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message 1: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14870 comments Power is often described as addictive. Usurpation's long history seems to be of some proof. Imagine today you decide everything, nothing important in the world happens without your consent or involvement or fear from you. So many are on your beck and call. And then another day - there is nothing of a sort, an anticlimax, silence.
Do you think different former and ex- might need a rehab?


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Circumstances might change but powerful people have a certain personality type that doesn't change.


message 3: by Mike (new)

Mike | 181 comments As stressful and harrowing as I'm sure it was at times, I think Obama will have a tough time topping the last eight years of his life. Where do you go from there?


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Mike wrote: "As stressful and harrowing as I'm sure it was at times, I think Obama will have a tough time topping the last eight years of his life. Where do you go from there?"

Actually the best part is just beginning. As an ex president and social icon he will be able to venture into lucrative business and speaking engagements as well as affect policy with soft power. Most importantly he will be able to do so more or less away from the glare of the media and without the restrictions that come with the presidency. He and his wife will be able to enjoy their position in the highest social and political circles in the world.


message 5: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14870 comments The incoming reports of Trump's inability to function lately suggest he might need a rehab after all. Some say - even financial and legal support. Will he come to himself? And what awaits him round the corner?


message 6: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5776 comments I think Trump could always have benefitted from therapy. Now that he's lost his political power, it's going to be a big adjustment for him. Being so hated by half the country has to have taken its toll. And going out with a whimper has to hurt. I've not had respect for him personally at times, but I've always thought he had the country's best interests at heart. I wish him peace and satisfaction with the job he did against all odds.


message 7: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14870 comments Mar-a-Lago for the father, and I hope Jared and Ivanka should be pretty comfy too: https://www.foxbusiness.com/real-esta...


message 8: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14870 comments With the acquittal, can it be that we already know one of the candidates for 2024 elections?


message 9: by David (new)

David | 4 comments Possibly, but the conservatives I know in a conservative state really think it’s time to move on....


message 10: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 10656 comments Nik wrote: "With the acquittal, can it be that we already know one of the candidates for 2024 elections?"

You refer to Biden/Harris? :-)

As for Trump, he would have to maintain momentum, and for him to do so he would have to avoid boring everyone with outrageous statements. My guess is he has had his day in the sun.


message 11: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5776 comments Those of you not in the States may not know how Republicans feel about the Democrats' failure to fulfill their promise of "unifying the country." Nothing that's been done since the election has been a move in that direction; in fact, what's been done has been a beat-down of the opposing party and of half the country, who are Republicans. Not one conciliatory move have I seen.


message 12: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 10656 comments Maybe you should give them a bit more time - they have only been there a month, and most of what has happened so far has been initiated by the House prior to the election. But after a few months, if nothing changes . . .


message 13: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5776 comments I'm waiting with bated breath, Ian :-)


message 14: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 10656 comments Well, don't hold it - you could be waiting some time :-)


message 15: by J. (new)

J. Gowin | 3649 comments Ian wrote: "Well, don't hold it - you could be waiting some time :-)"

Which is why a populist, like Trump, can have such a massive impact.


message 16: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 3258 comments Ian wrote: "As for Trump, he would have to maintain momentum, and for him to do so he would have to avoid boring everyone with outrageous statements. My guess is he has had his day in the sun..."

I think he fades pretty quickly. I am not sure he will ever get his popularity back to the level he would need to run again.


message 17: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 3258 comments Scout wrote: "Those of you not in the States may not know how Republicans feel about the Democrats' failure to fulfill their promise of "unifying the country." Nothing that's been done since the election has bee..."

Their idea of conciliatory is do it my way.


message 18: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 3258 comments Ian wrote: "Maybe you should give them a bit more time - they have only been there a month, and most of what has happened so far has been initiated by the House prior to the election. But after a few months, i..."

I do not think you are going to see much out of Biden. he is in a precarious position with half the country united against him and his own party fractured. His luster will fade quickly if this Pandemic drags on for long. He is also talking about raising taxes. What does not get allot of play is the racial aspect. What nobody talked about which surprised me is that every racial reparation, apology, or preference ballot failed in every vote by a 2-1 margin and in many cases much higher. That is a disaster waiting to happen for the Democrats. As I keep saying, large numbers of voters are scary things if they turn against you.


message 19: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5776 comments What do you think about this? It was difficult to find this info online. Could it be because Democrats only focus on the COVID parts of the bill and fail to reveal what else is in it?

Referring to the COVID Relief bill passed by the House, Biden asked, "What would you have me cut?" I'd say that there's a lot that could be cut from the bill that has nothing to do with COVID relief. For example, this from Forbes:

Over the weekend, the U.S. House posted a first draft version of the “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021” – a $1.9 trillion emergency aid package to help America recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Previous legislation has already provided at least $4 trillion in funds for testing, paid family leave, small business relief, direct payments to individuals and families, the Kennedy Center, and a plethora of non-related Covid-19 “relief.”

