Author Topic: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?  (Read 25822 times)

Greg Davidson

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Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« on: September 03, 2016, 11:07:41 AM »
Have you driven above the speed limit on more than 5 occasions? If so, then you literally have broken the law and should have had your driver's license revoked.

This is the standard being applied to Hillary Clinton. Except she never even broke the law.

Please comment

TheDeamon

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2016, 11:14:15 AM »
Apples and Oranges. The equivalency does not match.

Speed limits are public safety regulations intended to lower the risk of a motor vehicle accident.

National Security laws are in place to prevent wars, international incidents, protect the lives of government officials, and further national interests.

Now if you deliberately ran a stop sign so you could broadside a diplomatic vehicle belonging to Russia or Iran for example, then you'd have grounds for an equivalency regarding traffic laws and national security. But as that isn't the example.....

TheDeamon

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2016, 01:21:21 PM »
Of for a more amusing one.

Grand theft in Massachusetts involves the theft of more than $250(can be goods or cash). So let's say your teenager has a friend abscond with their brand new Xbox 360.

Is that really the equivalent of someone walking into a bank with a shotgun to rob it?

They're both thefts after all, and they're both felonies.  :-X

AI Wessex

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2016, 02:27:57 PM »
Good that you're not talking about financial or other white collar crimes.

Also, don't forget that Hillary has never been convicted or even arrested for any crimes. Somehow that detail doesn't seem to matter to her detractors.

NobleHunter

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2016, 03:02:20 PM »
Good that you're not talking about financial or other white collar crimes.

Also, don't forget that Hillary has never been convicted or even arrested for any crimes. Somehow that detail doesn't seem to matter to her detractors.
I think the judicial system is sufficiently flawed that the absence of prosecution does not imply the absence of crimes.

ETA: Otherwise I could present the fact that I've never gotten a speeding ticket as an implication that I don't break the speed limit, which is a really poor argument.

AI Wessex

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2016, 04:50:29 PM »
:).  Nobody is free of some legitimate claims of misdeeds, but we're not talking about jaywalking or driving a little too fast.  She's been accused of everything from murder to treason and almost everything below that, including mental illness.  It's reprehensible that she is held, not to a standard, but to defend herself against an uncountable number of unfounded "charges" and claims of personal failings.

Greg Davidson

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2016, 05:21:59 PM »
TheDeamon,
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Grand theft in Massachusetts involves the theft of more than $250(can be goods or cash). So let's say your teenager has a friend abscond with their brand new Xbox 360.

Is that really the equivalent of someone walking into a bank with a shotgun to rob it?

True story - a kid in our homeschooling group got into a fight with another kid when he was 15 or 16 years old.  The other kid had taken some of his CDs and so the homeschooling kid broke into the others kid's window, got his CDs, and left.

Not smart, but what do you suppose were the consequences?

He was charged as an adult of three crimes (assault, breaking and entering, and some form of theft). Convicted on all charges, three strikes and you are out, he went to prison for seven years. I am not making this up. He was a nice kid, very tall for his age (about 6'3") and African American. He got out a few years ago.

Fenring

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2016, 07:53:51 PM »
I think the judicial system is sufficiently flawed that the absence of prosecution does not imply the absence of crimes.

That, and until one inspects how the direct relationship between people like Hillary and people like Comey and Lynch there is no sense saying random stuff about what's been proven or not. When you have people in your pocket who are at the very top of the food chain in policing these things the game is over. Merely watching Lynch's hilarious testimony before the Congress about what is or isn't illegal re: classified information makes it extremely clear who is held to the law and who isn't.

Greg Davidson

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2016, 08:30:08 PM »
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That, and until one inspects how the direct relationship between people like Hillary and people like Comey and Lynch there is no sense saying random stuff about what's been proven or not. When you have people in your pocket who are at the very top of the food chain in policing these things the game is over.

So your theory is that James Comey, who came up through the Bush Administration as a Republican and donated to the Presidential campaigns of John McCain and Mitt Romney is somehow implicated in illegitimate and biased behavior because of favoritism towards Hillary Clinton?

Fenring

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2016, 08:48:30 PM »
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That, and until one inspects how the direct relationship between people like Hillary and people like Comey and Lynch there is no sense saying random stuff about what's been proven or not. When you have people in your pocket who are at the very top of the food chain in policing these things the game is over.

So your theory is that James Comey, who came up through the Bush Administration as a Republican and donated to the Presidential campaigns of John McCain and Mitt Romney is somehow implicated in illegitimate and biased behavior because of favoritism towards Hillary Clinton?

That's your mistake, thinking it's about Republican versus Democrat. It's a false narrative pushed to divide the populace.

AI Wessex

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2016, 11:16:48 PM »
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That's your mistake, thinking it's about Republican versus Democrat. It's a false narrative pushed to divide the populace.
Poppycock.  I think you're just being argumentative.

TheDeamon

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2016, 11:38:48 PM »
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That's your mistake, thinking it's about Republican versus Democrat. It's a false narrative pushed to divide the populace.
Poppycock.  I think you're just being argumentative.

Not really, it's part of the dark appeal for Trump as a "middle finger" option. A LOT of Conservatives, not to be confused with conservatives, have issues with things the Republicans in Washington have been doing. There has been a whole lot of "you shouldn't be able to do that, but we'll let you get away with it so we can have 'our turn' at it later" going on. So seeing bipartisan efforts to cover the tracks of a prominent politician isn't shocking.

The other consideration is the Clinton's are rather connected in their own ways, never mind the Obama's. It's possible they have some kind of political "dirt" on their Republican member of Obama's Cabinet. Basically "yeah, you could pursue this, but then I'll make sure you get implicated in these other things..."

Greg Davidson

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2016, 02:22:38 AM »
My thesis is that the conspiracy-based perceptions of Hillary Clinton are the product of the usual smear campaigns and not real. I can't think of another American political leader who has been falsely accused of more scandals than Clinton.

Most recent is the bogus AP article about the Clinton Foundation, which turns out to be a 4-star rated charity that plays a real role in driving down the price of HIV drugs keeping 10 million people alive worldwide. And the Clintons get no money out of it, and the email trail shows that donors did not get quid pro quo favors in return for their contribution. And that the Clinton's foundation is far more open than similar charities run while Colin Powell and President George H.W. Bush whose "Thousand Points of Light" charity spent only 11% of its budget on grants to volunteer organizations, while spending $22.3 million on "promotions, consultants, salaries, travel and conferences," including "$5.5 million to produce a television advertising campaign and $1.4 million for a celebration of community service." 

