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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.

jdzappa wrote:

I’m still wondering if he’s actually gay or just into aggressive homoerotic posturing. Some of the thought pieces I’ve been reading have talked about gay advances/sexual harassment as a way for some otherwise straight dudes to pull power moves. And as someone who was on the receiving end of said moves, I now realize it really colored my Perception of LGBT folks.

I try not to worry about it that much anymore, mostly because plenty of LGBTQ people have pointed out that the whole "Republicans are all secretly gay" thing that libs do isn't actually particularly helpful or supportive to LGBTQ people, especially how it's deployed.

All that matters to me are his politics and policies, which were awful garbage.

That said, let's all hope he spills all the beans on the sex parties now. I am absolutely here to find out which congressmen have coke d*ck.

Living With The Far-Right Insurgency In Idaho

IDAHO — White nationalist Vincent James Foxx had a new video for his nearly 70,000 subscribers on BitChute, one of the few tech platforms that hasn’t banned him. On Feb. 16, he appeared wearing a baseball hat emblazoned with the state’s outline tilted on its side so that it resembled a pistol.

“We are going to take over this state,” Foxx declared. “We have a great large group of people, and that group is growing. A true, actual right-wing takeover is happening right now in the state of Idaho. And there’s nothing that these people can do about it. So if you’re a legislator here, either get in line, or get out of the way.”

Foxx, 36, isn’t from Idaho. He only recently moved from California to Post Falls. But in the video, he showed off photos of himself posing with a string of prominent Republican politicians in the state as he explained who he’s supporting in the upcoming primaries, slated for May 17.

He was especially excited about a selfie he’d taken a week prior: It showed him and fellow white nationalist Dave Reilly, a recent Pennsylvania transplant also living in Post Falls, standing alongside Idaho’s lieutenant governor, Janice McGeachin. All three were smiling.

“We’re supporting her,” Foxx said, bragging of his movement’s “deep connections” to McGeachin, whom former President Donald Trump endorsed in the GOP primary race for governor. Foxx then explained how his particular brand of Christian white nationalism is poised to conquer Idaho, then the country.

“The solution is local politics: Amassing power in these pockets of the country until it’s time to unify,” he said. “I’ve only been here for a couple of months and I’m tapped in the way that I am. You can do it too.”

Fascists like Foxx are famous fabulists, experts at exaggerating their influence and success. But Foxx wasn’t just talking sh*t.

He is one of many far-right activists who have flocked to Idaho in recent years, where a large and growing radical MAGA faction in the state’s Republican Party has openly allied itself with extremists to a shocking extent, even for the Trump era. This faction is accruing more and more power in Boise, the state capital: Imagine a statehouse full of Marjorie Taylor Greenes and Steve Kings. At the local level, they have seized seats on school boards and county commissions at a fast clip.

They’ve accomplished this, in part, by targeting their opponents with frightening cruelty and harassment, embracing a strategy called “confrontational politics,” which has helped drive more moderate officials across the state to resign or retire.

A lot has been written about both the radicalization of the Republican Party and the decline of democracy in the U.S. — about the country being at a precipice. It’s maybe easy for those warnings to become background noise, or to dismiss them as doom-mongering pieces of clickbait. But in Idaho, the nightmare scenario is crossing into reality, as an authoritarian GOP sets about to create a whiter, Christian nation.

These MAGA radicals have gestured at the future they want: no rape and incest exceptions to Idaho’s abortion ban; no emergency contraception; no gender-affirming health care for minors; the banning of books; the jailing of librarians; and maybe no public education altogether.

I recently spent a week traveling across the state, from Sandpoint in the northern panhandle down through the green slopes and whitewater of Hells Canyon to the plains of Ada County, and then across lava rock and sagebrush to Blackfoot. In all these places, Democrats and more moderate Republicans viewed Tuesday’s primaries as an existential affair. Some are considering leaving the state if MAGA extremists consolidate more power. Others are digging in their heels.

The people I talked to were not all that accustomed to alarmism, which made it striking to hear some of their voices tremble when they talked about what’s happening to their home. Their message for the rest of the country? It’s gonna get bad. The GOP really will go that far.

This part explains a whooooooooole lot.

Chaney said his wife, wanting to better understand the people threatening her family, picked up a copy of “Confrontational Politics” and read it from cover to cover. Multiple people in Idaho told me that if I really wanted to understand the far right in the state, I needed to read this book.

