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Thread: The New Political Thread: New Rules; New Attitude

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    The New Political Thread: New Rules; New Attitude

    The previous Political Thread — now closed — had a great run early on, but in recent weeks it's taken an ugly dive into bickering, name-calling, and overt displays of left/right partisanship. I understand that much of this is a reflection of our current political state in the US. I also understand that some of this stems from years of disagreement between specific users. We simply have to be better than this.

    The Staff and I have made numerous attempts — often via in-thread warnings as well as the Not Good Enough thread — to adjust for a deteriorating culture. But despite our best efforts, ugliness has prevailed. So we're going to start again.

    We've closed the previous thread as a means to "reboot" our socio-political landscape and will be adopting a low tolerance policy for violators. Beginning now, you can expect a heavier-handed approach from the Staff in monitoring and reacting to the content posted in this section.

    As a result of our new direction, I'd like to share with everyone a clearer definition of what the rules for participating in this section/thread will be going forward. In particular, what we DO NOT want to see:


    1. Rhetoric. While party rhetoric often clearly states an overall position, it doesn't offer any new opinion for discussion and is unacceptable as the sole content of any post. Here's an example:

    Unacceptable: "Abortion is murder!"

    Bare minimum of acceptable: "I think abortion is murder because I believe that life begins at conception."

    Encouraged: "Statistics show that once a woman has an abortion, she's 75% more likely to have a second one. I think abortion is murder because it is taking away the potential that every child has to make the world a better place and with the increased likelihood of multiple abortions, we have an epidemic on our hands. While there are some very extreme circumstances where abortions may be necessary, such as with rape or where the life of the mother is in jeopardy, I think it is necessary to end abortions as an easy option and instead educate especially young women on birth control measures and adoption."

    This also extends to the reliance of catch phrases, as well as to intentionally inflammatory nicknames (libtard, snowflake, etc) — neither of which are permitted.

    2. Flaming. New threads must contain a topic, and that topic needs to be engaging for the forum to interact with. New topics should be thoroughly explained, as best you can, and whenever possible, supported by evidence and/or reporting. The goal of threads is to invite members to contribute, not to insult identity classes/groups you happen to disagree with.

    This forum is not your personal Facebook or Twitter timeline. If the only thing you're interested in is flaming a political figure or an identity class/group with meme-level content, post it there. It will not be tolerated here.

    3. Demeanor. Politics are inherently combative, but all of us need to be respectful of one other, especially when we disagree. Rejecting someone's idea doesn't require your insulting them. In fact, the perception of personal slight is often all it takes to ruin an otherwise perfectly acceptable retort.

    This also extends to telling someone what they believe rather than asking them to provide that information.

    "You think the government should just pay for everything," reads entirely different than "Do you think the government should just pay for everything?" The first is accusatory, and much more likely to incite an escalating response.

    4. Derailing. Threads will naturally evolve as conversations advance, sometimes even veering entirely away from the OP. Sometimes this is perfectly acceptable if the destination is still interesting. However, it might also be an indication that a new thread needs to be opened so the original thread can return to form. Try to be mindful and respectful of the time the OP put in presenting a discussion by not intentionally sidestepping their direction.

    5. Spam. Stupid, Pointless, and/or Annoying Messages. Posts that don't share an opinion, make jokes (especially insulting ones) with the intent to derail the conversation, etc. are all unwelcome.

    Again, this is content for your personal Facebook or Twitter timeline. Don't post it here.


    --

    Most importantly, our new policy will make frequent use of thread closure and/or thread banning.

    When threads go completely off course, we will close them, rather than letting derailed conversations run off track.

    When users violate the spirit/letter of our laws, they will be removed from conversations via thread banning, and will also be subject to standard forum discipline via warning/infraction.

    If a user who was removed from a topic/thread opens a new thread on that same topic, that thread will be closed, and that user will be infracted for Ignoring Staff Warning.

    --

    Lastly, we need and encourage all of you to help us. Report posts that you feel cross the line, whether they come from a first-time poster or a member of the Staff. Even if you feel you are the subject/victim of a flame, DO NOT RETURN FIRE.

