ChrisWeigant.com

Style Versus Substance

[ Posted Wednesday, March 1st, 2017 – 18:03 UTC ]

President Donald Trump's first speech to Congress and to the American public was not a disaster of epic proportions. Normally, I wouldn't begin a speech review with such a statement, but with Trump, the possibility always exists (see: Trump's first press conference). Trump managed to clear the bar of "speaks like the public wants to hear a president speak, and not like an enraged adolescent on the playground." Again, for any other president this bar wouldn't even be mentioned, because it has never been an issue before now. Because it was Donald Trump, however, much of the audience watching the speech breathed a sigh of relief that Trump finally managed to "look presidential."

Grading Trump's first big speech has to be split into two different categories. Now, much of the mainstream media chose to focus solely on the first aspect of Trump's speech: style. Precious little attention was paid to the substance of the speech, which is why I'm saving it for last in my own review. Suffice it to say for now that I think Trump did much better on style than on substance.

Stylistically, it was the best speech Trump has ever given. Even his harshest critics have been admitting as much. Donald Trump has finally learned how to read a speech off a TelePrompTer without it sounding ridiculously awful.

Way back in the campaign season, at some point his advisors forced Trump into only giving pre-written speeches off a TelePrompTer. This achieved its goal: Trump appeared a lot less frighteningly unhinged as he had been during his ad-libbed stream-of-consciousness speeches. But he sounded not just scripted, but downright uncomfortable with the whole concept of reading a speech someone else had obviously written for him. Trump would pause in all the wrong places, carefully enunciate unfamiliar words with a look of surprise in his eyes, and transform what were supposed to be forceful statements into questions with his delivery. He sounded like nothing more than a terrified student badly attempting to read a poem at a school talent show, in fact.

'Twas the night?
Before Christmas.
And all through?!?
The house -- and, believe me, it was a fantastic house, a tremendous house, because I built it....

Every speech he read with what can only be described as a downright confused cadence, in other words.

But that all ended last night. Trump has finally gotten the hang of reading a speech. He's finally taken someone else's advice and changed his delivery to sound much more natural and polished. I almost expected to see a speech coach beaming with pride on the sidelines, in fact.

Trump's transformation was notable not only for his newfound skill at reading prepared text. He did far less arm-waving and hand-gesturing than he normally does. These had done nothing to help Trump before with TelePrompTers -- in fact, they made his hesitant delivery even more noticeable, since he had a few go-to gestures which he always used when he had to read an unfamiliar word (the ones he would inevitably turn into questions). But the speech coach must have been doubly proud last night, since Trump kept the arm-waving to a minimum.

Donald Trump's speech was stylistically notable for reasons other than just his delivery, though. He denied himself all the favorite oratory tools in his regular toolbox last night. In rallies, Trump loves to fire up a crowd by shouting, and he loves to get them on their feet by chanting favored slogans ("Build the wall!", etc.). He did neither of these last night. He also loves to ad lib and toss his own little bon mots into the mix, but he restrained himself (for the most part) from doing so last night as well. Gone also were the self-reverent begging for adulation that Trump normally engages in ("Are you with me? He's with me! Come up here and tell the people how much you're with me!"). Not a word was uttered about the dastardly liberal media, even. His first couple of paragraphs could even have been read by a Democratic president, when Trump condemned anti-Semitism and violence.

Once again, for any other president we wouldn't even be mentioning any of this. But Trump was so different last night from all his previous public speaking that it was indeed notable. He sounded more natural than he ever has. He sounded calm -- no ranting and raving. He did his best to sound reasonable and presidential -- two things he's never really even attempted, previously. Stylistically, it was the best political speech he's ever given.

The big stylistic moment of the night was watching the widow weep. This brought Trump lots of praise from the media commentators, but it horrified many for the sheerly exploitative way Trump used the woman. As with many things in a politically-divided America, it mostly depends on your politics as to how you saw this moment.

Now, Trump certainly isn't the first president to use an average American in the gallery to score political points of one sort or another. Ronald Reagan began this tradition, when he praised Lenny Skutnik for his heroism after an airplane hit the 14th Street Bridge and crashed into the Potomac River (which had happened only two weeks before Reagan's speech was given). All presidents since have used this tactic as well, so Trump certainly can't be held accountable for the tradition itself.

But Trump really went out on a limb by having the widow in the gallery. There are plenty of unanswered questions about the raid which took her husband's life, and the Trump administration's boastful answers may not, in fact, reflect the reality. Some in the media are pointing this out today, such as Paul Waldman of the Washington Post:

Let's review the facts. The Yemen raid on Jan. 29 was the first military action of Trump's presidency. The idea for raiding this compound, partly in pursuit of the leader of AQAP leader [sic] (who wasn't there) was presented to Trump over dinner one night, and according to NBC News, military representatives "told Trump that they doubted that the Obama administration would have been bold enough to try it," which was apparently good enough to get him to sign off.

Then almost everything that could go wrong did go wrong. The militants knew they were coming, possibly tipped off by the increased sound of drones in the area. The team encountered stronger resistance than it expected. A couple of dozen civilians were killed (we don't know exactly how many, but it could be as many as 30), including children, among them an 8-year-old American girl. Owens was killed. A $75 million Osprey aircraft was damaged in a "hard landing" and had to be destroyed lest it fall into AQAP's hands.

We all know that if it had been Hillary Clinton who ordered the Yemen raid, there would already be multiple congressional investigations underway and subpoenas would be falling like rain. That's one thing the White House doesn't have to worry about. But they decided that the way to handle questions about the botched raid was to use Ryan Owens as a shield. The raid was a terrific success, said spokesman Sean Spicer, and "anyone that would suggest it's not a success does a disservice to the life of Chief Ryan Owens."

But the questions, and the criticisms, kept coming, most pointedly from Owens' father, himself a veteran. "Don't hide behind my son's death," Bill Owens told the Miami Herald, after refusing to meet with President Trump at Dover Air Force Base.

The article goes on to point out the fact that earlier in the day, Trump placed all the blame on the generals, saying "they lost Ryan." But the worst part of the display was (naturally) an ad-lib remark by Trump:

As the applause went on and Carryn Owens stood weeping, Trump offered what in the tiny, narcissistic world he exists in is the highest form of praise: "And Ryan is looking down, right now, you know that. And he's very happy, because I think he just broke a record," referring to the length of the ovation.

What exactly is that supposed to mean? Owens set the "Longest Applause for Dead Servicemember In Joint Speech to Congress" record? What kind of person could possibly think that would matter to anyone? Oh, right -- Donald Trump would.

What is being hailed as the crowning moment during Trump's speech could eventually boomerang on him, if the claims of the mission's sweeping success turn out to be vastly overstated. But even this moment was nothing more than style, not substance.

On the substance of his speech, Trump hasn't really changed one iota. It was a softer, gentler presentation, but the core messages remained exactly the same. Immigrants are bad, and are probably going to kill you in your sleep sometime real soon. Loudly proclaiming "radical Islamic terrorism" will immediately defeat all terrorists everywhere, because it is a magical phrase for presidents to use. Tax cuts are good. Obamacare is bad. Democrats are mean for not jumping on board the Trump train. You know, the usual thing.

Trump made very little news in his speech. Republicans were reportedly desperately seeking details from Trump on the direction to head forward in upcoming legislation. But Trump barely even mentioned tax cuts, and didn't address any of the details of the grand tax reform plan Republicans are reportedly working on. He gave no guidance, and offered no hint of what he'd accept or reject. Will Trump hold firm on not touching entitlement spending and preserve Social Security, as he repeatedly promised on the campaign trail? Hard to tell. Will Trump just go along with whatever Paul Ryan wants? Again, impossible to tell from Trump's speech.

