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Friday Talking Points [327] -- The Calm Between The Storms

[ Posted Friday, November 14th, 2014 – 17:56 PST ]

What walks like a duck and quacks like a duck but seems to have serious mobility problems?

That's right -- we have entered the season of the lame duck! So far, it's shaping up to pretty spec-quack-ular. OK, I apologize. I'll stop, now.

Lame jokes aside, the lame-duck Congress has a lot on its plate. Other than passing a flurry of bills with precisely zero chance of becoming law, the Senate has a whole bunch of confirmations they need to get through before the end of the year (since pretty much nobody's going to be confirmed in the next two years). But the heavy lift for both houses of Congress is going to be passing a budget bill. They have to do this before December 11, if reports are correct, because that is precisely how far Congress kicked the can the last time they put off regular budgeting -- conveniently beyond the election, in other words. Well, that time has now come, and it will be interesting to see what is the result.

There are really only three possible outcomes, and which one is chosen will be instructive as to how much control Republican congressional leaders can be expected to have over their own fractious caucuses. In other words, it'll be pretty easy to see who is in the driver's seat soon -- Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, or the Tea Party.

The first possibility is they could pass a budget which takes us all the way through the end of the federal fiscal year (next October). The second possibility is they could punt only a few months, by passing a continuing resolution which takes us only to March or maybe April. And the third possibility is that they can't manage to pass anything, and we have a government shutdown fight before the end of this year.

Now, mind you, we are going to have another government shutdown fight. Bet on it, no matter how many times Boehner or McConnell lies about it to the press right now. It is inevitable. The Tea Party will, indeed, demand it sooner or later. The only question is when it will happen -- sooner, later, or much later.

If it happens next September and October, this is (believe it or not) a solid win for the Establishment Republicans over the Tea Party. If it happens in early Spring, it will signify that the Tea Party and Establishment Republicans are both about equally as powerful. But if it happens in the next few weeks, then the Tea Party will be driving the Republican bus for the next two years, and we are in for a wild ride indeed.

The Establishment Republican faction, which includes most of its leadership (but not all), wants to put off the budget battle for as long as possible, because they already know the Tea Partiers are going to demand that Republicans paint themselves into the shutdown corner once again -- and they remember how badly it went for them last time around. The Tea Partiers, on the other hand, are convinced they have a mandate from the voters to shut the government down as soon as possible, because they retain the fantasy that doing so will give them the upper hand with President Obama. Those who do not remember history, in other words, will be the ones begging for a replay. But if the Establishment Republicans can't even get a continuing resolution that takes us to the next Congress, then it will mean that Ted Cruz is essentially de facto Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader. Like I said, buckle your seatbelts.

Of course, this struggle isn't happening in a vacuum. Democrats are showing some fractures in the party lines as well, as evidenced by the tense vote for Harry Reid to become Senate Minority Leader next year. While the Republicans battle Tea Partiers in their own ranks, it seems that there was somewhat of a revolt among Senate Democrats over the direction Reid is leading them in. Reid did emerge victorious, but at least six Democrats didn't vote for him (possibly more, those are just the ones who went public with their vote). To assuage the grumbling in the ranks, Reid created two leadership positions out of thin air, and handed one to a moderate Democrat from a purple state (Jon Tester of Montana), and one to a liberal darling (Elizabeth Warren). They will both "have a seat at the table" and thus help set Democrats' direction in the Senate. This is the only time Reid has faced such pushback from within his own caucus, it's worth noting. Whether Tester and Warren have any actual power and input in the coming years remains to be seen, but at least their voices will be heard on a regular basis by the likes of Reid, Charles Schumer, and Dick Durbin. Hopefully, this will improve Democratic tactics and priorities for the coming two years.

What's really riling up Republicans in Congress, however, isn't a leadership scuffle by Senate Democrats, but rather fears of President Obama's newfound resolve to get some things done. This is somewhat pent up, since Obama didn't want to rock Democrats' boat during election season, but now that that is over, he has been freed up to move independently once again. He began with a new nomination for Attorney General, and then surprised everyone by unveiling a climate change agreement with China. This weekend will mark the start of the second open enrollment period on the Obamacare exchanges -- which will go much better than last time around, because it would be almost impossible not to be better than the initial rollout disaster, really. Add to this the possibility that Obama may soon have a big announcement on a deal with Iran to curb their nuclear program (they'll either cut a deal or the talks will fall apart in the next two weeks), and you can see November is going to be a productive month for the president.

But it's not what Obama has done in the past week that is causing Republican rage, but what he's about to do. Because the major issue Obama postponed until after the election is his big change in deportation policy. We're kind of in the calm between two storms right now. The election cloudburst is over, but there is another storm about to break (and this doesn't even count the storm the media will soon be egging on in Ferguson, Missouri, either).

