Politics Thread


#810

About McCain: Just like any other figure in the public eye, anything someone does well or poorly gets magnified ten-fold, which is a shame because when you get down to it most people are a mixture of good/bad. I respect McCain for his service to the country in the military, and his attempt with McCain-Feingold, but there are other aspects I didn’t care for.

If one looks at people who are lionized in US political history, the same could be said. George Washington is a good example: yes, the Father of the Country and all that. However, I can’t ignore the fact he owned slaves, and the actions he allowed/ordered against the Iroquois during the Revolutionary war are heinous.

Lincoln is lionized (rightfully in my opinion) for what he accomplished during the American Civil War…however, he also suspended the writ of habeus corpus, he put through drafting people for the armies (there were draft riots in many northern cities)…and the Emancipation Proclamation only freed the slaves in the states/territories which seceded. There were some that did stay with the North, but nothing was done with that in the proclamation.

I find most people tend to fall somewhere in the middle, though they will lean a little left or right depending on the issue. Any reasonable person can also understand the other person’s side, even if they ultimately disagree with it.


#811

While I agree with the rest of your post, this quoted part, I disagree with. Pence passed Religious Freedom Restoration Act and it was only with vehement push back from heavy hitters in our nation like Apple’s Tim Cook and the NCAA threatening to halt expansion or to host tournaments in Indiana that there was an admendment even passed giving lip service to protections to LBGT - more than a year later.

This was then and still is considered bold and pushing the envelop.


#812

I wouldn’t term anything that has popular support and maintains the status quo like Pence’s support for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act as “bold”. For the longest time LGBT rights supporters were the bold ones, fighting hard against the current. Popular support has shifted and continues to shift, but nearly all of the victories were coming in the courts, not the legislatures, during that period. Even Obergefell wasn’t decided by the courts until several months later.


#813

But why discuss politics, when it’s all just one big puppet show? Your votes do not matter, wheter you believe so or not. Just look how the last election panned out. Hillary got more votes but Trump won (though it wouldn’t have made a difference, it’s the same forces riding behind all candidates). And you can’t even trust the media to tell the truth. Obama, for example, was well liked, but if you look up his deeds, he was the president, who used drone-attacks the most, and he gave a s***-load of money to Wallstreet, which they used to give golden hand-shakes to one another.

My point being: stop voting, your voice doesn’t make a difference. But maybe a violent uprising against the 0.01% would.

Peace.


#814

I think it is more than 0.01% for the faction who won…

I would also think violent revolution solve nothing , many historical event had proven that violent revolution only serve one person’s agenda…

Our vote do matter, as it shown in most democratic countries, about the case of hillary losing , that’s a complicated issue , there are reasons why united states doesn’t apply popular vote… i think many countries doesn’t use popular votes as well for different reason, it could also be said hillary lost because she couldn’t unite the third faction, in this case that third faction had their voice be heard…


#815

I guess we are two sides of the same coin, because we both want change. We just have different opinions of how to obtain it. But look at my username, I have to have that kind of opinion :raised_hands:


#816

Although I agree that Obama did those things, he only had so much power, even as the president. Congress controls all.
Edit: Except for the Wallstreet part, that I’m not too sure about…


#817

What most people don’t understand is that the global economic system nearly did completely collapse and what kept it going was the Fed claiming that the Money Market Funds are all guaranteed (which they didn’t the authority to do) but it stopped a Money Market Fund rush that would have wiped out the global banking system and destroyed the global economy overnight.

That’s why the Fed launched stimulus and pumped cash into the economy to basically prevent the end of life as we know it. Imagine waking up and realizing your house and money is now worthless.


#818

That and grease the credit providing entities to keep the flow of money circulating as well.


#819

Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke standing up and saying, “It’s all insured” and putting a backstop up basically prevented the economy from collapsing. We were a good hour away from complete economic failure before they said that.

Every single banking firm you could think of was literally an hour away from going, “We’re cooked.”

Did they deserve it? No.

Was it necessary? Yes.


#820

Just because people are a mixture doesn’t mean that mixture is perfectly even. I can point you to a figure who gave free education and medical care to his people, helped grow the manufacturing base 4 times faster than the US during the same historical period, and he did so with a country that had been destroyed by war.

I refer, of course, to Ioseb Besarionis dze Jugashvili, better known as Joseph Stalin. I don’t need to tell you the bad he’s done.

