smaller plan but Democrats said they would vote against it.
Democrats are pulling the zero compromise, all or nothing approach.
> Democrats are pulling the zero compromise, all or nothing approach.
This isn't quite correct, either. The goal is to pass both the compromise bill, *and* their own bill. Doing both bills is itself the compromise.
If it was zero compromise they'd just torpedo the BIF.
The Army National Guard’s vaccine mandate is in June of 2022, yet, they were called into NY to replace non-vaccinated healthcare workers this week. How does this make any sense?
It puts more pressure on the holdouts to get vaccinated, because they lose leverage if they can be replaced.
But if you are replacing them with unvaccinated National Guard, you are still having unvaccinated people treating patients…..
Yes. There isn't really a current viable option to have fully vaccinated replacements.
Between "unvaccinated nurses refusing" vs "some amount of unvaccinated NG, putting pressure on nurses to get vaccinated and get back to work", the latter is the best of available options. Especially since the threat itself will possibly lead to some uptake. Even if all the NG aren't vaccinated (unlikely), that pressure is better than nothing. And realistically something like 50% or so will be vaccinated, replacing a 100% unvaxxed population of nurses.
If they had a reserve of vaccinated nurses to call on, that would be preferable, but that is likely not possible. They have to pick from the available options they have.
That makes sense when trying to reduce unvaccinated individuals treating patients.
I suppose I just do not understand why these mandates are happening considering that healthcare professionals still have to wear PPE that reduces transmission + most patients will be vaccinated anyways. Also consider that many healthcare providers have already had COVID and have some form of natural immunity… I acknowledge that this statement deviates from my original question, but you make a good point!
I would imagine they would call up the National Guard members and only use those who are fully vaccinated to work in the hospitals. Otherwise you are right, it would be a useless idea.
I have a medic friend in the NY National Guard that is most likely being called up. They are using any and all medically trained guardsman. Regardless of vaccination status.
>I have a medic friend in the NY National Guard that is most likely being called up. They are using any and all medically trained guardsman. Regardless of vaccination status.
Is he vaccinated? Have they actually called any yet? How do you know they won't respond, and the first questions is "Are you vaccinated?" Yes, you get used, No, you get sent home.
In the Guard you know where you are being sent and what is going to happen to you, often weeks before it happens. They just have to wait for official orders.
I don't know if my friend is vaccinated, that's a weird question to ask someone. I just asked him if they were checking vaccine status before this deployment. He said no.
How did Clinton run a surplus?
There were two main factors that led to the budget surplus. The first is Clinton and the Democrats pass tax increases early in his Administration. This helped bring in additional revenue throughout the Clinton Administration. The second was the economy was doing VERY well in the 1990's. Unemployment was down to <4% by 2000, and GDP growth was ~4% annually throughout the Clinton Administration. These factors meant more jobs, higher-paying jobs, and more tax revenue. These two factors combined alongside some cuts in spending resulted in a budget surplus towards the end of Clinton's Administration.
I've never seen any evidence that Democrats tax increase helped the federal budget. As with most tax increases, nobody ends up paying the highest rates.
The internet boom was the driver of the economy and tax dollars brought in.
From the Congressional Budget Office, September 1997:
>Over the past four years, growth in revenues has consistently outpaced that of gross domestic product (GDP) by
2 to 3 percentage points. Several factors have contributed to that outcome. The tax increases enacted in the
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 were the
main causes in 1994 and 1995. Also, the personal and
corporate income tax bases grew faster than GDP over
the period, especially in 1996 and 1997. Higher income taxpayers experienced above-average income
growth, which boosted revenues because their income is
taxed at higher marginal rates. Revenues in 1997 were
also augmented by changes in the timing of personal
income tax payments and, probably, by strong growth in
capital gains, spurred by the booming stock market.
So like I (and you said), the economic boom of the 1990's aided increased tax revenues.
Obviously the booming economy is the number one cause (because with a faltering economy, there's basically no way you're pulling a budget surplus), but the additional corporate and personal income tax did increase revenues during the economic boom.
I don't see any evidence of your claim that tax increases played a role in the budget surplus. Or that people were even paying that new higher rate. It's just making a claim without any evidence.
Did you not read the excerpt that increased wages and corporate income coupled with increased tax brackets increased tax revenues?
Obviously raising taxes will increase tax revenue. Same way that Trump cutting taxes decreased tax revenue.
I read that claim but there is no evidence supporting it.
If you think increasing taxes obviously increases tax revenue, than you don't understand the basics of tax revenue.
Taxes are a balancing act, there is no correct tax rate to maintain every year for the governments purpose of maximizing tax revenue.
Also tax revenue increased after the Trump tax cuts
>I read that claim but there is no evidence supporting it.
>If you think increasing taxes obviously increases tax revenue, than you don't understand the basics of tax revenue.
>Taxes are a balancing act, there is no correct tax rate to maintain every year for the governments purpose of maximizing tax revenue.
>Also tax revenue increased after the Trump tax cuts
And the deficit...?
What incentives are there for cops to be corrupt in the USA?
Mostly when I see issues with US police it’s mostly racism/prejudice, or cops taking their job way too seriously like smashing up homes during raids and confiscating weed… seems more like an ego/psychological thing to me
In my country, cops act as hitmen for local politicians, sell back the drugs they acquire in raids, even participate in kidnap-for-ransom schemes, etc., so there is a monetary incentive for them to abuse their power
Do American cops also have that?
There used to be a lot more monetary corruption. But, many departments made that a priority to stamp out. They launched investigations, strengthened internal affairs departments and oversight, and cops get paid pretty well in many US departments.
"Dirty cops" - who take money or drugs illegally are not respected and often get turned in by their own co-workers. Kidnap/ransom crimes are really difficult to get away with in the US. Federal authorities get involved, there are cameras on every highway and in every city, cell phones are traceable, some vehicles are traceable, and payments can be traced.
There is no expectation that they'll get away with/succeed taking money or doing those other crimes.
But, they are still human. Even good people get frustrated, and bad people are attracted to jobs with power and violence as part of the job description. Cops have a lot of legal protection, and they are given the benefit of doubt when dealing with people.
There is an expectation that they will get away with (succeed) doing certain things like excess violence or damage.
I don't think that it is necessarily incentivized. I think it is natural behavior (bad people being bad, and good people getting overwhelmed or frustrated) that isn't de-incentivized enough. There are crimes that cops don't get away with. Racism, violence, and some others are not crimes that they typically expect to get punished for.
History has shown this, and a lot of our legal system is based on "history". Legal precedents have to be broken in order to change them. That means lawmakers have to make new laws, or the courts will just keep doing what they did before. Unfortunately for some, a lot of voters don't want lawmakers to seem like they are making the police job more difficult, or that they are being easy on crime.
How accurate a description would "Economic Apocalypse" be if the American Government defaults on it's debt in the next month?
Would we, say, have to worry about digitally-stored money in America disappearing due to telecommunications companies going out of business (or whoever it is that runs the Internet)?
How much will other countries of the world be affected, given how influential America is on the Global culture and economy?
No, that seems extreme.
If the debt ceiling is not lifted and no workarounds can be found, it would absolutely cause an immediate and serious recession. United States treasury bonds are considered one of the safest securities in the world, which is why people constantly buy them despite the fact that they don’t provide any significant interest income. That would, overnight, stop being true.
I wouldn't call it an "Apocalypse" because that means everything is destroyed and can't really be restored. It would be very bad, short term domestically and long term for our international relations. When the Treasury exhausts all options to pay our debt, they would begin delaying repayment of bonds, which would immediately result in a downgrade of the US treasury bond credit rating and throw markets pegged to the US treasury bonds info turmoil as they're no longer paying in.