President Obama is going to be announcing a new executive policy on immigration before the end of the year. He might do it as early as next week, he might do it right around Thanksgiving, he might wait until after the budget issue is resolved in December, and he might just push it back until Christmas. But whenever he acts, it's pretty clear by now that there is no question that he is indeed going to act. The only remaining question really is how big he will go -- how many millions of people will be affected, in other words.

The other remaining question is precisely how apoplectic Republicans get while reacting. They're already quivering with barely-repressed rage as it is, and once the announcement is made, the lid is going to blow off this seething cauldron of pique. They have a few options, and the Tea Partiers will be howling for the most radical, of course. John Boehner could actually sue the president instead of just talking about it on the campaign trail. That's the mildest reaction possible, really. Republicans could begin impeachment proceedings -- right-wing commentators are already calling for this option to be deployed. Or they could just do what they do best, by hostage-taking in budget negotiations. One way or another, though, this volcano's going to blow.

OK, I think we've mixed up enough metaphors for now as we wait for the next storm to hit (whoops, I just did it again...), so let's instead move along to the awards, before we present some rather forward-looking talking points this week.

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

President Obama had a pretty good week, especially when he announced his surprise deal with China on global warming. But he's about to have a much more prominent week soon, so we'll just give him an Honorable Mention this week for now. The one term I haven't heard used since the election (when it normally would have been): "lame-duck president." To put this another way, nobody's now arguing whether Obama is still "relevant" or not, as they did when Clinton found himself in a similar situation.

But the real Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week was none other than Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is now the Senate Leader Of Figuring Out What Progressives Want And Reporting Back To Us, or something (since the position's new, the title is new, and since nobody can figure out what to call her, we thought we'd make our own suggestion). Warren is on track to becoming a major player in the Democratic Party, if she already wasn't. She is a rising star in the party, to put it another way. Few Democrats with her years of experience get elevated to leadership positions, to put it in some context.

We feel pretty confident that Warren can take an ill-defined role and carve it into being a real voice for what some used to call "the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party." Hopefully, she can speak up when people like Reid get far too caught up in the mechanics of the Senate, and yank them back to refocus on what is important in average people's lives. Here's hoping, anyway.

Many are now pointing out that Warren's elevation pretty much assures she won't be running for president in 2016, but then we never really believed she would run in the first place. At this point, she'll be much more effective within the Senate Democrats, tuning the agenda and the message towards a Democratic platform for 2016 that voters can enthusiastically embrace. Elizabeth Warren may at some future date run for national office, and when she does this new leadership position will be one of the steps towards it she will have taken. Being so nebulously defined means she can define the position herself -- and she'll do so knowing that she's got an absolute army of supporters behind her. That's "her, personally," and not "Senate Democrats" or "the Democratic Party" -- an important distinction. This should give her a great deal of leverage, and we're confident that she'll know what to do with it in the years to come.

For now, we congratulate her on her next step upwards, and hereby award her the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week (for the eighth time, we should mention). Warren now has a seat at the table, and we wish her well in the upcoming discussions at that table.

[Congratulate Senator Elizabeth Warren on her Senate contact page, to let her know you appreciate her efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

We considered giving Mary Landrieu some sort of award for her desperation move in Congress to force President Obama to give the green light to the Keystone XL pipeline. Landrieu faces a runoff election in a few weeks, and she is desperately hoping that standing up for gas and oil and breaking with Obama will give her a better chance to keep her job. She is wrong, if the polls are correct -- she's going to lose, and lose badly. Even if Landrieu does manage to put a bill on Obama's desk, he'll veto it, meaning that the entire exercise is nothing more than Landrieu grasping at straws. But we find the whole thing more pathetic than disappointing, if truth be told.

Instead, we're giving the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award to Charlie Rangel. Not so much for his original gaffe as for the ridiculous way he tried to justify it later.

Rangel caught some heat for using the term "white crackers" to liken Tea Partiers to segregationists of the Jim Crow era. When he heard about the complaints in an interview with Huffington Post, Rangel responded: "I thought ['cracker'] was a term of endearment. [The Tea Party is] so proud of their heritage and all of the things they believe in."

Wow. Now, just for one tiny minute, let's turn things around. If a Republican politician used an ethnic slur to describe African-Americans, what would Charlie Rangel have to say about it? Do you think Rangel would then agree with the excuse: "I thought [insert African-American slur] was a term of endearment"? I don't. In fact, I would be willing to believe Rangel has indeed heard that excuse before, in his time. Many times, in fact. I would be willing to bet he didn't buy the explanation back then, personally.

