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The Trumperium 2: Caesar by the Pussy

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Jon, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. Sauce Bauss

    Sauce Bauss Order Member DLP Supporter

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    "A great deal of voters"? The vast majority of voters don't know their ass from their elbow. I'd be willing to posit that anybody who's read the entirety of our election threads is in the top ten percent of voters, and Revan easily falls into the top one percent if you'll forgive the phrasing.

    This election was not a referendum on issues, or on Obama's legacy. It was a referendum on politics in general, and personality. The blinding hate of Clinton overshadowed any real debate on issues, which hurt her most as she's a poor campaigner.

    You're doing a fine impression of an edgy European teenager in 2005. The trust in America has dropped fifty percent because it was already in the seventies and eighties. The legacy of the Bush years was straining alliances and distrust. That was mitigated almost entirely by the work Obama, and yes, Clinton, had done.

    lol

    The RNC has torn itself apart thanks to the tea party and fracturing of the traditional establishment. Sure, they still win elections because conservatives actually bother to vote, but the elected officials have demonstrated their complete inability to govern. As well, historically any party that loses the presidency three elections in a row is forced into a transformational change in the face of their failed platform.

    I can think of many things I could do with the house insurance payment after my house burns down, but that doesn't mean I'm not worried about my house burning down. Generational damage is being done, and you handwave it because there's a potential upside to your faction of your party.

    So you did vote for Clinton in the general, then?
     
  2. Oment

    Oment The Betrayer

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    And I would argue that wing of the left consists of blind fools who fail to comprehend the sheer anathema 99 % of Trump's opinions are to leftists. (The one exception is the overlap they find on global trade, and even then it's more a broken clock-type situation than anything else.) They fail to comprehend the damage Trump and his merry band can do to the environment and possibly to human rights. Lest you forget: for all of the GOP balking here and there, Trump's seeming agenda of 'Do the opposite of whatever Obama did' is something they are very much on board with, and this likely will extend into the future. Hell, should they get the means, I would not be surprised to see them gut the Voting Rights Act, or bring back DADT (or outright ban LGBs from the military - T basically already being banned), or even make a constitutional amendment or three through the states. (As a reminder: the GOP holds 32 out of 34 required state legislatures at the moment.)

    Yes, it's that dire. I'm all for purity testing shit - it's been an important component in my voting (though in a country with PR) at least twice in my nine years of being allowed to do so - but now is really not the time. Doing it right now is literally going 'do we want plywood to board our windows or are there better alternatives' with a hurricane at most a day away.

    Also, re: Harris: Purity tests (prisons as the main angle) plus CA-factor (out-of-touch Californians etc attack angle) plus woman (see Warren) has GOP strategists already salivating. It is entirely stupid, but I don't believe your country will elect a female president before I am well into my older years, assuming I actually get there.

    Of course, my own country hasn't done that either, so I'm not exactly completely innocent of that ancestral sin.

    Clinton's approval ratings near the end of her Senate tenure and during her time as SecState were decent to pretty good as well. Past results do not necessarily translate well.
    Coming from the US, you perhaps fail to appreciate it, but at the end of the Bush era? I keep predominantly left-wing company, sure, but at the time, your stock in the world was quite literally trash to 95 % of everyone I interacted with, and even the 5 % of those who did defend you applied caveats all over the place. I understand that it is US policy to use that proverbial big stick, but at that time? The stick was all you had. Whatever Obama did while in office, he - and his SecStates share a big part in this - rebuilt the other part of that proverb basically from scratch.

    You mean Tillerson, who seems to have failed as SecState? I'm assuming you do, because that prime example of nomen est omen is actually leading the DoJ. Where he is doing a fine job advancing standard GOP issues, I am told.
    They'd gain seats under any Democrat. Politics in western democracies tend to swing on a pendulum; with each country having a different length of the chain, and when the pendulum swings back, the party in power flips around. This is even more obvious in anglophone countries - the UK's chain currently seems to be at least a decade, Canada's has been around a decade for a while, Australia's is six-ish years recently, and the US trends towards eight with the exceptions or Carter and Bush Sr. Extending that cycle would only have ended up worse for the Dems in my view; I honestly do not believe that they could have kept the WH in 2020.

