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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#21521 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2024-June-10, 11:59

Trump is now claiming that he / his policies are responsible for $35 insulin prices
Alderaan delenda est
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#21522 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2024-June-10, 20:56

View Posthrothgar, on 2024-June-10, 11:59, said:

Trump is now claiming that he / his policies are responsible for $35 insulin prices


The details of why are unimportant, but today I had to spend a couple of hours in close proximity to a handful of Trump supporters who blabbed nonstop. I'm sure everyone has met this type, two guys who were once in the Army, likely lifers who seemed more brainwashed than stupid and think everything the Army does is the best it can be done-you know the type, really gung-ho, and all they could spout was Constisution this, Constitution that, militia this, militia that, guns this, guns that.... The amount of total crap they spread in that 2 hours was incredible, and joining in was an evangelical Christian woman quoting all the Bible verses that showed Biden was either A. demon possessed B. the antichrist or C. a fulfillment of some inane prophecy that has nothing to do with anything. Biden was found at fault for milk prices being too high, for anything that wasn't Trump. It was obvious that these three believed totally in their delusions and nothing could have reached them.

It was demoralizing to see such depth of gullability. But the deeper issue to me is more troubling: these beliefs are part of these peoples personalities, part of the "self". To challenge those beliefs even with innocuous questions is to upend the person's stability - they simply cannot allow any shaking of their beliefs as that shakes the very core of self. To change their minds requires a tearing down of self and a rebuilding of a new ego. I would guess somewhere well south of 1% are willing to do that.
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#21523 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2024-June-12, 09:00

View PostWinstonm, on 2024-June-10, 11:55, said:

Perhaps that is how you understood it but that is not what I intended in my post. You point, so it seems, to the Democratic leadership as a reason disgruntled voters aren't abandoning Trump. What I'm saying is that these disgruntled voters are like the followers of Jim Jones in Guyana and that the media is reporting on the killing of the Congressmen who went to investigate as simply normal politics.

There is something that can be done. I can't do it. You can't do it. It requires that we do it as a nation. It requires active politics and voting. It requires self-governance. I doubt we do it.


This is preetty much what I undestood you to be saying. Sure, someting might happen. But your listof possibilities does not include any rethinking by the Democratic leadership. My point, and it has been my point for quite a while now, is that when Trump, always a truly bad guy and now really an almost incoherent bad guy, can be in contention for the presidency the Democratic leadership should at least consider the possibility that maybe they have made a mistake or two. My entire life has taught me that when things go wrong it is useful to look for errors that I might have made.
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#21524 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2024-June-12, 19:12

View PostWinstonm, on 2024-June-10, 20:56, said:

The details of why are unimportant, but today I had to spend a couple of hours in close proximity to a handful of Trump supporters who blabbed nonstop. I'm sure everyone has met this type, two guys who were once in the Army, likely lifers who seemed more brainwashed than stupid and think everything the Army does is the best it can be done-you know the type, really gung-ho, and all they could spout was Constisution this, Constitution that, militia this, militia that, guns this, guns that.... The amount of total crap they spread in that 2 hours was incredible, and joining in was an evangelical Christian woman quoting all the Bible verses that showed Biden was either A. demon possessed B. the antichrist or C. a fulfillment of some inane prophecy that has nothing to do with anything. Biden was found at fault for milk prices being too high, for anything that wasn't Trump. It was obvious that these three believed totally in their delusions and nothing could have reached them.

It was demoralizing to see such depth of gullability. But the deeper issue to me is more troubling: these beliefs are part of these peoples personalities, part of the "self". To challenge those beliefs even with innocuous questions is to upend the person's stability - they simply cannot allow any shaking of their beliefs as that shakes the very core of self. To change their minds requires a tearing down of self and a rebuilding of a new ego. I would guess somewhere well south of 1% are willing to do that.


