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      CommentAuthorDuracell
    • CommentTimeJan 11th 2022 edited
     
    Posted By: BigOilRepIf you can even refer to a load of LARPing morons running around an iconic building in fancy dress as a "coup attempt". A coup is attempting to take control of a nation's security forces, military, communications and energy grid. Not sticking a fucking raccoon on your head and taking selfies in people's offices.
    Ha! Very good.

    But, in this instance the person behind the coup already had control of all of that and was attempting to avoid transferring it to his successor. Fortunately Pence would not play ball, which is why Trump roused the rabble. The only purpose of the useful idiots was to interrupt the processings and delay them for long enough for Trump to fire Pence and replace him with someone who would play ball. Whatever else it might or might not have been, it most definitely was a coup attempt.
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      CommentAuthorDuracell
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2022 edited
     
    Trump loyalists form alliance in bid to take over election process in key states

    Extreme Republicans loyal to Donald Trump and his “big lie” that the 2020 election was rigged have formed a nationwide alliance aiming to take control of the presidential election process in key battleground states that could determine the outcome of the 2024 presidential race.


    The group shares conspiracy theories about unfounded election fraud and exchanges ideas on how radically to reconstruct election systems in ways that could overturn the legitimate results of the next presidential race.

    All of them backed Trump’s efforts to subvert the 2020 election and cling on to power against the will of American voters. Several of the alliance have been personally endorsed by Trump and have a credible shot at winning the post of secretary of state – the most powerful election officer in each state.
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      CommentAuthorDuracell
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2022
     
    Republican party signals plans to withdraw from US presidential debates

    When their “policy” largely seems to consist of Tweets in the form of red meat servings to the more deplorable baskets in their base, why would they want to subject themselves to the ordeal of having to try to defend their indefensible positions in front of large audiences in public debates?
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      CommentAuthorDuracell
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2022
     
    It seems to me that there is a real opportunity here for the more moderate Republicans and more conservative Democrats to break away and form a new centrist party in the US. With only the authoritarian autocrats left in the GOP and progressives left in the Democratic Party, in a country riven by culture wars with a population sick of tired of the tribalism, they would probably have a very broad appeal and real chance of victory.
    • CommentAuthorloreman
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2022
     
    Yes, we need something like that here as well
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2022
     
    Yabbut in the US system the funding for political parties lies almost entirely with corporations and wealthy elites as far as I can tell. Unless you can draft some of them into the project it won't go. What rational people might want doesn't seem to matter.
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      CommentAuthorpcstru
    • CommentTimeJan 14th 2022
     
    Posted By: AngusYabbut in the US system the funding for political parties lies almost entirely with corporations and wealthy elites as far as I can tell. Unless you can draft some of them into the project it won't go. What rational people might want doesn't seem to matter.

    It's notable here that we talk about MP's having second jobs (£60K for 2 hours 'work' a month etc) and think them corrupt but we don't reflect much on the people paying the money. We need to tackle the supply and demand of corruption; not just the politicians that sell themselves, but the buyers. And then there is the Media - often owned by people who also buy politicians, serving up propaganda to be consumed by the masses.
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      CommentAuthorDuracell
    • CommentTimeJan 17th 2022 edited
     
    And so here we are now, all these decades later, and just a few years after the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was overturned by a Republican Supreme Court in 2013. It is now Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 2022 — and we are just 24 hours away from a vicious vote which will not only NOT restore those voting rights from 1965, but will allow 19 states to keep their new laws to make it harder for Black and Hispanic Americans, along with the elderly, the disabled, and the poor, to vote. It appears two “Democrats” will be the ones to kill the Bill — along with every single Republican Senator. In 1965 I watched the majority of Republican and Democratic Senators vote for that Voting Rights Act. Tomorrow every single Republican will do the bidding of the defeated White Supremacist president, and while claiming not to be racists themselves, their actions on the Senate floor will be exactly the actions of a racist, and that is how history will record their votes tomorrow. As for Senators Manchin and Sinema, well, Lyndon Johnson had much tougher Dixiecrat Democrats to deal with, some of them former members of the KKK. He literally took a few of them by the collar to show them the what-what — and they voted the way he told them to. Our current president doesn’t have the wherewithal to bang a few heads together to get what he wants. This weakness will doom him if he doesn’t find the fight inside himself. So that means our only hope is that we have to continue the fight, nonviolently, until justice prevails. WE have to elect new Senators this November.

    The invisible “Whites” sign over the Capitol dome must come down, along with the one over the Truman Balcony, and those over every single polling place in America.

