Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Asparagus on February 6th, 2018, 7:57 pm 

BIV wrote: Of course,when Hillary Clinton used a far less damning phrase, they took that deadly seriously and she will be a Right Wing Pinata for all eternity.

You'd think all the candy would fall out eventually.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Mossling on February 7th, 2018, 12:25 am 

He's certainly continuing to tick those rising dictator boxes isn't he.

I think the bad energy and treason stuff is a counter-punch to criticisms being leveled at him regarding the dip in stock market - his little cow (stolen from Obama) that he's been milking since taking office.

But as discussed elsewhere on the forum, the ultimate foundation of a democracy is the military, and their responses looked particularly grave - a lot of "bad energy" there, lol (see second half of this):



Everyone knows that he is an emotionally unstable man - a coward who hides behind inheritance and dodged the draft to go to 'nam - a person that military men who have seen action will never be able to follow with heartiness.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Mossling on February 7th, 2018, 12:45 am 

Serpent » February 7th, 2018, 3:21 am wrote:
Mossling » February 6th, 2018, 5:06 am wrote:I liked what she said about Trump speaking like a construction guy in a pit. It means that he sees the world through the eyes of the masses more,

How can anyone imagine this? He sees the world through the eyes of a spoiled rich guy in a gilded tower, surrounded by toadies he changes as often as his socks. He believes in nothing but Trump.
He sounds like the masses, because he repeats the noises he hears on FUX, which the masses are also used to hearing and repeating.

But he's as emotionally weak and lost as they are - he is suffering like the dumbed down masses. His golden furniture does nothing for his mental wellbeing, so its an emotional 'currency' that he shares with the populace - a depression regarding a complex, ever-changing world - a world that his brutish heart wishes would stop being so slippery and changeable, and just be predictable and thus easily ambushable - over and over again, just daily ambush and ravage using one simple formula - like living on an island of dodo birds, but the birds are beauty pageant models and sycophantic butlers. That is his apparent dream, as well as most conservatives - no matter the fact that such appetites are ultimately unsatiable and quickly become economically and physically impossible because constant novelty is demanded.

Just totally lost in a fantasy of 'figuring out the system' - as if the system is not operating according to the laws of nature - of re-iterative mathematics that produces constant novelty.

Lol - what a metaphor - Trump flying down through a mandelbrot fractal saying over and over again "I've figured out the overall pattern - I'll lead you through".....

Again, Socrates warned us all of this - of falling for the apparent conceptual absolutes of the calculative mind. He saw it as his job, and the most good job, in fact - of helping others to realise that the true fall of man is in his thinking that his divisive concepts can describe the wholesome truth of the system.

The only overall pattern Trump has come to know is inheriting elites stay on top and having tantrums solves problems, and he thinks that's the only good way for things to continue - it got him to the presidency after all, so why quit the magic behind the 'winning streak'?
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby SciameriKen on February 7th, 2018, 10:38 am 

Trump an emerging dictator?

Trump is bringing back the Cold War with nukes, an arms race, and a military parade

http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-is ... ade-2018-2

Maybe...
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Braininvat on February 7th, 2018, 10:56 am 

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/pentagon-eyeing-military-parade-d-c-trump-s-request-n845331

They're negotiating with Leni Riefenstahl to make a movie of the parade and what follows. Clapping will not be optional.

(and btw, thanks, Badger, for the video intro)
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Braininvat on February 7th, 2018, 10:59 am 

Asparagus » February 6th, 2018, 4:57 pm wrote:
BIV wrote: Of course,when Hillary Clinton used a far less damning phrase, they took that deadly seriously and she will be a Right Wing Pinata for all eternity.

You'd think all the candy would fall out eventually.


Heh! Turns out you can shriek "Benghazi!' and " private email account" an infinite number of times.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby hyksos on February 7th, 2018, 2:52 pm 

bernieauthoritar.jpg

Looks like Bernie beat you to the punch on this one.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Serpent on February 7th, 2018, 5:16 pm 

"Tanks, but no tanks"
Best response to a trumpery I've heard so far. More people should say that.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Mossling on February 11th, 2018, 2:00 am 

Harvard professors: US democracy in danger
CNN, Feb 10, 2018



Trump Dictator.jpg
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby jocular on February 11th, 2018, 7:12 am 

Aside from the question of Trump's presidency representing the danger suggested in the OP , there is an assumption that the US (or the world) can afford to take its foot off the pedal wrt to ongoing tasks that need to be approached in an intelligent way.