I almost, well not really, wish I had been there. I would like to ask if there could be basic agreement on the following: The fact that 12 jurors voted unaminously to convice Hunter Biden is a strong reason to believe that Hunter Biden did what the prosecutors said that he did, and the fact that 12 jurors voted unaminously to convict Donald Trump is a strong reason to believe that Donald Trump did what the prosecutors said that he did. Can people agree to that simple statement? They are free to have divergent views about many asppects of the two cases but can they agree on what seems to me to be indisputable? When 12 jurors gree that the defendant is guilty, it is very likel, not certain but very likely, that the defendant did what the prosecutor said that he did.

As I and just about everyone has noticed, we seem to have trouble agreeing on what day of the week it is. But we should still try. 12 jurors can make a mistake, yep they can, but they try their best and if all 12 aree that he did it, it is vey likely that he did it. It would be good if we could all agree on that much. My guess is that no, we can't agree on even that. That is seriously upsetting. We must do better.
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#21525 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2024-June-12, 20:59

It is a truism in politics - and life in general - that people are rarely convinced of anything because someone tells them that what they are thinking is wrong.
It's even less useful to tell them they stupid, irrational and that all their dearly-held beliefs are going to cause the world to end tomorrow.

Progressives (if such a thing actually exists in the USA) are not likely to secure votes by telling Conservatives that (inter alia):
They can't have guns.
They can have abortions.
Immigration is good.
America is racist and has structural inequalities.
The economy is in great shape.

On top of that bonfire you can throw in the gasoline of Middle East and Ukraine wars, gender identity and the truly bizarre idea that speech is free but books that some communities (or 'folks' as Americans like to say) don't like should be banned.
Non legit hoc
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#21526 User is online   awm 

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Posted 2024-June-13, 02:54

There's something strange going on with views of the economy though. It used to be that polls of what Americans thought about the economy matched up pretty well to economic indicators. About twenty years ago (I think) we started seeing bigger partisan divides on the economy (people thought it was better when their party held the presidency and worse when it didn't) but the overall average still tracked pretty well with things like the unemployment rate, stock market trends, GDP growth, consumer confidence, etc.

Something seems to have happened quite recently to create this disconnect, where people agree that their family's economic situation is good/improving and even that their state is doing well, but think that the national economy is terrible even though the various economic indicators are strong. It's not solely a partisan thing either.

The one thing that sticks out for me is the bout of severe inflation, which we hadn't seen since the late 1970s (when the country and the news media were both quite different than they are today). People see that prices went up and feel like this is bad even though their income may have gone up by more. Thus they can say that their family's situation is good (because income increased by more than prices) but still feel unhappy about the price increase.

I also feel like there was a lot more coverage of economists' predictions of a recession than we used to see (and those predictions were not very accurate as no recession materialized). And it's possible that people complaining about things on social media had an impact.
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#21527 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2024-June-13, 05:19

I agree, at least in genreal, with the above two posts. And I want to note an error, or at least a lzazy statement, in my own post where I said " My guess is that no, we can't agree on even that. ". The "that" was that if 12 jurors agree on a guilty verdict then this should be taken as strong reason to believe that the defendant did what the prosecutor said that he did. Of course some, perhaps many, Trump suppotters will not agree. But I strongly believe there are some out there, people who are at least strongy thinking of voting for Trump, who would still agree to this basic point. Those are the people we need to talk with, to have constructive conversations with., both because disccion is good and because such people might well swing the eledtion. As AWM notes, "Something seems to have happened quite recently to create this disconnect, where people agree that their family's economic situation is good/improving and even that their state is doing well, but think that the national economy is terrible even though the various economic indicators are strong. " Yep, it's weird. But I think, at least I hope but really I think it likely, that there are some out there who are not quite ready to drink the Kool-Aid just because someone says so. There is some room, with some people, for discussion. Let's at least give it a try.
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#21528 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2024-June-13, 07:41

View Postawm, on 2024-June-13, 02:54, said:

There's something strange going on with views of the economy though. It used to be that polls of what Americans thought about the economy matched up pretty well to economic indicators. About twenty years ago (I think) we started seeing bigger partisan divides on the economy (people thought it was better when their party held the presidency and worse when it didn't) but the overall average still tracked pretty well with things like the unemployment rate, stock market trends, GDP growth, consumer confidence, etc.

