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Off Topic => General Discussion => Topic started by: Peter B on November 08, 2020, 05:20:31 AM

Title: The Biden Presidency
Post by: Peter B on November 08, 2020, 05:20:31 AM
Well, why shouldn't he have a thread of his own?

Anyway, I thought I could start it with today's speech...

= = = =

My fellow Americans, the people of this nation have spoken.
     
They have delivered us a clear victory. A convincing victory.

A victory for "We the People."
     
We have won with the most votes ever cast for a presidential ticket in the history of this nation - 74 million.
     
I am humbled by the trust and confidence you have placed in me.
     
I pledge to be a President who seeks not to divide, but to unify.
     
Who doesn't see Red and Blue states, but a United States.
     
And who will work with all my heart to win the confidence of the whole people.
     
For that is what America is about: The people.
     
And that is what our Administration will be about.
     
I sought this office to restore the soul of America.
   
To rebuild the backbone of the nation - the middle class.
     
To make America respected around the world again and to unite us here at home.
     
It is the honor of my lifetime that so many millions of Americans have voted for this vision.
     
And now the work of making this vision real is the task of our time.
     
As I said many times before, I'm Jill's husband.
     
I would not be here without the love and tireless support of Jill, Hunter, Ashley, all of our grandchildren and their spouses, and all our family.
   
They are my heart.
     
Jill's a mom - a military mom - and an educator.
     
She has dedicated her life to education, but teaching isn't just what she does - it's who she is. For America's educators, this is a great day: You're going to have one of your own in the White House, and Jill is going to make a great First Lady.
     
And I will be honored to be serving with a fantastic vice president - Kamala Harris - who will make history as the first woman, first Black woman, first woman of South Asian descent, and first daughter of immigrants ever elected to national office in this country.
     
It's long overdue, and we're reminded tonight of all those who fought so hard for so many years to make this happen. But once again, America has bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice.
     
Kamala, Doug - like it or not - you're family. You've become honorary Bidens and there's no way out.
     
To all those who volunteered, worked the polls in the middle of this pandemic, local election officials - you deserve a special thanks from this nation.
     
To my campaign team, and all the volunteers, to all those who gave so much of themselves to make this moment possible, I owe you everything.
     
And to all those who supported us: I am proud of the campaign we built and ran. I am proud of the coalition we put together, the broadest and most diverse in history.
     
Democrats, Republicans and Independents.
     
Progressives, moderates and conservatives.
     
Young and old.
     
Urban, suburban and rural.
     
Gay, straight, transgender.
     
White. Latino. Asian. Native American.
     
And especially for those moments when this campaign was at its lowest - the African American community stood up again for me. They always have my back, and I'll have yours.
     
I said from the outset I wanted a campaign that represented America, and I think we did that. Now that's what I want the administration to look like.
     
And to those who voted for President Trump, I understand your disappointment tonight.
     
I've lost a couple of elections myself.
     
But now, let's give each other a chance.
     
It's time to put away the harsh rhetoric.
     
To lower the temperature.
     
To see each other again.
     
To listen to each other again.
     
To make progress, we must stop treating our opponents as our enemy.
     
We are not enemies. We are Americans.
     
The Bible tells us that to everything there is a season - a time to build, a time to reap, a time to sow. And a time to heal.
     
This is the time to heal in America.
     
Now that the campaign is over - what is the people's will? What is our mandate?
     
I believe it is this: Americans have called on us to marshal the forces of decency and the forces of fairness. To marshal the forces of science and the forces of hope in the great battles of our time.
     
The battle to control the virus.
     
The battle to build prosperity.
     
The battle to secure your family's health care.
     
The battle to achieve racial justice and root out systemic racism in this country.
     
The battle to save the climate.
     
The battle to restore decency, defend democracy, and give everybody in this country a fair shot.
     
Our work begins with getting COVID under control.
     
We cannot repair the economy, restore our vitality, or relish life's most precious moments - hugging a grandchild, birthdays, weddings, graduations, all the moments that matter most to us - until we get this virus under control.
     
On Monday, I will name a group of leading scientists and experts as Transition Advisors to help take the Biden-Harris COVID plan and convert it into an action blueprint that starts on January 20th, 2021.
     
That plan will be built on a bedrock of science. It will be constructed out of compassion, empathy, and concern.
     
I will spare no effort - or commitment - to turn this pandemic around.

I ran as a proud Democrat. I will now be an American president. I will work as hard for those who didn't vote for me - as those who did.
     
Let this grim era of demonization in America begin to end - here and now.
     
The refusal of Democrats and Republicans to cooperate with one another is not due to some mysterious force beyond our control.
     
It's a decision. It's a choice we make.
     
And if we can decide not to cooperate, then we can decide to cooperate. And I believe that this is part of the mandate from the American people. They want us to cooperate.
     
That's the choice I'll make. And I call on the Congress - Democrats and Republicans alike - to make that choice with me.
     
The American story is about the slow, yet steady widening of opportunity.
     
Make no mistake: Too many dreams have been deferred for too long.
     
We must make the promise of the country real for everybody - no matter their race, their ethnicity, their faith, their identity, or their disability.
     
America has always been shaped by inflection points - by moments in time where we've made hard decisions about who we are and what we want to be.
     
Lincoln in 1860 - coming to save the Union.
     
FDR in 1932 - promising a beleaguered country a New Deal.
     
JFK in 1960 - pledging a New Frontier.
     
And twelve years ago - when Barack Obama made history - and told us, "Yes, we can."
   
We stand again at an inflection point.
     
We have the opportunity to defeat despair and to build a nation of prosperity and purpose.
     
We can do it. I know we can.
     
I've long talked about the battle for the soul of America.
     
We must restore the soul of America.
     
Our nation is shaped by the constant battle between our better angels and our darkest impulses.
     
It is time for our better angels to prevail.
     
Tonight, the whole world is watching America. I believe at our best America is a beacon for the globe.
     
And we lead not by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.
     
I've always believed we can define America in one word: Possibilities.
     
That in America everyone should be given the opportunity to go as far as their dreams and God-given ability will take them.
     
You see, I believe in the possibility of this country.
     
We're always looking ahead.
     
Ahead to an America that's freer and more just.
     
Ahead to an America that creates jobs with dignity and respect.
     
Ahead to an America that cures disease - like cancer and Alzheimers.
     
Ahead to an America that never leaves anyone behind.
     
Ahead to an America that never gives up, never gives in.
     
This is a great nation.
     
And we are a good people.
     
This is the United States of America.
     
And there has never been anything we haven't been able to do when we've done it together.
     
In the last days of the campaign, I've been thinking about a hymn that means a lot to me and to my family, particularly my deceased son Beau. It captures the faith that sustains me and which I believe sustains America.
     
And I hope it can provide some comfort and solace to the more than 230,000 families who have lost a loved one to this terrible virus this year. My heart goes out to each and every one of you. Hopefully this hymn gives you solace as well.
     
"And He will raise you up on eagle's wings,
Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun,
And hold you in the palm of His Hand."
     
And now, together - on eagle's wings - we embark on the work that God and history have called upon us to do.
     
With full hearts and steady hands, with faith in America and in each other, with a love of country - and a thirst for justice - let us be the nation that we know we can be.
     
A nation united.
     
A nation strengthened.
     
A nation healed.
     
The United States of America.
     
God bless you.
     
And may God protect our troops.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: molesworth on November 08, 2020, 06:55:23 AM
Inspiring words, and nice to have an intelligent, eloquent person at the helm again.

Kamala Harris' speech is also an inspiring and uplifting message to all women, in the USA and around the world.

Somehow I think this new thread will have a lot less posts...  :)
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: gillianren on November 08, 2020, 01:20:36 PM
It's been a long, long time since I was Catholic, but that was always one of my favourite hymns.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: Obviousman on November 08, 2020, 02:46:00 PM
Kamala Harris' speech is also an inspiring and uplifting message to all women, in the USA and around the world.

She was particularly good, wasn't she? Dare I say she was Presidential?
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: Jeff Raven on November 08, 2020, 07:24:05 PM
I thought it was a very good, measured speech, and very appropriate. I hope he's able to deliver on its promises. Of course, a lot of that will depend on the composition of Congress come January.

