Politics and Current Events

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Politics and Current Events

Post by bomaye on Sun Aug 09, 2015 2:12 pm

A thread if you want to talk about or comment or things that are happening around the world.

I didn't put [rant] because while these are issues that make people generally want to rant, I'd rather this thread didn't turn into a slapfight between the opposing sides of an issue, so if you're going to comment about something, make sure it's something you're fine with if the "other" side decides they want to provide a counter point, and don't get too heated (one person can change the world, but you're not going to be able to do it online ranting at each other Wink ). Or maybe we can figure out some kind of tag so you can tag your post with something you're directly involved in and not just intellectually curious and that can be a warning to not argue about it too much?

Some things going on around the world that interest me

- Stephen Harper called the Canadian Federal Election early
- The ongoing European Union/Greek default issue.
- David Cameron, Brexit, and the SNP (I have some UKish friends)
- Donald Trump is running for President of the United States in the Republican primaries, and beyond all reason, he's leading the polls, using inflammatory rhetoric that the GOP has been trying to back away from
- The Chinese economy and the existential crisis of the Communist Party.
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Re: Politics and Current Events

Post by Wondering on Sun Aug 09, 2015 7:20 pm

Donald Trump is running for President of the United States in the Republican primaries, and beyond all reason, he's leading the polls, using inflammatory rhetoric that the GOP has been trying to back away from
When you're too misogynist for Fox News and for right wing groups/people who are dropping you left and right, that's saying something.

Trump won't get the nomination, though. He's there to make Jeb Bush look centrist.

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Re: Politics and Current Events

Post by BasedBuzzed on Sun Aug 09, 2015 7:25 pm

Wondering wrote:
Donald Trump is running for President of the United States in the Republican primaries, and beyond all reason, he's leading the polls, using inflammatory rhetoric that the GOP has been trying to back away from
When you're too misogynist for Fox News and for right wing groups/people who are dropping you left and right, that's saying something.

Trump won't get the nomination, though. He's there to make Jeb Bush look centrist.

Some of that shit is hilariously hypocritical signalling, though, especially that RedState disinvite: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erick_Erickson#Controversy

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Re: Politics and Current Events

Post by eselle28 on Sun Aug 09, 2015 7:39 pm

Wondering wrote:
Donald Trump is running for President of the United States in the Republican primaries, and beyond all reason, he's leading the polls, using inflammatory rhetoric that the GOP has been trying to back away from
When you're too misogynist for Fox News and for right wing groups/people who are dropping you left and right, that's saying something.

Trump won't get the nomination, though. He's there to make Jeb Bush look centrist.

Yeah, first out of a field of 17 isn't the same as having the majority of a party's support. Something like 20% of the party likes him, which can be sort of guaranteed to anyone sufficiently loud and bombastic, and most of the other Republicans I know find him offensive and annoying.

Though I think he may be there to make Rubio and Cruz and Huckabee seem centrist.
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Re: Politics and Current Events

Post by reboot on Sun Aug 09, 2015 7:39 pm

I wonder if this might be a McGovern 1972 moment for the Republican party? Where the base pulls the party too far into extreme territory and the less than inspiring opposition candidate wins?
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Re: Politics and Current Events

Post by Wondering on Sun Aug 09, 2015 7:59 pm

eselle28 wrote:Though I think he may be there to make Rubio and Cruz and Huckabee seem centrist.

That, too. Though I don't think any of them will get the nomination, either.

I think we're headed to a Bush vs. Clinton election. Which we had 24 years ago. (And sort of again 16 years ago.) Can we just. move. on. Pleeeease?

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Re: Politics and Current Events

Post by bomaye on Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:55 pm

I think The Republican party has a bit of a problem, because they're spent so many years using that toxic rhetoric that pushes anyone who isn't a well-off white-male away, that once they decide to step away from it, their base is used to or trained to receive it. Trump stepped in and started saying the things they used to say, and he's getting the early benefit of it.

Also he's not actually concerned about the future of the party, so he can say whatever he wants to say.
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Re: Politics and Current Events

Post by Caffeinated on Sun Aug 09, 2015 10:46 pm

I find myself torn about Hillary Clinton. On the one hand, I don't like how close she is with the big banks, I'm more of a Bernie Sanders kind of Democrat. On the other hand, the idea of the first woman president is kind of exciting. On the third hand, I kind of wish she were someone who wasn't an immediate family member of a former president.
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Re: Politics and Current Events

Post by WJMorris3 on Sun Aug 09, 2015 10:59 pm

Heaven help Hillary Clinton if the young people actually come out and vote, as she'll be wondering what might have been as Sen. Bernie Sanders takes the nomination.

