ChrisWeigant.com

Friday Talking Points [426] -- Who To Believe?

[ Posted Friday, February 24th, 2017 – 18:29 PST ]

That question is becoming more and more acute for the rest of the world, in reference to President Donald Trump versus the rest of the Trump administration. If you were the foreign minister from a country in Europe, for example, would you believe what Trump says about American policy towards Europe and Russia, or would you believe his minions, such as the Vice President Mike Pence or Secretary of State Rex Tillerson? This dilemma could become a sort of low-level ongoing crisis, since Trump's comments are so far removed from what others in his administration are saying. Who are you going to believe? The boss, or the underling who is making much more sense? That's a pretty risky geopolitical gamble to make, no matter which side you choose to believe.

Since the Trump regime assumed office, the president has disparaged NATO (as he had repeatedly done on the campaign trail). This had to be walked back by Pence, who assured European leaders that Trump really didn't mean what he said. The Europeans are awfully nervous about Russia, and every time the Trump-Putin bromance gets chummier, they get more worried. Tillerson and Pence both tried to reassure the Europeans, but skepticism remains high that they don't truly speak for the president. Understandably so.

Tillerson went down to Mexico this week to make a desperate attempt at healing wounds south of the border. He immediately had to walk back a statement by Trump that deportations were proceeding as "a military operation." Tillerson was left to weakly insist that of course this wasn't true, and the U.S. military wouldn't be rounding people up in America. Again, who would you believe?

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis likewise got blindsided by Trump's repeated hinting that America would soon be "taking over the oil" in Iraq, because that is the way Trump understands how wars work. Trump didn't just say this one on the campaign trail, but as president, after all. Mattis valiantly tried to defuse this by saying:

I think all of us here in this room -- all of us in America -- have generally paid for our gas and oil all along, and I am sure we will continue to do so in the future. We're not in Iraq to seize anybody's oil.

Again, who to believe -- Mattis, or his boss? This chaotic and contradictory messaging on foreign policy is only going to get worse over time, one assumes, at least until someone wrests Trump's ability to send tweets from his own tiny hands (which doesn't seem likely, at this point). I mean, it's so much more comforting to listen to the sane and well-spoken administration bigwigs, but then again Trump is the man in charge, so choosing who to believe is a tricky business, these days.

Speaking of taking Trump at his word, where is his "Muslim Ban 2.0"? Team Trump announced last week that they'd be rolling out the new executive order "early next week, maybe Tuesday," but it's now Friday and there's no sign of any Muslim Ban 2.0 announcement yet from the White House. If you believed Trump, we'd have seen it by now. Since we haven't, we're assuming that it's still going through what might be called "extreme legal vetting," in a desperate attempt to make it constitutional. Heh.

In the "sane people denouncing Trump" category this week, we have a 15-year C.I.A. veteran who also was as spokesperson for the N.S.A., who quit his career this week because he just can't work for Trump. He penned a rather extraordinary op-ed in the Washington Post explaining his reasoning, which is worth a read. Also, the retired four-star admiral (and former Navy SEAL) who "organized and oversaw the operation that killed Osama Bin Laden" took exception to Trump's tweet this week calling multiple major media outlets "the enemy of the American People." According to the Daily Texan, William H. McRaven said in Austin this week:

We must challenge this statement and this sentiment that the news media is the enemy of the American people. This sentiment may be the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime.... To be a good leader, you have to be a good communicator. As a leader, you have to communicate your intent every chance you get, and if you fail to do that, you will pay the consequences.

Ouch!

But the biggest smackdown of the week came from Gabby Giffords and Bernie Sanders, in response to Louie Gohmert trying to use the attempted assassination of Giffords as a pathetic excuse for why he won't be holding town halls:

However, the House Sergeant at Arms advised us after former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot at a public appearance, that civilian attendees at Congressional public events stand the most chance of being harmed or killed.

Gohmert hasn't got the stones to meet with his constituents, it seems. Isn't there a word for that sort of craven behavior, especially in Texas? Bernie Sanders was quick to call out Gohmert's cowardice:

If you don't have the guts to face your constituents, then you shouldn't be in the United States Congress. If you need police at the meetings, that's fine, have police at the meetings, have security at the meetings. But don't use that as an excuse to run away from your constituents after you support repealing the Affordable Care Act, throwing 20 million people off of health insurance, doing away with pre-existing conditions. If you are going to do all those things, answer the questions that your constituents have.

But the most scathing response came from Giffords herself:

To the politicians who have abandoned their civic obligations, I say this: Have some courage. Face your constituents. Hold town halls.

The big, tough-talking Texas Republican is scared of being yelled at? He deserves all the scorn everyone can heap on him, that's for sure. But he certainly isn't alone, as Republicans everywhere are backing away from listening to their constituents in similar fashion:

In California, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania, local Indivisible groups held 'empty-chair town halls' where activists could meet -- and note the absence of their legislators. In Pennsylvania, activists propped up an empty suit to symbolize Sen. Patrick J. Toomey; in other states, following the guide, they posted dummy "Have You Seen Me?" ads. In New York, they derided Rep. Elise Stefanik for canceling town halls just a week after publishing a report ... urging more members of Congress to hold them.

We've seen photos of those "Have You Seen Me?" ads pasted on milk cartons in random stores, which we have to say we find utterly hilarious.

Speaking of effective political pranksters, somebody infiltrated the big conservative CPAC gathering and handed out flags with "Trump" written on them, for conservatives to wave during his speech. The funny part? They were Russian flags. A visibly-annoyed staffer had to run around the crowd confiscating them, since the audience members were cluelessly waving them. Talk about bad optics! Score one for the pranksters....

There was one bizarre quote from the gathering, from the chief organizer of CPAC: "There is a sinister organization that is trying to worm its way into our ranks. We must not be deceived by [a] hateful, left-wing fascist group." The "hateful left-wing fascist group" he was referring to is (drumroll, please...) the alt-right. Pretty hard to get that one mixed up -- the word "right" is right there in its name, after all! Boy, those conservatives will believe anything, it seems.

Let's see, what else is going on? Reince Priebus may be in some hot water, since it seems he tried to convince the F.B.I. director to publicly state that a newspaper story about Russian connections to Trump and his campaign was false. The director declined, but the real problem is that Priebus never should have made the request at all. The F.B.I. is (theoretically) supposed to be above politics -- especially when investigating the executive branch. In any other president's administration, this would be a firing offense, but not in Trump's White House, of course.

Democrats are going to have a confab of their own this weekend, as the Democratic National Committee meets to elect a new chair. We're going to remain neutral in this contest, but if you're interested, Huffington Post has a pretty good overview of the race and all the main candidates.

Finally, we have to end this week on a rather worrisome note. Sean Spicer ominously warned this week, from the White House press room podium, that Jeff Sessions might just decide to crack down on those states which have legalized recreational marijuana. Sessions is an old-school drug warrior, so this isn't entirely unexpected, and Spicer's comments were rather non-committal and vague, so perhaps the White House is just floating a trial balloon to see how people react to the idea. But the public is already overwhelmingly against such a regressive move. Almost six in ten Americans want to see legalization everywhere. A full 71 percent -- including a majority in every demographic -- would oppose efforts to crack down on the states that have already legalized recreational use. And support for medical marijuana is absolutely through the roof.

Tom Angell of Marijuana Majority responded with a veiled warning to Donald Trump, which is where we'll end this weekly wrap-up:

If the administration is looking for ways to become less popular, cracking down on voter-approved marijuana laws would be a great way to do it. On the campaign trail, President Trump clearly and repeatedly pledged that he would leave decisions on cannabis policy to the states. With a clear and growing majority of the country now supporting legalization, reneging on his promises would be a political disaster and huge distraction from the rest of the president's agenda.

 

Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

Michael Moore deserves at least an Honorable Mention this week, for creating a one-stop shopping website for protests against Donald Trump and Republicans in general. He's not trying to co-opt any protest movement out there, he's just trying to create the ultimate calendar of all upcoming protest events so that people can check one "Resistance Calendar" website (organized both chronologically and geographically) to see what protests might be about to happen in a town hall or streetcorner near you. We think it's a great idea, and hope everyone starts using it, because one single community calendar of protests sounds like a great idea to us. As Moore put it:

We welcome all resisters across the movement to use this tool. It's completely free. There's no big "funder" or group behind it. There will be no ads, no commercialization, no fundraising lists -- all the stuff we hate. Just you, me, the volunteers donating their time to keep it going and the World Wide Web. BOOM!

Boom, indeed.

But we have to award the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week to a candidate for a special House election in Georgia to replace Tom Price. Price got elevated to Trump's cabinet, so his House seat is now open. The district is in suburban Atlanta, and used to be Newt Gingrich's old district. Democrats think they've got a chance to pick up this seat, and are dedicating an impressive amount of resources to the race.

The district voted for Mitt Romney to the tune of 61 percent, but Trump only managed 48 percent last year, which is why Democrats see it as possibly vulnerable. Democrats seem to be lining up behind Jon Ossoff, who is only 30 years old but has so far outpaced his rivals in the primary election contest. Daily Kos has already raised a cool million bucks for his campaign, which is an astounding amount for a candidate for any House district, really.

We have no idea what Ossoff's chances for victory will be in the general (assuming he makes it that far, since Georgia has the dreaded "jungle primary," meaning only the top two will advance), but so far he's garnered a very impressive amount of support. The election is four months away, and who knows how the public will feel about the Trump administration by that point? But for making such an impressive start to his campaign, we hereby award the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week to Jon Ossoff, and wish him well in the election.

[As a rule, we do not provide contact information for candidates running for office, sorry.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

We're not sure if "disappointing" is really the correct word, here, but the award's name was chosen long ago, so it is what it is.

Noah Dyer, who only recently "changed to a registered Democrat," is running for governor of New Mexico. He's big on the concept of transparency. Perhaps too big. You decide.

From his campaign website, on a page titled "Scandal and Controversy," comes the following:

Noah has had both deep and casual sexual experiences with all kinds of women. He is an advocate of open relationships. He's had group sex and sex with married women. He has sent and received intimate texts and pictures, and occasionally recorded video during sex.

Hoo boy. If only Anthony Weiner had been so up-front, right? Dyer announced his campaign on Valentine's Day with a "love letter" to New Mexicans, which included such sweet nothings as: "I want to make dinner for you, rub your feet...."

Although he is a newcomer to the Democratic Party, we have to say this one takes the cake. I mean, there's transparent and then there's just creepy. So, again, perhaps another word might be more appropriate, but we're just going to go ahead and give him this week's Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week anyway.

[Noah Dyer is a candidate for office, and it is our longstanding policy not to link to campaign website contact pages for such individuals, sorry.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 426 (2/24/17)

Two weeks ago in this space, we put the call out for a name for the new protest movement sweeping the country. This was before we were aware that the "Indivisible" website had already provided a name, we are embarrassed to admit. But we pressed on anyway last week, calling for slogans for the protesters to rally around.