One thing that I hope he does not do is what Representative Omar tweeted: "We have not only voted out the most corrupt, dangerous president in modern history but have the opportunity to carry out the most progressive agenda our country has ever seen. Let’s get to work!"

I'm sorry, but a) if the Republicans keep control of the Senate, he won't be able to get anything done if he tries to pursue such a course, b) this was not a landslide victory (a la Reagan), so he doesn't have that kind of momentum/mandate, and c) this isn't the time for it. Given how close the results are, the divides in the country, and the fact that we really are a nation of centrists (basically), the last thing that will help heal the hurt and get us back on track is to push hard that way. Be progressive, sure, but not radical. There are too many basic things that need to be addressed (e.g. infrastructure) right now.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: LunarOrbit on November 08, 2020, 08:08:37 PM
It will be nice to have American run by intelligent people again.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: smartcooky on November 09, 2020, 12:48:58 AM
I thought it was a very good, measured speech, and very appropriate. I hope he's able to deliver on its promises. Of course, a lot of that will depend on the composition of Congress come January.

One thing that I hope he does not do is what Representative Omar tweeted: "We have not only voted out the most corrupt, dangerous president in modern history but have the opportunity to carry out the most progressive agenda our country has ever seen. Let’s get to work!"

I'm sorry, but a) if the Republicans keep control of the Senate, he won't be able to get anything done if he tries to pursue such a course, b) this was not a landslide victory (a la Reagan), so he doesn't have that kind of momentum/mandate, and c) this isn't the time for it. Given how close the results are, the divides in the country, and the fact that we really are a nation of centrists (basically), the last thing that will help heal the hurt and get us back on track is to push hard that way. Be progressive, sure, but not radical. There are too many basic things that need to be addressed (e.g. infrastructure) right now.


Let me ask something about US politics, because there are a couple of tiny details that escape me.

When Trump didn't get what he wanted from Congress, he simply made it happen by Executive Order... the Muslim countries travel ban, stopping gays and lesbians from being members of the armed forces, declaring a national emergency to build his vanity project on the southern border and subsequently diverting funds allocated by the house to the military, to pay for the wall (which is supposed to be illegal as the House has the sole power of the purse), separating children from their parents at the border and then locking those children in cages for months, in some cases, years.

So, my question is, why can't Biden just do the same thing? The House passes legislation, McConnell and the Senate stonewall him, Biden does an end-run around them and makes the House legislation law by Executive Order?
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: raven on November 09, 2020, 04:01:37 AM
I don't think pushing America further into a de facto dictatorship is exactly a good thing.
 Also, it was transgender folk Trump got banned from the US military, not homosexual.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: JayUtah on November 09, 2020, 10:04:44 AM
So, my question is, why can't Biden just do the same thing?

He can, and almost certainly will.  The strategy of using executive authority to bypass a stalled Congress is an Obama-era invention.  Pres. Trump just appropriated it.  And that too can be traced to the strengthening of Presidential authority under the George W. Bush administration.

Quote
The House passes legislation, McConnell and the Senate stonewall him, Biden does an end-run around them and makes the House legislation law by Executive Order?

He can't do that.  He can't make unresolved legislation become law.  Executive Orders derive their authority either from the powers given to the executive in the Constitution, or from authority delegated to the President from Congress under the various laws that empower the offices of the executive, such as to regulate and enforce.  Of course he can overturn Pres. Trump's orders.  And we hope will.  But the orders he issues on his own would have to refer to existing law.

And Executive Orders are subject to the federal judiciary, a large fraction of which has now come from the Trump Administration and the McConnell Senate.  Courts cannot rule on whether it's a good idea for the executive to do something, but they can rule on whether it's lawful.  If an Executive Order has insufficient basis in existing law, it can be ruled unenforceable.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: smartcooky on November 09, 2020, 02:06:34 PM
So, my question is, why can't Biden just do the same thing?

He can, and almost certainly will.  The strategy of using executive authority to bypass a stalled Congress is an Obama-era invention.  Pres. Trump just appropriated it.  And that too can be traced to the strengthening of Presidential authority under the George W. Bush administration.

Quote
The House passes legislation, McConnell and the Senate stonewall him, Biden does an end-run around them and makes the House legislation law by Executive Order?

He can't do that.  He can't make unresolved legislation become law.  Executive Orders derive their authority either from the powers given to the executive in the Constitution, or from authority delegated to the President from Congress under the various laws that empower the offices of the executive, such as to regulate and enforce.  Of course he can overturn Pres. Trump's orders.  And we hope will.  But the orders he issues on his own would have to refer to existing law.

And Executive Orders are subject to the federal judiciary, a large fraction of which has now come from the Trump Administration and the McConnell Senate.  Courts cannot rule on whether it's a good idea for the executive to do something, but they can rule on whether it's lawful.  If an Executive Order has insufficient basis in existing law, it can be ruled unenforceable.

OK not laws then, but can he do things like stopping the wall being built, ending the caging of children at the border, restoring DACA, advancing the ACA, passing the House's budgetary decisions, all by EO?
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: gillianren on November 09, 2020, 03:07:50 PM
The fact is, a progressive agenda would not be against the wishes of the American people.  Most progressive policies have a strong majority of supporters regardless of party.  Even a lot of Republicans support a strong progressive agenda, if you separate it from Democratic phrasing.  The Republican leadership is more conservative than the Republican base.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: JayUtah on November 09, 2020, 03:14:10 PM
He can stop building the border wall by Executive Order.  Border security is an executive function.  The method of making a border impassable, if desired, is under the broad discretion of the President.  And since funds were directed toward that effort in ways that clashed with Congress control of purse-strings, it would probably be very legally defensible.

He can stop caging children at the border and stop the family separation policy by Executive Order.  Same as above.  The manner of enforcing border security is under the broad discretion of the executive.

He can certainly improve the DACA situation.  The manner of enforcing immigration and naturalization law is at the broad discretion of the President.  DACA is framed as an enforcement policy, not a law.  However, as various courts have made rulings that shape DACA policy and operations, a President Biden would have to comply with those decisions.

The ACA is legislation.  Any Executive Orders a President Biden wished to issue relating to it would have to conform to the authority granted to the executive to implement the legislation.  And then those would also still have to conform to both settled and ongoing court cases about its constitutionality.  For example, already the IRS (a branch of the executive) is enjoined from enforcing the so-called Individual Mandate.  Texas v. California, to be argued tomorrow before the Supreme Court, will decide whether that provision is severable from the entire Act.  If not, the ACA goes away entirely.

Pre-existing conditions are a greater concern.  A separate case, California v. Texas (also argued tomorrow), decides the constitutionality of requiring insurance to cover pre-existing conditions.  It also addresses the severability issue.  President Trump already has an Order in place to protect against denial of coverage from pre-existing conditions.  It is almost certain that a President Biden will either retain President Trump's Order or issue one of his own, on his own terms.

The catch, of course, is that any sort of order to that effect presently derives its power from the ACA.  If the ACA is ruled unconstitutional, no President would have the authority to issue an order requiring private companies to allow pre-existing conditions.

The budget expressly requires agreement from both Houses of Congress before any actual money can be appropriated and spent.  All budgets must originate in the House, and a special set of rules governs reconciling the budget bills between the House and the Senate.  The President can do literally nothing about the budget until the budget bill is on his desk, having passed both Houses.  The executive may certainly recommend budget items.  But the power of the purse is exclusively that of Congress, and they guard it jealously.

Now with the budget that's already in effect, there is some discretion in spending.  Congress usually gives specific direction to the Executive Branch on what it can spend money on, and how much.  This has always been NASA's issue:  Congress directs them toward projects and expenditures that have little coherence.  One Congress giveth; another Congress taketh away.  This makes effective long-term planning almost impossible.  But Congress also frequently establishes general funds and operating funds for each office, over which it doesn't desire fine control.  Only where Congress has specifically authorized discretionary spending does executive policy apply to these funds.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: smartcooky on November 09, 2020, 03:32:21 PM
He can stop building the border wall by Executive Order.  Border security is an executive function.  The method of making a border impassable, if desired, is under the broad discretion of the President.  And since funds were directed toward that effort in ways that clashed with Congress control of purse-strings, it would probably be very legally defensible.

