News and Politics 2017 (General Political Discussion thread)

Discussion in 'Cafe toonzone' started by wonderfly, Jan 3, 2017.

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  1. wonderfly

    wonderfly Shaking things up a bit
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    2017 is here, and for those that follow the news, this is THE thread for discussing all things political and otherwise news worthy! Major news events throughout the year may warrant their own talkbacks, but for general discussion of politics (the type of stuff you might see on the evening news), use this thread!

    The rules on political discussion can be found here.

    Anyway, the tumultuous 2016 election is over, but there is still plenty to discuss in the world of politics (President and Congress related, or otherwise). Comments?!?
     
  2. Spideyzilla

    Spideyzilla Well-Known Member

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    President-Elect Donald Trump (I'm still not used to that) is going to nominate Jay Clayton as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Who's Jay Clayton? A Wall Street lawyer who has represented Goldman Sachs, among others. This is the third Trump appointment who has worked for Goldman Sachs. Steve Bannon was an employee there, while Treasury Secretary-nominee Steve Mnuchin worked there for 17 years. It's worth noting that the SEC is very relevant to Wall Street, and now they have one of their own managing it. So much for draining the swamp.
     
  3. wonderfly

    wonderfly Shaking things up a bit
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    I'm kind of in a "just wait and see" mode, on all things political, right now. We've got exactly 2 weeks until Trump takes office, and then I'm going to be highly intrigued by where things go from there. In the meantime, it kind of feels like Obama's trying to get us into a war with Russia, but Putin has taken to ignoring Obama at this point, and I'm trying to do the same.

    To be fair, "Draining the Swamp" applied to lobbyists and Washington "insiders" who always manage to stay in the same bureaucratic jobs, never to be held accountable. Wall Street tycoons don't strike me as "Swamp Dwellers". I've got much more of a problem with Trump appointing people like Mitch McConnell's wife Elaine Chao, to be head of the Department of Transportation. She was already the Secretary of Commerce during the George W. Bush administration, and maybe she is the right person for the job, but she's a poster child for "Washington Bureaucrat always finding a new job in government."
     
  4. Spideyzilla

    Spideyzilla Well-Known Member

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    To me, "draining the swamp" includes the Wall Street people. They're the ones who crashed the economy, and they're also among the biggest donors. They're certainly swamp dwellers I can tell you Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State has me very alarmed, and I would imagine every Trump supporter in the world would attack Clinton if she appointed the CEO of ExxonMobil as SoS, and rightfully so. But you're right, wait and see.

    Well, this is the politics and news thread, so I guess it only appropriate to post in this thread that 2017 has had its first mass shooting. I'm sure we all know about it, so I'll post this update that some may not have seen. I'm not going to name the shooter since he doesn't deserve that dignity, but this is sad on all levels. Despite what some people have said, he does not appear to be an ISIS terrorist. This guy claimed that the CIA was using mind control to force him to watch ISIS videos, so he hardly strikes me as a jihadist. He also apparently was hearing voices. This seems to be mental health related, and it would appear to be a failure on every level. We don't know what kind of mental health care he received after returning from war, but my hunch tells me it wasn't good. Nothing excuses this monster, but I can't help but feel that the system failed him. So, so sad. Thoughts with the victims families and with the wounded.
     
  5. wonderfly

    wonderfly Shaking things up a bit
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    On the shooting, more and more details are coming out, but yes, it appears to be a epic failure by the mental health system - by Alaskan authorities, or by the FBI, or by the Military/Veterans Affairs Department. Or by all of the above. Possibly also throw in the TSA (Transportation Security Administration).

    Moving on:

    For some reason, I didn't think Trump's cabinet appointees would start getting their approval hearings until AFTER Trump takes office. But I was wrong**, the the new Congress is holding confirmation hearings starting today. First up: the hearings for Trump's pick for Attorney General - Jeff Sessions.

    You can watch it live here.

    ** = And it makes sense: You would want your cabinet approved before the new President takes office.
     
  6. Peter Paltridge

    Peter Paltridge Knows about rock people
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  7. wonderfly

    wonderfly Shaking things up a bit
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    Yeah, I saw that. I enjoyed some of her comedy years ago, and I've got no beef with her (or Meryl Streep, who has now joined the "wag your finger sternly at Donald Trump" crowd), but Rosie's political advice is best left ignored.
     
  8. Spideyzilla

    Spideyzilla Well-Known Member

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    Rosie lost me when she started making crazy statements that Barron Trump was secretly autistic, and this just drives the nail even further. He's the president, deal with it. I know it's an inconvenient truth for many, but the government has still yet to give conclusive or even convincing evidence that Russia was behind the hack. And if they were, well, it's also an inconvenient truth that the US interferes with foreign elections all the time, so for the US to throw a hissy fit is hypocritical. All the hack did was show how nasty and evil the DNC is, and I have no problem whatsoever with anyone who had their votes turned by what they saw in those emails. All these claims that Russia stole the election are ludicrous.

