Trump presidency

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby commodorejohn » Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:03 am UTC

Probably depends on what specifically constitutes "the rest of the media." I don't follow TV news, but the Washington Post has been running regular coverage on it (in addition to breaking a good half of the stories) since before the inauguration.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:38 am UTC

sardia wrote:Have I been reading 538 too much or is the rest of the media not acknowledging just how serious the investigation against Trump is right now?


I've heard that its taken a serious turn from basically every news outlet I listen to, except for CSPAN which was heavily focused on the charity baseball game today. At least, at the time I was watching CSPAN anyway.

Even conservative media is reporting on it (critical of Muller, but they clearly note that Muller is pushing a big case against Trump himself now)
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:19 am UTC

At this point, I will be very surprised if Trump doesn't fire Mueller.

And when he does -- with a few exceptions -- House and Senate Republicans are going to collectively shrug.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby commodorejohn » Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:55 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:At this point, I will be very surprised if Trump doesn't fire Mueller.

Ditto that. If there's one consistent pattern we can observe from his presidency, it's that every time he feels cornered, he inevitably lashes out in the dumbest, most self-destructive way possible. And firing Mueller (just to complete the Stupid Watergate trifecta!) would totally fit that pattern.

But I don't anticipate a shrug when that happens. As much as the GOP has been willing to cover his ass to an absolutely shameful extent every time he presents it like a gorram mandrill, they're clearly getting tired of having to mop up after this idiot. They've been handed the Presidency and control of both chambers of Congress, an opportunity they've been waiting decades for, and they've hardly gotten a single thing done, largely because of this dumbass's willingness to dive into historical levels of scandal head-first and drag everyone else in with him. The House Republicans pretty much committed minor political suicide in the push to pass the AHCA so that he could pretend to have something to show for his first 100 days in office, then he turned around and publically shat all over the exact bill that he (and Ryan) badgered them into passing the other day, just a few weeks after he was celebrating it in the friggin' Rose Garden. Now McConnell is trying to strong-arm the Senate into similarly fly-by-night legislating on their version of the bill, and Senate Republicans are begining to wake up to the fact that they risk just as much and have no more guarantee he won't turn on them too once a few weeks have passed and he's bored and looking for shit to stir.

It's going to take an absolutely inexcusably long time, and it will be for all the wrong reasons, but the turn has already started. He's going to fall. Diving headfirst into a poor-man's-Nixon routine is only going to hasten that reckoning.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:13 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:At this point, I will be very surprised if Trump doesn't fire Mueller.

I kinda doubt he will. That would, for one, quite clearly be obstruction of justice. It would also be like letting everyone know there was some ...fire, not just smoke.

Re: 538, I really like listening to their podcasts (along with reading the articles). Harry Enten's voice is so chewy. On one hand, it's a bit unsettling that they are tacking their own course, but on the other, pretty much the whole point of the site is to put things in context and to discuss anylitically how unusual Trump is - and they're fully upfront about the limitations of the data.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby commodorejohn » Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:21 am UTC

Liri wrote:I kinda doubt he will. That would, for one, quite clearly be obstruction of justice. It would also be like letting everyone know there was some ...fire, not just smoke.

Oh, without a doubt. But: nothing has stopped Trump from stepping on his own dick before (see: the public comments laying bare the discriminatory purpose of the "travel ban," which the courts promptly seized upon as the perfect counter-argument to the administration's claim that the countries in question being majority-Muslim had nothing to do with it.) And we've seen many times how his instinctual impulse in controversies is to double-down and admit nothing, and how nothing his "advisers" say can dissuade him from a given course of action for more than about a day or so. So, while it's ridiculous and political suicide, I honestly would be shocked if he somehow doesn't end up making the attempt.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:30 am UTC

commodorejohn wrote:But I don't anticipate a shrug when that happens. As much as the GOP has been willing to cover his ass to an absolutely shameful extent every time he presents it like a gorram mandrill, they're clearly getting tired of having to mop up after this idiot.
On one hand I'd like to think so, on the other I don't even have enough optimism left to see them acting in their own self-interest. At this point they strike me as a bunch of passengers on a burning train hurtling full-speed toward a wall, all while firmly asserting that the conductor knows precisely what he's doing. And even if he doesn't, cut him a break, guys -- he's new at this!