Something seems to have happened quite recently to create this disconnect, where people agree that their family's economic situation is good/improving and even that their state is doing well, but think that the national economy is terrible even though the various economic indicators are strong. It's not solely a partisan thing either.

The one thing that sticks out for me is the bout of severe inflation, which we hadn't seen since the late 1970s (when the country and the news media were both quite different than they are today). People see that prices went up and feel like this is bad even though their income may have gone up by more. Thus they can say that their family's situation is good (because income increased by more than prices) but still feel unhappy about the price increase.

I also feel like there was a lot more coverage of economists' predictions of a recession than we used to see (and those predictions were not very accurate as no recession materialized). And it's possible that people complaining about things on social media had an impact.


It appears to me (relying only on untrustworthy memory) that this change is at least somewhat in common with the advent of cable news and the death of strong FCC oversight, including the Fairness Doctrine. It was the beginning of creating alternative facts, which is truly weird yet true in the sense that what is believed is that person's truth.

I don't know what can be done. The unwind at this point requires changes at the individual level. There is a tad bit of hope in that church attendence is falling and the number of Americans who claim no religious belief is rising but those numbers move slowly and incrementally so can't be counted on to make a difference in time for the next election.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#21529 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2024-June-13, 07:50

View Postkenberg, on 2024-June-12, 19:12, said:

I almost, well not really, wish I had been there. I would like to ask if there could be basic agreement on the following: The fact that 12 jurors voted unaminously to convice Hunter Biden is a strong reason to believe that Hunter Biden did what the prosecutors said that he did, and the fact that 12 jurors voted unaminously to convict Donald Trump is a strong reason to believe that Donald Trump did what the prosecutors said that he did. Can people agree to that simple statement? They are free to have divergent views about many asppects of the two cases but can they agree on what seems to me to be indisputable? When 12 jurors gree that the defendant is guilty, it is very likel, not certain but very likely, that the defendant did what the prosecutor said that he did.

As I and just about everyone has noticed, we seem to have trouble agreeing on what day of the week it is. But we should still try. 12 jurors can make a mistake, yep they can, but they try their best and if all 12 aree that he did it, it is vey likely that he did it. It would be good if we could all agree on that much. My guess is that no, we can't agree on even that. That is seriously upsetting. We must do better.


I can pretty much assure you of what their response would have been to any questions about jury trials. I have experience with this in that a sister-in-law is knee-deep in right-wing disinformation/propagnda. The short answer is that they will parrot whatever the latest spin is from their information sources, Fox News, Sinclair Broadcasting, Alex Jones, various internet blogs and sites, Facefook/Meta, and the entire Republica Party: Hunter Biden should have been convicted on more serious crimes and Trump was innocent and Biden made the state of New York convict him.

I mean, seriously, if you believe a dead body that has undergone the normal after death deterioration can by magic (I'm thinking Lazarus, not Jesus) be resurrected intact and whole after some number of days, what won't you believe?
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#21530 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2024-June-14, 06:59

View PostWinstonm, on 2024-June-13, 07:50, said:

I can pretty much assure you of what their response would have been to any questions about jury trials. I have experience with this in that a sister-in-law is knee-deep in right-wing disinformation/propagnda. The short answer is that they will parrot whatever the latest spin is from their information sources, Fox News, Sinclair Broadcasting, Alex Jones, various internet blogs and sites, Facefook/Meta, and the entire Republica Party: Hunter Biden should have been convicted on more serious crimes and Trump was innocent and Biden made the state of New York convict him.

I mean, seriously, if you believe a dead body that has undergone the normal after death deterioration can by magic (I'm thinking Lazarus, not Jesus) be resurrected intact and whole after some number of days, what won't you believe?


Not everyone who goes to church on Sunday believes that Jonah lived for three days in the belly of a whale. Or, in more presonal terms, I stopped going to churche when I was 14, my childhood friend Roger became a Methodist minister, we see things ifferently but after 70+years we are still good friends. There are variations within all groups.

