Politics Thread


Nope, that’s not in plans of Bolsonaro.

Yeah, “dictatorship”. Just like Castro brothers in Cuba.

We have Petrobras, a statal Company of petrol. Also, the gasoline is really expensive. Why the hell I’d want a state company where, when it get profit it goes to the shareholders, but when comes the loss ALL THE POPULATION must pay for this?

That accusation isn’t founded by any proof.

No! This isn’t happening! I don’t know what the international press is talking about Bolsonaro, but this is a lot of hysteria. He is just trying to see the majority of the population that is composed by “regular everyday normal guys”. The previous governments didn’t saw for this people. A government cannot rule just for the LGBTTQI+, or black people, or indigenous (who have a lot of money and live better than a lot of other brazilians). The Bolsonaro government is a try for a change. Lula is not a hero, he is a thief. A crook who lied to all his people. Of course, his discourse about egality is really beautiful, but it doesn’t worked.


Indeed! Straight-up, no-defense wrong. :slight_smile: Thanks for correcting me.

With my newly better-informed understanding, let me agree with you that Reid’s gambit was a worse departure from good-faith legislative practice than McConnell’s Garland gambit…while still suggesting that you’re underselling the wrongness of the latter.

Yes, he had control of the calendar, but refusing to put a Supreme Court justice hearing anywhere on said calendar until he had a candidate he liked is a clear abuse of that control, just as Reid clearly abused his majority.

We’re far enough down the tit for tat cycle that everything you cite in defense of McConnell could be said for the other side too. If we keep letting the destruction of past norms justify destroying the next one, we’re on the fast track to regime breakdown. I won’t stand by Reid’s abuses, and I’d expect my right-leaning “normcore” friends to regard McConnell’s in the same way…however badly they wanted that SCOTUS majority.


Take a tip, I live in the country of Shell and our petrol is the most expensive in Europe and only about 50% of that is due to government fuel taxes.
I don’t know if Brazil subscribes to the “too big to fail” mantra for banks and giant megacorps, but if they do that is exactly the sort of public-private cooperation you are going to see a lot more of under more right-wing governments. When megacorps turn in profit it goes to the wealthy shareholders, when they post a loss society is going to bail them out anyway.

I think there is enough evidence by now that Facebook and Mr Zuckerberg have had and are continuing to have a deleterious effect on the democratic process around the world.
I’ll let John Oliver explain.

Guys indeed, mostly radical Evangelical guys and ultra-rich guys. That is who Bolsonaro was bought and paid by and that is for whom he will govern.

Bolsonaro is on the public record saying he’d rather have a dead son then a gay son. If he takes that attitude to governing and protecting gay Brazilians it will basically be open season on Brazil’s LGBT population.

Where did I ever say Cuba isn’t a dictatorship?


Okay! All of this is an exercise of “futurology”. Now I’m going to wait with 60% of the population who is Evangelical white ultra-rich guys who voted on Bolsonaro. In four years I’ll have the chance to change this or keep it.

Yeah! That’s not right! We pay a lot of taxes on fuel too. What I want is no more a monopoly! I don’t have any trouble with shareholders earning a lot of money. I have a trouble with my government making me pay for their incompetency managing a petrol company.


It’s still slightly preferable to the current European paradigm of making us pay for the incompetence of private parties in managing the same sorts of businesses. Except in our case when everything does go well not a dime of the giant profits goes to the public but when the next crisis hits we’re supposed to bail out the ultra-rich and the megacorps again.

Privatization in sectors where no or limited competition is possible will invariably make things worse.
Public utilities are one such sector. Though apart from the strategic reserves fuel falls outside of that.
In any case it remains to be seen if Bolsonaro will truly open up the market, and given his ranting against a “Chinese takeover” I doubt that or merely “privatize” state companies without truly opening up the market (assuming that is possible in the given sector). If you don’t actually open up the market or where opening up the market is physically and practically impossible all privatization accomplishes is funneling resources from the public to a small clique of oligarchs.


Agreed! An open market is what we need. The economist who is working with Bolsonaro is a known liberal, Paulo Guedes. Now the thing is pray for the better and keep an eye open for any abuse.
For a long time Brazilian people didn’t look at what their politicians did. This is changing, really fast. We are not giving a “yes my president, do what you want”. But we are going to see very closely.
The point of all this discussion is: Bolsonaro is not the devil. He is a man who talk some sh*ts, sometimes, but he’s not going to kill everybody. His plans are pretty much better than his adversary. The other guy would be much worse.