More identifiable, the US would stop paying benefits domestically. The US could only pay out what's coming in in taxes. But likely all non-essential government employees would be furloughed without pay. Essential workers would work without pay, hoping to get paid after the debt ceiling is reached. Social security and Medicare/Medicaid would likely stop paying. Veterans benefits and food stamps wouldn't get funded. Housing assistance would likely be cut. If the debt ceiling was raised quickly, this likely wouldn't have much impact as people would get their payments just delayed a few days/weeks. If it went on for months, people would get evicted and housing and food would become a concern for a lot of people. That would be harder to recover from.
Longer term, this would see more distrust in the US government to honor deals and financial obligations, would remove US treasury bonds as the most stable investments in the market (leading to higher interest rates on our debt) and might encourage the world to move away from US business and government operations and seek alternative options and allies.
So it would be nothing worse than a second Great Depression? (yes I realize that's still pretty bad, but I'm comparing it to my original assumptions)
Well first, it's unlikely to happen. If it does happen, it's unlikely to last very long. So I was making those assumptions in my answer. If it goes on for months/years it could get worse than the Great Depression.
But likely it will be a very short lived shock to the system if it happens, with not much in terms of short term effects but negative consequences longer term.
Is the President allowed to vote for DC mayor?
It depends where he lives. Many Presidents keep their primary residence in their hometown/homestate, so they can't participate in DC local elections. This is why Donald Trump voted in Florida for the 2020 election (a state he "moved" to after the 2016 election).
What would happen if the government was able to pay off all of its debt?
It would be pretty bad.
When we say 'debt', what we actually mean is 'people owns US treasury bonds.'
Those US treasury bonds area globally recognized financial instrument that underlies much of the world economy, because they are understood as 100% safe and stable assets (as long as the US exists, they will not crash and will be repaid at the promised rate).
If all US treasury bonds disappeared off the planet, it would massively destabilize the global economy.
Also, having those types of financial relationships with every country and most major financial institutions in the world is a huge diplomatic benefit for creating common ground; it would massively harm our standing on the world stage and our relationships with other nations and powers.
And, of course, if we're not borrowing money it means we're not investing in growth as much as we could be. Paying all our debts would likely coincide with draconian austerity measures that would shrink our rate of economic growth and lead to long-term recession.
I have always wondered what fiscal conservatives think would happen to the treasury market if the US had a balanced budget every year. I had someone once compare it to a credit card being paid off each month but that would mean no interest earned making treasuries less desirable OR the US would be paying interest on debt while earning no interest for whatever surplus the treasury dept holds therefore losing money. I really don’t understand how surpluses and treasuries could exist in the same economy.
If you like podcasts, here's a discussion of the last time the US paid off it's debt: https://www.npr.org/2021/08/12/1027198534/the-indicator-the-time-the-u-s-paid-off-all-its-debt
We would probably take on more debt to spend more money. If the US is so prosperous we can repay all our debt, we could very likely get more loans and bonds at very low interest rates dur to the certainty of our ability to pay back our debts.
It's important to realize the US national debt is almost $29 trillion. The GDP of the US (essentially a rough measurement of all economic activity in a country) is ~$21 trillion per year. So if we were going to pay off the entire debt, it would take a pretty long time.
Why is Republican Party Leader Trump still praising his Jan. 6 terror attack as a totally peaceful and patriotic LOVEFEST and blaming Democrats, antifah and the Capitol Police for all the violence that day?
Because if Trump and the Republicans admit January 6th was bad, it hurts their image and their ability to win elections. So instead they want to downplay the severity of the Jan 6th riots and try to move on from the events to help future elections.
But doesn't that make it so much worse? That the Republican Party and President can rape and defile the Constitution in full view of the whole world and not even give a fuck?
Trump is calling it his lovefest. They gave that guy four years and the second-highest votes in history after Biden.
The Republican Party didn't even have a policy platform for 2020. They commit the worst treason and failure in history for the dumbest reasons, and they're trying to pretend like it never happened while Republican state legislatures take control of the voting process.
The Republican Party literally has nothing good to offer. They just fight and obstruct for the sake of it. People need to stop tying their personal identity to the Republican Party and stop voting for these fucking failures please.
They had four years and no climate change plan, no healthcare and infrastructure plans despite promising both.
All they do is fight and obstruct and criticize "liberals" while causing us all problems and stealing our right to vote.
I fully support Biden and the Democrats over the Failed Republican Party.
Jan. 6 was the ultimate failure and betrayal. Pretending like Trump isn't responisble is tearing this country apart.
>But doesn't that make it so much worse? That the Republican Party and President can rape and defile the Constitution in full view of the whole world and not even give a fuck?
I guess, but it's standard politics. Obviously January 6th was one of the worst thing in recent memory to happen to country, but every party generally tries to hide or downplay things that make them look bad. Hillary constantly dismissed her email controversy, Bill Clinton lied to investigators to keep his affair under wraps, the IRS targeting controversy., etc. But the politicians take their cues from the public, and the Republican voters thought it wasn't a big deal. There are quite a few Republicans who changed their tune in in the weeks following January 6th as it turns out the GOP voters didn't think it was a bad thing (or not THAT bad).
>The Republican Party literally has nothing good to offer. They just fight and obstruct for the sake of it.
That's what Republican voters want. Generally Republicans want government to STOP doing more stuff and decrease taxes and spending. They also don't want society to move more liberal (like gay marriage, trans rights, critical race theory, etc.). So the GOP standing up and banning those things is in line with what the voters want. With obvious exceptions of course.
But Republicans are just making life worse for all of us and stealing our money for their massive tax cuts to the rich and taking our right to vote.
This is not standard politics. No democracy on earth has a political party that acts like the Republican Party. This is just insanity.
Email scandal??? You understand this stuff is just make believe? Conservative media is 10% based in reality, 90% fantasy opposite world bullshit.
Treason. Literal fucking treason.
Trump took a giant shit right on the Constitution. And now they are blaming us while they steal our right to vote and burn us all alive with their climate change delusions?
What the hell is this? What did we do to Republicans to deserve this endless torture and insanity?
Crashing the government? Defaulting on the debt? Literal treason?
This is NOT normal politics. Republicans have just lost their damn minds.
How is a tax cut going to save us and our children from climate death?
Republicans are voting to steal all our right to vote. That is not normal politics, that is enslavement.
Republicans keep blaming us for imaginary crimes, and that allows them unlimited right to shit on our Constitution.
This is unacceptable. Murder, treason, QAnon savagery.
If Republicans wanted less government, why did Trump promise a better healthcare plan and infrastructure plan and fail to deliver anything?
If Republicans want less government, why do they mindlessly worship and chant to the Republican Party and reward them with unlimited love and loyalty while getting nothing in return?
You want the government to give massive tax cuts to the rich and tiny payoffs to the rest of us and steal our right to vote and commit treason for fun?
We don't deserve this savage insanity from Republicans. How can these people ignore their victims and even the Constitution and steal everything from us and destroy our country like this.
This is normal politics for Republicans now? They want to rape the Constitution and steal all our right to vote and give massive tax cuts to the rich and put bounties to capture pregnant women.
Why can't we get these people to stop attacking and killing and defiling everything?
We just want childcare and early schooling and high speed data for all our rural communities so they get the same data rates as the cities.
And for the crime of wanting childcare Republicans can rape the Constitution for fun and blame us for it and murder Congress to force Trump back into power?