But I'd love to be proven wrong. So, fingers crossed, I guess?
Liri wrote:I kinda doubt he will. That would, for one, quite clearly be obstruction of justice. It would also be like letting everyone know there was some ...fire, not just smoke.
You're assuming Trump is savvy enough to recognize this -- or even thoughtful enough to care. He is neither.

We're dealing with a man who's entire career has been based on two things: Bad decisions and the phrase, "You're fired". Now that he's faced with the chance to do both at once, you think he won't?

To think Trump won't fire Mueller is to think a scorpion won't sting. Of course they will; it's in their very nature.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby commodorejohn » Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:41 am UTC

Yeah, fingers crossed for sure - but as cynical as I am about these people, I have to think that at the very least, when faced with their own doom they'll turn on the person most directly responsible for it.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:44 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:To think Trump won't fire Mueller is to think a scorpion won't sting. Of course they will; it's in their very nature.


I don't think Trump actually has the authority to fire Mueller. Trump would have to force Jeff Sessions to do it on his behalf. Jeff Sessions however has recused himself from the Russian investigation, and it doesn't seem like Jeff Sessions has been getting treated well by the White House anyway. So Jeff likely would uphold his recusal. I mean seriously, what does Jeff Sessions have to gain by firing Muller?

That would leave the job to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein... the man who actually brought Muller on board in the first place. I find it highly unlikely that Rod Rosenstein would actually fire Muller, so Trump will be forced to fire HIM and then replace him with someone who would fire Muller.

Long story short: Rod Rosenstein is the first level of the firewall. If he's fired, we know what Trump is up to. On the other hand, I could be wrong about Jeff Sessions, and Jeff might actually step into this case and fire Muller.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby commodorejohn » Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:04 am UTC

Sessions already spent an entire morning covering Trump's ass (not to mention his own) on this, so I'm not gonna place a lot of stock in his principles, plus he's (at least nominally) recused himself from the matter. Rosenstein at least has (nominally) committed to supporting Mueller to a fully reasonable extent. But again, this is (as John Oliver has put it) Stupid Watergate, so I would not be at all surprised to see the stupid version of the infamous Saturday Night Massacre, where Nixon fired the attorney general (or acting AG, in this case) in order to coerce the next person down the line to fire the special counsel. Hell, based on previous events, I'd be willing to place money on Trump firing Rosenstein in order to oust Mueller, then leaving Spicer and Sarah Huckabee Sanders to try and brainstorm a rationale for a day or so before admitting in an interview that he did it to shut down the investigation.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Chen » Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:14 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:On one hand I'd like to think so, on the other I don't even have enough optimism left to see them acting in their own self-interest. At this point they strike me as a bunch of passengers on a burning train hurtling full-speed toward a wall, all while firmly asserting that the conductor knows precisely what he's doing. And even if he doesn't, cut him a break, guys -- he's new at this!


I'm pretty sure this is not right. They defend Trump because there are a fairly large number of Trump supporters in their base and they don't want to alienate them. Maybe that's more cynical but I'd put faith in experienced congresspeople to know exactly how to manipulate things to keep themselves in power.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:20 pm UTC

Counterpoint to the Republicans defending Trump. Congress might like the distractions because it takes the heat off their terrible bills. The country can't focus on both at once. The GOP bill might pass more readily since everyone is either defending or attacking Trump. Not to say this is intentional, but it's a happy side benefit.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:43 pm UTC

In other GOP news, Ted Cruz grows a pony-tail.

Image

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby commodorejohn » Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:09 pm UTC

Okay, I'm pretty sure that's the hat of someone behind him, but I like your interpretation better, because it fits with his apparently in-progress transformation into Steven Seagal.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zamfir » Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:12 pm UTC

Under Siege was good, but he never really matched that, did he?