As promised, here are the ones that caught our attention, beginning with suggestions for the movement's name:

The 20/20 Campaign (from nypoet22, who helpfully pointed out it could be used in four years, just drop the slash mark)

The Rebel Alliance (neilm)

The Fact Party (Kick)

Realists (Balthasar)

But our two favorites were the following. The first, because it not only is short, sweet, and accurate, it also has a fail amount of historical resonance:

The Resistance (neilm)

And the second because of our own personal bias (it fits right in with our masthead slogan "Reality-based political commentary," in other words):

Occupy Reality (Tina Marie Vossen Miller, on Huffington Post)

As for slogans, we got quite a few excellent suggestions as well, including a hilarious poem from (naturally) nypoet22:

Roses might be red
Violets might be blue
Corporations are people
Soylent Green is too

More workable slogans (ones that could fit on a sign and be easily read, in other words) included:

Recall and replace!! (MyVoice)

You work for us (Kick)

And, finally, our favorite of the bunch:

Take big money -- lose our votes! (Don Harris)

To everyone who submitted entries, thanks for playing! As always, we love to see reader participation, especially in a movement that is growing by leaps and bounds out there in the grassroots of America. Resist!

With that out of the way, let's get right to this week's batch of talking points.

 

1
   Don't forget the 'patient protection' part...

This one has always kind of bugged us, personally. When did the PPACA become just the ACA? And why?

"The inside-the-Beltway Washington crowd long ago shortened the name of President Obama's signature healthcare law to just the 'Affordable Care Act,' which I think is a shame. The full name is the 'Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,' and what we're seeing across the country in congressional town halls -- even in deep red states -- is that the public deeply cares about the 'patient protection' part of that title. This is not a trivial point, as the 'patient protection' refers to the reforms that Obamacare made in how insurance companies are allowed to treat their customers. They can no longer kick people off their insurance for being sick, for getting sick, or for actually having the temerity to access health care. It's one thing for a Republican politician to rant and rave about the evils of Obamacare on the campaign trail, but it is a whole different ball of wax to answer to a constituent who would now be dead if those patient protections had never existed, to put it another way. Or just look at the polls -- Obamacare is now supported by 54 percent of the public, and that number is rising fast. Nothing focuses the public's mind so much as threats to take away their rights under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and Republican politicians better learn to deal with that fact soon."

 

2
   Never, ever, not even once

We're always thankful when conservatives provide Democratic talking points to use. This beauty comes from former Speaker of the House John Boehner. Since he stepped down from politics, he has been free to say what he really thinks, rather than having to spin all the time. In a recent interview, he admitted the corner Republicans have painted themselves into over Obamacare with great detail. Democrats should keep this quote handy for the foreseeable future, because Boehner's predictions may very well come true.

[Republicans in Congress will] fix Obamacare, and I shouldn't have called it 'repeal and replace' because that's not what's going to happen. They're basically going to fix the flaws and put a more conservative box around it.

In the 25 years that I served in the United States Congress, Republicans never, ever, one time agreed on what a health care proposal should look like. Not once. And all this happy talk that went on in November and December and January about repeal, repeal, repeal -- yeah, we'll do replace, replace -- I started laughing, because if you pass repeal without replace, first, anything that happens is your fault. You broke it.

And secondly, as I told some of the Republican leaders when they asked, I said, if you pass repeal without replace you'll never pass replace, because they will never ever agree on what the bill should be. Perfect always becomes the enemy of the good,

Most of the Affordable Care Act, in the framework, is going to stay there: coverage for kids up to age 26, covering those with pre-existing conditions. All of that's going to be there. Subsidies for those who can't afford it, who aren't on Medicaid, who I call the working poor, subsidies for them will be there.

 

3
   Trump's big con continues

The only part of Trump's agenda that Democrats could possibly support seems destined to fail, if the early signs are any indication.

"Trump got elected promising to spend lavishly on American infrastructure. He promised better everything, pretty much, for all -- to the tune of one trillion dollars! But when the rubber meets the road, so to speak, I'm pretty skeptical he's ever going to spend a dime on infrastructure projects. The San Francisco Bay Area has been working for years on electrifying the CalTrain line that runs from Silicon Valley to San Francisco, but this project was just delayed by the Trump administration -- a delay which could wind up dooming the entire project. Facing their first test on infrastructure spending, the Trump administration failed miserably. This is why I believe that none of Trump's infrastructure campaign promises will ever become reality. His own party in Congress hates the idea, and the Trump administration won't even fight for projects already underway, which doesn't really bode well for any future infrastructure spending. Yet another area where Trump pulled the wool over the eyes of his own voters, I suppose."

 

4
   Priorities, shmiorities....

Good to see something is worth investigating!

"Jason Chaffetz is refusing to use his position as the chair of the governmental oversight committee to look into Donald Trump's ties to Russia, which led his own constituents to try and shame him into doing (with cries of "Do your job!") at a recent town hall meeting in Utah. Now comes the news that, instead of investigating Russian influence into the Trump campaign and the Trump administration, Chaffetz is instead hot on the case of a tweet sent out from the park rangers at Bryce Canyon National Park, who innocently welcomed the newly-created Bears Ears National Monument into the National Park Service family. The tweet which Chaffetz feels the need to bring the full weight of the United States Congress to investigate? Quote: 'Welcome to the family Bears Ears (& Gold Butte) NM! A hopeful slot in our front desk maps has long been held for you,' with a photo of a cubbyhole with the Bears Ears name on it. That's it -- that's the scandalous behavior Jason Chaffetz is prioritizing for taxpayer-funded investigation, over Russian influence in our election process. Glad to see he's got his priorities straight! If I may quote Boo-Boo the Bear: 'I don't think the ranger's going to like this, Yogi.' Sheesh."

 

5
   Sanity almost prevails in Kansas, gets vetoed

With politicians like this, who needs tornadoes?

"When Sam Brownback became governor of Kansas, he insisted the state would become a model for conservative governments everywhere. It would be simple -- he'd just slash taxes, and then sit back and wait for his state's economy to boom as a result. Of all the conservative alternative facts, this is the one they love to believe in most -- that 'trickle-down' actually works. What happened was eminently predictable, even if it didn't match up with conservative magical thinking -- the economy cratered, tax revenue plummeted, and the state's budget went into the biggest crisis it has ever faced. Even after an orgy of cutting government services to the bone, they still face monstrous shortfalls. This past election, a bunch of Brownback supporters got chucked out of office in favor of more moderate Republicans (ones who can do math, in other words). They just joined with Democrats to pass a bill which would get rid of all the enormous tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy which got them into the mess in the first place. Brownback vetoed it. The Kansas house voted 85-40 to overturn the veto. Half of those 85 votes were Republican votes, mind you. Unfortunately for the citizens of Kansas, the state senate was three votes short, so the Kansas economic disaster will continue for the time being."

 

6
   Trump doesn't like leaks

Insert your own Russian hookers joke, if you must. Heh.

"Donald Trump is reportedly incensed with all the leaks coming out of his administration. He tweeted about them this week, in a lame attempt to divert the media's attention from the embarrassing content of pretty much all of the leaks. So far, though, Trump's wrath doesn't seem to be doing much good. The most amusing headline yet over the leaks appeared this week in the Washington Post -- 'State Department Writes Anti-Leak Memo, Which Promptly Leaks.' Boy, that one's gotta hurt. What's next? Maybe a 'Memo Denouncing Leak Of Anti-Leak Memo Leaks' headline? Talk about infinite regression!"

 

7
   Golf, rehabilitated

This one's going to become a recurring punchline, that's for sure.

"Republicans in general went apoplectic whenever President Barack Obama spent some time on the golf course. Donald Trump in particular denounced Obama's golfing, promising over and over again that he'd be 'too busy' as president to do such a thing. Well, looks like there may have been another reason all those Republicans didn't like to see Barack Obama golfing, because so far Trump has spent six of his first 30 days on the golf course. He's obviously embarrassed by this, since he went to the trouble to tape plastic bags over the media room at Mar-a-Lago so reporters couldn't see him out on the links. If Trump keeps this up, he'll spend something like 300 days golfing during his first term -- which is exactly the same number of days Obama spent golfing during two terms. To date, I haven't heard a single Republican complain. Maybe it's because Trump looks more like the average country-club golfer than Obama? I mean, there has to be some reason why Obama golfing made Republicans' blood boil when Trump golfing is just fine, right?"

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

135 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [426] -- Who To Believe?”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Finally, we have to end this week on a rather worrisome note...Jeff Sessions might just decide to crack down on those states which have legalized recreational marijuana.

    Wow.

    Actually, the real worrisome note to end on this week and next week and for as long as the Trump administration lives is the realization that the promise of America is dying a slow death and it will be hard, if not impossible, to revive it if the Trump era takes hold.

  2. [2] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    "The people that you're watching, they're not you." - the Russian puppet

  3. [3] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    What does the Orange One mean when he uses words?

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    "There is no global flag."

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Why is that?

  6. [6] 
    neilm wrote:

    The most amusing headline yet over the leaks appeared this week in the Washington Post -- 'State Department Writes Anti-Leak Memo, Which Promptly Leaks.' Boy, that one's gotta hurt.

    Nightcap MacAllan almost choked on CW! That one nearly cost me $5 - you may need to add a warning in the future: "Neil, don't sip Whisky before reading this talking point."

  7. [7] 
    neilm wrote:

    Last night's Town Hall at my Democratic congressman was overflowing. In contrast, the last one I attended last August had about 20 people - this one must have been over 1,000.

    People are angry.

    Most of the attendees were 40-60, and if the ones sitting near to me were representative, they were furious about what 45 was doing to THEIR country. The common theme was "This is not my America".

    Michael Moore commented on the passion, something he hasn't seen on the left since the 1960's, and never with the age group of this movement.

    The best part is the Republican rationalization that this is just paid protestors. The longer they keep telling themselves this, the more it will hurt them.

  8. [8] 
    neilm wrote:

    I watched some of the DNC debate. A couple of points:

    Peter Peckarsky: very smart, needs to work on his charisma. A lot of work.

    Jehmu Greene, Sally Boynton Brown, Jaime Harrison, Sam Ronan: No idea, not their fault, but they fell into the "same as" category, just didn't stand out for me. This is probably hideously unfair based on one debate. Sorry.

    The three that stood out, and why:

    1. Tom Perez: known, liked from late night show appearances. Fair or not, he seemed liked the Hillary Clinton candidate. I like him, think he knows what he is doing, and think he can appeal to the majority of the party, but this is 2016 thinking. I can't support him - lots of meat, not enough sizzle.

