Author Topic: If this has been a stress test how is the country doing?  (Read 984 times)

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If this has been a stress test how is the country doing?
« on: July 23, 2020, 08:39:50 PM »

Offline Ogaju

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It is not uncommon for countries to perform stress tests on its banking system to see how the system would hold up in a crisis situation. This is done because you cannot rely on how things are when everything is going well. You want to know how the industry will react to a crisis situation.

Applying this standard to the country and what it has been going through since 2016 we should score the USA on how the system has held up to what may be considered a stress test.

Our system of governement seemed to be humming right along when everything was 'normal'. We claimed to be the most free people with the best democracy in the world. The last six months have proven otherwise. We are now discovering we are not as free as we think we are. We have governors telling us what to do, when we can work, how we can work, and what we should wear in public. We have governments picking up citizens, firing tear gas at will, and beating citizens without provocation.

If the last 3/12 years have been a stress test on our Republic, how are we doing? What about the last six months?
« Last Edit: July 23, 2020, 09:23:58 PM by Ogaju »

Re: If this has been a stress test how is the country doing?
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2020, 08:42:49 PM »

Offline ozgod

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It's been holding together so far at least. Let's see what happens after the election, irrespective of who wins...that's going to be the culmination of the stress test.
Any odd typos are because I suck at typing on an iPhone :D

Re: If this has been a stress test how is the country doing?
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2020, 08:45:38 PM »

Offline NKY fan

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I’m not sure if this will be a popular opinion on here but I think the US healthcare system (not the government response) has performed fine and dealt with the pandemic very well unlike some of the top notch world class health systems in Europe.

Re: If this has been a stress test how is the country doing?
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2020, 09:12:38 PM »

Offline Ogaju

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I’m not sure if this will be a popular opinion on here but I think the US healthcare system (not the government response) has performed fine and dealt with the pandemic very well unlike some of the top notch world class health systems in Europe.

A sector by sector grading is not a bad idea. I did not think about that. I was more concerned about the poltical system, which I believe is at a D- right now.

Re: If this has been a stress test how is the country doing?
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2020, 09:19:36 PM »

Offline Monkhouse

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US Healthcare system has been a running joke for years now.

America is not a democracy, rarely do you ever get to choose the candidates. And in the past six months, our POTUS has pretty much backfired and hurt the citizens badly. He's shown that he isn't capable of leading a business, let alone the entire United States of America.

And as a stress test, how is the country doing?

Terrible.

I could literally go into paragraphs about this. But as you said Ogaju, there are some clear hypocrisies and issues that have yet to be addressed in our country.
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Re: If this has been a stress test how is the country doing?
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2020, 09:26:49 PM »

Offline liam

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This is a very interesting take on the direction the country is going in:

Quote
Trump's Intervention in Portland Shows that the Republican Party Has Lost Its Way on State's Rights
David French
TimeJuly 23, 2020, 4:45 PM

There was a time, not long ago, when I was a lawyer for the Tea Party. I was part of a legal team representing 42 Tea Party organizations stretching from coast-to-coast. I was proud of the cause and my clients.

The cause was just. We filed suit challenging the Obama-era IRS’s systematic targeting of Tea Party organizations for extraordinary scrutiny, designed in part to improperly identify their sources of funding and monitor their political activities. Many of my clients were fascinating. They carried pocket Constitutions, the were freshly conversant in books like Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom (which decries central planning), and they were united in the conviction that the federal government was too big, power was too concentrated in Washington, and that a free people should govern themselves – with authority pushed down to the lowest level, to states, cities, and towns.

I agreed. I still agree. The United States is a vast, pluralist republic. It’s extraordinarily diverse by every meaningful measure – including by race, religion, ideology, ethnicity, and geography. That means that different communities will have different values. They’ll have different economies. They’ll have different approaches to governance. One size does not fit all.

At the time, I thought I was a part of a movement that was pushing the United States closer to a solution for our increasing polarization. By increasing local autonomy, I thought, ultimately we could de-escalate the stakes of national elections and increase each individual’s degree of political control over the policies (and leaders) who most impact their lives.

But that movement is vanishing. The dream itself is barely alive. And it’s dying at the hands of the very people who once proclaimed it so boldly. We see its death throes right in front of our eyes – when federal officers serving a Republican administration intervene in cities like Portland over the objections of governors and mayors, when a Republican governor bans cities and towns from taking even the simplest, common sense step – mandating masking – to preserve public health, and when a Republican president declares that “when somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total and that’s the way it’s got to be.”

But of course the movement was vanishing well before the present crises. The fiscal restraint of the Tea Party vanished in in 2018 and 2019 in the face of the largest deficits ever in times of peace and prosperity. A Republican senator introduced a bill that would put a federal commission in control of political speech on large social media platforms. The most popular right-wing personality on cable television, Tucker Carlson, endorsed parts of Elizabeth Warren’s economic plan. Commitments to federalism and local control melted away in the face of state and local immigration “sanctuary” policies.