Trump also made very little news on immigration. Earlier in the day, the White House was teasing the possibility that Trump would boldly lay out an agenda for comprehensive immigration reform, but the only indication of that in the speech was Trump talking about letting immigrants in by merit (which, though he didn't mention it, probably means ending relatives being able to sponsor each other, the way they can now). Trump talked of enforcing the rules which state that immigrants should be able to support themselves, which isn't exactly what I'd call comprehensive immigration reform. He spoke vaguely about a "pathway" for immigrants already here, but on close examination it will not be a pathway to citizenship. DREAMers weren't even mentioned at all.

Trump didn't talk much about his budget priorities, other than his plan to shovel more money into the Pentagon and some vague support for infrastructure spending (although possibly with private dollars). The only subject he gave any real details on at all was replacing Obamacare, and even there most of what he said was standard Republican boilerplate. The only real news he made during his list of what has to be in the Obamacare replacement was when Trump seemingly sided with the Paul Ryan faction, which is currently pushing tax credits to help poor and middle-class people buy health insurance (instead of either tax deductions or just flat-out nothing, which is what the other GOP factions are pushing for). But one wonders how strongly Trump is really endorsing one side or another in this fight, as so far he seems content to let Congress haggle over all the details on their own.

On the score of making news by outlining his legislative agenda or priorities, Trump fell short. What did he propose that was truly new last night? Tax credits in the Obamacare replacement plan (maybe). A program called "VOICE" to highlight violence committed by immigrants, for political purposes. A bone he tossed to Democrats on family leave, but likely won't follow through on (unless Ivanka bugs him about it enough, perhaps). That's really about it.

Donald Trump earned high praise for the style and delivery of his speech last night. I'm not sure all of it was truly earned, but -- for him -- it was the best political speech he's ever given. Rated against other presidents, it was fair-to-middlin' at best. Even though Trump was noticeably restrained, there wasn't a whole lot of soaring oratory. But, grading on the Trump curve, he certainly did better than he's ever managed previously.

On substance, however, it was the same-old, same-old. Trump (and his speechwriters) may have managed to soften the language and remove most (not all, mind you) of the scapegoating, but the ideas were still pure Steve Bannon. Trump may soon see a slight boost in his job approval ratings (which are currently lower than any president ever measured, at this point in), but when Congress actually starts having to hash some of this stuff out, it remains to be seen how interested Trump will be in getting into the details. If last night was any indication, Trump doesn't seem overly concerned with the nitty-gritty of how any of his agenda will get through Congress. Meaning that on substance, Trump's speech was really just as vague as any other speech he's ever given.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

162 Comments on “Style Versus Substance”

  1. [1] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    How many times does he get to run this scam on them? Why is The Enemy Of The People so impressed that he's able to read his lies off the Teleprompter?

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The article goes on to point out the fact that earlier in the day, Trump placed all the blame on the generals, saying "they lost Ryan."

    Chris, do you think that the president meant that he blamed the generals for Ryan's death?

    Because, that's how I read that ...

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    As the applause went on and Carryn Owens stood weeping, Trump offered what in the tiny, narcissistic world he exists in is the highest form of praise: "And Ryan is looking down, right now, you know that. And he's very happy, because I think he just broke a record," referring to the length of the ovation. What exactly is that supposed to mean? Owens set the "Longest Applause for Dead Servicemember In Joint Speech to Congress" record? What kind of person could possibly think that would matter to anyone? Oh, right -- Donald Trump would.

    I have heard a similar analysis from a number of people today.

    My first and lasting impression of that interjection of humour by the president was somewhat different.

    I understood that remark as a sincere attempt to lighten the moment which had obviously become a very powerful and emotionally overwhelming couple of minutes for Ms. Owens. In fact, this is the only time I can recall when Trump actually demonstrated real empathy for a fellow human being.

    You need only see how Ms. Owens reacted to the president's suggestion to see how much she needed that ad lib interjection - it provided much needed relief from the sudden and heavy burden of the moment.

    Btw, I think it actually was the record for the longest applause ever afforded a US president giving an address before a joint session of Congress. But, I could be wrong about that.

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    But even this moment was nothing more than style, not substance.

    Speaking for myself, if I had been in Ms. Owen's shoes and had been asked by the POTUS to sit as a guest at this event, knowing that the president would be highlighting her husband's service to the country and ultimate sacrifice, I would most definitely declined the invitation, and graciously so. That's just who I am - too private a person and not nearly as brave as Ms. Owens to go through something like that.

    I doubt she would think that this moment was one of style over substance.

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Trump doesn't seem overly concerned with the nitty-gritty of how any of his agenda will get through Congress. Meaning that on substance, Trump's speech was really just as vague as any other speech he's ever given.

    None of this should be surprising but rather par for the course when an arguably over-rated businessman becomes POTUS without any governmental experience of any kind and thinks he can run the federal government in the same style as his businesses.

    It was interesting how he handled the meeting the other day ... with the CEOs, I believe ... he opened the meeting with a few boilerplate remarks, moved on with introductions and then abruptly announced that his son-in-law would take over the rest of the meeting, just before the media were escorted out of the room.

  6. [6] 
    neilm wrote:

    I think last night would have been completely forgettable for any baseline politician who happened to get lucky like 45 did with the voting distribution.

    The fact that even the right wing are raving about this shows their subconscious contempt for the clown show. Embarrassing for them, when you think about it.

    As usual, high on drama, low on real policy. I thought it pathetic from a future American perspective.

  7. [7] 
    neilm wrote:

    The real reason coal prices are surging - pats on the back for everybody who though 45 had nothing to do with the price rise (of course policies that increase supply are meant to lower prices, so the whole premise had BS written all over it from the start):

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-15/china-said-to-consider-resuming-coal-output-curbs-for-six-months

  8. [8] 
    Paula wrote:

    Sessions: just your garden variety GOP treasonous lying pol, beloved by his fellow anti-American traitors who loves them their Putin and need smelling salts because Bill Clinton said hello to Loretta Lynch. Such honorable men these repubs -- still want to jail Hillary but conspiring with Putin is just ducky! Coz -- whatever it takes! they only "win" by cheating.

    Drip, drip, drip.

  9. [9] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Session's defense amounts to having a "senior senator moment" under oath. Can't recall two meetings with the Russian ambassador? Raises the question of what else he has forgotten.

  10. [10] 
    michale wrote:

    Normally, I wouldn't begin a speech review with such a statement, but with Trump, the possibility always exists (see: Trump's first press conference).

    Again, it's all in the eye of the beholder...

    Those who hate the President anyways, hated the press conference.. Personally, I think they were all jealous and envious because they would have liked to see THEIR guy manhandle the press like that.. :D

    Patriotic Americans LOVED President Trump's press conference...

    Trump's transformation was notable not only for his newfound skill at reading prepared text.

    Do you have ANY evidence that it's a "new found" skill???

    He beat 17 rip and ready politicians without using this skill..

    He beat the biggest, meanest and richest political juggernaut without using this skill...

    Just because he never had to use it, doesn't mean he didn't have it..

    He is a successful businessman.. It's all but certain he has had that skill a long long time..

    The big stylistic moment of the night was watching the widow weep. This brought Trump lots of praise from the media commentators, but it horrified many for the sheerly exploitative way Trump used the woman. As with many things in a politically-divided America, it mostly depends on your politics as to how you saw this moment.

    EXACTLY!!!!

    It's ALL about the one's politics...

    Thank you, thank you, thank you....

    This will be re-quoted often... :D

    Some in the media are pointing this out today, such as Paul Waldman of the Washington Post:

    Washington Poop....

    'nuff said..

    Let's review the facts.

    "Facts" that will have to be subsequently retracted...

    Meaning that on substance, Trump's speech was really just as vague as any other speech he's ever given.

    Depending on one's political ideology and one's hatred of the President in general...

  11. [11] 
    michale wrote:

    JFC,

    How many times does he get to run this scam on them?

    Probably as long as it takes the political bigots to realize it's not a scam..

    Why is The Enemy Of The People so impressed that he's able to read his lies off the Teleprompter?

    Why is the enemy of the American people, the Democrat Party, so intent on making President Trump a one term president???

