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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:32 pm 
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Depends on where they live. The Puerto Ricans back home have no representation in Washington worth discussing; those who settled on the mainland vote where ever they live for any office on the ballot. There are some fair sized ex-pat communities living in the lower 48, one member of whom is now a Congresscritter from New York.

Mind you, political clout aside we're still talking 3.5 million people. Someone seems to have learned the lesson of Katrina a bit differently than most.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:27 am 
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It looks like FEMA is run by a competent person this time, but nobody is bothering to deploy more than the bare minimum. I don't even know if Trump has thought far enough ahead to consider the political consequences. He seems to be absorbed in his Twitter feuds because he's a garbage egomaniac who likes nothing more than seeing himself on TV and his own coverage is swamping news about Puerto Rico. As far as he's concerned, if it isn't on TV, it doesn't exist. If he has thought that far ahead, that little turd Stephen Miller has probably told him he doesn't need to care about the Hispanic vote and nobody else cares about Puerto Rico anyway, hur hur.

I reckon a hypothetical Clinton administration would be better with the disaster relief effort but she'd probably also triangulate away from pushing a huge aid package for the island. It wouldn't go through an angry Republican Congress, and Puerto Rico is a poster child for fiscal mismanagement. It'd be like handing them an early Christmas present if she chose to have that fight.

In other news, it looks like Alabama just got Alabamier. A Breitbart-backed nutjob just primaried the Republican incumbent for Jeff Sessions' Senate seat. Welp. The base is digging in for more crazy. Let's see what the swing districts do.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:57 am 
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Puerto Rico should just become a state already. And I know the Republicans aren't chomping at the bit to add a state that will very likely vote for the blue team but Puerto Rico isn't even trying to become a state it seems like. They seem happy to live in this odd political purgatory.

I know they had that referendum a while back, but I don't think anything ever came of it.

(How many EVs would Puerto Rico get anyway? I know it's 2 + the # of Congressional Reps, but has there ever been an estimate of how many congressional districts the island would get?)

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:14 am 
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Most Puerto Ricans have almost all of the benefits of being in the United States without some of the specific costs (like paying federal income tax or an obligation to serve in the military if the draft comes back). This has always tended to keep the majority uninterested in statehood. Now they are operating under a vote to join; but as you noted (understatedly) the Republicans won't let the subject come up in Congress, so it's dead in the water until the Democrats take over the Federal government again.

Interestingly enough this bit of Republican psychopathy may finally push PR into really wanting to join; this malign neglect from Trump and Congress would be a lot harder to pull if they had two Senators and two Congresscritters (the likely number) available to introduce bills to help their own state instead of waiting for the Republicans to finally be pushed all unwilling into damage control mode.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:48 am 
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Gotta leave it to Trump to politicize disaster relief, now feuding with the mayor of San Juan, who really has better things to do. Cue the Fox News talking points about how the Trump administration's disaster relief is just dandy, it's Puerto Rico's fault for being unprepared and lazy.

Once Trump makes something a partisan talking point, that's it. Neither logic nor compassion will penetrate. I will be surprised if the polls come in and the finding ISN'T that 90% of Democrats think the Puerto Rico relief was a mess and 84% of Republicans think it was wonderful.

People are probably gonna start dying of water-borne diseases right about now.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:44 pm 
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Just a thought as we watch Trump threaten to end the slight aide being provided to Puerto Rico; if he cares this little about American citizens, how concerned can he really be about the citizens of Seoul, South Korea? If the only real threat NK can offer right now is to Japan and SK, how deterred is Trump really likely to be?

All of this is starting to make the idea of the 25th Amendment giving us a President Pence only a little bit intolerable.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:01 am 
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Trump doesn't even care about the roughly 1 million Americans whose health care he casually blew up this week. Unlike other narcissistic politicians like Bill Clinton and John Edwards (remember him?), Trump doesn't even see the point of pretending to care about others for more than five minutes.(1)

That said, I doubt the 25th Amendment would work. It would take a two thirds majority of both houses to forcibly eject Trump this way, which makes it even harder than impeachment.