These people love Trump and their Republican masters more than their own lives and families and country and Constitution?
Because statements like that make him look good, and he has a long, long history of ignoring the truth if it's damaging to his public appearance -- a history that goes long before his time in politics.
My question got deleted from ELI5 so I'll ask here: what happens when the US defaults on its debt?
In addition to what /u/Teekno said, if the debt ceiling is not raised in time, it does *not* mean the US will default on its debts. They'll just furlough non-essential workers and not pay essential workers like they've done before.
Well, that's what happens if we don't have a appropriations bill (a budget or CR). It's a separate thing from the debt ceiling. They were tied together on the same bill that the GOP blocked, but they are separate issues that can be voted on separately.
So, it's entirely possible that we raise the debt ceiling but don't pass the budget, and then we still have to send home government workers and contractors.
I'm talking about the US defaulting on it's debt. Not the debt ceiling, not the fiscal cliff. A recent article suggests if no action is taken, the US could hit default by October 18th. What would this mean for everyone?
Yes, that's what the debt ceiling is. Hitting the top of the debt ceiling is the most likely thing to cause a default.
Oh ok that makes sense now
Whoops, yes, sorry - spoke too soon.
If that happens, then the status of US government bonds being the safest investment on the planet vanishes. The result of that is that the US would have to pay higher interest rates to get investors to lend it money. This would mean that even more of our tax money would go towards servicing the debt.
Ok follow up question, if we decentralize our money such as backing it with Bitcoin or gold, how does that stabilize the economy or what affects would that have?
It would not stabilize things. It would do the opposite.
Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies, are quite volatile. They go sharply up and down in value in ways that sometimes aren't predictable, and that's a very bad thing for a national currency. But it could be worse, because we could back it with...
Gold. Backing the dollar with gold is *spectacularly* stupid, because then the value of the dollar is based on the value of gold. And, like all commodities, the value of gold is impacted by production.
So, you know how OPEC can change the price we pay at the pump by increasing or decreasing their production? If they produce more oil, then the price of oil goes down, basic supply and demand curve.
Well, the same thing happens to gold -- which means that countries that produce gold could affect the value of the dollar by increasing or decreasing their production of gold. If that doesn't scare you, then you probably don't realize that the #1 gold producer on the planet is China.
Backing the dollar with gold is absolutely giving China the ability to decide how much the dollar is worth.
I like you. You seem to know what you're talking about without being heavily biased like most people who talk economics.
Anyway, going off of that, why *do* most people who talk economics without being economists want us to go back to the gold standard? What advantages would that have, other than prohibiting the US from printing money and causing inflation?
I think a lot of people who support the gold standard (and you're right, pretty much all of them don't have a grasp of modern economics) like it because they can wrap their head around it. The value of the dollar is based on gold, which is something tangible you can touch and buy yourself. Often, they don't like the concept of fiat currency where government policies can directly impact the value of money, like increasing or decreasing the money supply.
It's common to dismiss these views with a snarky "oh, they want money to be based on a shiny rock", but it's worse than that, we'd be basing it on someone else's shiny rocks.
And the example I gave with China is a common one I use, because it has seemed to be the most successful in driving home the point that it's not a great idea to based money on a commodity that someone else produces.
If speech used to incite violence is not protected under the First Amendment in America, why isn't intentionally spreading false and misinformation about anything and everything also not protected?
Because the first amendment gives people the right to speech, and the government has to have a compelling reason to deny that right. The call to immediate violence is illegal because it very likely leads to direct violence in many circumstances. Lying about stuff doesn't lead to direct violence so the government doesn't really have a similar compelling interest to curb lying and misinformation. Additionally, if you wanted to restrict misinformation, then you start having the government having to decide what is or isn't true, which obviously opens you up to biases and political persecution possibilities.
> Lying about stuff doesn't lead to direct violence
It may not lead to direct violence but I think there is a real argument to be made that misinformation can hurt people or get them killed even.
> if you wanted to restrict misinformation, then you start having the government having to decide what is or isn't true, which obviously opens you up to biases and political persecution possibilities.
Not really because humanity has had methods of distinguishing objective fact from theory, opinion and sensationalism for centuries. I've always found this "Misinformation department" argument to be a huge stretch. If the US gov't took a stronger stance towards misinformation all we would have is new restrictions on how far you can spread things that are known to be objectively false in an attempt to push agendas or cause harm. A lot of this misinformation isn't just coming from your local neighborhood Karen. A lot of the misinformation is being pedaled initially by foreign bots across facebook and twitter to create discontent and instability.
edit : I just want to conclude with, I'm not saying we need to go out and start rounding up people who say 9/11 was an inside job or that the earth is flat and arresting them. Even though its objectively untrue shit it doesn't hurt anyone. This is specifically about objectively untrue shit that exists to destabilize and drive a wedge between people and that also has a very real effect on the health and safety of the people inside the country. The misinformation machine is especially good at that and it's almost entirely because the US education system doesn't put an emphasis on sensationalism in the media.
>It may not lead to direct violence but I think there is a real argument to be made that misinformation can hurt people or get them killed even.
And that's generally always been allowed. Courts are VERY hesitant to grant standing to "Well X led to Y which caused Z"! You generally have to say "Y caused Z". Any intermediate steps tend to remove standing or severely hamper successful conviction.
For example, if I tell an armed man to shoot someone because they are a pedophile, then that person turns around and shoots the pedophile, that's pretty directly attributable. If I say "pedophiles should be shot", then someone goes home and gets their gun and shoots a random pedophile, you now have several "steps" between my statement and that person being shot. Now you start muddying the water on if I caused him to get shot, were there other compounding factors, how responsible am I actually for this action, etc.
>Not really because humanity has had methods of distinguishing objective fact from theory, opinion and sensationalism for centuries.
So...you're going to outlaw sensationalism and theories?
So I'm generally going to list a few points here. You obviously haven't laid out a comprehensive strategy or legislation so I can't understand the nuances you vision with your proposal, so forgive me if there are some assumptions below that you feel are unfair.
First, it should be noted we do have CIVIL penalties for lying in a way that hurts someone else. You can sue for defamation and libel for damages accrued through lies by others. So there is already a mechanism that exists for provable damages through lies and mininformation.
>I've always found this "Misinformation department" argument to be a huge stretch.
This absolutely would be the case. You are proposing CRIMINAL penalties for misinformation, where the government gets to prosecute what they think are lies and what is truth. First, I do not know the level you are talking. What if I post "Obama was a Muslim" on Facebook? Is that a lie? Can I be prosecuted for that? What about "Bush did 9/11?" what about "I think Bush did 9/11"?
I assume you think the "Big Lie" related to the election is misinformation as well. Are you prosecuting Sidney Powell, Lin Wood, Donald Trump, and Rudy Giuliani for misinformation? Fox News and Newsmaxx? All Facebook posters who say "The election was stolen through fraud by the Democrats"? You likely think these are misinformation, right (potentially the most damaging misinformation recently)? That could absolutely be seen as silencing political dissenters.
I could give a lot more examples for both sides that would show "ministry of truth" vibes, but i don't want to really waste your time.
What kind of criminal penalties do you think should exist for this? Are we jailing people for this? Simple fines?
> If I say "pedophiles should be shot", then someone goes home and gets their gun and shoots a random pedophile, you now have several "steps" between my statement and that person being shot.
Yeah dude and that's how the big mafia bosses got away with murder for decades.
>So...you're going to outlaw sensationalism and theories?