    2. Keith Ellison: Was hoping to get pumped up. Didn't happen. Pointless.

    3. Pete Buttigieg - Wow! Is there any other choice? This is EXACTLY what the Democratic Party needs. This kid can go all the way (and I know the barriers he has).

  9. [9] 
    neilm wrote:

    On the record now: I only found out that Pete was gay after the debate. I may be the slowest person in the room, but it is true.

    This guy could go all the way. Turns out I'm way behind the curve (June 2016!!!) but I'm catching up.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/12/opinion/sunday/the-first-gay-president.html

  10. [10] 
    neilm wrote:

    Read this and tell me why Pete Buttigieg shouldn't be our next President:

    https://medium.com/@buttigieg/a-letter-from-flyover-country-5d4e9c32d2ac#.w07vlz954

  11. [11] 
    michale wrote:

    Ya'all just HAVE to appreciate the perfect LOSE-LOSE situation that the Democrat Party has created for itself.

    The Party is electing a new leader today..

    On the one side, they have a radical anti-Semitic David-Duke of the Left who once belonged to a terrorist organization..

    On the other side, they have a NOT-45 clone, an Establishment figure who believes that the Democrats actually won the 2016 election and the Party doesn't have to change a thing, that everything is perfect just the way it is...

    And to think ya'all just one short year ago were crowing about the demise of the Republican Party.. :D

    Ya'all just have to appreciate the irony, no?? :D

  12. [12] 
    michale wrote:

    http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/2/23/1636999/-Kansas-man-reportedly-yelled-Get-out-of-my-country-before-shooting-three-men-in-a-crowded-bar

    Trumpers

    Seemingly following Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals", Liberal Progressive Socialists appear to believe, in a Trump world, "the ends justify the means," as evidenced by the farce in Berkeley this week. Any and everything is justified by a lying mainstream media: riots and the destruction of property, assaults on those who disagree with them, and general lawlessness - all in the name of 'virtue signaling'.
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-04/truth-about-berkeley-riot

    Democrats.....

    It works both ways, my friend.. :D

  13. [13] 
    michale wrote:

    dailykos.com/stories/2017/2/23/1636999/-Kansas-man-reportedly-yelled-Get-out-of-my-country-before-shooting-three-men-in-a-crowded-bar

    Trumpers

    Seemingly following Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals", Liberal Progressive Socialists appear to believe, in a Trump world, "the ends justify the means," as evidenced by the farce in Berkeley this week. Any and everything is justified by a lying mainstream media: riots and the destruction of property, assaults on those who disagree with them, and general lawlessness - all in the name of 'virtue signaling'.
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-04/truth-about-berkeley-riot

    Democrats.....

    It works both ways, my friend.. :D

  14. [14] 
    John M wrote:

    Elizabeth wrote:

    "There is no global flag."

    "Why is that?"

    Actually there IS a global flag. The United Nations flag, which is blue and white, is a map of the whole world between two crossed olive branches representing peace. I actually think it's a pretty good representation.

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    John,

    Trump used that line to say that he has no interest in maintaining America's global leadership role.

  16. [16] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hillary Clinton says she's in this fight, every step of the way.

    Great.

    Does that go for her campaign-sabotaging husband, too?

  17. [17] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Going forward, Hillary has a role.

    It is to disappear.

  18. [18] 
    michale wrote:

    Actually there IS a global flag. The United Nations flag, which is blue and white, is a map of the whole world between two crossed olive branches representing peace. I actually think it's a pretty good representation.

    U.N. peacekeepers accused of raping civilians
    http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/06/africa/united-nations-peacekeepers-sexual-abuse/

    That's a better representation of the UN..

    Liz,

    Going forward, Hillary has a role.

    It is to disappear.

    Word....

  19. [19] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    michale,

    Have you ever heard of a paid speaker publicizing the message he will give prior to his speech? Milo wanted people to be aware of the extremely controversial claims he would make, posting an article the day before his event outlining his intentions.


    Before Yiannopoulos speaks at Berkeley, Breitbart publishes an article saying that Yiannopoulos will call for the withdrawal of federal grants and the prosecution of university officials who endanger their students with their policies.

    Here's the reason that I believe the riot was done by Milo's supporters:

    No one but Milo thinks that his outrageous rhetoric and baseless accusations will be taken seriously! No one at Berkeley would believe such crap, no matter how stoned they may be. But Trumpets like to make it sound like they are important and should be respected, but they fail to grasp that respect is earned. This was nothing but free publicity for the soon-to-be-outted pedophile.

    It was the police that made the decision to cancel the event, not the University. Free speech was never at risk, because he published what he would say prior to saying it. But it made for good TV at least.

  20. [20] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Who to believe? If you read the foreign press, you can see they don't/can't believe anybody in the Trump admin. Trump is a loose cannon. That's just working knowledge based on observation. Some observers are more polite about this state of affairs than others. Some don't think it a bad thing...chaos can bring opportunity to the well positioned.

    Liz 16 - nicely put.

  21. [21] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Liz (4)-
    There will be a real global flag once I've completed my secret plan for world domination and become appointed world ruler for life.

  22. [22] 
    neilm wrote:

    The real 'World Flag' is painted on the black helicopters that Obama is going to use to take over Texas and impose Sharia law. It must be true because favorite 45 advisor and man who won the "Exploding Pineapple Head" competition four years after in a row, Alex Jones validated it.

  23. [23] 
    michale wrote:

    Here's the reason that I believe the riot was done by Milo's supporters:

    Yep...

    The Left Wingery is completely innocent.. They do no wrong.. :^/

    Once again, I wish ya'all could step out of the ideological bubble ya'all are in and see how utterly biased ya'all sound... :D

  24. [24] 
    neilm wrote:

    I just took 45's Media Survey.

    I'm not sure the answers will meet his needs.

    He tried earlier this week and was swamped by the left wing, so he's trying again to get the answers he wants.

    Here it is if you want to take it:

    https://action.donaldjtrump.com/mainstream-media-accountability-survey/

  25. [25] 
    michale wrote:
  26. [26] 
    neilm wrote:

    Yer a stated fan of IBD....

    We've been thru this - their real journalism is interesting, but, like the WSJ, their opinion pages are whack-a-doodle.

    The premise of this argument is that, since a study showed that there are a lot of results that aren't reproducible then nothing can be believed.

    Ask yourself this question: which basic scientific findings underpin climate science? Then ask if these have been reproduced. Come back to me when you find key issues with the findings, many of which are over 100 years old and have been tested time and time again.

    Do you know the old saying "The exception that proves the rule"?

    Most people think that this means if there is an exception, then that proves that the rule is true. This makes no sense on its face, because the saying doesn't mean anything of the sort. This is an old saying when the word "prove" also meant "test" - i.e. the way to stress test a rule is to test it with exceptional values and see if it still holds.

    Climate science has been under more stress by desperate deniers than just about anything else, maybe evolution has been also under attack.

    If there were any real problems with either science, you'd have to conclude that there is a huge worldwide conspiracy to hide the real science.

    Thus, just like with evolution, if you are going to overturn the basic tenets of climate science you have to dive into Alex Jones style conspiracy land.

    Are you there?

  27. [27] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    As I am usually critical of your Most Impressive Democrats I should commend you for the honorable mention of Michael Moore's resistance calendar.
    A tool that is completely free, has no big funder behind it, no commercialization or fundraising lists and is just you, me and volunteers donating their time to keep it going and the World Web Web. BOOM. sounds good.
    Someone should come up with a tool like that that citizens can use to get the Big Money out of our political process. If it works for organizing protests it might also work on Big Money.
    That could be a
    "BIG BA DA BOOM!"
    -Lila
    The Fifth Element

    I also must commend you again for your call to primary some Democrats in 2018 (long time position for VV) and for choosing "TAKE BIG MONET-LOSE OUR VOTES" as your favorite slogan. That slogan is what VV is all about.
    If you're not careful you may soon find yourself compelled to join and advocate participation in VV.
    This is not meant to be a warning. It is hoping to help you recognize that you are trending in that direction in the hopes it will hasten your arrival.

  28. [28] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    That should be "TAKE BIG MONEY-"
    "It's Count De Monet"
    -Blazing Saddles

  29. [29] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Or was that History of the World part 2 ?

  30. [30] 
    michale wrote:

    If there were any real problems with either science, you'd have to conclude that there is a huge worldwide conspiracy to hide the real science.

    "Conspiracy" implies something done in secret, on the sly...

    The attacks on REAL science are overt and blatant..

    What would YOU call active measures by hysterical Lefties to PREVENT people from questioning science..

    The article raises a valid point.. If a scientist cannot replicate the experiments and models and come up with the same result, then the primary theory is suspect...

    What are scientists afraid of about making their work completely open and transparent??

  31. [31] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Issa issues a call for a special prosecutor to investigate Trump. That pretty much writes the script for my phone call de jour.

    CIA would probably be happier with rendition to a black site and waterboarding. Like I said a few articles back - it's bad idea to declare war on the Spooks.

    http://www.vox.com/2014/12/9/7361291/map-cia

  32. [32] 
    michale wrote:

    "BIG BA DA BOOM!"
    -Lila
    The Fifth Element

    Not to be nit-picky but that would be Leeloo.... :D

    "Leeloo multi-pass"
    -Leeloo

    :D

  33. [33] 
    michale wrote:

    CIA would probably be happier with rendition to a black site and waterboarding. Like I said a few articles back - it's bad idea to declare war on the Spooks.

    I can't believe you are on the side of the spooks...

    Actually, I can..

    PARTY UBER ALLES

  34. [34] 
    altohone wrote:

    Listen
    delayed response to comment 26 in "Don't try to co-opt"

    National geographic reported in 2006 that the chimp/human DNA similarity was 96%, Scientific American in 2014 reported 98.8%.
    Whatever.
    The point remains, and you didn't dispute it.

    Hillary being 80% "more progressive" than other SENATORS, not Congress, means 19 Senators were more progressive.
    What "Clinton's actions (voting) showed us" was support for the war in Iraq, the bankruptcy bill, mass surveillance, and, and, and...
    ... not progressive.
    And her public embrace and defense of Big Money (banks, insurers, oil companies, etc.), her actions as SOS, and her personal wealth and campaign funding from Big Money all say the same thing... not progressive.

    Big differences that the 93% percent similar talking point was DESIGNED to obscure.
    You are aware that was a Hillary primary campaign talking point, right?

    "If you try to dismantle the fund raising arm of the DNC, you will completely cripple any hope of getting progressives elected"

    The DNC actively used their power and money to prevent and cripple the campaigns of progressives.
    You can pretend that the corrupting embrace of Big Money is necessary to win, but you are defending the corruption, and ignoring that Dems aren't winning because of that embrace... in fact, they are losing top to bottom.

    "it will require massive amounts of money to successfully run campaigns."