Authored by a former California state senator and gun rights fundamentalist named H.L. Richardson, “Confrontational Politics” is essentially a how-to guide for a Christian nationalist insurgency in the United States. “There can be no compromises with the Left,” Richardson writes. “We are ideologically at opposite ends of the spectrum with no arbitration possible. Either they win or we do. They will run the government or we will. That’s the only choice open to either of us. They know it — shouldn’t we?”

Richardson prescribes an aggressive style of politics that’s always, always on the offensive, that is constantly attacking its opponents, provoking them, screaming over them, and wearing them down. Never apologize. Exploit “hot button issues” that inspire “deep emotion” and “moral righteousness” to gain followers.

Richardson pays special attention to primaries, which he sees as an opportunity for a dedicated radical minority, marching in lockstep, to take advantage of low voter turnout to win power: democratic means for anti-democratic ends.

It is, as summarized in an excellent episode of the NPR podcast “No Compromise,” a strategy of “leveraging voter apathy to impose your will on society.”

I don't know about all of you, but for me, a whole bunch of stuff about modern politics fell into place reading that transcript. Seems as if the Republicans are a lap ahead on that stuff, and Dem leadership still thinks we can somehow make it 2008 again if just enough people are willing to "Vote Blue No Matter Who!"

The Democrats should keep going as they are. They’re doing perfect. Jen Psaki slayed at the podium. Joe Manchin is the only thing wrong with the party. They party is doing great. No notes.

Spoiler:

Some of us have been saying for a while that the Democratic Party wasn’t up to challenging this tide with their current policies / politics. That article is really well written, though, and drives the point home. Thanks for sharing.

What's happening to the republican party is the natural result of their political style. The small tent strategy. Oddly enough the same way clickbait fills the internet. Clickbait politics is cheap and effective. And doesn't allow compromise.

While the Dems who have a more big tent strategy can't do that. So they tend to always be a step behind. I'm not sure what's the solution while the country is so apathetic. Apart from waiting for old voters to die.

Prederick wrote:

I don't know about all of you, but for me, a whole bunch of stuff about modern politics fell into place reading that transcript. Seems as if the Republicans are a lap ahead on that stuff, and Dem leadership still thinks we can somehow make it 2008 again if just enough people are willing to "Vote Blue No Matter Who!"

Republicans belong to a political party that is 85% White and 83% Christian. 68% of them primarily identify as White and Christian.

An alternative take is that Republicans aren't a lap ahead on that stuff, but rather they are such a monolithic political party that their followers can be easily manipulated because they have entirely predictable views on a range of topics largely thanks to decades of conservative propaganda.

(That's contrasted with the Democratic party, which has multiple core voter blocs each of whom have different--and sometimes competing--political priorities they want addressed.)

So people like Foxx have picked a state that's 86% White, heavily Christian, and overwhelmingly rural (rural voters favored Trump two to one in 2020) to set up shop.

We'll have to see if moderate Republicans or Republican-leaning Independents in Idaho will see through Foxx's bullsh*t or if they'll go for the prettied up version of white supremacy/Christian nationalism he's pitching.

That's the issue for Foxx. He and others like him can exploit low voter turnout in primaries to get their extreme candidates on the ballot, but those candidates still have to survive the general election where even conservative voters might not be buying what they're selling. And Foxx's strategy might only work for the square states and falter in districts where Republican candidates need to appeal to non-White voters to compensate for the their shrinking size in the electorate.

Foxx is on to something by picking a state like Idaho, though. As long as we continue to have the Electoral College and the Senate the rest of the country can easily be held hostage by a bunch of predominantly conservative, White flyover states that have smaller populations than single counties in blue states. How long that will continue to be allowed remains to be seen. It can't last forever and the longer Republicans exploit it the bigger the inevitable backlash will be for them.

master0 wrote:

While the Dems who have a more big tent strategy can't do that. So they tend to always be a step behind. I'm not sure what's the solution while the country is so apathetic. Apart from waiting for old voters to die.

Obscure political trivia, but the Dems have a majority in both houses of legislature and control of the executive branch. So if the question is "what can they do," the answer I'd start with is "literally anything."

Remember when Biden was going to forgive student loan debt or decriminalize marijuana, both of which he could do by executive order? Maybe do that.

