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1  Community Forums / The Lounge / Re: The Next President of the United States on: June 28, 2020, 08:52:31 AM
“It is an urgent matter of public health, of public safety at this moment for President Donald Trump to resign.”

I wonder who wants Trump to resign more democrats or republicans.

4 months out and it is the likeliest ever that trump has screwed his re-election up by not even attempting the basics of being a president in the pandemic. Republicans would happily see him go Pence take over and then Pence would have a good shot at being elected, democrats would probably vote for trump to stay as they have the best chance of beating him and no one else.

The election will be a vote against trump not a vote for Biden.

That’s true. I wonder, if he’d had a good pandemic, whether the country would have overlooked everything that happened before. I suspect they would have. Crises are usually very helpful for current leaders’ ratings - you have to perform exceptionally badly for them to go down. It’s kinda too late for Trump to be challenged within the party, though. He has a lot more than the delegates required. He would have to do something really bonkers for the party to force his replacement, so that’s about 50/50, huh?

There have been rumours that he will ditch Pence and replace him with someone more modern. Forbes flew a kite last week for Elise Stefanik (, who impressed in the impeachment debate, but that won’t happen - she is still too junior and not very well known. Nikki Haley would be the most likely replacement, but there are always rumours about replacing the VP when a sitting President goes for re-election (Obama, for example, was supposedly lining up Hillary, who was very popular at that point, in 2012 to replace Biden. Dubya has admitted that he came close to ditching Cheney, who he described as “dark and heartless”, in 2004), but it never seems to happen.
2  Community Forums / The Lounge / Re: The Next President of the United States on: June 27, 2020, 02:41:04 AM
That link is for the live House debates. The first 90 minutes of this clip is the discussion on DC's Statehood.

3  Community Forums / The Lounge / Re: The Next President of the United States on: June 26, 2020, 05:53:10 PM
The House is debating the creation of a 51st State - Washington DC. DC was set aside as a non-partisan seat of Government, on land donated by Maryland and Virginia, and has no Congress Representatives or Senators. The District has a population of 700,000, which is more than Vermont or Wyoming, and not much different to another four States that have populations of less then a million.

The Bill is sponsored by Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents the District in the House. Of all the participants in the debate, she is the only one who will have no vote on her Bill, as DC only has a non-voting delegate. That is more than it has in the Senate, where it is not represented at all.

It's been going on for ever. The Democrats claim that the residents have taxation without representation, a common bumper sticker in the city. DC's wealthy citizens contribute more tax than 22 States. Republicans say that Washington has more influence and has received more investment than anywhere else and it's just a ploy to increase Democrat House Representatives and get two extra Democrat Senators, all of which is true. Their offer is for DC residents to have representation by rejoining Maryland, but that's not what they want. Meanwhile, the delegate from the Virgin Islands stood up and said she supported DC's Statehood but at least its residents get to vote in Presidential elections - her constituents don't even get that.

It's all a charade. The Bill will be successful in the House and will go nowhere after that, with the Senate and President opposed.


4  Community Forums / The Lounge / Re: COVID19 on: June 19, 2020, 01:44:28 PM
Has it for the second time in three months.
5  Community Forums / The Lounge / Re: The Next President of the United States on: June 19, 2020, 02:44:22 AM
There's a right scrap going on within the Democrats between the Progressives and the Moderates for New York’s 16th Congressional District, mainly consisting of The Bronx. Congressman Eliot Engel, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has represented the District for ever, but he is in the fight of his life to survive. He is facing three challengers for the nomination, with most attention on school principal Jamaal Bowman.

The Justice Democrats group, which succeeded in propelling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to victory in the next-door District, dislodging a long-time senior Dem, is working to do the same for Bowman, along with the Working Families Party. Together, the two groups have allocated half a million dollars towards the election of Bowman, who has the support of Bernie Sanders and AOC and has been endorsed by Elizabeth Warren, Ayanna Pressley and actor-turned-politician Cynthia Nixon.

On the other side, Basil has been endorsed by Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, John Lewis, House Majority Whip James Clyburn and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries and has just received the biggest endorsement of all, with Hillary Clinton bestowing her first endorsement of this round on him. This seems quite a foreign process to us, but endorsements really are a big deal in the US.