Four years ago, she was one of the best known politicians in the country, and she had a 65% approval rating. After 4 years of attack, it is unsurpising that her favorability has dropped. But ask yourself, which is more likely - did Hillary Clinton just dramatically change, did the US population not have a very strong sense of who she was in 2012, or has she been subject to a lot of money and a lot of political effort to drive up her negatives? Remember, the Citizens United case was specifically about funding Republican political attacks against Hillary Clinton - we should not be surprised that the net effect of unleashing all that dark money was an increase in negative perceptions of their target.

AI Wessex

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2016, 07:51:02 AM »
Unfortunately, I know a number of people (white men, lower-middle income, tradesmen) who believe every story they hear about Clinton. One "informed me" that the Clinton's set up the Foundation purely to get rich and that only a small fraction of the money it receives is distributed to make the scam seem legitimate.  That happens to be yet another lie that Reince Priebus and good-old Sean Hannity have been pushing lately, now that the false rumors about her failing mental and physical health are fading from the headlines.  In reality, the Clinton Foundation distributes over 80% of the money it collects to various causes and other efforts, and as Greg says, is one of the most highly rated charitable organizations in the world.

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The other consideration is the Clinton's are rather connected in their own ways, never mind the Obama's. It's possible they have some kind of political "dirt" on their Republican member of Obama's Cabinet. Basically "yeah, you could pursue this, but then I'll make sure you get implicated in these other things..."
Exactly my point, it's possible, therefore it is treated as if it's true, because you can't take a chance.  But of course there's no evidence to support the claim, so even saying it's possible is leaning toward a smear.  But those are so commonly tossed in her direction that it has the ring of plausibility and can't be disproved.  In fact, if she does say that it's not true, people like Cherry will say to themselves, "Aha, I knew it!"
« Last Edit: September 04, 2016, 07:55:32 AM by AI Wessex »

D.W.

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2016, 09:56:11 AM »
While my opinion on Clinton is "shady politician who skirts the letter of the law in bad faith", we see Trump blatantly doing the things she is being accused of, and people just go, "Oh that's just Trump being Trump!  hahaha".   >:(

Seriati

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2016, 10:45:51 AM »
Have you driven above the speed limit on more than 5 occasions? If so, then you literally have broken the law and should have had your driver's license revoked.

This is the standard being applied to Hillary Clinton. Except she never even broke the law.

Please comment

That's an interesting equivalence, do you also think that Hillary Clinton is exactly the same as someone who would have been charged with a triple homicide but wasn't read his Miranda rights and was let go instead?

If you want to find some common crimes that "everyone commits" that carry potentially decades of time in Federal prison to make the argument I might find that more persuasive.

If you can explain how someone not named Hillary Clinton would have been permitted to avoid jail time for redirecting all emails received in connection with their employment with the Federal government to their own personal server, be happy to hear that.

If you can show that anyone not named Hillary Clinton after receiving a discovery request could intentionally delete records potentially subject to that request and not receive any consequence, I'd be interested in that as well.  Actually very interested as most litigation turns on records you are forced to disclose this individual right to permanently destroy them would be very useful.

And since you brought it up, I don't see how anyone rational wouldn't be concerned about the potential for actual graft connected to accepting massive donations to a charity affiliated with a politician and while potentially subject to decisions from that politician's office.  Will you be as unconcerned when EVERY politician immediately founds a "charity" and it becomes clear that the level of funding they receive is directly correlated to the influence the politician can wield?  Look up "pay to play," look up the "appearance of impropriety," and tell me there really are no concerns here.  Citing to the good works a charity performs in no way reduces or obviates the actual issues with this kind of set up.

D.W.

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2016, 10:50:18 AM »
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I don't see how anyone rational wouldn't be concerned about the potential for actual graft connected to accepting massive donations to a charity affiliated with a politician and while potentially subject to decisions from that politician's office.
  The same way people ignore it being done out in the open by Trump.  Not potential, not possible, not whispers of it happening, but of it being known to have happened, and nobody giving a crap.

TheDrake

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2016, 11:11:12 AM »
The standard being applied isn't whether she broke the law. It's whether she exercises good judgement, a crucial attribute for a world leader. It is also whether she takes responsibility for those decisions, which she's tried to avoid at every turn, having to repeatedly backtrack as evidence gets presented that at minimum she was less than forthcoming.

More like someone driving hazardous waste cross country and breaking speed limits. You don't need to go to jail, but you probably shouldn't be in charge of moving dangerous material. Doesn't mean their operator's license needs to be revoked to drive their family sedan.

Of course, to stretch the analogy to near bursting, you probably shouldn't choose the blind guy to drive the truck in her place. You should hire that third guy that applied for the job.

Seriati

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2016, 11:26:36 AM »
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I don't see how anyone rational wouldn't be concerned about the potential for actual graft connected to accepting massive donations to a charity affiliated with a politician and while potentially subject to decisions from that politician's office.
  The same way people ignore it being done out in the open by Trump.  Not potential, not possible, not whispers of it happening, but of it being known to have happened, and nobody giving a crap.

I don't think you have to ignore Trump's business practices, but to get to where you are going you have to extrapolate that he will sell influence in office based on that history.  I don't see that as a certainty.  Whereas with Hillary, the BEST you can say for the situation is that it is literally the most prominent case of the violation of appearance of impropriety in recent memory, and that's assuming, which is a BIG assumption, that no one making a contribution thought they were buying influence (given the actual practices in some of the originating countries the chance of this is microscopic) and that no one ever acted favorably - in any way - because of a donation (which is a conclusion we've already seen looks to be at risk).

D.W.

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2016, 11:47:09 AM »
So buying your way out of trouble you got into before being in office is cool.
Having someone pay for a "favor in the future" once in office is where you draw the line?

Seriati

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2016, 03:13:25 PM »
So buying your way out of trouble you got into before being in office is cool.
Having someone pay for a "favor in the future" once in office is where you draw the line?

No, nor is that what I said.  Corruption in politicians and buying of favor is absolutely inconsistent with our way of life.  That's something the left is usually up in arms about, the idea of being able to buy influence.  What's different here?   Are you really arguing that graft and corruption are good?

We also have laws against graft in business, bribery is illegal.  If there is a solid case on Trump then it should be brought.

Fenring

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2016, 03:26:02 PM »
In any case there is a difference between breaking the law as a private citizen and breaking the public trust given to a representative. Sure, both involve being 'corrupt' in some general sense, but in one case you are taking your own chance with the dice and making a profit/loss estimate about cheating versus what it may gain you personally. As someone in office you're rolling not only your own dice but everyone else's as well. So yeah, that's not the same thing at all. One may be called crappy conduct, but the other is a gross abuse of authority.