There's a historic labor movement happening which is being fought tooth and nail by our corporate overlords. Instead of having the press secretary quickly hush the president up when he offers the labor movement even the most toothless lip service support imaginable, maybe fund the NLRB and give them the resources to hold the oligarchs accountable for their union-busting bullsh*t.

If what we get when we vote Democrat is a bunch of mealy-mouthed excuses, why SHOULDN'T we be apathetic?

hbi2k wrote:

Obscure political trivia, but the Dems have a majority in both houses of legislature and control of the executive branch. So if the question is "what can they do," the answer I'd start with is "literally anything."

To be fair, they don't. The senate is 50/50 plus a tiebreaker in the VP. And, to be fairer, these days you need a 60/40 supermajority in the senate for a party to be able to do "literally anything", and that still typically requires lock-step agreement among all those in the majority.

You could argue they should have tossed the filibuster rule, and had they done so, they could have passed many more bills, but I guess too many Democrats viewed elimination of that rule just asking for further "minority rule shenanigans" by the Republicans next time they have a majority.

croaker wrote:

You could argue they should have tossed the filibuster rule, and had they done so, they could have passed many more bills, but I guess too many Democrats viewed elimination of that rule just asking for further "minority rule shenanigans" by the Republicans next time they have a majority.

"Too many" meaning two. (from January)

The Senate on Wednesday voted 48-52 against changing the chamber’s filibuster rules, dooming much of Democrats’ agenda for the near term.

Democrats were ultimately split on the rules vote, with two opposing the change and 48 in favor of it. Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) were the only Democrats who voted against the rules change, which would have made an exception to the 60-vote threshold many bills need to advance. No Republicans voted to support the reform.

Yeah, they were "split". The 48 Senate Democrats who aren't Manchin and Sinema realize that the Republicans will change the rules anyway the very first time that they would see a major benefit from it - and Manchin and Sinema probably realize it, too. It means less times they have to go on the record as opposing the rest of the Democrats' agenda. This way basically anything else that gets proposed will just get filibustered and they don't have to actually vote against it.

croaker wrote:

I guess too many Democrats viewed elimination of that rule just asking for further "minority rule shenanigans" by the Republicans next time they have a majority.

IMAGE(https://th.bing.com/th/id/R.44b2dee75e57b5bc3285b53262a2a954?rik=vxHpkjeG7jKVlw&riu=http%3a%2f%2fwww.reactiongifs.com%2fr%2fwyfail.gif&ehk=kfHpuqx3PkdZpEk8ntswFLzJhGQwCYEOmrnTMZzLCWE%3d&risl=&pid=ImgRaw&r=0&PC=EMMX01)

Badferret wrote:

And Maddy-boy, if you would like to scream voter fraud and drain the swamp at the Raleigh and Beltway GOP, go ahead. I've got a Jasmine for Congress sticker on my car, but she is going to need all the help she can get, here in the 11th. If Cawthorn would like to suppress the vote of his MAGA followers and maybe keep the grift going....

IMAGE(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FTJCZmIXsAAt61f?format=jpg&name=large)

So, I'm guessing Chuck Edwards will not be getting your endorsement, Madison?

And does Dark MAGA know Dark Helmet?

The names of these political factions get dumber with each iteration.

So does that follow the rules of double negatives?
That Dark MAGA would actually be kind hearted, honest and constructive?

fangblackbone wrote:

So does that follow the rules of double negatives?
That Dark MAGA would actually be kind hearted, honest and constructive?

Ha ha. If only.
Dark MAGA (sometimes called Ultra MAGA) is basically just leaning in to the criticisms of Trumpian politics. MAGA just wants Trump to be an authoritarian president, Dark MAGA wants Trump to be a literal dictator for life that sends political enemies to death camps.

What other posts said for the dems is basically it. Even when the have a majority it's a divided majority. While when repubs have it they are in pure lockstep with each other. Of course the reason they can do that is that they system allows for a minority group to become the majority. And yeah definitely makes you apathetic.

I do hope there will be clickbait fatigue at some point. You can only use that sort of tactic for so long and so intensely until well people get bored and start to ignore it. It's why they have to constantly invent new topics and ratchet up the tension. At some point they'll reach a limit of effectiveness. Course the question is if we will make it to then, and will it collapse on itself or turn into violence instead...

hbi2k wrote:

Obscure political trivia, but the Dems have a majority in both houses of legislature and control of the executive branch. So if the question is "what can they do," the answer I'd start with is "literally anything."