    Ask questions of us and each other when you're unsure of a position or what is proper. Above all, THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU POST BEFORE YOU HIT SUBMIT. Take an extra moment to reread what you're posting and consider whether your word choice makes your position clear or if you are violating any of these or other forum rules.
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    Politically, Minnesota is an interesting place. Generally, Minnesota is one of the states with the highest percent turnout of eligible voters.

    https://www.sos.state.mn.us/election...ut-statistics/

    A large, sparsely populated state, Minnesota only has 8 congressional districts. NE, NW, and S of the Twin Cities are huge districts, with rural, urban, and suburban residents. There are 3 districts centered on the Twin Cities. The remaining 2 congressional districts are suburban Twin Cities.

    https://www.sos.state.mn.us/election...essional-maps/

    I have found my neighbors to be thoughtful, pragmatic people. They carefully consider purchases, how they spend their free time, what local community groups to belong to – regardless of how wealthy or poor they are.

    Minnesota has an open primary system. This allows residents to consider individual candidate qualifications without declaring affiliation with a political party.
    https://ballotpedia.org/Open_primary

    Below is a Wikipedia article “Political party strength in U.S. States” which I found interesting to compare Minnesota to other states over time.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politi...in_U.S._states
    "We're all f*cked. It helps to remember that." - George Carlin

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    Napolitano predicts courts would reject Trump emergency declaration for wall

    “I think the law is very clear and I think the President has been advised of it that if he signs an executive order declaring a national emergency and directing the military to spend money that has not been expressly appropriated for the wall or that has not been expressly appropriated for eminent domain– since much of the real estate where they want to build the wall is privately owned– I think it’s pretty clear that court will stop him from doing that,” Napolitano said.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) talked to Trump last week, urging him not to declare a national emergency, according to The Washington Post. McConnell said doing so could lead to a resolution of disapproval by Congress, which would export the GOP to infighting.
    Napolitano did say that declaring an emergency could provide Trump with a political win, since he would be able to tell his political base that he was building the wall.

    “He might even be able to claim some measure of political victory if he signs the order,” Napolitano said.

    Fox News host Jon Scott followed up with a clarification, asking if Trump would “win by losing” in that scenario.

    “Yes, but I am almost certain he’ll lose,” Napolitano said. “The law is very clear.”
    https://thehill.com/homenews/media/4...ation-for-wall

    --

    This is really interesting to me in that that Trump is stuck between a rock (another shutdown) and a hard place (declaring a national emergency) on this. In effect, the former is guaranteed to cause his historically low approval numbers to tumble even further (potentially inviting the GOP to explore a primary challenge). The latter is more of a roll of the dice, though still without favorable odds. I'm genuinely curious what he plans to do here, because there are no good options. He's boxed himself in, too, given how reliant he's been on these types of promises to his base. Dropping this issue, in particular, would be a colossal failure, even to them.
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    He backed himself into a corner with large majority of his campaign being the wall. He needs to produce it one way or another to possibly run again.
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    Let's Go Rangers!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vodka Drunkenski View Post
    He backed himself into a corner with large majority of his campaign being the wall. He needs to produce it one way or another to possibly run again.
    If hes not in jail by then..

    A wide-ranging subpoena served on the inaugural committee Monday seeks an array of documents, including all information related to inaugural donors, vendors, contractors, bank accounts of the inaugural committee and any information related to foreign contributors to the committee, according to a copy reviewed by The Washington Post.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/polit...=.e20ae989a6cc

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    Quote Originally Posted by So Nashty View Post
    Great way to start off a new political thread, with a typical leftist mantra that began November 8, 2016. Get some new material.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rmc51 View Post
    Great way to start off a new political thread, with a typical leftist mantra that began November 8, 2016. Get some new material.
    That isn't leftist mantra-speak. Read the OP again.

    "This also extends to telling someone what they believe rather than asking them to provide that information.