African-Americans have long held that language is important, and that not using age-old slurs about your political opponents is the modern standard we should all live up to. Perhaps he was making a lame attempt at a joke. Perhaps he was trying to brush the criticism off with another joke. If so, they fell flat.

When you walk the high moral road on an issue, you are simply not allowed to let the standards you're attempting to set for others slip, in any way. That's a hard fact, but it's true. Charlie Rangel knows full well there are negative associations with the term "white cracker." He has lived long enough to figure that one out. There is simply no excuse for his own lapse in language. Which is why he's this week's Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week. Do unto others, Charlie, as you would have them do unto you. Or you forfeit your right to complain about it when they do.

[Representative Charlie Rangel's official House contact pages seems to be having some problems loading right now, so instead we direct you to the page listing his Washington DC office's contact info, in case you'd like to let him know what you think of his word choice.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 327 (11/14/14)

This is a rather unusual week here in our talking points section, because what we have this week is mostly proactive rather than reactive. Since we're in this calm between two storms (to mix metaphors one last time), it's a good time to prepare ourselves for the deluge of Republican criticism and congressional shenanigans which are sure to erupt when President Obama makes his big immigration announcement.

Not knowing exactly what Obama's going to say, it's impossible to defend any one part of his plan yet. Instead, what Democrats should be doing is softening the ground for Obama in advance. So here are our seven suggestions for what Democrats should be saying this week, in advance of the coming blizzard of negativity from Republicans.

 

1
   Promises, promises

Hammer this one home for all it's worth, as it will come in handy later, as sure as night follows day.

"I'd like the media to pay particular attention to the promises now being made by Republican congressional leaders that they will not shut the government down again. Mainstream media, please take note, and be sure to save those video clips and soundbites of promises not to shut the government down now falling lightly from the lips of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. Save them, because these promises will quite likely be broken soon. Boehner already swore he wasn't going to shut the government down -- right before he did so, last year. Why should he be any more believable now than he was back then? The Republican leaders simply cannot control their Tea Party caucus, meaning a government shutdown is all but inevitable. When we get to that point, members of the media should be happy to re-run all the soundbites we're hearing now."

 

2
   Next year will be worse

A little taunting is in order, I think.

"John Boehner has until early December to pass some sort of budget bill with the Senate, or face an immediate government shutdown. Already, we hear that Republicans are squabbling over this crucial bill. Some Tea Partiers want to begin the hostage-taking early, it seems. The Republican leadership wants to pass a bill to carry us through to next October. If this bill does not appear, it will be a strong signal that the leadership is failing to lead their own caucus. If John Boehner and Mitch McConnell can't get this done in the next few weeks, then I shudder to think what things will be like next year, when the problems they have controlling their Tea Partiers are going to get even worse in the new Congress. Can Boehner get a full-year budget bill through, or will the Tea Party tail continue to wag the Republican dog?"

 

3
   Speaker Cruz

This is also a taunt, and it is becoming a common one.

"We saw last year that the person who was really in control of the House of Representatives was none other than Senator Ted Cruz. He personally led the House Republicans into the government shutdown, and then had no exit strategy whatsoever. He appears ready, willing, and able to do so again in the upcoming budget battles. The only difference this time around is that he may also become the de facto leader of the Senate Republicans as well, if he can exercise more control over the chamber than Mitch McConnell. Some people already call him 'Speaker of the House Ted Cruz,' and I wonder now if he'll add the title 'Majority Leader of the Senate' to that as well. Boehner certainly couldn't control him, and it's hard to see McConnell doing any better, really."

 

4
   The Emancipation Proclamation argument

Moving along to Obama's upcoming announcement...

"Republicans are already calling President Obama's new deportation policy 'unconstitutional,' before they even know what is in it. I guess they've never studied either the Constitution or their own party's history, because executive action can be incredibly influential in nature, even on a limited basis. President Abraham Lincoln didn't get congressional approval for his Emancipation Proclamation, just to cite one example. While it was a monumentally important announcement, freeing the slaves also took more than one constitutional amendment to be fully realized. There are some things presidents can do, and some they can't. President Obama is free to prioritize deportations any way he chooses, and he is also free to give temporary relief to immigrants. He cannot, however, create a pathway to citizenship on his own, despite what Republicans are now saying. That is not going to happen until Congress acts -- if it ever does. But don't let anyone fool you into believing that presidents can't wield enormous executive power, as the example of the Emancipation Proclamation proves."

 

5
   Congress can act any time it wants to

This is getting lost in the debate, mostly because Republicans are trying to cloud the waters.