He can stop caging children at the border and stop the family separation policy by Executive Order.  Same as above.  The manner of enforcing border security is under the broad discretion of the executive.

He can certainly improve the DACA situation.  The manner of enforcing immigration and naturalization law is at the broad discretion of the President.  DACA is framed as an enforcement policy, not a law.  However, as various courts have made rulings that shape DACA policy and operations, a President Biden would have to comply with those decisions.

The ACA is legislation.  Any Executive Orders a President Biden wished to issue relating to it would have to conform to the authority granted to the executive to implement the legislation.  And then those would also still have to conform to both settled and ongoing court cases about its constitutionality.  For example, already the IRS (a branch of the executive) is enjoined from enforcing the so-called Individual Mandate.  Texas v. California, to be argued tomorrow before the Supreme Court, will decide whether that provision is severable from the entire Act.  If not, the ACA goes away entirely.

Pre-existing conditions are a greater concern.  A separate case, California v. Texas (also argued tomorrow), decides the constitutionality of requiring insurance to cover pre-existing conditions.  It also addresses the severability issue.  President Trump already has an Order in place to protect against denial of coverage from pre-existing conditions.  It is almost certain that a President Biden will either retain President Trump's Order or issue one of his own, on his own terms.

The catch, of course, is that any sort of order to that effect presently derives its power from the ACA.  If the ACA is ruled unconstitutional, no President would have the authority to issue an order requiring private companies to allow pre-existing conditions.

The budget expressly requires agreement from both Houses of Congress before any actual money can be appropriated and spent.  All budgets must originate in the House, and a special set of rules governs reconciling the budget bills between the House and the Senate.  The President can do literally nothing about the budget until the budget bill is on his desk, having passed both Houses.  The executive may certainly recommend budget items.  But the power of the purse is exclusively that of Congress, and they guard it jealously.

Now with the budget that's already in effect, there is some discretion in spending.  Congress usually gives specific direction to the Executive Branch on what it can spend money on, and how much.  This has always been NASA's issue:  Congress directs them toward projects and expenditures that have little coherence.  One Congress giveth; another Congress taketh away.  This makes effective long-term planning almost impossible.  But Congress also frequently establishes general funds and operating funds for each office, over which it doesn't desire fine control.  Only where Congress has specifically authorized discretionary spending does executive policy apply to these funds.

As usual, a detailed explanation. Thanks Jay
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: Obviousman on November 09, 2020, 04:19:00 PM
ACA? To me that is A Current Affair, an Australian "current affairs" programme (which is really just about dodgy plumbers and pushing deals from sponsors).
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: JayUtah on November 09, 2020, 04:39:31 PM
The fact is, a progressive agenda would not be against the wishes of the American people.  Most progressive policies have a strong majority of supporters regardless of party.  Even a lot of Republicans support a strong progressive agenda, if you separate it from Democratic phrasing.  The Republican leadership is more conservative than the Republican base.

This really is the case.  The media is fond of showing vocal protests on both the liberal and conservative sides, but I think with those noise exceptions aside, more actual people in the United States have more of a centrist ideology and quite a lot of shared values.

For example, something like 70 percent of both Republican and Democrat voters want a serious reform in healthcare payment, along the lines of a single payer, or Medicare for all, or concepts to the effect of reducing the bureaucratic burden.  This is because both Republican and Democrat voters are fed up with the arcane nonsense of trying to arrange payment for medical bills, even if you have a good insurance policy.  It has become so bad now that another layer of service industry has arisen in this space to simplify navigating the process of approving medical care and paying your doctors.

In this case it's not so much a matter of Republican leadership being conservative as it is that they're beholden to big-business interests.  Healthcare insurance is a very large private-sector industry that happens to be hugely profitable for its shareholders and executives.  The byzantine procedures for filing claims and obtaining payment are part of what keeps it profitable.  It's quite easy and common to be denied coverage or dropped because of a failure to jump through some obscure hoop.  I'm just going to assume that you (Gillianren) have far more horror stories to tell than I ever could possibly come up with.  And because this is the kind of money that fuels politics, politicians have no incentive to eliminate their friends' (questionable) livelihoods.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: JayUtah on November 09, 2020, 04:40:18 PM
...really just about dodgy plumbers and pushing deals from sponsors.

Why would you think this doesn't also accurately describe the American healthcare system?
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: gillianren on November 10, 2020, 10:59:10 AM
ACA? To me that is A Current Affair, an Australian "current affairs" programme (which is really just about dodgy plumbers and pushing deals from sponsors).

To Americans, that's the Affordable Care Act, what the Republicans have painted as "Obamacare."

I'm just going to assume that you (Gillianren) have far more horror stories to tell than I ever could possibly come up with.  And because this is the kind of money that fuels politics, politicians have no incentive to eliminate their friends' (questionable) livelihoods.

Oh, my, yes.  I'm going to limit it to two for now.

1.  I cannot get my flu shot at the pharmacy.  I have to go in to my doctor's office.  This is despite the fact that my doctor is in an overworked clinic where it takes literally weeks, most of the time, to get an appointment because they're about the only place in my area that takes people with my insurance.  You know, people on disability?

2.  When Irene was in the NICU, some of her care was provided by my insurance company and some of it was provided by Graham's.  Because we aren't married, we don't have the same coverage, though he had the same low-cost care I did on the grounds of also being poor.  There's one bill that got charged to the wrong insurance company.  We are still trying to deal with that, and right now, they are telling us to fax in an image of her insurance card, because of course everyone has access to a fax machine during a pandemic, and we can't just scan it like real people, or send in a photo, because they gave us a fax number and can't accept it by e-mail.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: molesworth on November 10, 2020, 05:07:22 PM
ACA? To me that is A Current Affair, an Australian "current affairs" programme (which is really just about dodgy plumbers and pushing deals from sponsors).

To Americans, that's the Affordable Care Act, what the Republicans have painted as "Obamacare."

I'm just going to assume that you (Gillianren) have far more horror stories to tell than I ever could possibly come up with.  And because this is the kind of money that fuels politics, politicians have no incentive to eliminate their friends' (questionable) livelihoods.

Oh, my, yes.  I'm going to limit it to two for now.
...
I'm repeatedly amazed and baffled by the stories I hear about the US health care system.  Even having a partially state funded and partially insurance-based system, it could be so much simpler and cost-effective, but since it seems to be run primarily for profit, rather than for the well-being of the people it treats, I can't see it changing any time soon.

Quote
...
We are still trying to deal with that, and right now, they are telling us to fax in an image of her insurance card, because of course everyone has access to a fax machine during a pandemic, and we can't just scan it like real people, or send in a photo, because they gave us a fax number and can't accept it by e-mail.
There are online services which can send faxes from email or via a web interface which might solve your problem.  There are even a few free ones (some listed here - https://www.lifewire.com/free-fax-services-2378048) although it may not be advisable sending any personal documents through them.  There are a few low cost ones as well, which may be more secure.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: JayUtah on November 10, 2020, 05:36:46 PM
...they are telling us to fax in an image of her insurance card, because of course everyone has access to a fax machine during a pandemic, and we can't just scan it like real people, or send in a photo, because they gave us a fax number and can't accept it by e-mail.

They can't accept it by e-mail because HIPAA doesn't generally allow it.  Facsimile transmissions anywhere and everywhere are encrypted in a way that satisfies HIPAA.  They can't usually make the same guarantee for email, although most common email providers would qualify.  While an insurance card doesn't have any private health information on it, it has private identification information that's protected (albeit to a lesser extent than PHI) by HIPAA.

(For non-Americans, HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, a sweeping set of rules set down by Congress for protecting the privacy of health and medical information.  It's pronounced "hippa," and generally misspelled that way too.)