If the best that can be hoped for is to "get through" a period of ineffective governance while the world's problems move along regardless, then ......

Hopefully ,if we do get through this period then some lessons can be drawn , but I can't see that yet.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Serpent on February 11th, 2018, 11:57 am 

How many enemies do the people and/or democracy have so far?

Mexicans
other illegal immigrants
Democrats
Muslims
liberal jurists
health-care advocates
California
anti-gun lobby
the FBI
women
journalists
professors

By the time he's finished listing enemies, maybe there won't be anyone left to fight them all.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Neri on February 12th, 2018, 11:54 am 

I think it necessary to clear up some of the muddy thinking of many who have posted comments on this topic.

First of all, our country is in no danger of becoming a dictatorship. The minority party have been able to frustrate the president’s will on almost every promise he made to the American people who voted him into office. Obviously, this does not evince an all-powerful leader on the road to dictatorship.

A special counsel appointed by the First Deputy Attorney General is investigating possible Russian influence in the recent presidential election. Until the special counsel announces his findings, no one can properly say that anyone, Republican or Democrat, is guilty of wrongdoing.

It appears that members of both the Trump and Hillary Clinton campaigns attempted to obtain “dirt” on the opposing candidate through Russian operatives. This in itself may not be a violation of law.

There are also allegations that the Trump Campaign conspired with the Russians to make public the emails of top Clinton campaign aids. This is a more serious allegation, notwithstanding the fact that the emails were an authentic representation of what the Clinton people actually said.

Often overlooked, however, is the fact that no direct evidence has been put forward to support the claim that the Russian government was responsible for the release of the emails. Instead, we are told that four of seventeen national security agencies are of the opinion that the Russian Government was responsible.

This opinion is based largely on the theory that the Russians had a motive to help Trump win the election because, during the campaign, he made flattering statements about Putin and wanted more favorable relations with Russia.

Trump countered by saying that these same agencies believed that Sadam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and that accepting their erroneous opinion led to the disastrous war in Iraq.

There is a sharp division on political ideology in the press. The major TV networks, newspapers and magazines as well as most of the cable networks consist of leftists vehemently opposed to the president and who never cease to criticize him on even the smallest point. Their bias and hostility is unprecedented in the history of this country. Former president Jimmy Carter, a liberal democrat, has made this very point.

On the other hand, Fox Cable News and most talk- radio commentators are decidedly right wing and almost always support and defend the president.

This situation has reached the stage where MSNBC and CNN have become propaganda organs for the Democrats, and Fox News has become a propaganda organ for the Republicans. This may be good for America in the sense that the clash of opposing ideas helps the people to find an approximation of truth. On the other hand, it has done great damage to the institution of the press.

The US Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and of the press. Neither the federal government nor any state government may abridge these rights.

Thus, the press are free to criticize the president and even to publish false or unsubstantiated stories about him, and he can do nothing to prevent it.

However, the president also has the right of free speech. No one can prevent him from saying that the press are biased against him or that they publish false stories about him. He is well within his rights as a US citizen to do this. The exercise of this constitutional right is certainly not an indication that he is a potential dictator.

The US constitution allows the congress to grant temporary dictatorial powers to the president in time of emergency (which usually means in time of war). This includes the power to suspend civil liberties and human rights. To some degree, such powers were granted to presidents Lincoln, Wilson and Roosevelt (FDR)—which they exercised quite vigorously. With neither a grave emergency nor a favorable congress, we need not worry about the president obtaining dictatorial powers.

Furthermore, in this day and age, it is quite unlikely that the US Supreme Court would allow a current president to violate civil liberties in the way, for example, that Roosevelt did when he confined Japanese-Americans in concentration camps during World War II.

However, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, there was wide acceptance among both Democrats and Republicans in congress that the executive branch should have more power to deal with terrorism, even if it entailed a diminution in the constitutional rights of ordinary citizens.

Thus, the FBI was given wider powers to tap the phones of Americans. To offer at least a modicum of constitutional protection, secret courts (FISA Courts) were created to insure that the FBI did not abuse its new powers.

Unfortunately, these courts have become rubber stamps for the FBI. Nearly one hundred percent of the FBI applications for wire taps of Americans were approved by FISA courts. This remains the case to the present day. But the activities of the FBI have now taken a more ominous turn.

It appears that certain high-ranking FBI case managers, who were passionate Clinton supporters, obtained FISA Court authorization to wire tap the Trump campaign on the basis of fraudulent information provided by the Clinton campaign. Thus, sadly, we are witnessing the abuse of power by the FBI at its highest levels. This is troubling.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Serpent on February 12th, 2018, 12:28 pm 

A touching faith in national institutions is part of the American charm.
This, on the other hand,
It appears that certain high-ranking FBI case managers, who were passionate Clinton supporters, obtained FISA Court authorization to wire tap the Trump campaign on the basis of fraudulent information provided by the Clinton campaign. Thus, sadly, we are witnessing the abuse of power by the FBI at its highest levels. This is troubling.

is troubling.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Braininvat on February 12th, 2018, 12:50 pm 

Thus, the press are free to criticize the president and even to publish false or unsubstantiated stories about him, and he can do nothing to prevent it.


Coming from a journalist family ( and dedicated professionals of great integrity as regards fact checking ), I want to make one correction to this: papers of record ( not opinion blogs*, IOW ) are subject to libel laws. Such news outlets, be they the Post, the NYT, or the Houston Chronicle, are sued for millions when their news reportage strays from the facts based on solid evidence. This has happened, when an employee goes off the rails, and commits libel. For this reason, as well as ethical ones, these papers are tremendously motivated to get their facts right. The falsehoods uttered by the POTUS, unfortunately, do not have this legal impediment to their dissemination. And there are many of them, as Politifacts and other independent fact checkers, have proven.

You seem like a smart fellow. Don't let partisan bias prevent you from seeing the genuine threats to democratic process that are posed by a corrupt and oligarchy friendly administration. I say this as a moderate Independent who rejects both partisan extremes.

I find it interesting that newspapers that were perceived as moderate or moderate-conservative (like the Post) have suddenly been moved to the "Left" by a powerful Far Right coalition. Even the New York Times has a stable of moderate Con columnists like David Brooks, who now is mistaken for a Lefty only because the Right has moved so far to the Right.

When you are a Republican and even the National Review is highly critical of your President, maybe it's time to consider the possibility that the opposition is not just a Leftist conspiracy. The architect Walter Gropius said "the human mind is like an umbrella - it works best when open."

* all the opinion junk, ranging from Huffpost to InfoWars
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Braininvat on February 12th, 2018, 1:15 pm 

Unfortunately, these courts have become rubber stamps for the FBI. Nearly one hundred percent of the FBI applications for wire taps of Americans were approved by FISA courts. This remains the case to the present day. But the activities of the FBI have now taken a more ominous turn.

It appears that certain high-ranking FBI case managers, who were passionate Clinton supporters, obtained FISA Court authorization to wire tap the Trump campaign on the basis of fraudulent information provided by the Clinton campaign. Thus, sadly, we are witnessing the abuse of power by the FBI at its highest levels. This is troubling.


Let's examine the word "ominous.".

Mueller is a conservative and Republican. He also has a rep for integrity and being able to conduct DOJ business in a nonpartisan manner. If the Steele memos are bad intel, then why would we not presume that his investigation will find this out and move on to whatever other evidentiary sources exist. There is every indication that the FISA court allowed surveillance based on OTHER sources and loads of suspicious activity reported by multiple witnesses. The Nunes memo cherry-picked a few facts to present a distorted view of how the FBI is handling the Russian investigation and now the President has blocked public release of a memo that would provide other information and a different perspective than Trump's hatchet man. Doesn't THAT seem " ominous" to you?

