[News] Post a Political News Story

Ongoing discussion of the political news of the day. This thread is for 'smaller' stories that don't call for their own thread. If a story blows up, please start a new thread for it.

BadKen wrote:

This article makes me super extra furious because cities in the bay area have ridiculously high tax bases thanks to tech industry real estate. They could afford extravagant public transit systems better than pretty much anywhere. And yet BART became such a decaying relic that Santa Clara County decades ago said f*ck it and built their own light rail. Which doesn't connect to BART. And there are standard rail lines that go all the way along the west side of the bay, extending both north and south. ARGH.

On the other hand, my knowledge is 20 years old. They have probably given tax breaks to every company sitting on their land now.

On the other other hand, nope, they still have massive property tax income.

And yet still not nearly as much money as they could have.

Well, yeah, Prop 13, but I think there’s enough churn in commercial real estate in the SF Bay Area that regular reassessments are keeping tax rates high enough for cities and counties to build public transit. I don’t have any data to back that up other than the map I posted showing tax paid in the SF Bay Area is right in line with the highest taxes anywhere else.

It’s a complex problem though. I’m sure right of way is super expensive too.

Just giving up and making companies bus employees is ridiculous.

Justice Department undercuts own prosecutors on Trump ally Stone's sentencing

That is really some 3rd world dictatorship type sh*t. Now that trump can't be impeached justice is just whatever he wants on a given day.

farley3k wrote:

Justice Department undercuts own prosecutors on Trump ally Stone's sentencing

That is really some 3rd world dictatorship type sh*t. Now that trump can't be impeached justice is just whatever he wants on a given day.

yup. There's no repercussions and republicans have given him a free pass. Now Trump and his lackeys (looking at you Barr) can do whatever they damn well please.

My only thread of hope at this point is that they are so emboldened and so brazen that they're going to continue to do crap like this and people will recognize it for what it is and vote this ass out.

JC wrote:

My only thread of hope at this point is that they are so emboldened and so brazen that they're going to continue to do crap like this and people will recognize it for what it is and vote this ass out.

I don't have that hope. Mostly because people like my relatives are happy he is doing this kind of thing. They recognize it and they don't care one bit.

farley3k wrote:
JC wrote:

My only thread of hope at this point is that they are so emboldened and so brazen that they're going to continue to do crap like this and people will recognize it for what it is and vote this ass out.

I don't have that hope. Mostly because people like my relatives are happy he is doing this kind of thing. They recognize it and they don't care one bit.

Yep, I have relatives more concerned with defending Rush Limbaugh's MoF award. One challenged anyone to find examples of his racism. (My wife did 10 seconds of Googling for her, and she ultimately removed her FB post.) Blatant-violation-of-rule-of-law #378? It's not a blip on their radar.

The problem is, resigning is all noble but it plays right into Trump's hands. They will just be replaced with a crony with no repercussions save for some questionable chance that we elect someone else in November.

Resigning only works against Trump is it is across the board and en masse. Or everyone should be lock step with refusal to fire people and refusal to carry out illegal orders. Trump only succeeds because people let him. He only has power that his enablers let him have. We saw that with the difference between Sessions and Barr.

Once again I'm imagining what the right wing media reaction would be if this occurred during the Obama presidency. This is totally disgusting.

Isn't that now all the prosecutors assigned to that case?

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Isn't that now all the prosecutors assigned to that case?

Yep.

fangblackbone wrote:

The problem is, resigning is all noble but it plays right into Trump's hands. They will just be replaced with a crony with no repercussions save for some questionable chance that we elect someone else in November.

Resigning only works against Trump is it is across the board and en masse. Or everyone should be lock step with refusal to fire people and refusal to carry out illegal orders. Trump only succeeds because people let him. He only has power that his enablers let him have. We saw that with the difference between Sessions and Barr.

The problem is, there is no official gameplan for dealing with a fascist regime, and, it turns out, impeachment has made Trump stronger, and possibly improved his chances at re-election.