Remember when Biden was going to forgive student loan debt or decriminalize marijuana, both of which he could do by executive order? Maybe do that.

There's a historic labor movement happening which is being fought tooth and nail by our corporate overlords. Instead of having the press secretary quickly hush the president up when he offers the labor movement even the most toothless lip service support imaginable, maybe fund the NLRB and give them the resources to hold the oligarchs accountable for their union-busting bullsh*t.

If what we get when we vote Democrat is a bunch of mealy-mouthed excuses, why SHOULDN'T we be apathetic?

Dems have a majority in the House and only 50 members in the Senate. They only have a majority in the Senate if Sinema and Manchin vote with the rest of the Dems and Harris drops the tie breaker. What Dems don't have is the 60 votes that's required to get most things through the Senate.

So perhaps recast that "literally anything" to "things Sinema and Manchin will accept."

As for student loans, Biden really can't forgive them by an executive order. The Higher Education Act of 1965 does not allow any President to forgive federal student loans except as previously authorized by Congress and Congress hasn't authorized it. Again, Congress controls the purse strings so loan forgiveness has to flow through them (which means 60 votes in the Senate).

Any attempt of Biden find a loophole to forgive loans by making administrative rule changes is going to be immediately met with lawsuits that would go through the same federal court system that's now chock full of Trumpy judges and, if even if it managed to survive that, it would end up in front of the most conservative SCOTUS in ages.

And at the end of the day voters would still be pissed at Biden for not forgiving their loans because they're not going to give a f*ck about how a federal court or SCOTUS ruled. They're just going to blame Biden.

Biden can't decriminalize marijuana. SCOTUS' take is that any executive order "must stem either from an act of Congress or from the Constitution itself" and unilaterally descheduling or rescheduling a controlled substance is completely the bailiwick of Congress.

The best Biden could do on his own would be to appoint agency officials who favor descheduling or use executive orders to direct the DEA, HHS, and FDA to *consider* the descheduling of marijuana. And that would be an entire process and would be subject to judicial scrutiny (read: conservatives will sue and conservative judges will rule in their favor).

Biden could grant clemency to people who were federally convicted of marijuana-related crimes. But there are limitations to that because the Controlled Substances Act has all sorts of weird ass collateral effects that aren't dependent on you actually being convicted of a marijuana-related crime. For example, merely using weed can impact your eligibility for federal student financial aid, your ability to own a firearm, and negates federal protection from being fired from your job for drug use. All these nitty gritty details have to be fixed with--you guessed it--Congress changing the CSA.

And there's a very real political risk to granting clemency to everyone federally convicted for marijuana. If just one of them commits another serious crime they are going to be immediately turned into Willie Horton 2.0 by conservative media.

And, lastly, the funding for the NLRB comes not from Biden's wishes, but what Congress authorizes in spending bills. It's currently at $274.224 million a year and they're asking for $319.4 million in FY 2023. Again, Congress controls what that final number will be, not Biden.

Badferret wrote:

And does Dark MAGA know Dark Helmet?

I've only met him once and he's a total dick.

It does seem like an appropriate time in history for Mel Brooks to come out of retirement.

OG_slinger wrote:
hbi2k wrote:

Obscure political trivia, but the Dems have a majority in both houses of legislature and control of the executive branch. So if the question is "what can they do," the answer I'd start with is "literally anything."

Remember when Biden was going to forgive student loan debt or decriminalize marijuana, both of which he could do by executive order? Maybe do that.

There's a historic labor movement happening which is being fought tooth and nail by our corporate overlords. Instead of having the press secretary quickly hush the president up when he offers the labor movement even the most toothless lip service support imaginable, maybe fund the NLRB and give them the resources to hold the oligarchs accountable for their union-busting bullsh*t.

If what we get when we vote Democrat is a bunch of mealy-mouthed excuses, why SHOULDN'T we be apathetic?

Dems have a majority in the House and only 50 members in the Senate. They only have a majority in the Senate if Sinema and Manchin vote with the rest of the Dems and Harris drops the tie breaker. What Dems don't have is the 60 votes that's required to get most things through the Senate.

So perhaps recast that "literally anything" to "things Sinema and Manchin will accept."

As for student loans, Biden really can't forgive them by an executive order. The Higher Education Act of 1965 does not allow any President to forgive federal student loans except as previously authorized by Congress and Congress hasn't authorized it. Again, Congress controls the purse strings so loan forgiveness has to flow through them (which means 60 votes in the Senate).

