12 votes

Weekly US politics news and updates thread - week of July 25

This thread is posted weekly - please try to post all relevant US political content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate topic, but almost all should be posted in here.

This is an inherently political thread; please try to avoid antagonistic arguments and bickering matches. Comment threads that devolve into unproductive arguments may be removed so that the overall topic is able to continue.

19 comments

  1. HotPants
    Link
    Evaluating the Jan. 6 Committee’s Evidence From an evidentiary the Jan. 6 Committee would convince a reasonable person that: Trump attempted to convince Americans that significant levels of fraud...

    Evaluating the Jan. 6 Committee’s Evidence

    From an evidentiary the Jan. 6 Committee would convince a reasonable person that:

    1. Trump attempted to convince Americans that significant levels of fraud had stolen the election from him despite knowing that he had, in fact, lost the 2020 election;
    2. Trump planned to remove and replace the attorney general and other Justice Department officials as part of an effort to pressure the department to spread his allegations of election fraud;
    3. Trump worked “to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to refuse to count electoral votes on January 6th”;
    4. Trump tried to convince state lawmakers and election officials to alter election results;
    5. Trump’s lawyers and other members of the president’s team directed Republicans in multiple states to produce fake electoral slates and send those slates to Congress and the National Archives;
    6. Trump assembled a destructive group of rioters in Washington and sent them to the U.S. Capitol; and
    7. Trump ignored requests to speak out against the violence in real time and failed to act quickly to stop the attack and tell his supporters to depart the Capitol.
    11 votes
  2. HotPants
    Link
    A Court Without Precedent

    A Court Without Precedent

    For more than a decade, the Court has issued narrow rulings, decided by slim majorities, that align with Republican political goals. Five Justices unleashed dark money in politics. They gutted the Voting Rights Act. They pulled the rug out from under public-sector unions. In that sense, Dobbs—the decision overturning Roe—is part of a larger trend.

    More than a radical opinion, Dobbs represents a radical new approach to interpreting the Constitution. If left unchecked, the justices’ decision could mark not just the end of Roe, but the upending of America’s system of checks and balances.

    The majority in Dobbs made no such argument. Five judges—Alito, Barrett, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Thomas—supported overturning Roe. The remaining four did not. The only reason these numbers were not 5–4 in the other direction is that Ruth Bader Ginsburg died while President Donald Trump was still in office and a conservative nominee was rushed through the Senate. If she had been replaced by President Joe Biden instead (or if, four years earlier, Republicans hadn’t broken with Senate tradition and refused to allow President Barack Obama to fill an open seat on the Court), conservatives would not have been able to overturn Roe. Women were deprived of a right they had held for nearly 50 years not because jurisprudence evolved or judges gained a new understanding of the real-world impact of a past decision, but because one judge was swapped for another.

    9 votes
  3. [14]
    cmccabe
    Link
    Group of Republicans and Democrats form new political party to appeal to moderates https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/28/politics/andrew-yang-forward-party-whitman-jolly/index.html

    Group of Republicans and Democrats form new political party to appeal to moderates
    https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/28/politics/andrew-yang-forward-party-whitman-jolly/index.html

    A group of former Republican and Democratic officials are forming a new political party called Forward, in an attempt to appeal to what they call the "moderate, common-sense majority."

    "Political extremism is ripping our nation apart, and the two major parties have failed to remedy the crisis," David Jolly, Christine Todd Whitman and Andrew Yang wrote in a Washington Post op-ed published Wednesday. "Today's outdated parties have failed by catering to the fringes. As a result, most Americans feel they aren't represented."

    The group cites issues including guns, climate change and abortion as those that could benefit from a moderate approach. The new party will also advocate ranked-choice voting and open primaries, the end of gerrymandering, and nationwide protection for voting rights.

    7 votes
    1. [13]
      eladnarra
      Link Parent
      Interesting... Ranked choice voting is intriguing and protecting voting rights is essential, but I can't help wondering what on earth a moderate position on abortion or climate change is.

      Interesting...

      Ranked choice voting is intriguing and protecting voting rights is essential, but I can't help wondering what on earth a moderate position on abortion or climate change is.

      5 votes
      1. [5]
        nukeman
        Link Parent
        Abortion - likely Germany’s position (on demand first trimester only) Climate change - a carbon fee and dividend does most of the heavy lifting. Less subsidies or direct intervention.

        Abortion - likely Germany’s position (on demand first trimester only)

        Climate change - a carbon fee and dividend does most of the heavy lifting. Less subsidies or direct intervention.