NobleHunter

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2016, 03:28:24 PM »
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If there is a solid case on Trump then it should be brought.
The problem is that proving that kind of graft is hard. Sure, Trump (or his foundation) gave money to an attorney general who then refused to join a suit against Trump University. Sure, Trump says he gives money to politicians to buy access. Sure, having the foundation bearing your name accept donations from people who later get assistance from the State department is dodgy as hell.

But trying to prove X amount of money was received/given in exchange for Y benefit beyond a reasonable doubt (I'm making an assumption the law requires a firm connection between cash and action)? Not unless either party is stupid enough to admit to it in writing. It's too normal for politicians to get large sums of money from interested parties. It seems the only difference between fundraising and bribery is plausible deniability.

I guess my point is that laws against corruption are ill-suited to governing behavior at that level.

D.W.

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #23 on: September 06, 2016, 04:51:06 PM »
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Corruption in politicians and buying of favor is absolutely inconsistent with our way of life.
It is every bit consistent with our way of life.  It is inconsistent with the propaganda we spoon feed each other daily.  I suppose you could argue it is more... civilized here than in other areas.   ::)

Maybe I'm not "up in arms" enough, but my problem is that when under a microscope nothing has come to pass with Hillary being shown to have broken laws.  Exploited the hell out of our current system to within a hair's breath of doing so?  Probably, but she seems to have a good handle on that line. 

Now maybe Trump has done the same and broken no laws?  My problem is he seems to get a pass while twirling smoking guns like a cowboy. 

Partisan politics dressed up like fake outrage over suspicion of ONLY one side does get me "up in arms".

AI Wessex

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #24 on: September 06, 2016, 07:25:42 PM »
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That's an interesting equivalence, do you also think that Hillary Clinton is exactly the same as someone who would have been charged with a triple homicide but wasn't read his Miranda rights and was let go instead?
So much for idealism and fairness.  Who did she kill and what was the technicality on which she was freed after her arrest?  FWIW, the "equivalence game" being played is Clinton points out that Trump is racist, so he says she is racist.  She points out his crooked business dealings, so he claims she is crooked.  This is actually the FOX equivalence called "fair and balanced".

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The standard being applied isn't whether she broke the law. It's whether she exercises good judgement, a crucial attribute for a world leader. It is also whether she takes responsibility for those decisions, which she's tried to avoid at every turn, having to repeatedly backtrack as evidence gets presented that at minimum she was less than forthcoming.
A different sort of false equivalence.  Is her "good judgment" better or worse than Trump's?  In her 40+ year career in public service, how much of her "judgment" do you find bad?  Or, since it's never talked about, can you think of any time that she has exercised what you would call good judgment?  In other words, nobody who doesn't like Hillary ever talks about anything she ever did or tried to do that was good, only about what they assert was bad when there usually is only narrow or subjective standards to judge her against.

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I don't think you have to ignore Trump's business practices, but to get to where you are going you have to extrapolate that he will sell influence in office based on that history.  I don't see that as a certainty.  Whereas with Hillary, the BEST you can say for the situation is that it is literally the most prominent case of the violation of appearance of impropriety in recent memory, and that's assuming, which is a BIG assumption, that no one making a contribution thought they were buying influence (given the actual practices in some of the originating countries the chance of this is microscopic) and that no one ever acted favorably - in any way - because of a donation (which is a conclusion we've already seen looks to be at risk).
This is so partisan a statement that I have to believe that you know you are bull*censored*ting us.  Trump won't necessarily use the same skills that got him to where he is in business once he gets into office?  How can you possibly even think that, let alone blurt it out where the rest of us can see you flailing?

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Corruption in politicians and buying of favor is absolutely inconsistent with our way of life.  That's something the left is usually up in arms about, the idea of being able to buy influence.  What's different here?   Are you really arguing that graft and corruption are good?
As pointed out, this is utter nonsense.  I ask again how you can say this with a straight face.

Fenring

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #25 on: September 06, 2016, 08:53:12 PM »
In her 40+ year career in public service, how much of her "judgment" do you find bad?  Or, since it's never talked about, can you think of any time that she has exercised what you would call good judgment?

Most of what she does can probably be said to have been in good to excellent judgement. Of course, that's within the purview of whatever goals she's had, which probably have little overlap with your goals. I would never deny that she's smart or that she knows how to do the things she wants to do. I would therefore say she is a highly competent player, notwithstanding morale issues among her staff. What I don't think she would be is a good representative of the general public, which is entirely different from assessing her as a tactician.

One glitch even within her own sphere of interest was the email server thing, which was reckless of her. Granted, it probably functioned exactly as she intended and even the recent fallout is no doubt 'well worth it' compared with what she gained by it. But still there was surely a way of doing what she wanted to do without it being an obvious act of obfuscation on her part. So that wasn't a great decision by her, but most of what she's done otherwise seems to have at the very least helped her or else at least been a wash in the House of Cards sense. The only outright failure I've seen her encounter recently has been Syria where she and her people aren't getting what they want, but I can't assess how much of a setback that really is. It might just be a delay until they have their way anyhow and it's overthrown one way or the other.

AI Wessex

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #26 on: September 07, 2016, 09:04:52 AM »
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Most of what she does can probably be said to have been in good to excellent judgement. Of course, that's within the purview of whatever goals she's had, which probably have little overlap with your goals.
Not sure why you assume that my "goals" don't overlap with hers.  As I look back over her career I see a great deal of agreement on things, even if I would have put some policy emphasis differently. 
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I would never deny that she's smart or that she knows how to do the things she wants to do. I would therefore say she is a highly competent player, notwithstanding morale issues among her staff.
What morale issues?
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What I don't think she would be is a good representative of the general public, which is entirely different from assessing her as a tactician.
I completely don't understand this point.  In what way(s) would she not be a "good representative of the general public"?

NobleHunter

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #27 on: September 07, 2016, 09:39:24 AM »
I completely don't understand this point.  In what way(s) would she not be a "good representative of the general public"?
I think the email thing shows she puts her own "convenience" and need for control above the interests of the public. As a historian, her willingness to obfuscate official records is particularly frustrating.

Seriati

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #28 on: September 07, 2016, 09:49:32 AM »
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That's an interesting equivalence, do you also think that Hillary Clinton is exactly the same as someone who would have been charged with a triple homicide but wasn't read his Miranda rights and was let go instead?
So much for idealism and fairness.

Lol, so no issue with the false equivalence between speeding 1 mph over the speed limit being "the standard that is being applied to Hillary Clinton," but issues when it's pointed out that false equivalences can be construed both ways?

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Who did she kill and what was the technicality on which she was freed after her arrest?

When did she get a speeding ticket?  Heck, when did she last drive herself?