"Can anyone show me where, exactly, it says that Congress cannot act on an issue that the president is also acting upon? There is no such law, and you won't find it in the Constitution, folks. Congress is free to act at any time on any issue no matter what the president does or does not do. Congress has been struggling with immigration reform for over a decade. President Bush wanted it to pass, but Republicans in Congress said no. The Senate passed -- with an overwhelming 68-vote bipartisan majority -- its own bill last year which would have doubled the Border Patrol by now if the House had ever voted on it. House Republicans refused to act on it, promising they were going to create their own bills instead. They failed to do so, for a year and a half. Now Republicans are saying they might just get around to it next year, and that Obama should do nothing until the barest of possibilities for Republican action expires. Well, you know what? Obama's tired of waiting. So he's going to act. But just because he does doesn't change anything in Congress -- Republicans can still act if they choose to. At any time. Now, or after January. There's absolutely nothing stopping them from doing so, and don't let anyone convince you otherwise."

 

6
   What, exactly, do Republicans want?

This is a crucial question that Republicans have (so far) left unanswered. So press them on it!

"At this point, it is hard to figure out what Republicans want to do to solve the problem of 11 million immigrants living in the United States without documents. What, exactly, do they want to do with these people? Deport them all? Well, I wish they would just say so, if that's the case, and then we can have that political debate. Allow them to stay, but not ever qualify for citizenship? Again, if that is the Republican position, then please lay it on the table and we'll have that conversation. Just continue the status quo and pretend they don't exist in the shadows? That's not much of an answer, but at least it is an answer, of sorts. At the moment, nobody can tell what the Republican position on immigration reform is because they can't agree among themselves what to do. That is the real problem here, folks. If a Republican position on the issue existed, then we would now be debating the merits of both side's proposals. That is not the case. What is missing in that debate is a definition of what Republicans want to do. Until they figure that basic question out, Obama is going to act. He's waited years for them to come to a consensus, and their utter inability to do so is one big reason why he's now going to act on his own."

 

7
   Warren speaks for me

And, finally, an upbeat talking point to close on for the week.

"I am glad that Senator Elizabeth Warren will be rising to the ranks of the Democratic leadership in the Senate. My confidence in Harry Reid and Senate Democrats has slipped -- especially after that last election -- and knowing they'll be listening to Elizabeth Warren on a regular basis certainly goes a long way towards rebuilding that confidence. While I might not agree with every single thing Warren has to say, I trust her to at least put Main Street ahead of Wall Street on a continuing and ongoing basis. I am glad someone like Warren now has a seat at the leadership table, because perhaps it signals a change in direction for Democrats as a whole. During the Occupy Wall Street movement, an old argument was raised: should progressives work within the system to effect change, or should they reject the system entirely and try something new? We saw where rejecting all systems got the Occupiers. I'm putting more faith in people like Elizabeth Warren to change things from the inside, personally. More than just about any other politician around, I know that when Elizabeth Warren sits down at that table of power, she will speak for me. I'm glad she does have this seat, and I trust her to use her new power to convince other Democrats that populism and progressivism are the ways to chart a new path forward. Warren speaks for me -- that's the best way to put it."

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: Democrats For Progress
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

36 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [327] -- The Calm Between The Storms”

  1. [1] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Regarding #1:

    If you quote me, you're lying - Newt Blingrich

  2. [2] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    The premium for my ACA-compliant health care plan rose only 3% this year. The preventive care benefits are very good. I hate that Obamacare.

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    What's really riling up Republicans in Congress, however, isn't a leadership scuffle by Senate Democrats, but rather fears of President Obama's newfound resolve to get some things done.

    Oh com'on! Let's be accurate..

    Obama is not "getting things done"...

    Obama is frakin' up the country to serve the agenda of the Democrat Party..

    That is the ONLY thing that Obama is "getting done"....

    The election cloudburst is over, but there is another storm about to break (and this doesn't even count the storm the media will soon be egging on in Ferguson, Missouri, either).

    Let it come! I got my I AM DARREN WILSON t-shirt... Wearing it today, as a matter o' fact...

    But seriously, I have to admit you are right about the media's role in Ferguson. Juan Williams has a real good piece on it.. I don't agree with everything he says on the issue, especially his description of the Brown scumbag as "possibly belligerent".. But he does aptly describe the media's attempts to paint Michael Brown as a 'victim'...

    I am going to skip ahead to the MDDOTW award.. Gots to go earn my keep...