    I cannot for the life of me believe that in this short lifetime of mine, I have lived from witnessing, in person, in that room, Black Americans and other victims of bigotry and neglect receive FULL voting rights and protections — and now this. Here I am, here we are, in this ugly dark moment that we find ourselves in, where Black men and women are brutally assassinated by police, where Black mothers and fathers must struggle to find enough food or a decent school for their children, and where the white students in the high school in the northern Michigan town where I live held a “Slave Auction” online this year where they posted photos of the Black kids in school and put price tags on their heads. The school board’s response was to promise to never, ever teach “critical race theory.” I and others have promised them we will deal harshly with any racism in our community. We are the majority. And if we have to go back to the future of 1965, so be it.

    My mother is gone now. I miss her deeply, but I’m glad she isn’t alive to see this. She, a Republican who was voting Green by the time she passed away, would never believe what has happened.


    From https://www.michaelmoore.com/p/iwasthere
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      CommentAuthorDuracell
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2022 edited
     
    In an era of rightwing populism, we cannot destroy democracy in order to save it

    During the Vietnam war, an American commander supposedly explained the necessity of destroying a village in order to save it. In an era of rightwing populism, we need to ensure that the defense of democracy doesn’t follow a similar logic.

    Instead, progressives require a program that, as Nicholas Tampio puts it, treats “people as citizens – that is, as adults capable of thoughtful decisions and moral actions, rather than as children who need to manipulated”. That means entrusting them “with meaningful opportunities to participate in the political process” rather than simply expecting them to vote for one or another leader on polling day.

    Democracy isn’t an institution. It’s a practice – and, as such, it becomes stronger through use.

    That’s the real problem. When’s the last time you felt your opinion actually mattered in your daily life? How often do you take part in democratic debates in your workplace, your neighbourhood, your trade union or your community group?

    The withering of opportunities for ordinary people to exercise meaningful power over their collective affairs gives the Platonic critique of democracy an unwarranted credibility.

    Conversely, the more we practise governing ourselves – by debating, by organising, by demonstrating and protesting – the more natural democracy seems and the more isolated demagogues become.
    • CommentAuthorBigOilRep
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2022
     
    "The key to defeating Trump lies in mobilising ordinary people to articulate their real needs"

    They key to defeating Trump in the last election was putting up a candidate who wasn't Trump. An empty suit like Biden beat him soundly. I suspect if they put a sandwich toaster up against him the toaster would have won. Who doesn't like a tuna melt? Hell, maybe the toaster would have taken Florida.

    Lets face it, no matter how many workplace debates you organise, the next US election will be a choice between a giant douche and a turd sandwich.
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      CommentAuthorDuracell
    • CommentTimeJan 27th 2022 edited
     
    No, America is not on the cusp of a civil war

    Taking these data at face value, a growing chorus insists that we’re living in a “post-truth” era, where members of one political party, the Republican party, can no longer tell facts from falsehood. As a result of the Republican party becoming unmoored from reality, the narratives typically continue, America is drifting headlong into a fascist takeover or a civil war.

    Fortunately for all of us, these dire predictions are almost certainly overblown. We are not living in a “post-truth” world. We are not on the cusp of a civil war. The perception that we are is almost purely an artifact of people taking poll and survey data at face value despite overwhelming evidence that we probably shouldn’t.


    Contrary to narratives that have grown especially ubiquitous in recent years, Americans are actually not very far apart in terms of most empirical facts. We do not live in separate realities. Instead, people begin to polarize on their public positions on factual matters only after those issues have become politicized. And even then, polarized answers on polls and surveys often fail to reflect participants’ genuine views. Indeed, when respondents are provided with incentives to answer questions accurately (instead of engaging in partisan cheerleading), the difference between Democrats and Republicans on factual matters often collapses.

    In other cases, apparent disagreements about factual matters often turn out to be, at bottom, debates about how various facts are framed and interpreted, or disputes about the policies that are held to flow from the facts. That is, even in cases of genuine disagreement, there is typically less dispute about the facts themselves than about what the facts mean – morally or practically speaking.


    In general, behaviors are often a stronger indicator than attitudinal data for understanding how sincere or committed people are to a cause or idea. The number of people who are willing to rhetorically endorse some extraordinary belief tends to be much, much higher than the subset who meaningfully behave as if that claim is true. The number of people who profess commitment to some cause tends to be much, much higher than the share who are willing to make sacrifices or life adjustments in order to advance that cause.