Staying on sends the message that everything is normal. Mass resignations send a signal that something is going wrong. Neither action assures anything, though. The failed removal has emboldened Trump, and Barr is still giving him cover to do anything he wants. The failed removal has legitimized Trump's power grabs.

What is going on right now is one reason I did not blame Pelosi for avoiding impeachment. I saw no reason to push her to act sooner because I trusted her read on the consequences, and I was confident she wants him to pay hard. It appears now that she relented to appease the Dem base more than thinking they had a path for removal. The only reason not impeaching Trump was worse for the Dems than impeaching him is that a ton of people viewed impeachment and removal as the only option, and that failure to do so was a sign of weakness.

It may be over. We are going to see pardons of Flynn and Manafort. We are going to see hate crimes by white supremacists swept under the rug. Election day will probably be dangerous. Turnout will be low.

The addition of Barr as AG changed everything. Trump has all the power he needs to win four more years, because he has proven he can break the law in plain view and keep right ongoing.

That was the conclusion that I have come to in the last week.
That Barr was the tipping point. I thought we were sliding into a fascist regime at that point, not realizing we had already crossed over the line.

I guess that is how these things happen. They are slow moving but faster than we realize. And when we finally realize, the truth is we had crossed almost a year ago.

We should not be gobsmacked when he f*cks with the election in overt ways. Like parading Barr out to announce investigations into whomever in the weeks before the election.

I remember Barr being held up (even here) as not a bad AG pick because he respected the office and would stand up to Trump.

That sure worked out.

A quote from a book I’m reading now - “They Thought They Were Free”

“Uncertainty is a very important factor, and, instead of decreasing as time goes on, it grows. Outside, in the streets, in the general community, ‘everyone’ is happy. One hears no protest, and certainly sees none. You know, in France or Italy there would be slogans against the government painted on walls and fences; in Germany, outside the great cities, perhaps, there is not even this. In the university community, in your own community, you speak privately to your colleagues, some of whom certainly feel as you do; but what do they say? They say, ‘It’s not so bad’ or ‘You’re seeing things’ or ‘You’re an alarmist.’

“And you are an alarmist. You are saying that this must lead to this, and you can’t prove it. These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don’t know the end, and how do you know, or even surmise, the end? On the one hand, your enemies, the law, the regime, the Party, intimidate you. On the other, your colleagues pooh-pooh you as pessimistic or even neurotic. You are left with your close friends, who are, naturally, people who have always thought as you have.

“But your friends are fewer now. Some have drifted off somewhere or submerged themselves in their work. You no longer see as many as you did at meetings or gatherings. Informal groups become smaller; attendance drops off in little organizations, and the organizations themselves wither. Now, in small gatherings of your oldest friends, you feel that you are talking to yourselves, that you are isolated from the reality of things. This weakens your confidence still further and serves as a further deterrent to—to what? It is clearer all the time that, if you are going to do anything, you must make an occasion to do it, and then you are obviously a troublemaker. So you wait, and you wait.

“But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes. That’s the difficulty. If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and smallest, thousands, yes, millions would have been sufficiently shocked—if, let us say, the gassing of the Jews in ’43 had come immediately after the ‘German Firm’ stickers on the windows of non-Jewish shops in ’33. But of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D.

“And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying ‘Jew swine,’ collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose. The world you live in—your nation, your people—is not the world you were born in at all. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. Now you live in a system which rules without responsibility even to God. The system itself could not have intended this in the beginning, but in order to sustain itself it was compelled to go all the way.

“You have gone almost all the way yourself. Life is a continuing process, a flow, not a succession of acts and events at all. It has flowed to a new level, carrying you with it, without any effort on your part. On this new level you live, you have been living more comfortably every day, with new morals, new principles. You have accepted things you would not have accepted five years ago, a year ago, things that your father, even in Germany, could not have imagined.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I remember Barr being held up (even here) as not a bad AG pick because he respected the office and would stand up to Trump.