That isn't at all what I said. That is a very wild assumption. My point is that humanity has had tools for centuries that allow us to differentiate between these things. Banning theories would make things worse because pretty much everything we know to be objectively true at one point was a theory and we learned it to be fact through testing thousands and thousands of times and analyzing the results.
This is specifically why I feel like this "misinformation department" argument is so weak. We already have billions of people on earth that do that every day. They are called scientists and experts of various studies. These people aren't biased, they're interested in learning what causes the world to work. The people who are biased are the ones who make the laws not the ones who differentiate fact and science fiction for us.
>What if I post "Obama was a Muslim" on Facebook? Is that a lie? Can I be prosecuted for that? What about "Bush did 9/11?" what about "I think Bush did 9/11"?
If the misinformation is being used to radicalize people or to promote something that could cause harm to many people, it shouldn't be allowed to be said if its something people know to be objectively false. I don't see how saying "Obama is a muslim" or "Bush did 9/11" (which btw I specifically mentioned in my other comment) does either of these things, at least not on their own.
>I assume you think the "Big Lie" related to the election is misinformation as well. Are you prosecuting Sidney Powell, Lin Wood, Donald Trump, and Rudy Giuliani for misinformation?
Yes. I'm not proposing we prosecute your random facebook Karens who were indoctrinated into believing BS in the first place. I'm talking about people who actually influence MILLIONS of people by legitimizing big lie misinformation.
And for the record, I also don't think that it should *necessarily* mean jail time. I think it depends entirely on the misinformation you are spreading and the intention you had while spreading it as well as obvious the audience size. I think that its the type of thing that you should be heavily fined, and I really think that the gov't should be allowed to restrict their access to social media platforms where a lot of this misinformation is originating from and being spread in the first place.
When people infringe on the rights of others, regardless of how far they tread into that territory, there has to be consequences because otherwise they will keep doing it.
Well I'll just say what you're proposing would be extremely difficult and tedious to legislate. Speech is so varied and you haven't spelled out a clear line between who is and isn't allowed to lie, that unless you provide more detail on the proposal, there's not really much I can respond to your claim.
>...it shouldn't be allowed to be said if its something people know to be objectively false.
This is going to trip up most lawsuits. I bet Trump and Giuliani believe what they say, and proving intent is one of the HARDEST things to do in a court of law. So your law wouldn't stop a lot of the misinformation you're trying to stop, because these people truly believe what they say.
>you haven't spelled out a clear line between who is and isn't allowed to lie,
It's not about lying. It's about misinformation. Misinformation is information poised specifically to mislead other people into believing something verifiably false is in fact true usually for some sort of ulterior motive. What should be relevant in law is the ulterior motive and the verifiably false part.
DT is a good example. Its verifiably false that Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential election and verifiably false that there is real evidence of election fraud that could have changed the outcome of the election.
Does this misinformation radicalize people? It could, the reason being is that the overall intent of making that type of statement would be to delegitimize the future president. Has it been shown to have radicalized people? **Yes**. January 6th.
>because these people truly believe what they say.
It doesn't matter if they believe what they say because the misinformation they were spreading is verifiably incorrect. Their intent is blatant, to overturn the results of the 2020 election and keep DT in office.
In terms of who specifically should be prosecuted, I think it needs to depend entirely on how large of an audience they spoke to and how far the misinformation went. Your crazy Trump loving cousin posting about how the election was rigged to his 300 facebook friends doesn't really qualify. But Donald Trump posting about it to his 10's-100's of millions of followers? Rudy Gulianni spreading it on the news to hundreds of thousands-millions of viewers? I think those both do count.
edit: I'm gonna conclude with one last thing. We live in a different time than we did 100 years ago. 1 person 100 years ago may have been able to speak to a few hundred thousand people at once through a radio if they were lucky. in this age in the era of the internet people are speaking to **10's of millions** sometimes hundreds. There are some ridiculous influencers on the internet who have tons of attention and they are called influencers for a reason. I think its important laws change accordingly because with that level of attention its very easy to manipulate people with misinformation into doing really crazy things.
Since Corporations are legally considered people, could a corporation, theoretically, run for an elected office? It would never actually happen but is there anything that specifically prohibits this?
Things like running for office is limited to natural persons. A natural person is what it sounds like — an individual human.
A corporation is a legal person in a court, but it can never be a natural person.
No. People like to meme, but what the "corporations are people" thing means is that legally, it's recognized that a corporation is ultimately made up of people. Since those underlying people have rights, a corporation, which is those people working together, has those rights. Otherwise you're treading on those peoples' rights simply because they're working together as a corporation.
For example, those people have free speech rights, restricting the corporations free speech is restricting those people's rights
(The reason this was important is that historically, corporations legally were kind of a whole separate entity, more or less plucked out of thin air.(
Corporations are not generally considered people. They cannot vote, they cannot run for office, they don't get a public defender if they get charged.
In some isolated circumstances, based on a couple of court cases, corporations have similar rights to people.
Wouldn't post-modernism be far more friendly to dualists and those who question science? Postmodernism says science is a social construct. It also says that reality has a shaky ground. If I were a far leftist, willing to say stuff like "follow the science", and "it's true whether you want it or not", wouldn't I want to HATE postmodernism? I don't get how it became a left-wing phenomenon, or even ASSOCIATED with the left wing.
This is sort of a misunderstanding of the post-modernist critique of science.
What post-modernists critique is not the ability to do science and learn things, but the specific human instantiation of the scientific establishment and how it works - eg, post-docs changing their research to whatever will get grants and fudging their results because they need to publish or they'll be fired, pharmaceutical companies with billions of dollars on the line doing the research that always seems to show that their drugs work great, fields being dominated by white men and resisting any true knowledge or real data being presented by people and approaches outside their paradigm, etc.
When a post-modernist questions science, they are doing so in order to make the science being done *more* accurate by attacking the failures of the institution doing it, not trying to disrupt the idea of accurate science being possible or useful at all.
Different people have different political beliefs. It's possible for two people to be "far left" but also have conflicting views on science and philosophy.
I've never heard postmodernism used to say that science is relative, only that *morality* is relative.
From this perspective, it's a left wing theory because it emphasizes tolerance of differing views and practices rather than judging based on a single set of universal morals (like, say, Christian values).
Throughout his Presidency, Trump has been hostile to the Mainstream Media because he says they are the "Enemy of the People". Could he have actually done anything about it? For instance, could he have done a 1984-style takeover of the Media and force them to "tell the truth"?
Sure, he could have tried to order the Nat Guard or Military to shell the media stations and hold the execs hostage, but that would create a major constitutional crisis.
>Could he have actually done anything about it?
Popularity plays a big role in democracies. I really doubt that a president that, almost universally by the left, was considered to be quite authoritarian, would have an easy time getting support with his party. Even amongst his followers people agreed that the main stream media was corrupt, but no one really had a good idea of what they should do about it.
Even if he was able to do something, it would very likely be seen as unconstitutional. It's hard to touch the media.
Trump is not actually trying to takeover the media.
What Trump was doing has been done in the past, and has been used by other Rulers to create, anger and distrust, further indoctrinating supporters.
Minimizing the impact of negative publicity creates more loyalty even if the Media's story is the truth. This will also push supporters to use Media supportive of Trump.
- The [article](https://www.salon.com/2019/06/09/trump-the-lying-press-and-the-nazis-attacking-the-media-has-a-history/) ahead covers Hitler's tactics before WW II. This isn't comparing Trump to a Nazi, just highlighting the well-documented populist tactics from the past.
- The populism becomes more sinister and dangerous when done without truth and honesty.