The example of immigration is worth dwelling on. Few Americans remember, but there was a time when conservatives heralded a federalist approach to state immigration policy. In President Obama’s first term, Arizona passed a law – S.B. 1070 – that, among other things, made it a state misdemeanor to violate certain aspects of federal immigration law and permitted state officials to arrest individuals suspected of committing federal immigration violations.

The Obama administration sued, claiming that Arizona’s individual attempts to enhance immigration enforcement were pre-empted by the federal government’s comprehensive immigration authority. In response, Arizona and the conservative movement mounted a comprehensive defense of federalism.

Federal immigration law was untouched, they argued. Arizona was merely enhancing its ability to protect itself against an influx of illegal immigrants. The state’s unique circumstances merited a tougher approach.

Arizona lost the case. The Supreme Court – over Justice Antonin Scalia’s spirited dissent – held that federal authority over immigration was supreme. There was little room for federalism in immigration enforcement, even when different states face dramatically different challenges.

Fast-forward to the next Republican administration. The Trump Department of Justice immediately went on the offensive against California’s own federalist attempt to enact so-called “sanctuary state” laws. California took the opposite approach to Arizona. It wanted to be more welcoming to illegal immigrants, so it passed laws limiting the degree to which state officials could cooperate with federal immigration enforcement authorities.

Moreover, if you think that the Trump administration’s legal offensive against California was somehow required by the Obama-era precedents – that it was merely doing what it had to do – think again. The Trump administration lost. The Ninth Circuit ruled against it, and last month the conservative-dominated Supreme Court denied review.

So what’s going on? Was the Tea Party nothing but a ruse from the beginning. Did the Tea Party ever really believe the political values and principles it so loudly proclaimed?

I reject the idea that the Tea Party’s commitment to limited government, local control, and fiscal restraint was a lie or a con or a ruse. I know too many of the people and spent too much time with them to believe that their arguments were anything but sincere at the time. It’s more accurate to say that their beliefs were untested. During the Obama administration, they were easy to hold, and they in many ways meshed perfectly with partisan Republican interests.

When a Democrat held the levers of national power, and many of the smartest people in American politics were heralding a so-called “coalition of the ascendant” – the coalition of young voters, minorities, and women that elected Obama twice – then federalism in many ways represents the last line of defense for conservative governance. “Hands off our states” is a defensive tactic.

You see the same defensive tactic from progressive states today. California is a prime example. It’s not only forged its own path with sanctuary state laws, its attorney general has sued the Trump administration at least 50 times, and it consistently passes environmental laws in defiance of federal standards.

Yet there are not many progressives who are advancing federalism as a national political principle. The Joe Biden-Bernie Sanders unity task force recommendations do not reflect federalist priorities. They consistently call for a more energetic and larger federal government. Instead, the better description is that progressives are using federalism as a defensive tactic to stymy an administration they oppose.

The Tea Party (and much of the Republican Party), by contrast, proclaimed federalism, fiscal restraint, and limited government as principles, but when push came to shove – and dedication to those principles would have imposed a partisan cost – they were revealed as tactics.

Fiscal restraint requires sacrifice – especially in entitlement spending – and hard choices with the defense budget. Defending federalism actually requires permitting progressive enclaves to govern themselves, and that’s often intolerable to a highly-polarized public that sees any progressive (or conservative) victory anywhere as a threat to their own partisan project.

The best test of whether a person wields any constitutional doctrine as a weapon versus advances it as a principle is relatively easy to apply – will you defend the doctrine when even your political opponents attempt to use it? Or is it functionally “for me, but not for thee.”

Lost in this endless partisan back-and-forth, however, is the underlying merit of the original Tea Party argument. Is the federal government growing too large and too centralized to effectively govern a population that is increasingly diverse and increasingly divided? Shouldn’t we de-escalate national politics (where every presidential election is “the most important election of our lifetimes”) by pushing as many key decisions as we can to local decision-makers, those people who are directly accountable to their communities?

In other words, if the mayor of Atlanta wants to respond to a pandemic with a masking order, shouldn’t that rest within her authority? And if her voters don’t like it, shouldn’t they hold her accountable?

Not only does this argument have merit, I think embracing it is essential to navigating America through and past its present polarization. Increased federal power and increased federal centralization are in many ways incompatible with increased American diversity and increased American polarization. Or, to put it bluntly, so long as each state and municipality protects the core constitutional rights of their citizens, let California be California, and let Tennessee be Tennessee.

Re: If this has been a stress test how is the country doing?
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2020, 09:52:06 PM »

Offline Ogaju

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This is a very interesting take on the direction the country is going in:

Quote
Trump's Intervention in Portland Shows that the Republican Party Has Lost Its Way on State's Rights
David French
TimeJuly 23, 2020, 4:45 PM

There was a time, not long ago, when I was a lawyer for the Tea Party. I was part of a legal team representing 42 Tea Party organizations stretching from coast-to-coast. I was proud of the cause and my clients.

