klezman


quality posts: 178 Private Messages klezman

klezman


quality posts: 178 Private Messages klezman
MarkDaSpark wrote:Really? It was the sentence where you said: "You also know that it looks awfully bad to fire the person who recently admitted publicly that he was investigating you."

That has been discredited as fake.



What about that has been discredited? Comey specifically, in congressional testimony, confirmed he was investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. e.g. (from the Washington Posts' transcript of the May 3 testimony)

"Comey: With respect to the Russian investigation, we treated it like we did with the Clinton investigation. We didn't say a word about it until months into it and then the only thing we've confirmed so far about this is the same thing with the Clinton investigation. That we are investigating. And I would expect, we're not going to say another peep about it until we're done. And I don't know what will be said when we're done, but that's the way we handled the Clinton investigation as well."

I stopped counting bottles. My CT

klezman


quality posts: 178 Private Messages klezman
rpm wrote:I start with the view that Comey should have been fired long since, last Summer before the election when he usurped the Justice Department's role. But, I digress.



I agree with you here. But run the thought experiment...if Obama had fired him then, what would Republicans have said? How would it have looked?

rpm wrote:I find the entire kerfuffle over Comey's firing, on both sides, risible. I have gotten to the point that I pretty much don't read the "news" anymore and even less opinion. I try to sort out what I think is going on based on actions, not the talk.

I take it as an article of faith that the intelligence agencies spy on Americans illegally, and that whoever is in power, Democrat or Republican, abuses that information. I also take it as an article of faith that public officials routinely lie to us and have done so for decades. (Relfecting on my lifetime's interest in politics and public affairs, I'm really not sure the last time I could say with confidence that I think I could trust what most government officials said. Maybe, during the Eisenhower administration.)



That's pretty sad. That's a pretty deep mistrust in all aspects of government. Is this essentially part of a train of thought where it's all about power, and damn the consequences?

I stopped counting bottles. My CT

rpm


quality posts: 210 Private Messages rpm
klezman wrote:I agree with you here. But run the thought experiment...if Obama had fired him then, what would Republicans have said? How would it have looked?



Oh, the 'pubbies would have howled, no question about it. It wouldn't have gotten the traction the democrats' howls have, because the MSM is in full-throated hue and cry. As Glen Reynolds, the Instapundit, puts it, just think of journalists as Democrats with by-lines.... The Gleichschaltung in the MSM is every bit as slavish and craven as anything ever seen in the Soviet Union, Red China, fascist Italy, or National Socialist Germany.

klezman wrote:That's pretty sad. That's a pretty deep mistrust in all aspects of government. Is this essentially part of a train of thought where it's all about power, and damn the consequences?



Well, yes, it's a thoroughgoing distrust in government. Most governments in the 20th and now the 21st century are just about power, and, in many cases, about getting rich in the process by (essentially) selling influence and access. Really, pretty much all of the abuses the American colonists inveighed against in the British system in the middle of the 18th century.

It's not just here. Throughout the 20th century the communist left and the fascist right were all about power. The socialists in Britain (Labor), on the continent, and in the third world were all about power; the bureaucrats in the EU are still all about power, as is Putin and the Chinese leadership. And, in the third world they're all rapacious thugs, regardless of professed ideology.

I can't think of one country in the world today where the leaders really seem to be running it for the benefit of the population rather than themselves.

This is the antithesis of the America of our Founding and our government before the growth of the administrative state (which is little more than window dressing on the old royal prerogative - see Is Administrative Law Unlawful? against which the English struggled for over 500 years beginning with the barons who brought John Lackland to book at Runnymeade in 1215).

The worst thing about it is that both the 'pubbies and the dims cynically exploit the real anger of large (and sometimes overlapping) segments of the population in order to gain or hold power.

Wine-tasting in 8 words:
Pull lots of corks!
Remember what you taste!

bhodilee


quality posts: 34 Private Messages bhodilee
chipgreen wrote:I suppose we can thank FOX and MSNBC for popularizing "opinion-based news". CNN tried to buck the trend for awhile but eventually succumbed and are just as bad as the others now.

Thanks to Kyle for reminding me awhile back that Christian Science Monitor is a pretty good source for unbiased news. I gave up watching anything but the local news on TV a couple years ago and have been a happier person for it.



Yeah, even CSM is moving from a "this is what happened" style to "This is what happened and what it means to you" style of reporting. Not sure where they're gonna come down on "means to you." I'd bet left if I had to place a wager. There's more clicks to be had on the left I would think, we love to be perpetually outraged. I know it's the fuel that sustains me! I'm willing and able to be outraged by either side though.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."