    And yet, Hillary outspent Trump 2 to 1 and lost.

    "And before anyone responds that Bernie did it, I would simply remind you that I said "to SUCCESSFULLY run campaigns"

    Great argument if you ignore the fact that people were fired for corrupting the Democratic primary race. A perfect example of the DNC actively working against progressive candidates in order to maintain Big Money control over the Democratic party.

    The Wall Street coddling corporatist warmongers would rather lose than give the left a voice or any control in the Democratic party.
    And they will continue to lose for that reason.
    Dems need the left in order to win.

    Have you seen the figures for how many people have left the Democratic party since November?

    A

  35. [35] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey CW

    Not all Dems are keen on town halls these days either. DiFi for example.

    I find it a little strange that you provided no details about the views or polices of the young Dem winning an award for raising a lot of money.
    Why are Dems getting behind him and does he deserve it?

    And it's very odd you chose to remain neutral in the DNC race.
    When the last two leaders were involved in scandals and the direction the party will take going forward is being decided, remaining silent helps maintain the status quo... of which you have been critical.

    A

  36. [36] 
    michale wrote:

    Not all Dems are keen on town halls these days either. DiFi for example.

    Yea, but that gets a pass because they have a '-D' after their name....

    A Dem and a GOP'er can do the EXACT same thing and this group (with a few notable exceptions {{cough}}altohone{{cough}}Joshua{{cough}}Liz{{cough}}DonHarris{{cough}}CW{{cough}}) will castigate the GOP'er and cheer and applaud the Dem....

  37. [37] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Michale (31)-
    Thanks. I should actually check these things first, but fortunately you are here to lend a helping hand.

  38. [38] 
    neilm wrote:

    Yea, but that gets a pass because they have a '-D' after their name....

    Nope - DiFi will have to get her act together if she thinks she is getting another term. People are pissed. She is regarded as being far too tight with the Military Industrial Complex and it is not going to go well for her if she keeps enabling 45.

    One of my friends who is a big time SF lawyer tells me she is already feeling the heat and isn't liking it.

  39. [39] 
    michale wrote:

    Don,

    One of my many talents.... :D

  40. [40] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Cw-
    I am trying not to be critical of your Most Impressive Democrat (this week only- limited time offer), but Altohone has a good question-
    "Why are Dems getting behind him and does he deserve it ?"
    I would add: Which Dems are behind him and did the money raised by Daily Kos come from small contributions?
    The answers to those questions could clarify how impressive he really is.

  41. [41] 
    michale wrote:

    Nope - DiFi will have to get her act together if she thinks she is getting another term. People are pissed. She is regarded as being far too tight with the Military Industrial Complex and it is not going to go well for her if she keeps enabling 45.

    And yet, she is STILL in office...

    Seems her being "tight" is less important than the -D after her name. :D

  42. [42] 
    neilm wrote:

    Perez was a tone deaf choice for DNC Chair. He better get populist real fast - if he comes across as condescending to the grass roots he is going to get more heat than he ever expected in this job.

    Plus there better be some results in 2018 otherwise we need somebody who can light up the base.

  43. [43] 
    neilm wrote:

    And yet, she is STILL in office...

    Well we can't dump 45 in four weeks and we are stuck with DiFi. But both are going to feel the heat.

  44. [44] 
    neilm wrote:

    My local Indivisible group has grown by 200 members in two days. Find yours. Join. Get active.

    We can defeat this hateful bigot.

  45. [45] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Perez was a tone deaf choice for DNC Chair.

    C'mon Neil, you know better than that. Perez was among the most liberal members of Obama's cabinet, is a talented administrator, and is a trained and talented organizer - just like Obama. And, unlike Ellison (who Perez chose to be Deputy Chair), Perez can do the job full-time. Perez is the better pick because he's the more experienced and competent choice, not just a feel-good symbol of tolerance (but if you likes that guy, he's on the team too!).

  46. [46] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    likes? yikes! like.

  47. [47] 
    altohone wrote:

    Balthy
    44

    No.
    Neil is absolutely correct... though "tone deaf" is putting it far too nicely. Yet another self-inflicted, disastrous move is the reality.

    Perez was a "liberal" member of Obama's cabinet who coddled banksters just like Obama.

    Ellison promised to give up his seat in Congress to run the DNC too. Not sure why you feel the need to use factually inaccurate claims to defend the Big Money status quo that has been maintained.

    And there's nothing that screams "experience" and "competence" like backing the only candidate who could lose to Trump.

    The only positive in this mess for the Dems is that Ellison remains in Congress.

    A

  48. [48] 
    altohone wrote:

    Don
    39

    I've never been a fan, but DailyKos was Hillary central... banning countless progressives starting about half way through the primaries for posting factual comments about her.

    Everything our resident trumpling claims about this place, while oddly noting exceptions that outnumber the "rule", is true of DailyKos.

    In other words, the source of the funding raises more issues than the amounts.

    The cooption of previously progressive outlets and organizations by Third Way corporatists is one of Obama's true legacies.

    A

  49. [49] 
    neilm wrote:

    OK, since I'm being castigated for calling the Perez choice "tone deaf" I'm going to be hideously smug and point out that if both ends of the spectrum disapprove then I'm probably in the right (yes, I know it doesn't work like that).

    I think Perez is a tone deaf choice not because of his position (fairly to the left of the country) but because the last DNC chair was implicated in the defeat of Bernie, so it would have been a good idea to put in a very well qualified Bernie supporter who would have been pretty much indistinguishable in the ability to deliver results than Perez.

    My own choice was Pete Buttigieg so I was disappointed to see him drop out before the first round of voting. I'm trying to figure out his route to the White House in 12 years (after eight years of whichever Democrat trounces 45 in 2020).

    He has a hard road becoming Governor or Senator of Indiana (I'm sure he won't run against Donnelly in 2018, and Young isn't up until 2022), but he could get the 2nd congressional seat there (he could win back Joe Donnelly's seat from Jackie Walorski). A couple of terms in the House - a win in the Senate and he is looking good for President in 2028.

  50. [50] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Altohone (47)-
    I must have sent Daily Kos something once because it got me on their mailing list, but I usually don't even open them because when I did it appeared to be bullshit.
    So I would agree with you there. It is kind of covered in "Which Dems are behind him..."

  51. [51] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    The cooption of previously progressive outlets and organizations by Third Way corporatists is one of Obama's true legacies.

    I thought that was considered to be one of Bill Clinton's true legacies, and before that to be one of J. Carter's true legacies, and so on..

    The left has always complained that the Democratic establishment accepted money from folks that (gasp!) had pockets deep enough to fend off GOP billionaires. If Warren Buffet and Bill Gates want to donate to get a Democratic candidate out of the starting gate, why shouldn't they be allowed to, particularly at a time when (as we're all aware) the GOP have Adelman and the Kochs doing exactly the same thing for their side, and when a tiny percentage of change can mean the difference between winning (and getting your agenda furthered) or losing (and fighting a rear-guard action to keep the other side from dismantling your programs)?

    The premise that a candidate who demonstrates that their campaign is more untainted by 'filthy lucre' garners more votes for their side than good old political tit-for-tat is an unproven theory, akin to the Right's insistence that lower taxes for rich men generates more personal revenue for the lower middle class. Most of the empirical evidence says 'no'. Liberals with self-imposed donation caps usually lose, and lower taxes for already rich folks doesn't do squat for lower middle class taxpayers.

  52. [52] 
    michale wrote:

    Well we can't dump 45 in four weeks and we are stuck with DiFi. But both are going to feel the heat.

    The fact that you compare President Trump's 4 weeks in office to DiFi's reign sinced 1992 shows how weak your argument is..

    You and the Left have had ample time to get rid of DiFi. The fact that ya'all haven't proves that NOTHING matters more than the '-D' after her name..

    Perez was a tone deaf choice for DNC Chair.

    On this, we agree..

    The only WORSE choice for DNC Chair was Ellison...

    The fact that both are in charge indicates that Democrats haven't learned SQUAT from their many shellackings...

  53. [53] 
    michale wrote:

    I'm trying to figure out his route to the White House in 12 years (after eight years of whichever Democrat trounces 45 in 2020).

    And what happens to your "route" when President Trump shellacks the Dem candidate in 2020??

    I mean, you HAVE been wrong before on that, eh? :D

    For that matter.. WHO do you think the Dems can field in 2020???

    Ya'all gonna drag out NOT-45 again??? :D hehehehehehehe

    Now THAT would be hilarious... :D

  54. [54] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Balthasar,

    The cooption of previously progressive outlets and organizations by Third Way corporatists is one of Obama's true legacies.

    I thought that was considered to be one of Bill Clinton's true legacies, and before that to be one of J. Carter's true legacies, and so on..

    You were correct with Clinton; not so much with Carter.

  55. [55] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Balthasar,

    (Hit the submit button too soon)

    As for the "any donation over $35 dollars turns a candidate into a zombie" line of thinking, I am in complete agreement with you. Our politicians already spend far too much of their time focused on fundraising! Not allowing them to accept larger gifts from those who want to support them is nothing short of idiotic, in my opinion!

    They are literally telling politicians, "I don't want you representing me to the best of your ability -- I want you begging for money!"

  56. [56] 
    michale wrote:

    Not allowing them to accept larger gifts from those who want to support them is nothing short of idiotic, in my opinion!

    So, let me see if I understand this..

    Ya hate big money in campaigns, but you think it's idiotic if candidates can't accept large campaign contributions...

    They are literally telling politicians, "I don't want you representing me to the best of your ability -- I want you begging for money!"

    I think you are missing Don's and CW's et al point..

    If a candidate is good at their job with respect to representing people, then the people will give money WILLINGLY...

    No begging involved...

    THAT'S the point..

  57. [57] 
    michale wrote:

    Here's the problem ya'all face..

    http://nypost.com/2017/02/25/the-next-womens-march-is-co-organized-by-a-terrorist/

    Violence, intimidation, hatred, intolerance, bigotry...

    That is what the Democrat Party is about these days...

  58. [58] 
    michale wrote:

    House Democrats plan to troll Trump at big speech
    Lawmakers are inviting 'Dreamers,' Muslim-Americans and others to his joint address before Congress on Tuesday.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/trump-congress-address-democrats-235363

    How ironic.... :D

  59. [59] 
    michale wrote:

    Anyone wanna lay any quatloos down that a Democrat will shout out "YOU LIE!!!" during the President's speech???

    But, of course, THAT will be perfectly acceptable around here because, after all, it's a person with a '-D' after their name doing it. :D

  60. [60] 
    michale wrote:

    Anyone wanna lay any quatloos down that a Democrat will shout out "YOU LIE!!!" during the President's speech???