Any attempt of Biden find a loophole to forgive loans by making administrative rule changes is going to be immediately met with lawsuits that would go through the same federal court system that's now chock full of Trumpy judges and, if even if it managed to survive that, it would end up in front of the most conservative SCOTUS in ages.

And at the end of the day voters would still be pissed at Biden for not forgiving their loans because they're not going to give a f*ck about how a federal court or SCOTUS ruled. They're just going to blame Biden.

Biden can't decriminalize marijuana. SCOTUS' take is that any executive order "must stem either from an act of Congress or from the Constitution itself" and unilaterally descheduling or rescheduling a controlled substance is completely the bailiwick of Congress.

The best Biden could do on his own would be to appoint agency officials who favor descheduling or use executive orders to direct the DEA, HHS, and FDA to *consider* the descheduling of marijuana. And that would be an entire process and would be subject to judicial scrutiny (read: conservatives will sue and conservative judges will rule in their favor).

Biden could grant clemency to people who were federally convicted of marijuana-related crimes. But there are limitations to that because the Controlled Substances Act has all sorts of weird ass collateral effects that aren't dependent on you actually being convicted of a marijuana-related crime. For example, merely using weed can impact your eligibility for federal student financial aid, your ability to own a firearm, and negates federal protection from being fired from your job for drug use. All these nitty gritty details have to be fixed with--you guessed it--Congress changing the CSA.

And there's a very real political risk to granting clemency to everyone federally convicted for marijuana. If just one of them commits another serious crime they are going to be immediately turned into Willie Horton 2.0 by conservative media.

And, lastly, the funding for the NLRB comes not from Biden's wishes, but what Congress authorizes in spending bills. It's currently at $274.224 million a year and they're asking for $319.4 million in FY 2023. Again, Congress controls what that final number will be, not Biden.

That's a lot of words to say "it's hard so they're not even trying." And it's certainly not helping my apathy problem.

ruhk wrote:
fangblackbone wrote:

So does that follow the rules of double negatives?
That Dark MAGA would actually be kind hearted, honest and constructive?

Ha ha. If only.
Dark MAGA (sometimes called Ultra MAGA) is basically just leaning in to the criticisms of Trumpian politics. MAGA just wants Trump to be an authoritarian president, Dark MAGA wants Trump to be a literal dictator for life that sends political enemies to death camps.

Pretty much. They want pogroms. Actual ones, not the ones Eve Bartlow thinks are (being called stupid on Twitter). But, like all far-right memeology these days, it's wrapped in like 12 layers of irony and...

"Outrage generation" is a common tactic in the online far-right playbook, Squirrell explained, who often use over-the-top memes rhetoric designed to provoke a backlash, which generates high engagement and amplifies their content.

In the attention economy, there is no such thing as bad publicity.

Oh, look, an Insider article about it!

Or, a better article here.

The ReAwaken America Tour Is the Start of QAnon 2.0 - The conspiracy theory that has gripped the conservative movement is evolving. But into what?

The early-morning sun in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, glints off the holographic stickers the vendor hands us as we fumble to remove our cell-phone cases. “They’re telling you, ‘You’re satanic, you’re Luciferian, you’re worshiping them.’ You’re bowing down to them right there. Do you see the Evil Apple? This is where it all started, guys.”

On this weekend in May, Christopher Key, who also goes by “Vaccine Police,” wears an off-white blazer over a faded red T-shirt cut low enough to reveal two New Age crystal necklaces resting on his tan skin. Also around his neck: something that looks from a distance like a plug-in bathroom air freshener. This device, he explains, creates an invisible four-foot bubble of purified air around the wearer.

The stickers, which he says neutralize our iPhones’ harmful and enervating frequencies, are free of charge. Key’s real product is Miracle Mineral Solution: a naturopathic all-purpose remedy that he says can eliminate all your medical troubles for good if you drink enough of it. “Chlorine dioxide!” he exclaims with an enormous smile as he swirls the mixture around in a Dixie cup. “This is the most amazing product in the world. Remember when President Trump said ‘Drink bleach’? This is it!” The customers lean forward excitedly. One takes out her pocketbook.