Since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s leadership team essentially wrote the bill, our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com found what House Democrats consider coronavirus-recovery “essential” spending:

$1.5 million earmarked for the Seaway International Bridge, which connects New York to Canada. Senate Leader Chuck Schumer hails from New York.
$50 million for “family planning” – going to non-profits, i.e. Planned Parenthood, or public entities, including for “services for adolescents[.]”
$852 million for AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps Vista, and the National Senior Service Corps – the Corporation for National and Community Service – civic volunteer agencies. This includes $9 million for the AmeriCorp inspector general to conduct oversight and audits of the largess. AmeriCorps received a $1.1 billion FY2020 appropriation.

People of goodwill can debate each of these goals, but is it truly emergency spending or funding related to Covid-19?

For example, what is the public purpose for a hike in the minimum wage to $15 per hour – which the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says will cost the economy 1.4 million jobs?

Certainly, the coronavirus stimulus bill does provide $473 billion in payments to individuals, $75 billion in cash for vaccines, $26 billion to restaurants, $15 billion to help fund airline payrolls, and another $7.2 billion in Paycheck Protection Program funding for small businesses.

However, The Wall Street Journal editorial board estimated that only $825 billion was directly related to Covid-19 relief and $1 trillion was “expansions of progressive programs, pork, and unrelated policy changes.”

For example, separately, our auditors found that $470 million in the bill doubles the budgets of The Institute of Museum and Library Services and the National Endowment of the Arts and the Humanities.

$200 million in the bill to The Institute of Museum and Library Services (FY2019 budget: $230 million). This agency is so small that it doesn’t even employ an inspector general.
$270 million funds the National Endowment of the Arts and the Humanities (FY2019 budget: $253 million) – In 2017, our study showed eighty-percent of all non-profit grant making flowed to well-heeled organizations with over $1 million in assets.
A quick spotlight on agencies and entities receiving “coronavirus recovery” money in the bill includes:

$350 billion to bailout the 50 States and the District of Columbia. The allocation formula uses the unemployment rate in the fourth quarter of 2020. Therefore, states like New York and California –who had strict economic lockdown policies and high unemployment – will get bailout money. States like Florida and South Dakota – who were open for business – will get less.
$128.5 billion to fund K-12 education. The CBO determined that most of the money in education will be distributed in 2022 through 2028, when the pandemic is over.
$86 billion to save nearly 200 pension plans insured by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. There are no reforms mandated while these badly managed pensions are bailed-out. Many of these pension plans are co-managed by unions.
$50 billion goes to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). A portion of these funds is earmarked to reimburse up to $7,000 for funeral and burial costs related to Covid-19 deaths.
$39.6 billion to higher education. This amount is three times the money – $12.5 billion – that higher ed received with the massive CARES Act funding from last March.
$1.5 billion for Amtrak – the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. In FY2020, Congress appropriated $3 billion for Amtrak ($2 billion in annual appropriations, plus an additional $1 billion in the CARES Act COVID relief bill). In the three years before the pandemic, AMTRAK lost $392 million – even after a $5 billion taxpayer subsidy (FY2017-FY2019).
We reached out to Speaker Pelosi for comment and will update the piece if there is a response.

During the past three years, Republicans and Democrats have helped drain the U.S. Treasury from the left and the right. Our national debt increased from $10 trillion (2008) to $19.6 trillion (2016) to $23.6 trillion (2020) and stands at $28 trillion today.

Continuing coronavirus responses and bloated legislation will drive the national debt much higher.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/adamandr...


message 20: by Nik (last edited Feb 24, 2021 02:41AM) (new)

Nik Krasno | 14870 comments Scout wrote: "What do you think about this? It was difficult to find this info online. Could it be because Democrats only focus on the COVID parts of the bill and fail to reveal what else is in it?

Referring to..."


Obviously and assuming most or even some of it is right, they try to bundle under the "corona disguise" a lot of non-related, narrow-interest budgetary disbursements. Some may call it a heist. Maybe the biggest in history. Unfortunately, very few look into the breakdown of these gigantic by any scale numbers and fewer yet seek accountability of politicians for these disbursements. At that, not saying all of them are bad or unnecessary.


message 21: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 10656 comments Yo9u will recall that Trump had a massive Covid relief package that also spread pork liberally. There was even a massive additional defense additional spend, and that was not for defending against viruses.


message 22: by J. (new)

J. Gowin | 3649 comments Ian wrote: "Yo9u will recall that Trump had a massive Covid relief package that also spread pork liberally. There was even a massive additional defense additional spend, and that was not for defending against ..."

