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Yale 62

Comments on the September 1, 2022 ‘First Thursday’ Coffee Hour

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8 comments to Comments on the September 1, 2022 ‘First Thursday’ Coffee Hour

  • Charles Merlis

    Unfortunately, I missed the live presentation. A topic as broad, complex and interesting as the midterm elections needed more time. There were various important issues brought up and discussed but I missed a very crucial one, the effect of Donald Trump and his shenanigans. I have written about him very extensively on my FACEBOOK page (I believe anyone going on Facebook can enter my name and access what I’ve written, you may request being my friend and I will gladly accept. I especially need friends who may disagree with me and write reasoned dissents). ROE V. WADE, I think is the main game changer, but Trump is also a clear Democrat asset. Aside from the revelations of the Jan 6 COMMITTEE which appeals to philosophers, constitutionalists, and political junkies like myself, the circumstances that led up to and resulted in the August 8th raid on Mar-a-Lago with the recovery of TOP SECRET and EMPTY ??? folders is easier (though sadly not easy) for the general public to appreciate and begin understand how dangerous Donald Trump is to our nation. Even some conservatives who hate the infamous Socialist Joe Biden, though they may not vote for Biden, may write in Dave Chappelle, instead of voting for a Trumper. What do you all think?

  • Ken Merkey

    So, what can we deduce from the fact that 41% of Americans approve of Biden yet 78% of our classmates approve of the same guy and his performance?

  • The two “MER” classmates above are truly serious about their own views and concerns about the country, though they would agree on virtually nothing. The Coffee Hour was planned to be about three key states in the Midterms, featuring resident classmates and they all provided important information and opinion. The points that Merlis raises about the former President certainly were included in the forecasts that were made and also on major issues that remain uncertain but have shifted significantly in the past few months. Merkey’s point about the 73 per cent Biden approval rating in fact represented the opinion of those classmates in attendance and voting in our spot poll. That matched almost exactly with responses to the same question in the July CH poll. I thought that the responses to the second question also told us a good deal about classmate views. The question was if the U.S. was in recession now or would be by the end of the year? The response from the 30+ classmates was 50% No; 20 per cent Yes and 30% Too Early to Know. Classmates often seem reticent to comment on, which I find surprising. Thanks to Charles and Ken for sharing what they think. Yes, they are polarized.

  • Charles Merlis

    Congratulations “Chambers” on finding the link between Ken and myself. It reminds me of the reason I gave when I was 8 for becoming a NY Yankee fan, Ya was the first 2 letters of Yankee and Yale (I had just come back from my father’s 20th reunion in New Haven). However, Al, I don’t want to take your word on it but would like to hear directly from Ken how he doesn’t agree with any of my viewpoints, especially since all my facts are true, though he may disagree on some opinions. For example, I am for the death penalty. Ken may believe in the sanctity of life and be against it. That’s opinion. It is a scientific fact that life begins at conception. I believe there are various reasons why abortions should be allowed aside from the no brainers of Rape and Life of the mother I also believe there are some circumstances when the father should be able to block an abortion. The latter are opinions.
    It is a fact that Trump has committed a myriad of crimes, though not yet “proven” in a court of law. It is an opinion that some people believe Trump should not be prosecuted for those crimes ands jailed. It is my strong belief that if you let Trump get away with it, you are doing serious damage to American democracy AND the Constitution. Actually the last statement is a FACT.
    As to Ken’s question: It is somewhat broad and imprecise. During Biden’s first year or so,, when I answered a survey question about the direction the country was going in, I thought it was going in the wrong direction, though that was not necessarily the fault of Biden (who was not my first choice). I also thought Biden was not doing an effective job of improving the system. However, his recent legislative victories and more vigorous defense of Democracy is raising his stature in my mind. Thus, we can deduce from those statistics, that our class is more educated and/or smarter than America as a whole.

  • Ken Merkey

    I find never-Trumpers fascinating. They somehow can overlook all the transgressions of Democrats (Hillary, Pelosi, Hunter, Kerry, et al) but they pounce on what appears to be an administrative issue for Trump. They are not concerned that the newly weaponized FBI skewed the 2020 elections by squelching the Hunter story.

    Two impeachments and a Mueller witch hunt turned up nothing despite Schiff’s guaranty that he had absolute proof.

    Is it a bit of a non sequitur to mix “facts” with legal findings and rulings.

    I would frankly be embarrassed to be a member of the same party as Pelosi, AOC, Lightfoot, Breed, Fetterman, Harris. Buttigieg, etc. But I am also annoyed by Cheney, McConnell, Kinzinger and other rhinos.

    I do believe that the ultimate solution to all of the corrupt and inept politicians, in both parties, is term limits.

    As to why our classmates are so in favor of Biden, I have a few ideas, (1) early dementia, (2) totally misinformed (they don’t read diverse sources), or (3) simply innate bias.