-- ANd ninjaed already

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:15 pm UTC

... THAT's who he reminded me of in that photo. I couldn't put my finger on it.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:06 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:... THAT's who he reminded me of in that photo. I couldn't put my finger on it.

Couldn't touch it? No, wait, that was MC Hammer. A totally different perspective. Which is MC Escher.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby eran_rathan » Sat Jun 17, 2017 4:56 am UTC

The Republicans will defend Drumpf as long as possible, simply to continue stacking the judicial decks. They'll only drop him when its total political suicide, and as Frumpy himself noted, he could shoot someone on live tv and his base would still support him.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ucim » Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:12 am UTC

eran_rathan wrote:and as Frumpy himself noted, he could shoot someone on live tv and his base would still support him.
Is it any surprise that other people get the same idea? He's practically telling people to do it themselves, and they are starting to, on the baseball field.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Sableagle » Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:09 pm UTC

That can't be Steven Seagal. He has a facial expression.

The idea that Trump might fire the next investigator (and the next one and the next one) has been in my head for a while, although I don't know quite who's responsible for hiring and firing in these things. Do they know? Does Trump care? Even if he doesn't have authority to fire someone, would that stop him telling that person "You're fired!" and then insisting that once he's said it everyone else has to "Make it so, Number One!" for him?

It's been GOP SOP for a while to insist that there are no flaws and anybody trying to point out any flaws is a radical extremist enemy of the state. Anybody who doesn't want that river filling with cyanide and arsenic is just trying to cripple American mining businesses and hand world dominance to China, anybody who doesn't want Hurricane Katrina to become a twice-a-year event is just trying to stop American small business owners from making a profit and realising their dreams, anybody who doesn't want to de-fund state education is just jealous that smarter, harder-working people are richer than them, anybody who doesn't want to bulldoze the mosque with all the worshippers still inside it just wants to finish what Hitler started (you knew this'd hit Godwin's Law within ten lines, right?), anybody investigating links between the Trump campaign and Russia is just trying to undermine Strong And Stable government and still whining about having lost their unfair grip on power that they were using to impoverish ordinary Americans everywhere and anyone who thinks guns ought to be at least a little bit harder to get wants you all to be defenceless in your homes when the black Muslim communist Mexican rapist drug cartels break down your doors. I don't have much hope of them doing the right thing, the honest thing, the best thing for their supporters, the best thing for all their constituents, the best thing for the country or the best thing for the next three generations locally, nationally or worldwide.

The Democrats currently have only one job, to be better than the Republicans, and they sometimes look like they're barely managing that, but I won't be placing faith in the GOP.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:01 pm UTC

A member of Donald Trump’s legal team has denied the president’s own assertion that he is under investigation for obstruction of justice.

Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, appeared across the major political talk shows on Sunday. Speaking on CBS’s Face the Nation, he said: “The fact of the matter is the president has not been and is not under investigation.”

On NBC’s Meet the Press, he said: “He’s not afraid of the investigation – there is no investigation. There is not an investigation of the president of the United States, period.”

Sekulow’s comments directly contradicted Trump’s own tweet this week, in which he appeared to refer to deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein when he wrote: “I’m being investigated for firing the FBI director by the man who told me to fire the FBI director. Witch hunt!”

What-ever!

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Jumble » Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:18 pm UTC

Trump's wall. On the whole I've not bothered much about this, although if I lived in the US or Mexico, particularly near the border, I might care more. If the idiot in chief wants to waste a vast amount of US taxpayers money building a folly to his own stupidity then that is somewhat less damaging than any of his other catastrophic acts of gross negligence. As Germany demonstrated, walls are way to pull down when the arsehat who built them lose power. However, I just noticed on the BBC News (and checked on various other sources) he wants the wall to be random X meters tall (depending on when he opened his stupid mouth) and 6 feet deep.

Wait, 6 feet? Not even 6 meters? Given that he claims to have made his non-existent billions in construction, 6 feet? Never in the history of smuggling, prison escapes, not to mention mining, have motivated individuals been able to build a tunnel more that 6 feet deep? He really knows how to piss your money up the wall. Literally.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:24 pm UTC

Six feet still seems pretty thick for a wall. In any case, it doesn't matter how thick it is when illegal immigrants just go through the border checkpoint legally and then outstay their visa.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:34 pm UTC

"Deep" as in foundation depth1 not wall-thickness. I presume. And presuming I read your alternate impression correctly.