  12. [12] 
    michale wrote:

    Liz,

    I understood that remark as a sincere attempt to lighten the moment which had obviously become a very powerful and emotionally overwhelming couple of minutes for Ms. Owens. In fact, this is the only time I can recall when Trump actually demonstrated real empathy for a fellow human being.

    I am certain that is EXACTLY what it was..

    But, yunno.... Haters got to hate... :^/

  13. [13] 
    michale wrote:

    Paula & Stig...

    Who'se talking about Sessions????

  14. [14] 
    michale wrote:

    But, since ya'all brought Sessions up...

    There are no nefarious Sessions/Russia connections..

    It's all a hatchet job by whiny sore losers who can't handle the fact of President Trump..

    Even the media is pointing out that this character assassination has the fingerprints of Obama and his minions all over it... And the media hardly ever gets it right...

    EXCLUSIVE: Barack Obama's close confidante Valerie Jarrett has moved into his new DC home, which is now the nerve center for their plan to mastermind the insurgency against President Trump
    Obama's goal is to oust Trump from the presidency either by forcing his resignation or through his impeachment, a family friend tells DailyMail.com

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4271412/Obama-confidante-Valerie-Jarrett-moves-Kaloroma-home.html#ixzz4aA1gZUlw

    A former President plotting an insurgency against his replacement... A former President plotting the forced resignation or impeachment of his replacement..

    Odumbo can't handle that the fact that patriotic Americans told him that his services AND his policies are no longer required nor wanted.....

    Patriotic Americans told Odumbo, "HIT THE ROAD, JACK! AND DON'TCHA COME BACK.. NO MORE, NO MORE, NO MORE, NO MORE"

    But that's ya'all's Left Wingery... By hook or by crook...

    What a sad caricature of honor and patriotism the Democrat Party has become...

  15. [15] 
    michale wrote:

    A former President plotting an insurgency against his replacement... A former President plotting the forced resignation or impeachment of his replacement..

    But, if ya'all can get past your blinding hysterical hatred, think about this..

    If Obama is successful in his quest to bring down President Trump, then we will have President Pence..

    And, from what ya'all have said, that would be much much worse...

    Apparently, Obama doesn't care.. He has been mortally wounded by the rejection of the American people and he is lashing out, no matter how bad for the country the results will be...

    Hopefully, Obama will overreach, do something illegal or treasonous and will be arrested..

    Now THAT would be awesome.... :D

    The current POTUS sending out US Marshals to arrest the previous POTUS for treason...

    Oh my gods, what an awesome event that would be!!! :D

  16. [16] 
    michale wrote:

    I'm a Democrat and it's time for our party to apologize to America

    Now that President Trump has delivered his State of the Union-style address, my fellow Democrats are settling in for a long fight. Our new DNC Chairman Tom Perez is leading the charge, promising to be a “nightmare” for the president and his fellow Republicans.

    The reason is clear: Mr. Perez tastes political blood in the water. Trump’s approval rating is at historic lows, hammered by allegations of Russian collusion, a contentious immigration ban, and emotional Twitter outbursts.

    Yet smart Democrats know that our position with the American people is just as weak. We hold the fewest number of state legislatures, governorships, and federal offices than at any point since the 1920s. And it’s a trend that started well before the 2016 election.

    In short, America isn’t buying what Democrats are selling.
    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/02/28/im-democrat-and-its-time-for-our-party-to-apologize-to-america.html

    Yep, yep, yep....

    It's going to continue to get worse and worse for the Democrat Party until they come to the ONLY logical and inarguable fact....

    The American people are not buying what the Democrats are selling...

    Californians are, but they have always been an off center lot to begin with.. :D

    But Americans??

    The Democrats need to change course or they will continue to ride the MINORITY PARTY EXPRESS....

    It's really that simple...

  17. [17] 
    michale wrote:

    http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2017/03/01/for-the-dow-industrials-2000-is-the-new-1000/

    President Trump is awesome for this country!! :D

    Many here said that the stock market would tank if President Trump was elected..

    Wrong again, people!! :D

    Now, of course ya'all can deflect and bring up how well the stock market did under Obama and how the GOP didn't give credit to Obama then...

    But that's just deflection.. :D

    The simple fact is, ya'all have established a connection between a President and a stock market that is doing really really well..

    I am simply holding ya'all to that connection.. :D

    I believe the term is HOISTED BY YA'ALL'S PICARD!! :D

    heh

  18. [18] 
    neilm wrote:

    President Trump is awesome for this country!! :D

    There is only one "must" and are only two times the price of stocks are important:

    1. You must be in the market
    2. The time you buy
    3. The time you sell

    I'd hazard a guess that most of 45's "regular" voters fail the first "must". This isn't elitism, but a simple fact that surveys show most people do not own stocks.

    So using the Dow as a measure of well being is great for the rich, but the job figures are far more important, and the unemployment rate is going up.

  19. [19] 
    michale wrote:

    There is only one "must" and are only two times the price of stocks are important

    You forgot one more..

    If the President has a '-D' after his name.. :D

    How many times have ya'all posited that Obama was doing a great job because the stock market is up..

    DOZENS....

    This is yer bed.. Now ya'all get to lie in it.. :D

    So using the Dow as a measure of well being is great for the rich, but the job figures are far more important, and the unemployment rate is going up.

    Which means more Americans are getting back into the job market..

    That's a GOOD thing and it is exactly what President Trump said he would make happen..

    Yer proving my point for me... :D

  20. [20] 
    michale wrote:

    So using the Dow as a measure of well being is great for the rich, but the job figures are far more important, and the unemployment rate is going up.

    And using the tanking of the DOW to "prove" that President Trump is a bad idea was not a smart move for ya'all, eh?? :D

    I mean, if ya'all go on and on about how bad the stock market will tank if Trump is elected and the market turns around and soars to new heights on President Trump's election???

    Well, SOME people have a lot of crow and sour grapes to ingest, eh?? :D

    I'm just sayin'....

  21. [21] 
    TheStig wrote:

    constitutional convention

  22. [22] 
    michale wrote:

    I believe the word you are looking for is...

    'insufferable' :D

    "The word I am searching for, I can't say in front of pre-school toys!"
    -Woody, TOY STORY

    :D

  23. [23] 
    michale wrote:

    constitutional convention

    Yea... Now *THERE* is a piece of "reality" ya'all can occupy!!! :D

    Once again.. I wish ya'all could take a step back and see how utterly off the reservation ya'all have gone.. :D

    Next thing ya know, ya'all will be rationally discussing how assassinating the president is the ONLY thing that makes any kind of sense.. I am sure a couple of ya'all are already there...

    Tin-foil hat time, people...

  24. [24] 
    neilm wrote:

    And using the tanking of the DOW to "prove" that President Trump is a bad idea was not a smart move for ya'all, eh?? :D

    He is giving companies, in particular, oil and defense companies, a sugar rush. Let's see how this plays out. The friendly wagers in my friends' crowd is that this goes to 2400 then it is time to sell before the crash.

    I never time the market, so I'm on the sideline on this bet, but I must admit, it really hurts buying into the market at these prices. I'm buying more and more international stocks as their markets are lower and the $ is high against the basket of currencies.

  25. [25] 
    neilm wrote:

    Sorry - 2400 should read 2500

  26. [26] 
    michale wrote:

    Before ya'all take on the Republican Party....

    The Pantsuit Rebellion
    Pelosi presides over a political disaster.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-pantsuit-rebellion-1488382929?mod=e2two

    Perhaps ya'all should take a look at the decimated hollow husk that is your Democrat Party...

    The leader of the Republican party generates good feelings in 46% of the American people...

    The arguable leader of the Democrat Party, Nancy Pelosi, generates good feelings in 19% of the American people...

    Democrat Party.. Leader-less, rudder-less, decimated, hollow-husk..

    That about sums things up perfectly...