The good news is that nearly all the web-to-FAX gateways provide end-to-end HIPAA-compliant encryption and are accepted by insurers and providers.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: gillianren on November 11, 2020, 10:49:36 AM
Okay, I'll definitely look into that.  It's just really frustrating; this has taken over three years to resolve.  It's a roughly $500 bill, which is peanuts relative to how much a week's NICU stay costs but is definitely not peanuts compared to my monthly disability check.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: Glom on November 11, 2020, 03:50:43 PM
I need to clear something up. Contrary to what ABC said, the fireworks in London on Saturday weren't to celebrate the US election. It was Bonfire Night. Ironically, a celebration of stopping a Catholic from overthrowing the government.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: jfb on November 12, 2020, 11:18:19 AM
I need to clear something up. Contrary to what ABC said, the fireworks in London on Saturday weren't to celebrate the US election. It was Bonfire Night. Ironically, a celebration of stopping a Catholic from overthrowing the government.

Okay, now that's funny. 
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: gillianren on November 12, 2020, 12:06:05 PM
Remember, remember!
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: molesworth on November 13, 2020, 04:46:25 AM
I need to clear something up. Contrary to what ABC said, the fireworks in London on Saturday weren't to celebrate the US election. It was Bonfire Night. Ironically, a celebration of stopping a Catholic from overthrowing the government.

To be fair, there were a lot of sighs of relief over here when it became clear that Biden had won  ;D
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: JayUtah on November 18, 2020, 01:18:40 PM
Sadly, it's unlikely that a Biden administration will do much to hold former Trump officials accountable for their actions.  In truth, American Presidents have historically done quite a lot in office for which they should have been made by rights to answer for, but the trend is for us just to look forward and not relive the sins of the past.  President-elect Biden is already making noises like his plan to heal America is not to extensively investigate his predecessor's administration.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: LunarOrbit on November 18, 2020, 01:33:42 PM
I can see the harm that investigating Trump might have on the Divided States of America, but they need to (at the very least) fully investigate everything he did even if they don't punish him. Otherwise it sends the message to all future Presidents that they can be as corrupt as they want with no consequences.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: Obviousman on November 18, 2020, 03:38:09 PM
Sadly, it's unlikely that a Biden administration will do much to hold former Trump officials accountable for their actions.  In truth, American Presidents have historically done quite a lot in office for which they should have been made by rights to answer for, but the trend is for us just to look forward and not relive the sins of the past.  President-elect Biden is already making noises like his plan to heal America is not to extensively investigate his predecessor's administration.

You mean like "drain the swamp"?
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: jfb on November 18, 2020, 05:06:21 PM
Sadly, it's unlikely that a Biden administration will do much to hold former Trump officials accountable for their actions.  In truth, American Presidents have historically done quite a lot in office for which they should have been made by rights to answer for, but the trend is for us just to look forward and not relive the sins of the past.  President-elect Biden is already making noises like his plan to heal America is not to extensively investigate his predecessor's administration.

My understanding is that Biden isn't going to explicitly direct his DoJ to investigate the Trump administration or other officials; however, if they decide on their own to launch such an investigation based on mountains and mountains of evidence before them, he won't stop them.   

At least I hope that's the case.

There has to be accountability for the shenanigans of just the past week, much less the past four years, with Graham pressuring state officials to just ... toss out legally cast and counted ballots.  The activities of Trump and Trump officials over the last four years presents a target-rich environment for prosecution (it's virtually certain WH officials are involved in honest-to-God money laundering). 

If we just move on they'll do it all again, and next time they'll succeed.  The only reason it didn't happen this time is this particular bunch can't tie their shoes without injuring themselves.  Giuliani's egg is about as scrambled as Trump's, but it doesn't matter, because the lawsuits aren't a legal strategy, they're a PR strategy, and as such they're succeeding brilliantly
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: Zakalwe on November 19, 2020, 05:22:47 AM
Th New York Southern District AG is out to get him anyway.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: gillianren on November 19, 2020, 10:22:28 AM
Yeah, I'd be shocked if Trump didn't face charges in New York, if not federal ones.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: Peter B on November 27, 2020, 04:35:39 PM
I see that Senate Republicans are making dissatisfied noises about some of Biden's cabinet choices.

What power do they have regarding the confirmation hearings for those cabinet members?

For example, if they vote against a nomination does that mean Biden has to choose someone else?

Or, more disruptively, can they just decide not to bother with hearings, as they did with Obama's judicial nominations?
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: Dalhousie on November 27, 2020, 05:24:43 PM
I can see the harm that investigating Trump might have on the Divided States of America, but they need to (at the very least) fully investigate everything he did even if they don't punish him. Otherwise it sends the message to all future Presidents that they can be as corrupt as they want with no consequences.

My impression is that divisions are so deep that any attempt as prosecutions will just make matters worse.  Something along the lines of a truth and reconciliation commission might be better
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: JayUtah on November 27, 2020, 05:42:39 PM
I see that Senate Republicans are making dissatisfied noises about some of Biden's cabinet choices.

Yeah, the joke is that he hasn't yet chosen a single member of his family.  What's up with that?

Quote
What power do they have regarding the confirmation hearings for those cabinet members?

Quite a lot, if the Republican Party maintains its majority.  This is why the outstanding Senate races are so important.

Quote
For example, if they vote against a nomination does that mean Biden has to choose someone else?

Yes.

Quote
Or, more disruptively, can they just decide not to bother with hearings, as they did with Obama's judicial nominations?

Yes.

However, to remedy both these cases the positions can be filled with acting secretaries, administrators, and so forth.  In fact, this is what Pres. Trump has preferred to do in some cases.  If an appointee is voted down, he can no longer serve in the acting role.  If he's never submitted for confirmation, he's safe in his acting role.  While the confirmation vote determines whether the appointee will take office, the minority party in Senate confirmation hearings has the right to invoke Congressional investigative powers to discover things about the candidate and ask him or her questions that the President may not want heard in public.  Even if the appointee is eventually confirmed, pointed questions from the minority committee members can do political damage.  So if you want to appoint an unscrupulous person to a Cabinet position, you accept the limitations of the acting Secretary role and never submit the name for confirmation.

At the Cabinet level, acting Secretaries don't have discretionary authority.  In many cases they can only be caretakers of existing policies, rules, and functions.  If you want a successful administration, it pays to have a strong Cabinet position, which can only come from Senate confirmation.  But the answer to your partially-stated question is yes, Sen. McConnell and a hostile Senate can do much to hobble the Biden Administration by denying him the service of an effective Cabinet.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: raven on November 27, 2020, 05:58:31 PM
Which I have little doubt they'll do. The days of 'OK, we disagree on exact methods, but we are working for the common good of the nation' are long gone. Bipartisanship was never strong, but it was there to varying degrees. Now it's 'Neener neener, we're gonna block ya!"
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: Obviousman on November 28, 2020, 04:39:47 PM
"Whatever they fer, I'm a'gin it!"
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: smartcooky on November 28, 2020, 06:26:57 PM
Th New York Southern District AG is out to get him anyway.



That may be so, but what you talking about (SDNY) is a Federal jurisdiction - if Trump wrangles a pardon (resigns and has Pence pardon him) there is pretty much nothing the feds can do

However, if the New York State AG, Letetia James, or the New York County DA, Cyrus Vance, go after him, his pardon will count for nothing - presidential pardons only apply Federally, not to the individual states
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: raven on November 28, 2020, 11:06:46 PM
"Whatever they fer, I'm a'gin it!"
Not sure if what you are referencing, but you definitely brought it to mind.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: Zakalwe on November 29, 2020, 09:34:52 AM
Th New York Southern District AG is out to get him anyway.



That may be so, but what you talking about (SDNY) is a Federal jurisdiction - if Trump wrangles a pardon (resigns and has Pence pardon him) there is pretty much nothing the feds can do

However, if the New York State AG, Letetia James, or the New York County DA, Cyrus Vance, go after him, his pardon will count for nothing - presidential pardons only apply Federally, not to the individual states

Indeed.

In a predictable fit of childish pique, it seems that Trump is at least considering announcing his run for 2024 at the same time as Biden's inauguration.
https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/527817-trump-considering-kicking-off-2024-run-during-bidens-inauguration-report

The man has no other plan than to ferment division, hatred and anger. He really has no worthy qualities, does he?
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: Glom on November 30, 2020, 09:06:09 AM
Th New York Southern District AG is out to get him anyway.