>[Trump, the "lying press" and the Nazis: Attacking the media has a history](https://www.salon.com/2019/06/09/trump-the-lying-press-and-the-nazis-attacking-the-media-has-a-history/)
>Within the confines of Trump’s community of supporters, stories critical of Trump are seen as lies, as phony left-wing propaganda.
>They’re not to be believed. As it turns out, the use of the term Lügenpresse happens to be quite illuminating. It sheds light on a connection between Trump’s political approach and that of Hitler in the 1930s
>The term **Lügenpresse** has its origins in Germany during the First World War. ...**intended to counter allied propaganda campaigns** (a good deal of which we now know to have actually been accurate) **the Nazis used it to attack hostile media.**
>And considering the central role of anti-Semitism in Hitler’s worldview, it was a particularly effective weapon. **The idea of a Jewish-dominated press stretched back decades. By the 1920s it was all but an unspoken assumption within German anti-Semitic circles.**
- Also a right wing tactic (not isolated to the US) is to scapegoat or deflect the criticism to a specific 'other' group (sometimes immigrants, sometimes the media, opposition etc)
- This is done to minimize the effect of negative publicity with their supporters and gloss over their own Political ambitions, or failures (common for countries on the losing side of a war)
>So now, if the press was critical of the Nazis, the explanation was clear: the Jews. And since, according to Hitler, Jews were fundamental enemies of Germany, the press, too, was the enemy of the people.
>... **Hitler lied to officials about his party’s use of violence, he lied about his own past, he lied to foreign leaders about his intentions, and, of course, his whole understanding of the world was based on the lie of a global Jewish conspiracy.** Truth would never get in the way of Hitler’s goals.
Recent examples of deflection of Media criticism from Texas, Iowa, and Florida
[No, the surge in Covid cases across the U.S. is not due to migrants or immigrants -- "There is a very long history in the United States, sadly ... trying to blame outsiders for diseases and there isn’t any evidence," medical ethicist Arthur Caplan said.](https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/no-surge-covid-cases-us-not-due-migrants-immigrants-rcna1656)
- **Abbott has repeatedly blamed undocumented immigrants for the rise in Covid-19 cases** in the state and issued an executive order to limit the transport of migrants in Texas who may transmit the virus.
- **DeSantis, for his part, blamed President Joe Biden for importing the virus from around the world “by having a wide open southern border.”**
- **Iowa Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds voiced a similar view** in late July, claiming that while Americans grapple with Covid restrictions, **there are "people coming across the border that haven’t been vaccinated."**
[apologies for this being so long, lots to unpack]
Presidents don't have a lot of power to make laws or affect independent business.
Theoretically, he could have given the FCC orders to change the way that broadcast news networks are regulated.
He could have asked/pressed the Republican-majority Congress to pass new laws for his signature.
He could have made lots of speeches, and exposed actual falsehoods (if he could find any) to put consumer pressure on the networks.
The reason I asked is that Trump seemed like the person who would do such a thing.
Is "The Thin Bread Line" statement true?
Basically it says that Pizza Delivery is statistically twice as dangerous as being a cop.
In broad strokes, yes.
For US data in particular, there is an annual job safety report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Delivery driver routinely is in the top 10 occupations for fatal injury rates. Police officer is usually in the top 20, but with a much lower rate.
For example, in the 2016 report, fatality rate for delivery drivers was 24.7 per 100k workers, versus the rate for police officers was 14.6 per 100k. That's roughly half.
However! There are many different jobs within those industries, with varying roles and locations, and there are dangers and stress factors that may vary from job to job. I don't think being a police officer is an easy job, but it is worth keeping in mind that some other jobs do seem to be more dangerous in statistical terms.
From a political and social perspective, what would have been the fallout if Pence had successfully thwarted the count of the electoral votes on January 6th and gotten Trump reelected?
The US constitution doesn't allow for the vice president to deny the count so it also doesn't speak of what should happen if one does. It would almost certainly lead to some sort of succession crisis but I don't see any future where Joe Biden wasn't still inaugurated eventually.
What would have happened if Mike Pence succeeded at overturning the election?
Then Trump would still be President? What exactly is your question?
If they overturned the election, it would be flagrant wave that our democracy doesn't work. What happened on January 6th would have looked like a tea party compared to what would have happened if they completely threw out democracy. There would be heads on pikes with DC turning into a state of anarchy.
So you're question is from a political and social perspective, what would have been the fallout if Pence had successfully thwarted the count of the electoral votes on January 6th?
So politically that would let the GOP retain control of the Senate (with a 50/50 split with Pence being the deciding vote). So federally Democrats couldn't really do too much (I'm assuming a good portion of GOP politicians supported the Trump/Pence plan). The House if they really wanted to could try playing hard ball and withholding any budget or debt ceiling increases, but the Democrats would be unlikely to destroy the country and the people in the country for this. Additionally, this would also represent a failure of the courts, and significantly more people would distrust the courts to do what is best for the country.
Socially, you'd probably have protests, probably the largest we've ever seen. There might be a grumbling of Civil War, but nothing seriously. If it has gotten to the point where Trump is already President, it means the federal politicians and the courts have already sided with Trump. Some extremists would grumble about a Civil War or something, but I don't think that would happen.
You say that, but there were people already barging into the capital to stop the count even if it was fair. People wouldn't be content to let Trump still the election, either. There would probably be assassination attempts on the entire cabinet on a daily basis, since they would have taken democracy out of America.
I mean, it's entirely speculation either way. So I'll just preface it with that.
>You say that, but there were people already barging into the capital to stop the count even if it was fair.
Those people were following a singular person, and were more devoted to that person than the party. I don't think the Democrats have that same type of leader, so it's unlikely they could be whipped up in the same way. What Democratic Leader is going to encourage citizens to storm the Capitol? Is AOC going to do that? Biden? Obama? I can't imagine any of them calling for violence or looking to run a rebellion or riot.
>There would probably be assassination attempts on the entire cabinet on a daily basis, since they would have taken democracy out of America.
Maybe. I don't think so. People are still fed and their normal day-to-day life will remain unchanged. People with families, spouses, children, friends will be very hesitant to throw it away on an assassination attempt. Most people would be mad, maybe go to a local protest, but you're not going to have thousands of people travelling to DC all the time seeking to kill politicians or Executive Branch workers.
California made mail-in ballots permanent. What is the reason being republicans idea of mail-in ballots = fraud?
They seem to think the forever lost California. Well then perhaps the republicans should actually try to get majority instead of trying to shrink the voters.
>What is the reason being republicans idea of mail-in ballots = fraud?
The general thought is first, mail-in ballots require no real verification. The person filling out the ballot and returning it isn't verified. Second, there are a lot of anecdotal stories out there of dead people getting ballots and some people receiving multiple ballots. Regardless of whether that's true or not, the stories are out there stating it is. There's more, and here's a good link laying some of them out.
I'm not saying we shouldn't do universal mail-in ballots, just answering your question.
yeah got it. Has the state found any evidence for the claims tho? I thought a couple of them were debunked, like the dead person voting.
I recall one, exactly one 'person filling in dead person's ballot' and it was, surprise, a republican.
This dude -- [https://apnews.com/article/election-2020-government-and-politics-d34effeea6c341d6c44146931127caff](https://apnews.com/article/election-2020-government-and-politics-d34effeea6c341d6c44146931127caff)
That doesn't mean there aren't cases that go unfound but that we do find one here and there suggests it's checked.
Not really. But Republicans claim the fraud is very difficult to find, so they wouldn't expect it to be found. So there are a few nominal cases, and people extrapolate that to think it could happen more commonly.