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Re: Politics and Current Events

Post by Enail on Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:14 am

I'm strangely fascinated by the California drought.
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Re: Politics and Current Events

Post by reboot on Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:27 am

Enail wrote:I'm strangely fascinated by the California drought.

I flew into SF last month and it is shocking how low (or gone) some of the lakes are. This keeps up and there may be a good, old fashioned water war here in the west.

Bomeye, I am also pretty fascinated by the de-Communistification of the Communist Party in China. It seems to be trending to "in name only" status.
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Re: Politics and Current Events

Post by kath on Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:47 am

I'm interested in Harper calling the election early too. All the money aspects on all sides are like ... terrifying. The election campaign (like "since May") has been this odd mix of interesting and like crawl-out-of-your-skin uncomfortable.
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Re: Politics and Current Events

Post by bomaye on Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:56 am

WATER WARSSSSS wait who are we going to invade that's actually going to have more water than we do? Won't we die of thirst along the way? Sad

reboot wrote:
Bomeye, I am also pretty fascinated by the de-Communistification of the Communist Party in China. It seems to be trending to "in name only" status.

They're at such an interesting crossroads. I don't think they're ever going to give up total control, but they're so concerned about giving up any control that they're just indefinitely putting off whatever their future is to their own harm.

I've seen things that figure they're going to have to become a consumer economy (and that's going to be hard on the people and hard on the government, because that means wages need to go up and factories are going to close, so they need to offer something else), or it's a return to isolationism because it's so hard to keep such a large country together.

The capital flight situation is interesting too. Rich Chinese want to get out seemingly no matter what, and they're maybe driving up housing prices where they're fleeing to because it's the safest place to put/launder money.

kath wrote:I'm interested in Harper calling the election early too. All the money aspects on all sides are like ... terrifying. The election campaign (like "since May") has been this odd mix of interesting and like crawl-out-of-your-skin uncomfortable.

I dunno, the Liberals are expecting to spend at the expanded cap and the NDP just had their biggest donation quarter ever.

Also I think there's going to be a bit of a cultural backlash to this because the extra campaign weeks are just wasting time and money, and we love hating politicians who do both.
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Re: Politics and Current Events

Post by The Wisp on Mon Aug 10, 2015 2:26 am

reboot wrote:I flew into SF last month and it is shocking how low (or gone) some of the lakes are. This keeps up and there may be a good, old fashioned water war here in the west.

Nah, they'll just take more water from the surrounding states, particularly Colorado, and they will get away with it because they have more people and representatives (not that it would matter too much right now as the past couple of years have been wettest they've been in my lifetime, but still...).

I think this Trump thing and the recent GOP debate are why I burnt out on politics a few years ago. It represents the continuing trend of treating elections as one part reality TV and one part game show. The early primary debates on both sides in previous years are a total farce. Two people are ideal for a debate, three can work, but having 8-10 people on a stage just makes it a glorified press conference. Trump himself is only polling well because of his name-recognition and because people finding him to be entertaining. He won't win the nomination, though. He won't even be a top 3 candidate at the end.

And I had a few more paragraphs about the meaninglessness of modern politics and the like, but I figure that's just ranting at that point Razz
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Re: Politics and Current Events

Post by bomaye on Mon Aug 10, 2015 2:33 am

It needs to be less Hollywood-ified

I went from watching Canada's Maclean's debate, four party leaders on what looked like the set of Jeopardy, one non-partisan moderator asking important questions about policies and issues, no studio audience at all, with an end-goal of voting for a new government in a near-record 11 week federal election, then once it was over, switched to a Republican Party Leadership debate with like 35 people on stage, three totally partisan moderators asking seemingly unimportant questions designed to make you think about the candidates a certain way (mostly just trying to sabotage Trump), an arena of people like it was a sporting event, with an end-goal of voting for the guy or girl who will run for the actual important thing in another year or so.