  27. [27] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Stig (21)-
    Constitutional convention ?!
    Gotta agree with Michale on this one.
    And ya'all said VV was unrealistic.
    (I know you all didn't say exactly that, but remember- I'm agreeing with Michale)

  28. [28] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Michale (23)-
    We don't need to assassinate Trump.
    We just need to inate him because he is already an ASS times two. :D

  29. [29] 
    michale wrote:

    He is giving companies, in particular, oil and defense companies, a sugar rush. Let's see how this plays out. The friendly wagers in my friends' crowd is that this goes to 2400 then it is time to sell before the crash.

    TRUMP IS TOAST PREDICTION #1288

    Regardless of what you THINK is going to happen..

    The question was:

    WAS it a good idea to fear-monger a stock market tanking as a way of getting people to vote against Trump??

    Was it??

    Because, from where I sit, in the logic and reality seats, it seems to me that if one claims a super bad event if President Trump is elected and that super bad event actually is, in REALITY (there's that word again) a really super-duper GOOD event...

    Well, it seems that SOMEONE (or a series of someones) backed the wrong horse and used really REALLY flawed reasoning...

    If you want to table this discussion to give more time for the really BAD thing to actually happen??

    I guess I could do that.. :D

    We'll just have to agree how wrong ya'all were until such time as that really bad event happen.. IF it ever happens.. :D

  30. [30] 
    TheStig wrote:

    The States that aren't in the Trump/Republication Orbit need to get actively involved in proposing some deep cleaning of the US Constitution. We are seeing the consequences of deeply unequal representation built into our governmental system. Small states have way too much representation. It's making the US a large Banana Republic.

    I don't think it's possible to get 34 state legislatures on board to convene a formal National Convention...but some informal cabal conventions could offer under-represented (big) States some practical means of collective resistance. Creative monkey-wrenching. Something a little short of secession - but nice and legal. First target - a work around the of the Electoral College. That one is fairly easy. The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.

    http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/

    Once upon a time, Trump was on board with this...but he changes his mind a lot.

  31. [31] 
    michale wrote:

    Constitutional convention ?!
    Gotta agree with Michale on this one.
    And ya'all said VV was unrealistic.

    Hehehehehe

    "OUCH!! And the ref takes a point away!!!"
    -Jim Carrey, LIAR LIAR

    In the world of those enslaved by Party ideology, NOT-45 won the election and a Constitutional Convention is right around the corner!! :D

  32. [32] 
    michale wrote:

    . Small states have way too much representation.

    ESPECIALLY when you don't like what they represent..

    Yunno.... America.. Patriotism...

    Stuff like that.. :^/

  33. [33] 
    michale wrote:

    Why the liberal establishment is collapsing
    Calamity at the Academy Awards illustrates the folly of making smug assumptions

    I didn’t watch the Academy Awards, but I sure enjoyed them — via Twitter. The collection of world-famous and super-rich liberals and leftists had one job, and they failed. The spectacular screwup of announcing the wrong winner for Best Picture wasn’t even the issue, or about one person making a mistake. Mistakes are made all the time.

    In reality, this vignette of fools is a perfect illustration of why the liberal establishment is in collapse: hate-obsessing on something that contradicts their own self-reverential worldview, condemning them to perpetual distraction. The result is the inevitable crashing and burning.

    In other words, Democrats and liberals have been driving drunk while texting for eight years. Swerving into the wrong lane, they crashed into oncoming traffic and sit, dazed and confused, wondering what happened. The few survivors crawl out of the clown car screaming at the innocent people they’ve harmed. After all, it’s never their fault, you see, it’s everyone else’s for daring to get in their way.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/mar/1/liberal-establishment-is-failing/

    Sums things up perfectly... :D

  34. [34] 
    michale wrote:

    http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/

    Once upon a time, Trump was on board with this...but he changes his mind a lot.

    Once upon a time (2000) the Left Wingery was on board as well..

    Ya'all had 16 years to do something..

    What have ya done??

    NADA..... ZILCH..... NOTHING.... ZIP....

    Nothing but sore losers and their sour grapes...

  35. [35] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Republicans have been creatively monkey-wrenching for decades. There is a monkey-wrench gap. The Blue States need to play catch up.

  36. [36] 
    michale wrote:

    Republicans have been creatively monkey-wrenching for decades.

    In other words, Democrats and liberals have been driving drunk while texting for eight years. Swerving into the wrong lane, they crashed into oncoming traffic and sit, dazed and confused, wondering what happened. The few survivors crawl out of the clown car screaming at the innocent people they’ve harmed. After all, it’s never their fault, you see, it’s everyone else’s for daring to get in their way.

    The Left is blameless..

    EVERYTHING is ALWAYS the fault of the Right.. :D

  37. [37] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Stig-
    Stop trying to dig yourself out of a hole.
    National Popular Vote Interstate Compact ?
    An even worse idea than the constitutional convention.
    The fact that the electoral college overrode the popular vote shows that it worked the way it was intended to work.
    The problem with the electoral vote is not that it doesn't always line up with the national popular vote.
    The problem with the electoral vote is that the states award all their electoral votes to the winner of the state (with one or two small exceptions, Maine and maybe someone else). This means that any person that doesn't vote for the winner of the state not only has their vote for president erased, it is actually converted to a vote for a candidate that you did not vote for (maybe one that you would never vote for).
    All the National Popular Vote Idiots Compact does is transfer this injustice from the state to the national level.
    Under this moronic idea residents of a state could vote 90% for a candidate but if that candidate does not win the national popular vote the state would award their electoral votes to someone else that did win the national popular vote.
    The vote pact should be for states to award their electoral votes proportionally when enough states have signed on or states could act unilaterally like Maine.

  38. [38] 
    michale wrote:

    The problem with the electoral vote is that the states award all their electoral votes to the winner of the state (with one or two small exceptions, Maine and maybe someone else).

    Nebraska, I think...

    Under this moronic idea residents of a state could vote 90% for a candidate but if that candidate does not win the national popular vote the state would award their electoral votes to someone else that did win the national popular vote.

    Except on Tuesday's when there is a full moon and it's dark outside.... :D

    It's funny how we only hear the Left screaming and whining about the EV vs the Vanity Vote when the EV doesn't go the Left's way....

    It's NOTHING but sore losers stuffing their faces with sour grapes...

  39. [39] 
    michale wrote:

    Stig-
    Stop trying to dig yourself out of a hole.

    Careful, Don...

    Yer gonna earn yerself a spot on The Filter AKA The Wussified CopOut For Someone Who Can't Handle Facts..... Or TWCFSWCHF for short.. :D

    And I prefer that placement on it be a singular honor.. :D

  40. [40] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Michale-
    "Nebraska, I think."
    Thanks. I knew it wasn't one of the real states. :D

  41. [41] 
    michale wrote:

    Thanks. I knew it wasn't one of the real states. :D

    hehehehehehehe

  42. [42] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Michale (39)-
    I think I'm OK.
    It's not like I posted:
    If you think the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is a good idea then:
    "You must be stupid, stupid, stupid."
    Everett Lufkin
    -The Rainmaker
    No matter how much or often I am tempted I would never do that.

  43. [43] 
    TheStig wrote:

    "residents of a state could vote 90% for a candidate but if that candidate does not win the national popular vote the state would award their electoral votes to someone else that did win the national popular vote."

    So what? The compact simply neuters the electoral college and decides the election of the basis of the National Vote. You and 90% your hypothetical state voted for the losing national candidate. What is unfair about that? You had your say. You lost. You think the electoral college is fair? You think the principal of one person one vote is unfair?

  44. [44] 
    michale wrote:

    You think the principal of one person one vote is unfair?

    You think only whining about it when you lose is fair???

  45. [45] 
    TheStig wrote:

    One more thing Don.

    People who live in glass vendettas shouldn't throw stones.

  46. [46] 
    michale wrote:

    "You must be stupid, stupid, stupid."
    Everett Lufkin
    -The Rainmaker

    Actually, I never saw that movie..