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FWIW, the "equivalence game" being played is Clinton points out that Trump is racist, so he says she is racist.  She points out his crooked business dealings, so he claims she is crooked.  This is actually the FOX equivalence called "fair and balanced".

Well you have it a bit backwards, Clinton and crooked have been connected since before Trump was in the public eye.  It's a deliberate part of her strategy to show that he's no better than she is, that's to try and undermine people who'd vote on an ethical basis by telling them they have no candidate at all.  There's little question that a voter who's prime value is ethics isn't voting for her, so she's trying to force them to disengage and stay home.

As far as racism, it's pretty much a false claim against either of them.  I think Clinton's policies will continue to be damaging to minority success, but since that's a tougher analysis to see than the freebies she's gonna hand out it'll be tough to convince the impacted voters.  Maybe someday, minorities will finally ask why their situation gets worse the more they put Democrats into office, but clearly not today.

In any event, it's absolutely rich that Clinton has these issues now, and never did when Trump was another donor that she wanted to woo.  Apparently failing to denounce a racist fast enough makes Trump a racist, but attending weddings thrown by a racist and politically whoring for his donations doesn't it.

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I don't think you have to ignore Trump's business practices, but to get to where you are going you have to extrapolate that he will sell influence in office based on that history.  I don't see that as a certainty.  Whereas with Hillary, the BEST you can say for the situation is that it is literally the most prominent case of the violation of appearance of impropriety in recent memory, and that's assuming, which is a BIG assumption, that no one making a contribution thought they were buying influence (given the actual practices in some of the originating countries the chance of this is microscopic) and that no one ever acted favorably - in any way - because of a donation (which is a conclusion we've already seen looks to be at risk).
This is so partisan a statement that I have to believe that you know you are bull*censored*ting us.

Look up pay to play, appearance of impropriety, heck look at your arguments on the "dark money" threads and there's really no way to reconcile any sensible reading of the way things should work with what actually occurred with the Clinton foundation.  It should have been a no brainer that it be divorced from the Clinton's the entire time she was Secretary of State.  Once again, something that would be blindingly obvious and handled completely differently for any person not named Clinton. 

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Trump won't necessarily use the same skills that got him to where he is in business once he gets into office?  How can you possibly even think that, let alone blurt it out where the rest of us can see you flailing?

Trump will use a bunch of the same skills, and the vast majority of them will be to our benefit.  Anyone who has experience with actually getting deals done has usefull skills to a President.  Only blind partisanship would let you imply otherwise.

Am I concerned he'd use petty bribery?  Not in the least.  Leaving aside that you're making assertions, without actually proving them, there's no way he'd be able to do the same under the scrutiny that would apply in the WhiteHouse.  And in any event, Hillary has already demonstrated that she can and will set up systems that could easily facilitate direct bribes for exercises of government power (whether she actually took them is irrelevant to that question), so I'm not seeing your objection as anything but partisan hypocrisy.   

And to be blunt I'm not concerned at all about your claims that I'm flailing.  You've repeatedly demonstrated that you have no ability to be anything but partisan on any thread in the last year, so I can't see how you could claim anyone who disagrees with you is anything else.  It's not like you have a choice, you have to attack because your own candidate is fundamentally flawed and indefensible.  She may win despite that, but it'll just usher in a new level of corruption that hurts us all.

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Corruption in politicians and buying of favor is absolutely inconsistent with our way of life.  That's something the left is usually up in arms about, the idea of being able to buy influence.  What's different here?   Are you really arguing that graft and corruption are good?
As pointed out, this is utter nonsense.  I ask again how you can say this with a straight face.

Say what?  That it used to be a tenant of the left to  root out public corruption?  That's just a fact.  That if a Republican had done even one quarter of what Hillary has they would have been indicted, that's a fact too.  That you love to speculate and treat as true rumors about politicians on the Right and ignore and suppress them about those on the left?  Also a fact. 

Corruption is directly contrary to the Rule of Law.  That's axiomatic. 
« Last Edit: September 07, 2016, 09:52:08 AM by Seriati »

D.W.

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #29 on: September 07, 2016, 09:58:51 AM »
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/09/trump-buying-politicians/498749/

I guess when you get people interested in witch hunts, they are bound to find one now and then...

Pssst... Seriati click the link.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2016, 10:00:59 AM by D.W. »

NobleHunter

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #30 on: September 07, 2016, 10:14:22 AM »
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That if a Republican had done even one quarter of what Hillary has they would have been indicted, that's a fact too.
If that's a fact, one supposes you have evidence for it?

TheDrake

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #31 on: September 07, 2016, 10:39:46 AM »
Is her "good judgment" better or worse than Trump's?  In her 40+ year career in public service, how much of her "judgment" do you find bad?  Or, since it's never talked about, can you think of any time that she has exercised what you would call good judgment?  In other words, nobody who doesn't like Hillary ever talks about anything she ever did or tried to do that was good, only about what they assert was bad when there usually is only narrow or subjective standards to judge her against.

It may have escaped your notice, but I alluded to the fact that Trump's judgement is absolutely worse. He was the blind guy in my analogy. Clinton showed good judgement when she adopted more of Bernie's platform, though I suspect that is more calculated. She exercised good judgement eventually on gay rights after a decade of opposing it. I suspect she had always supported it, but calculated that it would be a bad idea to express it too soon, instead focusing on civil unions as an escape route.

It is hard to come up with straight up examples of "Wow, what a wonderful thing Clinton did!". Of course, you might say that about other politicians too, but that's also not the point. I have great misgivings about the judgement of many of our top political figures. She had poor judgement when she voted for the Patriot Act. Compare and contrast to Sanders, who correctly voted against it.

Browsing some sites touting her accomplishments, I was reminded that she was a strong advocate for 9/11 first responders. I think she did a great job with Iran as Secy of State.

Mostly, however, she pales when compared against true principled honesty in the mold of Sanders or Johnson. I believe she would try and hide or cover up just about anything if it were politically expedient, whether they are emails or her true views on a variety of subjects.

When we talk about judgement, it is about degree. Everyone makes errors, especially in highly complicated situations. It is how lapsed judgement reveals character that is most interesting to me.

Seriati

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #32 on: September 07, 2016, 11:04:03 AM »
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/09/trump-buying-politicians/498749/

I guess when you get people interested in witch hunts, they are bound to find one now and then...

Pssst... Seriati click the link.

Don't normally follow links, but did this time, that's fun stuff.   Of course if you listened to the debates, its the exact same thing he said on stage.  He said he made donations to politicians and they took his calls and did things they knew he'd like.  You don't think Buffet and Bloomberg get the same treatment?  It's interesting that we have someone exposing the corruption in the system from the other side and you seem to think that it should disqualify him, but not the politicians he bribed (which includes Hillary)?  Honestly, I think both candidates stink.