ETA: 1 Which can also be easily-enough tunelled under, unless you're touching bedrock - and you can even tunnel rock easily enough, if you really want to, and probably better to avoid telltale surface slumping...

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:26 pm UTC

Oops, yes that makes much more sense.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Koa » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:47 pm UTC

Sableagle wrote:The Democrats currently have only one job, to be better than the Republicans, and they sometimes look like they're barely managing that, but I won't be placing faith in the GOP.


I think the Democrats are largely doing okay given the circumstances. I guess a few are bought by the pharmaceutical industry, and there are a few theories presumably instigated by Russia like the Seth Rich murder or that Bernie was robbed by DNC leadership. Democrats have also made attempts to put the crazy train on the right track, but the GOP has stepped up their aggression likely because the clock is ticking and there's still a lot of money on the table. Now it's nothing but slowing the damage, and doing so subtly enough without being effectively painted as an enemy to the country. It should be very easy to look good as a total minority party so it's a little worrying when people express how comparable the parties are, especially when it's coming from someone who isn't a Trump supporter. I have talked as though they were comparable before just to get certain people to listen to me at all, but I try not to because it's not true. They're a few leagues separate for more reasons than I would care to list. It can swing in the other direction given enough time of course.

Jumble wrote: If the idiot in chief wants to waste a vast amount of US taxpayers money building a folly to his own stupidity then that is somewhat less damaging than any of his other catastrophic acts of gross negligence.

The wall was the original example of his impending catastrophic acts of gross negligence. Knowing now the full extent of the rate of damage he is capable of, which has exceeded my worst expectations, the wall does seem small. It doesn't look like it will ever get properly funded anyway.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby cyanyoshi » Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:06 am UTC

Trump Orders Government to Stop Work on Y2K Bug, 17 Years Later

Spoiler:
Bloomberg wrote:Seventeen years after the Year 2000 bug came and went, the federal government will finally stop preparing for it.

The Trump administration announced Thursday that it would eliminate dozens of paperwork requirements for federal agencies, including an obscure rule that requires them to continue providing updates on their preparedness for a bug that afflicted some computers at the turn of the century. As another example, the Pentagon will be freed from a requirement that it file a report every time a small business vendor is paid, a task that consumed some 1,200 man-hours every year.

“We’re looking for stuff everyone agrees is a complete waste of time,” Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told reporters at the White House. He likened the move to the government “cleaning out our closets.”

Deregulation is a major ambition of President Donald Trump’s agenda; as one example, he has signed more laws rolling back his predecessor’s regulations than the combined total of the three previous presidents since the process was established by the 1999 Congressional Review Act.

Seven of the more than 50 paperwork requirements the White House eliminated on Thursday dealt with the Y2K bug, according to a memo OMB released. Officials at the agency estimate the changes could save tens of thousands of man-hours across the federal government.

The agency didn’t provide an estimate of how much time is currently spent on Y2K paperwork, but Linda Springer, an OMB senior adviser, acknowledged that it isn’t a lot since those requirements are already often ignored in practice.

Mulvaney said he hopes that by publicly eliminating the rules, departments and agencies will be inspired to review their own policies and procedures to reduce inefficiencies.

“Many agencies have forgotten how to deregulate,” he said. “It’s been so long since somebody asked them to look backwards.”

The effort isn’t intended to reduce the federal workforce, Mulvaney said, but should free up employees for more productive tasks. He said his agency would begin a second review of requirements imposed by presidential executive orders and by Congress, with the hope of identifying more that could be eliminated.

Not all Trump news has to be bad.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby orthogon » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:56 am UTC

cyanyoshi wrote:Not all Trump news has to be bad.

I suppose not, but... Aggressive deregulation programmes risk throwing out the baby with the bathwater. I read somewhere that last week's tragic fire at Grenfell Tower might have been prevented had it not been for a "one-in two-out" policy on new regulation.

