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Tom Rinaldo

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Member since: Mon Oct 20, 2003, 06:39 PM
Number of posts: 22,309

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The riots have served their purpose.

They have worked to turn further societal acceptance of an intolerable reality (racism) into a counter intolerable reality (growing civil unrest). But when a breaking point is finally reached it is never assured that subsequent change will actually be for the better. Rioting can not be regulated like the flow of water from a spigot. Fine controls are lacking. In the short term, at some point, continued riots will serve the purpose of Donald Trump. We live in dangerous times.

The pandemic should be a metaphor for Whites to grasp the plague that is racism

Covid-19 can strike and kill any of us without our seeing it coming, without any warning, without our engaging in any risky behavior. We can get struck down by it regardless of how good, how caring, how conscientious or even how deferential we may be acting toward it. Covid-19 is on the loose in the environment we all must navigate through, threatening our lives every minute of the day whenever we step outside our homes, and even some times when we remain inside. The risk of a lethal exposure to the virus in any given moment may be low, but it never goes away. It's a fear that can never be dismissed and, four months into this, we desperately want for it to go away

Most of us are having real trouble adjusting to a reality that leaves us constantly vulnerable to a potentially deadly viral encounter. African Americans in this nation, no matter who they may individually be, no matter how carefully they manage the risks posed to them, have always dealt with an invisible threat to their lives, one that can attack and devastate them without any notice. And they have dealt with that threat every day of their lives. They live, and die, with racism as an ever present pandemic.

And finally, video footage has started to surface that documents the daily threat to African American lives in graphic, horrific, and undeniable detail, like some kind of "black light" that illuminates the usually invisible, to whites that is, contagion that stalks and strikes them down. But so many in White America choose to view it as isolated incidents, stray rotten apples in otherwise healthy barrels. White America handles the racism pandemic the way Donald Trump handles Covid-19; ignore it and maybe it will go away, "magically" so to speak. How is that working?

Racism will not go away. It continues to spread and kill and will not be eradicated until we marshal the full will of the American people to defeat it. And that means White America has to care, and up until now there is no reason to believe that we are taking racism any more seriously than spring break revelers on Florida beaches took Covid-19. How many more years can Black Americans be expected to live with the consequences of White relative indifference before rage boils over? Yes, rage is often "irrational", but what else is left when all rational efforts barely cause a ripple on the White societal pool of omnipresent complacency?

If we weren't in the midst of a deadly pandemic

There would be millions more non violent protesters taking to the streets today and most likely a massive rally being planned for Washington DC. It is horrific on top of horrific that people now have to risk their lives in order to protect their lives.

About Joe's comment

The problem with it is that it literally was politically incorrect. "Politically incorrect" as in "people aren't supposed to express that thought in public". And, you know, I'm a Liberal, so I get it. It's incorrect, especially for a public figure (a White public figure at that) to say to any African American "You ain't Black if... (fill in the blank).

When I was a civil rights activist decades back the term "Oreo" came into common use (Black on the outside, White inside). My Black friends could use that term to describe someone, but not me. Not out loud. So yeah, it was right for Joe Biden to issue a public apology, and he did. But I know what Joe Biden meant. Regardless of our race we all do. Whether or not every single voter agrees with Biden on this is not the point. Everyone knows that, give or take, 90% of African American voters will vote for a Democrat over a Republican. Very few things in America are that lop sided.

That's it folks, there's nothing else to see here, unless you think that saying something "delicate" out loud when it not surprisingly comes to mind is automatically disqualifying for a public leader. And if you think THAT and still vote for Donald Trump over Joe Biden: You ain't a sentient being.

That is what burns my ass Trump trying to score points on Biden by accusing him of being "politically incorrect" when Trump's personally elevated that stance to a status closer than cleanliness to God.

"I get tested daily. I don't have to wear a mask."

Not an exact quote, but close enough for hand grenades.

This one will explode in Trump's face. Not exactly a winning message when he's trying to cajole/force workers back into the workplace and consumers back into the physical marketplace, without having a robust and fully functioning public health system, including ample easily accessible testing, already in place.

Not only did Flynn plead Guilty; He entered a PLEA BARGAIN and MORE SERIOUS CHARGES were DROPPED

I wrote the below OP a while ago here. It bears repeating NOW:

Michael Flynn entered into a plea bargain with the FBI. That is not quite the same thing as "only pleading guilty to a single charge." The entire basis of the type of plea deal that Flynn originally struck with the FBI was a reward for cooperating with the prosecution in ongoing investigations into matters that he could bear witness to. And what exactly does that type "reward" entail? It entails going easy on him. Specifically it meant only charging Flynn with a single count of lying to the FBI when they could have thrown the book at him. Michael Flynn had serious criminal exposure across an array of possible charges. The full scope of Flynn's behavior was criminally damning and well documented, and conviction on just half of the potential charges that could have been leveled against Flynn would have resulted in him drawing sentencing guidelines far more severe than the relatively moderate ones that Barr subsequently forced Department of Justice prosecutors to withdraw prior to his pending sentencing.