    I know.. I know.. I am culturally depraved.... I mean, deprived.. :D

  47. [47] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    stig (43)-
    "You and 90% your hypothetical state voted for the losing candidate."
    "You had your say. You lost."
    The same could be said about the loser of the electoral college vote.
    "What is unfair about that ?"
    see comment 37 staring with "the problem with the electoral vote..." through "...transfer the injustice from the state to the national level".
    "You think the electoral college is fair ?"
    Yes. It is the execution of the electoral college that is faulty. For whatever purposes it may have originally been designed for (some may have been nefarious) it is part of the checks and balances that protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority.
    "You think the principle of one person one vote is unfair?"
    NO. The current execution of the electoral college vote is not true to the one person one vote principle. Neither is transferring the problem from the state to the national level.
    That is the issue that you did not address. That the one vote a person gets is not only nullified it is taken and transferred to another candidate.
    Proportional execution of the electoral vote is the closest we can get to remaining true to the one person one vote principle while maintaining the checks and balances of the electoral college vote.

  48. [48] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    stig (45)-
    Not worried.
    It may look like glass to those unable to grasp the concept, but it is actually a highly advanced space-aged polymer that is stronger than any substance on earth.

  49. [49] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    And speaking of nefarious reasons, there are nefarious reasons behind the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.
    The Interstate Compact protects another unfair result from the current execution of the electoral college that will not be solved by the Compact.
    Citizens are discouraged from voting from third party or independent candidates because of the winner take all aspect of the current electoral college vote which guarantees their vote will be stolen. This would not change under the compact.
    With proportional delegation of electoral votes a state with 15 electoral votes would award an electoral vote for each 7% of the state's vote.
    That is the reason the Democrats and Republicans that support the Compact support it instead of proportional distribution. Very hypocritical for Republicans that often speak of the virtues of competition.
    Only a partisan blinded by a desire for their "team" to succeed could say that this is fair to citizens that want to vote for third parties.

  50. [50] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    48 continued-
    Sticks and stones can my break bones,
    but they will never penetrate the highly advanced space-aged polymer.

  51. [51] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    oops. that's "break my bones."

  52. [52] 
    Paula wrote:

    are there so many unforced errors? Why conceal this meeting? Frankly, why lie about it? As I said, big, big scandals work like this. People who don't even appear to be that close to the action keep getting pulled under for what seem like needless deceptions. The answer is usually that the stuff at the center of the scandal is so big that it requires concealment, even about things distant from the main action, things that it would seem much better and less damaging simply to admit.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/the-gravity-is-strong

  53. [53] 
    Paula wrote:

    Time was when lying under oath was a big deal. Take, say, 1998, when a young Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III was perfectly vaporous at the notion that the president might have barbered his testimony.

    AND

    We can go along and pretend that this administration isn't the carnival of grift and incompetence that it plainly is. We can accept the platitudes and the anesthetic banality of the people who will tell us that this is politics as usual, and that both sides do it, and that righteous democratic anger is somehow impolite and inappropriate to the august task of determining on exactly what percentage of the American government the Russians currently hold paper.

    Or, we can decide not to do that. We can push back with the rusty tools that are never far from our hands. Ultimately, that's what happened in 1974. After two years, the accumulated crimes and lies and contempt for democratic norms hauled the country out of its customary torpor and the old republic stirred to life again. That's the choice before us.

    http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a53546/trump-white-house-corruption/

  54. [54] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey neil and anyone interested in US corporate tax policy, basic fairness, revolving door corruption, and the sad reality of the dominance of corporatist scum in the judiciary too.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/pwcs-other-debacle-a-tax-boondoggle-that-has-ballooned-out-of-control_us_58b73172e4b023018c6c9852?

    A tax credit to help US manufacturers is being abused by companies that nobody considers manufacturers... and will cost us $180,000,000,000, yes $180 billion in the next ten years on top of the billions it has already cost us.

    Some highlights-

    "Big-box hardware stores are calling themselves factories because they cut blank keys for customers.

    •Paint stores want the credit because they shake the paint cans before handing them over to customers.

    •Fruit basket companies claim they’re “manufacturing” fruit baskets because they assemble apples and oranges and cover them with a little plastic wrap.

    •A company that manufactures all of its clothes overseas has tried to claim the deduction because it prints its catalogue right here in the U.S."

    TV producers are claiming the credit for "manufacturing" shows, and cable companies for "manufacturing" bundled services too.

    And our judges are letting them.

    The whole article is worth a read.

    Fruit baskets indeed.

    A

  55. [55] 
    Paula wrote:

    But even if nothing more comes out about his contacts with the Russian embassy or what went through his mind when he chose not to forthrightly answer questions about such contacts, Sessions is now seriously damaged goods after all the endless and interminable and redundant assurances he and his friends have made about his spotless honesty and love for the majesty of the law. He should have told the whole truth during his confirmation hearings. That’s the simple proposition that all the finger-pointing and blame-shifting his allies try to utilize to get him out of this self-imposed jam cannot obscure.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/03/jeff-sessions-broke-his-own-main-promise.html

  56. [56] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz and everybody
    3,4

    Wow.
    Claiming that boast of a record ovation was a show of empathy is giving Trump a huge and undeserved benefit of the doubt.

    It was pure narcissism from and about the guy who unnecessarily caused the death of the SEAL (and 15 civilians including 8 children) AND then blamed the generals... AND then used the death for political gain.

    I know you don't like GG, but here's something that puts the whole thing into historical context.

    https://theintercept.com/2017/03/01/trumps-use-of-navy-seals-wife-highlights-all-the-key-ingredients-of-u-s-war-propaganda/

    You are falling for a con that has been thrust upon us for our entire lives.

    Yes.
    Obama did it too.

    A

  57. [57] 
    michale wrote:

    Paula,

    Time was when lying under oath was a big deal. Take, say, 1998, when a young Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III was perfectly vaporous at the notion that the president might have barbered his testimony.

    Time was you Left Wingers stated JUST the opposite... Make up yer minds...

    Further, Sessions was asked if he had discussed campaign issues with the Russians... He answered "NO"...

    There is absolutely no factual evidence to support the claim that THAT was a lie...

    This is nothing but a partisan witch hunt...

    Nothing to see here...

  58. [58] 
    altohone wrote:

    56

    Whoops.
    Comment before the column.
    Or, at least the first part of the comment.

    Didn't realize CW had covered it well.

    A

  59. [59] 
    michale wrote:

    It's hilarious..

    ALL ya'all have are media leaks from a PROVEN inaccurate source.. A source that has had to produce MULTIPLE retractions to complete and utter bullshit they have claimed in the past..

    And ya'all suck it up with a smile.. :D

    It's so sad to see how ya'all simply discard facts and reality in favor of an obvious partisan hatchet job...

    So sad.....

  60. [60] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Are you talking about C-SPAN, Michale?

  61. [61] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Al,

    You should never comment before reading the column. :)

  62. [62] 
    michale wrote:

    Are you talking about C-SPAN, Michale?

    No, the source of the leaks..

    WaPoop....

  63. [63] 
    Paula wrote:

    Patriots want answers.

  64. [64] 
    michale wrote:

    Liz,

    Comment #14 explains it all...

  65. [65] 
    michale wrote:

    Patriots want answers.

    No, patriots have all the answers they want and need..

    Whiney sore losers whining on sour grapes want ONLY the "answers" they want to hear....

    Ya'all LOST.... Get over it already...

    Quit trying to destroy the country in ya'all's hysterical attempt to get at President Trump....

  66. [66] 
    michale wrote:
  67. [67] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Al,

    I'm familiar with the Intercept article you cite by GG and he highlighted many important points about how the US operates to ensure sustained support from the American people for its wars.

    I think GG missed commenting on an even more important issue that his piece clearly points to. And, that is that dehumanizing the civilian victims of US military actions offers up a key to understanding why the US and its allies are not winning the war of ideas nor changing hearts and minds in the Islamic world and why there is no endgame in sight to the continuing and record-breaking long war.

