[US Foreign Policy] 100 Seconds to Midnight

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  • MorganVMorganV Registered User regular
    Dac wrote: »
    McConnell won't let it be heard or presented or whatever, so this is meaningless

    It's kind of bonkers to me that over ten-plus years we've somehow just become normalized to the idea that the senate majority leader now has the same effective veto power as the president.

    More.

    He can hold up a vote that'd pass 99-1 (or even 100-0) if it came to the floor, and as long as 51 Senators refuse to remove him for it, can stick it a drawer.

    Normally, this wouldn't be tenable if Republican Senators were interested in doing their duty. But we're well past that point.

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  • manwiththemachinegunmanwiththemachinegun METAL GEAR?! Registered User regular
    Dark_Side wrote: »
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Iran is more democratic than every other country in the region(besides Israel, which currently has its own problem with the increase of power from theocrats). The system they have has slowly been moving in the direction of more democracy, but they have had regressions, especially when the US decides they simply have to fuck around in the region instead of letting it be.

    They arbitrairly imprison Westerners, especially citizens of America and our allies, especially journalists. They do not have particularly free press, and their election system is under tight control. But they are developing, and if we actually treated them like adults for more than an 8 year stretch, they would probably be able to get somewhere.

    Or they wouldn't. See China.

    Not to argue for more of us fucking around in the area. It's just not that simple.

    It's definitely not simple, but the last couple of years have shown that Iran has an entire younger generation that is fed up with the state of things there and doesn't necessarily see the US as the great evil. China seems different in that they've spent generations programming their young people with sophistication, and efficient brutality seen nowhere else.

    I have a friend from Iran and it breaks my heart. She has spoken out a few times and it cost her a year suspension at school. She had a friend killed on the Ukrainan flight that I just found out about today. And she's really, really depressed in general. She feels like Iran can basically kill her friends with impunity who are trying to change things for the better. They just don't have any real power. She doesn't like Trump, but she does get a lot of Schadenfreude out of him taking shots at the Regime. She wasn't terribly upset by the assassination, which was pretty surprising to me.

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  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    Dark_Side wrote: »
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Iran is more democratic than every other country in the region(besides Israel, which currently has its own problem with the increase of power from theocrats). The system they have has slowly been moving in the direction of more democracy, but they have had regressions, especially when the US decides they simply have to fuck around in the region instead of letting it be.

    They arbitrairly imprison Westerners, especially citizens of America and our allies, especially journalists. They do not have particularly free press, and their election system is under tight control. But they are developing, and if we actually treated them like adults for more than an 8 year stretch, they would probably be able to get somewhere.

    Or they wouldn't. See China.

    Not to argue for more of us fucking around in the area. It's just not that simple.

    It's definitely not simple, but the last couple of years have shown that Iran has an entire younger generation that is fed up with the state of things there and doesn't necessarily see the US as the great evil. China seems different in that they've spent generations programming their young people with sophistication, and efficient brutality seen nowhere else.

    I have a friend from Iran and it breaks my heart. She has spoken out a few times and it cost her a year suspension at school. She had a friend killed on the Ukrainan flight that I just found out about today. And she's really, really depressed in general. She feels like Iran can basically kill her friends with impunity who are trying to change things for the better. They just don't have any real power. She doesn't like Trump, but she does get a lot of Schadenfreude out of him taking shots at the Regime. She wasn't terribly upset by the assassination, which was pretty surprising to me.

    That makes sense in some way, it's one of the few things that the US has done to Iran that didn't harm the Iranian people.

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  • LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
    Being a regular American citizen, I wouldn't be terribly upset if an American general was assassinated (just the consequences of the war machine that resulted afterward). So that response is understandable to me.

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  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    So the whole Russian government is resigning?

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  • SeñorAmorSeñorAmor !!! Registered User regular
    Tim Kaine says he has 51 votes for the Iran War Powers resolution to restrict the use of force. Young, Collins, Lee, and Paul are the four Republicans.

    Would be nice if those same 51 votes also chose to remove McConnell as leader so the vote would actually make it to the floor...

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  • Blackhawk1313Blackhawk1313 Registered User regular
    Enc wrote: »
    So the whole Russian government is resigning?

    Makes it so Putin can pass whatever laws he wants that will limit the power of his successor.

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Enc wrote: »
    So the whole Russian government is resigning?

    Makes it so Putin can pass whatever laws he wants that will limit the power of his successor.

    At first the story makes you think "In protest?" but no, it's to make it easier for him.

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  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    Enc wrote: »
    So the whole Russian government is resigning?

    what?