Also, just a quick fact check here: Carter Page had been watched by the Bureau for a couple years, due to his Russian shenanigans, WELL before the FISC application. Hardly a spur of the moment partisan fishing expedition!

Finally the entire case for "passionate Clinton supporters" running roughshod over professional restraint seems to reside with the wife of an FBI employee. Not an actual FBI employee. So unless you feel hearing pillow talk destroys a man's professional integrity and ability to follow proper procedure (look out, James Carville!!), and can prove that, it seems best to avoid such appeals to innuendo.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby mitchellmckain on February 12th, 2018, 3:40 pm 

Neri » February 12th, 2018, 10:54 am wrote:
The minority party have been able to frustrate the president’s will on almost every promise he made to the American people who voted him into office.



Since his own party, the republicans have the majority in both senate and house of representatives then I don't see how such an excuse can even get off the ground let alone fly. The only thing frustrating the president is his own obvious lunacy no matter how he tries to blame it on everyone else (JUST like nearly every inmate of our prisons). Yes, like so many in our business community, he has the mentality of a criminal (the rules don't apply to him) and a used car salesman (a successful sale/election is the only justification he requires for whatever nonsense he spouts). It is too much to expect that the republicans might have learn a lesson from this (they seem riddled with just as much criminal lunacy as he is). I can only hope the opposition has learned the lesson that they have to fight for sanity just as hard as the lunatics have been fighting against it.

It may be too soon to cry dictator yet, but we dare not laugh away the warning signs. There is too much to lose.

This also might be considered a lesson in humility for the old USA. We now see more clearly that we are not immune to the danger of putting lunatics, clowns, and potential dictators into power.

Neri » February 12th, 2018, 10:54 am wrote:However, the president also has the right of free speech. No one can prevent him from saying that the press are biased against him or that they publish false stories about him. He is well within his rights as a US citizen to do this. The exercise of this constitutional right is certainly not an indication that he is a potential dictator.

But he doesn't have the right to curtail the same right of free speech by everyone else to speak against him and that is what we are seeing in what he has been doing. That is where we see an indication of him being a potential dictator.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Braininvat on February 13th, 2018, 12:00 pm 

I made 2 lengthy responses to your post, Neri, and would like to have a real discussion with you. You made a couple of bold assertions that seemed not congruent with the facts, which I addressed.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Neri on February 13th, 2018, 1:51 pm 

BIV,

As an independent, I have tried to give a balanced account of the issues before us. In the same spirit, I will try to address your concerns.

An ordinary citizen is far more susceptible to civil suit for libel than the press. All that is required is that he circulated, even if to very few people, a writing that he either knew or should have known was false and that as a consequence damaged the reputation of the person alleging libel.

On the other hand, when the press publishes false statements about a public figure, the wronged party must establish both that the publisher had actual knowledge that the information was false and that he published it with the malicious intent to do damage to the reputation of the public figure.

So that, for a public figure to successfully sue the press, he must prove both actual knowledge and malicious intent. This presents an almost insurmountable obstacle to any litigant. Of course, any public figure who pays the filing fee can bring a suit against a news outlet. However, the court regularly dismisses suits of this type if they do not meet the stringent requirements of the law.

It is true that both Democrats and Republicans have been friendly to Russian billionaires with connections to the Russian Government and that this can present a genuine threat to the American process.

For example, Hillary Clinton accepted a total of about 500 million dollars in contributions to the Clinton Foundation from Russian billionaires while she was Secretary of State. Thereafter, these oligarchs were granted control of twenty percent of the American uranium reserves.

Also, Don Trump Jr. met with a Russian Lawyer who claimed to have derogatory information about Hillary Clinton. When it turned out that she had no such information but was only lobbying for Russian commercial interests, the meeting was terminated.

Further, Republican and Democratic members of congress, including then Senator Jeff Sessions, have been meeting for years with lobbyists from Russian companies.

Anyone who thinks that the New York Times and the Washington Post are not motivated by an intent to discredit President Trump is living in a dream world. The same can be said about those who believe that Fox News is “fair and balanced.”