There are times I'm thankful I'm Canadian :p
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Re: Politics and Current Events

Post by The Wisp on Mon Aug 10, 2015 2:46 am

bomaye wrote:It needs to be less Hollywood-ified

I went from watching Canada's Maclean's debate, four party leaders on what looked like the set of Jeopardy, one non-partisan moderator asking important questions about policies and issues, no studio audience at all, with an end-goal of voting for a new government in a near-record 11 week federal election, then once it was over, switched to a Republican Party Leadership debate with like 35 people on stage, three totally partisan moderators asking seemingly unimportant questions designed to make you think about the candidates a certain way (mostly just trying to sabotage Trump), an arena of people like it was a sporting event, with an end-goal of voting for the guy or girl who will run for the actual important thing in another year or so.

There are times I'm thankful I'm Canadian :p

The general election debates in the US fit that mold, thankfully. But yeah, if there's one thing I envy about parliamentary systems, it's that the elections are at most 2-3 months long. It wasn't always this way. Fifty years ago, party nominees were selected in backrooms by power brokers in early summer, and the election lasted for about 3-4 months. I blame the problem on the political parties in the US being much less powerful and more internally democratic than parliamentary parties for this shift.

We basically only get 1.5 years off of elections out of every four: the year after a Presidential election, and a half year after a midterm election.
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Re: Politics and Current Events

Post by bomaye on Mon Aug 10, 2015 3:37 am

I saw an interesting article about how Citizens United has basically paved the way for what the Republican Party is going through right now too. You mostly used to need some kind of decent backing to make a run at it, now you just have to woo one billionaire, or even just show this one billionaire that you might have the stuff to make it, and you're in, regardless of what anyone else anywhere thinks.
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Re: Politics and Current Events

Post by reboot on Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:55 am

Wisp, you just nailed why I think Trump is running. He really does think he will be President and he sees the presidency as a reality TV show that he gets to star in.

From the 1850's until the 1920's the water wars were occasionally violent, but now it is just lawsuit war. This article gives a short summary of the Colorado experience. Arizona is one of those states that is now using its share but wants more. We also waste a ton, which aggravates the living crap out of me.

I think China wants to be Singapore with tight social and political control and a prosperous society. Kind of a pipe dream because they are much bigger in population and area, do not have the unifying experience of independence from another country (Malaysia in Singapore's case), and do not have Lee Kuan Yew. Not that any of those facts will stop them from trying.
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Re: Politics and Current Events

Post by Wondering on Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:24 pm

reboot wrote:Wisp, you just nailed why I think Trump is running. He really does think he will be President and he sees the presidency as a reality TV show that he gets to star in.

I really, strongly doubt he's going to get elected, but if he does, he's going to have a problem with not being able to fire the people in Congress he doesn't like.

I think we're going to get a Republican president, though. Because that's the way the country likes to go: 8 years one party, 8 years the other (except for rare instances where a prior president was so popular people want to continue his legacy (i.e., Reagan to Bush Sr)). And I'm hoping that Ruth Bader Ginsberg sees this and decides to retire now so that Obama can nominate someone woman-friendly to replace her. Because a Republican president won't.

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Re: Politics and Current Events

Post by Enail on Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:30 pm

bomaye wrote:WATER WARSSSSS wait who are we going to invade that's actually going to have more water than we do? Won't we die of thirst along the way? Sad

I don't think we'll be invading anyone - they'll probably annex us, we've still got water. Razz

I'd guess it'll be more of a dust bowl situation before anyone starts looking to water wars.
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Re: Politics and Current Events

Post by litterature on Mon Aug 10, 2015 1:11 pm

reboot wrote:
Enail wrote:I'm strangely fascinated by the California drought.

I flew into SF last month and it is shocking how low (or gone) some of the lakes are. This keeps up and there may be a good, old fashioned water war here in the west.

Bomeye, I am also pretty fascinated by the de-Communistification of the Communist Party in China. It seems to be trending to "in name only" status.

Yeah, I'm pretty fascinated by it too. I used to read way too much French Marxist stuff so I think you can probably trace this back to the moment the "January Revolutionary Storm" of 1967 lost to the "February Reactionary Countercurrent", and China became devoid of any collective agent that could experiment with Communist innovations, although at least the State still was run by Communists for a while. According to the "left-wing" narrative, either after February 1967 or after the fall of the Gang of Four the patriotic side of the Chinese Revolution gradually took over and things became all about "let's make China a powerful and prosperous country and/or empire".

