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  #141  
Old 02-10-2018, 12:54 PM
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Ah, but they have a shiny new SCOTUS now, don't they?
Or at least a new one. Shiny is in the eye of the beholder in this case, I suppose.
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  #142  
Old 02-10-2018, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by ShadowbaneX View Post
I wish I had something a bit less wordy, but actually, no, they can't.

Quote:
To ensure the possibility of public debate about the papers' content, on June 29, US Senator Mike Gravel, an Alaska Democrat, entered 4,100 pages of the papers into the record of his Subcommittee on Public Buildings and Grounds. These portions of the papers, which were edited for Gravel by Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky, were subsequently published by Beacon Press, the publishing arm of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations.[21] A federal grand jury was subsequently empaneled to investigate possible violations of federal law in the release of the report. Leonard Rodberg, a Gravel aide, was subpoenaed to testify about his role in obtaining and arranging for publication of the Pentagon Papers. Gravel asked the court (in Gravel v. United States) to quash the subpoena on the basis of the Speech or Debate Clause in Article I, Section 6 of the United States Constitution.

That clause provides that "for any Speech or Debate in either House, [a Senator or Representative] shall not be questioned in any other Place", meaning that Gravel could not be prosecuted for anything said on the Senate floor, and, by extension, for anything entered to the Congressional Record, allowing the papers to be publicly read without threat of a treason trial and conviction. When Gravel's request was reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Court denied the request to extend this protection to Gravel or his legislative aide, Leonard Rodberg, because the grand jury subpoena served on them related to a third party rather than any act they themselves committed for the preparation of materials later entered into the Congressional Record. Nevertheless, the grand jury investigation was halted, and the publication of the papers was never prosecuted.
The above is from the wikipedia page on the Pentagon Papers, but something to keep in mind - the dems controlled the Senate (and the House) back in '72. They don't control the House now. Presumably he would need to get his republican colleagues, and Nunes (the Intel Chair) in particular, to agree to allow this to be read and entered into the Congressional Record. I don't see that happening. Any attempt to unilaterally, and impermissibly do so, likely would lead to either the speaker, or the meeting, being gaveled. I suppose they could instead attempt to challenge this in the courts - but aside from being time consuming (and for a far less interesting document than the Pentagon Papers), that prior ruling was only 5-4 by a far more liberal SC. A similar ruling seems likely now, but in the other direction...
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  #143  
Old 02-11-2018, 02:11 PM
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As Minority Leader, Pelosi could hold the floor and do it...if she's not busy being an attention-whore for another 8 hours pretending to give a shit about DACA.
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  #144  
Old 02-12-2018, 01:23 PM
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Well, Trump's Infrastructure Plan sucks.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43034786

Quote:
Mr Trump wants Congress to authorise $200bn (144bn) over a decade to spend on roads, highways, ports and airports.
That is a ridiculously low amount, which is why...

Quote:
The president hopes the US states and private sector will stimulate another $1.3tn in improvement
So, either states go bankrupt to just keep their infrastructure maintained with essentially no federal help, or they raise state taxes drastically and/or convert all highways to tollways.

Quote:
The blueprint allows states to add or increase tolls on inter-state highways, and to charge fees to use highway rest areas.

However, it bans states from charging for "essential services such as water or access to restrooms".
So suggesting that you're charged simply to enter the rest area, but not both to enter it, and then again to use the bathroom or the water fountain?

Quote:
The main problem for the White House is that the proposal allocates no new funds for bridges, railways, roads and tunnels. Instead, it recommends taking money out of other government programmes - although it leaves to Congress the unenviable task of determining what gets the axe.
We all know where this money should come from. The same place where we waste so much money - defense spending. Stop fighting wars, start spending money on infrastructure. Should we care that North Korea is a dictatorship that enslaves their own people? No. Only if they try to invade South Korea, or Japan, or us. Beyond that, who gives a sh*t. Same concerning the bomb. It's not worth war to keep them from getting it. Same with Iran.

It should not be our job to police the world.

Cut the defense budget in half (or preferably by 2/3), and replace all that waste with infrastructure and healthcare spending. That's what should happen, but instead republicans, of course, cut taxes, raise defense spending, and cut everything else. Because they are schmucks.
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  #145  
Old 02-12-2018, 01:37 PM
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To be fair, a large amount of that "policing" is done because it's a smart investment to keep the world stable and it helps facilitate trade. For example, piracy would be a far worse issue without our blue water navy. For the same reasons the Brits assumed that role in the 19th century, we are doing it now.

Granted, we could maybe avoid costly land wars in Asia while still policing the seas and keeping the world stable for the most part.


Clearly, the right thing to do here is to drastically cut social services to pay for bridges, roads, dams, etc.