    But, of course, THAT will be perfectly acceptable around here because, after all, it's a person with a '-D' after their name doing it. :D

    The fact that it's true, that President Trump DOES lie is completely beside the point!! :D

  61. [61] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Balthasar (50)-
    Candidates financed by small contributions may be an unproven theory- but accepting, supporting and voting for candidates that do take Big Money because they are pretending to be the good cop fighting the bad cop on the other side is a DISPROVEN theory.(Remember, the "good cop" and "bad
    cop are working together against you.)
    It gave us Reagan, Bush, Clinton ,another Bush, Obama, almost another Clinton and Trump. It also gave us a Congress completely controlled by Big Money.
    It has been a failure for the forty years that I have been voting. We have not only been going in the wrong direction, the approach you seem to be in favor of has not ever stopped us from heading in the wrong direction. At best it occasionally slowed down the decent, but has more often been complicit in the decent.
    I will take a chance on an unproven theory rather than double down on a a disproven theory any day of the week.
    It is possible that citizens working together to demand small contribution candidates will actually work better than a lone small contribution candidate acting unilaterally.
    It seems to me that the only way to find out if it can work is to try it. A possibility of success is a far superior approach than giving up to the Big Money interests without even trying before the battle has even started which is the approach has consistently failed for over forty years.

  62. [62] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    that should be "descent"
    There is nothing decent about Big Money candidates.

  63. [63] 
    michale wrote:

    And, for the cat lovers of Weigantia...

    http://images1.tickld.com/live/articles/a_905_20151001103110.jpg

    :D

  64. [64] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    What kind of odds are you giving that it will be a Republican that is the first to interrupt a Trump speech by shouting out "You Lie!" ?

  65. [65] 
    michale wrote:

    What kind of odds are you giving that it will be a Republican that is the first to interrupt a Trump speech by shouting out "You Lie!" ?

    Considering that President Trump is hated by both Democrats and Republicans alike.... Bout even...

    But, as Neil pointed out above, since President Trump is hated by BOTH the Right and the Left, then the odds are good he is doing SOMETHING good.. :D

  66. [66] 
    altohone wrote:

    Balthy
    50

    Yes.
    It is a recurring pattern that the Democratic establishment coopts progressive outlets and organizations.

    Nice to see that you recognize this reality.

    Was there a point in there that somehow makes this corruption positive?

    A

  67. [67] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Maybe the point was if you can't beat 'em- join 'em. Or half a loaf is better than nothing.
    I prefer you can't win it if you're not in it. Yes it is a gamble, but a gamble with a chance to win is still better than a guaranteed loss.
    I believe that they can be beat and that forty plus years of halving the loaf has progressed (or should that be regressed?) in so many halves of a half that it has left us quibbling over the crumbs.

  68. [68] 
    altohone wrote:

    Balthy, Listen
    50,53

    See Don's response.
    It's spot on.

    The decline has continued.

    And, if you set aside the cheating that prevented an honest comparison of the Big Money versus a small donor approach at the presidential level, the small donor approach remains unproven.

    What has been proven is the corrupting influence of Big Money on policies.
    Inequality has gotten worse and worse.
    It is nonsense to claim incremental progress when the facts saying otherwise are perfectly clear.
    I hope it's ignorance and not dishonesty at work there.

    It's funny that you mentioned Buffett, because I think he's the one that said there is class warfare going on and that the rich are winning.

    Well, they aren't winning without plenty of help from the Democrats corrupted by Big Money.

    A

  69. [69] 
    michale wrote:

    Maybe the point was if you can't beat 'em- join 'em. Or half a loaf is better than nothing.

    "If we have one hand on the wheel, we can still steer."
    -Black Widow CAPTAIN AMERICA-Civil War

    There is a certain logic to that position...

  70. [70] 
    michale wrote:
  71. [71] 
    michale wrote:

    I have a theory about Maxine Waters: The California Democrat is actually a Republican agent.

    My evidence is that Rep. Waters insisted Vladimir Putin was invading “Korea,” then called Donald Trump’s Cabinet a “bunch of scumbags.”

    Obviously, her secret assignment is to make Democrats look like idiots. She deserves a raise.
    -Michael Goodwin

    :D heh

  72. [72] 
    neilm wrote:

    Another excellent podcast on globalization from a professor at NYU Stern and IESE business schools:

    https://hbr.org/.../02/globalization-myth-and-reality.html

  73. [73] 
    neilm wrote:
  74. [74] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i don't necessarily see any conflict between the two points of view. the current laws permit obscene political giving, which combines with historic wealth inequality to make the government deaf to the plight of the 99%. on the other hand, refusing to take big money when the other side takes big money is not an unknown quantity, it's a recipe for losing. this cycle can't be broken by politicians refusing money; they can't reasonably do that. people have to be informed about who the big donors are, and make their BUSINESS notice. police crackdowns notwithstanding, that's one of the things occupy got right.

    JL

  75. [75] 
    neilm wrote:
  76. [76] 
    michale wrote:
  77. [77] 
    neilm wrote:

    people have to be informed about who the big donors are

    The problem is that the politicians are doing everything they can to hide who their donors are.

    I'm all for sunlight as the ultimate disinfectant, but if there is no sunlight we are voting blind.

  78. [78] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @76

    true, we don't know the specifics in real time. however, it's pretty well-known who the main donors are at this point. whether it's the kochs, the waltons and adelson or gates and soros, it's perfectly possible to know which companies are the most involved in political meddling.

    JL

  79. [79] 
    neilm wrote:

    DEMOCRAT CIVIL WAR

    :D Pass the popcorn....

    I'd hold off on the smugness. If this had happened 12 months ago today just about nobody would have cared, and for sure the number of print inches would be close to zero.

    The fact that the Democratic base is getting engaged in this level of detail is an indication of the passion building out there - I saw it last week at a Town Hall - the last one I went to had about 20 people, this had more than that who couldn't get in to the much, much larger venue.

    As long as 45 keeps lying to America and insulting citizens it only makes the progressive reaction stronger.

  80. [80] 
    michale wrote:

    I'd hold off on the smugness.

    I am trying.. But considering the smugness over the "disintegration" of the Republican Party this time last year???

    Well, I am only human.. Sorta :D

    The fact that the Democratic base is getting engaged in this level of detail is an indication of the passion building out there

    The problem is, we have seen this level of engagement every time the Democrats got their asses handed to them..

    Yet, they continued to get their asses handed to them...

    How many times is the Left going to say, "THIS TIME, it will be different"???

    The fact that Perez won proves that it WON'T be different...

    As long as 45 keeps lying to America and insulting citizens it only makes the progressive reaction stronger.

    The progressive reaction couldn't prevent President Trump...

    Apparently, the progressive reaction is nothing to fear...

  81. [81] 
    michale wrote:

    As long as 45 keeps lying to America and insulting citizens it only makes the progressive reaction stronger.

    I am also constrained to point out that Obama lied to America and insulted citizens and no one here seemed to mind then...

    How come??? :D

  82. [82] 
    michale wrote:

    How come??? :D

    Rhetorical question, there... :D

  83. [83] 
    michale wrote:

    HOLY SHIT!!!!!

    Bill Paxton died!

    "GAME OVER, MAN!!!"

  84. [84] 
    altohone wrote:

    nypoet
    73

    "current laws permit obscene political giving, which combines with historic wealth inequality to make the government deaf to the plight of the 99%"

    Yes, but obscene political giving (and taking) has corrupted the government which then enacted the policies that created the inequality.

    But this is where your argument falls apart.
    Bernie raised and spent just as much money in the primaries as Hillary so the "this cycle can't be broken by politicians refusing money" is a complete straw man argument. It's not about refusing money, and it's not even about only taking $27 donations... that was the AVERAGE donation, not the maximum... I think that is still around $2,700 per person by law for individuals donating directly to campaigns. And the AVERAGE donation amount includes the larger ones.

    It does however require fielding candidates who serve the people with integrity and will thus be supported by millions of people willing to give small donations.
    And with a DNC that is obedient to Big Money and that actively works against those candidates, like we've had and now continue to have, the likelihood of getting candidates who will bite that hand that feeds them is basically zero.

    The idea that politicians will be just as corrupted by donations of a few thousand dollars as they are by the obscene donations seems ridiculous to me (I know you weren't arguing that point, I'm just pointing it out for context).

    You lost me on the last sentence... not sure what you're trying to say there.

    A

  85. [85] 
    altohone wrote:

    neil
    74

    Um, letting banks off the hook for illegally foreclosing on members of the military on active duty is "progressive"?
    Oh wait.
    That was in my link about Perez.

    Look, Perez is in.
    The best approach now is constant pressure to force him to change how the DNC has been run, and if or when he fails, to apply pressure to replace him quickly.
    Keep him walking on eggshells.

    And, posting links about what a great guy he actually is does not qualify.

    I'm not telling you what to do... just stating what I hope should be obvious for those unhappy with the status quo.

    A

  86. [86] 
    michale wrote:

    The best approach now is constant pressure to force him to change how the DNC has been run, and if or when he fails, to apply pressure to replace him quickly.

    With respect....

    Perez is a NOT-45'ista...

    We saw how good "pressure" worked...

    The ONLY pressure that works is to make sure that those who employ BIG MONEY tactics, lose their respective campaigns...

    Oh.... wait..... :^/

  87. [87] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Nypoet- (73)-
    It is true that politicians refusing to take Big Money when the other side doesn't is a recipe for losing and politicians refusing money under these circumstances will not break the cycle.
    It is up to citizens to break the cycle by refusing to vote for Big Money candidates. If you keep voting for Big Money candidates you will keep getting Big Money legislators and candidates.
    By making that commitment NOW for 2018 and sticking to it in 2018 and 2020 citizens can break the cycle. If you give up now to the Big Money Democrats when they are vulnerable without even trying then you are sending the message that they can continue to use you.
    Keep in mind if you could trick them into actually answering the question below, this is how it would play out:
    Charlie Babbitt: Am I using you, Raymond ?
    Rain Man: Yes.
    Charlie Babbitt: Shut up.

