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Source: (consider it) Thread: Oops - your Trump presidency discussion thread
Pangolin Guerre
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# 18686

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Really? What is it Brenda? How old?

It occurred to me after my post that I was given one some years ago entitled something like A Gay Man's Guide to Etiquette, which covered all the standard stuff, and some peculiarly gay things. (This forum is a bit delicate for me to go into that here, but there was good advice.)

Above I mentioned dining hall crimes. I have wondered what sort of training Trump received. I know that he attended a military academy, that his father was overbearing, and that he had a brother who was considered an embarrassment, but beyond that, I really know nothing of his formation. Is he so well behaved at table as to justify calling Rosie O'Donnell a pig? (Rhetorical: being well behaved means never saying that.) Does he stab at his ketchup-slathered steak? Do crumbs fly out his mouth as eats his most beautiful chocolate cake? What does he drink? How does he drink? I'm genuinely curious.

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Brenda Clough
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This should be a free click, an editorial cartoon highly appropriate for this board.

I am the proud possessor of LIGHT ON DARK CORNERS: A Complete Sexual Science. A Guide to Purity and Physical Manhood. Advice to Maiden, Wife and Mother, Love Courtship and Marriage (1900). It is
available in electronic format so that you too can read the best advice of the day. The inconsistencies inherent in the work from page to page make me reel. No, beauty in woman is meaningless! It is her inner soul that makes her lovely! Here are some complexion tips and ideas on how to improve your hair. No, one should only marry for love, but here is a long numbered list of things to choose when you look to marry, including the height of the guy, his income, his teeth, and the shape of his skull (flat heads, bad!).

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Jane R
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# 331

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lilbuddha:
quote:
Etiquette is another excuse for classicism.
<assuming you mean classism> Yes, but you do need *some* rules of politeness in order for society to function. Saying please and thank you, for example, as Pangolin Guerre mentioned. The fact that some people have ridiculously over-complicated the rules so they can look down their noses at people who don't know them doesn't mean we should abandon the idea of having rules completely.

<tangent> of course classicism, or an obsessive interest in Ancient Rome and Greece, used to be one of the ways that classism was perpetuated... <\tangent>

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Amanda B. Reckondwythe

Dressed for Church
# 5521

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There's nothing complicated about "A gentleman always removes his hat indoors except for religious reasons" or "a lady is always correct in a hat except in her own home or her own place of business."

Now, when we get to "A gentleman never wears brown after sunset" we might have something to discuss.

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"We're not in Wonderland anymore, Alice." – Charles Manson

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Sioni Sais
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# 5713

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quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
There's nothing complicated about "A gentleman always removes his hat indoors except for religious reasons".

Does that include Texans wearing Stetsons?

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"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

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Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
There's nothing complicated about "A gentleman always removes his hat indoors except for religious reasons" or "a lady is always correct in a hat except in her own home or her own place of business."

The whole hat thing is of relatively recent vintage (if we take the nineteenth century* to be "relatively recent"). And it was originally more complicated than you indicate. A man would wear a hat outdoors, but indoors would remove it if within a private space, but leave it on in a public space, unless it was a theatre. I remember someone expressing shock at seeing early tintypes and daguerreotypes of Victorians wearing hats while eating at restaurants! [Eek!] Unless it was a higher end establishment, in which case hat removal was expected as in a private space. And the rules were different for waiters and other workers in these spaces, who were typically expected to be hatless regardless of whether it was a hatted or hatless space for patrons. The simplified version you're citing seems to be of even more recent vintage, probably the inter-war period, or even post-World War II.

And returning to the subject of the thread, Trump giving a speech about cutting his own taxes while Texas drowns is the most Republican thing that has ever happened.