    "I owe, I owe, So off to work I go!!"
    -Bumper Sticker

    :D

    We considered giving Mary Landrieu some sort of award for her desperation move in Congress to force President Obama to give the green light to the Keystone XL pipeline. Landrieu faces a runoff election in a few weeks, and she is desperately hoping that standing up for gas and oil and breaking with Obama will give her a better chance to keep her job. She is wrong, if the polls are correct -- she's going to lose, and lose badly. Even if Landrieu does manage to put a bill on Obama's desk, he'll veto it, meaning that the entire exercise is nothing more than Landrieu grasping at straws. But we find the whole thing more pathetic than disappointing, if truth be told.

    So far, so good... I commented a day or so ago how pathetic Landru is being.. If she had ANY shred of decency in her or ANY sense of patriotism, she would concede the election now and quit dragging the Democrat Party FURTHER down into the gutter...

    Instead, we're giving the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award to Charlie Rangel. Not so much for his original gaffe as for the ridiculous way he tried to justify it later.

    Awwww bummer.. :( hehehehehe

    When you walk the high moral road on an issue, you are simply not allowed to let the standards you're attempting to set for others slip, in any way. That's a hard fact, but it's true. Charlie Rangel knows full well there are negative associations with the term "white cracker." He has lived long enough to figure that one out. There is simply no excuse for his own lapse in language. Which is why he's this week's Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week. Do unto others, Charlie, as you would have them do unto you. Or you forfeit your right to complain about it when they do.

    Ok, Ok, you got me on that one... That IS more deserving than Gruber's comments...

    But hardly surprising.. Rangel is almost as big a racist as Sharpton, Jackson and Crump... At least Rangel only makes his money peripherally by being a scumbag racist...

    So, kudos to your choice... Dead on ballz accurate..

    But, IMNSHO opinion, Gruber deserves at least a dishonorable mention.. :D

    Get to the rest later.. Gotz ta run :D

    Michale

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    President Obama had a pretty good week, especially when he announced his surprise deal with China on global warming.

    You mean the "deal" where the US has to cut emissions by 30%-50% by 2020 and China is allowed to pollute and pollute til 2030 and THEN discuss caps??

    Has the bar fallen so low that THAT is considered a "good deal"???

    Being so nebulously defined means she can define the position herself -- and she'll do so knowing that she's got an absolute army of supporters behind her.

    Or, more accurately, it will be a way for Harry Reid to define her...

    "Sorry, Lizzy.. That's not in the job description..."

    How Harry Reid still has his minority leader job is beyond understanding...

    epublicans are already calling President Obama's new deportation policy 'unconstitutional,' before they even know what is in it.

    Oh come on! Everyone knows what's in it! 5 million fresh newly minted Democrat voters...

    "Can anyone show me where, exactly, it says that Congress cannot act on an issue that the president is also acting upon? There is no such law, and you won't find it in the Constitution, folks.

    Sure we will..

    The President shall faithfully enforce all laws enacted by the legislature......

    Seems Obama has a REAL big problem with this part of the Constitution...

    Obama wants to tack on this little addendum..

    ...... only as long as such faithful enforcement is to the benefit of the Democrat Party and to the detriment of the United States Of America..

    No one has come up with a reasonable plausible and accurate explanation as to exactly how giving amnesty to immigrant criminals benefits the American people and the country...

    Therefore, the ONLY possible and logical conclusion is that Obama and the Democrats are saying, "Screw the country. We're going to do what's right for the Party.. The American people can vote us out until their blue in the face.. Frak ya'all!!"

    That's the Democrat Party in the here and now...

    Michale

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    JFC,

    The premium for my ACA-compliant health care plan rose only 3% this year. The preventive care benefits are very good. I hate that Obamacare.

    Yea, as long as you got yours, frak the rest of the American people, right??

    {sssiiiiggghhhhhhhhhh}

    It used to be that Democrats and Liberals actually CARED about their fellow Americans. Actually put others before themselves...

    These days, the Left is nothing more than a pale imitation of what they accuse the Right of being..

    And ya'all wonder why I am an NPA....

    Michale

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    JFC,

    Oh, and by the bi....

    I know you are somewhat new here around Weigantia, but it's customary, when you are so blatantly and egregiously wrong about something and another was so dead on ballz accurate about that same something, that you acknowledge this..

    Since you were so dead on ballz wrong about the mid-terms in general and Kentucky specifically (Grimes lost by 15 Points fer chreest's sake!!) I await your concession.. :D

    OK... *NOW* I am done gloating... :D

    Michale

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    I have never seen a president in exactly the position Mr. Obama is, which is essentially alone. He’s got no one with him now. The Republicans don’t like him, for reasons both usual and particular: They have had no good experiences with him. The Democrats don’t like him, for their own reasons plus the election loss. Before his post-election lunch with congressional leaders, he told the press that he will judiciously consider any legislation, whoever sends it to him, Republicans or Democrats. His words implied that in this he was less partisan and more public-spirited than the hacks arrayed around him. It is for these grace notes that he is loved. No one at the table looked at him with colder, beadier eyes than outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid , who clearly doesn’t like him at all.