    Though seriously, I wish people would stop with this Pizzagate stuff. Like, now.
     
  9. Peter Paltridge

    Peter Paltridge Knows about rock people
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    Remember when Trump nominated someone for head of Department of Education who hates the Department of Education? This is her, and she did not disappoint.



    Here she's being confronted by a senator about supporting guns in schools, and asked to come up with a reason. She stutters for a bit and then pulls out some obscure case where a remote school had to have guns on campus to fend off grizzly bears. Realizing this probably wasn't going to satisfy him and watching his open mouth get wider and wider, she put her hand to her chest and swore that her "heart bleeds" and that she doesn't support gun violence at all. That's why you gotta have all those guns -- to fend off gun violence.

    What she said here about "leaving it up to the states" is a stock Republican answer when one is forced to defend an unpopular opinion or policy: "well, other people want it, not me." For the record, though, the issue (like any other issue) is more complex than that.

    The truth is, we have states where guns are an unremoveable part of the culture, everybody has one, they walk around toting them everywhere, babies learn to load a Glock before they learn to walk. Then you have areas where if the public sees so much as ONE gun they freak out and call the police. These two cultures have to share the same country. It's never been a comfortable fit.

    There are probably guns ALREADY in many Southern and rural schools, and if you say that could possibly be bad or result in any death or injury, that means you're trying to repeal the Second Amendment. To city dwellers and liberals it looks barbaric to make deadly weapons so easy to obtain. But here's the thing. They're willing to live with it. They know the risk is higher, but they prefer it to the alternative. It's a chance they're willing to take, because they regard being armed as very important.

    The Mother of Dragons descended upon Mereen and tried to ban gladiator fights because she saw them as barbaric. Instead the people revolted until she brought them back. Gladiator fights were part of their culture. She saw it one way, but they saw it another way, and she couldn't change what had been tradition for hundreds of years.

    Ironically, "Leaving it to the states" is probably the best solution here. It's a democratic society and in Southern and rural areas, it's what they want. It's how they live. Could there be more school shootings? You bet your bippy, but again, it's a risk they're willing to take. It's hard for liberals to watch, but they've gotta put it in perspective.
     
  10. Peter Paltridge

    Peter Paltridge Knows about rock people
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    More Betsy insanity:

    The only possible reason I could think of being opposed to this rule would be if you owned stock in some of these for-profit colleges and didn't appreciate the value going down. She is a billionaire, so it's possible.

    To make the regulations stronger, or weaker? It's gotta be stronger, right? I can't imagine she's thinking "As a woman, I don't think we're being assaulted enough." But you never know; check out the answer to this next one....

    Uh, no....this is not one of those relative things.
     
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  11. wonderfly

    wonderfly Shaking things up a bit
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    Why is she having to answer questions about guns anyway? That's a trap ideological discussion, when they should be sticking to discussing funding issues.

    ...MORE school shootings? Since January 2009, 92% of mass shootings have occurred in "gun free zones". A "gun free zone" didn't help the kids at Sandy Hook.

    It's hard for conservatives to watch Coastal city dwellers getting shot because of stupid laws.
     
  12. Red Arrow :D

    Red Arrow :D Proud Beneluxer

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    Local gun-free zones are not going to work. Either make the entire country gun-free, or nothing at all. But don't start creating places where nutjobs know for sure that everyone will be unprotected.

    I am so glad I live in a place with strict gun laws :sweat:
     
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  13. wonderfly

    wonderfly Shaking things up a bit
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    Your daily "liberal double standard" tidbit:

    We've been hearing a lot about Jeff Sessions middle name lately, (It's what the protesters were chanting, "Beauregard", among other things), because his middle name is apparently named after a Confederate General.

    But we were told we can't mention Barack Obama's middle name is "Hussein" because that's "codeword" to Americans to say "Look, he's got MUSLIM in his middle name!". Remember back in 2008 when McCain got onto a surrogate for focusing on Obama's middle name a bit too much?"

    So it's okay to bring up one guy has a Confederate last name, but not to bring up the other has an Arab middle name. Got it. How about we focus on the actions and words of both men, not on their names?
     
  14. Peter Paltridge

    Peter Paltridge Knows about rock people
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    The logic here is that if a crazy kid wants to shoot up his school, or he just gets into an argument and wants to end it quickly, he'll have fast and easy access to a gun. Yeah, if the teachers are armed that could potentially end it quickly, but not before innocent people are shot. (And a lot of people aren't comfortable with the concept of arming teachers anyway. There are racist teachers like there are racist cops.) Also, while I appreciate your bringing a link to back up your opinion, I need a better statistic source than a site called "Freedom Outpost." Is there a nonbiased website that can confirm that statistic?
     