That sure worked out.

Yeah, I had Barr pegged as a Bolton type. I didn't want him confirmed, but I had no idea he was uber corrupt. I figured he would be better than Sessions. I think the entire point of Whitaker was to ease Barr's nomination.

It continues

(CNN)President Donald Trump on Tuesday abruptly withdrew the nomination for Jessie Liu, the former US attorney who headed the office that oversaw Roger Stone's prosecution, to serve in a top Treasury Department position, three sources told CNN.

Trump's not known for his loyalty, so what does Stone have on him?

JC wrote:

It continues

(CNN)President Donald Trump on Tuesday abruptly withdrew the nomination for Jessie Liu, the former US attorney who headed the office that oversaw Roger Stone's prosecution, to serve in a top Treasury Department position, three sources told CNN.

The speculation is that had he allowed her nomination to go forward, she would have to be confirmed, which means answering questions about the Stone decision.

Isn't he going to eventually run out of nominees who don't know anything about anything?

Wait... forget I wrote that. Nevermind.

BBC: Canada's CN rail system shut over blockade

CN Rail says it will be forced to shut down its eastern network, which will effectively stop all cross-country freight trains.

The stoppage will also affect passenger trains nationwide, which use CN tracks.

More than 150 routes had been cancelled previously amid protests against the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

Blockades against the proposed pipeline, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government says invigorate natural gas exports in British Columbia, began last week.

Its route cuts through indigenous Canadian land.

Salon: Santa Cruz graduate students striking for a living wage are met with threats and batons: Campus police crack down on the student strikers struggling to survive in a gentrified college town

t the University of California, Santa Cruz, graduate students live and learn in one of the most expensive cities in the United States, subsisting on salaries that are often below $20,000.

"Since I've moved to Santa Cruz I've had to move four times until I've found a place I feel safe in," Yulia Gilichinskaya, a fourth-year PhD student in Film & Digital Media told Salon in an interview. "I pay over 70 percent of my paycheck in rent."

Though its teaching assistants and graders are well-represented by the United Auto Workers, in a union that covers all the teaching assistants at all of the University of California's nine campuses, Santa Cruz's affordability crisis is unique. Years of anxiety and stress over surviving as a graduate student led to an unprecedented wildcat strike, which tipped off at the beginning of the year.

Now, with their demands still unmet, the student strike is escalating — while police and campus officials are reacting with threats that seem out of proportion to the nonviolent labor action.

Mother Jones: Major Labor Strikes Surged in 2019: A new government report shows teachers led a recent uptick in walkouts.

San Francisco Chronicle: Safeway workers cancel contract, may strike in Northern California

The union representing 14,000 Safeway workers from Eureka to Monterey canceled its contract with the grocery chain after negotiating for a year and a half and is pushing to strike, although the company hopes to avert that outcome.

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5 needs the go-ahead from its international counterpart, which could take a couple of weeks. In the meantime, local workers are planning a series of escalating actions starting with an informational picket outside the Belmont Safeway at 1100 El Camino Real on Tuesday from 4 to 6 p.m.

LAist: Deceit, Disrepair and Death Inside a Southern California Rental Empire

The baby girl was in her crib when the fire broke out.

Ten feet away, in the living room of the mobile home, her young parents slept on the couch, in front of the TV. The baby's father, Lorenzo Lozano, woke up first, minutes before midnight.

Democracy in action! If you want to die an agonizing death for your First Amendment rights, go on with your bad self.

Though I do wonder if medical staff could get him committed and force him to have treatments since his crazy actions are a danger to himself.

jdzappa wrote:

Democracy in action! If you want to die an agonizing death for your First Amendment rights, go on with your bad self.

Though I do wonder if medical staff could get him committed and force him to have treatments since his crazy actions are a danger to himself.

People aren't generally committed for being obnoxious dillweeds.

His behavior is self-destructive but so is smoking.