The ReAwaken America tour — a multicity event hosted by a man named Clay Clark and Trump’s disgraced former national security adviser Michael Flynn — features rows of merchandise booths that sell everything from Trump playing cards to self-published apocrypha to bedazzled gun-shaped purses. But no table of any sort receives more traffic than Key’s MMS operation. As I walk past the table on the second day, I overhear a woman ask Key whether he thinks the bleach would work if mixed surreptitiously into someone’s coffee. Her husband, despite her pleading, has received the COVID-19 vaccine. She does not want him to die.

By this point, I understand her concern. Over the course of this conference, no fewer than ten people who call themselves doctors tell us the science is clear: This woman’s husband and I have both made a terrible mistake. The COVID vaccine has rewritten our DNA and sterilized us. Every shot we receive decreases our immune systems by 50 percent. Even if we somehow avoid infection, graphene nanoparticles are assembling themselves in our bronchial tubes and preparing to choke us to death. And that’s not even to mention the horrors the deep state has in store for us when it emits its 5G frequencies and triggers the release of HIV and the Marburg virus into our ruined bodies.

“This is sacrificing children to Moloch,” declares Christiane Northrup (who despite claiming to be a doctor does not have a current medical license) without a hint of irony. “You need to understand that this is the religion of the demonic cult that has been running the planet since the time of Genesis. And their time is up!”

If this all sounds like crackpot ravings from the very edge of society, you would be only half-right. This event may have more tinfoil per capita than a Reynolds Wrap warehouse, but it is anything but fringe. The speaker roster includes New Age healers, conspiracy podcasters, and self-declared prophets as well as trusted members of Trump’s inner circle. Kash Patel, a Trump loyalist once described as swinging “the biggest dick in D.C.,” speaks for half an hour on defeating the deep state. The two most infamous recipients of Trump’s last-minute presidential pardons are here: Roger Stone and Flynn, considered a scoundrel and a traitor in many corners of America but a persecuted hero here. Eric Trump is also in attendance — not exactly an A-lister but a Trump nonetheless. Halfway through the conference, Clark breathlessly announces that Donald Trump Jr. just signed on for an upcoming New York stop.

None of these men holds high office, but all of them have the ear of the man who controls a Republican Party in thrall to the idea that the 2020 election was stolen from him. Under such circumstances, what could be more useful than a movement fueled by prophecy and paranoia, ready to help a man chosen by God to fight a battle against ancient forces of darkness? Or, to translate it into the demented vocabulary of QAnon, a deep-state cabal of child-murdering pedophiliac elites?

hbi2k wrote:

That's a lot of words to say "it's hard so they're not even trying." And it's certainly not helping my apathy problem.

And that's not a lot of words to say "I don't really understand how our system of government works so I'll just get mad and threaten to be even less informed and engaged in the future."

I mean do you even know what Biden's done for things like student loans? It's not like he's sat with his thumbs up his ass doing nothing.

Last year he made sure that 323,000 with total and permanent disability automatically received more than $5.8 billion in student loan discharges. He introduced and indefinitely extended a policy so that these borrowers wouldn't have payments on their loans automatically reinstated if they failed to provide income information during COVID.

He had the Department of Education forgive 100% of the loans for over 92,000 people who went to schools who misled them or engaged in other misconduct, such as Corinthian Colleges, ITT Technical Institute, and American Career Institute. This resulted in over $1.5 billion in loan forgiveness. And Biden accomplished this by trashing the formula the Trump administration had implemented which had resulted in tens of thousands of former students having some or none of their loans from predatory institutions forgiven.

And much as some people are pissed that Biden keeps temporarily extending the pause on student loan repayment doing so puts a billion dollars a month into 41 million people's pockets that they can spend on things they really need (or at least not have their loan balance increase each month).

In total Biden's secured $17 billion in targeted loan relief to over 700,000 borrowers since he took office. It's not everything he campaigned on, but it's also not nothing.

Biden has signaled that his administration will likely make a decision on student loan forgiveness by August when the current temporary loan repayment pause ends. As such he had previously asked the DOJ to review his legal authority to forgive student debt. You probably think this is a pointless, do nothing step, but this is how real administrations make sure that they don't issue executive orders that get immediately quashed by courts. And, as previously mentioned, the odds are not great that the DOJ is going to come back and say he can do this via an executive order. (And, to give you an idea of how open federal courts are to something like loan forgiveness via an executive order, the 5th Circuit pretty much just gutted the SEC's ability to enforce securities laws yesterday and the ruling calls into doubt the ability of the federal government to enforce *any* regulations.)