I think there's always this moment in all really creative revolutions where there's a big clash between the power of the state, the creativity/chaotic impulses of the masses and the need for a coherent project that can last, and so far no revolution has been able to manage how to resolve it without losing all utopian potential: you have the purging of the Enrag├ęs/H├ębertistes during the French Revolution ultimately leading to the complete demobilisation of the people who could back the Montagnards on the streets (and the only ones who could make demands the Montagnards could respond creatively to); you have the Collectivisation Decree of 1936 and the rise of PSUC ultimately terminating the revolution in Catalonia during the Spanish Civil War (although as far as I know the economy was pretty much socialist by then); and you have the fall of the Shanghai Commune, the degeneration of the Red Guards into factional gangs and the ban on independent people's organisations making the Cultural Revolution become about managing the State/the State's list of enemies and ultimately fizzling out.

There are a couple of books about the end of the first period of the Cultural Revolution that I liked: Hongsheng Jiang's history of the Shanghai Commune (pro-Gang of Four, also includes slightly bathetic bits about present-day supporters of Jiang Qing) and Neale Hunter's Shanghai Journal (pro-ultraleftists). Also Alain Badiou's "The Cultural Revolution: The Last Revolution?" and all the papers by Alessandro Russo I could find, especially "The Conclusive Scene" (turns out there's a transcript of the final meeting between Mao and the Red Guards that reads pretty much like a theatre play.)

I used to have lots of notes about all this stuff from when I was into politics, but then I realised I needed some time to become who I wanted to be and I wasn't cut to be the party philosopher, so I moved on to other, probably less serious, things...

(Sorry if this post feels like I'm soapboxing! I swear I'm not, in fact I always feel a bit embarrassed whenever I air my politics out! I'll delete this post if necessary.)

edit: typos & awkward phrasing

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Re: Politics and Current Events

Post by bomaye on Mon Aug 10, 2015 11:39 pm

You just said like 30 things that I don't think I have the time to research as much as I'd like to. I went on an info-binge one night and wiki'd Mao and everything that came out of his rule and there's just so much interesting stuff there that got completely glossed over in our history classes.

I read about geopolitics once in awhile and apparently this kind of cycle goes beyond just Communism vs Capitalism. The Chinese open themselves up to the world economically, the coastal area becomes rich and the in-land starts getting bit by the inequality bug, and then before unrest can tear the country apart, they close up shop and isolate for awhile. Lather, rinse, repeat.

They're basically following the Japanese model for the Lost Decade(s) right now, but that may be a big enough event to push them back into isolationism.
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Re: Politics and Current Events

Post by Caffeinated on Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:40 am

I feel so clueless. I don't understand why people from Black Lives Matter are protesting Bernie Sanders. I just don't get it.
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Re: Politics and Current Events

Post by reboot on Tue Aug 11, 2015 8:30 am

Wondering wrote:
reboot wrote:Wisp, you just nailed why I think Trump is running. He really does think he will be President and he sees the presidency as a reality TV show that he gets to star in.

I really, strongly doubt he's going to get elected, but if he does, he's going to have a problem with not being able to fire the people in Congress he doesn't like.

I think we're going to get a Republican president, though. Because that's the way the country likes to go: 8 years one party, 8 years the other (except for rare instances where a prior president was so popular people want to continue his legacy (i.e., Reagan to Bush Sr)). And I'm hoping that Ruth Bader Ginsberg sees this and decides to retire now so that Obama can nominate someone woman-friendly to replace her. Because a Republican president won't.

Oh yeah, I do not think he will get elected, but I do think he wants to be President so he can be the center of attention and have the world's biggest soapbox for his drivel.

Do you think he might do a third party run? His egois big enough and he does not give two shits about the Republican party. I can see a fourway race: Bush, Clinton, Sanders (my gut says he will do it), and Trump. So the winner would come down to whose voters defect the least.
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Re: Politics and Current Events

Post by Wondering on Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:16 pm

He might do a third party run. So then it really would be 1992 all over again: Billionaire with ego splits the Republican vote from Bush and Clinton gets elected. Bernie Sanders won't get more votes than Hillary Clinton, I don't think.

But I really don't want to have to vote for her. I wish Elizabeth Warren would run. Neutral


Caffeinated wrote:I feel so clueless. I don't understand why people from Black Lives Matter are protesting Bernie Sanders. I just don't get it.

I read an article about this, and it seems they're not protesting Bernie Sanders per se. They protesting at Bernie Sanders rallies because he has huge attendance. But also, they do feel he should be saying more about minority issues because he's positioning himself as the progressive candidate.

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