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*There was definitely hat etiquette prior to the nineteenth century, but the rules were not as agreed upon and had many more exceptions, provisos, and codicils depending on the social rank of those involved in whatever situation was at hand.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Penny S
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# 14768

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King Charles II removed his hat when George Fox did not, citing "It is customary for only one man to wear a hat where the king is present". I paraphrase. He was probably wittier.
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Brenda Clough
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I'm sure there was also a geographical etiquette. Americans or Cubans were doing it differently, you can bet.
We can almost pinpoint the moment in time when hats for men fell out of fashion. It was January 1960, when John Kennedy went to his inauguration without a hat. I can just remember my father's fedora, but I cannot remember him ever wearing it. These days men will wear baseball caps (and Stetsons but only if you're Texan) but that's about it.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by Pangolin Guerre:

So my saying "please", "thank you", holding a door open, addressing my unintroduced elders (hell, unintroduced anyone), as "Sir" or "Ma'am", "Mr Smith", "Mrs Jones" perpetuates an oppressive class system?

Manners ≠ etiquette.

quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:
<assuming you mean classism>

dagnabit yes.
quote:

Yes, but you do need *some* rules of politeness in order for society to function.

Not debating this. Politeness is an essential tool. Still, there are a number of rules of politeness that are more about stratification than interconnection.
I will hold a door for anyone who follows closely behind, but I delight in holding it for men. Especially macho types. Drives them mental.

[ 31. August 2017, 15:50: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Pangolin Guerre
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# 18686

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lilBuddha, I think that the differentiation between manners and etiquette is deliberately tendentious. You're applying a nuance to "etiquette" which is not definitionally present.
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Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I'm sure there was also a geographical etiquette. Americans or Cubans were doing it differently, you can bet.

Definitely.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Pangolin Guerre:
lilBuddha, I think that the differentiation between manners and etiquette is deliberately tendentious. You're applying a nuance to "etiquette" which is not definitionally present.

Yes, I am. It is not 'definitionally' present, but it is functionally present. But more accurately, I am applying a "nuance" that is foundational to its existence.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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HCH
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# 14313

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Doesn't some of this discussion seem a bit far from the thread's topic? Do some of you want to have a separate thread on etiquette?

A comment I heard (Dan Rather, interviewed by Chris Hayes on MSNBC) is that Trump is afraid of something specific which may come out in Mueller's investigation. As he certainly is not a man to face his fears, he is busy trying to distract and obstruct.

Does that sound about right? Do we have speculations as to what he fears?

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Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by HCH:
A comment I heard (Dan Rather, interviewed by Chris Hayes on MSNBC) is that Trump is afraid of something specific which may come out in Mueller's investigation. As he certainly is not a man to face his fears, he is busy trying to distract and obstruct.

Does that sound about right? Do we have speculations as to what he fears?

Everything Donald Trump has done relating to the Russia investigation is exactly the actions you'd expect of someone who is both guilty and worried about it.

If we're going to engage in speculation, my guess is that at the root it's all going to come back to money. Trump has had bankruptcies in the past and my guess is that his business empire is (or recently was) mortgaged to the hilt. Most legitimate western banks have cut him off (and credit is the lifeblood of modern business generally and real estate in particular). The one exception is Deutsche Bank, which has some shady connections of its own. So I'm speculating that at some point in the recent past, likely before he ever seriously considered running for president, Donald Trump (who needed fast cash) met up with some Russian oligarchs and mobsters (who needed cash laundered) and an arrangement was made. Now the marker is being called in in the form of presidential favors (lift the sanctions, take a soft position on Crimea, etc.).

Pure speculation, but it fits the known facts.

For those who are interested Seth Abramson has a long (60 tweets plus six addenda) Twitter thread on who Carter Page is and what his likely connections to both Trump and Russia are.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Brenda Clough
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Yes, he's definitely in terror of something coming out. What that something is is the question of questions. We can rank the possibilities:

1. He's not a billionaire, maybe not even a millionaire. A thousandaire? -Very- embarrassing (the reluctance to release his tax returns), but that's all.
2. He colluded with the Russians to trash Hillary Clinton. This calls his election into question, intolerable. Impeachment, however, is probably not a possibility, as long as the GOP is in power. The statement 'water under the bridge' comes into play here.
3. The Russians have him by the financial balls. This is treasonous; if he has abused his office by favoring them he is surely liable for a jail sentence after the impeachment. Which, if this is egregious enough (and if you put the word 'egregious' into Google a picture of Lyin' Don comes up) the GOP might even sign in for.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Clutch
Apprentice
# 18827

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Forgive me for asking a side question, but even with congress in the hands of the Republicans. If Mueller's probe turns up the corroborating evidence of Trump's treason. Isn't such a possible charge automatic grounds for impeachment,no matter who's holding Congressional power?

