Politics Thread


My worry is about a 6-3 setup, that no longer even needs Roberts as either the “moderate” or the adult in the room. :worried:

Yeah, okay I can see why you feel that’s true for the USA. My country had a more glacial pace to fully introducing gay rights as it took us from 1811, when we decriminalized sodomy all the way till 2002 to legalize gay marriage and shore up actual anti-discrimination in employment measures.

Fair trade would do more to encourage civil rights in Africa then open borders do. In any case any deal on migration needs a deal on labour too and the only one acceptable to me is that all workers are at the very least paid the legal minimum wage and contribute fully to the social and pension systems. This would require closing such loopholes as European payroll constructions where employers can bring workers here on a supposedly “temporary” basis and pay them according to Bulgarian minimum wage and social laws to do work in this country. That sort of thing has got to end.
Even so too much migration will inevitably depress the bottom of the labour market as well as any other over-supplied sectors.

Suffice it to say Perot’s “giant sucking sound” has proved to be prescient, not only for the US but for the whole western world when we are now faced with the ravages of that type of “free trade”.
At minimum to make borders more “open” we’d need a parallel that protects the interests of labour, instead of just capital.

I wouldn’t have called Kaine particularly moderate, either on social issues with his stance on abortion and various other social issues and particularly not on economics where he was still declaring the TPP and ISDS to be the new “gold standards” in “free” trade, as well as calling for more de-regulation of finance, the day before Hillary picked him. :unamused:

I said less giddy I did think he had it in him to be a decent president, but if you were to read back on what our commentariat was blurting out back in 2008, I never saw him as “saint Obama, saviour of the free world” either. Simply a moderately conservative, by US standards, presidential candidate with a gift for holding inspiring speeches.
Yes, the drone-strikes were deplorable and I certainly know our own @P_Tigras had plenty to say about the shortcomings of Obama’s foreign policy and his handling of Russia, and I actually agree with some bits that critique.

The problem with the presidential primaries in the US at the moment, well one of the problems at least, is that “eligibility” and the coveted “momentum” are determined disproportionately by some very conservative states, such as Iowa and South Carolina. These states determine which of the potential presidential candidates is eligible and electable.
I think I’ve argued this before with @P_Tigras but the presidential lineup of the last decades would have looked a lot different had not Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina been the states to traditionally go first but instead, Maine, Montana and Nevada. I think there is some speculation along those lines buried somewhere in alternatehistory .com somewhere too. The current order and setup of the primaries really pushes the US in a far more conservative direction then some of the alternatives.


An executive order? Wouldn’t you prefer to just get a federal law so whoever the next pres can’t just reverse it on a whim? Plus executive orders are a bit controversial in the first place for skipping around congress to make laws and increasing exec power.

Pretty sure we have an order of back ups for others.

I was a black guy who didn’t have the savior of the world opinion whooo boy.


I meant the question less as “what deal would they make” and more just procedurally… is it even possible to impeach president and vice president simultaneously, or would they automatically get to appoint the next in line?

We’re still behind on employment discrimination :expressionless: that’s all on a state-by-state so some have much better protections and some don’t have them at all. Also protections for trans people are much rarer than sexual orientation ones :unamused:

Yes, agreed, better deals on immigration should come with better labor rights. If instead of being undocumented, these immigrants were benefiting from minimum wages while also being more integrated into the social nets, they wouldn’t be as exploited and it wouldn’t disrupt labor prices the same way.

Oh, I was agreeing with you there, really :sweat_smile: the “I still like him better” bit was a disclaimer on my following criticisms.

Oh yeah, the presidential primary system is really broken too :sweat_smile: And just really weird how it’s interwoven itself into the government system… it’s certainly not how we were designed to operate :confounded: (not that how we were designed to operate was that great either… but it’s still not the same thing.)
I wouldn’t favor just changing the order of states, either, as that wouldn’t be fair either. Transportation and communication are faster now; they don’t need a spread out calendar anymore. Or if they really insist on separate dates, a rotating calendar could be a compromise, but I’d still rather it be simultaneous so you don’t get some areas disproportionately choosing the candidates :confounded:

But at least for other federal positions, primaries are the time to push the party’s direction.