I have no doubt that he and business people make political contributions specifically because it inclines politicians to woo and support them.  Do you?  Why do you think the person who made - what are generally legal contributions even though they shouldn't be - is more culpable than the people who made concessions in the performance of their political offices are (which is in fact illegal, which is why its bizarre to allow the "non-influencing" contributions)?

The article makes a big stink over the legality of the contribution, but the penalty was a 10% fine by the IRS, and the money has to be paid back to the charity.  I'd have to look to be sure, but that's unlikely to be a criminal penalty.

In the meantime, what exactly have Bill and Hillary down on the legitimate business side to go from "broke" when they left the WhiteHouse to a net worth of over $100m?  Have you bought a product from them?  Or used a service they provide?  Or do you just see it as okay to hire one spouse for very large sums of money to do very little while the other is in a position to influence government on your behalf?  Or to hire someone's daughter to an essentially no show services contract for a media company?

D.W.

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #33 on: September 07, 2016, 11:12:17 AM »
Oh, I'm not going to defend the Clinton's for what they've actually done.  I'm just sick of seeing a ridiculously skewed level of scrutiny put on them while much more blatant and obvious "soft corruption" is apparent in Hillary's opponent.

I don't think it should disqualify him.  He's working the system and just goes one step further than she does into the, "I can afford the penalty both financially and to my reputation so I'll gamble more."  It disqualifies him from MY vote.

If I have a choice between two "playahs" I'll take the one who's party aligns with more of my personal goals.  Even if that wasn't the case, I prefer my "crooks" with a bit more restraint and or humility.

Again, I don't get up in arms about soft corruption.  It's partisan hypocrisy that pushes my buttons.

You can be against Clinton, or against corruption in general.  Just don't pretend at the later and focus it only when politically convenient.   
« Last Edit: September 07, 2016, 11:19:15 AM by D.W. »

Seriati

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #34 on: September 07, 2016, 11:24:50 AM »
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That if a Republican had done even one quarter of what Hillary has they would have been indicted, that's a fact too.
If that's a fact, one supposes you have evidence for it?

Circumstantial of course, but there's a never ending litany of Republicans who have been indicted for less.  Let's start with Rick Perry, indicted for a proper use of executive authority (not just my conclusion, the courts ultimately found the case brought to have no merits).

Tom DeLay of course was actually convicted on facts that related to charitable donations, appearance of granting access in exchange for donations and improprieties in disclosure, all of which are very similar - though I won't argue that they are the same - to those to which Hillary, the State Department and the Foundation find themselves in.

The list of people who've actually been indicted and even jailed for lesser violations with respect to confidential information is practically endless.  15 minutes on google will either settle the question in my favor or reveal a certain level of hypocrisy.

And that's before you even consider that virtually no politician other than the Clintons could survive the level of scandals they've been connected to, as a political matter even if they got past the legalities.  Crooked real estate deals, "friends" buying them property and giving them gifts, affairs, let alone sexual assaults (and Hillary's contribution to name and degrade the victims thereof), etc.  Say what you want about their being a conspiracy, how many personal crimes and scandals have other prominent Dems being accused of?  Obama, Kerry, Gore?  How many times have they been accused of affairs or corruption?  Poor judgment yes, criminal or near criminal policy choices sure (but so were Republican Presidents), but this level of personal everyday corruption?

Seriati

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #35 on: September 07, 2016, 11:27:36 AM »
Oh, I'm not going to defend the Clinton's for what they've actually done.  I'm just sick of seeing a ridiculously skewed level of scrutiny put on them while much more blatant and obvious "soft corruption" is apparent in Hillary's opponent.

There's nothing ridiculous about it.  Dealing with corruption is not a binary choice.  Hillary should never have been the candidate.

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If I have a choice between two "playahs" I'll take the one who's party aligns with more of my personal goals.  Even if that wasn't the case, I prefer my "crooks" with a bit more restraint and or humility.

Well that seems to be the common answer, Clinton is okay because she's on someone's team, notwithstanding she's objectively awful.  Don't get the reference to humility, the difference between the two in terms of humbleness is less than a thimble full.

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You can be against Clinton, or against corruption in general.  Just don't pretend at the later and focus it only when politically convenient.

I'm against corruption period.  I'm nearly an absolutest on the Rule of Law.

NobleHunter

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #36 on: September 07, 2016, 11:29:30 AM »
Anyone else get the feeling that the two of them are engaged playing anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better? Except for things they just shouldn't be doing?

D.W.

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #37 on: September 07, 2016, 11:43:10 AM »
You are right that she shouldn't have been the candidate.  But the news people have spoken (are speaking?) and we must choose between Friend of Business and the Avatar of Business.  Principals and ambition, not for one's self but for one's fellow Americans, is a liability apparently. 

So we'll trivialize the office with either option and the oligarchs will do as they please.  Hip-hip hooray!

Fenring

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #38 on: September 07, 2016, 02:03:46 PM »
Not sure why you assume that my "goals" don't overlap with hers.  As I look back over her career I see a great deal of agreement on things, even if I would have put some policy emphasis differently.

Unless you're a lobbyist for the financial and military sectors your goals mostly won't align with hers. The 'policy' issues seem to me mostly beside the point in terms of what I'm talking about. Granted, since she's a Democrat there will be certain policy issues pursued by the party at large, and therefore championed by her, for which you could say the same for any Democratic candidate. I'm addressing the particulars of her as a candidate, rather than the fact that she's a Democrat.

ETA - honestly I think her main policy is "I want to be president." I will avoid suggesting allegiances that go above and beyond that office since it enters the territory of speculation (such as CFR allegiance with David Rockefeller, financial wars against the Eastern Bloc, etc.), but just focusing on the office of the presidency alone, I think, is sufficient when considering that "why gain power" can be answered with the simple statement "to gain the officer of highest power", which is an end unto itself. In a way Trump's aspirations are probably far more petty than this (e.g. "cause it will make me look cool"), so in that sense neither side gains points from this angle.

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What morale issues?

Reportedly she doesn't treat her staff very well, which is unwise but in the larger scheme may not hinder her all that much. It's the kind of thing which would create major problems if the CEO of a small business did it, but at her level there are people to smooth things like that over.

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I completely don't understand this point.  In what way(s) would she not be a "good representative of the general public"?