    "You think the government should just pay for everything," reads entirely different than "Do you think the government should just pay for everything?" The first is accusatory, and much more likely to incite an escalating response."
    Ask him what he means before you proscribe meaning.

    That said, So Nashty, you've gotta add more than that. You're just inviting a negative reaction with a one-liner, even though you provided the context to why I think you think he might end up in prison.
    "Everyone says you should be a good loser. If you’re a good loser, you’re a loser."
    - John Tortorella


    "Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence."
    - Christopher Hitchens

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil in Absentia View Post
    That isn't leftist mantra-speak. Read the OP again.
    It's rhetoric backed by no hard evidence directly against Trump...a constant theme since election day.

    I don't care that he said it. Really, I don't, since I don't give a shit about Trump personally, but if we are going to pretend not to spout things that might instigate other sides of the aisle this isn't much different than "Clinton should be in jail for her e-mails" is it?

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    My understanding of his post is that he linked the subpoena served to his inauguration to how Trump could end up in prison, so, no, it's not rhetoric backed by no evidence. But, it isn't enough alone to constitute a post in our new thread. I'm giving him an opportunity to expand on it.
    "Everyone says you should be a good loser. If you’re a good loser, you’re a loser."
    - John Tortorella


    "Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence."
    - Christopher Hitchens

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    https://thehill.com/policy/finance/4...to-legal-limbo

    Treasury plans steps to stymie Dem requests for Trump tax returns

    Officials at the White House and Treasury Department are reportedly working to stymie any requests from Democratic lawmakers for President Trump's tax returns even before they occur.

    Four Trump administration sources told Politico that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin plans to hinge his arguments against providing the president's past tax returns to Democrats based on the assertion that Democrats would be unable to prevent the leak of Trump's returns — a felony — from occurring.
    Key Democrats told The Hill last year that obtaining the president's tax returns and scouring them for evidence of illegal activity would be one of many priorities for the incoming majority.

    “What we’re doing here is doing our duty as a legislative branch of government, by checking the potential, possible conflicts of interest in the executive branch of government,” said Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), a top member of the House Ways and Means Committee, told The Hill in November.
    Can Trump really use the treasury department to help delay/disrupt any investigation into him?

    Candidates releasing tax returns isn't a legal necessity, but it's just something that I think we all expect in good faith, that candidates can demonstrate that they don't have anything to hide and that they don't have any conflicts of interest.

    With investigations already going on about Trump's ties to Russia, I feel like, if he wanted to prove there weren't those ties, he would want to release these and show there isn't any connection. Using his administration to actively prevent them from being released, well, it sets a bad precedent. With this new, more civil thread, I certainly want to join everyone in preventing simple partisan screaming matches that aren't backed up with sources, but this administration does very little to inspire faith. Where there's smoke, there tends to be fire. And the room has been filling with smoke for a long time. There have been 37 indictments already with this investigation. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-polit...nts-grand-jury

    I really can't see any president, Republican or Democrat, having 37 indictments surrounding them and being given any kind of pass
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmc51 View Post
    Great way to start off a new political thread, with a typical leftist mantra that began November 8, 2016. Get some new material.
    Case in point "historically low approval numbers " in what context? I'd rather not waste my time but since you guys are so back up link nuts I'll give you this. I don't put much stock in wiki but in the "historical lowest approval" chart I see Truman (22), Johnson (34), Nxon (24), Carter (28), GHW Bush (29) and GW Bush (25) all below the "historically low" trump number of ( 35 ).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United...pproval_rating

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    Quote Originally Posted by NY Chief View Post
    Case in point "historically low approval numbers " in what context? I'd rather not waste my time but since you guys are so back up link nuts I'll give you this. I don't put much stock in wiki but in the "historical lowest approval" chart I see Truman (22), Johnson (34), Nxon (24), Carter (28), GHW Bush (29) and GW Bush (25) all below the "historically low" trump number of ( 35 ).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United...pproval_rating
    might sound nitpicky, but I think that the use of it is that those lower approval ratings for other presidents happened at the end of their administrations. I think it's historically normal for a president's favorability to fade after 8 years (4 in the case of Carter, whose presidency ended after 4) whereas the lowest Trump numbers have come two years into his presidency. His starting point was also lower than all others (and lower than 50 percent)