Um, I mean yeah, obviously a federal law would be better, but that wasn’t in Obama’s power :confused: I am not criticizing Obama for not doing something he couldn’t do :confused:

The executive order in question—which he did eventually put through—was specifically antidiscrimination for federal employees. That’s just the sort of thing that executive orders are there to handle; it’s about the government’s own workers and about the administration’s hiring policies. That’s not a skipping around congress to make laws sort of thing. It’s a policy thing. And there is no good reason to have dawdled on that.

Yeah; the question isn’t order of succession, but “would they have time to appoint a new vice president thereby circumventing the next point in the order of succession.”


There also would not be as much immigration as employers would be less keen to hire unskilled immigrants if it costs them as much as hiring unskilled locals. Thus with a good deal on labour immigration would naturally fall into a pattern of being the immigration we actually need to fill skill gaps and legitimate labour shortages. Not the current libertarian race to the bottom that only benefits the global, ultra rich elite.

Indeed, I just meant to give the example of how the current lineup of the primaries promotes candidates significantly more conservative then even the US national average, because it is those three primaries that largely determine, eligibility, electability and who gets the momentum, long before voters like you, in Wisconsin, let alone California get any input.

I did say to protest at the top of the ticket, didn’t I. That’s the most effective spot to protest vote in the US anyway. Had I been entitled to vote in California, like some of my expat friends and colleagues I might have had to hold my nose voting for someone like Feinstein, but I sure as heck wouldn’t have endorsed Kaine and a Hillary who had shown she still would have moved to the right once in power at the top.
My understanding is that in most states of the US you can in fact engage in such “ticket splitting” and you don’t necessarily need to vote the party line on every single office.

if they do the impeachments cannot be simultaneous, to appoint a new VP President Pence would need to be sworn in as President himself first. So I think that unless there is truly Earth shattering evidence against Pence, that is worse then what might lead to a successful Trump impeachment even, they’re not going to impeach him.
Even in the face of overwhelming evidence against Trump, retaining control of the Presidency through Pence is at the very minimum what it is going to take in order to convince 20 Republican Senators in the new Senate to vote to actually impeach Trump (because the chances of Trump resigning relatively gracefully like Nixon or basically nil).


Ahh that makes more sense.


They could vote to impeach them simultaneously (must be different articles but can effectively both be convicted by the senate at the same time), but succession is constitutionally mandated by the 25th amendment.


Exactly why simultaneous impeachment ain’t gonna happen with the Republican Senate, as then it will be down to President Pelosi. No way they’re gonna risk that. Any succesful Trump impeachment, if it should even come to that, is likely gonna depend on the assurance of a continued Republican Presidency. They’ve got that with Pence, but now that the Democrats have won the House and Ryan is gone they have not got that with simultaneous impeachment.


Technically the appointment of another VP might even be frought with divided government. The appointment has to be confirmed by a majority in both the House and Senate. So even non-simultaneous conviction could result in President Pelosi…which is why it will have to be reeeeaaaalllyy bad to actually happen to Trump.


It’s going to be bad, I just finished reading a Politco article where someone being investigated by the Special Counsel is a, “Foreign company acting as an arm of a foreign government.” They are trying to get a stay in and appealed to the Supreme Court.

Three Guesses on what nation this company answers to.

I also might have thrown up a bit when you wrote President Pelosi.

Also @idonotlikeusernames.

Tell me this is not the smile of a man who knows he’s going to be President?


I really, really hope not. :nauseated_face:

Thanks for that bundle of joy and cheer there Big Tiger. :unamused:
Of course that is exactly as I both feared and already assumed, no way 20 Republican Senators in the incoming Senate are going to vote to impeach Pence along with Trump.