The National Review has been critical of President Trump largely because of his populist views and his disinclination to reduce social security and other benefits for the poor. Clearly, Trump is not the typical all-for-big-business Republican politician even though he is quite rich himself. He also relates to factory workers and miners in a way not found in either establishment Democrats or Republicans. This was, in the largest measure, responsible for his the success of his campaign.

The phone tapping of the Trump campaign was not the work of Mr. Mueller. In fact, when he found out what was going on he removed the FBI wrongdoers from any participation in his investigation. So that none of this can be laid at the feet of Mr. Mueller.

As far back as 2011 the FBI sought without success to obtain from the FISA Court authorization to tap Carter Paige’s telephone. The request for surveillance was apparently base on nothing more than the fact that Page was dealing with Russian businesses.

During the election campaign, the FBI's informal investigation of Paige—now under the auspices of Clinton enthusiasts, Andrew McCabe (the number two man at the FBI) and Peter Strzok (high ranking official at the FBI)-- sought again to obtain authorization to tap Paige’s phone. This request was again denied. I might add that such a denial is quite unusual for a FISA Court.

Thereafter, McCabe and Strzok included sexually embarrassing information regarding Trump in a new request for surveillance of Paige. This information (the so-called Trump Dossier) was purchased from Russian sources by highly paid foreign operatives of the Clinton campaign.

This latest request to conduct a surveillance of Paige was granted by the FISA Court and Paige’s phones were tapped.

I might add that when former FBI Director Comey testified under oath before congress, he stated that the derogatory information (Trump dossier) supplied by the Clinton campaign was not verified and unreliable.

Andrew McCabe testified before congress that he would not have filed another request with the FISA Court if the Trump dossier were not included.

Apparently, he believed that without the dossier, the court would not have granted the request. In the FISA Court petition, McCabe deliberately omitting the fact that this information was obtained by highly paid foreign operatives of the Clinton campaign.

Even if the allegations of sexual misconduct by Trump were demonstrably true—and this is not at all the case-- it is quite difficult to understand how Trump’s supposed sexual misbehavior in any way tends to show that Paige conspired with the Russians.

Regarding the Nunez memo one can suspect an emphasis of the facts supporting the Republican position. The same may be said of the Democrat memo.

However, at least the Republican memo was submitted to the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) before it was submitted to the president. These agencies made proper redactions.

On the other hand, the Republican memo was sent to the president without any prior vetting by the FBI and DOJ. The president made no changes to the Republican memo but rather sent it on to the FBI and DOJ for appropriate redactions, if any. The president agreed that the Republican memo should be released, but only in a way that does not compromise sources and methods.

When we have both memos, we will be in a better position to distill the significant facts.
Last edited by Neri on February 13th, 2018, 2:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Neri on February 13th, 2018, 2:14 pm 

Mitch,

The Democrats have been able to obstruct the Trump agenda for a very simple reason. It requires 60 votes to pass any legislation in the senate and the republicans have a total of only 51 votes.

It is really silly to say that the president is curtailing the freedom of the press by simply expressing he belief that he is not being treated fairly. There is nothing in law or common sense that requires a president to be a silent punching bag to all attacks of the press. In fact to require that of him would be a violation of the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

Your contention that all businessmen are corrupt and deceptive is beyond the pale of rationality.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Braininvat on February 13th, 2018, 2:22 pm 

For example, Hillary Clinton accepted a total of about 500 million dollars in contributions to the Clinton Foundation from Russian billionaires while she was Secretary of State. Thereafter, these oligarchs were granted control of twenty percent of the American uranium reserves.


https://www.snopes.com/hillary-clinton-uranium-russia-deal/

This was debunked quite some time ago.

Good luck with your research. I suggest more research from independent sources, and fewer right-wing talking points.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Braininvat on February 13th, 2018, 2:25 pm 

The Democrats have been able to obstruct the Trump agenda for a very simple reason. It requires 60 votes to pass any legislation in the senate and the republicans have a total of only 51 votes.