I do not believe her priority list of what the country needs primarily involves considering what the people would condone, or even what would benefit the majority of them the most. Regardless of what she thinks of her priorities in her own head, I would suspect she is at the very least in the "they don't know what's good for them, so I'll herd the sheep" camp. Intention shouldn't be confused with track record, either. Obama doesn't have a track record of challenging the status quo, but I think there may be some reason to believe he wanted to and realized he couldn't. So his track record may not quite match his intentions going in. I've never seen anything from Hillary suggesting she even believes in the notion of challenging the status quo, and that means she will continue to prop up an oligarchic system very much antagonistic to most Americans.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2016, 02:10:25 PM by Fenring »

AI Wessex

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #39 on: September 07, 2016, 06:19:31 PM »
I completely don't understand this point.  In what way(s) would she not be a "good representative of the general public"?
I think the email thing shows she puts her own "convenience" and need for control above the interests of the public. As a historian, her willingness to obfuscate official records is particularly frustrating.
This is somehow new?  There's Johnson's Gulf of Tonkin deception, Nixon's self-serving dirty tricks and "enemies list".  There are credible reports that Reagan negotiated with Iran against resolving the hostage crisis during his campaign against Carter in order to give him leverage in the run-up to the election.  Then there's Reagan's Iran-contra scandal, Bush II's manipulation of intelligence in order to foist a disastrous war on the country, etc., etc., etc.  The simple fact that politics ain't beanbag means that candidates help themselves wherever and whenever it serves there interests. 

The question in this election cycle is whether anything you see is somehow disqualifying.  Mistakes don't count unless they are part of a pattern of deception and self-promotion.  IMO, Clinton's history is far better populated with acts that serve the public interest.  Trump's actions have always and only ever served his own interests.  Clinton seems capable of learning and is very detail-oriented.  Why anybody would imagine that Trump would suddenly morph into a new personality and leave behind his ADHD, self-aggrandizing ego and pathological narcissism is beyond me. 
« Last Edit: September 07, 2016, 06:25:02 PM by AI Wessex »

AI Wessex

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #40 on: September 07, 2016, 06:23:22 PM »
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Unless you're a lobbyist for the financial and military sectors your goals mostly won't align with hers.
Quite the generalization.  Some details, please.  Come to think of it, you are tossing out a handful of dismissive characterizations that I would like to see hard evidence for, including:

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Reportedly she doesn't treat her staff very well, which is unwise but in the larger scheme may not hinder her all that much.
That's another vague swipe. Give some credible reports, and not just an anecdotal story about hurt feelings by an obscure aide sometime in the past 40 years.

Fenring

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #41 on: September 07, 2016, 06:26:50 PM »
Use your own eyes and ears, Al. If you want to learn certain things the information is out there. If not, you don't need to hear it from me.

AI Wessex

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #42 on: September 07, 2016, 06:38:59 PM »
Not good enough.  Tossing out general insults and claiming that the information to back it up is all over the place is a weak argument.  You could make any claim that way and sniff away anyone who disagrees.  I'm just asking you to back up your own seemingly certain judgments, because I don't see it everywhere and think you are sliding into lazy partisanship.

Fenring

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #43 on: September 07, 2016, 06:49:14 PM »
Not good enough.  Tossing out general insults and claiming that the information to back it up is all over the place is a weak argument.  You could make any claim that way and sniff away anyone who disagrees.  I'm just asking you to back up your own seemingly certain judgments, because I don't see it everywhere and think you are sliding into lazy partisanship.


You...think I'm partisan in favor of the Republicans? Lol. That's pretty funny, since I was basically campaigning here as a Bernie supporter. And I guess you must think my thread about going after the Bush admin was some type of masochistic attack on 'my own kind'? I put forward to you that you are so mired in partisan loyalty that you can't even tell who's on what side if they don't agree with you.

AI Wessex

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #44 on: September 07, 2016, 08:59:15 PM »
Then why on earth would you toss out general insults and refuse to back them up?  I remember that you called yourself an idealistic supporter of Bernie and argued against any defense of Clinton back then.  Now that Bernie's out of the picture you're still arguing against her and not even bothering to back up your complaints.

Gaoics79

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #45 on: September 07, 2016, 09:43:12 PM »
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Clinton seems capable of learning and is very detail-oriented.

She voted to go into Iraq, leading to a disastrous war that ruined Iraq.

Then she orchestrated the ouster and murder of Ghaddaffi, leading to a disastrous civil war that has ruined Libia.

She is presently attempting to orchestrate the ouster of Assad, a current policy which is a major contributor to the civil war in Syria and will likely ruin that country.

I put it to you that there is little evidence of her "learning" from her most costly mistakes and ample evidence against that fact.

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IMO, Clinton's history is far better populated with acts that serve the public interest.  Trump's actions have always and only ever served his own interests.

The calculating career politician versus the megalomaniac business tycoon in a contest over who has served the greater public interest. Amusing. Okay, name all the actions she has taken in her career that serve the public interest - excluding please actions that were not also in her own best interest too. I'll make this easy for you: name one instance where Hillary knowingly (and unambiguously!) did something that hurt her career, out of idealism. I'm kind of curious what you'll come up with.





« Last Edit: September 07, 2016, 09:45:59 PM by jasonr »

JoshCrow

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #46 on: September 07, 2016, 11:13:47 PM »
Then she orchestrated the ouster and murder of Ghaddaffi, leading to a disastrous civil war that has ruined Libia.

Would love to hear your evidence on this malarkey statement, which seems confused about chronology.

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She is presently attempting to orchestrate the ouster of Assad, a current policy which is a major contributor to the civil war in Syria and will likely ruin that country.

Bwa-haha... "likely ruin"? Syria isn't in ruins? You know, the US is not as mighty as you might think to generate civil wars in foreign countries. Sometimes they do that all by themselves.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2016, 11:16:15 PM by JoshCrow »

JoshCrow

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #47 on: September 07, 2016, 11:18:11 PM »
I'll make this easy for you: name one instance where Hillary knowingly (and unambiguously!) did something that hurt her career, out of idealism.

Easy. Universal health care.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinton_health_care_plan_of_1993

Devastating to her career? Check. Based on idealism? Certainly looks that way.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2016, 11:27:58 PM by JoshCrow »

Fenring

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #48 on: September 07, 2016, 11:29:59 PM »
Then she orchestrated the ouster and murder of Ghaddaffi, leading to a disastrous civil war that has ruined Libia.

Would love to hear your evidence on this malarkey statement, which seems confused about chronology.

I think perhaps the confusion here is in the term "civil war"? I assume from jasonr's statement he means the civil war following the fall of the government there, rather than the events surrounding the Arab spring which came before.

As to Clinton's involvement, if the operation wasn't her baby then why was she in the loop from the word go, why was she an apparent spokesperson for the faction in favor of toppling the government, why was she controlling its progress point by point through her people, and why did she personally land on the ground in Libya to declare victory? And I need not additionally ask why she personally proclaimed victory on the air (we came, we saw, he died) in a manner suggestive of personal conquest, a la Caesar?