The cause was just. We filed suit challenging the Obama-era IRS’s systematic targeting of Tea Party organizations for extraordinary scrutiny, designed in part to improperly identify their sources of funding and monitor their political activities. Many of my clients were fascinating. They carried pocket Constitutions, the were freshly conversant in books like Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom (which decries central planning), and they were united in the conviction that the federal government was too big, power was too concentrated in Washington, and that a free people should govern themselves – with authority pushed down to the lowest level, to states, cities, and towns.

I agreed. I still agree. The United States is a vast, pluralist republic. It’s extraordinarily diverse by every meaningful measure – including by race, religion, ideology, ethnicity, and geography. That means that different communities will have different values. They’ll have different economies. They’ll have different approaches to governance. One size does not fit all.

At the time, I thought I was a part of a movement that was pushing the United States closer to a solution for our increasing polarization. By increasing local autonomy, I thought, ultimately we could de-escalate the stakes of national elections and increase each individual’s degree of political control over the policies (and leaders) who most impact their lives.

But that movement is vanishing. The dream itself is barely alive. And it’s dying at the hands of the very people who once proclaimed it so boldly. We see its death throes right in front of our eyes – when federal officers serving a Republican administration intervene in cities like Portland over the objections of governors and mayors, when a Republican governor bans cities and towns from taking even the simplest, common sense step – mandating masking – to preserve public health, and when a Republican president declares that “when somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total and that’s the way it’s got to be.”

But of course the movement was vanishing well before the present crises. The fiscal restraint of the Tea Party vanished in in 2018 and 2019 in the face of the largest deficits ever in times of peace and prosperity. A Republican senator introduced a bill that would put a federal commission in control of political speech on large social media platforms. The most popular right-wing personality on cable television, Tucker Carlson, endorsed parts of Elizabeth Warren’s economic plan. Commitments to federalism and local control melted away in the face of state and local immigration “sanctuary” policies.

The example of immigration is worth dwelling on. Few Americans remember, but there was a time when conservatives heralded a federalist approach to state immigration policy. In President Obama’s first term, Arizona passed a law – S.B. 1070 – that, among other things, made it a state misdemeanor to violate certain aspects of federal immigration law and permitted state officials to arrest individuals suspected of committing federal immigration violations.

The Obama administration sued, claiming that Arizona’s individual attempts to enhance immigration enforcement were pre-empted by the federal government’s comprehensive immigration authority. In response, Arizona and the conservative movement mounted a comprehensive defense of federalism.

Federal immigration law was untouched, they argued. Arizona was merely enhancing its ability to protect itself against an influx of illegal immigrants. The state’s unique circumstances merited a tougher approach.

Arizona lost the case. The Supreme Court – over Justice Antonin Scalia’s spirited dissent – held that federal authority over immigration was supreme. There was little room for federalism in immigration enforcement, even when different states face dramatically different challenges.

Fast-forward to the next Republican administration. The Trump Department of Justice immediately went on the offensive against California’s own federalist attempt to enact so-called “sanctuary state” laws. California took the opposite approach to Arizona. It wanted to be more welcoming to illegal immigrants, so it passed laws limiting the degree to which state officials could cooperate with federal immigration enforcement authorities.

Moreover, if you think that the Trump administration’s legal offensive against California was somehow required by the Obama-era precedents – that it was merely doing what it had to do – think again. The Trump administration lost. The Ninth Circuit ruled against it, and last month the conservative-dominated Supreme Court denied review.

So what’s going on? Was the Tea Party nothing but a ruse from the beginning. Did the Tea Party ever really believe the political values and principles it so loudly proclaimed?

I reject the idea that the Tea Party’s commitment to limited government, local control, and fiscal restraint was a lie or a con or a ruse. I know too many of the people and spent too much time with them to believe that their arguments were anything but sincere at the time. It’s more accurate to say that their beliefs were untested. During the Obama administration, they were easy to hold, and they in many ways meshed perfectly with partisan Republican interests.

When a Democrat held the levers of national power, and many of the smartest people in American politics were heralding a so-called “coalition of the ascendant” – the coalition of young voters, minorities, and women that elected Obama twice – then federalism in many ways represents the last line of defense for conservative governance. “Hands off our states” is a defensive tactic.

You see the same defensive tactic from progressive states today. California is a prime example. It’s not only forged its own path with sanctuary state laws, its attorney general has sued the Trump administration at least 50 times, and it consistently passes environmental laws in defiance of federal standards.

Yet there are not many progressives who are advancing federalism as a national political principle. The Joe Biden-Bernie Sanders unity task force recommendations do not reflect federalist priorities. They consistently call for a more energetic and larger federal government. Instead, the better description is that progressives are using federalism as a defensive tactic to stymy an administration they oppose.