At least I imagine that's what Paul Ryan will say.
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  #146  
Old 02-12-2018, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Davian93 View Post
To be fair, a large amount of that "policing" is done because it's a smart investment to keep the world stable and it helps facilitate trade. For example, piracy would be a far worse issue without our blue water navy. For the same reasons the Brits assumed that role in the 19th century, we are doing it now.
And they couldn't afford to keep doing so after losing their revenue streams from India and South Africa. And so they tricked us into doing it. It's time for us to trick the Chinese into doing the same. At least in Asia. They've already essentially claimed hegemony over the seas of all of Asia - and with us abandoning the TPP, we have ceded hegemony of Asia officially to them already.

We simply can't afford to continue this. Our spending war with the Soviets drove them into economic collapse. We risk the same if we don't finally cut back on our own military spending and instead focus on domestic concerns.

We unfortunately are doing the opposite, continuing to raise defense spending, while picking new fights to justify that spending. That would be bad enough, but we are also cutting taxes while raising defense spending - thus bankrupting ourselves even faster.

Better to simply exert power and influence through trade - like the TPP and TTIP. Both of which we have however abandoned (and would have even under a democrat due to pressure from the left by demagogues like Bernie). Or through alliances. But we have begun turning away even from NATO. Bad enough to police the world, but even more expensive to do so from a position of isolation. If we're going to isolate ourselves, then at least cut back on defense spending.

Instead the Russians have tricked us into walking down the same road to collapse that we forced upon them.
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  #147  
Old 02-12-2018, 02:15 PM
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They didn't really trick us into doing it, we did it after WWII because if we didn't, the Soviets would have filled the resulting power vacuum.

Its not really the spending that is killing us, its the complete lack of revenue since we keep lowering taxes.

Our tax revenue is absurdly low in comparison to our GDP.

We're at roughly 26% for revenue to GDP.

Most other Western powers that have actual social welfare programs are way higher. And that 26% was BEFORE the most recent massive tax cut.

Other Western Powers:

France: 47.9%
Germany: 44.5%
Canada: 39.8%
United Kingdom: 34.4%

And they're not the highest by a long shot. The Nordic powers are way higher:

Norway: 54.8%
Finland: 54.2%
Denmark: 50.8%
Sweden: 50.5%

So, to put it in perspective, if we were taxing at the same rate as even the UK, our tax revenue in 2016 would have been 6.38 Trillion against 3.9 Trillion in spending. That would have left us an extra 2 Trillion and change for little things like actual healthcare and infrastructure.

Had we taxed like Germany does, we'd have had 8.27 Trillion to play with.

We have a massive GDP and we barely tax it...that's the issue, not the spending itself.
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"We caught them in an alley on skid row in downtown Philly and brought them down with Uzi's and dogs. I beat the shit out of one of the guys for resisting arrest. After that, I went home, fried up some tofu with strawberry preserves and melon sticky rice, laid down on the couch with my snuggie and ate rose petals in sweet daisy wine sauce and watched Mamma Mia on DVD and then cried myself to sleep."

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  #148  
Old 02-12-2018, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Davian93 View Post
Its not really the spending that is killing us, its the complete lack of revenue since we keep lowering taxes.
When you couple state and federal taxes, our typical tax burden is quite similar to Britain's. The corporate rates are also quite similar (or at least they are now, even before, with loopholes, ended up being similar). We just choose to spend more on defense and less on domestic spending. It is still mostly a matter of priorities. We have enough for domestic spending, but only if we cut defense spending.
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  #149  
Old 02-12-2018, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Kimon View Post
When you couple state and federal taxes, our typical tax burden is quite similar to Britain's. The corporate rates are also quite similar (or at least they are now, even before, with loopholes, ended up being similar). We just choose to spend more on defense and less on domestic spending. It is still mostly a matter of priorities. We have enough for domestic spending, but only if we cut defense spending.
But still way lower than the others...and there's a lot of wasteful overlap there too.
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"We caught them in an alley on skid row in downtown Philly and brought them down with Uzi's and dogs. I beat the shit out of one of the guys for resisting arrest. After that, I went home, fried up some tofu with strawberry preserves and melon sticky rice, laid down on the couch with my snuggie and ate rose petals in sweet daisy wine sauce and watched Mamma Mia on DVD and then cried myself to sleep."

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  #150  
Old 02-12-2018, 02:44 PM
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"Doctor" Sebastian Gorka thinks that the current security clearance program is part of the Deep State set up to stop Trump.

Gee, did they look into his bullshit PhD or his Nazi ties or his other criminal activities when they denied his clearance request?

Any of the 3 would have been sufficient to deny access to even a Secret clearance let alone the Yankee White access he would have needed to work in the West Wing.
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Bonded to Brita

"We caught them in an alley on skid row in downtown Philly and brought them down with Uzi's and dogs. I beat the shit out of one of the guys for resisting arrest. After that, I went home, fried up some tofu with strawberry preserves and melon sticky rice, laid down on the couch with my snuggie and ate rose petals in sweet daisy wine sauce and watched Mamma Mia on DVD and then cried myself to sleep."