    This is also why I hope that the Trump administration will not cut the budget of the state department and foreign aid but rather ramp up US efforts in the public diplomacy arena and in the implementation of effective soft power and recognize all of that as equally important to the role of the military in fighting and defeating the violently deranged extremists who hijack religion to further their murderous agenda.

  68. [68] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    My point was that C-Span is the source I use to show that AG Sessions did indeed mislead Congress during is confirmation hearing, on more than one occasion.

    Consequently, he should, at the very least, recuse himself immediately.

  69. [69] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You are falling for a con that has been thrust upon us for our entire lives.A

    Al, you have a tendency of reading into comments positions that are not articulated. Which leads you to faulty assumptions like the one I highlighted above.

  70. [70] 
    michale wrote:

    My point was that C-Span is the source I use to show that AG Sessions did indeed mislead Congress during is confirmation hearing, on more than one occasion.

    Can you point out exactly where AG Sessions misled Congress???

    Because no one else has been able to...

  71. [71] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Seriously?

    He was asked by Senator Franken what he would do if he learned that people associated with the Trump presidential campaign had communications with Russian officials about the campaign.

    His answer was that he himself has been called a surrogate of the campaign and that he didn't have any communications with Russian officials and that, beyond that, he had no further comment.

    Too bad Franken didn't follow that up with the obvious next question.

    Then, in a written response to a written question by Senator Leahy about whether he had any communications with Russian officials about the campaign, Sessions answered with a simple, 'No.'

    This is, at the very least, misleading the US Congress.

  72. [72] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  73. [73] 
    Paula wrote:

    Republicans love being lied-to. Sad.

  74. [74] 
    michale wrote:

    His answer was that he himself has been called a surrogate of the campaign and that he didn't have any communications with Russian officials and that, beyond that, he had no further comment.

    He didn't have any communications with Russian officials AS IT PERTAINED to the election, which is what Franken had asked...

    Sessions told the complete and unvarnished truth...

    Not only that, EVERYTHING Sessions said was 100% factual...

    This is nothing about nothing.. Or maybe you find it unusual that Senators would meet with other country's ambassadors...???

    This is just for you, Michale. :)

    Already read it this morning. :D

  75. [75] 
    michale wrote:

    Republicans love being lied-to. Sad.

    Liberals love pointing out alleged lies about Republicans but worship the liars that have a '-D' after their name..

    THAT is what is sad....

  76. [76] 
    michale wrote:

    Then, in a written response to a written question by Senator Leahy about whether he had any communications with Russian officials about the campaign, Sessions answered with a simple, 'No.'

    This is, at the very least, misleading the US Congress.

    How is that misleading??

    Show me ANY factual evidence that proves Sessions spoke to ANY Russian official about the campaign..

    You can't because absolutely NO SUCH EVIDENCE exists...

  77. [77] 
    TheStig wrote:

    47- elector are "part of the checks and balances that protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority." More high school civics bullshit. Let's talk about things that are real.

    Electors are party operatives, and party enforcement is effective because, in most states, the votes of each elector are a matter of public record. Number of election outcomes changed by faithless electors. ZERO.

    Faithless electors have about the same stopping power as the hand brake on your car....next to none. Any anti-tyranny function of electors was gamed out of the system long ago.

  78. [78] 
    Paula wrote:

    Of course treasonous traitors have to try to cover-up. Patriots aren't afraid of investigations. Obama didn't try to stop all the stupid Benghazi investigations even though they were clearly witch-hunts that came up with bupkiss. But GOP will do everything to cover up Trumps ties to Putin and all of his other crimes.

    Why do Republicans hate America?

  79. [79] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    This is nothing about nothing.. Or maybe you find it unusual that Senators would meet with other country's ambassadors...???

    You're missing the point, Michale.

    Of course, it is perfectly reasonable and normal for senators to meet with other country's ambassadors. And, you are correct to point out that there is no evidence, whatsoever, that Sessions or anyone else connected with the Trump campaign communicated with Russian officials about the campaign.

    But, the question that needs to be answered by Sessions then is why - in the context of the US intel community consensus that Russia was responsible for hacking into the DNC and Podesta emails and for disclosing information to the public through WikiLeaks in an attempt to influence the US election - did Sessions feel the need to hide the fact that he, on two occasions during the presidential campaign, communicated with the Russian Ambassador, a character well known as a spy (surprise, surprise).

    I think the AG needs to clear this up. And, if he can't, then he knows well what he will need to do.

  80. [80] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Altohone (54)-
    Here's a way we could all take advantage of the manufacturing credit.
    There were some here that recently got suckered into a discussion with Michale about the resurgence of the coal industry and whether Obama or Trump should get credit.
    It really should have been about where to assign blame.
    Assuming there are some here that prefer renewable energy over fossil fuels for environmental reasons, let's consider those alternatives.
    Besides the environmental issues the fossil fuel industry has us addicted to their products and exploits that addiction for excess financial gain. We are a captive audience.

    "Gasoline ?
    My boy, if it's drugs that you want, the old doctor can help you. Just roll up your arm and bend over- Do you want regular or premium ?"
    Firesign Theatre
    - How can you be in two places at once when you're not anywhere at all ?"

    But the Big Money Democrats will not back a solution to this aspect of the problem. The renewable energy they support will still leave citizens captive to the Big Energy companies whether they are renewable or not.
    The solution is point source production of electricity.
    According to a History Channel type show on electricity, this was Edison's original plan. But in the first home he put it in (not sure if it was his) the woman of the house did not like the noise and the smell of the kerosine engine in the shed(?) so that was part of the reason he went to larger production facilities with transmission lines.
    So my proposal is citizen owned solar and wind installed on their home which provides free electricity. As batteries to store this electricity pose their own environmental problems they can only be used as part of the transition to this approach.
    What could provide the majority of electricity which would be enough for these environmentally friendly sources to completely replace fossil fuels used in homes and businesses at the end of this transition could be diesel engines run on seed or vegetable oil.
    According to another show on alternative fuels the diesel engines run on compression rather than combustion. When converted to run on vegetable oil or animal fat the only emissions are water vapor and oxygen. And they are much quieter than they used to be.
    Then during the transition citizens will be able to sell excess energy to the electricity companies. It may even be possible to make this profitable or break even so it could eliminate home energy costs. But it could seriously reduce them.
    Then citizens would be energy producers during the transition and even beyond.
    Think of what percentage of your income you spend on home heating , cooling and electricity. This could cut that by a lot, eliminate it or even turn a profit for you.
    If you are a small business owner think not only of the money you could save or make on energy for your business, think of how much happier your employees would be with their paychecks if they didn't have to spend 10-30% of their income on home energy costs (those numbers are admittedly a shot in the dark guess which explains the wide range).
    And the plants could be grown in factories (there was a guy on Nader's Radio Hour a few weeks ago that talked about this for growing food). This way the oil used in New Jersey could be grown in NJ, etc. instead of sending our energy money out of state. (probably not a selling point in fossil fuel producing states)
    And when it transitions to the point when pipelines are viable these pipelines will not explode or release toxins into the air, ground or water if they leak. Just seed or vegetable oil.
    Even the trucks that deliver the oil during the transition can be transitioned to run on this oil.

    And ya'all thought VV was crazy.
    I got a million of 'em.

  81. [81] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Already read it this morning. :D

    Then why are you wasting my time!?

  82. [82] 
    Paula wrote:

    Meanwhile: here's some true dark comedy: http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/3/2/1639454/-Republican-Obamacare-repeal-travesty-quickly-devolves-into-utter-farce

    When he got there, the drama intensified—he was denied entry! Paul holds an impromptu press conference because of course the press flocked to the secret room to see the action. But wait! The bill isn't there! Even Republicans who are allowed into the room aren't able to find it.

  83. [83] 
    michale wrote:

    Of course, it is perfectly reasonable and normal for senators to meet with other country's ambassadors. And, you are correct to point out that there is no evidence, whatsoever, that Sessions or anyone else connected with the Trump campaign communicated with Russian officials about the campaign.

    Agreed...