    This is why VV can be used by all citizen on all parties and candidates so that small contribution candidates will not always be running against a Big Money candidate.
    It is possible that in 2018 with just 20% national participation that there could be several districts where a small contribution candidate could win the primary for BOTH current major parties.
    With 20% national participation (20% of 2016 voters) in 2018 there would some states below and some above the national average.
    (stop me if you've heard this before- oh wait, you can't.)
    In states above 20% there would be some districts above the state average of 25-30% at 30-35% participation. These voters are likely to not be regular primary voters. As many off year congressional primaries have a low turnout and congressional primaries in general can have a regular turnout of only 25-35% of general election voters these new small contribution primary voters could out vote the regular Big Money primary voters of both current major parties. Some of the regular Big Money primary voters may even wise up and join us instead of belittling us for not joining them.
    And since citizens in states or districts without small contribution candidates can contribute to small contribution candidates in other states and districts, 20% participation could raise enough money to be competitive in the races with a small contribution candidate is running against a Big Money candidate or two. Citizens contributing to candidates in other districts will do so because if some small contribution candidates are successful and others competitive in 2018 then more citizens will see it can work and will participate in 2020 which would make more districts with competitive small contribution candidates in 2020 so these citizens can have a competitive small contribution candidate in 2020.
    And a token CMP candidate in a district gerrymandered to favor the other CMP with even 15-20% district participation could become a small contribution candidate and destroy a district gerrymandered for the other party (they won't be getting much Big Money from their party anyway). 15-20% participation in a district is even enough for a small contribution challenger to defeat the token Big Money CMP candidate in a district gerrymandered for the other CMP in the primary. Those primaries can easily be under 20% primary participation for the token party.
    This is why registering NOW with VV is important so that 15-20% national particpation can be achieved by January 2018. If 25-35% of registered voters in a congressional district are registered with VV that they are committed to only voting for a small contribution candidate in 2018 the demand they will create will produce a candidate. And 25-35% makes a candidate competitive in both the primary and general elections, especially in a general election with a three way race.
    And this 25-35% will be ACTUAL NUMBERS. Not estimates derived from small samples like the easily manipulated polls.

    And it doesn't matter if we know who the Big Money donors are if there are no alternatives to the Big Money candidates.

  88. [88] 
    michale wrote:

    Nypoet- (73)-
    It is true that politicians refusing to take Big Money when the other side doesn't is a recipe for losing and politicians refusing money under these circumstances will not break the cycle.
    It is up to citizens to break the cycle by refusing to vote for Big Money candidates. If you keep voting for Big Money candidates you will keep getting Big Money legislators and candidates.
    By making that commitment NOW for 2018 and sticking to it in 2018 and 2020 citizens can break the cycle. If you give up now to the Big Money Democrats when they are vulnerable without even trying then you are sending the message that they can continue to use you.

    In my time on Vulcan, we also faced these same alternatives. We'd suffered devastating wars which nearly destroyed our planet. Another was about to begin. We were torn. But out of our suffering some of us found the discipline to act. We sent emissaries to our opponents to propose peace. The first were killed, but others followed. Ultimately we achieved peace, which has lasted since then.
    -Surak Of Vulcan

  89. [89] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    That should be "actually ASKING the question below...'

  90. [90] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    my point was that you can't break the cycle politically, you have to break it economically. the system is too corrupted to be turned around by voting for one fundraising tactic over another. you need campaigns to stop buying microsoft products; to systematically hurt hedge funds; to hit "big money" in their money. no matter what kind of candidate you vote for, those guys will continue to find ways to influence elections until it hurts their bottom line to do so.

  91. [91] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i.e. politicians are glorified middlemen. you don't change production by railing against the middleman, or by electing new middlemen - you do it by knocking down the CEO's doors.

  92. [92] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i meant that metaphorically of course. no actual violence, just a movement to avoid businesses that make heavy political donations.

    https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php

    of course, you'll notice that there are just as many donors to liberal causes as conservative ones.

  93. [93] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    Was kind of hoping that someone would have replied to Gohmert that in pointing out his lack of a spine they were, in fact, "casting aspersions on his asparagus."

  94. [94] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    Hey CW (off topic):

    Now that CA is having legalization, thought you should know a trick that a small group of shops are using to get around the inability to accept credit cards.

    Most shops have an onsite ATM, but a few shops also offer gift cards (through a third-party). For a small fee (about the amount of points a rewards card offers), you can put dollars onto a gift card with your credit card and then use that gift card in the shop. You can front load it with more than your purchase, since the fee is fixed, not a percentage.

    If/when you have a favored shop, if they don't have this idea going, suggest it.

  95. [95] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    michale [55]

    So, let me see if I understand this..

    Ya hate big money in campaigns, but you think it's idiotic if candidates can't accept large campaign contributions...

    Yes! As long as larger contributions CAN be accepted, it would be crazy to refuse them. I hate BIG MONEY's influence (a.k.a., corruption) on politics, but until our elections are funded by our government, BIG MONEY (or some similar group wishing to assert their influence over our political process) will be a problem! And while Al claims "Big Money" is just a metaphor for corruption and doesn't mean he opposes the wealthy or capitalism, it seems that most comments on here aren't able to differentiate between the two.

    I think you are missing Don's and CW's et al point..

    Oh, I got their point... But I just do not feel that their point is based in reality!

    If a candidate is good at their job with respect to representing people, then the people will give money WILLINGLY...

    No begging involved...

    THAT'S the point..

    Again, I ran an organization that was 100% funded by donations for almost ten years. People are already giving money WILLINGLY!!! We don't force anyone to give money to campaigns!

    You obviously believe someone is just going to wake up one day, out of the blue and say to themselves:

    I should send money to that guy. I don't know how much he needs or if he even needs it; I don't know how it will be used; but I will send it anyway!"

    As wonderful as that would be for those raising the money, it just does NOT work that way! There will ALWAYS be "begging" involved! If you aren't asking someone to give you something you need, the chances of them giving it to you are very slim!!!

    Here's the biggest flaw with VV, from what I can discern: it does not take into account the total amount of money that a candidate actually needs to run a successful campaign. Are campaign's going to have to set their budgets based on the total number of registered voters in their district multiplied by $35?

    If a politician can't accept a $100K gift they need, they will have to work to find enough $35 gifts to make up the difference! More time focused on fund raising, less time focused on working for their constituents!

    Bottom line: Corruption is bad for our political system and bad for us. Assigning a dollar amount to the definition of corruption is in nobodies best interest.

  96. [96] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    Amusingly, calling the alt-right left wing was debunked nearly immediately.

    The neo-nazi Richard Spencer was in the audience. Afterwards, he went out into the hall and tweeted that no, he invented the term "#alt-right." As far as anyone can tell, he was telling the truth.

    He then went on talking to people who recognized him and treated him like a returning conqueror before being removed from the CPAC conference.

  97. [97] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    For slogans, don't just resist, "Resist and Persist!"

  98. [98] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    nypoet-
    Yes the cycle can be broken politically. How it can be done is all right there in my comments on this subject in this and other threads.
    And there is no reason you can't use your approach to product boycotts and participate in VV. They are not mutually exclusive. Only voting for Big Money candidates and voting for small contribution candidates are mutually exclusive.
    But comparing the two approaches, they are in some ways similar. You are saying boycott their products, I am saying boycott their candidates. A difference is their candidates are easier to identify.
    You eliminate the middlemen by severing the connection between one end or the other. The middlemen connect the Big Money to the voters. Citizens can sever the connection by not voting for the Big Money candidates.
    If the Big Money interests can no longer buy our votes (by pricing the competition out of the market to create an impression of invincibility) then it will no longer be profitable to invest in the middlemen.

  99. [99] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Al,

    But this is where your argument falls apart.
    Bernie raised and spent just as much money in the primaries as Hillary so the "this cycle can't be broken by politicians refusing money" is a complete straw man argument.

    The argument doesn't fall apart, as Bernie did not win! Saying that both candidates raised and spent the same amounts means little. Did Bernie need to spend more but didn't have the money to do so? Hillary won by a fairly large margin, so saying that Bernie's campaign was just as successful as hers is ludicrous!

    And as to your response the last time I made this claim, the DNC scandal wasn't nearly as scandalous as people try to make it out to be! Yes, people were fired over it. But that doesn't prove that Bernie's campaign would have won had these people not sent those emails! People at the DNC didn't like Bernie, personally. That had what direct effect on how the public voted? I wanted Bernie to win. I wasn't opposed to Hillary, but liked Bernie's positions more. The DNC didn't cost Bernie the election.

  100. [100] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Listen (94)-
    First, government funded elections will not work for the same reason campaign finance reform legislation or constitutional amendments to overturn Citizens United will not work- the Big Money legislators will not bite the hand that feeds them. Before legislation is passed to get the Big Money out you have to replace the Big Money legislators. The Big Money legislators will not pass any legislation with government funded elections that will challenge the status quo, it would only re-enforce the status quo.
    THAT IS REALITY.
    The people that donated to your organization have different motivations and expectations than the Big Money political contributors. Apples and Oranges.
    I do not believe that someone is going to wake up and say they will send someone money for no reason. You are right. It does not work that way.
    It does not work the way it's done now either. That is why it needs to be changed and we need to try a new approach rather than continue to expect the approach that HAS NOT WORKED FOR OVER FORTY YEARS to suddenly magically start working.
    That is why the plan is for citizens to sign up NOW to let the politicians know they will be voting only for small contribution candidates. VV will also provide lists of small contribution candidates. Citizen will certainly know why they are sending contributions and for what purpose.
    If you're going to make stuff up at least make it appear convincing. That was really bush league.
    And again.
    YOU DON"T HAVE TO CONTRIBUTE TO PARTICIPATE IN VV.
    VV is about how you VOTE.
    And VV DOES take into account how much it takes to get elected.
    With just 20% national participation (approx. 125 million 2016 voters) that's about 25 million participants. Just half of those participants investing 100 dollars is 1.25 billion dollars.
    Half of those investing another 100 dollars would put the total near 2 billion dollars.
    Divide 2 billion dollars by the about 470 congressional and senatorial elections in 2018. Let's round it up to 500 just to make it easier.
    That's an average of 40 million dollars each.
    Of course, with just 20% national participation there will not be competitive small contribution candidates in all districts or Senate races in 2018.
    But even with TWO small contribution candidates in HALF the races in 2018 that's still about 40 million dollars each per candidate. And these candidates will running in districts that have 30, 35 or even close to 40% of registered voters committed to voting for a small contribution candidate. Add that to the party regulars in a district would make that CMP candidate nearly invincible in the general election even in a district gerrymandered for the other CMP. Or it makes a third party or independent candidate competitive in a three way general election race.
    And by 2020 or 2022 with the percentage of participants increasing with each subsequent election as more citizens recognize that small contribution candidates can be competitive and win and the majority of citizens are participating and the majority of districts have competitive and winning small contribution candidates the Big Money contributors will stop contributing because their candidates will not be able to get enough votes to win an election. This will mean that the small contribution candidates will then not need as much money to compete.
    The VV limit is 200 dollars per candidate per election (200 primary, 200 general) for now. Participants will decide if that amount is changed higher or lower. But someone that can contribute 10,000 dollars can contribute 200 dollars to 50 candidates, etc. So even more than 2 billion could be raised.
    And another reminder- this money goes DIRECTLY to the candidates. It does NOT go through VV so that VV cannot skim off the top and decide for you how your money is spent like other organizations. This gives the participants control rather than the leaders. THAT is REAL grassroots.
    Any other EXCUSES for wimping out against Big Money ?