    -edit- sodding strikethrough and automatic tag closing.
     
  3. Quiddity

    Quiddity Auror

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    What the hell are you talking about? Where do you get these insane ideas from? Under Obama, no one I talk to had any fear of the U.S. Even under Trump, the fear is of mismanaging another countries aggression/strife, with the actual fear focused on North Korea, Russia, and various terrorist threats.
     
  4. Chengar Qordath

    Chengar Qordath The Final Pony Prestige

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    Yeah, nobody sane is worried that the US will decide to start carving chunks out of Canada and Mexico claiming there are oppressed American minorities, or just randomly nuke people because the entire nation is a crazy personality cult.
     
  5. ASmallBundleOfToothpicks

    ASmallBundleOfToothpicks Professor

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    The thing about "the majority of voters" is that no-one thinks they fall into that category whenever it's inconvenient. I'd posit that no, you, Revan, me, Pers, and most of the Americans who post regularly in this forum are part of the majority of voters too. The funny thing about Democracies is that you need the majority of voters to agree with you.

    Remember, Clinton won the popular vote, the majority of voters (if you'll forgive the phrasing) that you're maligning so much. As much as I'd rather it not be the case, winning the popular vote didn't make her win the election. If you want to talk about election reform, I'm right there with you. It's absurd that a candidate can win the popular vote by 3 million votes and still lose.

    However that's the system we're in, and for that system Hillary (and by extension Biden) had serious downsides.

    This kind of thinking is what got Trump elected. Sanders should have had zero chance in the primary, but instead was able to make up something absurd like 60 points in the polls. It's the issues that allowed him to pick up these points, as a self-proclaimed socialist non-democrat Jew from Brooklyn.

    If you're talking solely about Europe, I'd say that is accurate. If you're talking about worldwide, we're going to disagree. Clinton (and Obama) had a hand in our Drone program, the one with 90% civilian casualties and that liked hitting hospitals, which has been something of a sticking point even among our strategic allies. Well, except Israel and Saudi Arabia.

    Then we agree. I'd say that Trump is the catalyst for this. He's the wedge between the rational conservatives, who are seeing that the Republicans aren't the lesser of two evils, and the right wing extremists who are pissed that Trump isn't declaring himself dictator. If Trump wasn't there, and it was Hillary in office, I don't think the clear split we're seeing would have happened on the right wing. I think it would happen on the left.

    Firstly, I am a registered independent. I am anti-partisan on the basis that partisans are too similar to religious fanatics for me to ever join a party. So my "wing of the party" is somewhat nonsensical.

    For the rest, I'd say that most of the militant progressives agree with you, but their metaphor is this: The house burned down years ago, we're squatting under a chunk of roof propped up by a shaky beam, and we're in deep denial about it. Trump is kicking the beam, the RNC is saying we should burn the roof too, and the DNC is whining about party unity.

    I did not. My state, Vermont, was guaranteed to go for Hillary by like 40 points, so I could vote my conscience. I voted for Jill Stein because for all of her wacky hijinx, she was anti-interventionist and anti-TPP.

    If I lived in, say, Pennsylvania, I would have voted Hillary in the general.

    No. Everyone involved is aware of how much damage Trump is doing, and has the potential to do. Trump is many things, but subtle he is not. The main thing that everyone is also aware of is how easy he is to manipulate. Hell, he'll happily work with Dems if he gets good media coverage. He called Schumer to gloat about how good the coverage they got when they raised the debt ceiling.

    The other issue is that the DNC, as we know it today, is founded on the principle that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." They found out the hard way that it isn't always the case, because more progressive voters turned on them after years of neglect, and they are in the process of trying take over the party entirely. Will they be successful? I dunno.