    Vladimir Putin delivered the unkindest cut, patting Mr. Obama’s shoulder reassuringly. Normally that’s Mr. Obama’s move, putting his hand on your back or shoulder as if to bestow gracious encouragement, needy little shrimp that you are. It’s a dominance move. He’s been doing it six years. This time it was Mr. Putin doing it to him. The president didn’t like it.
    -http://online.wsj.com/articles/the-loneliest-president-since-nixon-1415920451

    It's going to be a long lonely 2 years for President Obama. One could almost feel sorry for him if it wasn't for the fact that he had plenty of warning and the American people were telling him this would happen...

    This is a particularly dangerous time for this country... For one must always worry about the man who has nothing to lose..

    And, if ever there was a man in politics who has nothing (politically) to lose, it is Barack Obama.

    Democrats should be wary that he doesn't pull them down with him.. As he did in the 2014 mid-term nuclear shellacking..

    Fair warning...
    Michale

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya know, if there is any justice left in this country, Obama will hold off on his Amnesty For Immigrant Criminals announcement until Thanksgiving...

    If he does, the comments here in Weigantia will be in the thousands!!! And there will be a huge bumper crop for the Annual Weigantian Fundraiser! :D

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    "I guess I'll shake your hand, but I'll only have one thing to say to you - get out of the Ukraine."
    -Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to Putin....

    Now THERE is a leader with some large brass ones...

    Kudos....

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i'll have to let rep. rangel know about his disappointing achievement, being as he's my rep in the one double-oh three four.

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    i'll have to let rep. rangel know about his disappointing achievement, being as he's my rep in the one double-oh three four

    Kick his ass, JL!!! :D

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    "I plan on spending every moment of the next two-plus years doing my job the best I can.".
    -President Obama

    The problem here is Obama see's his job as Leader Of The Democrat Party and NOT President Of The United States.

    And those two jobs are at odds.. By doing his "best" for the Party, he is screwing over the country...

    Michale

  13. [13] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Now THERE is a leader with some large brass ones...

    Yeah, well ... based on that analysis I wouldn't be surprised if we end up supplying the ground troops for your little Middle Eastern wars ...

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yeah, well ... based on that analysis I wouldn't be surprised if we end up supplying the ground troops for your little Middle Eastern wars ...

    Don't blame me.. I am all for us supplying our OWN troops..

    To accomplish the stated mission, ground troops are inevitable..

    I have no qualms about the US putting their boots on the ground first... NO nation should fight our own battles for us..

    But, Obama quit taking my calls, so..... :D

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hay CW,

    Could ya close that attribute for me in comment #12??

    Danke...

    Michale

  16. [16] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Don't blame me.. I am all for us supplying our OWN troops..To accomplish the stated mission, ground troops are inevitable..I have no qualms about the US putting their boots on the ground first... NO nation should fight our own battles for us..

    One problem here, Michale, is that you seem to believe that accomplishing the stated mission requires ONLY boots on the ground, despite the lessons that should have been learned, failed mission after failed mission.

    Another problem involves the answer to the question about how long and how far US boots on the ground should go in trampling into multiple Middle Eastern national civil wars, not to mention the great Sunni-Shi'a conflict throughout the Middle East?

  17. [17] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    I just learned that it only takes FOUR Supreme Court justices to accept a case, not five. And, so, it is quite possible - I would argue, very probable - that the Chief Justice wanted no part of this undertaking to kill the Affordable Care Act and will, in the end and once again, save Obamacare.

    This should, at the very least, temper your bubbling certainty regarding the demise the Affordable Care Act.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/13/opinion/law-in-the-raw.html?module=Search&mabReward=relbias%3Ar%2C%7B%221%22%3A%22RI%3A10%22%7D

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    One problem here, Michale, is that you seem to believe that accomplishing the stated mission requires ONLY boots on the ground, despite the lessons that should have been learned, failed mission after failed mission.

    I disagree..

    Iraq War II was a smashing success, BECAUSE of boots on the ground...

    What would your response be to the atrocities of the IS??

    Another problem involves the answer to the question about how long and how far US boots on the ground should go in trampling into multiple Middle Eastern national civil wars, not to mention the great Sunni-Shi'a conflict throughout the Middle East?

    As long as it takes to insure their wars are not a threat to the US and it's allies...

    Like it or not, the US is the world's police force...

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Like it or not, the US is the world's police force...