The Tea Party (and much of the Republican Party), by contrast, proclaimed federalism, fiscal restraint, and limited government as principles, but when push came to shove – and dedication to those principles would have imposed a partisan cost – they were revealed as tactics.

Fiscal restraint requires sacrifice – especially in entitlement spending – and hard choices with the defense budget. Defending federalism actually requires permitting progressive enclaves to govern themselves, and that’s often intolerable to a highly-polarized public that sees any progressive (or conservative) victory anywhere as a threat to their own partisan project.

The best test of whether a person wields any constitutional doctrine as a weapon versus advances it as a principle is relatively easy to apply – will you defend the doctrine when even your political opponents attempt to use it? Or is it functionally “for me, but not for thee.”

Lost in this endless partisan back-and-forth, however, is the underlying merit of the original Tea Party argument. Is the federal government growing too large and too centralized to effectively govern a population that is increasingly diverse and increasingly divided? Shouldn’t we de-escalate national politics (where every presidential election is “the most important election of our lifetimes”) by pushing as many key decisions as we can to local decision-makers, those people who are directly accountable to their communities?

In other words, if the mayor of Atlanta wants to respond to a pandemic with a masking order, shouldn’t that rest within her authority? And if her voters don’t like it, shouldn’t they hold her accountable?

Not only does this argument have merit, I think embracing it is essential to navigating America through and past its present polarization. Increased federal power and increased federal centralization are in many ways incompatible with increased American diversity and increased American polarization. Or, to put it bluntly, so long as each state and municipality protects the core constitutional rights of their citizens, let California be California, and let Tennessee be Tennessee.

the only problem I have with posts like the one above is the failure to sign it off with 'QED'. Excellent piece. I agree with that post.

Re: If this has been a stress test how is the country doing?
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2020, 10:53:29 PM »

Offline KGs Knee

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This is a very interesting take on the direction the country is going in:

Quote
Trump's Intervention in Portland Shows that the Republican Party Has Lost Its Way on State's Rights
David French
TimeJuly 23, 2020, 4:45 PM

There was a time, not long ago, when I was a lawyer for the Tea Party. I was part of a legal team representing 42 Tea Party organizations stretching from coast-to-coast. I was proud of the cause and my clients.

The cause was just. We filed suit challenging the Obama-era IRS’s systematic targeting of Tea Party organizations for extraordinary scrutiny, designed in part to improperly identify their sources of funding and monitor their political activities. Many of my clients were fascinating. They carried pocket Constitutions, the were freshly conversant in books like Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom (which decries central planning), and they were united in the conviction that the federal government was too big, power was too concentrated in Washington, and that a free people should govern themselves – with authority pushed down to the lowest level, to states, cities, and towns.

I agreed. I still agree. The United States is a vast, pluralist republic. It’s extraordinarily diverse by every meaningful measure – including by race, religion, ideology, ethnicity, and geography. That means that different communities will have different values. They’ll have different economies. They’ll have different approaches to governance. One size does not fit all.

At the time, I thought I was a part of a movement that was pushing the United States closer to a solution for our increasing polarization. By increasing local autonomy, I thought, ultimately we could de-escalate the stakes of national elections and increase each individual’s degree of political control over the policies (and leaders) who most impact their lives.

But that movement is vanishing. The dream itself is barely alive. And it’s dying at the hands of the very people who once proclaimed it so boldly. We see its death throes right in front of our eyes – when federal officers serving a Republican administration intervene in cities like Portland over the objections of governors and mayors, when a Republican governor bans cities and towns from taking even the simplest, common sense step – mandating masking – to preserve public health, and when a Republican president declares that “when somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total and that’s the way it’s got to be.”

But of course the movement was vanishing well before the present crises. The fiscal restraint of the Tea Party vanished in in 2018 and 2019 in the face of the largest deficits ever in times of peace and prosperity. A Republican senator introduced a bill that would put a federal commission in control of political speech on large social media platforms. The most popular right-wing personality on cable television, Tucker Carlson, endorsed parts of Elizabeth Warren’s economic plan. Commitments to federalism and local control melted away in the face of state and local immigration “sanctuary” policies.

The example of immigration is worth dwelling on. Few Americans remember, but there was a time when conservatives heralded a federalist approach to state immigration policy. In President Obama’s first term, Arizona passed a law – S.B. 1070 – that, among other things, made it a state misdemeanor to violate certain aspects of federal immigration law and permitted state officials to arrest individuals suspected of committing federal immigration violations.

The Obama administration sued, claiming that Arizona’s individual attempts to enhance immigration enforcement were pre-empted by the federal government’s comprehensive immigration authority. In response, Arizona and the conservative movement mounted a comprehensive defense of federalism.