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  • BizazedoBizazedo Registered User regular
    Xaquin wrote: »
    what?
    CNN wrote:
    Russian government resigns after Putin proposes reforms that would weaken his successor

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/15/europe/russian-government-resigns-vladimir-putin-reforms-intl/index.html
    CNN wrote:

    The entire Russian government is resigning, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced Wednesday, after President Vladimir Putin proposed sweeping reforms that would weaken his successor.

    Putin thanked members of the government for their work but added that "not everything worked out." Putin added that in the near future he would meet with each member of the cabinet. The mass resignation includes Medvedev.

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Xaquin wrote: »
    Enc wrote: »
    So the whole Russian government is resigning?

    what?

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-51120166

    I'm still trying to parse the exact nature of what is going on but the basics afaik are:

    - Putin is term limited and is, like last time, trying to get around that
    - he's proposing a bunch of government reforms that basically limit the power of whoever comes after him and one assumes strengthen the power of where ever he decides to end up next
    - the entire government (I'm assuming they mean the legislature) is resigning which will in some way help him push these reforms through

    The last part I don't really understand but that's what the reporting is.

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  • Blackhawk1313Blackhawk1313 Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    Xaquin wrote: »
    Enc wrote: »
    So the whole Russian government is resigning?

    what?

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-51120166

    I'm still trying to parse the exact nature of what is going on but the basics afaik are:

    - Putin is term limited and is, like last time, trying to get around that
    - he's proposing a bunch of government reforms that basically limit the power of whoever comes after him and one assumes strengthen the power of where ever he decides to end up next
    - the entire government (I'm assuming they mean the legislature) is resigning which will in some way help him push these reforms through

    The last part I don't really understand but that's what the reporting is.

    It leaves him free to put these reforms in to place without anyone checking him or slowing it down. He is the government as of that moment.

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  • BizazedoBizazedo Registered User regular
    Yeah....it looks like he's going to transition himself to Prime Minister?

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  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    edited January 15
    oh

    that seems not so great?

    or is it a net good because he'll not be in charge?

    edit: what a piece of crap

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  • Blackhawk1313Blackhawk1313 Registered User regular
    edited January 15
    Bizazedo wrote: »
    Yeah....it looks like he's going to transition himself to Prime Minister?

    Almost certainly, and the powers will be appropriately strengthened for that post while the rest are neutered.

    EDIT:
    It almost certainly won’t be good, because so far it looks like his plan is to hand most of the power over to the parliament side of things, and then get himself installed as prime minister with extended powers.

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  • BlackDragon480BlackDragon480 Bluster Kerfuffle Master of Windy ImportRegistered User regular
    edited January 15
    shryke wrote: »
    The last part I don't really understand but that's what the reporting is.

    He wants to enshrine the Duma with the power to vote on the Prime Minister and other major positions, ostensibly to extend the power of the people's vote to the higher echelons of government. However, it would also mean that if he could fully stack the Duma with clacks (moreso than currently) by voodoo w/ elections, have them vote him as Prime Minster, after which he'd more or less be a constitutional monarch that would be able to edit said constitution whenever he wanted.

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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    Bizazedo wrote: »
    Yeah....it looks like he's going to transition himself to Prime Minister?

    Again?

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  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    Xaquin wrote: »
    oh

    that seems not so great?

    or is it a net good because he'll not be in charge?

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    Shut up, Mr. Burton! You were not brought upon this world to get it!
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  • RaijuRaiju regular Registered User regular
    Bizazedo wrote: »
    Xaquin wrote: »
    what?
    CNN wrote:
    Russian government resigns after Putin proposes reforms that would weaken his successor

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/15/europe/russian-government-resigns-vladimir-putin-reforms-intl/index.html
    CNN wrote:

    The entire Russian government is resigning, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced Wednesday, after President Vladimir Putin proposed sweeping reforms that would weaken his successor.

    Putin thanked members of the government for their work but added that "not everything worked out." Putin added that in the near future he would meet with each member of the cabinet. The mass resignation includes Medvedev.

    Well, that just happened. There's no illusion that Putin is anything else but the undisputed lifelong king of Russia.

    And Trump would love nothing more than to emulate him.

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  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Putin might as well just crown himself Tsar and stop pussying about with the pretend democracy.

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  • Santa ClaustrophobiaSanta Claustrophobia Ho Ho Ho Disconnecting from Xbox LIVERegistered User regular
    Putin might as well just crown himself Tsar and stop pussying about with the pretend democracy.

    That'll be next after the PM thing is over.

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  • Blackhawk1313Blackhawk1313 Registered User regular
    Putin might as well just crown himself Tsar and stop pussying about with the pretend democracy.