    So yes, you are correct that other presidents have had lower approval numbers. The difference being the time it took to get to those numbers. I agree, "historically low" does sound a bit misleading, as it should be qualified with a "at this point of their respective presidencies..."
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    I should have clarified in the OP — if you have an issue with how we've established this thread, or you have questions about why we allow these discussions at all, please direct them to the Forum Feedback section (respectfully). This thread exists for political discussion, not your opinion on political discussion. Thanks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmc51 View Post
    Great way to start off a new political thread, with a typical leftist mantra that began November 8, 2016. Get some new material.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil in Absentia View Post
    That isn't leftist mantra-speak. Read the OP again.



    Ask him what he means before you proscribe meaning.

    That said, So Nashty, you've gotta add more than that. You're just inviting a negative reaction with a one-liner, even though you provided the context to why I think you think he might end up in prison.
    I wasn't really making a statement as much as I was posting what I consider to be a pretty significant news story. I can see how it was taken the wrong way so my apologies for that.

    And duly noted Phil.

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    Right. But we need to be diligent about how we share stories. Betts did a great job and earlier.


    Sent from my iPhone using Blueshirts Brotherhood mobile app powered by Tapatalk
    "Everyone says you should be a good loser. If you’re a good loser, you’re a loser."
    - John Tortorella


    "Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence."
    - Christopher Hitchens

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    Did anybody watch the State of the Union address? I did not, so I'm relying on commentary from various sources.
    Based on blog from five thirty eight

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/live-blo...he-union-2019/

    and their take on the democratic response, both sides are focused on their base, and there isn't much appetite for striking a deal.

    I'm predicting either a shutdown or a national emergency over the wall
    "We're all f*cked. It helps to remember that." - George Carlin

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    Given the negative impact of the last shutdown on his base support, I'd call that a bit of a false choice this time around. It's national shut down or him caving to his biggest campaign promise. I think he's happy (given what few options he has) to let the courts handle it given that a declaration would let him claim victory, even if it was only temporary.
    "Everyone says you should be a good loser. If you’re a good loser, you’re a loser."
    - John Tortorella


    "Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence."
    - Christopher Hitchens

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    Trump is a terrible speaker, but he delivered a strong message IMO. Illegal immigration bad? Check. Late term abortion bad? Check. Socialism bad? Check. Highlighting of economic growth? Check. Nothing really unexpected.

    The bad points to me were the comment about the investigation which was completely unneeded. I quite enjoyed Pelosi's reaction, as I think many had a bit of an eye roll reaction after that one. There was no comments about the shutdown - should have offered explanations or at least re-iterated previous stances on it.

    I found Stacey Abrams to be well-spoken in the Democratic response, but was divisive and tried to gift wrap it with emotions.

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    What I'm most concerned with is how combative DC has become and how entrenched positions have become. When one party controls the house, senate, and presidency, the system operates differently than when both democrats, republicans 'control' different branches. Really, it's more nuanced, because individuals 'defect' from the party line, because of their own district's pressures, their own ideologies, and who gave campaign money to help get them elected. Moderates, or compromisers, are becoming rarer, as they are voted out of office, but those moderates are not only the swing votes, but the individuals that can broker deals to get legislation passed. Winning at all costs creates resentment, and awkward dynamics when the house or senate flips from one party to the other.
    "We're all f*cked. It helps to remember that." - George Carlin

    "How many Cups you've got?" - Esa Tikkanen

    "Hatred can keep you warm when you run out of liquor" - Ray Ratto, Dan Patrick show 1/20/2017

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    I watched State of the Union address and the Democratic response because I want to hear it first hand and not ‘spun’ by a talking head.

    So much of what we hear or get to read is for people with ADD. It’s like nobody has the patience to really want to get to the bottom of the story and are satisfied by, or believe in, headlines alone. That’s a dangerous way to live.

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