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Gramarye

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  1. Gramarye

    The Trump Presidency

    Why do you think it's safe to say they'd be less of a threat if they had been less contained and less countered by us and others in the region?
  2. Gramarye

    The Trump Presidency

    The presence of a nuclear program in Iran makes it not a double standard. But if that didn't exist, it would be quite fair to criticize the US for having a double standard vis-a-vis Saudi Arabia and Iran. What would be less clear whether the right thing would be to take a softer line on Iran or a harder line on Saudi Arabia. Khashoggi was not the first and he probably won't be the last victim of our willingness to treat Saudi Arabia with kid gloves due to the "complex" "nuances" of foreign policy.
  3. Gramarye

    The Trump Presidency

    I do understand that that was the intention of the Iran deal. I even understand the underlying premises from which that intention arose. But the critical difference is that Iran does in fact have an illicit nuclear weapons program and the sanctions on that program (or on Iran due to their refusal to abandon that program) were lifted as part of the deal, and the deal was based on farcical assumptions of Iranian compliance with a disarmament obligation. Israeli intelligence has already aptly demonstrated what we should have needed basically no evidence to confidently assume--Iran never intended to disarm or even significantly limit the pace of its nuclear arming, was in breach of the agreement the moment it was signed, and has been in breach of the agreement every moment of its existence. I could envision a future in which Iran is a considerably more reliable partner in the Middle East than Saudi Arabia. But envisioning it is not the same as assuming it already exists.
  4. Gramarye

    The Trump Presidency

    You really can't think of any other reason why people might think Iran, as currently constituted, is bad? Nothing to do with theocracy, terrorism, subversive militia support in Iraq, etc.? Just the fact that Obama made a deal with them, that's it? You're cool with the rest?
  5. Gramarye

    The Trump Presidency

    No, because Saudi Arabia is not currently defined as an enemy of the United States, and treason consists of adhering to or providing aid and comfort to an enemy of the United States. The Constitution specifically fixed this as the definition of treason--the only crime that Congress is not at liberty to redefine--precisely because of the political history of the pre-Revolutionary Era where whichever side had power would simply define whatever the other side was doing, if they disliked it enough, as treason. And your posts are a perfect example of why the Founders were very prescient in hardwiring the definition into the Constitution. You can call it all kinds of unsavory things, but it is not treason. Note that Trump is not the first president to be close with Saudi Arabia, even if the added potential impetus of family business connections there is a new wrinkle. But we've been close with the Saudis for many, many administrations now. And yes, there is always a minority faction in both parties demanding to know why exactly that's the case, considering the things the regime actively supports and the things it provides cover for, regardless of our arms sales to them and their oil sales to us. But Trump is not unique in this regard. And Khashoggi is only a more prominent example of a studied ignorance America has maintained for a long time towards Saudi Arabian authoritarianism and contempt for basic human rights, including of U.S. citizens. We have had a low-level (but very serious to the affected people!) issue with their treatment of American women who marry Saudi men when those couples move to or even "visit" Saudi Arabia (sometimes those "visits" have turned out to be considerably longer than the woman involved intended or consented to). Maybe the time is coming when our reliance on oil, and the Middle East generally, will be sufficiently attenuated that we don't need to make the kinds of dirty compromises we do there. I personally look forward to the day. But in the meantime, I'll note that Trump is hardly unique in turning a blind eye to Saudi Arabian trampling on the life and liberty of U.S. citizens within their jurisdiction. This has been going on for a long time, long enough that it is not just Trump, it is the entrenched mentality of the State Department and the foreign policy apparatus generally. We have a great deal to be ashamed of here.
  6. Gramarye

    SCOTUS

    At the torrential, constant-Category-V pace of the news cycle around this administration, there's still lifetimes between here and the election. However, at this point, pure election cycle talk should be taken to other threads; this one should go back to being about the actual work of SCOTUS on its cases, etc. Even if the Senate flips, the effect on the topic of this thread will actually be minimal until another seat actually opens up on the Court. Though it's interesting to consider whether justices would time their retirements differently if the Senate remains in Republican hands vs. flipping.
  7. Gramarye

    SCOTUS

    As I understand it, the Court frequently declines to take cases in situations like this. This is nothing particularly new. Note that denial of certiorari means very little about the Court's view of the law, especially when it's based on administration reconsideration. Kavanaugh will still have to recuse himself whether this case is heard this term or next term or two terms from now, which might happen if the EPA decides to leave the regulation in place and the challenge to it is renewed.
  8. Gramarye

    SCOTUS

    Chesterton's Fence. If you want to convince me that D.C. should be a state, you'd need to show me that the original reasons why it was specifically excluded from statehood were either invalid originally or have changed.
  9. Gramarye

    SCOTUS

    Collins, Manchin Announce Support For Kavanaugh, Paving Way For Supreme Court Confirmation http://thefederalist.com/2018/10/05/collins-manchin-announce-support-kavanaugh-paving-way-supreme-court-confirmation/
  10. Gramarye

    SCOTUS

    So obviously have 400,000 District residents and Puerto Ricans move to Wyoming and they can control those votes, too, if it means so much to them. Neither D.C. nor Puerto Rico are U.S. states. D.C. is not lacking for influence in national politics regardless of its lack of Senators. Puerto Rico is not a state, is not invited to become one, and does not deserve greater influence in U.S. politics. If it wants to be free of the oppressive yoke of the U.S. Senate, I imagine it could declare independence and it would get quite a few Republican Senators happily voting to let it go its merry way.
  11. Gramarye

    SCOTUS

    Even the liberal and stridently anti-Kavanaugh Mother Jones disagrees with that view: https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/10/impeaching-brett-kavanaugh-is-a-liberal-fantasy-give-it-up/
  12. Gramarye

    SCOTUS

    What does it mean to "sell out one's own people?" To whom do they sell them? What would a white male "selling out one's own people" look like?
  13. Gramarye

    The Trump Presidency

    Oh, absolutely, a great many people work for nonprofits that didn't start out wealthy (and who will probably never be wealthy, especially if they work for nonprofits their whole lives). That wasn't the import of my comment at all. In fact, the whole point of my partially-tongue-in-cheek quip about being "broke for the cause together" is that most people who work for nonprofits are not doing it for a big paycheck, so if you don't have family money, you're choosing a bit of a more modest life. Singling out nonprofits wasn't my point or even necessary to my point, though. I could have easily picked out an even less-well-compensated lifestyle: stay-at-home parenthood. And I did serve on one board with someone who was otherwise a stay-at-home mother backed by a certain amount of family money (I couldn't even put an order of magnitude on it ... if you told me high six figures I'd believe you, and if you told me low eight figures I'd even believe you, too). She was a great person and an active board member.
  14. Gramarye

    SCOTUS

    If you think that Congress should reflect the American populace, though, then a gay, black, female construction worker probably doesn't have much place there. There are 535 seats in Congress. I've done no research, but sight unseen, I'll wager that gay black female construction workers represent much less than 1/535th of the US population. Going to take my completely-unresearched bet?
  15. Gramarye

    SCOTUS

    Seriously. So tired of grouping people into a category and saying that we should vote for a category instead of a person. There is truth in diversity being beneficial, but we often focus on the most rudimentary distinctions. I don't think it's wrong to say that our Congress should reflect the national populous as much as possible. In every way?
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