  101. [101] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    "Resist and Persist" is good.
    But if the resistance is co-opted by the Big Money Democrats than it will have to be:
    "Resist the Resistance and Persist"

  102. [102] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @don,

    i do admire your tenacity.

    JL

  103. [103] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    Honestly, I think I came up with "Resist and Persist!"

    DH [100]
    It fits on a bumper sticker. It's easy to remember. It requires no explanation. It gives a shout-out to the women's and progressive movement (Warren). It gets at what's most important (energy still there 19 months from now).

    This is the Friday Talking Points Memo. Get with the program. We're giving talking points, not nuance. Duh!

  104. [104] 
    michale wrote:

    Mozart in the Jungle star Gael García Bernal also took a shot at Trump's Mexico border proposal while presenting for Best Animated Feature.

    "As a Mexican, as a Latin American, as a migrant worker, as a human being, I am against any form of wall that wants to separate us," he said.

    Of course, Bernal goes home to a house surrounded by walls... :^/

    Apparently, this nimrod thinks, "Walls are to protect me, but not for thee"

    :^/

    Hard to take advice on politics and leadership from a gaggle of morons who can't even get the BEST PICTURE right...

  105. [105] 
    michale wrote:

    The DNC didn't cost Bernie the election.

    Anymore than Russia or the FBI cost NOT-45 the election...

    Bernie was simply NOT the candidate that the Left Wingery wanted..

    And NOT-45 was simply NOT the candidate that the American people wanted, except for those in California...

  106. [106] 
    michale wrote:

    Listen,

    Yes! As long as larger contributions CAN be accepted, it would be crazy to refuse them.

    I get what you are saying..

    And, logically and rationally you are correct..

    What you are saying is that Big Money in campaigns is an evil and bad thing and if your chosen candidate must do evil and bad to get elected than so be it..

    The ends justifies the means...

    No one here gets that more than I do...

    But what I am saying is that you need to pick a side..

    If you are against Big Money in campaigns but you claim that your chosen candidates must take Big Money to win then you can't claim to be against Big Money in campaigns..

    "Oh no, I've gone cross-eyed"
    -Austin Powers

    :D

    I am not trying to be contrary here... I don't HAVE to try as it comes naturally. :D

    But seriously, I completely understand what you are saying..

    Big Money is a necessary evil and if your candidates must indulge that evil to win, then you're completely on board with that...

    But you can't have that attitude and then claim to be against Big Money..

    "You gotta pick a lane, dood"
    -Metatron, SUPERNATURAL

    Oh, I got their point... But I just do not feel that their point is based in reality!

    And you would be correct. It isn't based on the reality of the here and now..

    It's aspirational.. It's what they hope that Left Wingery candidates would aspire to...

    And for those candidates that choose NOT to aspire to that value, the point is that the candidates will lose support from those who think the candidates SHOULD aspire to that value..

    And that group, the group that is aspirational is becoming more and more pronounced within the totality of the Democrat Party..

    As I said.. Civil War...

  107. [107] 
    michale wrote:

    Well, we finally have our RCP Graph..

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_trump_job_approval-6179.html

    The president is currently in a downward trend.. We'll see what the future holds... :D

  108. [108] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Speak2-
    I wasn't trying to claim "Resist and Persist", just acknowledge that it is good.
    I was also just pointing out again that it is important to make sure that you are resisting the right people.
    I am not convinced that the women's movement and Warren are really on the right side of the resistance we need which includes resisting the Big Money Democrats.
    "Resist the Resistance and Persist" is too long.
    So if it is a choice between "Resist and Persist" and "Resist the Resistance", whether or not the resistance is resisting the Big Money Democrats will determine which slogan is more appropriate.

  109. [109] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    nypoet-
    Thanks for the condescending surrender. :D

  110. [110] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    clearly the american people are not feeling particularly patient, so it's time to shift gears and get into the weeds of policy. we're in early days and there's plenty of time to turn the ship of state in a positive direction, but donald had better get his shit together and fast!

    My top suggestions, for what they're worth:

    1. repair obamacare - even the most die-hard of republicans must know that a full repeal would be out of the frying pan and into the fire. thousands would die - possibly tens of thousands - and as the party in power they'd be held responsible for those deaths. so keep all the patient protections, fix a few broken financial parts and call it a win.

    2. lay off the nativism - boxer muhammad ali's namesake son is not a terrorist. neither is 70-year old australian children's book author mem fox. neither is international football star dwight yorke. somebody put a leash on these border agents and send them to israel to learn how to properly conduct an interview, to prevent the entrance of real terrorists. further, the government entered a contract with DACA, so no threats of deportation unless they're convicted of something significantly worse than a moving violation. suspicion ain't enough, you need to prove it before the claws come out, and remain respectful regardless.

    3. start doing some of that "negotiation" that was promised. a lot will be forgiven if he can hammer out some trade agreements that level the playing field, so working people in small-town america can get a legit full-time job.

    JL

  111. [111] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @don,

    condescending surrender? i can do condescending, but not so much surrender. how's this:

    [condescending]20% nationally. nationally? you've been at it for nearly a decade and don't even have 20% of this website. good luck with that. [/condescending]

    JL

    "Look, do you wanna play blind man? Go walk with the shepherd. But me, my eyes are wide f*cking open.”
    ~pulp fiction

  112. [112] 
    michale wrote:

    condescending surrender? i can do condescending...

    And damn well too!!! :D

  113. [113] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Nypoet-
    Maybe you are just not capable of recognizing when it is time to surrender.
    Just because something hasn't happened yet does not mean it is not possible. see: President Trump.
    There is a first time for everything.
    You still have not addressed whether or not it could work with 20% national participation. All you said was it hasn't happened yet so it can't happen.
    You may be good at being condescending, but that is irrelevant when you are not actually in a position to be condescending.
    But I hope that you can at least admit that VV has a much better chance of success than for Trump to adopt your suggestions in 109. :D

  114. [114] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    What you are saying is that Big Money in campaigns is an evil and bad thing and if your chosen candidate must do evil and bad to get elected than so be it..

    Not what I was saying at all. "Big Money" is corruption. Corruption doesn't have a specific monetary value as an indicator! I didn't say a candidate should accept any money, regardless of the amount, that has strings attached to it. Do not try to put words in my mouth that I did not say. Run along and get back under your bridge.

    Don,

    And VV DOES take into account how much it takes to get elected.
    With just 20% national participation (approx. 125 million 2016 voters) that's about 25 million participants. Just half of those participants investing 100 dollars is 1.25 billion dollars.

    Based on your comments, VV DOES NOT take into account the actual budgets needed by each candidate... Not if your answer relies on you having 25 million participants!

    You are touting what a great idea this is while providing me with numbers that are not based in reality.

    How many million have already committed to this plan?

    How is VV going to be successful prior to achieving 25 million participants? Is it even possible to be successful on a smaller scale?

    Who determines how much each candidate receives?

    If VV doesn't require you to donate, how do you know you that you'll get 12.5 million who will be willing to donate $100 or more?

    Are people donating to VV instead of directly to the candidate of their choice?

    How will it be successful in communities where it has only a handful of members?

    If VV's success is dependent on reaching that 25 million mark, then it is not realistic.

  115. [115] 
    michale wrote:

    It’s official. After a contentious election, the Democratic National Committee has chosen its next chairman, former Obama Labor Secretary Tom Perez.

    With Perez, the Democrats indicated they will be abandoning their extreme left-wing base and, in so doing, relegating themselves to being the party of entrenched, wealthy special interests and preferred minority groups. The interests of workers have been abandoned. What’s more, the DNC leadership essentially have done what House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi indicated they would do: abandon the party’s socialist and social democratic wing. In essence, the Democrats have chosen to take their already small base of supporters and make it even smaller.

    Remember, friends, the candidate that most resonated with the Democratic Party’s base was the independent socialist from Vermont, Bernie Sanders. Yet, throughout the 2016 primaries, the party’s leadership did everything in its power to tilt the the process to favor the elite’s preferred candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    No beating around the bush there.. :D

  116. [116] 
    michale wrote:

    Not what I was saying at all. "Big Money" is corruption. Corruption doesn't have a specific monetary value as an indicator! I didn't say a candidate should accept any money, regardless of the amount, that has strings attached to it. Do not try to put words in my mouth that I did not say. Run along and get back under your bridge.

    You mean, like your Democrats are going to do at President Trump's SOTU speech??

    Funny how you don't mind trolling when it's a DEMOCRAT who's doing it..

    That's painfully obvious here.. :D

    Regardless, you make my point for me..

    "Big Money" is corruption.

    And Democrats who take "Big Money" are corrupt..

    YOUR OWN WORDS...

    And YOU voted for those kinds of Democrats..

    Fait accompli'

  117. [117] 
    michale wrote:

    Funny how you don't mind trolling when it's a DEMOCRAT who's doing it..

    Your problem is that you, and practically everyone else here, defines "trolling" as A> something you don't like and 2> something you can't address...

    Using YA'ALL'S definition, I troll every day... :D (There's a nice juicy tidbit you can quote out of context as ya'all are wont to do.. :D)

    Because I am constantly commenting things that ya'all simply can't address...

    Comment #115 is a perfect example... :D

    But, of course, that's only in YA'ALL'S fantasy world where trolling is defined as that.. :D

  118. [118] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Listen-
    Why is 25 million not realistic ?
    80% of citizens want the Big Money out of politics.
    Is it not safe to assume that the majority of those citizens would prefer to vote for candidates financed by small contributions instead of Big Money contributions ? Wouldn't you ? That's only one out of four of the 80% of voters that want the Big Money out of politics (assuming that the percentage of voters that want the Big Money out is the same and not higher than citizens that want the Big Money out).
    It will take more than 25 million to elect Big Money Democrats to Congress.
    It doesn't matter how many have already committed when the question is how can it work if people participate. In that sense it is no different than how can it work if you keep voting for big Money Democrats. Of course, continuing to vote for Big Money Democrats is a guaranteed loser- so that's a difference. VV at least has a chance of working.
    Nothing is successful until it reaches the point when it has enough people participating to be effective. The Women's March was started by one woman, remember ? Just because it may take some time before becoming effective doesn't mean that it shouldn't be started. In fact, that is all the more reason to start it now.
    As for determining how much each candidate receives and are people donating to VV or directly to the candidates of their choice, the participants contribute directly to the candidates so the participants decide which candidates get how much. I really thought I had said that enough that you really wouldn't want me to have to say it again.
    How do I know people will donate ? I don't.
    There is little precedent.
    Though Bernie's campaign does provide some corroborating, but not conclusive evidence. We won't know until we try.
    How will it be successful in communities where it has only a handful of supporters?
    It won't. How successful are Democrats in gerrymandered Republican districts ?
    It doesn't have to be successful in every district, just enough districts.
    Simply stating that something can't happen based on your opinion does not make it unrealistic, though you are entitled to the opinion that it is not realistic. But you are answering the question "Do you think 25 million will join VV ?" not the questions at hand "If 25 million did participate could it work ? If not, why not?"

