I propose that we have a topic dedicated to the 2020 Election, including the debates.
So far, the The Trump Presidency and Biden Our Time: All things Joe Biden topics seem to be getting used for that purpose, but I think that the election deserves its own topic since the election is about far more than just the Presidential race. This way, congressional and even state races can also be discussed along with problems with the implementation of mail-in and early voting procedures as well as efforts towards voter suppression, polling, etc.
I'll start out with something that was brought up at a recent skeptics brunch (held online for the time being). It was mentioned that the state governments of some Republican-run states have sworn to only select electors for Trump regardless of how that state's populace votes. Apparently, there's nothing in the Constitution that requires them to abide by the vote nor that forbids them from simply acting arbitrarily. One such state was mentioned by name but I forget which it was and it was expressed that there are a couple more states ready to follow suit.
Has anybody else heard about that? What would the consequences be, especially in the states where everybody's vote was basically tossed into the trash?
Honor, Courage, Commitment (US Navy)
A fundamentalist Christian once asked what I as an atheist believed in. My spontaneous and totally honest answer must have sounded corny, but it was true: "Truth, Justice, and the American Way." That's still my answer today.
GOP Values: Hypocrisy, Corruption, Greed, Lying, Cheating, Voter Suppression, Election Fraud, Conspiring with the Enemy
" ... how hard can that be, to say that Nazis are bad?!" (Barack Obama)
"How are we still fighting Nazis today?" (Daisy Johnson, S5E15)
Nance's Law: Coincidence takes a lot of planning. (Malcolm Nance)
There comes a time in the affairs of man when you have to grab the bull by the tail and face the situation. (W.C. Fields)
It is a well-known fact that reality has a definite liberal bias. (Steven Colbert on NPR)
Won't even matter who wins or loses in terms to what is going to happen to the nation. Both sides have already stated, in so many words, that they won't concede defeat. Whatever controversy we saw with Gore/Bush, amplify that times a 1,000.
My son is a cop and I fear that he has gone over to the Dark Side (ie, pro-Trump). He personally advised me to go to a local (for me) gun range and get qualified and armed. I refuse to see that as some kind of forewarning.
And for some bizarre reason even while knowing that China and Russia are doing whatever they can to further incite this, even knowing that they are a COMMON threat, we still won't figure out how to come together for a common good.
You treat what you can, but with limited resources you have to make those extremely hard decisions of who will live and who will die. Most of us can sit back and philosophize after the fact, but when you are right there on the front lines when seconds matter, ... .
China's game is long-term. It requires a long-term plan on our part, something that obviously escapes the attention span of our current Executive. Not as much of an immediate threat if you were conducting triage.
Russia's game is much more short-term. Sow whatever chaos you can.
The current administration's approach is to give the Russians full reign.
I suspect that the reason that Trump is so differential to Putin is that Russia hold the 400M dollars in personal debt that Trump owes.
Exactly! One of the big items in a security clearance is your debt, to whom you owe it, and how well you manage it. If you are getting into financial problems, then you are vulnerable to coercion and you are a security threat. And the higher your clearance, the more important that becomes.
While we aren't being told to whom Trump owes that money, all indications are that it's foreign. Being such a failure at business and all that, Trump's credit with US banks is non-existent. That is why he had to go with foreign banks like Deutsche Bank who has been more than happy to do business with him. In addition, Deutsche Bank has been caught laundering money, especially Russian money. And in either 2013 or 2014, one of Trump's sons (Junior, I think) bragged to reporters about all the money they were getting from Russia.
So of course by owing a lot of money to Russia that would be Trump vulnerable to coercion from Russia. And that would explain why Trump consistently goes out of his way to do what Putin wants in every way possible. Trump has been bought and paid for.
But I don't think that it's all Russian money. Look at how Trump also does the bidding of Turkey. For example, our October 2019 withdrawal from Northern Syria abandoning our Kurdish allies and leaving them to be attacked by Turkish forces -- and of course we also left that region open for Russia to expand its power and influence.
When the Mueller investigation started, it was split into Mueller's investigation of Russian influence looking for criminal activity and a second counter-intelligence investigation within the FBI that would look into Trump's finances. Every time something was uncovered about Trump's finances, they'd send it to that other investigation in the FBI. And even after the Mueller report came out, we were still waiting to hear from that FBI investigation that we "knew" was still in progress. But now very recently it was revealed that almost as soon as that investigation had started, Rob Rosenstein killed it.
Completely inappropriate and off-topic, but "Xochitl" sounds native American. Nothing at all wrong about that. It's just that my linguistics button just got pushed.
I married into a bilingual Mexican family where my in-laws were fully English/Spanish bilingual (indeed, while he was ethnically Mexican, Spanish was his second language so he habitually spoke Spanish with his Mexican wife for practice) and they raised their children to speak Spanish to their parents and English to each other so that the parents could correct them in both languages. As my marriage was falling apart (death of my son followed by my having to endure two years of ever escalating abuse, but that's another story), we had a big two-week family trip to Mexico (my suegra, mother-in-law, is from the Federal District, Mexico City, Chilangolandia, so part of it was visiting family) which included a family afternoon in a boat at Xochimilco, the "floating market place". And my familia would use a word for turkey that ended in a "tl" ending which my highly intelligent suegro (father-in-law) would tell us was from the Nahuatl native language and that whenever we heard that "tl" combination it was a native word -- eg, "ahucacahuitl" for avocado.
