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July 19, 2018

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America is too young, too inexperienced against a much more experienced and formidable power of Russia. Russian in no way should have the amount of influence and power it has, yet America is being played.

The Deep State arrested Pussy Galore before Trump could grab her. Putin now wants to trade Snowden for his female Russian agent and be allowed to interrogate an American Ambassador and take into custody and send to a forever Siberian prison one of his old financial buddies.

The Russian paragraph is unique and I am largely in agreement with its content. Our greatest adversary is internal. It is our weakness and inability to defend our own
western cultural values. Sometimes even the inability to justify our existence. That said, nearly all of the accusations made in this post are identical to those made in the MSM.

I'm not going to pretend anyone will waste his/her time reading a lengthy rebuttal. What I will point out, contradicting Rogue, is that the Constitution was built exactly for dealing with and working through the dysfunction that exists when dealing with many States and many people, all with differing incentives.

You quote of Norm Ornstein's concerns about how 70% of the population will be represented by 30 senators. This is intentional. We have two houses of Congress. One representing the States, one representing the people - all by design. Does he need a civic's lesson? Does the Left want only one house of Congress? Should the States not be represented in congress? If we do this, then we must be compelled to abandon the idea of individual States entirely.

And the right is extreme?

Ultimately, many commenters here would like the power of the States (already significantly weakened) to effectively be removed. They want the tyranny of direct democracy - but only when their side wins. Anyone other than their candidates winning achieved that end through cheating, racism, misogyny, anti-furrism, or any other newfangled accusation.

The ever-looming prospect of "progressive" tyranny.

I thank ὀστρακισμός ("Ostracism"?) for pushing back — we welcome heterodox views, provided they're civil and, one hopes, stimulating.

I don't need to be schooled in the tension between state "rights" (powers, political scientists say, for only individuals possess rights) and the central government.

The Senate evolved to be directly elected, as opposed to the original election by state legislatures. This happened largely through state referenda, in an effort to make the body more democratic and less prone to corruption. I don't have an easy fix for the 70/30 problem. A constitutional convention could make things much worse. But we're seeing an unsustainable imbalance, not Delaware's fretting about populous New York or Virginia circa 1789.

In fact, the House was intended to reflect the passions and concerns of the moment, while the Senate, with six-year terms, was intended to buffer and limit those passions. The Framers mistrusted the mob, as do I, and knew their history about the failures of ancient Athens. But today's Senate majority is a smaller version of the Tea Party caucus in the House. And gerrymandering makes the House most unrepresentative of contemporary passions or concerns. So, another constitutional failure.

Tyranny is always a danger. Right now, it's proponents on the right are in power and thus the big threat to our system of self-governance, our liberties, and our public good.

All due respect to the above intellectual perspectives but my concern is there is a Maniac loose on planet earth supported by cowardly FOOLS. But whata i know. M just an ole uneducated farm boy raised up from earths black rich river bank soil.

We don't have 2 year/ 6 year terms anymore. We have 20, 30, 40, 50 year terms. That is problematic.

I look at the Putin-Trump relationship like a drug deal. Trump is the rich frat boy who thinks he can get laid on Saturday night if he can just get some weed. He knows a guy, who knows a guy who introduces to him to this cool Russian dude they call Vad and he can get anything. The rest is history. Vad sells Trump oregano and Trump gets high and he scores with some drunk chick. Next Vad sell me lots of oregano in "kilo" bricks. Trump gets his fellow frat boys high. Next they buy fake ludes, coke and roofies." And it goes on from there. The pusher man uses Trump like a vice cop uses a whore snitch. Trump thinks he cool and the rest is history. A not so slick ass white rich kid getting played by a street hustler.

As I've written elsewhere... "The Moscow Candidate." Who's gonna be our Frank Sinatra?

I’m gonna wax Biblical here: the LOVE of money (as opposed to money itself, as this is usually misinterpreted) is the root of all evil. Not the immigrants, not the Jews, not the gays. It has corrupted our nation on every level, gutted our hearts. The Trump Administration is the epitome of American greed.

