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A Deeply Fractured US

Navy_Pete

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As long as the default response to anyone with a dissenting opinion being "stupid", or "idiot", or "moron", or my personal favourite "unacceptable views" is commonplace and allowed to slide, people are going to get their hackles up and push back. It's hard not to take it personally when such personal language is used, no?
It depends on the dissenting opinion I guess; disagreeing on some kind of political item is one thing, saying the earth is flat or other nonsense is stupid.

Just because someone decides to ignore science and logic doesn't mean I have to agree their opinion is valid. If I was a better person I would have more patience and try and reason with them, but that kind of dialogue requires an open mind on discussing things.

People that refuse to examine their opinion in the face of evidence that disputes that are a waste of time to argue with; at that point it's a firmly held belief like religion, not a rational opinion.
 

Brad Sallows

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I feel like there is electronic or digital means to quickly, instantaneously, and securely conduct a vote.

Perhaps it's time to move beyond 1965.
I have approximately 100% faith in computers (the hardware), but not in programmers. There always ought to be a physical ballot, preferably on a medium that has been proven capable of retaining its content legibly for long periods of time in reasonable environments - ie. paper.
 

Brad Sallows

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As I said, I don't intend to push us down a stale rabbit hole, but feel free to peruse the court ruling linked at your leisure. Pages 15-22 best outline the issues the judge found with candor, accuracy, etc. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be properly OCRed so I can't copy and paste it cleanly, but the bottom half of p.18 and the top of p.19 in particular contain the most damning language. The context of this court decision is a federal judge who ordered the full Mueller report to be disclosed to him so he could examine redactions in response to a freedom of information request.

And the weakness is that all of the "damning language" is either speculative or an apparent summary of some specifics which are never mentioned.

The six-degrees-of-separation game played to establish "links" from Trump to Russians (see here) doesn't matter if the links are not obviously relevant to rigging the election. In fact, the effort looks ridiculous. Some examples: Rex Tillerson, a former oil company executive, did business with Russian oil companies. A Miss Universe pageant co-hosted in Moscow with a Russian oligarch. One of Ivanka's social connections. The flat out disproven "dossier" and "Alfa Bank" bullsh!t. Really? Keeping in mind that any reference to mere "links" in Barr's summary would, reasonably, have been interpreted by readers as meaning "election fixing" in the absence of the actual facts, Barr was right not to mention "links". It would have been misleading by omission of insufficient information. So, yeah, there were "links", the same way all sorts of prominent people in the US are "linked" to foreigners by diplomacy and trade and entertainment. To claim indirectly that any of those matter without revealing how laughable they are is to violate "context, nature, and substance".

I've mentioned repeatedly that the "exoneration" tantrum is a bullsh!t red herring, because you won't find what you're not looking for except by chance, and investigators don't waste time pursuing all avenues of exoneration. When people say Mueller didn't exonerate Trump, the proper interpretation is that Mueller didn't find something that he wasn't charged to go looking for and didn't try very hard to find.

Keep pounding the table. Maybe Ivanka's friend's ex-husband's friends who are friends of Putin really did fix the election to Trump.
 

brihard

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And the weakness is that all of the "damning language" is either speculative or an apparent summary of some specifics which are never mentioned.

The six-degrees-of-separation game played to establish "links" from Trump to Russians (see here) doesn't matter if the links are not obviously relevant to rigging the election. In fact, the effort looks ridiculous. Some examples: Rex Tillerson, a former oil company executive, did business with Russian oil companies. A Miss Universe pageant co-hosted in Moscow with a Russian oligarch. One of Ivanka's social connections. The flat out disproven "dossier" and "Alfa Bank" bullsh!t. Really? Keeping in mind that any reference to mere "links" in Barr's summary would, reasonably, have been interpreted by readers as meaning "election fixing" in the absence of the actual facts, Barr was right not to mention "links". It would have been misleading by omission of insufficient information. So, yeah, there were "links", the same way all sorts of prominent people in the US are "linked" to foreigners by diplomacy and trade and entertainment. To claim indirectly that any of those matter without revealing how laughable they are is to violate "context, nature, and substance".

I've mentioned repeatedly that the "exoneration" tantrum is a bullsh!t red herring, because you won't find what you're not looking for except by chance, and investigators don't waste time pursuing all avenues of exoneration. When people say Mueller didn't exonerate Trump, the proper interpretation is that Mueller didn't find something that he wasn't charged to go looking for and didn't try very hard to find.

Keep pounding the table. Maybe Ivanka's friend's ex-husband's friends who are friends of Putin really did fix the election to Trump.

Shrug Nothing there I care to argue, that’s all well in the past at this point. Table pounding’s not my style. As I’ve said, I’m merely an interested observer in what may come of the two ongoing criminal investigation that appear to now be consolidating under an appointed special counsel. Whatever comes of this (if anything), I know there will be some people who won’t accept one outcome or another. I can confidently say up front that I’m not one of them.
 

Brad Sallows

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Moving on then, you should be optimistic.

