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joined 2023 April 01 14:25:53 UTC


User ID: 2303



0 followers   follows 0 users   joined 2023 April 01 14:25:53 UTC


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User ID: 2303

Some friends and I discussed this and propose the following improvement: 3-3-2-1. Keep the groups almost the same, except cleave Gorsuch into an idiosyncratic group of one. Thomas and Alito seem extremely compatible, but Gorsuch is the member of the court most often beating his own drum. And of all the conservative justices he's the one most likely to cross over to the liberal side, for reasons conservatives will unusually respect.

I think the tendency to insert politics in this way is a more recent trend. Maybe Superman or Duke Nukem always had to save the president, because he's the president, that's the most important guy. But nobody cared about Senators and Generals, which I can recall showing up in X-Men, BvS, Marvel, etc.

I think as Superhero content has left comics and become mainstream, there's been a perceived need to dress it up as "more" than just comic books. Superhero movies aren't just fun anymore, they're social commentary, they're serious endeavors, they're real cinema, dad. Notably, comic books themselves went through a similar arc.

Personally I agree that all this semi-authentic political back-drama is silly, and I would prefer my schlock to not have to put on airs.

The Afghanistan withdrawal was a debacle and I think even "normal" people were put off by how it ended. Afghanistan was a going concern for twenty years, then we pull out, American efforts are immediately undone, the Taliban starts waving around American weapons.

I don't think the average voter "cares" in the sense that Afghanistan will decide their votes. But the whole incident shattered Biden's image in a way that broke some necessary myths. After Afghanistan lots of people started criticizing Biden regularly over other shortcomings. Hence, his approval dropped, and never recovered.

The incident referred to happened a few days ago: Biden was at Normandy attending DDay commemorations, when he leaned over awkwardly, made an unusual series of squatting motions, and then resumed standing upright. At some point after this Jill Biden escorted him off stage. Critics suggested that Biden shat himself. Critic-critics suggested that, no, Biden was obviously just confused (but not in a senile way). I couldn't really make it out myself.

Leaping to call it misinformation as you have done really triggers my BS-detectors and I politely request some elaboration, or I will have to conclude that you were subject to the misinformation campaign of calling uncomfortable ideas as misinformation campaigns. There are a lot of explainers arguing that there is no evidence Biden is going senile, and every gaffe is fine.

Real Biden connosieurs of the past weeks prefer this clip of Biden standing passively during the White House Juneteenth lawn party, anyways:


if you look at 538, Biden's approval nosedived around mid-2021 fror reasons that are not clear and never budged,

Afghanistan. My recollection is this shattered a consensus support, and he never recovered.

Please explain what is so serious about the crime of which Trump was (unjustly) convicted.

Are you trolling me?. Hillary is extremely relevant to the conversation about "propagating stolen election myths". She said 2016 was stolen. That's not a conspiracy theory. You cannot pontificate about Trump as some unique denier of elections in this case. You either need to refine your argument or make a concession.

The fact that you're not talking about Hillary is the problem.

Trump has been doing business in New York for 40 years and the only crime they can charge him on is something nobody has ever been charged for before -- "falsifying records" is one thing, this is falsifying records used totally for internal purposes, as though he committed fraud upon himself (this has been discussed to death in other comments in this thread by now).

There is no one who has ever been charged with anything similar to this. You want to make it sound as though Trump is contemptuous of law because he described money paid to his lawyer as legal expenses, for arranging an NDA, which is legal, with a porn star, which is legal. If Trump was as contemptuous of law as you suggest, maybe there would be other bookkeeping crimes to charge him with that don't involve felony upcharges on underlying crimes that are not specified.

According to this logic, if the falsification of business records is inherently proof of a cover-up of an underlying crime, the falsification of any business record is proof of an underlying crime. The distinction between misdemeanor and felony charges for this crime may as well as not exist. (Why else would you "falsify" a business record?)

You say that reversing this standard would be too lenient for defenders. Upholding this standard is a recipe for jailing almost anyone at any time.

She used a private email server to do government business a practice ubiquitous

Not exactly. A lot of government officials use private email accounts to sidestep FOIA. Obama did it, Pence did it. Hillary set up a private email server, which is different and extremely rare. It's the difference between opening up a separate bank account, and opening a separate bank. If you use a private email account, at least all the network traffic, data storage, and encryption is being handled by Microsoft, or Google, or some team of engineers that has spent millions of man-hours solving the important technical problems. Hillary just had her own server, run by some IT guy she hired. Then she put classified documents on it. Imagine if she took taxpayer money and moved it from the Fed to the Bank of Hillary. It's an unlocked shed with a camera. Security, she probably has some. Did somebody take the money? Did she take the money? Nobody can say, because as soon as it turned into a scandal she deleted all the records, the FBI gave her subordinates plea deals in exchange for cooperating, and Comey absolved her of doing anything all that bad.