Federal immigration law was untouched, they argued. Arizona was merely enhancing its ability to protect itself against an influx of illegal immigrants. The state’s unique circumstances merited a tougher approach.

Arizona lost the case. The Supreme Court – over Justice Antonin Scalia’s spirited dissent – held that federal authority over immigration was supreme. There was little room for federalism in immigration enforcement, even when different states face dramatically different challenges.

Fast-forward to the next Republican administration. The Trump Department of Justice immediately went on the offensive against California’s own federalist attempt to enact so-called “sanctuary state” laws. California took the opposite approach to Arizona. It wanted to be more welcoming to illegal immigrants, so it passed laws limiting the degree to which state officials could cooperate with federal immigration enforcement authorities.

Moreover, if you think that the Trump administration’s legal offensive against California was somehow required by the Obama-era precedents – that it was merely doing what it had to do – think again. The Trump administration lost. The Ninth Circuit ruled against it, and last month the conservative-dominated Supreme Court denied review.

So what’s going on? Was the Tea Party nothing but a ruse from the beginning. Did the Tea Party ever really believe the political values and principles it so loudly proclaimed?

I reject the idea that the Tea Party’s commitment to limited government, local control, and fiscal restraint was a lie or a con or a ruse. I know too many of the people and spent too much time with them to believe that their arguments were anything but sincere at the time. It’s more accurate to say that their beliefs were untested. During the Obama administration, they were easy to hold, and they in many ways meshed perfectly with partisan Republican interests.

When a Democrat held the levers of national power, and many of the smartest people in American politics were heralding a so-called “coalition of the ascendant” – the coalition of young voters, minorities, and women that elected Obama twice – then federalism in many ways represents the last line of defense for conservative governance. “Hands off our states” is a defensive tactic.

You see the same defensive tactic from progressive states today. California is a prime example. It’s not only forged its own path with sanctuary state laws, its attorney general has sued the Trump administration at least 50 times, and it consistently passes environmental laws in defiance of federal standards.

Yet there are not many progressives who are advancing federalism as a national political principle. The Joe Biden-Bernie Sanders unity task force recommendations do not reflect federalist priorities. They consistently call for a more energetic and larger federal government. Instead, the better description is that progressives are using federalism as a defensive tactic to stymy an administration they oppose.

The Tea Party (and much of the Republican Party), by contrast, proclaimed federalism, fiscal restraint, and limited government as principles, but when push came to shove – and dedication to those principles would have imposed a partisan cost – they were revealed as tactics.

Fiscal restraint requires sacrifice – especially in entitlement spending – and hard choices with the defense budget. Defending federalism actually requires permitting progressive enclaves to govern themselves, and that’s often intolerable to a highly-polarized public that sees any progressive (or conservative) victory anywhere as a threat to their own partisan project.

The best test of whether a person wields any constitutional doctrine as a weapon versus advances it as a principle is relatively easy to apply – will you defend the doctrine when even your political opponents attempt to use it? Or is it functionally “for me, but not for thee.”

Lost in this endless partisan back-and-forth, however, is the underlying merit of the original Tea Party argument. Is the federal government growing too large and too centralized to effectively govern a population that is increasingly diverse and increasingly divided? Shouldn’t we de-escalate national politics (where every presidential election is “the most important election of our lifetimes”) by pushing as many key decisions as we can to local decision-makers, those people who are directly accountable to their communities?

In other words, if the mayor of Atlanta wants to respond to a pandemic with a masking order, shouldn’t that rest within her authority? And if her voters don’t like it, shouldn’t they hold her accountable?

Not only does this argument have merit, I think embracing it is essential to navigating America through and past its present polarization. Increased federal power and increased federal centralization are in many ways incompatible with increased American diversity and increased American polarization. Or, to put it bluntly, so long as each state and municipality protects the core constitutional rights of their citizens, let California be California, and let Tennessee be Tennessee.

Sounds an awful lot like what us "wacky" libertarians have been saying since forever.

Re: If this has been a stress test how is the country doing?
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2020, 11:56:24 PM »

Offline Csfan1984

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So long as the masses complain and obsess about tweets as well as feed into gaslighting, instead of focusing on what keeps passing in government, things will remain this way. They are getting away with the murder of our future right now. Censorship and politically slanted news just continues to misdirect us. The corporate greed and over spending without proper taxing is going to end this country. If a pandemic hasn't woke people up about where we spend our taxes and who should not lead within all levels of the government then we are failures.

It's good the stand for something but don't follow others blindly. Get educated and try accepting of both sides of arguments. Then use logic and reason to decide on what is ideal.

Re: If this has been a stress test how is the country doing?
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2020, 12:54:18 AM »

Offline indeedproceed

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It's been holding together so far at least. Let's see what happens after the election, irrespective of who wins...that's going to be the culmination of the stress test.

I think we've learned in the last 4 years that we have relied a lot on unlegislated ideals of 'norms' that we thought could not be crossed but are in fact not only unenforceable but were in fact not much more than a pinky promise.