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Proud liberal socialist,proud progressive Anglo-Catholic and proud to be a conservative's bane.

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Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Clutch:
Forgive me for asking a side question, but even with congress in the hands of the Republicans. If Mueller's probe turns up the corroborating evidence of Trump's treason. Isn't such a possible charge automatic grounds for impeachment,no matter who's holding Congressional power?

Nothing about impeachment is "automatic". It's a political process with political actors and can only be triggered deliberately.

The current House of Representatives has 240 Republicans, 194 Democrats, and 1 vacant seat (UT-3). An impeachment would require 218 votes (a simple majority) in the House, so 24 Republican House members would need to cross the aisle to impeach Trump, assuming all Democrats vote in favor of doing so. If evidence were egregious enough I could see 10% of House Republicans breaking to vote in favor of impeachment, but it would probably be close.

All impeachments are tried in the Senate, which requires a two-thirds supermajority to convict. The current Senate is composed of 52 Republicans, 46 Democrats, and 2 independents who caucus with the Democrats. Assuming that all Democrats (plus Bernie Sanders and Angus King) are willing to vote to convict Trump (and thereby remove him from office) 19 Republican Senators would have to be willing to vote with them to actually convict Trump. Or looked at from the opposite perspective, Trump would need to retain the loyalty of at least 34 Senators to avoid conviction in the case of impeachment. Given that, I don't see an impeachment being able to proceed successfully to conviction in the Senate absent some kind of iron-clad and indisputable evidence of actual treason, fully intended and committed.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Brenda Clough
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No. It is true what Crooked Don said, that if he shot someone to death on Fifth Avenue no one would convict. It will call for something truly egregious, utterly shameful (which is to say, even MORE egregious and shameful than everything that has happened to date) before the GOP grows a spine and does its duty.
One can, in the imagination, sort through the scenarios to find one horrific enough. Video of him fellating Putin? Nah. Bank statements, with the rubles being deposited? Please. I'm afraid it will call for blood. Someone has to die, someone white (of course) and male.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Bishops Finger
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Meanwhile, it seems as though The Supreme Trumpkin is having a bit of a spat with his Russian pals:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-41115352

Is this of any major significance?

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

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This impeachment stuff becomes more interesting if the Democrats can win control of both houses in 2018. It's not likely at all, as I understand things, but I hope every effort is being made to make this happen.

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The opinions expressed above are transitory emotional responses and do not necessarily reflect the considered views of the author.

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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Re T and Houston:

Saw a little coverage of VP Pence's visit to the area. He may be a creep, in many ways. But *that's* the presidential response to disaster that T didn't do.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
This impeachment stuff becomes more interesting if the Democrats can win control of both houses in 2018. It's not likely at all, as I understand things, but I hope every effort is being made to make this happen.

The Senate, in particular, is a very heavy lift for the Democrats to flip. They'd need to make a net gain of 3 seats out of the 33 up for election this time. Of those 33 only 8 are currently held by Republicans. (The last time these particular Senate seats were up for election was 2012, when the Democrats won big. Of course the drawback to winning big is that you've got more to defend next time around.) I can see the Democrats knocking off Dean Heller (NV) and maybe Jeff Flake (AZ). A longer shot would be Ted Cruz (TX), who gives off that creepy serial killer vibe but is still a Republican from Texas. Other than that I'm not seeing any obviously vulnerable Republicans, absent some kind of scandal.

So knocking off those three would get the Democrats the Senate, but only if they didn't lose anywhere else, which is tough in a year they've got to defend Senate seats in places like Montana and North Dakota.