    But, the question that needs to be answered by Sessions then is why - in the context of the US intel community consensus that Russia was responsible for hacking into the DNC and Podesta emails and for disclosing information to the public through WikiLeaks in an attempt to influence the US election - did Sessions feel the need to hide the fact that he, on two occasions during the presidential campaign, communicated with the Russian Ambassador, a character well known as a spy (surprise, surprise).

    There are numerous fallacies in your statement..

    First off, there is no direct incontrovertible factual proof that Russians had anything do with the DNC being hacked..

    It was Podesta's stoopidity and Podesta's stoopidity ONLY that lead to the DNC emails being exposed...

    Second, Sessions didn't hide any meetings with the Russian Ambassador....

    Finally, Ambassadors are NOT spies, in the conventional sense, as a matter of course... To do so would open up a whole slew of a can of worms...

    And, once again, I am forced to wonder where was all this Anti-Russia hysteria when Candidate Romney warned us that Russia was our number 1 geopolitical foe???

  84. [84] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Stig (77)-
    So checks and balances are high school civics bullshit.
    You do realize that voting is one of those checks and balances, don't you ?
    As for the nonsense and lecture about the electors that has nothing to do with the issue at hand. It is merely avoiding the issue of the winner take all approach of the current distribution of electoral votes, which would only change from the state to the national level under the compact vs. proportional voting that would come closer to the one person one vote ideal than the other two while still maintaining the very real concept and ideal of checks and balances.
    Even though faithless electors are not a valid part of this discussion on the issue at hand, the only faithless electors I would worry about would be under proportional distribution and would be those that refuse to vote for a third party candidate that had earned it. But even that, as you pointed out, would be rare.

  85. [85] 
    michale wrote:

    {Carrynn Owens} was just looking for attention. These military widows love their 15 minutes in the spotlight."
    -Whoopi Goldberg

    I swear, the Left Wingery who supports this kind of crap should be totally and completely ashamed of themselves...

  86. [86] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Agreed.

  87. [87] 
    Paula wrote:

    How comfortable Liars become with lying. Just becomes so second-nature they can't tell they're doing it when they are. Of course their boot-licking supporters are even more pathetic.

    Why do Republicans hate honesty?

  88. [88] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Michale (85)-
    I condemn Whoopi equally to Trump.
    Happy ?

  89. [89] 
    Paula wrote:
  90. [90] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Why do Republicans hate honesty?

    for the same reason as democrats, and indeed all politicians since even before the invention of politics - to avoid being held responsible for the results of their actions.

    JL

  91. [91] 
    michale wrote:

    How comfortable Liars become with lying. Just becomes so second-nature they can't tell they're doing it when they are. Of course their boot-licking supporters are even more pathetic.

    Why do Republicans hate honesty?

    That's funny coming from a NOT-45 supporter.. :D

  92. [92] 
    michale wrote:

    for the same reason as democrats, and indeed all politicians since even before the invention of politics - to avoid being held responsible for the results of their actions.

    What he said..... :D

  93. [93] 
    michale wrote:

    I condemn Whoopi equally to Trump.
    Happy ?

    Nope.. That's a cop-out..

    If you can't condemn the scumbag actions of Whoopi completely in and of themselves, you aren't condemning anything...

  94. [94] 
    Paula wrote:

    Why do some people always try to claim "both sides do it?" when it comes to Republican lying?

    Sad!

  95. [95] 
    michale wrote:

    Now, if you wanted to do something like this:

    Woopi Goldberg is a scum sucking jackass for her attack on a fallen SEAL!!!

    PERIOD...

    Then in your next comment say something like Trump is a scum sucking jackass for some imagined slight

    Than THAT would be acceptable...

    But by trying to equate the two, one is just playing politics and is not really condemning Whoopi..

    Liz did it perfectly..

    No reservation, no equivocation.... Just pure condemnation...

    THAT is how it is supposed to work...

  96. [96] 
    michale wrote:

    Why do some people always try to claim "both sides do it?" when it comes to Republican lying?

    The same reason some people always try to claim "both sides do it" when it comes to Democrat lying...

    See?? It's simple...

  97. [97] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz
    67, 69

    Glad to hear you read that column.
    I hope everyone does.
    There is an excellent (and as always occasionally objectionable) discussion in the comments to the column too.

    Not sure how your response to Trump's use of the tactic doesn't qualify as falling for the con. He seemed to elicit the exact response desired.
    I'm sorry if I'm missing where you diverged from it.
    Your praise for Trump for what I think is creepy exploitation (in the follow up boast after using the creepy tactic) can't be separated from the tactic in my mind. One is based on the other.

    Your retort didn't include an explanation, so I guess I'm asking for one.

    I fully agree about soft power and the huge benefits of using diplomacy to avoid wars, but GG likes to keep his columns focused on a single issue... for reasons I agree with... the inability of a huge segment of the population to absorb more than one idea at a time.

    I wish I could agree that the US is even trying to win hearts and minds in the Islamic world, but I'm afraid the evidence shows the opposite. The establishment duopoly seems intent on creating enemies to justify advancing their hegemonic agenda and massive "defense" budgets... which I'm sure just coincidentally benefits their largest campaign donors and future employers financially.

    That's my opinion... no idea how GG would respond.

    A

  98. [98] 
    Paula wrote:

    This sounds just like the Flynn affair. We have some chats with the Russian ambassador. We have denials of those chats. We have the discovery of those chats. And we have the White House saying that they were unaware of the chats.

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/03/jeff-sessions-now-officially-toxic

  99. [99] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Not sure how your response to Trump's use of the tactic doesn't qualify as falling for the con.

    I did not respond to Trump's use of the tactic.

  100. [100] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Your praise for Trump for what I think is creepy exploitation (in the follow up boast after using the creepy tactic) can't be separated from the tactic in my mind. One is based on the other.

    Let me try to be as clear as I can before I waste any more time on this.

    I was commenting ONLY on Trumps interjection of humour to lighten a heavy moment. Something that is done by many people on many occasions. I would be surprised if you hadn't ever done the same thing. I interpreted this interjection as the one and only time I ever recall Trump showing empathy for another human being.

    In future, read what is there and try not to assume things that aren't.

  101. [101] 
    Paula wrote:

    http://washingtonmonthly.com/2017/03/02/bush-ethics-lawyer-says-sessions-must-go/

    But pubbies will cover for him until critical mass is reached -- it's what they do!

  102. [102] 
    altohone wrote:

    Don
    80

    Thinking up new ways to abuse the manufacturing tax credit wasn't the point I was hoping to convey.

    A

  103. [103] 
    michale wrote:

    But pubbies will cover for him until critical mass is reached -- it's what they do!

    Just like Dimmies always covered for NOT-45....

    Right up to the point that President Trump DEVASTATED her in the presidential election... :D

  104. [104] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    I'm afraid you have been taken in by fake news, again.

    I just watched the clip of the View and Whoopie Goldberg did not say that military widows love their 15 minutes in the spotlight.

    In fact, she said the very opposite!

    Where did you get your information on this?

  105. [105] 
    michale wrote:

    This sounds just like the Flynn affair. We have some chats with the Russian ambassador. We have denials of those chats. We have the discovery of those chats. And we have the White House saying that they were unaware of the chats.

    Flynn wasn't a sitting senator who had daily meetings with all kinds of ambassadors..

    There were no denial of chats..

    But, other than that, yea...

    EXACTLY the same... :)

  106. [106] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz
    100

    I don't think it was humor.
    I don't think lightening the mood was Trumps motivation.
    I don't think he is capable of empathy.

    And, I think it was scripted and inextricably linked to the tactic.

    I do agree wasting more of your time is unnecessary though.

    A

  107. [107] 
    michale wrote:

    This is all nothing but Obama pulling strings in the shadows because he can't STAND the fact that he was beat by President Trump...

    That is ALL this is...

    And, once Obama's involvement becomes overt, I truly hope that he overreaches into the realm of treason..

    That would truly make my day....