Incorrect. It requires 60 votes to override a veto from an opposition POTUS. At present, the POTUS is a Republican, and the Senate has 51 GOP votes, which is sufficient to pass some legislation. Not sure if you recall a rather big bill passing around Xmas time? Good luck with your research.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Neri on February 13th, 2018, 3:55 pm 

BIV,

What cannot be denied are the following facts: (1) The Clinton Foundation received hundreds of millions of dollars from Russian business interests with connections to the Russian government while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. (2) Thereafter, She supported a deal wherein 20 percent of US uranium reserves were transferred to these same Russian business interests.

It has been pointed out by Clinton supporters that there is no proof that there was a quid pro quo in the form of a prior agreement that Clinton would support the measure in return for a contribution of a certain amount to the Clinton Foundation. Indeed, this is true.

It is claimed that this debunks the idea that Clinton was guilty of wrongdoing. If one is naïve enough to believe that the Russians gave these enormous sums of money for noble and purely eleemosynary reasons, I suppose that he would say that Clinton was exonerated. Those who have more knowledge of the ways of the world would probably think otherwise.

And now a little civics lesson:

The rules of the Senate allow for what is known as a filibuster. This is the ultimate tool of obstruction. It means that opposition senators can argue without time limitations against a bill with majority support and thus prevent its enactment.

The only recourse against such a tactic is to invoke what is called cloture. This will stop the debate process and bring the matter up for a vote. But here is the rub. It takes 60 votes to invoke cloture, and the Republicans only have 51. So that, in practice, it takes 60 votes to bring any proposed legislation up for a vote in the Senate.

The same rule does not apply in the House where the president’s agenda has been largely supported. However, the constitution requires that both houses of congress are necessary to make law.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Braininvat on February 13th, 2018, 4:16 pm 

The Uranium One Deal Was Not Clinton’s to Veto or Approve

Among the ways these accusations stray from the facts is in attributing a power of veto or approval to Secretary Clinton that she simply did not have. Clinton was one of nine cabinet members and department heads that sit on the CFIUS, and the secretary of the treasury is its chairperson. CFIUS members are collectively charged with evaluating proposed foreign acquisitions for potential national security issues, then turning their findings over to the president. By law, the committee can’t veto a transaction; only the president can.

All nine federal agencies were required to approve the Uranium One transaction before it could go forward. According to The New York Times, Clinton may not have even directly participated in the decision. Then-Assistant Secretary of State Jose Fernandez, whose job it was to represent the State Dept. on CFIUS, said Clinton “never intervened” in committee matters. Clinton herself has said she wasn’t personally involved.

There Is No Evidence That Uranium Went to Russia

That a change of company ownership occurred doesn’t mean that 10 to 20 percent of America’s uranium literally went to Russia. Neither Uranium One nor ARMZ (Rosatom’s mining subsidiary) is licensed to export uranium from the U.S. to other countries.

Some exports did occur, however.

A 2015 letter from NRC official Mark Satorius to a member of Congress revealed that an unspecified amount of yellowcake (semi-processed) uranium was shipped from a Uranium One facility in Wyoming to Canada between 2012 and 2014 for conversion (additional processing to prepare it for enrichment). A portion of that uranium was subsequently shipped to enrichment plants in Europe.

The transfers to Canada were legal despite Uranium One’s not holding an export license because the NRC granted such a license to the company that transported it. The transfers to Europe were legal because they were approved by another agency, the U.S. Dept. of Energy. Satorius stressed that the transfers were subject to NRC oversight and all applicable safety and national security regulations:



It's nice when people read the posted link. There is just "no there there.". The rest of the Snopes report is also illuminating.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Braininvat on February 13th, 2018, 4:29 pm 

Neri » February 13th, 2018, 12:55 pm wrote:BIV,
......

And now a little civics lesson:

The rules of the Senate allow for what is known as a filibuster. This is the ultimate tool of obstruction. It means that opposition senators can argue without time limitations against a bill with majority support and thus prevent its enactment.

The only recourse against such a tactic is to invoke what is called cloture. This will stop the debate process and bring the matter up for a vote. But here is the rub. It takes 60 votes to invoke cloture, and the Republicans only have 51. So that, in practice, it takes 60 votes to bring any proposed legislation up for a vote in the Senate.

The same rule does not apply in the House where the president’s agenda has been largely supported. However, the constitution requires that both houses of congress are necessary to make law.