– George Bernard Shaw, author (1856-1950)

bhodilee


quality posts: 34 Private Messages bhodilee
rpm wrote:Well, yes, it's a thoroughgoing distrust in government. Most governments in the 20th and now the 21st century are just about power, and, in many cases, about getting rich in the process by (essentially) selling influence and access. Really, pretty much all of the abuses the American colonists inveighed against in the British system in the middle of the 18th century.

It's not just here. Throughout the 20th century the communist left and the fascist right were all about power. The socialists in Britain (Labor), on the continent, and in the third world were all about power; the bureaucrats in the EU are still all about power, as is Putin and the Chinese leadership. And, in the third world they're all rapacious thugs, regardless of professed ideology.

I can't think of one country in the world today where the leaders really seem to be running it for the benefit of the population rather than themselves.

This is the antithesis of the America of our Founding and our government before the growth of the administrative state (which is little more than window dressing on the old royal prerogative - see Is Administrative Law Unlawful? against which the English struggled for over 500 years beginning with the barons who brought John Lackland to book at Runnymeade in 1215).

The worst thing about it is that both the 'pubbies and the dims cynically exploit the real anger of large (and sometimes overlapping) segments of the population in order to gain or hold power.



I think you confused 20th and 21st century with "the history of ever"

That's what governments do, they become corrupt and it sucks, but it's just kinda the way it is and we live with it until we can't and then we do something else for a bit and cycle back. People say, oh term limitis will solve that. They won't, you'll just get a puppet after the term limit that enforces exactly what the puppet master who just got kicked out wants. I'd say it's all very sad, but as I've said, I don't live at the macro, so as long as they don't go lobbing nukes, I'm very unlikely to be impacted much.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."

– George Bernard Shaw, author (1856-1950)

jawlz


quality posts: 13 Private Messages jawlz
rpm wrote:Well, yes, it's a thoroughgoing distrust in government. Most governments in the 20th and now the 21st century are just about power, and, in many cases, about getting rich in the process by (essentially) selling influence and access. Really, pretty much all of the abuses the American colonists inveighed against in the British system in the middle of the 18th century.

It's not just here. Throughout the 20th century the communist left and the fascist right were all about power. The socialists in Britain (Labor), on the continent, and in the third world were all about power; the bureaucrats in the EU are still all about power, as is Putin and the Chinese leadership. And, in the third world they're all rapacious thugs, regardless of professed ideology.

I can't think of one country in the world today where the leaders really seem to be running it for the benefit of the population rather than themselves.

This is the antithesis of the America of our Founding and our government before the growth of the administrative state (which is little more than window dressing on the old royal prerogative - see Is Administrative Law Unlawful? against which the English struggled for over 500 years beginning with the barons who brought John Lackland to book at Runnymeade in 1215).

The worst thing about it is that both the 'pubbies and the dims cynically exploit the real anger of large (and sometimes overlapping) segments of the population in order to gain or hold power.




Are you referring to Philip Hamburger's book, and if so, would you recommend it?

As far 'leaders running the state for their benefit as opposed to that of the public', I tend to see less (though by no means none) of this at the local government level than I do at the state or federal levels, with local concerns and politics both more focused on quality-of-life issues. (Insert a moment of silence for political power being diffused throughout a federal republic with a weaker central coordinating government.)

Although I also wasn't around for some of the more egregious practices that were happening in various Southern and Eastern cities on matters of race and graft respectively.

rpm


quality posts: 210 Private Messages rpm
jawlz wrote:Are you referring to Philip Hamburger's book, and if so, would you recommend it?



Yes, and I recommend it highly.

jawlz wrote:As far 'leaders running the state for their benefit as opposed to that of the public', I tend to see less (though by no means none) of this at the local government level than I do at the state or federal levels, with local concerns and politics both more focused on quality-of-life issues. (Insert a moment of silence for political power being diffused throughout a federal republic with a weaker central coordinating government.)

Although I also wasn't around for some of the more egregious practices that were happening in various Southern and Eastern cities on matters of race and graft respectively.



The further the remove from the governed, the greater the temptation to corruption. Local government is often relatively honest and uncorrupted, especially in suburban and rurual areas where many voters are personally acquainted with the leaders and the leaders are personally acquainted with large numbers of the voters. It's just a tad harder to steal from, or lie to, your friends and neighbors.... The cities, of course, have mostly been sinkholes of corruption in the US: mostly Democrat machines in the larger cities in the North South, and West, but there have been equally corrupt Republican machines as well.