        3 votes
        1. [4]
          eladnarra
          Link Parent
          Ooph, looking it up, that's not a "compromise" I would want in the US, especially with our healthcare system. "It's illegal but up to 12 weeks we won't punish you as long as you get counseling" is...

          Ooph, looking it up, that's not a "compromise" I would want in the US, especially with our healthcare system.

          "It's illegal but up to 12 weeks we won't punish you as long as you get counseling" is better than "it's illegal," but not by much. There will be many people who fail to save up enough money for the procedure and counseling in time; lack of funds is a common cause of later abortions in the US. Another common cause of delayed abortion is simply not knowing you're pregnant for a few months, so even revoking the Hyde amendment to allow public funds for abortions and creating universal healthcare wouldn't eliminate the need for 2nd trimester abortions "on demand."

          6 votes
          1. [3]
            vektor
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            Do you know something about german law I don't? My reading of the relevant law (translation) would be that this is mostly pointed at aborting someone else's pregnancy, i.e. it threatens the doctor...

            Do you know something about german law I don't? My reading of the relevant law (translation) would be that this is mostly pointed at aborting someone else's pregnancy, i.e. it threatens the doctor more than anything. Getting an abortion is not illegal, doing the abortion is. (Note though that 218a revokes penalties for the woman if performed by a doctor under certain circumstances. I'm not quite clear what's actually going on) Next up are the exemptions, which you accurately (I believe) described as counselling, (consent) and first trimester, or various other conjunctions of mitigating factors (rape, medical necessity, etc) Importantly, the vast majority of these exceptions are non-negotiable; they're established law and the court can not find you guilty if you qualify. There is no "we won't punish you", there's a "this is legal".

            That's not to say I agree with the way the law is; in fact, relatively recently the law around 219a was cut back drastically, after a long debate on the issue. Basically, the law that prohibited abortion advertisements (are those even a thing anywhere on the world where they are legal? I feel not) was so restrictive it hindered access. This has been remedied and the section is completely removed. Other parts of our criminal code around sex and gender issues also need revision.

            Edit: I just noticed the slightly different tone of the title of 218a: Its german translation could just as well be translated as exemption from criminality of abortions. Implying that you're not an unpunished criminal, but rather not a criminal at all.

            1 vote
            1. [2]
              eladnarra
              Link Parent
              Yeah, I definitely don't know more about German law - I was going off of a brief Google. I will say that making something illegal to perform rather than get doesn't make much difference in the...

              Yeah, I definitely don't know more about German law - I was going off of a brief Google.

              I will say that making something illegal to perform rather than get doesn't make much difference in the scheme of things. In the US we're already seeing people with nonviable pregnancies (such as ectopic pregnancies) being forced to wait until the "heartbeat" stops or things progress to them being in danger of dying. This is because doctors don't want to risk going to jail, so the risk gets transferred to pregnant people in crisis.

              If doctors aren't willing to perform an abortion for a nonviable pregnancy until someone is literally dying, they won't perform an abortion to someone who simply doesn't want to be pregnant and has missed the cutoff and has no exceptions. So... It doesn't matter who is being punished, the end result is people being unable to access abortion after 12 weeks.

              5 votes
              1. vektor
                Link Parent
                I am (implicitly, didn't write it) with you on the topic of "punishing doctors instead will have chilling effects and limit access". Now that I think about it some more though, I actually see a...

                I am (implicitly, didn't write it) with you on the topic of "punishing doctors instead will have chilling effects and limit access". Now that I think about it some more though, I actually see a tiny bit of a benefit to doing it that way around. That is, if you agree with the notion that penalties are necessary, which I don't. Here goes:

                By penalizing the doctor of an illegal abortion moreso than the patient, this ensures that women in crisis need not worry about legalities. You're never in a position of being unsure of the legality of what you're doing. The doctor, not being in a crisis, likely has a calmer head and is an expert on the matter, including the legalities. So there's no risk in talking to one. If he refuses, you're of course without access, but if he agrees, you can be very certain there's no unexpected legal consequences. Legal certainty like this is invaluable in my opinion, being a fundamental component of a functioning democracy.

                Please read this as a description rather than a moral/political position. I'm not saying "the is how the law ought to be", I'm saying "this is how (I think) it currently is". Also slightly rambly, don't mind me.

                1 vote
      2. [4]
        Omnicrola
        Link Parent
        Honestly I'll support them just based on that. If they can manage gain some momentum and start getting ranked choice implemented slowly but surely across states, it has the potential to disrupt a...