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#21531 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2024-June-14, 09:25

On a somewhat lighter note, Constance and I watched HBO's 3-part documentary Ren Faire. The interactions between the founder of the Texas Rennaissance Festival, "King George," and his subordinates look very much like the way many of Trump's subordinates describe their interactions with Trump. And the parallels between the relationships of both men with women stand out clearly too. I suspect that the director, Lance Oppenheim, played up the similarities intentionally while making sure to create an interesting show.
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#21532 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2024-June-14, 12:09

View Postkenberg, on 2024-June-14, 06:59, said:


Not everyone who goes to church on Sunday believes that Jonah lived for three days in the belly of a whale. Or, in more presonal terms, I stopped going to churche when I was 14, my childhood friend Roger became a Methodist minister, we see things ifferently but after 70+years we are still good friends. There are variations within all groups.



Of course there is variation. But that doesn't discount my point. Sure, there may be a relative few who attend church for the sociallness of it, but the vast majority either accept or want to accept its beliefs that at the very least Jesus was raised from the dead.

The significance of that is that anything a church does that is good can be accomplished by a secular group who simply decides to do it. I can decide to go weekly to a building a listen to talks, sing songs,, donate to the poor, etc. What the secular won't do, though, is promise a magical solution to life's problems and a promise of an afterlife.

The people who attend church, the vast majority, are in that non-secular category. They want to have solutions given to them by a heirarchal structure.

"I am the way, the truth and the life," so says John 14:6
"I alone can fix it." So said John: 45
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#21533 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2024-June-14, 18:23

Interesting discussion on the Law
I would like to think there is one institution we can still rely on
I think many in the world have not had that privilege

I don't comment on individual cases, especially those I haven't followed closely enough to know all the details of what was presented argued and proved beyond reasonable doubt
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#21534 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2024-June-20, 14:03

View Postkenberg, on 2024-June-12, 19:12, said:

I almost, well not really, wish I had been there. I would like to ask if there could be basic agreement on the following: The fact that 12 jurors voted unaminously to convice Hunter Biden is a strong reason to believe that Hunter Biden did what the prosecutors said that he did, and the fact that 12 jurors voted unaminously to convict Donald Trump is a strong reason to believe that Donald Trump did what the prosecutors said that he did. Can people agree to that simple statement? They are free to have divergent views about many asppects of the two cases but can they agree on what seems to me to be indisputable? When 12 jurors gree that the defendant is guilty, it is very likel, not certain but very likely, that the defendant did what the prosecutor said that he did.

It's rarely that simple when conspiracy theorists are involved.

The right-wing media is claiming that Joe Biden is a puppet master. He arranged for Hunter Biden to be convicted as a smokescreen for his own transgressions. Hunter was a sacrificial lamb to allow the left to claim that the justice system is fair to both sides.

So the fact that two juries convicted means little, it's all part of the grand scheme.

Oh, and don't forget that this puppet master is also too old and feeble to run the country. Have I mentioned that the right doesn't care about consistency?

#21535 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2024-June-21, 06:20

Given below is some interesting information about Insulin and the £35 cap (at least, I found it interesting).

1. In early 2020, the Trump administration launched a scheme to lower insulin costs to $35 per month. It (a) was voluntary enrollment, not automatic; (b) applied only to some people within Medicare; and (c ) was meant to last around 1 year, after which it automatically ceases. It seems, the scheme was authorised & implemented directly by the Executive branch of Govt. i.e. not enshrined in law.

2. On the other hand, Biden included the $35 price cap as part of an Act of Congress (the Inflation Reduction Act). It was automatic enrollment, and it covered a much bigger proportion of Medicare eligible patients.

Source Info: https://www.kff.org/...ap-in-medicare/

Eligible population under Trump's scheme was 800k (if one assumes 50% voluntarily enrolled, the effective beneficiaries drops to 400k). Under Biden, it currently is 3.3 million (all automatically eligible). It is quite obvious that what the Biden administration did much better because (a) it's a law -- permanent until repealed, and (b) has a 8x-10x wider coverage which may grow over time.

I had never heard about the 2020 scheme until today. My takeaway from this one is that your media would rather discuss Covfefe than ever provide you any useful information. FYI, the UK media is equally bad but we have NHS so we don't actively worry about the cost of medicines.
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#21536 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2024-June-21, 10:30

View Postbarmar, on 2024-June-20, 14:03, said:

It's rarely that simple when conspiracy theorists are involved.