@cascat07 I was just reading up a bit on your previous presidents and it seems that a fair number of them indeed operated for long stretches with a vacant VP position. Still one of the concessions Dems might have to make to Senate Republicans is a guarantee they’ll vote to confirm whoever Pence’s VP pick is.

Not a Pelosi fan, Bryce? I thought big finance loves her almost as much as it loves Kaine and Feinstein?
In any case I wouldn’t vote to (re)elect her President, but given the fact that the Senate would still be Republican no matter what and she’d face progressive/left-wing pressure too her holding down the fort, as opposed to Trump or Pence till 2020 might not be too bad. At least I assume she’s sane enough to know what the Nuclear Triad actually is, without needing to be told on TV. :unamused:

Ryan’s tax-cuts already passed, so her ability to do more economic damage would at least be somewhat more limited too.


I’m not aware of any grounds for justifiably impeaching Pence. At least with Trump there is obstruction, and possibly Russia.


Moving this post (or this part of a previous post) to this thread due to advice from a Moderator. It was originally posted in the Censorship in Games thread.

Okay so you are speaking of USA politics in particular as opposed to censorship as a principle in general. To be honest I do not overly care about USA politics because it is not my country and he is not my president. However I will offer some heartfelt and sincere advice.

Whatever it is that you are doing is not working. The Political Right currently controls huge swathes of the legislature at state level, the US Senate, the Supreme Court and the White House. The Blue Wave has failed to materialize and President Trump’s approval rating has remained relatively steady all this time.

Doubling down on ineffective tactics is hardly a winning strategy. Time for a Plan B perhaps? At the very least, instead of protesting it would be pertinent to start reassembling the Democratic Coalition for a run at the federal legislatures and the office of the president in 2020. It may be time for mass mobilization to get the vote out. Time to hammer out a strong, inclusive platform that will appeal to the majority of voters.

I think this is a conflation of freedom of speech (the right not to be censored) and freedom from consequence (the right not to be prosecuted for falsehoods and deliberate perjury).

If you give the state this kind of power, it is guaranteed the state will abuse it. If you are American, President Trump and, more pertinently, the conservative majority Supreme Court that he has assembled would be in charge of interpreting and enforcing such laws. If you just felt a chill down your spine at the thought of President Trump being able to define Hate Speech, I think you just came across why I oppose Hate Speech Laws. Not necessarily because they are not useful but because they will inevitably be abused. Vigilantism is even worse since it ultimately derives down to the power to enforce their decisions.

Certainly every citizen has the right to live free and safe. Depriving others of their rights to achieve this will simply lead to other citizens doing the same. At this point in US politics, censoring the Political Right is futile, their message is already out there. I think it is time to do some serious counter programming on the part of the Political Left. Less telling people why President Trump is wrong (they have heard it all before) and more telling them why they should vote for your guy (which hopefully sways those in the middle).

I think you are missing the point of the quoted paragraph from my post. It is not an injunction to smile and nod when the Nazis are having their rallies. It is to fight them down and shout them out in public wherever they may be found. Until and unless someone invents telepathy there is no way to judge a person save by word and action. Thus if you ban hate speech, the only time you will know about Nazis is when they progress to hateful actions and honestly nobody wants innocents hurt.


Again, this is exactly right. Very well said. Freedom of speech occurs in absolutes, you either have it or you don’t. Trying to set limits to it is very dangerous and it will incrementally lead to less and less freedom. Of course private entities have the right to impose whatever limits they want but it is appalling to me that so many people here are in favor of limiting the speech of their political adversaries by law, and even advocating physical assault on them. I hope I never live to see such a horrific mutilation of basic liberty.