  119. [119] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    To all,
    Thank you for discussing VV. It is helpful whether you agree with me or not.
    When I don't know what objections or reservations people may have then I can't explain to them why they are wrong.
    If any of what was intended as humor offended or insulted anyone it was not my intention and I apologize.

  120. [120] 
    michale wrote:

    Best quote of the week comes from President Trump...

    I think they {the Oscars} were focused so hard on politics that they didn’t get the act together at the end. It was a little sad.

    Morons.. Maybe they should DO THEIR JOBS and not worry about politics so much...

    I'm just sayin'....

  121. [121] 
    neilm wrote:

    I think they {the Oscars} were focused so hard on politics that they didn’t get the act together at the end. It was a little sad.

    No, it was the management consultants that screwed up - really embarrassing for the "private outsourced" works better than "government" crowd.

    45 was made a fool of. The staff must have shut down the wifi or hidden his phone for the night. And no 3am I'm having a dump and a brain fart at the same time tweets. Sad.

  122. [122] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Suggested revision:

    "When I don't know what objections or reservations people may have then I can't explain to them why they are wrong. listen to their point of view and conduct a rational exploration regarding the viability of my strategy."

    try this on for size: my plan is to win the powerball jackpot and use it to fund cancer research. i can rightly say that it's possible. selfish individuals win it all the time for themselves, and there's even evidence that regular people can win it. wouldn't people like it better if they got to choose who won it? if 20% of the country bought me a powerball ticket every week, i'd win multiple times and could use it all to fight cancer. sign up at TicketThrowdown.com, and join the movement to overthrow the powerball establishment and beat cancer.

    99% of the country supports fighting cancer, so it's a slam dunk, right? if not, what's missing from this plan?

    none of this is to say that voters can't or shouldn't be organized to vote for candidates with small donation strategies. however, just because an idea polls well in popular opinion doesn't motivate twenty-five million people to donate money to someone claiming to represent that idea.

    JL

  123. [123] 
    michale wrote:

    No, it was the management consultants that screwed up - really embarrassing for the "private outsourced" works better than "government" crowd.

    Typical of the Left Wingery...

    Blame anything and everyone else..

    NEVER take responsibility... :^/

  124. [124] 
    michale wrote:

    And no 3am I'm having a dump and a brain fart at the same time tweets. Sad.

    Your sad because there were no 3am tweets??

    Or are you sad because President Trump is learning tweet-control???

    :D

    Irregardless, the ONLY thing sad here was the dismal cluster-frak that was The Oscars..

    I tell ya, hysterical Hollywood Left Wingers could screw up an iron football!! :D

  125. [125] 
    michale wrote:

    "When I don't know what objections or reservations people may have then I can't explain to them why they are wrong. listen to their point of view and conduct a rational exploration regarding the viability of my strategy."

    And THEN tell them why they are wrong.. :D

    But, I like your advice, JL.... :D

  126. [126] 
    michale wrote:

    The Left Wingery claims to be all about "TRUTH"...

    "And the TRUTH is, the winner of BEST PICTURE OSCAR goes to LA-LA LAND!!!! No!! Wait!! The TRUTH is, the winner of BEST PICTURE OSCAR goes to MOONLIGHT!! THAT is the REAL truth!!!"

    BBBWWWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Which proves perfectly what I have always said.. TRUTH is subjective and is contingent on any single person's belief structure or any Left Wingery screw-up....

    The "TRUTH" is that LA-LA LAND won BEST PICTURE...

    The FACT is that MOONLIGHT won BEST PICTURE...

    Now that ya'all have listened to my point of view, let's conduct a *rational* exploration regarding the viability of my point... :D

  127. [127] 
    michale wrote:

    As a co-worker of mine put it, this was an evening set up as a bunch of actors attacking Trump for Fake News and Alternative Facts, but ended up with them announcing Fake Oscars and Alternative Winners.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4264194/PIERS-MORGAN-Hollywood-t-recognize-Truth.html#ixzz4ZyNnQimb

    Yep, yep, yep....

    Liberals, stuff thy selves..

    Just shut the frak up and do your jobs....

  128. [128] 
    michale wrote:

    You need not be a Trump supporter to conclude that the present anti-Trump media tirades are something new and disturbing. Free and independent media are vital to our democracy. But freedom must be accompanied by responsibility. President Trump came to office with the complicity of now-critical media, and riding a populist wave that also carried Mr. Sanders far into the Democratic nominating process.

    Mr. Trump is demonstrating in office what was apparent from the day he announced his candidacy: He lacks experience, knowledge and governing temperament. But he deserves the same chance to govern that his predecessors were afforded. The manufactured rage in the media and political opposition is taking us to even angrier polarization in the country, and it will last longer than four years.
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/fellow-democrats-your-effort-to-destroy-the-president-is-abnormal-1487894450?mod=e2two

    Yep, yep, yep...

    Ya'all are acting much worse than ya'all accused the Right of acting when Obama was elected...

    MUCH worse...

    I wish ya'all could take a step back from yerselves and see ya'all's actions thru the prism of logic and objectivity..

    It would be an eye opener for ya'all...

  129. [129] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    nypoet (121)-
    The part you crossed out is one of those jokes that apparently you didn't get.
    I have asked for your point of view, specifically COULD it work with 20% participation.
    Not will it work or will people will participate. Those are legitimate points to discuss, but that is not the question at hand.
    COULD it work if people DO participate is the question that matters. It is in that sense it is the same as COULD voting for Big Money Democrats work at getting the Big Money out of politics.
    The difference is that over forty years of voting for Big Money Democrats has not worked. VV has not been tried yet.
    If it hasn't been tried yet, then COULD it work is a question that needs to be answered. Forty plus years has already proven voting for Big Money Democrats will not work.
    And the Tea Party has proven taking on the establishment candidates in the primaries can work. Bernie has proven that competitive amounts of money can be raised through small contributions. Many internet campaigns have been successful at moving the public discourse in ways previously thought impossible (The Women's March, Occupy, for example).
    for example:
    It is possible that your lottery plan COULD work if 20% of the country bought you tickets. It is unlikely it will happen because there is no motivation to participate in your plan.
    Most people would just rather donate directly to cancer research. And the lottery establishment has nothing to do with CAUSING, treating or curing cancer. It is a weak example.

    The cancer of Big Money in our political system is directly related to the Big Money contributors, the candidates that take that money and the people that keep voting for those candidates. VV is one possible way to change that and as evidenced above there is actually some indication that it will work based on the success of separate parts of the total plan working in some instances without having to defy odds of 72 million to one.
    So I will be happy to discuss VV and how it COULD work on removing the money from our political process. I would really like to hear your position on if it COULD work with 20% participation.
    Why are you and others afraid to answer that question?

  130. [130] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    I have asked for your point of view, specifically COULD it work with 20% participation.

    russ tried to explain it to you; even posing that question is putting the cart before the horse. tens of millions of people participating in something is not a reasonable condition upon which to base an inquiry, since that's the biggest problem one needs to solve. putting an idea out there and hoping it becomes the next occupy is not a strategy, it's wishful thinking, and has lower odds than a lottery ticket.

    JL

  131. [131] 
    michale wrote:

    it's wishful thinking, and has lower odds than a lottery ticket.

    So were the odds of a President Trump...

    I think that's the point that Don and CW et al is making..

    The rule book has been chucked out the window.. Public opinion polls are meaningless if the public is not sharing or being honest with the pollsters... Fake news has been exposed, it's attempt to shape or create public opinion rendered impotent..

    What was once impossible actually happened...

    I have noticed that many Weigantians don't want to entertain "what if" scenarios because entertaining those scenarios puts the validity of the argument in peril...

    Personally, I like to throw people who put up such "what if" scenarios a bone...

    Something along the lines of "Yea if, by some miracle of fate, "A" was to occur, then yes... "B" would be the natural by product.."

    But that's just me...

  132. [132] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    So were the odds of a President Trump...

    no, they weren't. donald's odds might have been lower than hillary's, but you may recall i was in the minority that maintained it was a very real possibility. one in three is not the same as one in a hundred million.

    the point i'm making to don isn't that it's a bad idea or not worth trying, just that there must be some kinks in the implementation, since no one seems to be buying it. what market researchers do is first try to pilot a program on a small scale to see whether or not it can work, then worry about whether or not it can be replicated on a larger scale.

    JL

  133. [133] 
    michale wrote:

    no, they weren't. donald's odds might have been lower than hillary's, but you may recall i was in the minority that maintained it was a very real possibility. one in three is not the same as one in a hundred million.

    You were the exception that emphasized the rule...

    People around here were talking about NOT-45's "Fifty State Sweep"...

    Other Left Wingery outlets gave Trump a less than 1% chance of winning...

    What? What? I me-- you're the one who made it possible. The footsteps I'm following -- they're yours. What you did, stopping the big plan, the prize fight? You did more than rebel. You tore up the whole script and burned the pages for all of us. It's a new era. No rules, no destiny. Just utter and complete freedom.
    -Balthazar, SUPERNATURAL

    It's a whole new world.....

  134. [134] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: And the second because of our own personal bias (it fits right in with our masthead slogan "Reality-based political commentary," in other words):

    Occupy Reality

    Yes... perfect IMO :)

  135. [135] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    NYpoet-
    It looks like progress.
    You were saying it wasn't worth considering whether VV could work with 20% participation because it would not achieve 20% participation.
    Thanks for acknowledging it is not a bad idea that could be worth trying.
    If it is worth trying then there must be a possibility it could work. And if it could work, then discussing whether it could work and how it could work with 20% participation is a valid discussion. Everything in politics (or the future) is only what COULD happen. There are no guarantees.
    Any politician, journalist or activist that tells you what WILL happen is lying.

    It is hard to test an idea that depends on the economy of scale to see if it can be effective on a small scale.
    But the Tea Party has successfully challenged establishment candidates in the primaries, Bernie has successfully raised competitive money from small contributions and many internet campaigns have accomplish a lot in a little bit of time previously thought impossible. The Women's March(es) started with one woman and grew immensely in just two months.
    That's the three parts of VV that should work even better combined, each tested separately on a small scale with success.
    It could even still be tested in NJ and Virginia in the state elections in 2017, though that would have been better to start right after the 2016 elections so it could be fully effective in the primaries.
    And I have done much more than just put an idea out there and hope to get lucky.
    Including listening to people (not accusing you of personally doing this) pine for new ideas and/or someone from outside the political establishment and then tell me that VV and/or I am outside their accepted political establishment or ideas so VV is not worthy of considering.
    That may not be the most difficult problem to solve, but it is close and is certainly difficult to endure.

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