Which, of course, means that actual loan forgiveness falls to Congress (as it should be). And that means we're back to the fundamental problem that Dems can get things passed in the House (at least for the next six months or so), but will struggle--hard--in the Senate because they don't really have the majority you think they do. So the achievable route to student loan forgiveness is likely going to be the Congressional budget reconciliation process.

If you want Dems to do all the things you want them to do then work to make sure they have 60 reliable votes in the Senate. Or do the harder task of re-writing the Constitution to get rid of the Senate so that f*cking trash flyover states don't have the ridiculous outsized power they currently have.

Or move to a first world country.

If you want Dems to do all the things you want them to do then work to make sure they have 60 reliable votes in the Senate. Or do the harder task of re-writing the Constitution to get rid of the Senate so that f*cking trash flyover states don't have the ridiculous outsized power they currently have.

This is always where things land. Might as well close down the thread, tbh.

DSGamer wrote:
If you want Dems to do all the things you want them to do then work to make sure they have 60 reliable votes in the Senate. Or do the harder task of re-writing the Constitution to get rid of the Senate so that f*cking trash flyover states don't have the ridiculous outsized power they currently have.

This is always where things land. Might as well close down the thread, tbh.

If it helps - and I am sure that it does not - these feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and anger are all pretty typical feelings during the failing stages of a once powerful empire. The Democrats are not good people. They’re just sliiiiiiiightly less bad leaders than the accelerationist Republicans.

If you frame it in terms of two powerless groups flailing about, utterly lacking the knowledge and willpower to save their country in the face of the greatest existential crisis the species has ever faced (will ever face, it seems to be), then the failure of the Democrats seems less humiliating and more inevitable.

If the response is “but we’re not powerless!” then, well….*gestures back to this entire thread and shrugs*

The one positive way I've seen all this chaos is that there is chaos cause things are actually improving. All the social hot button issues that are happening now didn't appear out of thin air. Police brutality, LGBT+ rights, environmental, etc. All problems/groups existed before but for the first time they are vocally pushing for change to the forefront to the point the current system can't ignore it anymore. So in response the try to suppress them even harder. So the chaos and repressive policies suck, but it also mean we're at least heading in the right direction to overcome it.

As a little finger once said, chaos is a ladder. But, also, as an evil queen mother once said, power is power.

As a silly rabbit once said, hope this helps!

Well, we were making progress, but the rules say we can't do the things we'd need to to stop them from undoing all the progress we've made, and we all know that following the rules are more important.

I shouldn't be, but still fairly amazed to see the usual suspects currently working with "Nobody can be blamed for the Buffalo shooting, the dude was crazy and mentally ill, also he had a point and I broadly agree with several of the points in his manifesto."

Prederick wrote:

I shouldn't be, but still fairly amazed to see the usual suspects currently working with "Nobody can be blamed for the Buffalo shooting, the dude was crazy and mentally ill, also he had a point and I broadly agree with several of the points in his manifesto."

Mental illness is not a justification for anything, ever. Causation isn't absolution or a get out of jail free card. You're absolutely right that people who do that are saying more about themselves than the subject at hand.

(I'm being very literal and intentional with my word choices here. Mental illness can be the cause of something, but something outside of that person's control that causes them to do something horrific does not absolve them of doing the bad thing. It may just mean handling the situation in a slightly different way. The blanket of "mental illness" is such a wide swath people are using the explanations for the most benign corners of that blanket to justify the inhumane and destructive choices of others that may also fall under that blanket).

Amoebic wrote:
Prederick wrote:

I shouldn't be, but still fairly amazed to see the usual suspects currently working with "Nobody can be blamed for the Buffalo shooting, the dude was crazy and mentally ill, also he had a point and I broadly agree with several of the points in his manifesto."

Mental illness is not a justification for anything, ever. Causation isn't absolution or a get out of jail free card. You're absolutely right that people who do that are saying more about themselves than the subject at hand.

I think the problem here (or one of them) is the whole idea of "not guilty by reason of insanity", which doesn't actually mean not guilty or that there are no consequences or that it wasn't really the person's fault, but people use it as if it completely absolves the person of all responsibility whatsoever.

Also, "Nobody can be blamed because the dude was crazy and mentally ill" is laughable anyway. Even if that made him blameless (it doesn't), the response is "We can at the very least blame the people responsible for America not giving people any kind of decent help for their mental problems".