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  #151  
Old 02-12-2018, 03:31 PM
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Talking tough about slashing spending is easy. What's your plan for what you're going to do with the thousands of people formerly employed by the DoD who are now out of a job because you cut Defense spending by 2/3? What are you going to do about all the support infrastructure which is currently in place to support all of those people on all of those bases throughout the world?

It's cute that people think things are as simple as "cut spending by X%". Of course, the reality of the situation is nowhere near that simplistic.
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  #152  
Old 02-12-2018, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by fdsaf3 View Post
Talking tough about slashing spending is easy. What's your plan for what you're going to do with the thousands of people formerly employed by the DoD who are now out of a job because you cut Defense spending by 2/3? What are you going to do about all the support infrastructure which is currently in place to support all of those people on all of those bases throughout the world?

It's cute that people think things are as simple as "cut spending by X%". Of course, the reality of the situation is nowhere near that simplistic.
Defense spending could be cut in ways like not buying thousands of bombs/missiles to replace the ones we've used without massively killing off those jobs.

It'd hurt defense contract companies that have grown used to a state of constant conflict of course.

Repurposing that spending in other fields rather than just cutting it would mitigate a good chunk of the economic downturn it'd create to cut that spending.

Hell, if its dumped into social welfare programs, it'd grow the economy far more than the defense spending was doing since the return on investment for that sort of thing is almost 3 to 1 in real dollars since poor people tend to just spend every extra penny they get to keep their heads above water.

So there are ways to do it that don't hurt the economy and don't destroy entire industries.
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"We caught them in an alley on skid row in downtown Philly and brought them down with Uzi's and dogs. I beat the shit out of one of the guys for resisting arrest. After that, I went home, fried up some tofu with strawberry preserves and melon sticky rice, laid down on the couch with my snuggie and ate rose petals in sweet daisy wine sauce and watched Mamma Mia on DVD and then cried myself to sleep."

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  #153  
Old 02-12-2018, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by fdsaf3 View Post
Talking tough about slashing spending is easy. What's your plan for what you're going to do with the thousands of people formerly employed by the DoD who are now out of a job because you cut Defense spending by 2/3? What are you going to do about all the support infrastructure which is currently in place to support all of those people on all of those bases throughout the world?

It's cute that people think things are as simple as "cut spending by X%". Of course, the reality of the situation is nowhere near that simplistic.
That's why you transfer that budget into infrastructure and healthcare spending. Better to spend that money on things that the public needs - like roads, bridges, and heath, than on tanks and planes that will sit unused. Maybe Lockheed Martin and other defense contractors can start building bridges instead of bombers. Or not. The money would still be spent, still be invested in local economies. But invested more usefully.

This same argument could be made, and is, for why we should protect coal jobs. Some jobs should be lost. Retrain the workers and move them to another form of employment that is of more long-term benefit.
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  #154  
Old 02-12-2018, 07:30 PM
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They've tried the retraining thing with coal miners several times now but they utterly refuse to go get retrained. They're stubborn idiots that would rather whine about their lot in life than do anything about it.

At some point, you just have to cut them loose and move on.

Remember this idiocy? http://www.businessinsider.com/r-awa...aining-2017-11
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"We caught them in an alley on skid row in downtown Philly and brought them down with Uzi's and dogs. I beat the shit out of one of the guys for resisting arrest. After that, I went home, fried up some tofu with strawberry preserves and melon sticky rice, laid down on the couch with my snuggie and ate rose petals in sweet daisy wine sauce and watched Mamma Mia on DVD and then cried myself to sleep."

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  #155  
Old 02-12-2018, 11:41 PM
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This is obviously tangential, but...

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43035628

Quote:
When the Baltimore City Police Department created the GTTF, it was intended to be an elite squad of highly-trained officers tasked with seizing illegal guns. Instead, a trial in federal court has revealed that the officers went rogue, and used their power to steal money, drugs and guns, and terrorise the people they stopped.

In some cases, they even resold the very drugs and guns they were supposed to take off the streets.

All but one of its members was indicted on robbery, extortion and overtime fraud in March 2017 after a lengthy investigation by the FBI. Six pleaded guilty, including Sergeant Wayne Jenkins, the unit's leader since June 2016.

This week, the last two officers still fighting the charges - Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor - were found guilty of robbery, conspiracy and racketeering, but acquitted of possession of a firearm in a crime of violence. Testimony from four of the unit's former members revealed in greater detail the extent of the corruption and the lengths to which the GTTF would go to cover their tracks.
...not good.

This is the description of just the first cop...