This is a legal charade that goes far beyond any argument over whether Flynn deserves greater leniency over the single count that he ultimately did plead guilty to. Precisely because Flynn promised to cooperate he was not charged with more serious counts of criminal behavior that could have landed him behind bars for decades. Because Flynn promised to cooperate the sentencing guidelines applied to him today do not reflect the enormity of the crimes that the FBI investigated him for. And it is because of the enormity of those crimes, and the evidence that prosecutors had against him, that Michael Flynn originally agreed to plead guilty of just one count of lying to the FBI, trading promised cooperation for subsequent leniency. And now Barr has the audacity to argue that the sentencing guidelines are too harsh to apply to a man who only stands guilty of one count of lying to the FBI, and after Michael Flynn failed to deliver on his end of the original bargain.

I went back and searched for more information on the potential charges Flynn was facing had he not promised to cooperate with the feds - a promise he failed to make good on. I found this in lawfareblog.com:

"...Reports of Flynn’s bizarre behavior across a wide spectrum of areas began trickling out even before his tenure as national security adviser ended after only 24 days. These behaviors raised a raft of substantial criminal law questions that have been a matter of open speculation and reporting for months. His problems include, among other things, an alleged kidnapping plot, a plan to build nuclear power plants all over the Middle East, alleged violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) involving at least two different countries, and apparent false statements to the FBI. In light of the scope and range of the activity that reputable news organizations have attributed to Flynn, it is no surprise that he has agreed to cooperate with Mueller in exchange for leniency.

The surprising thing about the plea agreement and the stipulated facts underlying it is how narrow they are. There’s no whiff of the alleged Fethullah Gulen kidnapping talks. Flynn has escaped FARA and influence-peddling charges. And he has been allowed to plead to a single count of lying to the FBI. The factual stipulation is also narrow. It involves lies to the FBI on two broad matters and lies on Flynn’s belated FARA filings on another issue. If a tenth of the allegations against Flynn are true and provable, he has gotten a very good deal from Mueller."


So because, on false premises, Flynn negotiated a sweetheart deal with the Feds that confined his conviction to just one relatively minor crime, the Department of Justice, under Barr, now argues that even the standard federal sentencing guidelines for that one crime are too harsh, because the crime itself was minor and his record is otherwise unblemished?

I expect that type of perverted reasoning from this Administration, but why aren't more legal pundits calling them on this?

The Republican Election Play Book is Simple

Pin the blame for massive unemployment and small business failures on Democrats for resisting "opening up our economy" soon enough, rather than taking blame for the epic mismanagement of the Covid-19 threat that forced our economies to shut down to protect us. They hope to thread the needle by instigating high profile extreme "open it up" protests while simultaneously counting on enough civic and municipal common sense public health restrictions continuing to keep the pandemic from totally blowing up in their faces before the 2020 elections. This isn't about public policy, it's about political branding.

Republicans will paint Democrats as being responsible for most of our continuing economic hardships when we continue to resist the irresponsible wide spread exposure of the public to escalating lethal risks. But they expect us to resist their extreme calls successfully enough, in order to contain a death rate rise just enough, to prevent it from racing off the charts prior to ballots being cast. What happens with any second or third waves of this pandemic after election day is not their concern. Securing their control of the government in November is. It is cynical politics at the highest level. It is standard operating procedure for the Republican Party.

There is no "Gotcha" contradiction in Biden's stance regarding "believing" women who come forward

Both Joe and Mika tried so hard on Morning Joe today to prove that Biden was guilty of a double standard because of his public comments about Dr. Ford's testimony at the Kavenaugh hearings. Here is what Biden said then that they think supposedly traps him in a contradiction:

“For a woman to come forward in the glaring lights of focus, nationally, you’ve got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she’s talking about is real, whether or not she forgets facts, whether or not it’s been made worse or better over time,”

Epic fail for Joe and Mika. The truth is staring them in the face but they refuse to look it in the eye. It's found in the words: "start off with the presumption" In scientific terms that is called a hypothesis, a preliminary assumption that then must be tested to see if it holds up under scrutiny. It is the rationale for investigating, not the conclusion of an investigation. Scientists don't establish facts through plausible conjecture. They use plausible conjecture ( a hypothesis) to justify making the effort needed to investigate whether it actually pans out in reality. Frequently a hypothesis proves to be correct. Often it does not.

Joe Biden believed then (at the Kavenaugh hearing) and he still believes today as an article or personal conviction that a woman who submits herself to the glare of national publicity by making an allegation of sexual misconduct against a prominent man deserves to be taken seriously. Being taken seriously means to conduct an investigation that searches for evidence supporting her allegation. But "presuming" that "at least the essence of what she's talking about is real" is a starting point, not a final resolution. It doesn't establish anything without evidence to support it.

In Tara Reade's case it is fair to assume that Joe Biden has first hand knowledge whether or not her allegations are true. He doesn't need any investigation to determine the truth, he already knows the truth. Why should he pretend that, when all is said and done, "the essence of what she's talking about is real" in this case if he knows for a fact that it isn't? Joe Biden is not telling anyone not to take Reide's allegations seriously, he is not condemning anyone for wanting to determine the facts. He welcomes a fair investigation. But it would be nonsensical for Biden to pretend that he doesn't know whether Tara Reide is telling the truth regarding him. Joe Biden doesn't need to investigate to find out what he already knows.
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