That kind of talk disparaging gay people is dangerous in and of itself, even if we give Bolsonaro the benefit of the doubt for now and assume he doesn´t mean a word of it, because it signals to those who would wish us harm that it is open season and that, even if not actively complicit, authorities are going to be prepared to look the other way in any anti-gay incidents.
It is dangerous because such talk from national leaders empowers people we should not want to see empowered.


My p!easure. :slight_smile:

I didn’t intend to undersell its wrongness so much as point out that I empathized with the desire for a payback that motivated it. But as we say to children, two wrongs don’t make a right.

I agree. Garland deserved a hearing, just as all presidential appointees do. McConnell was under great pressure from conservative activists who detested him not to hold that hearing however, just as Reid had been under great pressure from progressive activists to pull the trigger on the nuclear option. Both succumbed to the pressure from their respective bases. In fact it made them heroes to their base voters. McConnell’s approval ratings among Republicans have skyrocketed. He’s a rockstar now among conservatives and fundraising has become easier than ever for him. This is why the US’s system of governance is slowly breaking down. It’s destructive behavior on both sides that is encouraged, the ends justifying the means. Of course Democrats are seething now, just as Republicans were a few short years ago, and I expect there will be another round of destructive paybacks as soon as Democrats are able to retake the Senate…



As a jurist, given the guy’s obvious competences and apparent lack of shady things in his past, unlike Bork and Kavanaugh it is hard for me to see how reasonable people could have rejected him, except on very obviously partisan political grounds, and I will admit he did trend a little to conservative, or I suppose centrist on the American Overton window for my personal comfort. As a non-partisan jurist however those fears should have been insufficient to reject the guy for the position.


Garland had the misfortune of being a compromise candidate in a time when compromise was unwanted. At least his reputation wasn’t trashed. I fear that reputation trashing will increasingly become the new norm for Supreme Court nominees as partisans do everything and anything they can to wreck the nominations of those with views different from their own.


I don’t think there was anything about the man to trash. He seemed clean to me.
While I don’t think Kavanaugh’s incident, given its age should have been enough to deny him admittance to the bar or even an ordinary judgeship, I do believe you have the right and perhaps the duty to hold the life-time appointed Supreme Court justices to a truly exemplary standard of conduct given their raised profile and importance.
Bork of course fatally damaged himself during Watergate and I’m frankly surprised the Republicans even nominated the guy as his actions were widely known.


Political operatives manufacture dirt on the opposition’s candidates all of the time. Expanding that type of operation to an increasingly politicized Supreme Court isn’t much of a stretch. NBC News’s willingness to air Avenatti’s wild and lurid claims of Kavanaugh’s high school “gang rape parties” without any vetting or verification at all is an example of the press’s willingness to spread this sort of dirt. And once one major outlet publishes, the rest all publish it too. Then when Svetnick and the other unnamed witness were interviewed by NBC News in a follow-up they seriously contradicted their sworn affidavits that Avenatti had sent to the media. The unnamed witness even said that the affadavit contained Avenatti’s words, not hers. She had never seen Kavanaugh assault anyone. Nevertheless NBC News chose to sit on that exonerating information until after the confirmation hearings were over.


Let’s see. Nothing like it happened with Roberts, Alito, or Gorsuch, or any of the Dem nominees. My bet remains that the difference with Kavanaugh is that the dirt was there to dig up–and I’m thinking here of Blasey Ford and Ramirez. I don’t think we’ll see it again, because I think the GOP will become more cautious about who they nominate.

It’s not as easy as some Republicans think to manufacture a reputation-trashing false allegation.



Trashing of Supreme Court nominees and of actual Justices is a time honored practice dating to the founding of the court. The tradition goes back to the first 5 years of the Marshal Court’s existence:


Ramirez to her credit admitted that she wasn’t sure if it was Kavanaugh, and none of the people she gave as potential witnesses were able to corroborate that it was Kavanaugh who had drunkenly flashed her. So we’re back to just Blasey Ford, and while I have a great deal of sympathy for Blasey Ford, her change in behavior and sudden inability to look the female prosecutor in the eye on two separate occasions when the most important question of all was asked caused me to conclude that she wasn’t entirely certain it was Kavanaugh either despite her words to the contrary. She looked away twice when asked if she was certain that it was Kavanaugh, looking up at the ceiling and then down at the floor as she affirmed that yes it was him. She didn’t respond this way to any other question. Then I looked at her two attorneys sitting next to her, one a long time Democratic political operative who had defended Bill Clinton from accusations of rape, and the other, a known fund-raiser for Democratic candidates and a vocal member of the anti-Trump resistance…

There’s different grades of dirt, and that attempt was just pathetic and too blatant a falsehood. Well-crafted dirt has at least a grain of truth to it, like the allegations against my own Senator Bob Menendez. And the repeated airing of those allegations are definitely taking a toll. In a blue state in a blue year a blue senator, is in trouble. He will likely still win, but not by much, and nobody will be surprised if he loses.