I suspect it comes down to voter ID - that they can't be sure there isn't voter fraud when you can't see the person voting.
What is the desired end goal of saying we’re on stolen land in the US? Like what does it accomplish?
Mostly to undermine the idea of American exceptionalism and make us acknowledge that we're not morally superior to other countries by some kind of divine right.
American foreign policy is pretty messy and kills a lot of innocent people around the world, and our internal policy is often based on lofty rhetoric about 'freedom' and 'American values' that points towards some type of mythic American virtue to justify bad policies that hurt people.
Undermining the idea of our otherworldy virtue by pointing out things like this forces us to reckon with the real consequences of our actions and policies instead of just assuming they're good because we're the good guys. It makes us make better and more considered policy.
It's meant to make people reflect upon our countries history to either improve awareness or help drive policy that is meant to help those that help built the country along with us aren't still being royally shafted after generations of exploitation and broken promises. To say we stole the land IMO is a bit of an understatement. We walked in, told people that its no longer theirs, and murdered/imprisoned anyone who tried to stand up against that or chose to continue to live their life the way they had for generations before white people arrived on the continent. It was genocide.
Acknowledgment of the past rather than mythology that's taught, acknowledging the tragedies that happened rather than disrespectfully pretending they didn't happen, show how hypocritical the anti-immigration mentality is, dispelling this idea that America is special and can do no wrong that's just empowering it to do more wrong etc. It doesn't hurt to acknowledge the shitty parts of a countries past but it does hurt to pretend it didn't happen.
Does the CIA still do assassinations? Who do they target and how often do they take out targets?
On an individual operative level where someone goes into a country and does it? No we don't need boots on the ground anymore to guarantee an assassination in most instances.
But the CIA is still vital for things like social engineering and general espionage to find out where these people are located in the first place, but at least how modern weaponry works having someone physically in place to do the assassination is not the most efficient way of going about things.
Sure. Targeting terrorist leaders with drone strikes is assassination.
What exactly is the purpose as to why Republicans are voting against funding the government and to raise the debt ceiling?
It's taking the economy hostage to try to force Democrats to do things they want, since they didn't win the elections and can't get power democratically.
They are attempting to crash the economy and send us into another significant recession on the theory that it will harm Democrats at the polls next year because they are the majority party, and most voters are not sophisticated enough to understand that it will be the Republicans that caused it.
Never, ever vote for a Republican.
When Republicans are in the minority, they act like they care about defecit spending and try to cast the Democrats as irresponsible spenders.
They believe that the government spends too much money, which is the reason that the debt is so high. They feel that the problems of reaching the top of the debt ceiling should be resolved not by voting to borrow more money, but by spending less so that we don’t need to borrow more.
The reason the debt is so high is not because of spending Republicans objected to. The reason the debt is currently high is because of COVID stimulus measures that were largely bipartisan plus, of course, the massive GOP tax cuts (that weren’t) passed when Trump was in office.
Moreover, blocking the debt ceiling vote doesn’t have anything to do with increasing spending. It is about paying bills we have already incurred and which Republicans already agreed to spend.
If that was true they would have spent less when they controlled the Presidency and Congress
The GOP has not had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate for a century. They have never, even for a hot second, had the votes necessary to make the deep cuts to the social programs that the fiscal conservatives want.
They still added a shitton to the deficit and did not do what they are doing now when Trump was president because they are full of shit.
Sure. Spending money gets you votes.
Voting for new debt/deficit spending (as well as debt ceiling increases) also strongly suggests the person doesn't actually care about debt/deficit spending as claimed. Especially if it just so happens to happen during periods of partisan control.
They might not like the *programs*, but deficit spending itself is not the issue.
edit to address some higher up comments, as well:
>The GOP has not had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate for a century.
They don't need it, with reconciliation. Things that affect the budget can be done with majority vote, as was almost done with ACA repeal in 2018. (Also, the filibuster hasn't been used as it has in modern usage for a century, so this is partially anachronistic. ).
And of course, they could eliminate the filibuster if they chose to, as majority party. Although there are arguments for not doing so.
> They feel that the problems of reaching the top of the debt ceiling should be resolved not by voting to borrow more money, but by spending less so that we don’t need to borrow more.
The debt ceiling is for spending that's already been passed/mandated by Congress. Not raising the debt ceiling will not result in lower spending.
Voting for the debt ceiling is not voting for more spending.
If I was the President, could I have a Grindr date over at the White House? Obviously Secret Service isn't going to like it and it will ruin any hope at reelection, but can they actually *stop* me?
They can do a background check and not let people who don't pass it on the premises.
They wouldn't like the random people coming in who represent a security risk, but they wouldn't have a problem with the gay sex.
The residence is the president’s residence. The Secret Service screens guests and they can advise the president if a particular person he wishes to invite is a security risk. But they do not have the right to refuse entry to someone the president invites.
The Secret Service was very involved in facilitating JFK's various affairs.
If you were giving that person explicit permission and they go through the normal screening process, it would be allowed unless there's some other security reason they couldn't come in.
The economy isn't perfectly capitalistic. We have tariffs on imported goods, because it helps local businesses to survive and compete.
We have limited resources like housing, schools, hospitals - and uncontrolled immigration would blast demand through the roof for things like housing, and would overwhelm other systems. That would upset the economy.
Even strong free-market capitalists agree that some limits need to be in place to prevent sudden shifts.
Why does the American government have a House of Representatives and a Senate? Why can't there just be one Congress in one big room that votes on everything?
When the country was first founded, there was a big argument about how representation should work. The larger states wanted a population-based representation (our current House of Representatives). Obviously the smaller states opposed this because they would have little input into the government. The smaller states wanted state-based representation (our current Senate). Obviously the larger states opposed this because it gives smaller states equal power over larger states with more people.
As a compromise, the Constitution created two branches of the Legislature (the Senate and the House of Representatives). This gave both the population-based proponents and state-based proponents what they wanted and provided a check on the other. As part of this compromise, different tasks were divvied out to the different chambers. For example, the power of the purse and impeachment were given to the House, while the ability to confirm judicial and cabinet picks was given to the Senate. Because these bodies have different responsibilities, it would be very hard to all exist in one room and vote on stuff at the same time because they very likely could be working on different stuff all the time. For example, you may have the Senate trying to vote on a judicial nomination for federal court at the same time the House is debating a bill on the floor.
As I'm sure everyone knows there is a huge war between the Democrats and Republicans. One side just hates the other, ive seen posts on here as well as tinder and such to not even message them if you are on one side or the other. I even see this within congress and with political figures, people who just can never come to an understanding and sometimes try to piss off the other side. Im genuinely getting sick of seeing everyone hate eachother simply because of political preference.
Are there any ways to possibly bring the two sides together for once and stop the constant child fights?
You are operating under the faulty assumption that both sides are equal. They are not. One has a platform based explicitly on state-sponsored racism, homophobia, and reducing the rights of women. One has a platform based on cutting poverty and making sure children don’t starve.
Don't listen to assholes on social media.
I have a wide variety of family and friends. Some live in cities, some live in the rural boonies. Some are religious fanatics, some are pro-communism, some are progressives, some are conservatives.
We (usually) can all talk about our beliefs intelligently. We don't typically convince each other to change our minds - but we do come to a better understanding of each other's views.
There are more than 500 elected officials in Congress, and we don't hear a lot in the media from 90% of them. We only hear about the extreme views, the fights, the petty arguments, and the stuff that makes headlines. The fact that a Representative from Connecticut had a business lunch with a Senator from Arizona to discuss upcoming legislation isn't very interesting. The people who are doing the work aren't being covered. Many of those folks are still rational and still willing to work together to some extent.