There was no reason for Hillary to set up her own private email server, unless: 1) She was doing horribly corrupt things on it 2) She was extremely willful and ignorant and insisted on doing something that everyone around her would have told her was a bad idea.

Mostly because he doesn't think that laws apply to him in the way they do to little people.

They don't, actually, because these charges have never been used against anybody before in the history of the world.

If Trump were really sloppy as you allege, prosecutors would have been able to find more serious charges to bring against him. Ten years of political spotlight and they can only get him on charges that have literally never been used against anyone ever before. You don't doubt that he's guilty of hundreds of similar crimes? Then why haven't they brought anything forward? That's the sloppy thinking here.

That all sounds fair to me. Feel free to add stakes or keep it a gentleman's wager.

Putting some bounds on this: my prediction is that, in sentencing, Mercham imposes a penalty that effectively bars Trump from campaigning. Jail would count, house arrest would count. Probation or some other arrangement could depend on the terms. If these things don't happen, and Trump is able to go back to campaigning regularly, you win. I would consider myself the winner if Merchan puts Trump under house arrest, and Trump violates parole and goes out campaigning anyways.

I would consider this bet void if for some reason sentencing doesn't happen. But I could be convinced to give you the win if this matters to you. (For example, sentencing gets delayed past the election, for some reason.) I would consider you the winner if Merchan imposes any terms that would otherwise cause me to win, but then immediately pends consequences. (Trump is placed under house arrest, but it doesn't start until after appeals, which end up lasting through the election).

You are welcome to propose amended terms and offer stake, I'm just trying to be fair but won't take this too seriously if it's not something you want to commit hard to.

Ultimately, I think Merchan will say, contempt of court, threat to democracy, 34 felonies, grave offenses, defendent shows no contrition, boom, house arrest / jail. Sorry Mr. Former President, you can have the RNC Convention Speech when you've thought about what you've done and promise to be a good little boy.

I'll take that bet

Bryant and Milam didn't lynch Emmet Till, because a jury found them not guilty.

OJ Simpson didn't kill Nicole Brown, because a jury found him not guilty.

Come on, voir dire isn't some magical process that produces impartial jurors where none exist. Miscarriages of justice and wrongful convictions happen all the time, and falling back on "but the jury was impartial" is either extremely naive, or a refusal to come up with an actual opinion of your own.

If the charges are illegitimate, any sentence is inherently harsh.

As for predictions, I'm not entirely sure. I think it's extremely likely that Merchan will impose something like house arrest that effectively bars Trump from the campaign trail. Jail? I'm not sure they'll go that far, but I wouldn't put money on it.

Not when the jury and judge are stacked against you!

But of course if you're happy to be gung-ho about locking up the people who seem bad and not being super-meticulous about making sure they get the absolute duest of process, it does seem hypocritical to complain when that standard gets applied to the con man heading your party.

I was with you, and then you lost me. There is obviously a world of difference between locking up a bunch of gangsters who run cartels that kill people in the streets, and supporting an FBI state that spies on everyone and arrests you for praying in front of an abortion clinic, or "mislabeling" records.

Besides, your characterization of Trump as a "con man" is doing a lot of work here. Which of your politicians do you want to hold up as honest and good? You know good and well what the double-standard is here, and that nobody else is being charged for these non-crimes. Maybe if Hillary and Obama and Biden were also facing jail for writing the words "legal expenses" you would have a point.

"We made up something you did wrong, but only punished you slightly" is not kid gloves. Kid gloves are when you punish people lightly for severe offenses.

The Merchan's daughter is working for a political consulting group raising money from Trump's trial. I.e., Merchan's family is profiting from this case. When Trump pointed out this conflict of interest, Merchan's response was to accuse Trump of attacking his family, gag order him, and then hold Trump in contempt for calling this unfair. This is decidedly not treating Trump with "kid gloves".

It's not clear because it doesn't clarify the important question, which is: what are the documents Trump is being charged with falsifying? Tax records? Internal memos? Paystubs? Drafts for a contract? Transcripts? Post-it notes?

According to your interpretation, the government could prosecute you for writing on a post-it note in your office, determining that this is a business document, and then alleging that you lied when you wrote it. That's not clear at all!

This is nonsense -- you could argue that any mislabeled record was mislabeled with "intent to defraud the state". That's what makes this egregious: the crime Trump is charged with isn't a crime unless you investigate it as though it is a crime!

What evidence would you accept to decide if an election had been stolen?

There was an old trope on neoreactionary forums, I don't know if it was common in rationalist spaces, that went like this: First Peace, then Order, then Justice, then Law. They form a hierarchy, you can't have one without first having those that came before. Trying to have Law when you don't have Justice first doesn't work, for example, because without Justice the Law is just a series of rules. And likewise, you don't have Justice without Order, because how could any secure justice be acheived if people are fighting in the streets?

By this argument, I think it's perfectly fair to support draconian state brutality in El Salvador, and worry about state brutality in the US.