Now we can of course note that she personally didn't have a stake in Gaddafi being there or not and that it was others who had the vested interest, so if we merely suggest she was the operator making it happen we need not also suggest she was the interested party who stood to gain from it. In that sense we could suggest she was merely a lieutenant carrying out someone else's plan, but nevertheless I think it's still fair to call it "her operation" for all intents and purposes. We must also grant that operations like this are likely quite chaotic and that various groups are contributing to it in various ways without even bothering to consult each other. We can see this through her correspondence with Blumenthal, who had to keep her informed about the other players in the game spreading their own rumors and launching their own initiatives. Keeping track of those others was probably more work than keeping track of the Libyans themselves.

So maybe we'd want to downplay the claim to be that she was "a major operator" in the event, rather than "THE orchestrator" of it. I think that would be reasonable.

By the way, the current 'accepted wisdom' on this topic isn't that it was a bad operation and that she wasn't really involved, but rather that it was a good and successful operation that she conducted. She herself has cited Libya as being an example of a job well done, so I think the main point here isn't to try to deny that she played a central role in the proceedings, but rather to assess whether in fact the operation was 'good' or was a disaster. I actually believe it went quite according to plan, and therefore from a certain perspective was a success. From the perspective of 'world peace' and 'morality' I would call it a disaster.

« Last Edit: September 07, 2016, 11:32:04 PM by Fenring »

AI Wessex

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Re: Have you ever driven at least 1 mph above the speed limit?
« Reply #49 on: September 07, 2016, 11:34:47 PM »
I'm glad I decided to go out for ice cream before responding to Jason ;).  JoshCrow nailed it.

But let me quibble anyway, that it's a false requirement that she has to speak for policies and programs that go against her own internal leanings.  UHC was a heartfelt initiative, even though it cost her.  She has never repudiated her effort, but has spoken about how she learned from it that inclusive discussion and debate are essential to getting things done in a bipartisan system.  She was highly praised by her colleagues from both parties when she was a Senator for working with all sides.

But if you need another position she took that was against her own grain and for which she has paid more than her share for speaking out about, consider the Iraq war resolution.  Here is the full speech she gave to the Senate explaining her position.  We know from reading the text itself and also from later revelations that her big mistake was to trust Bush to act in a responsible manner.  I highlighted what I think are the key passages:

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    Today we are asked whether to give the President of the United States authority to use force in Iraq should diplomatic efforts fail to dismantle Saddam Hussein's chemical and biological weapons and his nuclear program.

    I am honored to represent nearly 19 million New Yorkers, a thoughtful democracy of voices and opinions who make themselves heard on the great issues of our day especially this one. Many have contacted my office about this resolution, both in support of and in opposition to it, and I am grateful to all who have expressed an opinion.

    I also greatly respect the differing opinions within this body. The debate they engender will aid our search for a wise, effective policy. Therefore, on no account should dissent be discouraged or disparaged. It is central to our freedom and to our progress, for on more than one occasion, history has proven our great dissenters to be right.

    Now, I believe the facts that have brought us to this fateful vote are not in doubt. Saddam Hussein is a tyrant who has tortured and killed his own people, even his own family members, to maintain his iron grip on power. He used chemical weapons on Iraqi Kurds and on Iranians, killing over 20 thousand people. Unfortunately, during the 1980's, while he engaged in such horrific activity, he enjoyed the support of the American government, because he had oil and was seen as a counterweight to the Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran.

    In 1991, Saddam Hussein invaded and occupied Kuwait, losing the support of the United States. The first President Bush assembled a global coalition, including many Arab states, and threw Saddam out after forty-three days of bombing and a hundred hours of ground operations. The U.S.-led coalition then withdrew, leaving the Kurds and the Shiites, who had risen against Saddam Hussein at our urging, to Saddam's revenge.

    As a condition for ending the conflict, the United Nations imposed a number of requirements on Iraq, among them disarmament of all weapons of mass destruction, stocks used to make such weapons, and laboratories necessary to do the work. Saddam Hussein agreed, and an inspection system was set up to ensure compliance. And though he repeatedly lied, delayed, and obstructed the inspections work, the inspectors found and destroyed far more weapons of mass destruction capability than were destroyed in the Gulf War, including thousands of chemical weapons, large volumes of chemical and biological stocks, a number of missiles and warheads, a major lab equipped to produce anthrax and other bio-weapons, as well as substantial nuclear facilities.

    In 1998, Saddam Hussein pressured the United Nations to lift the sanctions by threatening to stop all cooperation with the inspectors. In an attempt to resolve the situation, the UN, unwisely in my view, agreed to put limits on inspections of designated "sovereign sites" including the so-called presidential palaces, which in reality were huge compounds well suited to hold weapons labs, stocks, and records which Saddam Hussein was required by UN resolution to turn over. When Saddam blocked the inspection process, the inspectors left. As a result, President Clinton, with the British and others, ordered an intensive four-day air assault, Operation Desert Fox, on known and suspected weapons of mass destruction sites and other military targets.

    In 1998, the United States also changed its underlying policy toward Iraq from containment to regime change and began to examine options to effect such a change, including support for Iraqi opposition leaders within the country and abroad.

    In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001.

    It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security.

    Now this much is undisputed. The open questions are: what should we do about it? How, when, and with whom?

    Some people favor attacking Saddam Hussein now, with any allies we can muster, in the belief that one more round of weapons inspections would not produce the required disarmament, and that deposing Saddam would be a positive good for the Iraqi people and would create the possibility of a secular democratic state in the Middle East, one which could perhaps move the entire region toward democratic reform.

    This view has appeal to some, because it would assure disarmament; because it would right old wrongs after our abandonment of the Shiites and Kurds in 1991, and our support for Saddam Hussein in the 1980's when he was using chemical weapons and terrorizing his people; and because it would give the Iraqi people a chance to build a future in freedom.

    However, this course is fraught with danger. We and our NATO allies did not depose Mr. Milosevic, who was responsible for more than a quarter of a million people being killed in the 1990s. Instead, by stopping his aggression in Bosnia and Kosovo, and keeping on the tough sanctions, we created the conditions in which his own people threw him out and led to his being in the dock being tried for war crimes as we speak.

    If we were to attack Iraq now, alone or with few allies, it would set a precedent that could come back to haunt us. In recent days, Russia has talked of an invasion of Georgia to attack Chechen rebels. India has mentioned the possibility of a pre-emptive strike on Pakistan. And what if China were to perceive a threat from Taiwan?

    So Mr. President, for all its appeal, a unilateral attack, while it cannot be ruled out, on the present facts is not a good option.