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like that is always lethal." - Evan 'The God' Turner

Re: If this has been a stress test how is the country doing?
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2020, 12:57:13 AM »

Offline Ogaju

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So long as the masses complain and obsess about tweets as well as feed into gaslighting, instead of focusing on what keeps passing in government, things will remain this way. They are getting away with the murder of our future right now. Censorship and politically slanted news just continues to misdirect us. The corporate greed and over spending without proper taxing is going to end this country. If a pandemic hasn't woke people up about where we spend our taxes and who should not lead within all levels of the government then we are failures.

It's good the stand for something but don't follow others blindly. Get educated and try accepting of both sides of arguments. Then use logic and reason to decide on what is ideal.

A lot of fault lines have been discovered in the system. For years things have been covered from administration to administration as politicians well-versed in 'political talk' have avoided dealing accountability, and the media allows them to get away with not answering questions. When was the last time you heard a politician answer a question with a yes or no. The people are lost in tribal politics and partisanship, and the politicians exploit this to their advantage. Some that voted for Trump claim they did to blow things up because they were tired of professional politicians. Trump's alck of political sophistication and blunt talk has laid bare some of the faults in the system for  all to see. He has exposed nepotism, corruption, inadequate checks and balances, hypocritcal and dishonest politicians. The country was under pressures from these revelation before the pandemic further exposed the vulnerability of the capitalist free market system we run. Capitalism is not well-equipped to deal with pandemics just as it was not equipped to deal with S&L crisis or the sub-prime mortgage crisis. As usual we always miss the real lessons from these crises. If the country thinks the problems we are having now are about  Trump it is sadly mistaken. The poltical system is broken. Party and winning takes precedence over service and country. The political class does a good job assuaging the people and not being blatant about their power trappings of office, Trump is not that modest, not in his DNA.

You want to know how lucrative a certain vocation is? See how much that vocation is passed along to family members.

Re: If this has been a stress test how is the country doing?
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2020, 09:11:36 AM »

Offline Roy H.

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This is a very interesting take on the direction the country is going in:

Quote
Trump's Intervention in Portland Shows that the Republican Party Has Lost Its Way on State's Rights
David French
TimeJuly 23, 2020, 4:45 PM

There was a time, not long ago, when I was a lawyer for the Tea Party. I was part of a legal team representing 42 Tea Party organizations stretching from coast-to-coast. I was proud of the cause and my clients.

The cause was just. We filed suit challenging the Obama-era IRS’s systematic targeting of Tea Party organizations for extraordinary scrutiny, designed in part to improperly identify their sources of funding and monitor their political activities. Many of my clients were fascinating. They carried pocket Constitutions, the were freshly conversant in books like Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom (which decries central planning), and they were united in the conviction that the federal government was too big, power was too concentrated in Washington, and that a free people should govern themselves – with authority pushed down to the lowest level, to states, cities, and towns.

I agreed. I still agree. The United States is a vast, pluralist republic. It’s extraordinarily diverse by every meaningful measure – including by race, religion, ideology, ethnicity, and geography. That means that different communities will have different values. They’ll have different economies. They’ll have different approaches to governance. One size does not fit all.

At the time, I thought I was a part of a movement that was pushing the United States closer to a solution for our increasing polarization. By increasing local autonomy, I thought, ultimately we could de-escalate the stakes of national elections and increase each individual’s degree of political control over the policies (and leaders) who most impact their lives.

But that movement is vanishing. The dream itself is barely alive. And it’s dying at the hands of the very people who once proclaimed it so boldly. We see its death throes right in front of our eyes – when federal officers serving a Republican administration intervene in cities like Portland over the objections of governors and mayors, when a Republican governor bans cities and towns from taking even the simplest, common sense step – mandating masking – to preserve public health, and when a Republican president declares that “when somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total and that’s the way it’s got to be.”

But of course the movement was vanishing well before the present crises. The fiscal restraint of the Tea Party vanished in in 2018 and 2019 in the face of the largest deficits ever in times of peace and prosperity. A Republican senator introduced a bill that would put a federal commission in control of political speech on large social media platforms. The most popular right-wing personality on cable television, Tucker Carlson, endorsed parts of Elizabeth Warren’s economic plan. Commitments to federalism and local control melted away in the face of state and local immigration “sanctuary” policies.

The example of immigration is worth dwelling on. Few Americans remember, but there was a time when conservatives heralded a federalist approach to state immigration policy. In President Obama’s first term, Arizona passed a law – S.B. 1070 – that, among other things, made it a state misdemeanor to violate certain aspects of federal immigration law and permitted state officials to arrest individuals suspected of committing federal immigration violations.

The Obama administration sued, claiming that Arizona’s individual attempts to enhance immigration enforcement were pre-empted by the federal government’s comprehensive immigration authority. In response, Arizona and the conservative movement mounted a comprehensive defense of federalism.