Does the millennium compliance requirement also cover 2038 compliance? Now would be a good time to introduce it if not. Linux timestamps are probably more pervasive in the kinds of systems that people were worried about back in the '90s: nuclear power stations and suchlike. Millennium bugs were more about invoices and getting people's age wrong.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby speising » Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:06 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:Millennium bugs were more about invoices and getting people's age wrong.

Planes falling out of the sky! Cats and dogs making love! Fire and Brimstone!!

Trump won't be president in 2038 anymore, so why should he care?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Jumble » Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:35 pm UTC

Original Ghostbusters wrote:Dr. Raymond Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!

Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes...

Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave!

Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!



It was a prophecy! It all makes sense!!

Is Trump an orange version of the StayPuff Marshmallow Man?

(He's a bit short and his hands are out of proportion)
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:14 am UTC

http://fivethirtyeight.com/live-blog/ge ... elections/
It's special election counting time for Handel vs the Democratic staffer. Early vote counts show Handel looking shakey but ahead. Supposedly the historic turnout is probably bad news for Democrats since low turnout benefit the fired up party during off years.
Edit: It's over, GOP is gonna win this one, now it's just a matter of how much. This might encourage Republicans to push forward with their unpopular healthcare bill though.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:31 am UTC

53% vs 47%. For a "safe" GOP seat, that seems awfully close.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:33 am UTC

National attention from democrats isn't having the desired effect. Like Nate (I think) said, it has a distorting influence on the race. And things like the campaigning itself and the candidates themselves still matter.

That gerrymandering supreme court case should be interesting. They agreed to hear it rather than offer a limited instruction to the lower courts, which is vaguely encouraging, at least to have the possibility of a significant decision.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:57 am UTC

Mutex wrote:53% vs 47%. For a "safe" GOP seat, that seems awfully close.

That's actually better than expected from the GOP. A good result from Democrats would have kept the margin a lot under 5 points. I think Democrats are in a conundrum. The harder they fight for a seat, the more the Republicans get motivated. But if Democrats skate under the radar, the GOP is not motivated and the margin shrinks a lot. It's a tough tightrope to walk.
Lastly, everyone is going to take the wrong lesson from this.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:38 pm UTC

sardia wrote:The harder they fight for a seat, the more the Republicans get motivated. But if Democrats skate under the radar, the GOP is not motivated and the margin shrinks a lot. It's a tough tightrope to walk.
Lastly, everyone is going to take the wrong lesson from this.
They still shouldn't try to fight on a tightrope whilst wearing skates, though, obviously!

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:33 pm UTC

Just got a great job... which disappears if the ACA subsidies do as well. Fuck the Republicans for trying to scrap the ACA with no accountability, and fuck the Democrats for getting rid of filibusters because they thought they'd be the party in power forever.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:31 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Just got a great job... which disappears if the ACA subsidies do as well. Fuck the Republicans for trying to scrap the ACA with no accountability, and fuck the Democrats for getting rid of filibusters because they thought they'd be the party in power forever.

Mitch McConnell admitted that the filibuster favors conservatives far more than liberals. He's not going to do it unless he stops caring about the long game. Mitch won't get rid of the filibuster lightly for legislation.

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Zohar
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zohar » Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:43 pm UTC

They already did that for Gorsuch's nomination, didn't they?
Mighty Jalapeno: "See, Zohar agrees, and he's nice to people."
SecondTalon: "Still better looking than Jesus."

Not how I say my name

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Thesh
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:46 pm UTC

Only for the Supreme Court, not legislation.
Summum ius, summa iniuria.

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sardia
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:52 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:Only for the Supreme Court, not legislation.

It's all judges except for blue slip privileges.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/20/us/p ... o-cia.html
Pompeo did something curious, he or his team knew that Flynn was a Russian compromised target, but they kept briefing him on classified information ( Flynn was in room while information was given to others). Either the CIA didn't tell Trump, or Trump didn't care, or CIA underlings didn't tell pompeo. It's something sketchy going on.


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