    The big lie is no exception. Both the low levels of turnout and the relatively low levels of violence are extraordinary if we take the polls and surveys at face value.

    Event organizers were expecting, “hundreds of thousands, if not millions” to take part in the January 6 uprising. This would be reasonable to expect in a world where tens of millions of Americans literally believed that an apparently high-stakes election was stolen out from under them. Even if just 1% of those who purportedly believe in the big lie had bothered to show up, the demonstrations would have been hundreds of thousands strong. Instead, they only mustered 2,500 participants (according to US government estimates).

    The lack of casualties was also striking, even when one considers injuries and indirect fatalities. After all, the former president also enjoyed strong support among people who are armed and formally trained in combat, such as active duty and veteran military and law enforcement. A large number of other Trump supporters participate in militias, or are private gun owners.

    Yet most January 6 participants did not bring firearms, and those who were armed did not discharge their weapons – not even in the heat of the violence that broke out. The only person shot in the entire uprising, Ashli Babbitt, was killed by a law enforcement officer. In fact, Babbitt was actually the only homicide to occur on that day.

    Two other rioters died from heart problems, another from a drug overdose. Police officer Brian Sicknick died from strokes on 7 January; the medical examiner ultimately concluded that this was unrelated to any injuries sustained during January 6. In the months that followed, four other police officers would perish by suicide. All said, then, a total of nine deaths have been associated with the events of January 6 (directly or indirectly). Not one person, however, was actually killed by the rioters. Nor is a single bullet alleged to have been fired by the rioters, despite many participants allegedly possessing guns.

    In a world where 74 million voted for Trump, and more than two-thirds of these (ie more than 50 million people, roughly one out of every five adults in the US) actually believed that the other party had illegally seized power and now plan to use that power to harm people like themselves, the events of January 6 would likely have played out much, much differently.

    Indeed, had even the 2,500 people who assembled on the Capitol arrived armed to the hilt, with a plan to seize power by force, committed to violence as “needed” to achieve their goals – things would have gone much, much differently.


    Nonetheless, there is a huge difference in talking about identifying and disrupting small numbers of highly committed individuals willing to engage in revolutionary political violence v tens of millions of Americans genuinely believing the election was fraudulent and being open to violence as a means of rectifying the situation. Those are very different problems. Orders of magnitude different.

    The good news is that the second problem, the tens-of-millions-of-Americans problem, is not real. It is an artifact of politicized polling design and survey responses, followed by overly credulous interpretations of those results by academics and pundits who are committed to a narrative that half the electorate is evil, ignorant, stupid, deranged and otherwise dangerous.


    In truth, most Republican voters likely don’t believe in the big lie. But many would nonetheless profess to believe it in polls and surveys – just as they’d support politicians who make similar professions (according to one estimate, Republican candidates who embrace the big lie enjoy a 6 percentage point electoral boost as compared to Republicans who publicly affirm the 2020 electoral results).

    Within contemporary rightwing circles, a rhetorical embrace of the big lie is perceived as an act of defiance against prevailing elites. It is recognized as a surefire means to “trigger” people on the other team. A demonstrated willingness to endure blowback (from Democrats, media, academics, social media companies et al) for publicly striking this “defiant” position is interpreted as evidence of solidarity with, and commitment to, “the people” instead of special interests; it’s taken as a sign that one is not beholden to “the Establishment” and its rules. That is, the big lie seems to be more about social posturing than making sincere truth claims.

    For many reasons, this situation is also far from ideal. But it’s a very different (and much smaller) problem than partisans actually inhabiting different epistemic worlds and lurching towards a civil war. Glass half full.
    • CommentAuthorBigOilRep
    • CommentTimeJan 27th 2022 edited
     
    Spot on. Nice to see a little common sense for once.


    academics and pundits who are committed to a narrative that half the electorate is evil, ignorant, stupid, deranged and otherwise dangerous.

    I can't think where I've seen this opinion expressed...
    • CommentAuthorAsterix
    • CommentTimeJan 27th 2022
     
    Anti-shades of the old "Moral Majority" stuff...
    • CommentAuthorBigOilRep
    • CommentTimeJan 27th 2022
     
    The not-so-silent majority.
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2022
     
    "Not only do we have the DC jail which is the DC gulag, but now we have Nancy Pelosi’s gazpacho police spying on members of Congress, spying on the legislative work that we do, spying on our staff and spying on American citizens,” she said, referring to the Democratic speaker of the House.


    Marjorie Trailer Greene

    Greene did not explain why she thought Pelosi would form a police force inspired by cold tomato soup.