Federal immigration law was untouched, they argued. Arizona was merely enhancing its ability to protect itself against an influx of illegal immigrants. The state’s unique circumstances merited a tougher approach.

Arizona lost the case. The Supreme Court – over Justice Antonin Scalia’s spirited dissent – held that federal authority over immigration was supreme. There was little room for federalism in immigration enforcement, even when different states face dramatically different challenges.

Fast-forward to the next Republican administration. The Trump Department of Justice immediately went on the offensive against California’s own federalist attempt to enact so-called “sanctuary state” laws. California took the opposite approach to Arizona. It wanted to be more welcoming to illegal immigrants, so it passed laws limiting the degree to which state officials could cooperate with federal immigration enforcement authorities.

Moreover, if you think that the Trump administration’s legal offensive against California was somehow required by the Obama-era precedents – that it was merely doing what it had to do – think again. The Trump administration lost. The Ninth Circuit ruled against it, and last month the conservative-dominated Supreme Court denied review.

So what’s going on? Was the Tea Party nothing but a ruse from the beginning. Did the Tea Party ever really believe the political values and principles it so loudly proclaimed?

I reject the idea that the Tea Party’s commitment to limited government, local control, and fiscal restraint was a lie or a con or a ruse. I know too many of the people and spent too much time with them to believe that their arguments were anything but sincere at the time. It’s more accurate to say that their beliefs were untested. During the Obama administration, they were easy to hold, and they in many ways meshed perfectly with partisan Republican interests.

When a Democrat held the levers of national power, and many of the smartest people in American politics were heralding a so-called “coalition of the ascendant” – the coalition of young voters, minorities, and women that elected Obama twice – then federalism in many ways represents the last line of defense for conservative governance. “Hands off our states” is a defensive tactic.

You see the same defensive tactic from progressive states today. California is a prime example. It’s not only forged its own path with sanctuary state laws, its attorney general has sued the Trump administration at least 50 times, and it consistently passes environmental laws in defiance of federal standards.

Yet there are not many progressives who are advancing federalism as a national political principle. The Joe Biden-Bernie Sanders unity task force recommendations do not reflect federalist priorities. They consistently call for a more energetic and larger federal government. Instead, the better description is that progressives are using federalism as a defensive tactic to stymy an administration they oppose.

The Tea Party (and much of the Republican Party), by contrast, proclaimed federalism, fiscal restraint, and limited government as principles, but when push came to shove – and dedication to those principles would have imposed a partisan cost – they were revealed as tactics.

Fiscal restraint requires sacrifice – especially in entitlement spending – and hard choices with the defense budget. Defending federalism actually requires permitting progressive enclaves to govern themselves, and that’s often intolerable to a highly-polarized public that sees any progressive (or conservative) victory anywhere as a threat to their own partisan project.

The best test of whether a person wields any constitutional doctrine as a weapon versus advances it as a principle is relatively easy to apply – will you defend the doctrine when even your political opponents attempt to use it? Or is it functionally “for me, but not for thee.”

Lost in this endless partisan back-and-forth, however, is the underlying merit of the original Tea Party argument. Is the federal government growing too large and too centralized to effectively govern a population that is increasingly diverse and increasingly divided? Shouldn’t we de-escalate national politics (where every presidential election is “the most important election of our lifetimes”) by pushing as many key decisions as we can to local decision-makers, those people who are directly accountable to their communities?

In other words, if the mayor of Atlanta wants to respond to a pandemic with a masking order, shouldn’t that rest within her authority? And if her voters don’t like it, shouldn’t they hold her accountable?

Not only does this argument have merit, I think embracing it is essential to navigating America through and past its present polarization. Increased federal power and increased federal centralization are in many ways incompatible with increased American diversity and increased American polarization. Or, to put it bluntly, so long as each state and municipality protects the core constitutional rights of their citizens, let California be California, and let Tennessee be Tennessee.

Much of that is valid.  However, Portland is a bad example.  Federal agencies have the right to protect federal property.  That’s true under a Federalist structure, and it’s odd that French would ignore this point. 

Similarly, on immigration the Supreme Court has ruled that that’s exclusive Federal jurisdiction.  The fact that Republicans are following that ruling doesn’t make them anti-Federalist. 

Once a CrotoNat, always a CrotoNat. CelticsBlog Draft Champions, 2009 & 2012.

Re: If this has been a stress test how is the country doing?
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2020, 09:36:32 AM »

Offline td450

  • Bill Walton
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So long as the masses complain and obsess about tweets as well as feed into gaslighting, instead of focusing on what keeps passing in government, things will remain this way. They are getting away with the murder of our future right now. Censorship and politically slanted news just continues to misdirect us. The corporate greed and over spending without proper taxing is going to end this country. If a pandemic hasn't woke people up about where we spend our taxes and who should not lead within all levels of the government then we are failures.