It should also be noted that simply having a majority isn't enough to convict on an impeachment in the Senate. That requires a two-thirds supermajority (67 senators), which is a mathematical impossibility for Democrats to achieve in 2018.

[ 01. September 2017, 14:25: Message edited by: Crœsos ]

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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Turns out that Trump (very likely) has fewer business assets and wealth than he's been claiming.

He's quite literally worth-less.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Pigwidgeon

Ship's Owl
# 10192

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Turns out that Trump (very likely) has fewer business assets and wealth than he's been claiming.

He's quite literally worth-less.

There's been quite a bit of thought that this is why he won't release his tax returns.

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Don't keep calm. Go change the world.

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Bishops Finger
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Ah, I see - so, the Emperor may indeed have no clothes?

[Snigger]

Seriously, though, if he is, in fact, much less wealthier (in worldly terms) than he would like us to think, will that make any difference to his minions, myrmidons, and toadies?

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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# 38

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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Ah, I see - so, the Emperor may indeed have no clothes?

[Snigger]

Seriously, though, if he is, in fact, much less wealthier (in worldly terms) than he would like us to think, will that make any difference to his minions, myrmidons, and toadies?

IJ

Reminds me of this one.
quote:
NYC Parks stands firmly against any unpermitted erection in city parks, no matter how small,
- a Parks Department spokesman explained.

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Anglo-Cthulhic

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Bishops Finger
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# 5430

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[Killing me]

but also

[Projectile]

(Gosh, what a wonderful idea for a new sex toy - an inflatable, naked Trumpkin, to be sold only to white, right-wing, evangellos....and then again, perhaps not....).

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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They have not cared about all his myriad other lies, so I don't think it'll make a scrap of difference to them. To him, however, it will be a crushing blow. The man has lived all his life being the Best, the Biggest, the etc. etc. etc. He has an ego like spun sugar, in need of the most delicate handling, to the point where his staff compiles binders full of positive coverage and compliments for him to peruse daily.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Bishops Finger
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# 5430

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I almost feel sorry for him, as it's no fun being a pauper. Read Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, and imagine The Naked Emperor in front of the Board...

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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You have a kindly nature. After all Li'l Donny's nastiness about people being poor (or foreign, or ugly, etc. etc. etc.) I want him to get some of his own back.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Bishops Finger
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# 5430

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I did say almost ... [Biased]

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Barnabas62
Host
# 9110

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Side Issue

Pro-Trump propaganda. The UK is saved!

(I dipped occasionally into Fox News, to see how they spin Trump's various disasters. Educational in a bizarre sort of way. But apparently there were only a couple of thousand of us a day in the UK who ever bothered.)

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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OTOH, *we're* getting Daily Mail TV soon, on broadcast TV, I think.
[Roll Eyes]

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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Barnabas62
Host
# 9110

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Nooooooo!

Toxic!

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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# 38

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Gosh, I'd missed the announcement of that one. USA only mercifully, but my apologies to all US shipmates from this side of the pond.

Like you, B62, I do maintain a watching brief over news views from all sources around the world as much as I can. I'm determined not to get sucked into a bubble or echo-chamber, but it does involve much teeth-gnashing these days. Never Fox news though, as I don't subscribe to Sky.

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Anglo-Cthulhic

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Bishops Finger
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# 5430

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I see from BBC News that The Lord Of Heaven is due to visit Houston again (this time, to meet with flood victims and aid workers), and that he has declared tomorrow (Sunday) as a 'National Day of Prayer' for said victims.

O for an outpouring of prayer that the Egregious Emperor will acknowledge that global warming is happening...

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

Posts: 8522 | From: With The Glums At The Bus Stop | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Stercus Tauri
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# 16668

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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
There's nothing complicated about "A gentleman always removes his hat indoors except for religious reasons".

Does that include Texans wearing Stetsons?
Backing up the thread a little, some years ago cinemas in Fort Worth would put up a message on the screen before the film, requesting gentlemen to remove their hats - a hard thing for a Texan to do.