Cloture was eliminated in April 2017 for judicial nominees, so that Gorsuch et al could be appointed by a simple majority. The FY 18 reconciliation bill was passed, also by simple majority at the end of December. So, no, simple majorities have not been obstructed to the degree you stated. But you are free to offer civics lessons every time your facts are challenged. Your assuming I had never heard of filibuster or cloture was good for a chuckle!
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Neri on February 13th, 2018, 7:42 pm 

BIV,

Let us not forget that the members of the CFIUS were Democratic appointees, and Clinton was the Secretary of State and Democratic heir apparent to the presidency.

Thus, it was within her power to exert considerable influence on the other members of the CFIUS—although they would never admit it. The Russians did not give a fortune to the Clintons out of the goodness of their hearts. That is not the way life works. President Obama, to his discredit, approved the deal.

This leave one wondering why it would be in the national interest to surrender 20 percent of US uranium reserves to Russian oligarchs when, according to the Democrats, Russia is such a danger to national security. It seems that the Democrats were all right with the Russians until they needed someone to blame for Hillary Clinton’s trouncing at the polls.

The filabuster was eliminated prior to the Trump administration only as to district and circuit court judges.

In 2017, the Republicans used the so-called nuclear option that required only a simple majority to confirm the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. However, the Republicans did not change the rules as they apply to general legislation, which still requires a 60-vote majority. Of course, there is no doubt that this appointment fulfilled a promise that Trump made to the American people.

A budget reconciliation is a rare exception to the 60-vote rule. It requires that spending be brought into conformity with a budget resolution. As such it requires only a simple majority.

However, the great body of legislation requires a 60-vote majority in the senate. This reality has motivated Trump to negotiate with the Democrats.

Thus, he recently fulfilled his promise to increase the effectiveness of the military but did so at the expense of increasing funds for human services. Because of his populist bent, Trump was not at all reluctant to do this, even if it drew the wrath of the very conservative elements of his party.

Trump has also offered a very compassionate plan with regard to DACA that goes far beyond anything proposed by the Democrats in that it offers a road to citizenship not only for those covered by DACA but also for more than a million more illegal aliens.

Although, in the past, the Democrats have given lip service to border security, they now oppose it for fear that they will give Trump an opportunity to claim victory.

I do not for a moment doubt that, even in the face of Democrat intransigence and a hostile press, President Trump has made enormous strides to restore the power and prestige of our country and to provide for the increased welfare of its people.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Braininvat on February 13th, 2018, 9:26 pm 

This leave one wondering why it would be in the national interest to surrender 20 percent of US uranium reserves to Russian oligarchs when, according to the Democrats, Russia is such a danger to national security.....


As the investigation showed, and I pointed out twice, this did not in fact happen. Your description is false, and yet you assert it again even after it is pointed out to you. The falsity of this right-wing meme is easily determined by looking at public records of where the uranium went and the lawful and legal way this was done. Read my two prior posts on the matter. Transfers from Canada to Europe were approved by the DOE and NRC, and had no relation to either Clinton or Russian oligarchs.

For an "independent," you seem very committed to right-wing innuendos and talking points.

And it saddens me that, while all kinds of shady associations and corrupt interactions emerge around Trump and his connections to oligarchs and the Kremlin, people like you are obsessing over a debunked story concerning a former politician who no longer holds public office. Multiple fact-checking organizations have found Trump telling more lies than any other president in recent history, exhibited greater incompetence in appointing competent cabinet officers and WH staff, defrauded university students, concealed financial information that is vitally needed to assure the separation of a President from personal business interests while in office, made insulting remarks about women and people of different religious faiths and nationalities, blown up trade agreements that allowed our participating in a global market ( some major nations of that market now turning away from us), run casinos and other businesses into the ground and then entered into a suspicious relationship with Deutschebvank, the only bank that would still lend him money and was indicted for a money laundering operation with Russia, blown up a delicate Middle East peace process, suggested that small nukes are a real option in a world that desperately needs to keep momentum in its START treaties, generally shown massive ignorance of foreign policy and grossly insulted vast areas of the globe, doubled down on discriminatory practices and bigotry against just about everyone who isn't a white Christian male, encouraged anti-immigrant and refugee stereotypes that stoked anti-American sentiment in, again, vast areas of the world, trashed government initiatives and agency powers that strive to keep our air and water and coastal areas and aquifers clean and promote alternative technologies to help us stop fouling our planet, embracing dictators like Putin and Duterte, defending neo-Nazis and white supremacists, trying to quash a FBI investigation (by firing Comey) into matters of serious national security, and....I could go on. And yet you say he's made "great strides" in our standing in the world. Got any polls that would remotely support that enhanced standing? The ones I've seen seem to suggest something quite the opposite. But I don't need polls to tell me that our President is a corrupt and self -aggrandizing manchild who is out for himself, his family, his oligarch friends, and no one else.