Remember when people said Donald Trump was going to go to prison after his presidency? What happened with that?
It’s pretty frustrating. Trump openly committed obstruction of justice as president and very likely attempted to collude with a hostile foreign power to suborn the 2016 presidential election. President Biden nominated Merrick Garland to be Attorney General because he felt it was good politics given the way the GOP prevented him from taking Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court. (And Garland is certainly qualified for the job.) But Obama originally nominated Garland because he’s a moderate — moderate in politics and moderate in personality — and Obama felt that was the kind of nominee who had a chance with a GOP-controlled Senate. Unfortunately, he’s the wrong AG for the current moment. If Harris hadn’t become Biden’s running mate, she would likely be AG now, and you can bet she would have a different approach.
People who legitimately thought Trump was going to prison were always mistaken (in my book). At best, Trump will lose some civil lawsuits, MAYBE a criminal lawsuit with little repercussions. Here is a website that has a tracker for open (and recently closed) lawsuits against Trump and his businesses.
A few key ones you might have heard about:
> E. Jean Carroll Defamation and Federal Tort Claims Act Litigation
Trump claimed E. Jean Carroll was a liar, so Carroll is suing Trump. Trump (with help from the DoJ) is arguing Trumps denial and name-calling was done under the official title of President, so he is immune from a lawsuit in his personal capacity. It's still ongoing.
>Mary Trump Fraud Litigation
Trumps niece Mary is suing Trump for using unethical/illegal practices to deny her inheritance from Fred Trump's death. Trump is now countersuing Mary for working with the NY Times and releasing information she had agreed not to disclose.
>DC Civil Suit over Misuse of 2017 Inauguration Funds
Trump's 2017 inauguration committee is being sued to see if Trump and his family directed inauguration business to his properties at inflated prices, which is against the law as the non-profit inauguration committee must buy things at market rate, and those using the funds can't do so to self-enrich (for example, renting ballrooms at Trump Hotel for MUCH more than nearby ballrooms).
>January 6th lawsuits
There are a variety of lawsuits against Trump for the January 6th riots, ranging from conspiracy to interfere with government operations, civil rights violations, inciting physical violence against cops, etc. These are all still in early stages of the lawsuits.
>New York Attorney General’s Civil and Criminal Investigations
Trumps organization/business is being investigated for tax fraud and other business fraud practices, both civilly and criminally. This lawsuit has the best chance of success (in my opinion), but is still likely years from completion.
>Election challenges lawsuits
Trump faces several challenges for his Election challenges, ranging from investigation into his Georgia phone calls and requests to find ballots to flip Georgia red and civil rights to voting rights cases and violation of the KKK Act.
So out of all of these, it's unlikely Trump will be personally responsible and even less likely he goes to prison. At best, he will lose some of these civil suits, and any criminal cases will either be against his business (shielding him) or will result in a minor fine or punishment. It's exceedingly unlikely a court will sentence a former President to prison (realizing the political unrest that could come from that).
How do you argue against political claims when you haven't done any research on the topic?
For example, I was having a conversation with a conservative friend and she said Pelosi passed a bill in San Francisco that would allow someone to 'abort' their baby when it is out of the womb. Like basically murdering a baby right after it is born. I though this sounded completely absurd and not true, but I hadn't done any research on the topic. I felt like I just had to agree with her. How could I have argued against her without sounding uneducated about the whole topic?
In this case, its impossible for Pelosi to have "passed a bill in San Francisco" because she was never involved in local politics there and was never a legislator or councilwoman. Her spot in the House of Representatives is her first elected position.
Basically you say 'I haven't done any research on that topic, but I know enough about the world to know that if that were true, there would be riots in the streets and mass casualties from attacks on government buildings. Since I know that's not happening, you must be wrong, and I think it's more likely you're an idiot than that I'm wrong about this.'
Sometimes things don’t pass the smell test. Obviously no such bill has been passed; that would be murder. In such an instance you can confidently say you don’t believe it, but you’ll certainly look into it if they can provide you the name or citation to the law in question.
Also, for future reference, Nancy Pelosi has no connection to the municipal government of San Francisco or the state of California. She is a member of the federal Congress, and that’s the only elective office she has ever held.
Thank you! I think I just need to work in my confidence with this friend specifically. She is much more argumentative than me and actually watches (conservative) political YouTube channels. But I appreciate the info and advice! I'll try to stick to my own convictions when we inevitably talk about a controversial topic next time!
Have you tried doing research on the topic?
One thing that stands out to me about your friend's claim is that Nancy Pelosi is Speaker of the House; she has no ability to pass bills in the San Francisco legislature.
Thanks! Yes I always research the topic after the fact and found the bill she was referring to. It was a bill that the House of Representatives passed to allow abortions on general. I also see how Pelosi defended the bill after a San Francisco arch-bishop said it was akin to "child sacrifice". So she must have just smashed all the info together in one jumbled claim.
I also actually knew Pelosi is Speaker of the House! I think my friend says things with such confidence that I start to doubt my own knowledge about how legislation works lol. And then I'm afraid of sounding dumb, so I just end up agreeing. I should just look up stuff right after she says it so that I can shut it down. Thanks again!
You interrogate. Say something like "Wow, that sounds terrible, I haven't heard about that! What was the bill titled? When did it pass? Do you have any news articles on it?"
Thank you! That is something I need to work on! Being able to interrogate without getting too confrontational. Because I honestly don't want to fight with her since she is a friend. I am just tired of staying quiet when she says insane things like this. Thanks again!
Increasing the number of light rails and busses. But practically, we just need to start thinking about the future of urban planning to accommodate new population growth. The current setup would cost a lot to fix because tens of millions of Americans would need to be relocated or thousands of new buses and rail lines would need to be built/brought into service.
So I see that AOC has been getting a lot of hate for her "present" vote about the Iron Dome. But why? Like how are people assuming what her intentions are? Like people are saying she did that so she can preserve a chance at a senate run. If this move does help her win a senate seat, then she'll have more power, right? That's better than being a representative. Which means she can be more influential in all policy, including Palestine. Like why don't people think this is a long-term move? Say she voted yes, and then she wouldn't have a chance at running for senate, which means progressives lose a chance at winning a senate seat. It's just weird to think that people know her intentions in voting "present" and can somehow tell that she isn't genuine with her tears. Like didn't we learn not to assume things in school?
She had introduced the bill to cut funding in the first place. She was open and vocal about how the 1b should not be funded, and then when the time came to actually vote, she voted “No” then switched her vote to “Present”. After this, she put out a post on Instagram where she says she wants to take accountability and explain her reasoning for the switch, but then goes on to only discuss her opinions on the Israeli Palestinian conflict rather than actually addressing the reason for her vote. As someone who supports Israel, I’d have preferred that she stuck to her principles and voted against the funding over abstaining to vote on a bill SHE introduced
>So I see that AOC has been getting a lot of hate for her "present" vote about the Iron Dome. But why? Like how are people assuming what her intentions are? Like people are saying she did that so she can preserve a chance at a senate run. If this move does help her win a senate seat, then she'll have more power, right
So a lot of people admire politicians like Bernie Sanders, AOC and Ron Paul because they stick by their principles and don't play politics. They go out in public and say what they believe, stand by what they believe, and generally are viewed to now bowing to political pressure.