This is the part I take issue with. From ancient times onwards there has always been phallic art and I’m sure that always aroused a certain amount of lust. To say that something is without artistic or cultural merit on those grounds is plainly puritan nonsense. The human body is (or at least can be) a work of art and we should not be afraid to depict it in all its glory. Besides there have been several studies that show that easy access to porn actually decreases, not increases incidences of rape and molestation and from what limited legal experience I have I’m inclined to believe them over the studies claiming the opposite.
Therefore even “hardcore” pornography (but really they deem every innocent kink or non-vanilla sex hardcore porn these days :unamused: And 'Murica is even worse than old Europe. ) may have some serious social value.
Aside from that I believe that literally anything gay m/m, even something as innocent as a kiss or holding hands in public is deemed to be “hardcore” and “shoving the gay agenda down people throats”, whereas the same activity between opposite sex teenagers is deemed to be cute, innocent and perfectly wholesome. :unamused:

Those kinds of double standards are why I could not and cannot agree with that part of the US “Miller test”. Even if I am an advocate for moving European free speech closer to US standards we should devise our own, more inclusive legal test, and not copy that part of the Miller nonsense. :unamused:

@Gower @Eiwynn @Havenstone If any of you deem this off-topic I’d appreciate it if you didn’t delete this post but dump it into the politics thread instead.

Okay, phwew, rant mode over.

I do agree with @Havenstone that, in general, the answer to bad speech should not be censorship but more and better speech instead.

Censorship in Interactive Fiction

The “and” in the bit you quote is really important there. It doesn’t say something is without merit if it only satisfies criterion #1.


From my, admittedly non-expert, understanding of US law if something satisfies either criterion 1 or 2 or both that tends to lead to an easy assumption of it also satisfying the more damning criterion 3.
But we can certainly discuss this further once I’m a bit more sober and have time to drag my old comparative law course US law notes and textbooks from the attic.


Lol You are bringing back College boring memories about Comparative courses Common law vs Continental. That at least here in Spanish were a direct apology of ALL UK AND USA Do wrong and how Kelsen has bring a new dawn in Continental… Oh my god how many stupid bullshit I had to hear from old guys near 80s.years Like really :sleepy:


If the government can’t prove all three parts of the Miller Test, then the expression is protected under the First Amendment and is not found to be obscene and therefore cannot be censored. If an expressive piece arouses lust, but has serious social value then it’s protected! Hence why the legislative branch requires the executive branch prove all three things in order to constitutionalize the censorship.

Mind you, this isn’t taking into account the fact that the U.S. govt. must also scrutinize the obscene material as a whole as well.

Edit: forgot to mention… the “serious social value” aspect of the Miller Test is determined by the national standards, not local criteria. The “hard-core pornography” aspect must be clearly defined, but it’s per state, not nationally enforced standards.


Miller test is absolutely inaccurate and impossible to use without taking account the politicians in direct power and the concrete definition of the immaterial principles regarded in any law or precedent principle.

What is art what is pornography the social environment absolutely all those concept are immaterial ideological and though under the control or a law or a precedent principle to being defined as always happen when several rights or constitucional rights confilict.

That makes all ideological construction


Well that explains some things, as I’ve seen the US dismiss things as “hardcore pornography” far too easily at times. But maybe most of those were from the more conservative statues to begin with. :thinking:

That said even I’m old enough to remember when even here, in the Netherlands, anything m/m gay, was automatically considered hard-core porn, even when the same activities between opposite sex teens were being aired on TV all the time back in the 80’s. Our unequal standards back then went opposite sex teens kissing cuddling = fit for daytime TV, anybody can watch. Two girls/lesbian kissing/cuddling = softcore porn. Restrict viewing to after 9/10 PM. Two guys/ gay men kissing/cuddling = Whoa! Hold your horses! That’s “hard-core” porn, best sell that stuff only in 18+ sex shops. :unamused:
And the US with its still active sodomy laws and the whole homosexuality is a mental illness spiel was even worse back then.

But as Mara said, both our standards and the 'Murican ones were more of an illogical reflection of the tastes and preferences of the politicians in power at the time then anything objective. Which still meant that some things were censored far too easily.