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Thay haif said. Quhat say thay, Lat thame say (George Keith, 5th Earl Marischal)

Posts: 852 | From: On the traditional lands of the Six Nations. | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged
Bishops Finger
Shipmate
# 5430

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I trust that Texan gentlemen will indeed remove their hats when addressed by their Lord And Master Of The Thatched Head today.

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

Posts: 8522 | From: With The Glums At The Bus Stop | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Pigwidgeon

Ship's Owl
# 10192

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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
I trust that Texan gentlemen will indeed remove their hats when addressed by their Lord And Master Of The Thatched Head today.

IJ

Remove their beloved Stetsons? You'll remove their hats from their cold, dead heads!

[Eek!]

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Don't keep calm. Go change the world.

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Stephen
Shipmate
# 40

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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
I trust that Texan gentlemen will indeed remove their hats when addressed by their Lord And Master Of The Thatched Head today.

IJ

......and their birettas?
[Two face]

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Best Wishes
Stephen

'Be still,then, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations and I will be exalted in the earth' Ps46 v10

Posts: 3933 | From: Alto C Clef Country | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

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It happened.

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Love wins

Posts: 16374 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
This impeachment stuff becomes more interesting if the Democrats can win control of both houses in 2018. It's not likely at all, as I understand things, but I hope every effort is being made to make this happen.

The Senate, in particular, is a very heavy lift for the Democrats to flip. They'd need to make a net gain of 3 seats out of the 33 up for election this time. Of those 33 only 8 are currently held by Republicans. (The last time these particular Senate seats were up for election was 2012, when the Democrats won big. Of course the drawback to winning big is that you've got more to defend next time around.) I can see the Democrats knocking off Dean Heller (NV) and maybe Jeff Flake (AZ). A longer shot would be Ted Cruz (TX), who gives off that creepy serial killer vibe but is still a Republican from Texas. Other than that I'm not seeing any obviously vulnerable Republicans, absent some kind of scandal.

So knocking off those three would get the Democrats the Senate, but only if they didn't lose anywhere else, which is tough in a year they've got to defend Senate seats in places like Montana and North Dakota.

It should also be noted that simply having a majority isn't enough to convict on an impeachment in the Senate. That requires a two-thirds supermajority (67 senators), which is a mathematical impossibility for Democrats to achieve in 2018.

Aaaargh! I didn't realise it was that difficult!

I also saw on the news today that there's a Democrat Senator from New Jersey who is up on corruption charges for accepting luxury holidays from a Dentist. Why is a Dentist (who is also charged) trying to corrupt a United States Senator? That's not a question.

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The opinions expressed above are transitory emotional responses and do not necessarily reflect the considered views of the author.

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Crœsos
Shipmate
# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
I also saw on the news today that there's a Democrat Senator from New Jersey who is up on corruption charges for accepting luxury holidays from a Dentist.

Bob Menendez, and yes, it is truly shocking that a politician from New Jersey may be corrupt! [Roll Eyes]

The additional complicating factor is that if Menendez is convicted and the Senate decides to expel him prior to January 16, 2018, New Jersey's term-limited Republican governor, Chris Christie, would be able to appoint a Republican to fill the remainder of Menendez's term. His seat is one of the Democratic seats up for election in 2018 so the hypothetical interim Senator would only serve about a year (Menendez still says he's going to run for re-election, but what else can he say at this point?), but it's a seat the Democrats can't afford to lose even for that long.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

Posts: 10303 | From: Sardis, Lydia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ian Climacus

Liturgical Slattern
# 944

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What is it about New Jersey? Is it so pervasive "good" people get caught up, with a little bribe here, a little looking the other way there?

Is it on both sides, or does it favour the one?