    My dude, they already gutted the Voting Rights Act under Obama. It's one of the reasons Hillary was so vulnerable in the Rust Belt. It allowed the RNC to purge something like 400,000 voters from the rolls in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Yet for some reason people blame the less than 10,000 voters who voted third party.

    The hurricane hit years ago, under Nixon and Reagan. Trump is a disease that seeped out of the wreckage no-one's cleaned up. These purity tests are critical right now because if we don't do them, we will repeat the same mistakes that were made fifty years ago that got us in this mess in the first place.

    Progress for progress' sake isn't something I support, nor is the concept of ancestral sin. To be fair, Sexism did play a role in Hillary's loss, but I don't think it was what really sunk her. I'd say that we agree on Harris' chances as well, but I think sexism/CA bubble has less to do with it than the fact that she advocated for what amounts to slave labor.

    Also, much of what people are really pissed at her for didn't leak until a year or two after she left public office to begin campaigning.

    As I mentioned with @Sauce Bauss , if you're talking about Europe, yes. She did an excellent job rebuilding our reputation there. I think it also helped that we have clear shared enemies in ISIS. Obama also did a good job in the pacific. Clinton's more shaky foreign policy has to do with her involvement in the Drone program, her ties to Saudi Arabia and Israel, and the human rights abuses she enabled. In the developing world, our stock is very much damaged by her and Obama's militaristic legacy. That's what's enabled China to expand it's reach all throughout Africa.

    Yep. That's what I get for bad copy/paste. I had a whole screed against Tillerson that got removed because it got a little vitriolic even for me! :p

    More on the topic: Tillerson was a terrible pick who washed out in, what? Four months? His Oil diplomacy plans were pretty clearly corrupt. Anyone Hillary Clinton picked would have been better on that front. However, they would almost certainly would have gotten us to increase military spending, and been a neocon in the vein of Hillary herself. It would have put us in a better position to build the green tech sector, but probably would have gotten us in more wars, and we'd still end up with a much reduced social safety net, since the increased military spending had to come from somewhere.

    Sessions has had his ups and his downs, but he's mostly stuck around because he's a staunch partisan. I'd also characterize his success as somewhat lower than you seem to be implying. Hillary's pick would be less transparently racist, but equally pro-corruption, and probably would have been just as pro- Drug War.

    Yep, except that I'd expand that to include any left wing candidate or Democrat, rather than just Dems. If Sanders had gotten in, he'd have had the same issues, but he'd have been slightly better positioned to mitigate the damage- if only because people hadn't made careers tearing him down. They would, but it would take a few years.

    No but plenty of people are worried about us doing another Iraq/Libya in South America, Southeast Asia, and/or more interventions in Africa. We're in something like six interventions right now, though you wouldn't know from how sparse the coverage is.

    Also @Agayek : You bring up some stuff worth discussing, but the short answer for Bernie losing the primary is that he was actively stifled by the DNC leadership in a variety of ways. There was a lawsuit about the DNC defrauding donors who thought it would run an evenhanded campaign, and I linked it in my previous post. It's got some pretty damning arguments. As to the progressives that have lost, who's campaigns you linked to, I'd have to check my notes on the subject- but off hand, I'd tell you to compare the vote disparity the Dems lost those districts by in previous elections to the progressives vote disparity. Gerrymandering is a concern.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  6. Chengar Qordath

    Chengar Qordath The Final Pony Prestige

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    It is worth mentioning that voting patterns and electoral strategies would be radically different if we went from the electoral college to a national popular vote, so there's no guarantee Hillary would've won the election in that case. At the moment, complaining about losing a Presidential election despite getting the popular vote is about as logical as complaining about losing a football game despite having more passing yards than the other team.

    Changing the system to national popular vote might be a good idea, but it would be very hard to push through. Small states like the disproportionate influence the EC gives them, and likewise for battleground states. The only ones with a strong incentive to change are the populous safe states, and those are a small minority. It's probably only going to happen if there's massive popular backlash against the EC, and despite two elections in recent memory where the popular vote and EC vote were different, there's nowhere near enough outrage to make it happen.
     