    I think he likes and even prefers the veneer of democracy though, he has all the power but can point to pieces of the system and say hey we are democratic too, and ward off more easily tossed out criticism that would come with someone just making themselves god king. The other part too is that may be end game but he has to clear some elements of the constitution out to really set that up, a process he is currently clearly working on. Lastly, he doesn’t want to go completely whole hog (yet), less he invite revolution.

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  • DouglasDangerDouglasDanger PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    Xaquin wrote: »
    oh

    that seems not so great?

    or is it a net good because he'll not be in charge?

    Putin will run Russia until he is dead

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Yeah, this is basically just the same game he played in 2008. The Presidency is term limited, but only consecutively. He finishes out 2 terms, he transfers power to the PM and goes there, he returns to the Presidency after 4 years.

    I'm not actually sure that back and forth switch was planned the first time. I always got the sense that Medvedev thought he was gonna be President for longer and less of a puppet and that Putin was gonna settle in as PM and that jumping straight back into the Presidency in 2012 was a reaction to his beliefs that the US, and specifically Clinton, was fucking around with Russia. (which then also leads to the shit in 2016 with the US election)

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Putin might as well just crown himself Tsar and stop pussying about with the pretend democracy.

    I think he likes and even prefers the veneer of democracy though, he has all the power but can point to pieces of the system and say hey we are democratic too, and ward off more easily tossed out criticism that would come with someone just making themselves god king. The other part too is that may be end game but he has to clear some elements of the constitution out to really set that up, a process he is currently clearly working on. Lastly, he doesn’t want to go completely whole hog (yet), less he invite revolution.

    Yeah, in general there's nothing to gain from dispelling the illusion.

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  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    If I understand it, prime minister and president can't serve more than two consecutive terms. So Putin is just swapping between the two roles and sending the power to whatever role he is in.

    Really should just king himself, it might be less work.

    CelestialBadger
  • Blackhawk1313Blackhawk1313 Registered User regular
    Tomanta wrote: »
    If I understand it, prime minister and president can't serve more than two consecutive terms. So Putin is just swapping between the two roles and sending the power to whatever role he is in.

    Really should just king himself, it might be less work.

    Again, the illusion has it’s benefits. It’s frankly the only reason why he hasn’t yet.

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  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Tomanta wrote: »
    If I understand it, prime minister and president can't serve more than two consecutive terms. So Putin is just swapping between the two roles and sending the power to whatever role he is in.

    Really should just king himself, it might be less work.

    Again, the illusion has it’s benefits. It’s frankly the only reason why he hasn’t yet.

    Maybe he just thinks he looks better in a suit than a crown and ermine.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Tomanta wrote: »
    If I understand it, prime minister and president can't serve more than two consecutive terms. So Putin is just swapping between the two roles and sending the power to whatever role he is in.

    Really should just king himself, it might be less work.

    Again, the illusion has it’s benefits. It’s frankly the only reason why he hasn’t yet.

    This is how this situation goes down most of the time these days honestly. The days of "fuck democracy, I'm dictator now" seem to have given way to fake democracies. Even China runs this kind of game. There's just no benefits to be explicit about it and plenty to just rigging elections and faking it.

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  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    Even Saddam’s Iraq and the Soviet Union had fake elections... I think it’s basically been that a while.

  • Commander ZoomCommander Zoom Registered User regular
    "People's Republic of Tyranny" is a trope for a reason.

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  • Dongs GaloreDongs Galore Registered User regular
    edited January 15
    "People's Republic of Tyranny" is a trope for a reason.
    Ackshully, the "People's Republic" thing is a slightly different phenomenon from the trend of sham Western democracies!

    "People's" or "Democratic" Republics typically follow the Leninist model of Democratic Centralism, which is an alternative model to the liberal-republican model which Leninists condemn as Bourgeois Parliamentarianism. In principle, Democratic Centralist regimes put the will of the People above the politicking of elite lawmakers. The democratically chosen representatives of the people form the central executive, which deliberates and decides. The Party's decisions are therefore the people's decisions, and all levels of government must abide by these decisions. Even if officials argued against the decision, once it is made, they are expected to fully support it in public.
    Basically, whereas the US or UK legislature decide laws and send them to be ratified by the executive, the Democratic Centralist legislature ratifies the decrees of the executive. In theory the legislature can overrule any such decision, in practice they have always ended up becoming a rubber-stamp body. Hence why "Democratic People's Republic" typically means Dictatorship.
    For example, the PRC is governed by a system of "Democratic Inter-Party Consultation" in which the CCP has a permanent absolute majority by law. The decisions that emerge from this consultation are incontestable. The Congress could overturn them, but anyone trying to organize such a vote would be engaging in reactionary factionalism.