    So, like, is there some sort of school that teaches American civilian leaders and military types how to be the world's police force because, you know, they suck at it.

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    So, like, is there some sort of school that teaches American civilian leaders and military types how to be the world's police force because, you know, they suck at it.

    If you look at the totality of history and what MAY have happened had the US not intervened, I think we have done pretty well..

    You are not speaking German or Japanese, the Red Menace was forced into hibernation and we have the Pet Rock to look fondly back on... :D

    The US, like me here in Weigantia, is right a LOT more often than we are wrong... :D

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Seriously, Michale, have you any slightly more recent examples of America's prowess at policing the world? You know, examples that may prove enlightening and instructive, vis-à-vis the current international situation?

  22. [22] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Was all that quacking actually inspired by Dr Rant Paul (R)? He was on Real Time with Bill Maher Friday night. He made a lot of sense while talking about the War On Some Drugs, but quickly devolved into "the EPA wants to designate my back yard as wetlands" gibberish.

    Maher's new rule about low voter turn-out was excellent.

    http://www.politicsplus.org/blog/2014/11/16/bill-mahernew-rules1114/

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    Seriously, Michale, have you any slightly more recent examples of America's prowess at policing the world?

    Taking out Bin Laden comes to mind...

    Our efforts in the Gulf Of Aden...

    Combating Ebola in West Africa..

    Shall I continue???

    Michale

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    JFC,

    Was all that quacking actually inspired by Dr Rant Paul (R)?

    No, it was inspired by Odumbo.. Or is it Obumbler?? Or it might have been Barry Hussein Soetero...

    You see how ridiculous you look???

    Michale

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    Of all the most stoopid, moronic and asinine things Obama has done..

    Obama Met With Ferguson Activists – Said He’s Concerned They “Stay on Course”
    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/11/obama-meets-with-ferguson-activists-says-hes-concerned-they-stay-on-course/

    THAT is the most stoopidest, the most moronic..

    Yea, Ferguson protesters.. By all means. Stay the course. Continue to loot and burn and destroy...

    Obama has GOT to be the most dumbshit POTUS this country has EVER seen!!

    The christmas holiday shopping season is going to come early to Ferguson, courtesy of our Moron-In-Chief...

    Michale

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    The simple fact that this country has such a big problem with illegal immigrants wanting to get INTO this country should be a big indication of how great this country is... :D

    I am also constrained to point out that, without the US there would be no NATO..

    Without NATO, Putin would likely own all of Europe..

    Do we make mistakes? Of course we do. But it simply cannot be argued that this planet is a better place because of the USA then it would have been without the USA..

    The USA is exactly like a (world) cop...

    Everyone bitches and moans and whines and cries about cops (see Ferguson, MO) right up to the second that they NEED the cops..

    THEN the cops are their bestest buddies..

    Michale

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya know, it's funny...

    The way Congress is supposed to work is for Republicans and Democrats to fight like cats and dogs and hammer out a compromise that can move this country forward...

    No where is this more apparent than the Keystone Construction legislation that's poised to make it thru Congress. Granted, Democrats have nefarious and totally partisan reasons for pushing it thru, but the point is, the system worked!

    Legislation HAS moved thru ALL of Congress!!!

    HALLELUJAH!! OH FRABJOUS DAY!!!

    Obama's response???

    VETO :^/

    So, let me see if I understand this...

    Congress has finally and actually agreed on legislation. Something that is actually GOOD for this country and GOOD for the American People..

    And Obama is not going to approve it...

    Well, if there was ever any doubt that Obama doesn't really care about this country or care about whether Congress works or not...

    There is no doubt now...

    Obama cares more for his own personal gain and doesn't give a rat's ass what's best for the country...

    Michale

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    But, having said all the above, let's go back to your idea about what Obama should say...

    Obama hasn't run out of options with regards to amnesty for illegal immigrants... He has a BRAND NEW Congress that has a WHOLE BUTTLOAD of new power...

    Until Obama tries to work with THIS Congress, his claim that he has "tried everything" is complete and utter bullshit...

    If Obama followed your advice, if Obama put out his Amnesty For Criminals plan and put a date on it's implementation, say 1 May or 1 Jun, I would wholly and completely support that..

    Apparently, you agree with it too because it was your idea....

    THAT is what Obama should do. Give the new Congress a chance to get immigration done right...

    If he doesn't. If he unilaterally gives amnesty for criminals without exhausting EVERY POSSIBLE option, then he is a fraud and will PROVE himself to be nothing more than the leader of the Democrat Party...

    He will have PROVEN he is not worthy to be President Of The United States...

    Agree???

    Michale

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oh crap... That above should have been in the WHAT SHOULD OBAMA SAY commentary...