Engel slipped up badly at a gathering after the George Floyd episode. He wanted to speak, as he is the local Congressman and he has this election coming up next week, and explained why to the Dems' District President. Unfortunately, it didn't come out well, and sounded like he didn't care about the protests or the looting. As might be imagined, his opponents have made a huge fuss about Groucho supposedly admitting not caring.

6  Community Forums / The Lounge / Re: The UK Politics and EU Referendum thread - merged on: June 18, 2020, 08:01:19 PM
 Click to see full-size image.
7  Community Forums / The Lounge / Re: The Next President of the United States on: June 18, 2020, 01:35:06 AM
Looks like Bolton's book is delivering as promised. Some of the revelations might have been helpful at the impeachment trial.

There is another one due out in early August by Donald's niece, to coincide with the GOP Convention, whatever the format of that will be. It is reported that he is exploring whether he can sue her to prevent publication.

8  Community Forums / The Lounge / Re: How many Fu**ing times is it going to happen? on: June 17, 2020, 09:11:48 PM
Yeah, she's unstable, but I assume there is concern because of this:
9  Community Forums / The Lounge / Re: The Next President of the United States on: June 17, 2020, 05:01:16 PM
Timeline for cheeto to start blustering about them?

Some sections of his support are livid. They backed him, even though a lot of them didn't like him, because they thought he would deliver certain things. One of those was to install SC Justices who would do the right thing. Now that his appointees have wobbled, many right-wingers are blaming him. The GOP Party isn't too bad - a lot of them agree with the gay rights decision, for example, and SC decisions avoid the issue being played out in Congress, which could cause them a lot of problems. A lot of voters and lobby groups aren't so content about it. Donald accepted that one straight away. I suspect he is in favour of it - he has been quite liberal of such issues in the past.

Roberts, who voted against gay marriage, was the main surprise. Gorsuch wasn't really, in that he has indicated such beliefs in the past. He has made it clear that he can operate beyond the liberal/conservative blocs and sees himself mainly as a textualist. This was the mantra of Scalia, the previous Chief Justice, and means sticking exactly to the words of the law or Constitution, and not giving any consideration to the context of the times when it was enacted, the debates on it, trying to read into the minds of what the legislators actually meant, or the repercussions of the decision.

We can see that Alito does take account of repercussions. He didn't hold back in his dissent: "The court's opinion is like a pirate ship. It sails under a textualist flag, but what it actually represents is a theory of statutory interpretation that Justice Scalia excoriated - the theory that Courts should 'update' old statutes so that they better reflect the current values of society." He is basically accusing them of legislating. I suspect that the grass roots would agree, but might express it differently.

These decisions, though, were very specific - they don't mean that the Court has taken a turn to the left. There are several big decisions coming up in the next couple of months and it's likely that conservatives will be happy with the outcomes of those.

Saagar had a very interesting take on it:

10  Community Forums / The Lounge / Re: The Next President of the United States on: June 17, 2020, 01:33:25 PM

The US Supreme Court is quite different to ours, as you may know. The Justices are nominated by Presidents, and tend to decide cases according to their political views, which are well known before they're appointed. Appointing the Justices is an extremely important element of a President's tenure. As with all Supreme Courts, their decisions have extensive effects on the nation for decades or even centuries afterwards. The Court currently consists of four liberals and five conservatives, and their decisions usually follow that pattern, with many 5-4 outcomes, though not always. Despite their leanings, they are all top-level lawyers, and do sometimes come in with non-partisan votes.

They are set out above in line with their general left-right perception. Breyer and Kagan are pretty liberal, but Sotomayor and Ginsberg are the most liberal by a distance. Roberts (the Chief Justice) is the closest on either side to being a centrist, with Thomas far to the right of everyone, with Alito and Gorsuch somewhere in between, conservative but not as hardline as Thomas. Kavanaugh is harder to place - some have said he is another Roberts, while some have him close to Thomas, and some say he is halfway between them.