This is exactly how tyrants and dictators achieve power. Evil flourishes while good men do nothing...or, apparently, read propaganda and think themselves "men of the world.".
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Neri on February 13th, 2018, 10:49 pm 

BIV,

I think you must agree that it is odd indeed that, as a result of the Clinton Uranium Deal, if we go to war with Russia, we will need to depend on Russian oligarchs to sell us uranium.

The problem with our discussion is this: You believe that Trump is the devil incarnate and hold this belief with a kind of compulsive departure from common sense. Many on the extreme left agree with you, basically because they cannot abide straight talk and political incorrectness. More than all else, they do not tolerate anyone who disagrees with them.

If they had their way, they would repeal the first Amendment and confer on everyone the right to agree only with them. This sad fact is amply demonstrated on college campuses by the inclination to punish those who have conservative opinions.

The American people have made their judgment. Both Trump and Hillary Clinton were unpopular--Trump because he was inexperienced in politics, boorish and narcissistic—Clinton because she was a sort of female Nixon, dishonest, avaricious and conniving. Trump won and Clinton lost. This is the reality.

They each had their fanatical supporters but the election was determined by moderates and working Americans (mostly registered Democrats).

These working people not only distrusted Clinton because she was truth challenged but also because she told them they should give up any hope of getting the well-paid jobs they had in the past.

Hillary Clinton more than anyone else is responsible for her own defeat. Yet she and her most ardent supporter continue to be in denial.

To you and others I say that Trump is the duly elected president. Get over it.

Our differences are so profound, that I am afraid that we must agree to disagree. Although, against my better judgment, I assented to your request to respond to your comments, I see no purpose in further discussion.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Braininvat on February 14th, 2018, 12:53 am 

The problem with our discussion is this: You believe that Trump is the devil incarnate and hold this belief with a kind of compulsive departure from common sense. Many on the extreme left agree with you, basically because they cannot abide straight talk and political incorrectness. More than all else, they do not tolerate anyone who disagrees with them.


First sentence - straw man, false caricature of my comments. Plus ad hominem (anyone who dislikes Trump has no sense).

2nd sentence - irrelevant reference to the Left. Whoever does or doesn't agree with the facts I presented....does not constitute a rational argument.

3rd sentence - continues the irrelevance, adds gross generalization about millions of people who may vary in their opinions on particular issues, adds another vague slander to the "cannot abide straight talk" in the 2nd sentence.

Basically a paragraph of cranky attacks. Whatever lowers the discourse. You're right, you should stop. You're not terribly good at answering actual discursive points, or maintaining your guise of "independence.". Nor do you supply evidence for your astounding faith in Trump.

I will not stop, however, so long as I see strong evidence of threats to the republic and its constitution and its secure electoral process and the equality of ALL citizens before the law. I am not partisan but right now there seem to be a lot of dirty tricks on the
GOP side - gerrymandering, voter suppression of various kinds, smear tactics (just google Ralph Northam MS-13), etc.

If you ever wake up and smell the stench emanating from the White House, perhaps you will start to care about those threats. Those of us old enough to live through the Nixon administration are seeing some familiar patterns being repeated in the executive branches.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Braininvat on February 14th, 2018, 12:57 am 

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opin ... story.html

Interesting perspective on what sort of person the POTUS is.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Serpent on February 14th, 2018, 1:32 am 

Not the sort you should trust with your own and everyone else's life?
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