That may be so, but what you talking about (SDNY) is a Federal jurisdiction - if Trump wrangles a pardon (resigns and has Pence pardon him) there is pretty much nothing the feds can do

However, if the New York State AG, Letetia James, or the New York County DA, Cyrus Vance, go after him, his pardon will count for nothing - presidential pardons only apply Federally, not to the individual states

Indeed.

In a predictable fit of childish pique, it seems that Trump is at least considering announcing his run for 2024 at the same time as Biden's inauguration.
https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/527817-trump-considering-kicking-off-2024-run-during-bidens-inauguration-report

The man has no other plan than to ferment division, hatred and anger. He really has no worthy qualities, does he?

I'd like the think there'll be less cultish voters who'll look very unfavourably on such behaviour and it'll end up costing him support, but somehow I doubt it.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: molesworth on December 02, 2020, 12:31:59 PM
It will be nice to have people with a sense of humour (and souls) back in the White House  :D

(https://www.apollohoax.net/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=1816.0;attach=1015;image)
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: JayUtah on December 02, 2020, 02:47:52 PM
It will be nice to have people with a sense of humour (and souls) back in the White House  :D

Indeed.  It's not that the outgoing administration lacks a sense of humor.  It's just that not everyone is amused by a President mocking a reporter who has a disability.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: molesworth on December 02, 2020, 06:31:58 PM
It will be nice to have people with a sense of humour (and souls) back in the White House  :D

Indeed.  It's not that the outgoing administration lacks a sense of humor.  It's just that not everyone is amused by a President mocking a reporter who has a disability.
I'm afraid I have to disagree with you there.  The current incumbent has, as far as I'm aware, never shown any spontaneous humour or made a real joke, especially a self-deprecating one, in any situation I've seen him in, even before he was elected.  I think he lacks the empathy required to truly relate to others in a humorous way, and he sees everything as a transaction, where there must be a winner and a loser.  That's why, I think, that his attempts at humour always descend into cruelty and diminishing others.

And as for his claims that some of his more outrageous statements were just "sarcasm", I have to say that he wouldn't recognise sarcasm if it came up and bit him on his not-insubstantial behind!  ;D
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: jfb on December 02, 2020, 06:57:28 PM
It will be nice to have people with a sense of humour (and souls) back in the White House  :D

Where did you find that?  My google-fu is weak today.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: raven on December 03, 2020, 01:31:57 AM
It will be nice to have people with a sense of humour (and souls) back in the White House  :D

Indeed.  It's not that the outgoing administration lacks a sense of humor.  It's just that not everyone is amused by a President mocking a reporter who has a disability.
I'm afraid I have to disagree with you there.  The current incumbent has, as far as I'm aware, never shown any spontaneous humour or made a real joke, especially a self-deprecating one, in any situation I've seen him in, even before he was elected.  I think he lacks the empathy required to truly relate to others in a humorous way, and he sees everything as a transaction, where there must be a winner and a loser.  That's why, I think, that his attempts at humour always descend into cruelty and diminishing others.

And as for his claims that some of his more outrageous statements were just "sarcasm", I have to say that he wouldn't recognise sarcasm if it came up and bit him on his not-insubstantial behind!  ;D
I grew up with a narcissist and, let me tell you, they don't have senses of humour about themselves. They can't look at themselves from the outside and go, "Yeah, that was funny! Teeny tiny little gloves for my teeny tiny hands!" "Oh god! We booked a landscaping place for a major news conference instead of a famed hotel by the same name! Can you believe it? I couldn't, but, hey, the show must go on! I've performed in worse joints"
No, their sense of humour is a tool to belittle others, to raise themselves up. Any seeming humility is just a facade to that end, their self put downs will only be in situations they can control.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: Jason Thompson on December 03, 2020, 04:02:07 AM
It will be nice to have people with a sense of humour (and souls) back in the White House  :D

Indeed.  It's not that the outgoing administration lacks a sense of humor.  It's just that not everyone is amused by a President mocking a reporter who has a disability.
I'm afraid I have to disagree with you there.  The current incumbent has, as far as I'm aware, never shown any spontaneous humour or made a real joke, especially a self-deprecating one, in any situation I've seen him in, even before he was elected.  I think he lacks the empathy required to truly relate to others in a humorous way, and he sees everything as a transaction, where there must be a winner and a loser.  That's why, I think, that his attempts at humour always descend into cruelty and diminishing others.

This was picked up on back in 2016 when a British writer penned a piece explaining why we were so concerned about Trump. His total inability to find humour in anything but mocking those 'lower' than him is a huge red flag to a nation that has practically made it their national identity to laugh at themselves sometimes. Trump's humour is cruel, not affectionate or light-hearted.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: Zakalwe on December 03, 2020, 05:10:52 AM
It will be nice to have people with a sense of humour (and souls) back in the White House  :D

Indeed.  It's not that the outgoing administration lacks a sense of humor.  It's just that not everyone is amused by a President mocking a reporter who has a disability.
I'm afraid I have to disagree with you there.  The current incumbent has, as far as I'm aware, never shown any spontaneous humour or made a real joke, especially a self-deprecating one, in any situation I've seen him in, even before he was elected.  I think he lacks the empathy required to truly relate to others in a humorous way, and he sees everything as a transaction, where there must be a winner and a loser.  That's why, I think, that his attempts at humour always descend into cruelty and diminishing others.

This was picked up on back in 2016 when a British writer penned a piece explaining why we were so concerned about Trump. His total inability to find humour in anything but mocking those 'lower' than him is a huge red flag to a nation that has practically made it their national identity to laugh at themselves sometimes. Trump's humour is cruel, not affectionate or light-hearted.

Indeed. I believe that it was written by Nate White and it is worth re-posting



"A few things spring to mind.

Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem.

For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace - all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed.

So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief. Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing - not once, ever.  I don’t say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility - for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman.
But with Trump, it’s a fact. He doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is - his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.

Trump is a troll. And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers.

And scarily, he doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults - he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness. There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It’s all surface. Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront. Well, we don’t. We see it as having no inner world, no soul.
And in Britain we traditionally side with David, not Goliath. All our heroes are plucky underdogs: Robin Hood, Dick Whittington, Oliver Twist. Trump is neither plucky, nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that. He’s not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat. He’s more a fat white slug. A Jabba the Hutt of privilege. And worse, he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a bully. That is, except when he is among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into a snivelling sidekick instead.

There are unspoken rules to this stuff - the Queensberry rules of basic decency - and he breaks them all. He punches downwards - which a gentleman should, would, could never do - and every blow he aims is below the belt. He particularly likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless - and he kicks them when they are down.

So the fact that a significant minority - perhaps a third - of Americans look at what he does, listen to what he says, and then think 'Yeah, he seems like my kind of guy’ is a matter of some confusion and no little distress to British people, given that:
* Americans are supposed to be nicer than us, and mostly are.
* You don't need a particularly keen eye for detail to spot a few flaws in the man.

This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and many other people too; his faults seem pretty bloody hard to miss. After all, it’s impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being artless into an art form; he is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit. His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad infinitum.

God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid. He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart.
In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws - he would make a Trump.

And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big clumpfuls of hair and scream in anguish:

'My God… what… have… I… created?'"
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: molesworth on December 03, 2020, 05:12:45 AM
It will be nice to have people with a sense of humour (and souls) back in the White House  :D

Where did you find that?  My google-fu is weak today.
It was posted on another forum (for game developers) but it's also on Twitter - https://twitter.com/canadianprguy/status/1333531979585904642

I'm not sure where the original came from, but I would like to think it's genuinely someone in the new administration team trying to cheer everyone up.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: JayUtah on December 03, 2020, 10:42:38 AM
I'm afraid I have to disagree with you there.