They were all appointed near the start of the relevant President's term - Ginsburg and Breyer by Clinton; Thomas, Roberts and Alito by GW Bush; Sotomayor and Kagan by Obama; Kavanaugh and Gorsuch by Trump - perhaps reflecting their predecessors hanging on til a President of their flavour came in. The next appointment will probably be to replace Ginsburg, who is 87 and has had some health issues. Breyer is 81, but the rest are considerably younger and should be there for a long time. If Trump gets in again, Ginsburg might not be able to hang around til she is almost 92.

This week, after months of deliberation, they have surprised by coming in with some liberal decisions.

First, they ruled by six to three that the Civil Rights Act, which outlaws discrimination based on sex, also applies to cases where an employee is fired based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Roberts and Trump-appointee Gorsuch sided with the Libs and Gorsuch wrote the majority text. In the dissenting opinion, Alito somehow concluded that this could lead to anti-discrimination protections for rapists.

In a blow to the Administration, they declined to hear a case of whether local authorities can decline to co-operate with federal bodies, which had been brought because California passed local laws limiting co-operation with immigration authorities. By them refusing to hear the case, California is free to continue impeding ICE. Thomas and Alito dissented, but Roberts, Kavanaugh and Gorsuch voted against Trump. It takes four votes to agree to hear a case, and five to make a decision once it has been heard.

They declined to hear ten Second Amendment cases which sought to extend gun-owners' rights, objecting to a variety of restrictions in particular States. Alito, Gorsuch and Thomas disagreed, but Kavanaugh sided with the liberals.

They also declined to hear eight cases on reducing qualified immunity, which protects government employees, including police and prison staff, from being sued (not for murder or proper crimes, but for things they do in their 'normal' activity). Surprisingly, Thomas, the most conservative, was the only dissenter in an 8-1 vote, though this has long been a hobby-horse of his. The Court's lack of interest in this essentially means that police can continue to bash people about with little comeback.

They granted a stay of execution for the murderer that justice-reform activist Kim Kardashian has been lobbying for. This happened just one hour before the execution was due, on the strange basis that his religious rights were violated by Texas' policy barring chaplains from being with inmates at execution. This means that this issue will go back to lower courts to examine and will, no doubt, take years to resolve, giving more time for the whole case to be challenged.

The Supreme Court has a history of activism. Certainly, when the Court has had a liberal majority, it has moved American society in a progressive direction, and the same is true, probably to a lesser extent, of conservative majorities. The current Court has handed down several conservative rulings, but the failure of the conservatives to hang together, while the liberals have been rock-solid, must be worrying for the White House and many in the country.
11  Community Forums / The Lounge / Re: How many Fu**ing times is it going to happen? on: June 16, 2020, 01:46:19 PM
This example in Minnesota from a couple of years ago is one of the worst. The driver tells the cop that he has a gun, he reaches for his licence and the cop loses control - his lack of training is so clear. The driver died. Though entitled to be distraught, his girlfriend is still trying to keep the cop calm and calling him sir. Then, having just watched her boyfriend being murdered, and not doing anything except sit in her seat, she is arrested! The policeman was prosecuted and found not guilty of all charges.

Don't watch the second clip if you're squeamish. It's from inside the car and is graphic. The driver is still alive at that stage.

12  Community Forums / The Lounge / Re: The Next President of the United States on: June 15, 2020, 06:21:53 PM
The glass of water - lol!
13  Community Forums / The Lounge / Re: The Next President of the United States on: June 15, 2020, 12:18:52 PM
Erika Shields has resigned as Atlanta Chief of Police after a black man was shot dead by police.

Seems a pity to lose her.

These recordings are all from just after the George Floyd killing.

14  Community Forums / The Lounge / Re: The Next President of the United States on: June 14, 2020, 11:48:47 PM
In fairness, that ramp is quite tricky. See how Obama struggled with it.

(After the first few seconds, this is just the national anthem.)

15  Community Forums / The Lounge / Re: The Next President of the United States on: June 14, 2020, 04:22:33 AM
The President still hasn't mastered drinking.

It's like there is a problem with his arm, which some medics are saying could indicate some neurological damage.

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