That, of course, was a significant reason the Founders wanted the federal government relatively weak and check by the states - as well as the various branches checking and balancing each other. The less power a federal government has, the less the value of corrupting politicians.

Wine-tasting in 8 words:
Pull lots of corks!
Remember what you taste!

rpm


quality posts: 210 Private Messages rpm
bhodilee wrote:I think you confused 20th and 21st century with "the history of ever"

That's what governments do, they become corrupt and it sucks, but it's just kinda the way it is and we live with it until we can't and then we do something else for a bit and cycle back. People say, oh term limitis will solve that. They won't, you'll just get a puppet after the term limit that enforces exactly what the puppet master who just got kicked out wants. I'd say it's all very sad, but as I've said, I don't live at the macro, so as long as they don't go lobbing nukes, I'm very unlikely to be impacted much.



I don't conflate; I was simply trying to keep the argument manageable and understandable for those less historically versed. There have been periods and pockets of more or less honest and more or less disinterested government, but they're the exception, not the rule. The American Founding and the early republic was one, the early Roman Republic another. It is always instructive to recall that our Founders looked to Republican Rome more than any other historical example.

Wine-tasting in 8 words:
Pull lots of corks!
Remember what you taste!

MarkDaSpark


quality posts: 236 Private Messages MarkDaSpark
rpm wrote:The further the remove from the governed, the greater the temptation to corruption. Local government is often relatively honest and uncorrupted, especially in suburban and rurual areas where many voters are personally acquainted with the leaders and the leaders are personally acquainted with large numbers of the voters. It's just a tad harder to steal from, or lie to, your friends and neighbors.... The cities, of course, have mostly been sinkholes of corruption in the US: mostly Democrat machines in the larger cities in the North South, and West, but there have been equally corrupt Republican machines as well.

That, of course, was a significant reason the Founders wanted the federal government relatively weak and check by the states - as well as the various branches checking and balancing each other. The less power a federal government has, the less the value of corrupting politicians.



I briefly read a proposal to repeal the 17th Amendment (made direct election of US Senators by the people, instead of by Governors and State Legislatures). While I thought it was a more recent one, it evidently has been kicked around since 2014 at least.

The authors (and others) felt that the vast expansion of the Federal Government was due to this change, and that repeal was necessary to pull power back from the Feds and put it back in the States where the Founding Fathers wanted it.

I'm not sure it would work, but wanted to know what you thought about it as a check on politicians.


       x20             
Someone has to put WD's kids thru college, but why does it have to be me!
*This post is for purposes of enabling only, and does not constitute any promise of helping pay for said enabling. It does indicate willingness to assist in drinking said wine.

rpm


quality posts: 210 Private Messages rpm
MarkDaSpark wrote:I briefly read a proposal to repeal the 17th Amendment (made direct election of US Senators by the people, instead of by Governors and State Legislatures). While I thought it was a more recent one, it evidently has been kicked around since 2014 at least.

The authors (and others) felt that the vast expansion of the Federal Government was due to this change, and that repeal was necessary to pull power back from the Feds and put it back in the States where the Founding Fathers wanted it.

I'm not sure it would work, but wanted to know what you thought about it as a check on politicians.



Like you, I'm not confident it would work now. It worked pretty well for the first 120-odd years of the republic, but it's hard to go back. Just as undoing the disastrous Supreme Court decisions (Baker v. Carr and Reynolds v. Sims which destroyed the urban - rural balance in the individual state senates might not work now. You wouldn't be able to get the existing, purely population-based state senates to go along....

Wine-tasting in 8 words:
Pull lots of corks!
Remember what you taste!

chemvictim


quality posts: 4 Private Messages chemvictim
MarkDaSpark wrote:If any of you had truly been this concerned about Obama's lies and prevarications, we could have a meaningful discussion.

But hypocrisy negates any such discussion.


I at least gave Obama a chance during his 100 days in office. Can any of you say the same for Trump?

And I'm not really a Trump supporter, I just can't stand the hypocrisy on either side, which is mostly coming from the Left right now.



Edit: For the record, I don't hate Obama, I just despise him for the harm he did to this country.



Sorry Sparky, just playing with you. Heck yeah, I've given Trump a chance. He won! He's the president! I want him to do well!

There were many things I didn't like about Obama. Some of the more outlandish criticisms, I just couldn't take it seriously (he's from Kenya, etc). Some of the others I just didn't agree that they were especially malicious. I think/thought he was just another president doing what they do.