Quote:
Jenkins pleaded guilty to regularly stealing drugs from the people he stopped or arrested. He re-sold the drugs through a bail bondsman, who testified that Jenkins would leave large amounts of marijuana, heroin and cocaine in a shed in his backyard on an almost nightly basis. The two men split the proceeds.

Jenkins admitted to stealing cash from people he stopped or arrested during his work as a police officer. In one case described at the trial, Jenkins directed his men to break open a safe containing over $200,000 (144,500). Jenkins took half the money and two kilos of cocaine, then told the officers to reseal the safe and create a cell phone video pretending to open it for the first time, finding only $100,000 inside.

He also admitted planting 28g of heroin on a man who was then sent to prison.
Cops often seem to get far more flak than they deserve, but if there is one city whose police force really seems fu*king untrustworthy, it is Baltimore's.
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  #156  
Old 02-13-2018, 08:39 AM
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Baltimore is a complete and utter cesspool. Its one of those cities where gentrification really hasn't changed its massive underlying issues. Lots of cities in the US became "cool" again to live in and millenials have flocked to them after decades of white flight destroyed them. In Baltimore, its still 1980 and it always will be.

Hell, I'd live in DC in a heartbeat over Baltimore and that's not something I could even imagine 15-20 years ago .
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  #157  
Old 02-13-2018, 04:53 PM
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This can't be a good sign for the republicans' chances of stealing a dem seat in Wisconsin...

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43050803

Quote:
After Wisconsin Republican Kevin Nicholson launched a campaign for the US Senate his parents made the maximum political donation - to his rival.

Federal records last week show his mother and father each gave $2,700 (1,940) to Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin.

Mr Nicholson was once a Democrat himself but says he left the party over its stance on the Iraq War.
Seems pretty indicative when even your mom is rooting against you. And over the Iraq War? That seems a very odd catalyst for switching parties. Over guns or abortion? Sure. Iraq? Even most republicans admit that that war was an idiotic mistake.

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  #158  
Old 02-13-2018, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Kimon View Post
This can't be a good sign for the republicans' chances of stealing a dem seat in Wisconsin...

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43050803



Seems pretty indicative when even your mom is rooting against you. And over the Iraq War? That seems a very odd catalyst for switching parties. Over guns or abortion? Sure. Iraq? Even most republicans admit that that war was an idiotic mistake.
He's a former Marine Corps officer. In general, military officers tend to be pretty conservative and he's probably one of those one issue idiots. And then he went straight from the Corps to Harvard where he probably tried to spout his idiotic Marine crap and got rightfully mocked for his viewpoints...which is usually all it takes for a "Well FU then" mentality to kick in.

Same with those idiot White Supremacists (Steve Miller and Richard Spencer) that grew up in liberal areas and got picked on in HS so they're now right wing racist nutters who hate all liberals, minorities, gays, etc.

He's also an opportunist who realizes that Wisconsin is getting redder by the year since its full of angry older white people and the Dem Party isn't a blue collar union party anymore.
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Old 02-13-2018, 07:25 PM
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His wife is a super conservative...so she probably changed his opinions on these topics.

So...lonely guy wanted some action and spouted idiocy until he bought into himself.

Not that unusual...albeit a bit pathetic.
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"We caught them in an alley on skid row in downtown Philly and brought them down with Uzi's and dogs. I beat the shit out of one of the guys for resisting arrest. After that, I went home, fried up some tofu with strawberry preserves and melon sticky rice, laid down on the couch with my snuggie and ate rose petals in sweet daisy wine sauce and watched Mamma Mia on DVD and then cried myself to sleep."

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Old 02-13-2018, 07:31 PM
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He's also an opportunist who realizes that Wisconsin is getting redder by the year since its full of angry older white people and the Dem Party isn't a blue collar union party anymore.
Wisconsin strikes me as similar demographically to Michigan and Minnesota. States that are mostly blue, but never by a wide margin. States where typically both the senators are dems, where sometimes the governor is not (Michigan for instance has a republican governor right now). States which typically are reliably blue for presidential elections (excepting this year - perhaps galvanized by one issue, NAFTA - it's also why Bernie was able to manipulate the masses into choosing poorly in those same states), but which have state legislatures that are controlled by the other party due to gerrymandering.

The other three Midwestern states are much less purple - Illinois is deep blue, as it has a much larger city, Chicago, than any other Midwestern state, a city which dominates the state thoroughly. Indiana, in contrast, is as red as Illinois is blue. It leaves Indiana feeling like a confederate state in the North. Ohio is also red, but far less so. Basically the northern part of the state is blue - along Lake Erie. The rest of Ohio is red - especially the closer one approaches Kentucky or West Virginia.

Anyway, it's a seat that the dems should hold, but it's also a race that the republicans are throwing a lot of money into.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry...b0b0e5a7a91159
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