Not much disagreement.  I was trying to say that the Trump administrations sense of humor is nothing more than sick, twisted cruelty.  That's what they do to try to make people laugh, because they don't know funny.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: gillianren on December 03, 2020, 11:30:26 AM
"Oh god! We booked a landscaping place for a major news conference instead of a famed hotel by the same name! Can you believe it? I couldn't, but, hey, the show must go on! I've performed in worse joints"

There was an article that claimed that the incident wasn't funny, because we didn't know the circumstances around it.  Which misses that they don't matter; that was an inherently funny situation.  But yeah, he's capable of being cruel and calling it a joke, but he's not capable of being funny.  And I don't think I've ever seen him really laugh at something someone else said, which is at least as noteworthy. 
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: JayUtah on December 03, 2020, 01:02:44 PM
In contrast, I recall a popular series of image memes featuring Barack Obama and Joe Biden from the Obama Administration.  The general theme was that Biden was some sort of genial lap dog enamored with Obama.  And the buzz is that both men knew of these and found them amusing.  I can't imagine how anyone but the most irredeemable, delusional narcissist could propose to succeed in politics without knowing their capacity for absorbing statements made at their expense for whatever reason.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: gillianren on December 04, 2020, 10:25:43 AM
It's why, despite my general distaste for insults based on people's appearance, I continued to reference his small hands.  Because it infuriates him all out of proportion.  Interesting that the "vulgarian" part slipped right off his back, though.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: raven on December 04, 2020, 02:34:19 PM
It's why, despite my general distaste for insults based on people's appearance, I continued to reference his small hands.  Because it infuriates him all out of proportion.  Interesting that the "vulgarian" part slipped right off his back, though.
Yep! It wouldn't matter to me if he wasn't so hilariously thin skinned about it.  But he is, and it's glorious.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: Peter B on January 06, 2021, 04:34:22 PM
Democrats appear to have won both Georgia Senate seats: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/01/05/us/elections/results-georgia-runoffs.html

I was not expecting that.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: gillianren on January 06, 2021, 09:32:47 PM
It turns out convincing your base that elections are fraudulent has long-term consequences.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: VQ on January 07, 2021, 01:31:21 PM
It turns out convincing your base that elections are fraudulent has long-term consequences.

The US would be in a much worse place than it is if the outgoing administration hadn't been so wildly incompetent.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: raven on January 07, 2021, 02:17:14 PM
It turns out convincing your base that elections are fraudulent has long-term consequences.

The US would be in a much worse place than it is if the outgoing administration hadn't been so wildly incompetent.
Great, that's all the US needs now: competent evil, a more insidious and invasive evil, better at playing the political game but still encouraging and enabling the same hate and ignorance that got Trump elected, got a suicide bombing in Nashville, and got the US Capitol stormed by a mob of rioters.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: gillianren on January 08, 2021, 10:31:19 AM
A friend of a friend posited that Jackson is still a worse President, and I told them to pick whether they thought evil-and-competent was better or worse than evil-but-incompetent.  And apparently my own state capitol was invaded as well and my governor--whom the right wing here hates--and his family were removed to a secure location.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: gillianren on January 16, 2021, 11:41:06 AM
Someone just got suspended from BAUT for saying that Biden reminded him of Henry Blake from (presumably the TV show of) M*A*S*H and wondering who his Radar is, who would get him to sign things without his having read them.

While that's a solid reference, it's also clearly wrong, and nothing in Joe Biden's actual political history suggests it.  What does is his pop culture image, which only tangentially touches on reality.  I was thinking, though, that possibly it's one of the things that got him elected.  People didn't vote for Joe Biden--a man with a spotty record in places and a disturbing habit of being far too handsy--they voted for Diamond Joe Biden, as seen in The Onion.  In the primaries, of course; I think he won the general by being Oh, Gods, Not Trump Again.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: JayUtah on January 16, 2021, 01:36:58 PM
I expect (hope) Biden to be more hands-on than Reagan ever was.  For better or for worse, I guess.  But I agree he is merely the non-Trump.  I don't expect anything out of a Biden Administration beyond giving America a slight reminder of what normalcy tasted like.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: Obviousman on January 17, 2021, 03:42:08 AM
I'm impressed by the Biden cabinet choices so far.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: gillianren on January 17, 2021, 12:40:34 PM
Yeah, the Cabinet looks pretty solid if nothing else.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: JayUtah on January 17, 2021, 02:23:09 PM
My observation has been that you get the best success from hiring good people, giving them what they ask for, and staying out of their way.  I also have high hopes for the Cabinet, especially Garland as attorney general.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: gillianren on January 20, 2021, 11:48:12 AM
I'm having the kids watch the inauguration.  Simon's starting class, which is TV off time, but this is important.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: JayUtah on January 20, 2021, 11:49:35 AM
Done.

With that one word, a telegraph operator on a desolate plain in Utah signaled the uniting of the country via railroad.  I'm using it here in much the same way.  Joseph Biden is now the President of the United States.  Along the way, we saw the Pledge of Allegiance signed in ASL by a uniformed woman of color. This is the America I want.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: Allan F on January 20, 2021, 01:04:04 PM
Congratulations. Now for the cleanup.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: Zakalwe on January 20, 2021, 01:18:08 PM
Done.

With that one word, a telegraph operator on a desolate plain in Utah signaled the uniting of the country via railroad.  I'm using it here in much the same way.  Joseph Biden is now the President of the United States.  Along the way, we saw the Pledge of Allegiance signed in ASL by a uniformed woman of color. This is the America I want.

And a Latino entertainer speaking Spanish during the inauguration.



Isnt it refreshing for America to have a First Lady who spent her life educating and improving the lives of others rather than trying to hook the richest douche-bag by flaunting her genitals in magazines?
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: Glom on January 20, 2021, 03:22:48 PM
Congratulations to Doug for breaking the glass ceiling for men everywhere.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: JayUtah on January 20, 2021, 03:50:24 PM
I'm told Twitter has bestowed upon him the privileged moniker @SecondGentleman.  I have a bottle of champagne that's been chilling in the fridge since November.  'Twill be opened tonight, after work.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: Glom on January 20, 2021, 03:53:04 PM
I'm told Twitter has bestowed upon him the privileged moniker @SecondGentleman.  I have a bottle of champagne that's been chilling in the fridge since November.  'Twill be opened tonight, after work.

Don't you mean freedom sparkling wine?
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: JayUtah on January 20, 2021, 06:19:53 PM
Well, it's Moët & Chandon, whatever that turns out to be in properly fair-trade-recognized nomenclature.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: Obviousman on January 20, 2021, 06:24:30 PM
Well, it's Moët & Chandon, whatever that turns out to be in properly fair-trade-recognized nomenclature.

Oh, the GOOD stuff!
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: raven on January 20, 2021, 06:31:06 PM
And a Latino entertainer speaking Spanish during the inauguration.



Isnt it refreshing for America to have a First Lady who spent her life educating and improving the lives of others rather than trying to hook the richest douche-bag by flaunting her genitals in magazines?
Eh, I'm not going to disparage her for doing adult material. I am going to for many things, but not that.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: Glom on January 20, 2021, 07:39:14 PM
Well, it's Moët & Chandon, whatever that turns out to be in properly fair-trade-recognized nomenclature.

That checks out. Proper champagne.

I for one had a lovely madras from my local with proper naan. It wasn't a celebratory thing. I didn't go shopping today because the weather is terrible so my dinner plans were thrown out.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: JayUtah on January 21, 2021, 10:30:34 AM
They do have their American subsidiary Domaine de Chandon in Napa Valley, California.  Well worth a trip to their "sparkling wine" winery, and dinner at l'Etoile restaurant there.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: gillianren on January 21, 2021, 10:38:52 AM
Done.

With that one word, a telegraph operator on a desolate plain in Utah signaled the uniting of the country via railroad.  I'm using it here in much the same way.  Joseph Biden is now the President of the United States.  Along the way, we saw the Pledge of Allegiance signed in ASL by a uniformed woman of color. This is the America I want.

I have a friend whose daughter is hearing-impaired, and I messaged my friend immediately about that.  Four years ago, there'd been someone signing in a Hillary Clinton commercial, and my friend's daughter used that as part of an impassioned plea to her father as to why voting for Clinton was so important.  I suspect Jennifer Lopez spoke Spanish up there not because it was planned but because she could, with the full support of the people there.

Meanwhile, in actual getting things done, I feel like the Biden executive orders about the pandemic have just been mostly "we have been begging for this since March."  That it's still a relief . . . tells you something.