    Oh well, it's relevant to this commentary too, I spose.. :^/

    Michale

  30. [30] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Thanks for proving my point.

    Which is simply that the US should keep doing what it does well and stop doing what it doesn't know how to do throughout the Middle East.

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    Which is simply that the US should keep doing what it does well and stop doing what it doesn't know how to do throughout the Middle East.

    The US would be happy to do so..

    IF...
    A) the savages could police themselves and quit trying to destroy allies in the region...

    and

    2) if the source for the world's oil was someplace else...

    But, alas, they can't and it's not..

    So, the US will continue to protect it's interests with varying degrees of success...

    Michale

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    “There’s no denying that many blacks share the same anxieties as many whites about the wave of illegal immigration flooding our Southern border—a sense that what’s happening now is fundamentally different from what has gone on before.

    Not all these fears are irrational.

    The number of immigrants added to the labor force every year is of a magnitude not seen in this country for over a century. If this huge influx of mostly low-skill workers provides some benefits to the economy as a whole—especially by keeping our workforce young, in contrast to an increasingly geriatric Europe and Japan—it also threatens to depress further the wages of blue-collar Americans and put strains on an already overburdened safety net.”

    Who said that??

    Who said that illegal immigration hurts blue-collar workers and burdens already over-burdened social programs designed for AMERICANS....

    Who said it??

    None other than Barack Obama....

    Michale

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    “Rioting and looting are the tools of those without a voice. The rioting and looting, while I didn’t participate in it, was necessary. Without it we would not be standing here today.”
    -Ferguson Protesters

    Get that???

    Rioting and looting is not only justified, it is "necessary"..

    It's like I have said all along.. A scumbag being killed is just an excuse. These protesters just want to take and destroy...

    Michale

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    The definition of Irony...

    A Ferguson protester had her car stolen while she was leading a "FUCK THE POLICE!!" rally.... :D

    I guess "wealth redistribution" is no fun when it's YOUR wealth that is being redistributed, eh lady??? :D

    Michale

  35. [35] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale [7] -

    OK, didn't read the article, but saw the headline: "lonliest president since Nixon"?? I'm at a loss to understand why they didn't say "since Carter." Carter disdained the Washington establishment and paid heavily for it. Not like the WSJ to pass up taking a shot at ol' Jimmy...

    nypoet22 [10] -

    Let me know if he wants his engraved certificate... heh...

    Michale [15] -

    There you go. Sorry for the delay.

    LizM [17] -

    That's correct, it only takes 4 of SCOTUS. I think Roberts won't overrule himself, because he also thinks about "his" court's legacy in history. If he was going to kill it, he could have easily done so a few years ago. Why do it now? Makes no sense, which leads me to believe that the other 4 conservatives voted to take up the case.

    John From Censornati [22] -

    Nope, the quacking was all from my own fevered brain. I guess I went a little quackers...

    Heh.

    Michale [27] -

    Too early! Senate blocks it! The ref throws a flag -- 5 yards for premature end-zone dancing...

    Heh.

    [28] -

    How about: if Obama does something Republicans consider too drastic on immigration, then let them pass a bill through both houses and put it on Obama's desk before his action is implemented?

    Because, you know, that's the way it is supposed to work. If Republicans were capable of doing ANYthing, that is.

    "Just because Obama acts, doesn't mean Congress can't." Keep repeating that, it might sink in.

    [29] -

    No worries, I read all the comments, in time. Sometimes just requires patience, though.

    :-)

    -CW

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    If he was going to kill it, he could have easily done so a few years ago. Why do it now? Makes no sense, which leads me to believe that the other 4 conservatives voted to take up the case.

    If the SCOTUS is not going to kill it, why take the case?? There was no lower court disparity. All the lower courts were in complete agreement..

    Too early! Senate blocks it! The ref throws a flag -- 5 yards for premature end-zone dancing...

    OK, ya got me on that one.. :D

    Landru is toast.. Pure and simple...

    So, it's a win win for me :D

    How about: if Obama does something Republicans consider too drastic on immigration, then let them pass a bill through both houses and put it on Obama's desk before his action is implemented?

    OK, fine.. But will Obama give them the time to do that??

    My only point is Obama's claim that he has exhausted all possibilities is bullcarp...

    If he doesn't give the new Congress a crack at it, he simply has not exhausted ALL possibilities...

    Would you agree with that??

    No worries, I read all the comments, in time. Sometimes just requires patience, though.

    "Patience has never been one of my virtues. Well, actually I don't have any virtues, but if I did, I am fairly certain that patience would not be one of them."
    -Crowley, SUPERNATURAL

    :D

    Michale

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