The right-wing media is claiming that Joe Biden is a puppet master. He arranged for Hunter Biden to be convicted as a smokescreen for his own transgressions. Hunter was a sacrificial lamb to allow the left to claim that the justice system is fair to both sides.

So the fact that two juries convicted means little, it's all part of the grand scheme.

Oh, and don't forget that this puppet master is also too old and feeble to run the country. Have I mentioned that the right doesn't care about consistency?


Yes. Conspiracy theory has eached a a whole new level. So what to do? My thoughts are very limited, but perhaps of some use: However many nutjobs there are out there, let's not assume that everyone is totally sane or totally hopeless. Maybe there are at least some who will give some thought to a quietly phrased argument.

If a jury finds someone innocent, we still might think maybe he is guilty. The reason is that of the jury is not sure then they should not convict. If the glove don't fit you must aquit and all that. And of course no one is always right. But still, if 12 people listen carefully to what the law is and what the evidence is, and they decise that he did as charged, the chances are excellent that he did as charged. We can ry to reach people who might well be unenthusiastic about Biden are are still up for rational discussion.

Lately I have been thinking back to my youth. We 85 year olds do that. I was 13 in 1952 when Eisenhower ran against Stevenson. It was the first presidential election where I tried to understand the issues. But one evening I csm home from my Boy Scout meeting and my parents were watching Joe McCarthy explaing that Stevensone was a communist. I am pretty sure my parents voted for Ike, but I am even surer that they did ot think Adlai Stevenson was a communist. My parents were the sort of people that I feel the Democratic Party should try to reach. Not very political but not buying into Stevenson being a commie. We talk to thos who will give some consideration to rational discussion. I hope that they are out there.
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#21537 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2024-June-22, 07:41

I don't usually share links to Fox News, but this one is ok:

https://www.foxnews....make-that-worse
The world would be such a happy place, if only everyone played Acol :) --- TramTicket
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#21538 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2024-June-23, 02:52

Apparently MAGA want the flood of Christians from the south stopped

Sorry just watched a MAGA rally on the news

I need to watch again just to check the logic of what I think they were cheering about

21:00 EST on 27th is in my diary. Bigger than the Super Bowl

Who is doing the half time show?
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#21539 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2024-June-23, 07:52

View Postthepossum, on 2024-June-23, 02:52, said:

Apparently MAGA want the flood of Christians from the south stopped

Sorry just watched a MAGA rally on the news

I need to watch again just to check the logic of what I think they were cheering about

21:00 EST on 27th is in my diary. Bigger than the Super Bowl

Who is doing the half time show?


You are going to rewatch a MAGA rally to see the logic behind it? I like to think of myself as an optimist but this exceeds any hopes or expectations.

Or maybe as a mathematician I should rethink that, We can prove that the angle sum of any triangle is 180 degrees, but only if we first accept the parallel postulate withouot proof. So I suppose if we start with accepting things such as the 2020 election was stolen and Joe Biden's mind and body are possessed by the Devil then you might find some logic in what follows from that. Well, maybe. Let us know if you do.
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#21540 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2024-June-23, 08:00

View Postkenberg, on 2024-June-23, 07:52, said:

You are going to rewatch a MAGA rally to see the logic behind it? I like to think of myself as an optimist but this eceeds any hopes or expectations.

Or maybe as a mathematician I should rethink that, We can prove that the angle sum of any triangle is 180 degrees, but only if we first accept the parrallel postulate withoouot proof. So I suppose if we start with accepting things such as the 2020 election was stolen and Joe Biden's mind and body are possessed by the Devil then you might find some logic in what follows from that. Well, maybe. Let us know if you do.


I just don't want to be guilty of misrepresenting what I saw. Only a few minutes summary on our news

My memory seems to think of something like Christian America being swamped by Christians who need to be stopped followed by loud cheering

Maybe I don't understand what Christian means to MAGA

Maybe the debate will enlighten me
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