As the shenanigans associated with the past lines of investigation into Trump mounted, so did the dissatisfaction of people polled on the matter (roughly most, many, some among Republicans, Independents, and Democrats respectively). Another SP investigation landing "not guilty (but not innocent!)" would cook Democrats. So I am highly confident they have something that is criminal and that will stick. They're giving Trump no line of retreat.

It would help if the SP can get it done in 6 months, well before primaries. But Democrats will want this to throw up as much dirt as possible, for as long as possible, preferably some of which sticks to people like DeSantis.

Meanwhile Republicans in the House will be drawing "links" from Joe through Hunter to "pay-to-players" wherever possible. All they need is one - say, "10% for the big guy" - and I foresee impeachment. If the accusation looks solid, either Biden does a Nixon (resigns if someone tells him they have the votes to convict in the Senate) or Democrats in the Senate crash with him.

I'll be amused if the end result is each party doing the heavy lifting to remove the other party's unhelpful candidate.
 

mariomike

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If he were alive today, I wonder what John Wayne would have to say about the state of the union.

Wayne, a staunch Republican, spoke these words at the pre-inaugural reception of President-elect Jimmy Carter - a Democrat,

Good evening. My name is John Wayne. I’m here tonight to pay my respects to our thirty-ninth president, our new commander-in-chief—to wish you Godspeed, sir, in the uncharted waters ahead. Tomorrow at high noon, all our hopes and dreams go into that great house with you. For you have become our transition into the unknown tomorrows, and everyone is with you. I’m pleased to be present and accounted for in this capital of freedom to witness history as it happens—to watch a common man accept the uncommon responsibility he won ‘fair and square’ by stating his case to the American people—not by bloodshed, beheadings, and riots at the palace gates. I know I’m considered a member of the loyal opposition—accent on the loyal. I’d have it no other way.
 

Colin Parkinson

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If he were alive today, I wonder what John Wayne would have to say about the state of the union.

Wayne, a staunch Republican, spoke these words at the pre-inaugural reception of President-elect Jimmy Carter - a Democrat,
To obtain that "Loyal" bit, the governing party must also show and treat the other side with respect as well. Not something the Dem's do well either.
 

Blackadder1916

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To obtain that "Loyal" bit, the governing party must also show and treat the other side with respect as well. . . .

No, incorrect. The "Loyal Opposition" owes its loyalty to the formal (fundamental?) source of governmental power, not to the party that may temporarily be in power. In our system that is Her His Majesty (who represents the constitutional make-up of the country) and in the US it is their actual Constitution. All the crap that goes on between office holders is politics and while it would be nice if everybody held hands and respected each other, it's politics, so lying, cheating, and screwing with your opponent is to be expected.
 

Fishbone Jones

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No, incorrect. The "Loyal Opposition" owes its loyalty to the formal (fundamental?) source of governmental power, not to the party that may temporarily be in power. In our system that is Her His Majesty (who represents the constitutional make-up of the country) and in the US it is their actual Constitution. All the crap that goes on between office holders is politics and while it would be nice if everybody held hands and respected each other, it's politics, so lying, cheating, and screwing with your opponent is to be expected and encouraged
FTFY
 

Navy_Pete

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Interesting...

Oath Keepers boss guilty of seditious conspiracy in 1/6 case

Oath Keepers boss guilty of seditious conspiracy in 1/6 case​

By LINDSAY WHITEHURST, ALANNA DURKIN RICHER and MICHAEL KUNZELMAN9 minutes ago


FILE - This artist sketch depicts the trial of Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes, left, as he testifies before U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta on charges of seditious conspiracy in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, Nov. 7, 2022. Rhodes was convicted of seditious conspiracy on Nov. 29. (Dana Verkouteren via AP, File)
https://apnews.com/article/oath-kee...ba96/gallery/cf7f800a07cf4df8a8fac4db3af65870
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FILE - This artist sketch depicts the trial of Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes, left, as he testifies before U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta on charges of seditious conspiracy in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, Nov. 7, 2022. Rhodes was convicted of seditious conspiracy on Nov. 29. (Dana Verkouteren via AP, File)



WASHINGTON (AP) — Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes was convicted Tuesday of seditious conspiracy for a violent plot to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential win, handing the Justice Department a major victory in its massive prosecution of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.
A Washington, D.C., jury found Rhodes guilty of sedition after three days of deliberations in the nearly two-month-long trial that showcased the far-right extremist group’s efforts to keep Republican Donald Trump in the White House at all costs.
Using dozens of encrypted messages, recordings and surveillance video, prosecutors made the case that Rhodes began shortly after the 2020 election to prepare an armed rebellion to stop the transfer of presidential power.
Over seven weeks of testimony, jurors heard how Rhodes rallied his followers to fight to defend Trump, discussed the prospect of a “bloody” civil war and warned the Oath Keepers may have to “rise up in insurrection” to defeat Biden if Trump didn’t act.
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Rhodes and a co-defendant who was also convicted of seditious conspiracy are the first people in nearly three decades to be found guilty of the rarely used Civil War-era charge at trial. The trial was the biggest test yet for the Justice Department in its efforts to hold accountable those responsible for attack that shook the foundations of American democracy.


