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OpEd--War Is The New Normal In Washington

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      Crazy is the new normal just as war is the new normal, and when it comes to war, it has been normal for some time! David Davenport gives us his opinion on this in the San Francisco Examiner, and I agree with him.

      The way I see it, the Trump Administration is just a way the Right Wing has worked (for more years than most of us have been alive) to achieve their goal of not just backward legislation, but Right Wing Rule of Might Makes Right! The result: Divisiveness, backwardness, and WAR.

      .

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      Excerpts from the article follow:

      ...

      I have some bad news for Joe Biden: Donald Trump is not, as Biden said recently, an “aberration” from the bipartisan policymaking he remembers nostalgically in Washington. Biden’s “Republican friends,” and even many of his fellow Democrats, are not waiting eagerly for the kind of collegial dealmaking he says he will bring to Washington. Rather both politics and policy have shifted dramatically from a model of deliberation to one in which war is the new normal.

      In this past week alone, Washington is talking about a trade war, a war with Congress, an abortion war and even a military war with Iran.

      The shift didn’t happen overnight.

      Following the Depression and World War II, there was no return to normal, and the modern, powerful, action-oriented presidency became a permanent fixture in Washington.

      After studying these domestic policy wars carefully, one can draw five conclusions:

      (1) They do not solve the problem at hand.

      (2) They create roadblocks to better policy solutions.

      (3) They increase executive power at the expense of Congress.

      (4) They are negative and destructive.

      (5) They never end. All these domestic policy wars are still active.

      Wars and their close cousin the national emergency — we currently live under 31 of those — have revolutionized how policy is made and carried out, and not for the better.

      Biden is under attack for contributing to two other policy wars, those on drugs and crime.

      Trade wars, wars on the Constitution, culture wars and more. Enough already.

      Read the entire article: https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/article/War-is-the-new-normal-in-Washington-13854660.php

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      The Great Dissonance

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          https://www.salon.com/2019/05/21/trump-and-the-gop...

          The Great Dissonance

          To make gasoline from crude oil requires about fifteen hundred reactions, any one of which is long enough to take up a small book if written as a formula. We know that science and rationality work, and that we depend on them for our transportation, our lights and computers and our cell phones. We know that science's description of reality is out there - that it exists. We know that it is one way of describing reality, and that as a framework for understanding and designing reality it is very useful; and we know that it is effective.
          The key here is that science is one way of describing reality, and we know that it works. We know that nearly everything we see around us is the result of rationality.

          Then we have the Denier's description of relity: science is invalid, education is impossible; moral and ethical values, both sciences, are useless, and weakness. Nothing is rational.

          So, we're defining reality using two different, completely contradictory definitions. We know that one works and the other one doesn't, but in order to ever get to be a fully vested member of our tribe, we have to lie, even to ourselves, that it doesn't. We know also that one is about finding solutions and making plans (as humans have always done), and the other is about self-harm, and we choose self-harm, because of our hopelessness. We have two channels of reasoning that cause constant internal conflict, and they strain our sanity to the breaking point. And sometimes we break, and kill each other as though we were savage animals driven mad. Sometimes we allow monsters to rule over us, because we hate ourselves, and don't trust ourselves. Sometimes we elect a congress that becomes so fractured that it loses even its own instinct for self-preservation. That is psychotic, and a mortal disease.

          Call it the "Great Dissonance." I see it in individuals and in families, communities and nations - and it is tearing the world apart. The definition says that schizophrenia is a "mental disorder characterized by indifference, withdrawal, hallucinations, and delusions of persecution and impotence..." Is there any part of that description that doesn't fit America's ultra-right wing "dissonants?" Isn't a schizophreniac someone who's never at peace within himself, and has given up hope of finding hope?

          America is schizophrenic, but most of us are not. This self-destructive hatred comes from a few people - a relative handful; and we don't have to just accept it.