In the Navy, we chief petty officers would proctor the enlisted advancement exams. As I would hand out the exam packets to the sailors, I made a habit of saying their given names in order to ensure that they got the right packet (eg, for Smith, if he was William Smith instead of James Smith whose packet it was, then there would be a problem). One packet was for Xochil and she was very surprised that I had pronounced it correctly and without hesitation. I credited it to having learned some Spanish, but thinking back I should have said that I had been to Xochimilco.
It's not that unlike being a Marine at Wake or Correigidor in some sense. Hang on for life, Guadalcanal is right here right now in this state, the turkey shoot and Saipan are on the horizon. Coming to your neighborhood everywhere.
Now you're pushing my history buttons.
I have done a bit of wargaming, mainly collecting games and analyzing them since at first I could find nobody to play with and then I had no spare time (family and refresher training in computer science) -- I have since donated the vast majority of my games to a local gaming club just so somebody could use them.
One such was a collection of four smaller games, Westwall by SPI. They were mainly small battles involved in the Battle of the Bulge where superior German forces just completely overran our positions or else we were returning the favor later. Victory conditions involved how long you could hold out before the onslaught before having to retreat.
Correigidor was one such hopeless battle as was Wake Island. There was just no way to win against such opposition. However, as the History Guy tells it, the Wake Island defenders acquitted themselves incredibly well against such overwhelming opposition (Wake Island Defenders or what happened after Pearl Harbor). Truly, as per the by-line, History that Deserves to be Remembered. That link is very well worth clicking on.
Guadalcanal was another matter. One of the major differences between the US Army and the US Marine Corps is that the marines deploy far faster and easier because they don't have to take their massive infrastructure with them, but rather the US Navy supplies that. At Guadalcanal, that naval infrastructure was quite literally sunk by the Japanese. In those wargames, one of the salient features was maintaining your line of communication (LOC) because that was also your supply line. Lose your LOC and your combat factors are diminished because you are out of supply. Our troops on Guadalcanal were out of supply. Our navy had to regain control of the waters off of Guadalcanal in order to restore those supply lines. While the Marines had to hang on until that happened.
The Marianas Campaign, Operation Forager, started with Saipan and then worked its way down the island chain with Tinian being next -- Tinian was the real objective because its massive airfields brought our B-29 Superfortress bombers within striking range of the Japanese homeland islands. The battle to take Saipan was bloody and fierce. Of historical note is Marine PFC Guy Gabaldon, a Mexican-American orphan from Los Angeles who was raised by a Japanese-American family (played by Jeffery Hunter, AKA Starfleet CAPT Christopher Pike, in Hell to Eternity (1960). He used his knowledge of the Japanese language to talk over 1,000 Japanese civilians and soldiers into surrendering instead of being killed senselessly.
My father was a SeaBee (Naval Construction Battallion, CB, hence "Sea Bees") assigned to Saipan after it was pacified. Despite not having been through actual combat, the aftermath that he witnessed changed him forever -- my mother said that he was never the same man after he returned.
The Marianas Turkey Shoot was an entirely different matter altogether. As Operation Forager descended on Saipan, the Japanese Operation Go (¿5? As in ichi, ni, san, shi, go?) went into action. Operation Go was meant to deliver a decisive blow to the US Navy. It failed.
When ADM Spruance learned that a Japanese task force was approaching, he took much of the naval assets of Operation Forager, leaving what was needed to support the landings, to face the Japanese fleet. That became the Battle of the Philippine Sea. The air battle came to be known as the Marianas Turkey Shoot in which the Japanese suffered massive losses in aircraft and aircrews against our minimal losses such that after that Japanese air power was minimal and their aircraft carriers were mainly just tokens. ADM Spruance was criticized for not having pressed the advantage, but he didn't know that this attack wasn't just a feint, which was a typical Japanese strategy (eg, to divert our attention away from Midway, they invaded the Aleutian Islands at the same time).
Also, this battle is the source of one of the most inspiring naval commands for me, right up there with "Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!": "Turn on the lights!" The last air battle was late in the day, so our aircraft were returning in the dark and could not find their carriers. Light discipline is very strict in the Navy in wartime, since the slightest hint of light from a ship could mark it for death from a submarine's torpedo. Spruance's order to turn on the lights so that the aircraft could return and land was incredibly courageous.
Within this past hour on MSNBC Donny Deutsch suggested that Trump is getting ready for the next chapter in his life: Trump TV.
This could help to explain why Trump is doing pretty much all the wrong things if he actually wanted to win reelection. Instead of trying to appeal to and pull away undecided and Biden voters, he just continues to throw out red meat to his base. And he continues to air his personal grievances against individuals like Dr. Fauci, Biden, Obama, Clinton, the moderator of the next debate, the mute switch on his microphone at that next debate, etc. Nothing that would actually help him pull in the new votes needed for him to win.
However, if he's trying to build up a subscriber base for his planned Trump TV streaming service, then feeding his base would make sense.