And many conservatives, including myself, objected to it.


message 23: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 3258 comments The relief debt to states is a Democrat giveaway to Democrat states that have placed themselves in a bind over spending. Trump blocked that with the idea if Democrat controlled states cannot write off to Federal taxes, then they will have to face the music for spending. It is a very sore spot. What bothers me is that these states in question will not learn their lesson and keep on spending and show no restraint.


message 24: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5776 comments I agree, PapaP. And as it was so difficult to find this information, it seems to me that the American public is being hoodwinked by having this bill presented as only a COVID relief package. There's much more in there that's not being reported on by mainstream media. Biden presents it as a package to help people affected by the virus, which is disingenuous and misleading, as that's a very minor part of the bill. All these hidden add-ons are going to cost billions, and guess who's going to pay for them? Our generation won't be the only ones who pay for this 1.9 trillion bill. Think about that number.


message 25: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 3258 comments All they see is $1400.


message 26: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5776 comments Well, it has passed in the House. Hopefully, the Senate has more sense.


message 27: by Lizzie (last edited Mar 02, 2021 01:22AM) (new)

Lizzie | 1753 comments As an example, because I don't know what the current covid 19 bill is numbered.

The Consolidated Appropriation Act titled TEXT OF THE HOUSE AMENDMENT TO THE SENATE AMENDMENT TO H.R. 133 is over 5,500 pages long. I don't want to read it. The Washington Post posted it in full on Dec. 21st. It was first introduced in Janaury 2019 and became law on December 27, 2020. That is past most of our citizens' attention spans (including mine).

Here is a 29 page summary of H.R. 133. (I could read it, but didn't.)
https://appropriations.house.gov/site...

We all get excited over specific bills based on media exposure. At least 97 bills/resolutions/law have already passed in one chamber of the 117th Congress. No one is talking about them. I think the reality is that we don't want to be bothered and most of us don't have time to review the number of pages in proposed bills/legislation, let alone read them in depth.

If anyone is interested the congress.gov page will link to the status of legislation from proposed to passage by the house/senate to law. The problem I always have is figuring out which number applies so I can search easily.
https://www.congress.gov/search?searc...


message 28: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14870 comments General public, lawyers, accountants, etc may have a look out on a need-to-know basis or out of curiosity, whereas for congressmen it's supposedly a paid job. Wonder how many actually read what they vote for/against/abstain. What I hear from other legislative bodies, unless it's something super televised, very few lawmakers go into details, while most other follow "party discipline" or rely on digests and hearsay.


message 29: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 10656 comments In my opinion, very few outside the formulation of the document will have the time to read 5,500 page, let alone understand all the implications. I think it becomes a donkey vote on whether to support the guys in the party who were given responsibility to write it.


message 30: by J. (new)

J. Gowin | 3649 comments Ian wrote: "In my opinion, very few outside the formulation of the document will have the time to read 5,500 page, let alone understand all the implications. I think it becomes a donkey vote on whether to supp..."

Consider for a moment the absolute absurdity of creating a law that is too long for anyone to have read.


message 31: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 3258 comments J. wrote: "Ian wrote: "In my opinion, very few outside the formulation of the document will have the time to read 5,500 page, let alone understand all the implications. I think it becomes a donkey vote on whe..."

Or it is total brilliance.


message 32: by J. (last edited Mar 03, 2021 02:10PM) (new)

J. Gowin | 3649 comments Papaphilly wrote: "Or it is total brilliance."

And thus does liberty die, as free people are enslaved by bureaucracy. And they don't even see the chains.

In a different group, I saw someone actually plead for censorship as a necessity against anti-vax rhetoric and other things with which (s)he disagreed. I asked this person if they honestly believed that there was someone better suited to decide what information (s)he should consume than (s)he was. I was stunned when in a round about manner (s)he said yes. Would this person ever see the cage in which (s)he is begging to be locked.


message 33: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 1753 comments J. wrote: "Would this person ever see the cage in which (s)he is begging to be locked.."

Sadly, I think there are more of that person than there are of us. Familiar platitudes are so much easier to digest than new ideas.


message 34: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 3258 comments Thinking is hard, that is why nobody wants to do it.


message 35: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5776 comments Congress voting on a bill that's too long to read and understand . . . reminds me of Obamacare. They used the same tactic then, and I was appalled. What the heck? Voting on something you haven't even read, much less understood, and that's our government at work? And we're sitting by and watching it happen again. As Papa said, "total brilliance" on the part of Democrats. And as J said, "And thus does liberty die, as free people are enslaved by bureaucracy. And they don't even see the chains." My dad and I talk about these things, and when we're done, we say, "Oh, well." An admission that there's nothing we can do but endure and hope for reason to prevail.


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