We can talk about it. Obamacare is a mess and I have no idea what's going to happen now.

chemvictim


quality posts: 4 Private Messages chemvictim
rpm wrote:It really looks like there is no longer any basis for civil discussion of politics here. I think our perceptions of what is real and what is fake differ so greatly that we no longer have a common set of assumptions about the world or a common reference point to determine "fact" - this is a great pity, but real.



Well, yeah. I don't even know where to find reliable news. Everything looks like The Onion. If we don't like something, we can dismiss it as fake (and it probably is). I'd like to hear what conservatives think about Trump and current events, but I can definitely sympathize with not wanting to talk about it.

bhodilee


quality posts: 34 Private Messages bhodilee
rpm wrote:The further the remove from the governed, the greater the temptation to corruption. Local government is often relatively honest and uncorrupted, especially in suburban and rurual areas where many voters are personally acquainted with the leaders and the leaders are personally acquainted with large numbers of the voters. It's just a tad harder to steal from, or lie to, your friends and neighbors.... The cities, of course, have mostly been sinkholes of corruption in the US: mostly Democrat machines in the larger cities in the North South, and West, but there have been equally corrupt Republican machines as well.

That, of course, was a significant reason the Founders wanted the federal government relatively weak and check by the states - as well as the various branches checking and balancing each other. The less power a federal government has, the less the value of corrupting politicians.



coming from local government, it's also a lot harder to do the right thing when it impacts those self same friends and neighbors. On the whole though, give me local government any day!

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."

– George Bernard Shaw, author (1856-1950)

bhodilee


quality posts: 34 Private Messages bhodilee
rpm wrote:I don't conflate; I was simply trying to keep the argument manageable and understandable for those less historically versed. There have been periods and pockets of more or less honest and more or less disinterested government, but they're the exception, not the rule. The American Founding and the early republic was one, the early Roman Republic another. It is always instructive to recall that our Founders looked to Republican Rome more than any other historical example.



Oh, I specifically had Republican Rome in mind. I think it was the concept of Co-Consul that kept them on track for so long, until that institution became weak and useless. I've long thought that we should put up two candidates for President and whoever loses becomes the VP. That, would cut down on a lot of Mentosery.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."

– George Bernard Shaw, author (1856-1950)

bhodilee


quality posts: 34 Private Messages bhodilee
MarkDaSpark wrote:I briefly read a proposal to repeal the 17th Amendment (made direct election of US Senators by the people, instead of by Governors and State Legislatures). While I thought it was a more recent one, it evidently has been kicked around since 2014 at least.

The authors (and others) felt that the vast expansion of the Federal Government was due to this change, and that repeal was necessary to pull power back from the Feds and put it back in the States where the Founding Fathers wanted it.

I'm not sure it would work, but wanted to know what you thought about it as a check on politicians.



Oh you mean the SINGLE.WORST.AMENDMENT.EVER?

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."

– George Bernard Shaw, author (1856-1950)

jawlz


quality posts: 13 Private Messages jawlz
bhodilee wrote:Oh, I specifically had Republican Rome in mind. I think it was the concept of Co-Consul that kept them on track for so long, until that institution became weak and useless. I've long thought that we should put up two candidates for President and whoever loses becomes the VP. That, would cut down on a lot of Mentosery.



The first 16 years or so of the United States under the Constitution actually did have the runner-up in the Presidential election assume the Vice-President's office. As political parties grew in importance, the system quickly grew increasing untenable and we adopted the 12th Amendment which calls for the individual election of both the President and Vice President and has been in effect from 1804 on.

bhodilee


quality posts: 34 Private Messages bhodilee
jawlz wrote:The first 16 years or so of the United States under the Constitution actually did have the runner-up in the Presidential election assume the Vice-President's office. As political parties grew in importance, the system quickly grew increasing untenable and we adopted the 12th Amendment which calls for the individual election of both the President and Vice President and has been in effect from 1804 on.



SECOND.WORST.AMENDMENT.EVER!

Also, I'm way more originalist than I thought I was, this comes as a bit of a shock to me!

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."

– George Bernard Shaw, author (1856-1950)

rpm


quality posts: 210 Private Messages rpm
bhodilee wrote:SECOND.WORST.AMENDMENT.EVER!

Also, I'm way more originalist than I thought I was, this comes as a bit of a shock to me!



The best that can be said for some of the really dumb amendments that have been ratified (and a few we've been saved from by failure of ratification) is that it seemed like a good idea at the time....

Bah.

Wine-tasting in 8 words:
Pull lots of corks!
Remember what you taste!