  7. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I can understand the inclination of people, after so many years of wars that don't seem to have gotten us very much, that they want to be anti-interventionist. But people can't just bury their heads in the sand and say we won't get involved anywhere. There are times and places where it is appropriate. You might think that people like HRC were too quick to resort to force, but Stein's too quick to resort to pacifism. Not getting involved does not mean the problems go away.

    As for TPP, TPP is good policy for the United States. Anyone who opposes it doesn't understand basic economics.

    That was the SCOTUS, not the GOP.

    No one at DOJ is 'pro-corruption'. Even Sessions, the little Confederate Leprechaun. He's pro-business to the point of detriment to the rights of citizens, which is bad, but he's not 'pro-corruption'. If we're going to hurl around insults, we should at least hurl the right ones.

    Edit: Oh, also, these constant references to the Drone Program are tiresome. Until you've spent time inside the NCTC and been involved with ordering kinetic strikes, you don't have any idea what you're talking about.
     
  8. ASmallBundleOfToothpicks

    ASmallBundleOfToothpicks Professor

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    Yeah, I pretty much agree with you there. I'm for ranked choice voting, removing the actual Electors in the electoral college, and proportional allotment of the electoral votes- but that's not something that's going to happen anytime soon. If I see one of those things in my lifetime, I'd be pleased. The one I've got the most hope for is removing the electors, since they're basically a sinecure.

    Of you need to strike a balance, but the policies we've been using have not made the problems go away- they've actively made many of them worse. I'd argue that the way we handled the Iraq conflict is the best case study we've got in why we need to explore alternatives to constant intervention.

    Or, y'know, they understand advanced economics. Here's Robert Reich on the subject: https://www.socialeurope.eu/the-problem-with-tpp-explained-in-two-minutes

    What really gets me is the private courts that can sue for "lost profits."

    Well, yes, but the result is the same- which is my point. Are you suggesting that it had no effect?

    Sessions supports the use of Super-PACs, right? I know he used them during his reelection campaigns. That is pro-corruption.

    Yeah, it's funny how I just keep harping on using indiscriminate weapons on targets embedded in civilian centers like it's some kind of war crime, isn't it. One track mind, I guess.
     
  9. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I like Robert Reich, but he's wrong. His argument relies on the same baseless suspicion arguments that appeal to the Bernie crowd about 'faceless corporate representatives'. The Government consulted industries when it negotiated the pact because that's how it works; the point of Free Trade is to open up foreign markets to our products. The contention that the Government 'didn't consult citizens' is idiotic; the Government represents the country, they're appointed by elected officials, and while they may consult industry for industry's opinions, they aren't beholden to them.

    TPP would have eliminated more than 15 thousand tariffs that hamper our ability to export goods. It would have increased the power of patents to keep foreign companies from ripping off our products, and strengthened intellectual property to combat piracy. It most certainly would not have lowered US labor laws, it would have done the opposite; by enshrining labor protections in the treaty, it would have forced the US to keep its standards high. TPP also had the highest environmental protections ever devised in a free trade agreement, so as to both protect the environment worldwide, and also force foreign companies not to undercut the US by failing to keep to standards. It would have liberalized markets for over 40% of the world's population.

    TPP was good for the US, and for its citizens. Without it, we're worse off.

    No, I'm suggesting that incorrect assertions undermine the point being made.

    Super-PACs are bad law, and they open the door to the possibility of corruption, but they are not in and of themselves corruption. Transparency is what is needed to combat that possibility. It's dark money that's the problem, more than anything. Dragging funders into the light keeps them, and their favored candidates, honest, both before and after the election.

    And saying DOJ is pro-corruption is just insulting. We are not pro-corruption, in any form, ever.