    When a liberal republic slides into dictatorship, it's usually because the constitution has been amended, suspended or abolished to eliminate checks on the executive, like Putin is doing. A Democratic Centralist constitution is still totally in force, as in the PRC, its just completely ineffective because the Will of the Party supersedes it.

    e: also I think usually Democratic Centralist courts don't have any form of judicial review to check the executive

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  • HozHoz Cool Cat Registered User regular
    What happens if Russia has an arab spring type implosion after Putin becomes really unpopular or dies?

    We do not acknowledge it enough how much we have resting on the continued stability of Russia. And it's obvious Putin doesn't give a shit what happens to his country after he is gone.

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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    Hoz wrote: »
    What happens if Russia has an arab spring type implosion after Putin becomes really unpopular or dies?

    We do not acknowledge it enough how much we have resting on the continued stability of Russia. And it's obvious Putin doesn't give a shit what happens to his country after he is gone.

    Going off of history, grunge rock and the price of Beanie Babies will soar.

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  • That_GuyThat_Guy I don't wanna be that guy Registered User regular
    Hoz wrote: »
    What happens if Russia has an arab spring type implosion after Putin becomes really unpopular or dies?

    We do not acknowledge it enough how much we have resting on the continued stability of Russia. And it's obvious Putin doesn't give a shit what happens to his country after he is gone.

    I believe the official Russian state sanctioned response on a popular uprising is shipping people off to Gulags.

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  • VeeveeVeevee WisconsinRegistered User regular
    edited January 15
    Putin doesn't have a male child, only 2 daughters, so proclaiming himself Tsar would mean he would have to proclaim a successor which opens Putin up to assassination. Keeping the veneer of democracy means no one person is designated as his true successor, which keeps Russian politician's personal ambitions from going down the "Kill Putin" route more than it already is.

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  • manwiththemachinegunmanwiththemachinegun METAL GEAR?! Registered User regular
    Hoz wrote: »
    What happens if Russia has an arab spring type implosion after Putin becomes really unpopular or dies?

    We do not acknowledge it enough how much we have resting on the continued stability of Russia. And it's obvious Putin doesn't give a shit what happens to his country after he is gone.

    I hate to break this to you, but overthrowing a modern government is actually, really REALLY hard. So much so it's near wishful thinking unless its already a failed state.

    Julius
  • ButtersButters A glass of some milks Registered User regular
    Putin's power is well consolidated to make overthrow near impossible but his death will likely ensue chaos for the same reasons. The power vacuum will be so massive that dozens of different figures and factions will compete to fill it.

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  • Dongs GaloreDongs Galore Registered User regular
    That_Guy wrote: »
    Hoz wrote: »
    What happens if Russia has an arab spring type implosion after Putin becomes really unpopular or dies?

    We do not acknowledge it enough how much we have resting on the continued stability of Russia. And it's obvious Putin doesn't give a shit what happens to his country after he is gone.

    I believe the official Russian state sanctioned response on a popular uprising is shipping people off to Gulags.
    This doesn't always work, see: 1917, 1919, 1991
    Russia has been at risk of some kind of civil war since the end of the USSR, but it's proven surprisingly resilient. I don't think an Arab Spring event would cause an implosion like we saw in Libya or Syria.

    Most notably, the Russian Army has been quite resolutely apolitical, a tradition it inherited from the Soviet Army. Stalin's military legacy was an abiding fear of ever looking like a threat to the party or the people. This was reinforced in 1989, when the Army used force to disperse protesters in Tblisi at the request of the Georgian CP. The Soviet government held the Army responsible for the resulting deaths, which infuriated the Army leadership and convinced them to avoid being made scapegoats for political decisions.
    Of course, the military did intervene in politics in the August Coup, but that was a desperation move by a clique of ministers and the KGB which fizzled in large part because the Army was so averse to firing on Russian civilians after the Tblisi incident. Only three people died on the barricade, but it was enough for the Taman Guards to halt their advance on the parliament rather than commit a massacre. (this casualty-averse behavior vanished in the Chechen Wars)
    When Yeltsin later ordered the Army to fire on the parliament in 1993, the chief of staff insisted that the President take responsibility to keep the Army from being implicated in a political decision. They would follow orders from the executive, but only if it was perfectly clear that the executive was issuing them.

    On the other hand, like many dictatorships, Russia has a parallel, heavily armed paramilitary force - formerly the Interior Ministry Troops, recently renamed the National Guard and reorganized under presidential control - which exists in large part to do things the Army won't, and/or check the power of the army itself.

    So what I'm getting at is, if the government were to fall apart, the Russian Army is unlikely to fan the flames because they don't like politics and don't view it as part of their mission, unlike the heavily politicized Arab militaries. But this is no guarantee of stability.

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  • Captain InertiaCaptain Inertia Registered User regular
    How much popular sentiment to tear down Putin’s regime is there though

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