We had steak last night.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: jfb on January 21, 2021, 10:59:44 AM
Prosecco for us.  Before dinner I put it in the ice tray in the freezer so it would cool down quickly, but then kinda forgot about it.

Prosecco can freeze, especially after you pop the cork and reduce the pressure and it all seizes up at once.  Instead of a foam fountain I got a bit of a slush fountain.  I had to put my thumb over the bottle to let it depressurize slowly and managed to save most of it. 

Yeah, happy with that.  Happy with the ceremony.  Not that happy to see the Sedition Caucus, but what can you do.  Enjoying the fact that Rand Paul was triggered by the comments about white supremacists and assumed that Biden was talking about him and other members of Congress - like, why would you think that, Bubba? 

Now the real fun begins.  We have the pandemic, we have the economic fallout from the pandemic, we have domestic terrorism, we have all the chronic issues with air and water and infrastructure and criminal justice reform and economic inequity and health care costs.  The Democrats have a mostly clear path ahead of them to get stuff done in the next two years, assuming they nuke the filibuster (they will have to nuke the filibuster). 

Here's hoping. 
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: JayUtah on January 21, 2021, 01:23:09 PM
Prosecco can freeze, especially after you pop the cork and reduce the pressure and it all seizes up at once.  Instead of a foam fountain I got a bit of a slush fountain.  I had to put my thumb over the bottle to let it depressurize slowly and managed to save most of it.

"Houston, can you confirm a burst helium disc?"   :D

Quote
Yeah, happy with that.  Happy with the ceremony.

It's just refreshing to see a celebration that focuses on America and Americans instead of focusing on a President who happens to be a hopeless narcissist.

Quote
Now the real fun begins.  We have the pandemic, we have the economic fallout from the pandemic, we have domestic terrorism, we have all the chronic issues with air and water and infrastructure and criminal justice reform and economic inequity and health care costs.  The Democrats have a mostly clear path ahead of them to get stuff done in the next two years, assuming they nuke the filibuster (they will have to nuke the filibuster).

My worry is that we, the American people who lean to the left, will have been so appalled for so long at such egregiously self-serving and rapacious legislation that it will take us too long to recalibrate and treat critically legislation and policies that Democrats favor.  Just because it's not overtly ghastly doesn't mean it's assumed to be the best course.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: JayUtah on January 22, 2021, 01:15:17 PM
Republicans on Jan. 19:  Stop fighting; we need unity.
Republicans on Jan. 20:  Impeach Joe Biden!
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: JayUtah on January 22, 2021, 04:12:20 PM
President Biden displays an Apollo 17 lunar specimen in the Oval Office.

https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/nasa-lends-moon-rock-to-new-administration/
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: molesworth on January 22, 2021, 05:55:43 PM
Republicans on Jan. 19:  Stop fighting; we need unity.
Republicans on Jan. 20:  Impeach Joe Biden!

Well, to be fair to the Republican party, it's only a few unhinged Q-believers who seem to be pushing for impeachment.  I suspect Taylor-Greene's attempt will get nowhere, and have no widespread support from the majority of members.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: JayUtah on January 22, 2021, 06:11:29 PM
Well, to be fair to the Republican party, it's only a few unhinged Q-believers who seem to be pushing for impeachment.

Yeah, we'll see how long a Republican minority in the House wants to indulge these kooks.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: gillianren on January 23, 2021, 12:40:32 PM
I've heard suggestions that they're planning to form a separate political party, and Jesus, I hope they do.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: JayUtah on January 23, 2021, 12:51:27 PM
Or a separate country.  These revelations are terrifying and sickening.  I maintain that the media personalities and politicians who have tried to exploit this group of people for their own various ends had no [expletive] clue who these people are.  It's all been just a game to them.  This is why accountability needs to be far-reaching, deep-digging, and unrelenting.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: jfb on January 23, 2021, 04:34:30 PM
I've heard suggestions that they're planning to form a separate political party, and Jesus, I hope they do.

The Qberts or the remaining sane Republicans?  I can see it going either way. 
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: JayUtah on January 23, 2021, 05:00:04 PM
Qberts.  They feel betrayed by Donald Trump and the Republican Party.  Which they were.  I've even seen snippets here and there that say Trump was a Democrat plant, meant to destroy the Republicans from within.  (Well, he did destroy the party from within, but not because the Democrats sent him.)
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: Peter B on January 23, 2021, 06:34:44 PM
Or a separate country.  These revelations are terrifying and sickening.  I maintain that the media personalities and politicians who have tried to exploit this group of people for their own various ends had no [expletive] clue who these people are.  It's all been just a game to them.  This is why accountability needs to be far-reaching, deep-digging, and unrelenting.

I hope not.

The rest of the free world needs a USA as strong as possible. For all its internal flaws, the USA was key to victory in World War Two and the Cold War, and it's fairly clear the threats to freedom and democracy are as strong now as they ever have been.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: raven on January 23, 2021, 08:02:54 PM
With all due respect, I do not see how they add to America's strength, trying to bully a wannabe despot into office against all facts and democratic process.
They are not America's strength. America's strength is its diversity, its multitude of people and ideas coming together. Not them. They are a rot on American democracy, a fascist, and I do not use the word mildly, infestation. They weaken America, for all their bravado and claims of wanting to 'make America great'.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: BazBear on January 24, 2021, 07:50:28 AM
With all due respect, I do not see how they add to America's strength, trying to bully a wannabe despot into office against all facts and democratic process.
They are not America's strength. America's strength is its diversity, its multitude of people and ideas coming together. Not them. They are a rot on American democracy, a fascist, and I do not use the word mildly, infestation. They weaken America, for all their bravado and claims of wanting to 'make America great'.
I do believe Peter was referring to "Or a separate country" with his "I hope not".
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: BazBear on January 24, 2021, 07:52:19 AM
Qberts.  They feel betrayed by Donald Trump and the Republican Party.  Which they were.  I've even seen snippets here and there that say Trump was a Democrat plant, meant to destroy the Republicans from within.  (Well, he did destroy the party from within, but not because the Democrats sent him.)
I predict someone will try to blame the Clintons.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: gillianren on January 24, 2021, 12:30:25 PM
Qberts.  They feel betrayed by Donald Trump and the Republican Party.  Which they were.  I've even seen snippets here and there that say Trump was a Democrat plant, meant to destroy the Republicans from within.  (Well, he did destroy the party from within, but not because the Democrats sent him.)

If we'd planted him, we certainly wouldn't have given up so much we care about in the process.  Three Supreme Court justices?  No.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: JayUtah on January 24, 2021, 01:14:26 PM
In case it wasn't clear, I wish the United States didn't have to deal with racial supremacists in any way.  Yes, if we have to endure their presence, then let them wear their politics on their sleeves and form their own political parties so that reasonable conservatives aren't tempted to vote for them.  I'd prefer instead they form their own country, because they have no desire to take part in America as it actually is.  For them, I fear making America "great" again literally means going back to whatever form of enslavement they can sneak under the radar.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: raven on January 24, 2021, 01:15:25 PM
With all due respect, I do not see how they add to America's strength, trying to bully a wannabe despot into office against all facts and democratic process.
They are not America's strength. America's strength is its diversity, its multitude of people and ideas coming together. Not them. They are a rot on American democracy, a fascist, and I do not use the word mildly, infestation. They weaken America, for all their bravado and claims of wanting to 'make America great'.
I do believe Peter was referring to "Or a separate country" with his "I hope not".
I dearly hope so.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: Peter B on January 24, 2021, 09:46:09 PM
With all due respect, I do not see how they add to America's strength, trying to bully a wannabe despot into office against all facts and democratic process.
They are not America's strength. America's strength is its diversity, its multitude of people and ideas coming together. Not them. They are a rot on American democracy, a fascist, and I do not use the word mildly, infestation. They weaken America, for all their bravado and claims of wanting to 'make America great'.
I do believe Peter was referring to "Or a separate country" with his "I hope not".
I dearly hope so.

Yes, I was.

I totally understand that having such people in your country is a liability for your country. It's the same here and in every other country which allows freedom of expression - depending on how laws work people can more or less openly hold repulsive views.