    They're highly discriminate weapons, in fact. The only strikes you hear about are the ones that make the news, which are the vast minority, and give people an impression that isn't warranted, that implies that all that drones do is blow up weddings. (Incidentally, if you don't want your wedding blown to smithereens, stop inviting terrorists to your weddings.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
  10. The Iron Rose

    The Iron Rose Death Eater

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    The use of drones can be criticized all you want, but you sure as hell can't call it a war crime without a hell of a lot more thought than you were giving it.

    I straight up wrote a dissertation on this. But I'll run off the highlight reel, just for you.

    First off, every single country where we're dropping bombs has explicitly given their consent to the United States to operate a drone program complete with targeted killings. Syria is the exception to this, but it's an international warzone so sovereignty doesn't really apply in the same way in most legal analysis. As an excellent example of this, despite widespread opposition from the Pakistani populace, the Pakistani government has a large and extensive collaboration with the American security establishment and has consented to American targeted killing programs within Pakistani sovereign territory. In cases where we don't have permission, like in Nigeria, we don't drop bombs. Simple as that.


    With regards to the legality generally speaking, there are several criteria that have to be met for a targeted killing to be legal under international humanitarian law (i.e. the law of armed conflict). As a base rule, to figure out if a targeted killing is legal, you can apply the Sterio criteria.

    This requires that a targeted killing, to be lawful, must comply with four requirements: that there be an armed conflict, that the target is legitimate, that the targeted killing complies with international humanitarian law (it is necessary, proportionate, discriminate, and humane), and that the location and identity of the attacker be taken into account.

    In international law, there exists a principle of distinction. Per the Additional Protocol I to the Fourth Geneva Convention , there is only one category of persons who are protected from being the target of a military strike: civilians not taking a direct part in hostilities. This means that privileged combatants (i.e. soldiers in most cases), unprivileged combatants (e.g. mercenaries, spies), and civilians who are taking a direct part in hostilities (and only for such time as they are taking a direct part) are not protected. Privileged combatants, soldiers openly bearing arms and in uniform, have the right, inter alia, to kill and be killed. Unprivileged combatants, like mercenaries, spies, and those not bearing weapons openly or wearing a uniform are still obligated to follow the laws of war, but are not entitled to prisoner of war status and are legitimate targets. Similarly, civilians taking a direct part in hostilities lose their protected status for the duration of the hostilities in which they take a direct part, and regain that protection when they lay down their arms.

    Now there's a large amount of debate over the precise definition of members of terrorist organizations as legitimate targets. If you do a strict reading of the ICRC Additional Protocol, it would necessarily mean that members of terrorist organizations may only be targeted so long as they are carrying a weapon and fighting on the battlefield. This is an overly restrictive definition, and one that nobody really accepts; in international law, with the exception of jus cogens/preemptory norms and customary international law (which this is not), states are only bound by what law that they accept to be bound by, and the Lotus principle as well defers to the interpretation of the nation state in areas that are legally undefined. While the ICRC Additional Protocol can provide informative value for the purpose of developing customary international law, it's nowhere near that stage yet and seems to have been superseded in large degree.

    Most notably, by the Israeli Supreme Court. See they also discussed this matter in a pretty big case in 2006, and came up with a much more permissive definition: Simply put, members of terrorist organizations with whom there is an armed conflict may be legitimately targeted until the point that they disavow themselves as part of that organization. Generally speaking, this is considered the baseline for who's a legitimate target in the GWOT and OIR. We are usually more discriminate than this standard, but this is the rough standard.

    To preempt the "But Israel!" wing, since I know what y’all think when you hear the word Israel [​IMG], I’d like to note that until recently the Israeli Supreme Court was widely considered the most left wing, most activist court in the entire world. Like, standing next to Canada, India, and Germany. They have read into the Israeli Basic Laws’ Dignity Provision protections against torture, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, of marriage. A FISA court these guys are not. The principle of disavowal is not some "zionist" right wing construct. It's not a pacifist construct, but it's sure as hell not "right wing" (as if a RoE slate can be political in the first place!)

    Anyways, that's whether a target is legitimate taken care of. You then have to deal with the other categories - necessity, proportionality, humanity, and location and identity.