It's good the stand for something but don't follow others blindly. Get educated and try accepting of both sides of arguments. Then use logic and reason to decide on what is ideal.

A lot of fault lines have been discovered in the system. For years things have been covered from administration to administration as politicians well-versed in 'political talk' have avoided dealing accountability, and the media allows them to get away with not answering questions. When was the last time you heard a politician answer a question with a yes or no. The people are lost in tribal politics and partisanship, and the politicians exploit this to their advantage. Some that voted for Trump claim they did to blow things up because they were tired of professional politicians. Trump's alck of political sophistication and blunt talk has laid bare some of the faults in the system for  all to see. He has exposed nepotism, corruption, inadequate checks and balances, hypocritcal and dishonest politicians. The country was under pressures from these revelation before the pandemic further exposed the vulnerability of the capitalist free market system we run. Capitalism is not well-equipped to deal with pandemics just as it was not equipped to deal with S&L crisis or the sub-prime mortgage crisis. As usual we always miss the real lessons from these crises. If the country thinks the problems we are having now are about  Trump it is sadly mistaken. The poltical system is broken. Party and winning takes precedence over service and country. The political class does a good job assuaging the people and not being blatant about their power trappings of office, Trump is not that modest, not in his DNA.

You want to know how lucrative a certain vocation is? See how much that vocation is passed along to family members.

The fault lines have always been there. Always.

Every once in a while, some other elements of our society move ahead enough for us to get to a stage where the bottleneck of politics and governance becomes painful and obvious. We find we can produce amazing things with tech, but we haven't gotten any better at the underlying responsibilities.


Re: If this has been a stress test how is the country doing?
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2020, 10:25:54 AM »

Offline chicagoceltic

  • Kemba Walker
  • Posts: 840
  • Tommy Points: 158
So long as the masses complain and obsess about tweets as well as feed into gaslighting, instead of focusing on what keeps passing in government, things will remain this way. They are getting away with the murder of our future right now. Censorship and politically slanted news just continues to misdirect us. The corporate greed and over spending without proper taxing is going to end this country. If a pandemic hasn't woke people up about where we spend our taxes and who should not lead within all levels of the government then we are failures.

It's good the stand for something but don't follow others blindly. Get educated and try accepting of both sides of arguments. Then use logic and reason to decide on what is ideal.

A lot of fault lines have been discovered in the system. For years things have been covered from administration to administration as politicians well-versed in 'political talk' have avoided dealing accountability, and the media allows them to get away with not answering questions. When was the last time you heard a politician answer a question with a yes or no. The people are lost in tribal politics and partisanship, and the politicians exploit this to their advantage. Some that voted for Trump claim they did to blow things up because they were tired of professional politicians. Trump's alck of political sophistication and blunt talk has laid bare some of the faults in the system for  all to see. He has exposed nepotism, corruption, inadequate checks and balances, hypocritcal and dishonest politicians. The country was under pressures from these revelation before the pandemic further exposed the vulnerability of the capitalist free market system we run. Capitalism is not well-equipped to deal with pandemics just as it was not equipped to deal with S&L crisis or the sub-prime mortgage crisis. As usual we always miss the real lessons from these crises. If the country thinks the problems we are having now are about  Trump it is sadly mistaken. The poltical system is broken. Party and winning takes precedence over service and country. The political class does a good job assuaging the people and not being blatant about their power trappings of office, Trump is not that modest, not in his DNA.

You want to know how lucrative a certain vocation is? See how much that vocation is passed along to family members.
Unfortunately he exposed them by promoting nepotism, being corrupt, taking advantage of and furthering the inadequate checks and balances and being a hypocritical and dishonest politician. So yeah, good on him for "exposing" all of that.
Pub Draft

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At the Door:  Hugh Hefner
On Stage:  O.A.R., Louis C.K., EDGAR! Special Drinks:  Irish Car Bomb, Martinis On Tap: Lite, Beamish, 3 Floyds Seasonal, Chimay Grand Reserve, Spotted Cow

Re: If this has been a stress test how is the country doing?
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2020, 01:23:04 PM »

Offline mmmmm

  • Rajon Rondo
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It's been holding together so far at least. Let's see what happens after the election, irrespective of who wins...that's going to be the culmination of the stress test.

I think we've learned in the last 4 years that we have relied a lot on unlegislated ideals of 'norms' that we thought could not be crossed but are in fact not only unenforceable but were in fact not much more than a pinky promise.

THIS^

SO much truth there.

We need to harden some of the 'safeguards' that it turns out were merely social conventions.

To start with, I'm in favor of legislation that adds transparency to the financial dealings of the president.
I also believe all Presidential pardons should be subject to Congressional approval - even if by just a simple majority.   
NBA Officiating - Corrupt?  Incompetent?  Which is worse?  Does it matter?  It sucks.