Seditious conspiracy calls for up to 20 years behind bars.
On trial alongside Rhodes, of Granbury, Texas, were Kelly Meggs, leader of the Florida chapter of the Oath Keepers; Kenneth Harrelson, another Florida Oath Keeper; Thomas Caldwell, a retired Navy intelligence officer from Virginia; and Jessica Watkins, who led an Ohio militia group.
Defense attorneys accused prosecutors of twisting their clients’ words and insisted the Oath Keepers came to Washington only to provide security for figures such as Roger Stone, a longtime Trump ally. The defense focused heavily on seeking to show that Rhodes’ rhetoric was just bluster and that the Oath Keepers had no plan before Jan. 6 to attack the Capitol.
Rhodes testified that he had no idea that his followers were going to join the mob and storm the Capitol and said he was upset after he found out that some did. Rhodes said they were acting “stupid” and outside their mission for the day.
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Prosecutors said the Oath Keepers saw an opportunity to advance their plot to stop the transfer of power and sprang into action when the mob started storming the Capitol. The Capitol attack was a “means to an end” for the Oath Keepers, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn Rakoczy told jurors in her closing argument.
Jurors heard how Rhodes spent thousands of dollars on an AR-platform rifle, magazines, mounts, sights and other equipment on his way to Washington ahead of the riot. They watched surveillance footage from the Virginia hotel where some Oath Keepers stashed weapons for “quick reaction force” teams prosecutors said were ready to get weapons into the city quickly if they were needed. The weapons were never deployed.
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On Jan. 6, Oath Keepers wearing combat gear were seen on camera shouldering their way through the crowd and into the Capitol. Rhodes remained outside like a “general surveying his troops on the battlefield,” a prosecutor said. After the riot, Rhodes and other Oath Keepers went to an Olive Garden restaurant to celebrate, according to prosecutors.
The trial revealed new details about Rhodes’ efforts to pressure Trump to fight to stay in White House in the weeks leading up to Jan. 6. Shortly after the election, in a group chat that included Stone called “FOS” or “Friends of Stone,” Rhodes wrote, “So will you step up and push Trump to FINALLY take decisive action?”
Another man testified that after the riot, Rhodes tried to persuade him to pass along a message to Trump that urged the president not to give up his fight to hold onto power. The intermediary — a man who told jurors he had an indirect way to reach the president — recorded his meeting with Rhodes and went to the FBI instead of giving the message to Trump.
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“If he’s not going to do the right thing and he’s just gonna let himself be removed illegally then we should have brought rifles,” Rhodes said during that meeting, according to a recording played for jurors. “We should have fixed it right then and there. I’d hang (expletive) Pelosi from the lamppost,” Rhodes said, referring to Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Three other Oath Keepers previously pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy. The last time the Justice Department had secured such a conviction at trial, though, was in the 1995 prosecution of Islamic militants who plotted to bomb New York City landmarks.
 

brihard

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I think at this point we can safely say that there’s no longer any doubt that a concerted plot existed to criminally overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 election, and to try to block the peaceful and democratic transition of power. These convictions weren’t plea deals for a softer sentence. They weren’t random individuals. This is the topmost leadership of a known and notable far right militia. Enrique Tarrio and his ‘proud boys’, currently facing the same Seditious Conspiracy indictment, can’t be feeling too comfortable right now.

I’m looking forward to seeing what Rhodes and his lackeys face at sentencing.
 

KevinB

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I think at this point we can safely say that there’s no longer any doubt that a concerted plot existed to criminally overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 election, and to try to block the peaceful and democratic transition of power.
The most interesting aspect I’ve seen is if they truly believed the results were not legitimate, then one would expect a defense to hinge on ‘all enemies Foreign and Domestic’, especially from the Oath Keepers. Which I have not seen any significant evidence of, any that has been attempted seems to be half hearted at best.

Most of the conspiracy seems to be based on ‘my guy didn’t win, and we will fix that’.

I notice Trump’s fundraising efforts don’t seem to encompass any of these folks.
 

brihard

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The most interesting aspect I’ve seen is if they truly believed the results were not legitimate, then one would expect a defense to hinge on ‘all enemies Foreign and Domestic’, especially from the Oath Keepers. Which I have not seen any significant evidence of, any that has been attempted seems to be half hearted at best.

Most of the conspiracy seems to be based on ‘my guy didn’t win, and we will fix that’.

I notice Trump’s fundraising efforts don’t seem to encompass any of these folks.
Interesting bit is that Rhodes is a graduate of Yale law school (though disbarred some years back). He’s not a dummy, academically, and certainly not ignorant of the law or the constitution. His choices were about as informed as they come.
 

dimsum

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Interesting bit is that Rhodes is a graduate of Yale law school (though disbarred some years back). He’s not a dummy, academically, and certainly not ignorant of the law or the constitution. His choices were about as informed as they come.
At risk of repeating a bad joke:

So, was he a Rhodes scholar then?

I’ll see myself out.
 
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