(1) I'm undecided about whether Trump is actually stupid in the cognitive sense, or if his personality is just so terrible that it makes him behave stupidly. I suppose it doesn't really matter.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:20 am 
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Maybe not. The 25th Amendment has the adults in the White House making the really easy argument that the president is incompetent, not the more politically fraught one that Republican crimes are also against the law. Given that there isn't a Republican Congresscritter who wouldn't rather have Pence as president, and that the Trump chumps would splinter between the losers who wanted to be Trump if they grew up (who would stay loyal to him) and the evangelicals (who would also prefer a president Pence), this could actually be a much easier lift than impeachment.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:58 am 
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Weremensh wrote:
Given that there isn't a Republican Congresscritter who wouldn't rather have Pence as president, and that the Trump chumps would splinter between the losers who wanted to be Trump if they grew up (who would stay loyal to him) and the evangelicals (who would also prefer a president Pence), this could actually be a much easier lift than impeachment.


Well, you'd have to prepare it and get people signed on in absolute bipartisan secrecy, that would be the hard part. Then you'd have to wait for some new outrage that everyone could very conveniently unanimously declare the last straw. That would probably be the easy part.

An added wrinkle is that there are probably at least a few politics-playing Dems who prefer a wholly incompetent Trump to a semi-competent Pence, as dangerous a game as that is to play.

Probably the best bet of it actually happening is for one third of the Republicans in each house to very quietly prep it, and then spring it without warning. The Democrats would have to all sign on immediately or risk the backlash of their own base, and that would make the 2/3. Of course, that still probably requires cooperation between the moderate and the far-right Republican Trump critics.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:02 am 
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The 25th amendment says "unable to discharge his duties", it says nothing about the quality of said er, discharge (ew). I think the last straw would have to be something along the lines of him ordering a preemptive nuclear strike, and Mattis having to tackle him to prevent him from touching the nuclear football. The word for that would be "coup". Failing that, he would need to have a stroke.

The evangelicals probably would ditch him for Pence, but there would be enough enraged alt right Bannon bros to cause chaos on his behalf. If Trump can't win, he destroys things out of spite.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:42 am 
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So this is how Trump is going to get through the next 3.5 years without doing anything to improve the lives of his base. Forget jobs, it's all going to be one pointless controversy after another.

Frankly I don't care that he said something mindlessly insensitive to a widow. He says dumb stuff constantly. But now he's wheeled out John Kelly to wave a flag and give the base a random Congresswoman to yell at, and nobody's asking why there are troops in Niger.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 5:04 pm 
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As far as Puerto Rico hurting Trump electorally, it appears to have moved the needle on Republicans by about 5%. 75% of Republicans think Trump has done enough to help Puerto Rico, which is a hair less than the 80+% who think everything else he does is just fine. That's not counting the Puerto Ricans moving to the mainland. Let's hope they vote. Poor or struggling people often don't.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:28 pm 
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Most of them will probably land with relatives on the mainland, so it shouldn't be that grim for them (not to be confused with the folks who know no one). But with that said, this will also probably kick the Puerto Ricans already living on the mainland in the butt hard enough to get more of them out to the polls as well, especially in the communities where the new round of ex-pats wind up.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:17 am 
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Even if they land with relatives, they're going to be consumed with finding housing, jobs, schools, replacing everything they own. It's pretty easy to let a voter registration deadline slip by, especially if you live in a state with a "screw you for sucking at bureaucracy-fu" attitude towards voting rights. Let's hope there's enough voter outreach on the ground to get them signed up when the time comes.

The Senate just gutted the right to sue banks in class action lawsuits. Why yes, banks can bull**** small print sign you into forced arbitration. While all this insanity is going on, the oligarchs are quietly making sure they get theirs.

Oh yeah, and did you hear about the suspicious multi-million dollar contract for electrical grid repair in Puerto Rico going to an obscure, underqualified utility company owned by a friend of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke? It's obviously not even a real utility company, it's a legal entity used to funnel pork barrel spending to overpriced subcontractors while taking a cut.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:27 pm 
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So, Manafort and Gates are under arrest, and Papadoulous has already pled guilty. Do the Rs continue to stonewall, or is this the beginning of the end?

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