I just think the idea of slicing off a part of the USA to create a new country just for the white supremacists is a dangerous one: once they're their own country you lose control of who they make alliances with. Just imagine if they made an agreement with Russia or China to allow a military base there - it'd be like the Cuban Missile Crisis but just a bit closer to the USA...

Instead, I think people like this need to be de-radicalised, in much the same way that extremist Muslims have been de-radicalised - they feel alienated within the country they live in, and the idea of de-radicalisation is the process of dealing with that alienation. I suspect (but obviously don't know for sure) that only a small proportion of these people hold these views innately, while the majority have been radicalised due mostly to circumstances in their lives; change the circumstances, and the views change with them.

About the only alternative (which I realise is spectacularly impractical) is to encourage them to migrate to a country where their views might be more acceptable, such as Russia.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: gillianren on January 25, 2021, 10:44:19 AM
I worry that, for some of these people, the reason they feel alienated is that other people have the same rights they do, and the only thing that will make them happy is to take those people's rights away.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: JayUtah on January 25, 2021, 02:04:16 PM
I just think the idea of slicing off a part of the USA to create a new country just for the white supremacists is a dangerous one: once they're their own country you lose control of who they make alliances with. Just imagine if they made an agreement with Russia or China to allow a military base there - it'd be like the Cuban Missile Crisis but just a bit closer to the USA...

That's a decisive point.  I don't disagree with attempts to deradicalize racial supremacists.  But the aftermath of the Civil War indicates just how problematic that is.  100 years later, we had a new civil rights movement facing almost exactly the same challenges.  There is a component of the American experience that seems intransigent in its belief in racial inequality.  It's been ingrained for generations.  Right -- sending them packing to their own country is inadvisable for all the reasons you mention and probably more.  But integration is so very elusive.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: ApolloEnthusiast on March 02, 2021, 01:50:19 PM
I just think the idea of slicing off a part of the USA to create a new country just for the white supremacists is a dangerous one: once they're their own country you lose control of who they make alliances with. Just imagine if they made an agreement with Russia or China to allow a military base there - it'd be like the Cuban Missile Crisis but just a bit closer to the USA...
I can't speak for Jay, but while I 100% advocate for these "people" to have their own country I wouldn't advocate for giving them any slice of the USA. They're free to go carve out a place for themselves in whatever fascist dystopia will have them.

The racists here have held the country hostage from literally the beginning. Without concessions for their institution of slavery they were unwilling to even form a Union in the first place. Compromises with intransigent racists in 1820 and 1850 helped preserve "unity", but at the expense of millions of enslaved people and their descendants. The Civil War, and the horrific aftermath perpetrated by the racists was just another example of them being willing to sacrifice absolutely any political ideal in order to preserve their racist status quo.

More compromises for the sake of "unity" and we get nearly 100 years of Jim Crow segregation and, like Jay said, the exact same battles with the exact same types of people from the previous century to end it. While much progress has been made since the 60s, I'm fed up with compromise. I don't want "unity" with racists. If they don't want an America that lives up to the promise of 1776 then they shouldn't be here.

I know with our 1st Amendment freedoms it is difficult to legislate away racism and similar bigotries, but it is long past time that these people are forced to accept that the world they want is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. If that means forcibly expelling people who have demonstrated for centuries that they're unwilling to be a part of an inclusive world, then I'm quite willing to explore how that might be accomplished in a way that doesn't threaten our basic liberties.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: smartcooky on March 03, 2021, 01:51:56 PM
Qberts.  They feel betrayed by Donald Trump and the Republican Party.  Which they were.  I've even seen snippets here and there that say Trump was a Democrat plant, meant to destroy the Republicans from within.  (Well, he did destroy the party from within, but not because the Democrats sent him.)


Didn't he once run for president on a Democrat ticket?
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: raven on March 03, 2021, 05:44:31 PM
Until space flight becomes a mature enough tech people can just abscond off into the black yonder, I don't think the 'just  let them go elsewhere' is really an option, unfortunately. Every scrap of this planet but Antarctica belongs to someone or some entity, and I doubt many would take kindly to millions of political immigrants (oh, the irony!). And even if we could, I'm not 100% comfortable with the idea of 'those we disagree with should face exile'. Definitely setting some bad, bad precedent, even if it could not happen to more deserving folk in this case.
That said, how well a bunch of people who think 5G causes cancer and other 'alternative facts' will do in space is a darkly amusing question.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: ApolloEnthusiast on March 03, 2021, 08:37:53 PM
Until space flight becomes a mature enough tech people can just abscond off into the black yonder, I don't think the 'just  let them go elsewhere' is really an option, unfortunately. Every scrap of this planet but Antarctica belongs to someone or some entity, and I doubt many would take kindly to millions of political immigrants (oh, the irony!). And even if we could, I'm not 100% comfortable with the idea of 'those we disagree with should face exile'. Definitely setting some bad, bad precedent, even if it could not happen to more deserving folk in this case.
That said, how well a bunch of people who think 5G causes cancer and other 'alternative facts' will do in space is a darkly amusing question.
I would be willing to spend taxpayer dollars on the rocket and launch costs. They would just have to provide their own consumables.

In all seriousness, I'm also not 100% comfortable with the precedent of exiling people with different political views. But at the same time, I am 0% comfortable allowing these people to continue forcing reprehensible compromises to accommodate their views, which have absolutely no place in our society.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: raven on March 03, 2021, 11:11:23 PM
I would be willing to spend taxpayer dollars on the rocket and launch costs. They would just have to provide their own consumables.

In all seriousness, I'm also not 100% comfortable with the precedent of exiling people with different political views. But at the same time, I am 0% comfortable allowing these people to continue forcing reprehensible compromises to accommodate their views, which have absolutely no place in our society.
It's a conundrum to be sure. How many have said they were breaking their society to save it and just ended up breaking it. "Oh, this is only for the duration, until the enemies of peace and freedom are no more." Well, the duration generally lasts far longer than it should. And we're talking millions of people (https://d3i6fh83elv35t.cloudfront.net/static/2021/01/trump-best-or-worst-president-1024x499.png) if the 33% of Republicans polled who said Trump was "one of the best presidents in US history."  in a poll from shortly after his presidency ended holds at all true for the bulk.
Just where is the US going to go from here?
"What can men do against such reckless hate?" to quote the (movie) King of Rohan.
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: Zakalwe on March 04, 2021, 05:53:29 AM
Until space flight becomes a mature enough tech people can just abscond off into the black yonder, I don't think the 'just  let them go elsewhere' is really an option, unfortunately. Every scrap of this planet but Antarctica belongs to someone or some entity, and I doubt many would take kindly to millions of political immigrants (oh, the irony!). And even if we could, I'm not 100% comfortable with the idea of 'those we disagree with should face exile'. Definitely setting some bad, bad precedent, even if it could not happen to more deserving folk in this case.
That said, how well a bunch of people who think 5G causes cancer and other 'alternative facts' will do in space is a darkly amusing question.
I would be willing to spend taxpayer dollars on the rocket and launch costs. They would just have to provide their own consumables.

In all seriousness, I'm also not 100% comfortable with the precedent of exiling people with different political views. But at the same time, I am 0% comfortable allowing these people to continue forcing reprehensible compromises to accommodate their views, which have absolutely no place in our society.


This planet needs a Golgafrinchan Ark Fleet Ship B
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: jfb on March 10, 2021, 10:05:48 PM
Qberts.  They feel betrayed by Donald Trump and the Republican Party.  Which they were.  I've even seen snippets here and there that say Trump was a Democrat plant, meant to destroy the Republicans from within.  (Well, he did destroy the party from within, but not because the Democrats sent him.)


Didn't he once run for president on a Democrat ticket?

No.  He thought about running on the Reform Party ticket in 2000, but decided against it (sadly - he could have done for Gore what Perot did for Clinton in '92, and the first decade of the 21st century could have been quite different).  He's been registered as a Democratic voter in the past, but he's changed affiliations a few times. 
Title: Re: The Biden Presidency
Post by: gillianren on March 11, 2021, 10:45:52 AM
It's not as though he has any personal convictions to worry about that would make changing party repeatedly an issue.