Pence is of the party of McCarthy. The party of Watergate. The party of ten different Benghazi investigations, often timed as smokescreens or – in the case of the tenth and final one – as electoral sabotage. They’re the party of filibustering through every congressional session until they’re in power, and then taking the filibuster away. They are, with Trump in power, the party of spreading absolutely countless amounts of lies – and the refutation of these lies is half-hearted, at best. They’re the party of restrictive voting laws that disproportionately target the poor and minorities. And if you look at a district map of say, Alabama before and after 2010, they are undoubtedly the party of gerrymandering.

The idea that Pence especially would “respect democratic institutions” is ludicrous. If he respected the democratic institutions this country was founded on, he would resign knowing that he was put into power by an election that was illegally influenced by his running mate. But instead he stays.

I don’t mean to sound rude, but I buy that line of thinking as much as I buy anti-vaccination or Flat Earth “theory.” The fact that I won’t walk down my street and see a diner with the sign “Whites Only” is proof that standing up for what you believe in does, in fact, make a change.


#821

Rest in Peace John McCain.


#822

RIP John McCain Rest In Peace


#823

We and by that I mean the EU members as well as the US should simultaneously have imposed much tougher regulations and fined and jailed (but particularly fined the hell out of) the crony capitalist banksters at the top most responsible for it. Yet only tiny Iceland has ever prosecuted fraud and malfeasance by its former “top bankers” at all.
Goldman Sachs (and Saudi Arabia) are the real “axis of evil” as far as I am concerned.

And in the end Wall Street and Goldman Sachs won again they have got Mnuchin serving them everything they want on a golden platter.

Again, where were the prosecutions and the improvements in regulation (again this goes for the EU members too for the most part)? It is important that at least some measure of justice is seen to be done. The feeling as well as the fact that the guilty got off scot free has been providing fuel for mr. Wilders and other populists world-wide ever since.

Amen!


#824

I don’t think he lost it permanently; his actions in his last eighteen months or so proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt. It was just weird, how he was always this same person, and then he finally got the presidential nomination he had pursued with such fervor, and once that happened he became this Repub party-line pod person during pretty much the entire campaign. He was unrecognizable. Sad to see convictions so completely discarded in the interest of personal advancement.

People always point to the Palin pick as sinking his campaign, but it was long over before that. It was a desperation move, and for a very brief time it looked like a good one. His numbers ticked upward, and it looked less like the pending rout everyone expected from a country that was sick and tired after the Bush presidency. She was quite popular when introduced, but then she spoke, and spoke again, and the more she spoke the less anyone wanted her to be one step from the White House.

Still, that’s all irrelevant now. He was a flawed individual, as we all are. And he died, as we all will. The quality of his deeds and legacy are subjective to be sure, but he seemed a better person than a lot of those elected to office, and hopefully he’s in a better place now.


#825

All I’m going to say is that you should do some reading into the 2008 Crisis so you can get a clearer picture of what occurred. I really think you’re not getting your head around the fact that it was nearly the end of the world. Yes, it was because of corporate greed but another major point of contention is that government regulators simply did not have the ability to look at the problem and discover malpractice.


#826

And for causing it almost no heads of any significance rolled (proverbially that is) the wealth gap has grown and stock options, bonuses etc are more obscene and excessive than ever, exceeding pre-crisis levels easily.

And it got amply rewarded. Meanwhile in my old neighbourhood the crisis still isn’t over yet and in general wages and pensions are still pretty much flat-lined for most of the population, while executive compensation is ballooning and house prices and rents in particular are through the roof.

I’ll look closer into the US side when I ever get the time for it, but in the EU they also never really tried. Again only in Iceland did any sort of accounting of the bad practices and prosecutions result.
I appreciate that during the heat of the crisis there were other priorities, now that it has been declared “over” I am dismayed by the lack of serious effort to make up the balance, look into the structural failures and, yes, make sure that at least some significant heads are going to roll for it. In my country the statute of limitations for most financial, “white collar” crimes is between 20-25 years it has not been that long yet, so there is still plenty of time do some investigating into the worst instigators and take that wherever it may lead.

For other people, like a particular former MP of our Labour Party who we now know pretty much lied to Parliament (including under oath in one of the lackluster inquests that did take place following the crisis) on several occasions on fairly explicit instructions from Goldman Sachs and who is now a highly paid “consultant” for them it is pretty much an open and shut case (hacked emails can be a bitch) and features among the reasons why our Labour Party has been practically reduced to the status of a minor party now.


#827

They already did, Bear Stearns got sold to JPMorgan Chase for $2 a share originally before it got upped to $10 a share. Thousands of people had their whole retirement savings accounts wiped out in two minutes. While most of the grunts managed to get rehired in other firms it still caused them significant duress. It’s easy to go and demand heads to roll when you don’t understand that heads did roll. Not to mention the systemic destruction and forced mergers of various firms in the US to prevent the whole system from collapsing.