  15. wonderfly

    wonderfly Shaking things up a bit
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    The study that website references comes from a study done by the Crime Prevention Research Center. Here's their website.

    You can probably dismiss them as conservative website, just like I can dismiss liberal websites. It's hard to get non-partisan studies anymore (the "9/11 commission" from Congress was probably the last truly non-partisan "let's get to the bottom of this" study).
     
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  16. Spideyzilla

    Spideyzilla Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to remind you that the armed guards at Columbine, the police force at Virginia Tech, the armed guard at Pulse nightclub, and the armed protesters at the Dallas shooting did nothing to stop those events. The Oregon shooting at Umpqua Community College was not only not in a gun free zone, students with proper documentation were allowed to bring their guns with them. Why shouldn't Betsy DeVos answer that question? It's a hot button issue, and it is one that will perhaps be relevant to her position, especially with Trump in office. "It's hard for conservatives to watch Coastal city dwellers getting shot because of stupid laws." I'm sorry, that statement is kind of offensive to me. Here's a map that CNN put together in mid 2016 of mass shootings in America by state.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, it's pretty spread out among red states and blue states. I understand why Illinois and California are represented as having a high number of mass shootings, being home to Chicago, Oakland, etc. But look at Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Texas. All red states, all of them love their guns, and yet it seems they're not immune to incidents. Why are there more shootings in cities? Because there's more people in place, so the numbers will be higher.

    Here's something else to chew on. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation listed the number of gun deaths per 100,000 people in 2014, based on their data. Here are the top ten:
    1) Alabama (red state)
    2) Alaska (red state)
    3) Arizona (red state)
    4) Arkansas (red state)
    5) California (blue state)
    6) Colorado (purple, but blue in last three elections)
    7) Connecticut (blue state)
    8) Delaware (blue state)
    9) D.C. (blue state)
    10) Florida (red state usually)

    The idea that gun violence only happens in liberal cities where people despise guns is pure fantasy, and. It happens all over, and it happens at rates far higher than any other country. Does America's population contribute to its higher level gun crime than other countries? No doubt. But I think you guys in America need to really look in the mirror and ask why it happens to you guys more than anyone else. I live in Canada, the most famous mass shooting (also the most horrific and bone chilling) was the Ècolie Polytechnique shooting in 1989. It's remembered and honoured every year around the time of it's anniversary, and I would say most Canadians are aware of it. I can honestly say I can't think of one off the top of my head that's happened since. Most people couldn't, I daresay. Have there been mass shootings since? Yes, but there are incredibly rare and tend to have much smaller numbers of casualties, a benefit of not allowing assault rifles. No, gun free zones aren't necessarily the answer, I think I agree with Red Arrow on that one. But arming teachers certainly isn't the answer either, and I would feel much less safe in a school if every teacher had a gun. Are armed guards the answer? Maybe, but where does that end? Does every coffee shop and restaurant now need to have armed guards? Let's tread lightly on this one, guys. Gun control is nowhere near as black and white an issue as either side will believe, it's ten thousand shades of grey.
     
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  17. wonderfly

    wonderfly Shaking things up a bit
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    And I could cite other instances where guns saved lives. And I remember people bringing up the armed guard at the Pulse nightclub but what Trump and others have referred to is civilians being allowed to have "concealed/carry" not just having to rely on police to save us.

    *shrug* It was a retort to Peter's "It's hard for liberals to watch", which irked me, but such is life. Yes, I recognize shootings can occur throughout the country. Peter's on to something when he brings up that both cultures share the same country and need to accept the differences in their cultures.

    EDIT: I will point out that that there is a "Gun Control Debate" thread where a more detailed discussion can maybe occur, if anyone's interested.
     
    #17 wonderfly, Jan 19, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2017
  18. Spideyzilla

    Spideyzilla Well-Known Member

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    So armed people in a nightclub, with copious amounts of alcohol, would have been the answer? And when the police show up, how do they know who to shoot at? I never said guns don't save lives in certain scenarios, I'm saying it's a lot more complicated than liberals or conservatives would have you believe. I agree with you and Peter on that second point, though. The reality is that America has always been deeply divided in many ways. I've spent time in New York and Boston, and I've also been to Virginia and Florida. Two different cultures, no doubt. As a Canadian, it's fascinating to watch.
     
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  19. wonderfly

    wonderfly Shaking things up a bit
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  20. wonderfly

    wonderfly Shaking things up a bit
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    The Oath of Office is moments away. You can follow live on CNN and Fox News websites.
     
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