    Others argue that we should work through the United Nations and should only resort to force if and when the United Nations Security Council approves it. This too has great appeal for different reasons. The UN deserves our support. Whenever possible we should work through it and strengthen it, for it enables the world to share the risks and burdens of global security and when it acts, it confers a legitimacy that increases the likelihood of long-term success. The UN can help lead the world into a new era of global cooperation and the United States should support that goal.

    But there are problems with this approach as well. The United Nations is an organization that is still growing and maturing. It often lacks the cohesion to enforce its own mandates. And when Security Council members use the veto, on occasion, for reasons of narrow-minded interests, it cannot act. In Kosovo, the Russians did not approve NATO military action because of political, ethnic, and religious ties to the Serbs. The United States therefore could not obtain a Security Council resolution in favor of the action necessary to stop the dislocation and ethnic cleansing of more than a million Kosovar Albanians. However, most of the world was with us because there was a genuine emergency with thousands dead and a million driven from their homes. As soon as the American-led conflict was over, Russia joined the peacekeeping effort that is still underway.

    In the case of Iraq, recent comments indicate that one or two Security Council members might never approve force against Saddam Hussein until he has actually used chemical, biological, or God forbid, nuclear weapons.

    So, Mr. President, the question is how do we do our best to both defuse the real threat that Saddam Hussein poses to his people, to the region, including Israel, to the United States, to the world, and at the same time, work to maximize our international support and strengthen the United Nations?

    While there is no perfect approach to this thorny dilemma, and while people of good faith and high intelligence can reach diametrically opposed conclusions, I believe the best course is to go to the UN for a strong resolution that scraps the 1998 restrictions on inspections and calls for complete, unlimited inspections with cooperation expected and demanded from Iraq. I know that the Administration wants more, including an explicit authorization to use force, but we may not be able to secure that now, perhaps even later. But if we get a clear requirement for unfettered inspections, I believe the authority to use force to enforce that mandate is inherent in the original 1991 UN resolution, as President Clinton recognized when he launched Operation Desert Fox in 1998.

    If we get the resolution that President Bush seeks, and if Saddam complies, disarmament can proceed and the threat can be eliminated. Regime change will, of course, take longer but we must still work for it, nurturing all reasonable forces of opposition.

    If we get the resolution and Saddam does not comply, then we can attack him with far more support and legitimacy than we would have otherwise.

    If we try and fail to get a resolution that simply, but forcefully, calls for Saddam's compliance with unlimited inspections, those who oppose even that will be in an indefensible position. And, we will still have more support and legitimacy than if we insist now on a resolution that includes authorizing military action and other requirements giving some nations superficially legitimate reasons to oppose any Security Council action. They will say we never wanted a resolution at all and that we only support the United Nations when it does exactly what we want.

    I believe international support and legitimacy are crucial. After shots are fired and bombs are dropped, not all consequences are predictable. While the military outcome is not in doubt, should we put troops on the ground, there is still the matter of Saddam Hussein's biological and chemical weapons. Today he has maximum incentive not to use them or give them away. If he did either, the world would demand his immediate removal. Once the battle is joined, however, with the outcome certain, he will have maximum incentive to use weapons of mass destruction and to give what he can't use to terrorists who can torment us with them long after he is gone. We cannot be paralyzed by this possibility, but we would be foolish to ignore it. And according to recent reports, the CIA agrees with this analysis. A world united in sharing the risk at least would make this occurrence less likely and more bearable and would be far more likely to share with us the considerable burden of rebuilding a secure and peaceful post-Saddam Iraq.

    President Bush's speech in Cincinnati and the changes in policy that have come forth since the Administration began broaching this issue some weeks ago have made my vote easier. Even though the resolution before the Senate is not as strong as I would like in requiring the diplomatic route first and placing highest priority on a simple, clear requirement for unlimited inspections, I will take the President at his word that he will try hard to pass a UN resolution and will seek to avoid war, if at all possible.

    Because bipartisan support for this resolution makes success in the United Nations more likely, and therefore, war less likely, and because a good faith effort by the United States, even if it fails, will bring more allies and legitimacy to our cause, I have concluded, after careful and serious consideration, that a vote for the resolution best serves the security of our nation. If we were to defeat this resolution or pass it with only a few Democrats, I am concerned that those who want to pretend this problem will go way with delay will oppose any UN resolution calling for unrestricted inspections.

    This is a very difficult vote. This is probably the hardest decision I have ever had to make -- any vote that may lead to war should be hard -- but I cast it with conviction.

    And perhaps my decision is influenced by my eight years of experience on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue in the White House watching my husband deal with serious challenges to our nation. I want this President, or any future President, to be in the strongest possible position to lead our country in the United Nations or in war. Secondly, I want to insure that Saddam Hussein makes no mistake about our national unity and for our support for the President's efforts to wage America's war against terrorists and weapons of mass destruction. And thirdly, I want the men and women in our Armed Forces to know that if they should be called upon to act against Iraq, our country will stand resolutely behind them.

    My vote is not, however, a vote for any new doctrine of pre-emption, or for uni-lateralism, or for the arrogance of American power or purpose -- all of which carry grave dangers for our nation, for the rule of international law and for the peace and security of people throughout the world.

    Over eleven years have passed since the UN called on Saddam Hussein to rid himself of weapons of mass destruction as a condition of returning to the world community. Time and time again he has frustrated and denied these conditions. This matter cannot be left hanging forever with consequences we would all live to regret. War can yet be avoided, but our responsibility to global security and to the integrity of United Nations resolutions protecting it cannot. I urge the President to spare no effort to secure a clear, unambiguous demand by the United Nations for unlimited inspections.

    And finally, on another personal note, I come to this decision from the perspective of a Senator from New York who has seen all too closely the consequences of last year's terrible attacks on our nation. In balancing the risks of action versus inaction, I think New Yorkers who have gone through the fires of hell may be more attuned to the risk of not acting. I know that I am.

    So it is with conviction that I support this resolution as being in the best interests of our nation. A vote for it is not a vote to rush to war; it is a vote that puts awesome responsibility in the hands of our President and we say to him - use these powers wisely and as a last resort. And it is a vote that says clearly to Saddam Hussein - this is your last chance - disarm or be disarmed.

    Thank you, Mr. President.
The last paragraph is the most important, because it highlights that she was misled to believe that Saddam had both chemical and biological WMD and was bent on acquiring or building nuclear weapons.  Yet even though she was convinced of those false facts by the Administration she still somewhat too trustingly begged Bush to use diplomatic pressure in order to avoid a war and only use war if all other options failed.  I find her position to be both reasoned and reasonable, even though her vote was a regrettable mistake.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2016, 11:37:13 PM by AI Wessex »