          You know how this works. We have to admit that we have a problem and talk about it in its own terms; which is say that we have to identify the people who refuse to allow solutions. We have to expose the perpetrators of division, their methods, and especially their motives. What do they benefit, or think that they benefit from sowing seeds of division? We have to interrogate, question, and examine them. These people, from Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, to Sean Whatever and Joe the Torturer, and may I say it: Nancy Pelosi, can't be controlled, but they can be redefined. All we have to do is to every time they start to lie, ask them if the lie is just a blunt weapon used to make any sort of agreement impossible. When they defame, ask if they are not attempting to subvert the electoral process. When they say that division and war are inevitable, and hate the only solution, we ask them why they are so fearful, fearful that we can't rule ourselves! And when they dither constantly, we ask them if they are not just obfuscating and making all positions seem equal, when that is impossible.

          Fight on. Embrace compromise founded on love. Welcome the future. Move on!


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          John Oliver On Death Investigations

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              John Oliver on Death Investigations


              "While medical examiners are required to be doctors, coroners are not usually medically trained at all. In fact, in Georgia, out of 154 coroners only one is a physician, while others include grocers, farmers, handymen and hairdressers."


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              Pundit Post

              What Do The Polls REALLY Say About Impeaching Trump?

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                  Is the press accurately reporting on what Americans think about impeaching Trump? I tried to find these polls they are talking about that show Americans don't favor impeaching Trump.

                  I found a poll that says 91% of republicans oppose impeachment (surprise, surprise, surprise),




                  51% of Independents oppose impeachment and 71% of Democrats support impeachment. So basically the republican base who would continue to support Trump if he shot someone on Fifth Avenue, opposes impeachment and that is what Pelosi and the press is pushing as support for delaying impeachment by the House . On the other hand, an overwhelming percentage of Democrats support impeachment.


                  https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/would-democrats-really-face-a-backlash-if-they-impeached-trump/

                  Would impeachment hurt congressional Democrats in the near term?


                  Since the release of the (redacted) Mueller report, some news and polling organizations have asked the public questions about impeachment.2 There is a clear pattern in the results:


                  • Republicans overwhelmingly oppose impeachment (91 percent to 5 percent in a recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll that asked whether impeachment hearings should be started in response to the Mueller report).
                  • Independents oppose impeachment but by a narrower margin than Republicans do (51-40, according to the Marist poll).
                  • Democrats largely support impeachment (70 percent, in the Marist survey), but there is still a sizable anti-impeachment bloc among Democrats (23 percent opposed).

                  The striking thing about the "polls" is they are not current. The most recent poll I found on the google machine was taken between April 24-29, right after Barr's misrepresentation of the Mueller Report.

                  https://www.npr.org/2019/05/01/718710736/poll-most-democrats-back-impeachment-hearings-a-move-thats-unpopular-overall

                  Do you think special counsel Robert Mueller’s report should or should not lead to hearings in Congress to impeach President Trump?


                  • Should
                  • Unsure
                  • Should not
                  020%40%60%80%100%39%8%53%70%7%23%5%4%91%40%9%51%
                  • Overall
                  • Democrats
                  • Republicans
                  • Independents


                  Since congressional Democrats are putting so much weight on the polls to begin impeachment or not, MAYBE they should commission someone to track the polls more currently? MAYBE???

                  Pelosi commented yesterday that since only one republican in the House and NONE in the Senate is one record of supporting impeachment, republicans are shirking their constitutional responsibility. HELLO??? If REPUBLICANS are shirking their constitutional responsibility, what are Democrats doing?

                  Trump has dealt Democrats a royal flush, and they are playing it like a pair of deuces.

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                  No, Israel Isn’t A Country Of Privileged And Powerful White Europeans

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                      "Along with resurgent identity politics in the United States and Europe, there is a growing inclination to frame the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in terms of race. According to this narrative, Israel was established as a refuge for oppressed white European Jews who in turn became oppressors of people of color, the Palestinians.

                      As an Israeli, and the son of an Iraqi Jewish mother and North African Jewish father, it’s gut-wrenching to witness this shift.