Yep. And in a Republican Senate, with a Republican President, a Republican nominee for Supreme Court Justice was in trouble. He was always still likely to win, but not by much.

That wouldn’t have happened without extraordinary circumstances, and I continue to think there was a good deal more than a grain of truth to Ford and Ramirez’s stories. (As I do with the allegations against Senator Menendez)


What irked me about Ford wasn’t Ford herself, who seemed earnest, so much as her 3 attorneys who were all heavyweight Democratic political operatives more intent in dragging out the process then in making it easy for their client to testify. They said she had a fear of flying so she couldn’t possibly testify that week, she’d have to travel by car. That was completely untrue. Ford had no problem flying, she flies all the time both for work and pleasure. Her attornies were just stalling. Neither did they inform her that the Senate committee was willing to come to her as she awkwardly admitted during the hearing. Then there were the marital counseling notes that were quoted in her testimony that she said recorded the first time she had ever talked about the assault, but were never presented as evidence. Finally there was the attorney sitting right next to her who in the past had helped trash the women who had accused Bill Clinton of raping them. And if there was no plan to inentionally delay revealing her accusations why did she retain her first two attornies and take a lie detector test back in the first week of August? The whole thing smelled.


We’re having this problem right now in America with Donald Trump. Hate speech is not a victimless crime. It incites real bigotry and violence. Leaders are role models, if a president keeps shooting his mouth off with no regard for decorum or professionalism then people are going to start following him as an example.


@Havenstone: In my previous reply to you I didn’t really address most of your points, so I’d like to do that now that I have a bit more time.

  1. While it is true that Roberts, Alito and Gorsuch didn’t face anything like what Kavanaugh did, with the exception of Gorsuch, they were all approved in somewhat less polarized times. And Gorsuch himself, squeaky clean as he was, still faced an unprecedented filibuster, causing the loss of the supreme court filibuster. You can blame that on the Republicans failing to give Garland a hearing, but Alito himself faced an attempted filibuster by none other than Senator and future President Barack Obama, a filibuster that damaged the existing agreement between the two parties not to filibuster on politics, only competence and criminality. Enough Democrats stuck to the agreement to enable cloture and for the nomination to advance, nevertheless had Obama succeeded, you better believe that Kagan and Sotomayor would have faced the same treatment when Obama became President. And unfortunately the Democrats and Republicans in office today are even more partisan than the ones that were in office in 2006. The confirmation votes have become increasingly partisan and acrimonious as the years have gone by. We’re getting to the point where there will almost always be some people on both sides willing to resort to nearly anything to stop a supreme court justice from the other side to be seated.

  2. The allegation against Democratic Senator Menendez doing the MOST damage by far isn’t the one he was indicted for, but the one he wasn’t. Sex tourism with minors. Pedophilia. This allegation is entirely based upon the uncorroborated testimony of a single anonymous source. The allegation was investigated by the FBI and the FBI wasn’t able to find anything. As a result he was only indicted for corruption, and Menendez’s opponents conflate the two making it sound as if he’d been indicted for both. To be frank, most New Jerseyans don’t care that much if he’s corrupt, they tend to see all politicians as corrupt, he was just careless enough to be the target of a prosecution which ended in a mistrial even if he wasn’t exonerated. The child molestation charge is something much more serious however despite the lack of real evidence, and thanks to an extremely well funded onslaught of negative ads, they’re very definitely gaining traction.

I have an issue with allowing uncorroborated claims to ruin a career or even to stop a nomination. I believe in due process and the presumption of innocence, because without them, I believe there would be too much incentive for some to invent accusations just to stop the other side from advancing its political goals.

And yet up through the 1960’s many previous Supreme Court nominees, especially 20th century nominees, were approved by unanimous acclimation. That seems both quaint and utterly impossible today as votes have grown closer and closer as the decades have gone by. Kavanaugh seems less of an exception than a new norm, or perhaps a regression back to a much more polarized time.


This is a great use of our military resources. Isn’t it?

[5:11 PM]
Lost in the Woods: Oh hey, you heard about the border deployment thing?

[5:12 PM]
Jason Vaiken: were you picked? if so lul

[5:12 PM]
Lost in the Woods: no but like half my battalion is going

[5:12 PM]
Jason Vaiken: ha
I have been to the Mexican Border it is literally horrible

[5:12 PM]
Lost in the Woods: it sucks =P

[5:13 PM]
Lost in the Woods: cant be as bad as Syria…right? =P

[5:29 PM]
Jason Vaiken: both are deserts in the middle of nowhere