Posts: 7340 | From: Albury, Australia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Golden Key
Shipmate
# 1468

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Ian--

I don't know that much about NJ. But, reportedly, lots of current and retired mafiosi and other organized crime folks live there. And New Jerseyans, in general, have a reputation for a lot of moxie, outer toughness, verbal boldness, etc.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

Posts: 17567 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Golden Key
Shipmate
# 1468

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...when you're president, and the Secret Service agents
quote:
joke about jumping in front of the president to “take a bullet” to protect him. “I might be taking a bullet fired from a fellow agent.”
and

an aide "said she fears for her safety if her name is used. 'I think our president is insane!'" (Capitol Hill Blue)

...you might have a problem.
[Eek!]

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

Posts: 17567 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

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ABC News: Trump Deals with the Democrats

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh! I'm more excited than Tom Gleeson on Hard Quiz, who walks onto the set every time like he can't believe they let him on TV again!

What a boost for the 2018 campaign! Republicans in Congress: GRIDLOCK. Democrats in Congress: GET SHIT DONE.

Then you do a whispering campaign about how Trump needs the Democrats in Congress to implement his programme. Then when the Dems get into power they SHAFT TRUMP LIKE A BASTARD. Of course they have to be tricky and clever about this because they will need help from some Republicans. But when they're in position to strike they STRIKE LIKE THEY'VE NEVER STRUCK BEFORE, leaving him bloodied and blinded but still able to hear their cries of victory.

Ahhh politics, how I love thee.

[ 08. September 2017, 01:58: Message edited by: simontoad ]

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The opinions expressed above are transitory emotional responses and do not necessarily reflect the considered views of the author.

Posts: 923 | From: Romsey, Vic, AU | Registered: May 2014  |  IP: Logged
Crœsos
Shipmate
# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
What a boost for the 2018 campaign! Republicans in Congress: GRIDLOCK. Democrats in Congress: GET SHIT DONE.

Although it's not as glamorous as being president, Nancy Pelosi seems like the most effective Speaker of the House / Minority Leader since Sam Rayburn, or possibly since Henry Clay. She seems to have an almost supernatural ability to maintain party discipline, whether in the minority or the majority, and strong strategic sense of how to split the opposition.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

Posts: 10303 | From: Sardis, Lydia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Prester John
Shipmate
# 5502

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What was that about party discipline? On her watch the Democrats have gone from a majority in the House to an ever increasing minority. Not sure how that can be labeled success.
Posts: 860 | From: SF Bay Area | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Crœsos
Shipmate
# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Prester John:
On her watch the Democrats have gone from a majority in the House to an ever increasing minority. Not sure how that can be labeled success.

I'm not sure how much the Speaker is responsible for the electoral fortunes of each individual member of her caucus. More to the point, the idea that the main purpose of having political power is keeping political power seems warped. The main purpose of having political power is advancing your agenda. Passing Obamacare, to cite one obvious example, was politically costly in terms of Congressional seats (at least in the near term), but it accomplished a longstanding Democratic goal that had previously eluded every post-war Democratic administration (with the possible exception of the creation of Medicare and Medicaid under Johnson). Being able to preserve past gains while in the minority (because if you're in the House any length of time you're going to spend some time in the minority) can be just as important, like the way Pelosi managed to keep any Democrats from breaking ranks on the attempt to appeal Obamacare.

If you're obsessed with 'keeping your powder dry' and holding on to power at the expense of accomplishing anything, you'll never get anything done (e.g. the current Republican caucus, especially the Tea Party faction).

I'm also not sure exactly what you mean by "an ever increasing minority". Isn't that a good thing? Being in the minority, but increasing? At any rate, I'm not sure the analysis holds up. Pelosi first served as the leader of House Democrats in 2003 (108th Congress) with a caucus of 205 Democrats plus 1 independent who caucused with the Democrats. How has the caucus fared since then?

  • 2003: 205 + 1
  • 2005: 201 + 1
  • 2007: 233
  • 2009: 256
  • 2011: 193
  • 2013: 200
  • 2015: 188
  • 2017: 194

The figures given are for the start of each legislative session in January. I'm not sure there's a clear trajectory there, nor am I convinced that if there were it could be attributed to the decisions of Pelosi.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

Posts: 10303 | From: Sardis, Lydia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged



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