AOC was one of the few Congresspersons pushing against funding the Iron Dome. While her other cohorts all voted "no", she instead voted "present" when she ideologically should have voted "no". So people are upset she is forgoing her morals and beliefs to set herself up for future political gain.
You can certainly make the argument you did "But isn't it BETTER she's setting herself up for success later?" but that has two big responses. The first is No, people would rather she stick to her morals and beliefs rather than vote to further her political career. Some people don't want her to play politics and instead want her to do what's "right". Second (if it WAS a move to help her future political career), it's a stupid move to mask her beliefs. She was one of the loudest members against the Iron Dome funding, and very obviously would have voted no. Her voting "present" doesn't really fool anyone, and everyone knows her true belief is voting "no". So the "present" vote is a meaningless, futile attempt to hide her true beliefs.
The people mad at her didn't want her to vote Yes, they wanted her to vote No.
Let's say republicans are going to lose multiple senate seats in 2022 elections and democrates are going to be in the majority and enough democrates support removing the filibuster. Would the republicans finally get some sense and start working on key issues with the democrates or are they just going to try to oppose everything?
How are senate majority/minority leaders chosen?
Senate compromise can be virtually impossible depending on how the Senators respond to their minority / majority leader.
McConnell wants it to be impossible as possible for Democrats (even stated as much)
Senators that may vote with the other side COULD easily jeopardize election support from their party.
Depending on the issue and their constituents, certain votes may be less controversial.
Mostly a change in leadership and a change in party attitude feels necessary for bipartisanship.
>How are senate majority/minority leaders chosen?
I'm pretty sure its just an internal vote between the members of the respective parties.
> Would the republicans finally get some sense and start working on key issues with the democrates or are they just going to try to oppose everything?
No way to know for certain, but when similar tough choices have come up, so far the current GOP seems to be favoring obstruction/ideological purity over strategic choices
Democrats could remove the filibuster today. They've already removed parts of the old procedure. Changing Senate procedures just requires a simple majority.
But, the Democrats won't be in power forever. The minority party has to have something to use, or there is no sense in them even showing up.
The Republican party has shifted since the Newt Gingrich era - they know the minority party can't do much to advance their own agenda. But, they can screw with the majority agenda. When the majority agenda fails, they can tell voters that "Hey, they're the majority, and they couldn't make it work. Vote for us, and we'll fix things".
Q2 - The parties elect their own. They hold elections in the House and Senate.
Yeah I know and that makes sense. So why aren't they changing the filibuster to the one where they have to hold the stage and talk/make their argument for or against the ongoing issue? I mean where are the freaking debates. I only see clips on politicians ranting off if anything. Many representatives and senators don't even read the legislation before arguing against it.
I'm sorry I don't know who/what Newt Gingrich is.
there are no debates. the republican minority party led under senate minority leader mitch mcconnell are concerned with power grabs (see Judge scalia’s death in 2016 re: no new judge but then 2 months after RBG is dead he rams through a young judge with only 2 years experience). And man, so i wish we could accuse the Democrats of doing this, but they haven’t had the majority lead since McConnell started a power grab. We only got it Jan 21 2021, and Democrats legit can’t get their shit together and behind a defined budget that would equate to what Republicans did after consolidating power. The Democrat tent is way too big and full of diverse people for a singular narrative to win.
I guess TLDR: republicans leaders are scared of the new generations ideas. this isn’t new, either - it’s been happening everywhere for thousands of years
>So why aren't they changing the filibuster to the one where they have to hold the stage and talk/make their argument for or against the ongoing issue?
Because this is the talking filibuster, and it was eliminated because it would literally eat up weeks of time. The Senate had the talking filibuster, and Senators would eat up weeks of not months of time filibustering things. It was getting in the way of normal business and was literally becoming pretty much the only thing the Senate would do when there was any controversial issue on the floor. So the Senate eliminated it because it was becoming too cumbersome to keep. If they brought back the talking filibuster, I have no doubt it would happen again, and the GOP would be more than happy to stop all Senate business for months at a time, which would freeze Biden judicial picks, normal bills, and other Senate business which would only hurt the Democratic agenda.
Additionally, the Democrats can expect to be the Senate minority in 2-4 years. So anything they do to the filibuster they can expect to have to face then if the GOP doesn't hamstring the filibuster even more.
Because you can't force anyone else to stay and listen.
And, things like basic human needs (water, food, toilet) didn't work with the old rules. People would actually piss into a bucket held for them while they kept one foot on the "floor". Other Senate rules limit what kind of food and drink can be brought in.
[Newt Gingrich](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newt_Gingrich) is still around - he was a elected Representative from Georgia from the late 70s until the late 90s. He helped author the "contract with America" , he got Clinton impeached, he became Speaker of the House. He's a horrible human being, but apparently a great politician.
When was the last time a republican won the popular vote for 2 terms as president?
Reagan in '80/'84
You could even extend that to the '88 election, since Reagan's VP Bush-1 was elected, giving Republicans 12 years of uninterrupted control of the presidency.
Republicans have gotten a majority/plurality of Americans to support their candidate for president once in the last 30 years.
If you are from the US, what do you honestly think about Biden? It's hard to tell from the outside, but isn't he doing mostly what he said he would? I'm asking because every time YouTube suggests a video that features Biden it has this unhealthy number of downvotes, like 90%. Do people hate him or it's the troll brigades? Thanks.
It's troll brigades, the right is very organized in trolling online spaces like this.
Biden's cool, a little centrist and traditionalist for what I think we need right now, but doing pretty well.
Look at polls instead of Youtube Thumbs
Sept 24 Pew Research
- 44% approval overall, differing numbers around specific issues. Both sides of Congress have also lost approval ratings
[With his administration facing multiple challenges at home and abroad, President Joe Biden’s job approval rating has fallen sharply in the past two months.](https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2021/09/23/biden-loses-ground-with-the-public-on-issues-personal-traits-and-job-approval/) Fewer than half of U.S. adults (44%) now approve of the way Biden is handling his job as president, while 53% disapprove. This marks a reversal in Biden’s job ratings since July, when a 55% majority approved of his job performance and 43% disapproved.
joe biden’s brain is decaying live on national tv and he is a segregationist who authored the crime bill that massively made mass incarceration even more massive.
Biden is a nothingburger, which is what he promised he would be outside of the nonsense "next FDR" campaign line. He's not going to accomplish much of anything as President, but the people who make a career of hating him are just coping Trumpists.
I don't like Biden of course, since the US is and remains in society-wide crisis and needs extensive alteration to survive. But actually spending effort hating him online is kind of a waste of time. We knew what he was, just as we knew what Trump was.
He's basically doing what he said. I'm more left of him, so not everything I agree with, but both on things i agree/disagree on he's basically doing what everyone expected.
>Do people hate him or it's the troll brigades?
Mostly just partisan dislike
I think he's doing fine.
I think there is a substantial troll brigade against him.
As a Biden voter myself, I'm fairly neutral in terms of how I feel about him. He's responding to things about as I'd expect an establishment democrat president would. He's far from perfect but he hasn't done anything that makes me question my vote for him. No president makes it 4 years clean and I thin
Yeah, those are trolls.
FiveThirtyEight's polling average has him at a 45.6% approval rate, with a net approval rate of -3.4%. https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/biden-approval-rating/
He was above water in terms of popularity prior to the mess in Afghanistan, but that appears to have hurt him.
So yeah, he's more unpopular than he is popular right now, but what you're seeing on YouTube is not an accurate representation of his popularity.
My father in law voted for him, but is furious at how he handled the withdrawal from Afghanistan. He now says the only way he'd ever vote for him again would be if Trump was running against him.