I am not exaggerating when I say that if Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke didn’t come out and say the MMF were insured by Uncle Sam, all of our banks would have gone under and taken yours out with us. The problem with messing with banks is literally that simple, if you destroy confidence in them you can destroy your economy in five hours. Punishing bankers is dangerous because if you destroy public confidence in them and they go down. That’s your money gone and restoring confidence in the economy is the only way you can function as a nation.

One of the big scapegoats in America was Bernard Madoff who got 150 years for 11 Federal Counts and defrauding nearly 24,000 people of (a reported) sixty-four billion dollars. Then they took out Allen Stanford who also did a Ponzi Scheme.

The hardest thing to prove in finance is if these people did unethical business practices or with the intent to break the law. Proving malicious intent is very difficult to do since business ethics are flexible at best.


#828

I completely agree. I loved the McCain of the 2000 election. Even Jon Stewart who made a living pillorying Republicans said he’d vote for McCain in that election. Unfortunately W’s campaign people in South Carolina descended to the bottom of the gutter and launched a very nasty smear campaign while McCain stayed on the high road. This cost him the closed South Carolina primary where too many conservatives distrustful of his cozy relationship with the press believed the falsely manufactured stories that he cheated on his wife and had children of a different skin color from his wife out of wedlock. Conservative pundits were resentful of McCain’s good relationship with the press and his massive appeal among independents. They feared losing their influence, so they piled on against him too.

The McCain of 2008 was a completely different person. No longer a real “maverick”, he had compromised too many of his positions to get the Republican nomination and the grudging support of the pundits who despised him. He had become just another politician saying what he thought he needed to say to get his party’s endorsement. The outspoken, straight-talking McCain of 2000 had been replaced by a mealy-mouthed pod person. It was disappointing. He still might have beaten Hillary, but Obama was a different matter entirely. Obama was a superstar and only another superstar could have beaten him, but McCain’s star had since fallen to the earth, his credibility too damaged by all of his compromises. To use an American football analogy, Palin was a hail mary that for a few short days looked like it might be completed for a touchdown, but then she opened her mouth and the ball was fumbled and turned over to the other side.

I was heartened to see him increasingly return to the straight-talking man he used to be in his final years, and perhaps his greatest service to his country was not on the battlefield, or as a legislator, but in his willingness as a member of Trump’s own party to stand up for American democracy and very eloquently criticize his President’s misconduct much to the wrath of Trump’s army of pundit sycophants.


#829

Who was also conveniently neither a banker nor the head of any major megacorp. But congratulations on surpassing the even more feeble EU wide prosecutorial efforts. :champagne:

If wages remain flat and the wealth gap widening at an accelerated pace for very much longer I predict you’re going to see that not punishing them or updating legislation is also dangerous. Again in my old neighbourhood the crisis is definitely not over just yet and even in my new one that seems to be mostly okay again now, I know a lot of people and a lot of farmers and smaller entrepreneurs and even many mid-size ones are still not as economically healthy as they used to be and haven’t got the savings or reserves anymore to face a new crisis anytime soon. If another one hits within 10 years or so, well… :fearful:

Fortunately, or unfortunately we have anti-terrorism laws with such vague definitions that they could possibly be used for this purpose as well since many of the instigating parties were certainly guilty of acts that caused “significant social unrest and damage”, which is literally all that is needed to indict someone under our very badly drafted “football law”.

More importantly there have also been no real anti-trust or competition law efforts to break up banks and megacorps that are simply too big following the crisis with the result that many banks and megacorps are now even bigger than they were before the crisis. We cannot allow size to remain the nuclear weapon in the arsenal or big banks and megacorps that is going to allow them to hide behind the “too big to fail” rationale forever and ever. :unamused:

I wouldn’t go that far. Still a saner prosecution of the wars in Afghanistan and possibly Iraq (sadly I don’t think a president McCain would have resisted the temptation) without the routine torture and the practice of “extraordinary rendition” would likely have been a vast improvement over what we got with W.

I think it is a profound tragedy of the American Primary system that some of the most conservative states get to set the tone of it by being the earliest to vote and thus exercising an outsize influence in getting to determine which potential candidates are viable and electable. McCain certainly hasn’t been to only one to be doomed by that fact. I once read an analysis that if say Maine, Montana and Nevada were the states to go first, instead of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina it would have resulted in different candidates coming out on top through gaining the momentum quite frequently.

Well…I did agree with his take on that disgraceful Helsinki meeting between Trump and Putin in July.