    Location and identity pretty much doesn't matter much. It's an issue with CIA-only drone strikes since members of the CIA are unprivileged combatants and don't have the right to kill in an armed conflict, but with DoD cooperation it's entirely fine.

    Humanity pretty much means you can't use chemical or biological weapons, white phosphorus (sans for illumination), shit like that. We don't.

    Necessity just means that a strike has to be militarily necessary - this is not generally considered a problem, killing terrorists is entirely in keeping with preventing their ability to conduct armed attacks, disrupting their command and control nodes, etc.

    Proportionality is the one everyone gets hung up on, but drones are actually incredibly discriminate and precise weapons. On average there's something like just about 10 casualties per attack sortie, which is insanely low compared to every other single exercise of air power, like, ever.

    And it's worth noting that international humanitarian law is entirely okay with dead civilians. Hell, it's entirely acceptable for states to deliberately kill civilians under international humanitarian law, or rather, knowingly take actions that will result in the deaths of civilians. The only constraint is the aforementioned ones, and that the deaths of civilians be proportionate. It doesn't matter if these civilians are wedding guests, children, women, the elderly. You can't deliberately target civilians in war, but you're allowed to make mistakes, and you're allowed to kill civilians in the process of killing a legitimate target.





    Anyways, you don't have to think any of this is right - not at all. But it's almost without question that targeted killing as it's currently operated is 100% legal under international law and does not constitute a war crime. There are absolutely gray areas, most notably in the definition of armed conflict, and I haven't even started on U.S. domestic law and the various due process claims. But generally speaking, when we're killing people abroad, we're doing so entirely within the boundaries of the law.


     
  11. Oment

    Oment The Betrayer

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  12. ASmallBundleOfToothpicks

    ASmallBundleOfToothpicks Professor

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  13. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    In other news, Trump threatened Rocket Man with annihilation while speaking at the UN. He also explicitly said 'Rocket Man', apparently so as to reduce confusion.
     
  14. TheWiseTomato

    TheWiseTomato Tactical Tomato DLP Supporter

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    The fuck has Elton ever done to Trump?
     
  15. ASmallBundleOfToothpicks

    ASmallBundleOfToothpicks Professor

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  16. calutron

    calutron Unspeakable

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    I kind of just want them to pass it, and see what happens politically. But then, this is a life and death issue for millions of people.
     
  17. KHAAAAAAAN!!

    KHAAAAAAAN!! Troll in the Dungeon Prestige DLP Supporter

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    DPRK has responded to this rhetoric with another up-scaled threat (as everyone knew they would). Unfortunately for the world, they skipped the "more icbm tests' and went straight to suggesting they may detonate an atmospheric nuke over the Pacific.

    Holy fucking shit.
     
  18. Johnnyseattle

    Johnnyseattle Auror DLP Supporter

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    You know, it's one thing that the current administration is trying to dismantle all the progress America has made in the last twenty years (well, especially the last eight) for the environment, human rights, etc. - it sucks, but that's something that will hopefully be turned back around when the change happens next time. Just part of the endless political seesaw here in 'Murica.

    But THIS shit is why this fucking idiot should have never been president. This is like a jock egging on an angry trenchcoat-wearing school shooter because he thinks he doesn't think the kid has the balls to do anything, and then he's going to blame everyone but himself when the kid starts pulling the trigger.

    I hope America is fucking proud of itself.
     
  19. Silens Cursor

    Silens Cursor The Silencer DLP Supporter

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    On a slightly more positive note to nuclear detonations, McCain declared his opposition to Graham-Cassidy, which means if Murkowski, Collins and Paul remain out or dubious, TrumpCare is dead. Again.

    (Obviously keep calling and shit, as they're currently trying to bribe the fuck out of Murkowski, but this was a welcome bit of news - I look forward to the POS-in-chief delivering a Twitter tirade).
     
  20. Oment

    Oment The Betrayer

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    It's hardly dead before we move to October, frankly... Too many variables.