I tend to think the world has passed that point where continuing globalization and cultural upheaval has resulted in a populist revolt from below. The various monkeywrenches being throw in the gears of international law and commerce represent the exasperation of individual citizens finally demanding that the future be curtailed. We're as mad as hell and as stupid as mud.

Donald Trump may or may not have a "plan". Because he's a largely ignorant buffoon, it's unnecessary that a conspiracy explains his vandalism. Rather, he's an instinctive authoritiarian who trusts only those ethno-nationalists whose motives are as consistently vile as his own. The revolt against complexity doesn't require a quid pro quo or pee tape. It is, finally, the break-up of the political process to address actual problems. Our species would prefer the drunk driving of great powers to the growing irrelevance of our national identities.

This could only have happened in a nation fast devolving into an idiocracy. Much of this derives from television entertainments where the common denominator is a fairy tale pandering to people's deeply conditioned need for a binary construct (good/bad, right/wrong). Fox News boobytrapped the conventions of journalism to fashion a Total Explanation that appeal to "real Americans" tribal solidarity. Social media turned pithy memes into the dragons of paranoia. The humbling admission "I don't know" now cedes its civic space to righteous certitude.

We are not going to shame anyone into abandoning this joyride of certitude. We are as a species crashing into neurological walls that render meaning and communication impossible. Trump could only inspire faith in a nation of braying jackasses and howling monkeys.

This video was from the Clinton campaign, posted on October 15, 2016. It is eerily spot on about everything we know now about Trump and Russia. https://washingtonmonthly.com/2018/07/20/quick-takes-hillary-knew-and-tried-to-warn-us/

Once again, it is not really amazing that our idiocracy chose Donald Trump. It is amazing that so many otherwise sane adults actually voted against Hillary Clinton.

Soleri,

We don't know each other, but I'm posting this perfect sentence everywhere and trying to give you the credit you deserve:

The humbling admission "I don't know" now cedes its civic space to righteous certitude.

Voting against Trump would mean Republicans and Tea Partiers(usually one and the same) would require them to admit they were wrong in the first place.Sorry,folks this ain't gonna happen.So let's assume that 30-40% of the people are going to support Trump.That means we are going to have to get the remaining 60% ou to vote and that is going to be hard.But as the dark money people are proving,not impossible .

Secondly,while I firmly belive in the state system of voting,Dems have done a terrible job of telling their story of how their programs are invaluable to them and how they need to quit voting against their own interests.If they don't,Dems need to write them off and let them find out the hard way that Republicans don't really care about them.

P.S. Diane-"love of money" is irrelevant in my humble opinion, since you don't get a lot of money unless you really love it.IMHO,money is a problem, but then it has always been with us.

Mike, Money is only irrelevant when you don't have any.

From the Andrew Sullivan essay:

And (Trump's longstanding convictions) are, at root, the same as those of the strongmen he associates with and most admires.

The post-1945 attempt to organize the world around collective security, free trade, open societies, non-zero-sum diplomacy, and multicultural democracies is therefore close to unintelligible to him. Why on earth, in his mind, would a victorious power after a world war be … generous to its defeated foes? When you win, you don’t hold out a hand in enlightened self-interest. You gloat and stomp. In Trump’s zero-sum brain — “we should have kept the oil!” — it makes no sense. It has to be a con. And so today’s international order strikes Trump, and always has, as a massive, historic error on the part of the United States.

Right on point-RC.Zero sum president and zero sum supporters.It's amazing to me that a man with gold toilets and chairs can be seen as the" common man"

Jon, I'm going to be sending you an e-mail of vast and pertinent importance. Please read my suggestions because if you believe the country is on a precipice from which there is no turning beck if we go over it(as I do), I--IN THE STRONGEST POSSIBLE TERMS--urge you to read it and act on it. I liken this moment--and my missive to you--to Einstein's letter to Roosevelt that initiated the Manhattan Project. It is THAT dire and serious....