        Ranked choice voting is intriguing

        Honestly I'll support them just based on that. If they can manage gain some momentum and start getting ranked choice implemented slowly but surely across states, it has the potential to disrupt a lot of the stagnant 2-party bullshit in the long term.

        3 votes
        1. [3]
          vektor
          Link Parent
          I fear they'll end up splitting the democrat vote. Given the US election system, either you can do it all, or you'll end up doing nothing. I feel these changes have to come from within the...

          I fear they'll end up splitting the democrat vote. Given the US election system, either you can do it all, or you'll end up doing nothing. I feel these changes have to come from within the democrat party.

          BTW, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is a thing. It's not like the democrat party is completely napping on electoral reform.

          11 votes
          1. [2]
            Omnicrola
            Link Parent
            Right, that's kind of my point. Setting the presidental election aside for the moment, I think ranked-choice has great potential for electing people to state/federal congress. Soon after it's...

            I fear they'll end up splitting the democrat vote. Given the US election system, either you can do it all, or you'll end up doing nothing.

            Right, that's kind of my point. Setting the presidental election aside for the moment, I think ranked-choice has great potential for electing people to state/federal congress. Soon after it's implemented, I don't think a lot changes. You cast your ranked ballot, but your standard D and R people probably still win. However after a few election cycles I think it would start to shift as people realize that voting for the person they really like but "has no chance" doesn't "throw away their vote" or "hand the election to the other side".

            3 votes
            1. vektor
              Link Parent
              Oh, absolutely. Ranked choice is just more democratic, period. No question. I just fear that if you build a third, moderate, party, you're taking votes away from democrats mostly. The Democratic...

              Oh, absolutely. Ranked choice is just more democratic, period. No question. I just fear that if you build a third, moderate, party, you're taking votes away from democrats mostly. The Democratic party is currently the one who is more (or at all) in favor of expanding American democracy. My thinking is, if Forward and Democrats compete for the same voters, we're even farther from ranked choice voting than with only the Democrats. Hence why I think the Democratic party needs to get a move on. That's, I think, a much more promising change to throw your weight behind.

              10 votes
      3. [3]
        vegai
        Link Parent
        Moderate position on climate change fully aknowledges that it's a thing and most probably caused by humans. It needs to be fixed primarily by building thousands of new nuclear plants around the...

        Moderate position on climate change fully aknowledges that it's a thing and most probably caused by humans. It needs to be fixed primarily by building thousands of new nuclear plants around the planet, and secondarily by building as many solar, wind and water-based energy plants. The goal is to stop oil, coal and wood burning as much as possible. Specifically stopping any production because of this is not an option.

        Moderate position on abortion makes it fully legal (by contemporary scientific consensus on what age of fetus no longer can be aborted) but might allow individual doctors the right to not do it.

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          vektor
          Link Parent
          I don't believe that position on climate change to be all too moderate or at least by far not the only moderate position. It's too prescriptive about the means. I'd agree with the underlying ends,...

          I don't believe that position on climate change to be all too moderate or at least by far not the only moderate position. It's too prescriptive about the means. I'd agree with the underlying ends, but I don't think you'll find widespread agreement about using primarily nuclear power to solve it. I'll keep beating that drum because I believe it's important: Nuclear is -by now- beaten by renewables in terms of lead times and cost. There's no reason why it has to be nuclear, when a different technology will get you there faster and cheaper.

          Also not sure how much wood burning is tied into climate change. It's of course horribly polluting if not done correctly, but that should all be local, temporary pollutants like soot particulate. I'm unaware of those being a climate concern.

          4 votes
          1. skybrian
            Link Parent
            I think the moderate position on this is to keep existing nuclear power plants running. There is also some hope for alternative designs and better regulation to get costs down enough to be...

            I think the moderate position on this is to keep existing nuclear power plants running. There is also some hope for alternative designs and better regulation to get costs down enough to be competitive, but it’s not very likely in the short term.

            Unfortunately the opposition from extremists was too strong, resulting in plant shutdowns and more coal burning.

            2 votes
  4. skybrian
    Link
    Black women who once hated guns are embracing them as violence rises (Washington Post)

    Black women who once hated guns are embracing them as violence rises (Washington Post)

    Across America, Black women are taking up arms in unprecedented numbers. Research shows that first-time gun buyers since 2019 have been more likely to be Black and more likely to be female than gun purchasers in previous years, a finding that aligns with surveys of gun sellers.

    Gun sales spiked across all demographic groups during the coronavirus pandemic, and remained high through the protests that followed the police murder of George Floyd, the attack on the U.S. Capitol and other events that many saw as signs of a nation in chaos.

    5 votes