                      I am Mizrahi, as are the majority of Jews in Israel today. We are of Middle Eastern and North African descent. Only about 30% of Israeli Jews are Ashkenazi, or the descendants of European Jews. I am baffled as to why mainstream media and politicians around the world ignore or misrepresent these facts and the Mizrahi story. Perhaps it’s because our history shatters a stereotype about the identity of my country and my people."

                      https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-mazzig...

                      Ed BucknerJake321Jerry Tanenbaum

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                      BREAKING Federal Judge Upholds House Subpoena For Trump Financial Records

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                          BREAKING:

                          Federal Judge Upholds House Subpoena

                          For Trump Financial Records

                          Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

                          The ruling from Judge Amit Mehta (left) represents a flashpoint in the

                          numerous disputes between the White House and Congress.

                          By Ray Cunneff

                          May 20, 2019

                          In a direct challenge to the Trump regime's stonewalling tactics in an attempt to prevent witnesses and documents from being turned over to congressional oversight, U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta ruled late Monday that President Donald Trump must abide by a congressional subpoena for the president’s financial records.

                          Judge Mehta said that Trump’s attorneys “have not raised a ‘serious legal question going to the merits”.

                          The ruling that Trump's longtime accounting firm, Mazars LLP, specifically must turn over years of the president's financial records to the House Oversight Committee is considered a major setback to Trump's obstructionism, the first time a federal court has become involved in the standoff between the president and Democratic lawmakers.

                          Judge Mehta refused to put his ruling on hold pending Trump's expected appeal and stipulated seven days to comply with the subpoena.

                          Trump's attorneys had argued the subpoena was unconstitutional, that Congress has no basis for investigating Trump’s financial disclosures since it has no specific legislative purpose, contending that it’s a “law enforcement issue”.

                          During a round of questioning with Trump’s lead attorney William Consovoy last week, Judge Mehta asked, "Does Congress have to do that? Do they have to identify a bill in advance? The Supreme Court has said the opposite”.

                          “Courts have grappled for more than a century with the question of the scope of Congress’s investigative power. The binding principle that emerges from these judicial decisions is that courts must presume Congress is acting in furtherance of its constitutional responsibility to legislate and must defer to congressional judgments about what Congress needs to carry out that purpose. To be sure, there are limits on Congress’s investigative authority. But those limits do not substantially constrain Congress. So long as Congress investigates on a subject matter on which ‘legislation could be had,’ Congress acts as contemplated by Article I of the Constitution,” Mehta wrote in his opinion.

                          The major takeaway from this decision, one that will likely be applied to other congressional requests, is that Congress is well within its rights to investigate potential illegal behavior by a president — even without opening a formal impeachment inquiry.

                          https://www.law.com/nationallawjournal/2019/05/20/judge-backs-house-subpoena-for-trump-financial-records/?slreturn=20190420172653


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                          Pundit Post

                          Congresswoman Jackie Speier Says Impeachment Trial To Begin

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                              This has not hit the wire yet, but Congresswoman Jackie Speier just said on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews that she believes an impeachment trial will begin, which will allow Congress to get the documents it needs, and the American people can then decide in 2020 if they want to impeach Trump at the ballot box. She realizes that the republican Senate will not convict, but they will have to defend WHY they did not convict to the American public.

                              Hopefully, American voters will impeach congressional republicans at the ballot box in 2020 as well.

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                              Debt Free College Graduation!

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                                  [Good News]

                                  It i s not often that good news, feel GOOD news (that is not a charming cat story), is the news of the day. This day, in my opinion, the good news is the story of this graduation season. We've heard of stories similar to this before. Tyler Perry, among others, who make surprise announcements saying they will be paying off all of the lay-aways for all of the customers at a particular Super Center made before the announcement, or Oprah Winfrey's famous giveaways "...you get a car! you get a car! you get a car!" Perhaps it has been done before, but I've never heard of anything like this. Billionaire graduation speaker to pay off student loans of graduating class

                                  https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2019/05/19/billionaire-robert-f-smith-pledges-pay-off-morehouse-college-class-s-student-loans/?utm_term=.fa2793220a85&wpisrc=nl_most&wpmm=1

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