What can I say besides, "Yes, you're right."

"The Greatest Show on Earth" brought to you by that MOST infamous of Circus barkers, DONNIE TRUMP-ETER. And currently the most dangerous theat to the existence of mankind. I suspect his greatest victims will be those cowardly politicians that currently identify as Republicans for Trump.

I'll echo some of ὀστρακισμός's comments, re: the 70/30 "problem." My reaction is, so what? The Senate is designed that way to prevent the tyranny of the majority or the minority. Just look to Canada if you want to see what happens when the minority is placated by overweighting a legislative body where Quebec throws a snit every decade or so, threatening to split the country. We would have the same thing if the coastal elites were able to ram anything they wished down Montana, Wyoming, Texas etc. throats. And what happens if the Senate flips in the next cycle, a very real possibility? Although difficult to see at the moment, the Congress is functioning exactly as the designers intended. And you can't beat the entertainment value...

Texas should actually have more Senatorial power along with California, New York and othe states with disproportionately large populations which are grossly underrepresented in today’s Senate. The US Constitution was of course drafted more than 200 years ago and then included protection of slavery, no voting for women and other provisions which although subsequently amended still testify to the material imperfections of the original constitution. Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota belong to the group of small population states that possess collectively tyranny over large population states. Times change. I agree with Rogue, the imbalance needs to be addressed.

Congress has been a do little cowardly quagmire for the last 17 years except for enriching themselves and the 1 percent. Standby while the Coke and un Mercer ful families screw U some more.

Agree with Anon that there is no valid reason to protect the privileges of America's small-state citizens at the expense of democracy itself. That said, we're not going to undertake the arduous task of changing our Constitutional framework. We're stuck with this mess indefinitely.

There's still a simple remedy: voting. All that would have been required for the good guys to prevail in 2016 was the participation of progressive voters on behalf of the progressive candidate. We learn the hard way that purity voguing results in helping the revanchist right win elections they should have lost. My fear is that what happened in 2000 and 2016 will be repeated in 2020 as Saint Bernie continues his crusade to rid the Democratic party of centrists.

I am a liberal who would prefer a Bill Clinton winning to a George McGovern losing. There is absolutely no equivalence between the two parties. None. Jargon like "corporatists",and "neoliberals" might as well have been invented by Republican operatives to divide the progressives. Even the Russians were in on this conspiracy, targeting the far left on social media in 2016 with anti-Hillary memes.

This is the epic battle of our era. Democracy is under attack in America. It's not al Qaeda, ISIS, or Mexican immigrants posing the threat. It's ourselves. We're too lazy to defend America against Trump and the Vichy Republicans. Anyone who is sitting this fight out is a quisling.

I disagree with states with large populations having more clout. I really don't want to live in the extended People's Republic of California, nor the redneck,faux cowboy bullshit of Ted Cruz' Texas, if I did, I'd move there. And that's beauty of it, that choice exists.

Right on, Soleri, anyone who is sitting this out is indeed a quisling...

There's a compelling essay in this morning's Times on James Baldwin and moral imagination. The author contrasts Baldwin's rigor to the current hysteria that undergirds identity politics.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/25/opinion/james-baldwin-public-morality-empathy.html?action=click&contentCollection=opinion&contentPlacement=5&module=package&pgtype=sectionfront&region=rank&rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fopinion&version=highlights

Trump feeds off of the tabloid media. If he were to hold a rally and the media were absent, he wouldn't know what to do. He would bluster, but he would be without his power. Of course that will never happen because the media is too tabloid to control themselves. Too bad, it would be interesting to see what would happen.

The GOP Congress and their constituents are getting what they want at too great of a cost. I believe in our democracy. Get out and VOTE, people!

Is it just a coincidence that the Q anon movement is missing the I in IQ ?

"Nobody gets off the bus. "

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