  • Charles Merlis

    Ken, thank you for your brave comment. I may be somewhat harsh in how I reply to you but I do it in spirit of robust debate. I invite you to give me back your best shots but please base it on facts, not innuendo. If you feel I am not basing my arguments against Trump fairly, please call me on it citing specifics.
    How many wrongs make a right, and are there grades of transgressions or is moral equivalency a matter of meaningless opinion? The Republican controlled House had many opportunities and vainly tried to nail Hillary for Benghazi but their House hearings were a bust, especially compared to the Jan 6 Committee. However, Comey, the FBI Director certainly skewed the 2016 election by his late October statement, which indicates that you are not above partisan propaganda when you state above, “the newly weaponized FBI skewed the 2020 elections…” As to Hunter Biden, I agree that he probably got his positions in Ukraine and China due to his relationship to his vice-president father and has a serious drug problem. However, I saw no evidence developed, even during the Trump administration and under the Trump appointed head of the FBI, connecting any corruption to Biden.

    BTW, It seems hugely disingenuous of you to accuse “never-Trumpers as pouncing on Trump for an administrative issue”. Improperly taking and holding Top Secret Documents as a non-officed civilian seems to me a significant specific breach of law and duty. Trump’s recent statements regarding, especially his declassification of documents by thought seems like it should be particularly embarrassing to his defenders. Ken, do you find it embarrassing or do you excuse his many ridiculous and incriminating statements by some legerdemain unknown to me.

    PLEASE don’t defend Trump by attacking your “usual suspects”. Defend him directly as best you can and separately attack whatever Democrat you wish, with specific charges and I will give you my opinion of those charges. I may agree with you. But each individual should be judged by their own actions.

  • Ken Merkey

    Thank you for your very considerate comments. This will probably be a conversation between the two of us as I doubt that anyone else will search back this far.

    Firstly, I am not a Trump fan. In fact, I hope that he does not run again. But I am seriously concerned about much of what is happening to our great country, and I don’t see anyone of the Democrat side who either understands it or is willing to correct it. My problems are manifold, but they include:

    A weaponized DOJ and FBI
    Have you heard of a single Democrat being raided or their phone seized by the FBI?
    A wide-open border
    Sanctuary cities should share the burden
    Rampant inflation due, primarily, to profligate spending
    We used to have energy independence
    Wokeness creeping though all aspects of our society, including Yale
    Creeping ideological shift throughout government.
    Our federal courts are being packed by zealots
    Selecting diversity over qualifications for appointments to government
    Far too much emphasis on DEI, especially at Yale
    Do we really need a full-time staff of a dozen people to insure DEI adherence?
    Inflation creep in the cost of education with poorer results at every level
    A weaker military
    A weaker police presence in almost every city
    And lastly, a total incompetence throughout the White House at every level.
    Biden and Harris are totally incapable of performing their jobs. They are an embarrassment on the world stage.

  • Charles Merlis

    Ken, what is DEI?

    I consider Trump’s attacks on our institutions, continuing lies about the “rigged 2020 election (if you don’t think it’s a lie please say so and your basis for belief), and attempts to illegally change the 2020 results, go beyond the pale and that it is not enough to be, not a Trump fan, but that the gravity of Trump’s crimes deserve an outright repudiation of the man and certain of his actions. Though you don’t want Trump to run again, would you vote for him if “evil socialist” Joe Biden ran against him. That doesn’t mean you have to vote for Biden. In 1980, I voted for John Anderson.

    It seems clear (correct me if I’m wrong) that the greatest weaponizers of the DOJ of the last 50 years were Republicans, Nixon and Trump. The current DOJ is going after Trump, and rightfully and necessarily so. Do you disagree? Should they not go after him for trying to install fake unelected electors, conspiracy to intimidate and violently prevent Congress on January 6, to go through with their Constitutional duty. illegally stealing government documents, including Top Secret information, etc.???

    I have heard of phone records of Democrats seized and premises raided.

    We do not have a wide open border, but we do have a border problem that both Republican and Democratic administrations have not been able to solve. I would like to see the Southern Border walls we do have strategically strengthened and lengthened. We need immigration reform which takes TWO parties. The bulk of aliens coming into our country are not “illegals” but Asylum seekers. We need new laws dealing with the problem (one possibility is to create in various of our consulates an enlarged way to process them rather than their coming to our border. More federal judges and courts should be dedicated to speeding up the disposition of the current backlog. “Sanctuary Cities” should not share the burden, all areas of the country should. An Agency should be created to deal with the problem of too many aliens wandering around. A program to place the Asylum seekers in different areas of the country which may need workers for unfilled jobs would be a win/win situation.

    I could go through each of your “manifold problems” and poke holes in them as being solely Democrat deficiencies. For instance, your last complaint of total incompetence throughout the White House at every level. That was certainly usually true of the Trump White House. Every one of good or minimal competence who wouldn’t toady to Trump was eventually fired or resigned. Trump WAS the embarrassment on the world stage. He weakened our traditional alliances and was laughed at by other leaders. He believed Putin rather than our CIA. Biden has fashioned an international working coalition to fight Putin’s illegal invasion. He is not an international embarrassment. He is being Churchill rather than Neville Chamberlain. I am not a blind fan of Biden. I did not vote for him, but he is doing better than I expected and has accomplished pushing through difficult legislation. For you to say he is totally incapable of performing his job brands you as a blindly partisan ideologue. Nixon’s most notable accomplishment as a vice president was his “Checker’s” speech. But vice presidents in office are not notable, from Harry Truman to Dan Quayle (who did give good advice to Mike Pence) to Harris. Nixon was a bad man (see Watergate) but he was smart and did some very good things as president. Tell me how Biden is an embarrassment on the world stage and can you admit any positive accomplishments of his?