  108. [108] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    MIchale (93)-
    You are always saying that people condemn one side and not the other.
    You may not agree that it is equal between Trump and Whoopi but I did condemn both sides.
    I do not believe in separate but equal condemnation.

  109. [109] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Paula (94)-
    Deflection. If someone else does the same bad thing I'm doing then what I'm doing isn't as bad, not bad at all or I'm forced to do it because the other guy is doing it. ( Like Big Money Democrats excuse(s) for taking Big Money.)

  110. [110] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    altohone (102)-
    True. But it gave me an excuse to use the Firesign Theatre quote.
    Also, the reason the people that like the credit like it is because they can use it and we can't.
    My proposal would eliminate this disparity which would either cause them to eliminate the credit or eliminate the disparity because we could all use it.
    Another feature is security and natural disasters.
    If 50% of homes and businesses were able to produce their own electricity for all their home or business power needs it would not cripple the area and economy like now when the power is knocked out in a storm or other natural disaster or in the event of a terrorist attack on our power grid or explosive and toxic pipelines.

  111. [111] 
    michale wrote:

    You may not agree that it is equal between Trump and Whoopi but I did condemn both sides.

    If these things were truly equal then your condemnation would be appropriate and I would commend you for it..

    But these things are far from equal...

    So yer right...

    I don't agree....

  112. [112] 
    michale wrote:

    Apparently, Sessions has the moral integrity that Lynch lacked...

    He has just recused himself from the investigation..

    That's what integrity looks like, people....

  113. [113] 
    Paula wrote:

    [109] Don: Deflection. Yep!

    Sessions presser was interesting. I think he's up to his ears and the water's lapping around his nose. Tonight? Tomorrow? Next week?

  114. [114] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    This is all nothing but Obama pulling strings in the shadows because he can't STAND the fact that he was beat by President Trump...

    WHAT?!! Michale, you've been watching too much RT again, methinks. Last I saw, Obama is off somewhere windsurfing, yelling "Your problem now!" over his shoulder. BTW, in an actual match-up, Obama would beat Trump like a schoolboy. Trump beat HILLARY, by a margin smaller than his....um, pinkie finger. Obama's down with that.

  115. [115] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Apparently, Sessions has the moral integrity that Lynch lacked... He has just recused himself from the investigation..

    You mean Loretta Lynch, who recused herself from the Clinton investigation before anyone asked her to. That Lynch. Dropped that down the memory hole, did you?

    Sessions probably just wants to make all the talk about perjury charges go away, so he can get on to locking up evil weed smokers and hispanic moms.

  116. [116] 
    michale wrote:

    "I’ve been on the Senate Armed Services Committee for 10 years, and in that time, have had no call from, or meeting with, the Russian ambassador. Ever. That’s because ambassadors call members of Foreign Relations Committee."
    -Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill

    Of course, the FACTS clearly show that McCaskill was at a meeting with the Russian ambassador twice in 2013...

    Of course, ALL of ya'all will condemn McCaskill's lies, right???

    {{cchhhiirrrrpppp}} {{{chirrrrrpppppp}}}

    Oh yea, that's right.. I forgot..

    "Well, that's different"

    It always is.... :^/

  117. [117] 
    altohone wrote:

    Don
    110

    I don't agree at all.
    I don't see how calling home based electricity production "manufacturing" would lead to the elimination of the tax credit. It would just be another loophole for those wealthy enough to get off the grid... which certainly doesn't include "all of us".

    But the way the loophole was created, implemented and maintained does provide yet another good example for getting Big Money out of our politics.

    A

  118. [118] 
    michale wrote:

    You mean Loretta Lynch, who recused herself from the Clinton investigation before anyone asked her to. That Lynch. Dropped that down the memory hole, did you?

    As usual, your "facts" are made up wishful thinking..

    Lynch never recused herself from the Clinton investigation...

    She only said she wouldn't be involved in the decision on whether or not to prosecute NOT-45...

    But she NEVER recused herself...

    So, either you just made shit up or you are lying...

    I am sure you are just making shit up and hoping I won't check... :D

  119. [119] 
    michale wrote:

    Last I saw, Obama is off somewhere windsurfing, yelling "Your problem now!" over his shoulder.

    Jeezus, Balthazar, where are you getting your alternate facts????

    Obama's in DC and his Karl Rove just moved into their house and it's officially the Anti-Trump nerve center...

    Jeezus, dood... Get a grip on reality, eh????

  120. [120] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey CW

    Thanks for the response the other day.

    Sorry to hear about your taxes.
    I hope the complexity was necessitated by an unexpected windfall... or something positive.

    Something to keep in mind, the budget cuts at the IRS mean that audit rates are down to 0.8%.
    Yes, that means billions in revenue for the government will be lost to tax evaders, but it also means you probably don't need to stress too much.

    Hope it goes well for you.

    A

  121. [121] 
    michale wrote:

    First, let’s get this out of the way. It is not a coincidence that within twenty four hours of Donald Trump giving a well received speech to congress that the New York Times runs a hit job on Jeff Sessions to distract from it, particularly after admitting the Obama Administration has been behind much of this disruption.
    http://theresurgent.com/the-jeff-sessions-attack-is-a-nothingburger/

    As I said and as the NY Grimes confirms..

    This is pissed off, sore loser, sour grapes diner Obama pulling strings from the shadows...

    If Bush had done this to Obama, ya'all would have been screaming bloody murder...

    It's ALL about the '-X' after the person's name.....

  122. [122] 
    michale wrote:

    So, no one wants to condemn Senator McCaskill for lying about never meeting the Russian Ambassador???

    Of course not...

    McCaskill has a '-D' after her name.... So she can lie all she wants and no one here will call her on it...

    Once again, proof positive that ya'all don't care about lying..

    Ya'all just care when someone with an '-R' after their name allegedly does it...

  123. [123] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Where did you comment [85] come from?

    Because, not only did Whoopi Goldberg not say what you think she said but, she said the complete opposite.

    Do you intend to address this?

  124. [124] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    I sure hope your intention is not to infuse this site with fake news.

  125. [125] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Lynch never recused herself from the Clinton investigation... She only said she wouldn't be involved in the decision on whether or not to prosecute NOT-45...

    That's recusal. That's what recusal means, for all intents and purposes. I keep forgetting about the right wing fetishism about Magic Words, and how certain Magic Words (like 'radical islamic') make everything better.

  126. [126] 
    michale wrote:

    The Democrats Abandon the Ship of State
    Democrats have two options: 1) #theresistance; or 2) get in the game.

    During the speech’s most extraordinary moment, the tribute to Carryn Owens, wife of slain SEAL Ryan Owens, one notable Democrat who refused to stand was Rep. Keith Ellison, who just lost a close race for Democratic National Committee chairman to Obama Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, also a man of the left.

    You’d have thought that at the two-thirds point, when Mr. Trump hadn’t self-destructed as expected, when instead he was looking less like Alec Baldwin and more like President Trump, that Chuck Schumer might have pulled out his smartphone to tweet the troops, “Walkout maybe not a good idea.” Not this crew. En masse, they went over the side, just as they’ve refused to attend hearings for cabinet nominees and voted as a bloc against virtually all of them.

    Donald Trump extended an olive branch on key legislative issues, and the Democrats gave him the you-know-what. In fact, the party might consider making you-know-what its new logo because Mr. Trump has stolen their mascot, the Democratic donkey.

    There is one other relevant image from the moments after the speech ended: Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin standing—alone—to shake Mr. Trump’s hand.

    Last week, progressive activists petitioned Minority Leader Schumer to expel Sen. Manchin from the leadership team as retribution for his vote in favor of Scott Pruitt’s nomination to run the Environmental Protection Agency.

    Sen. Manchin should admit reality and move across the aisle to join the Republicans. What do the middle-finger Democrats have in common anymore with West Virginia, which Mr. Trump carried by 42 points?
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-democrats-abandon-the-ship-of-state-1488413264?mod=e2two

    The Democrat Party is finished...

    It's got nothing left that Americans (except maybe those in Califonia) want nor need...

    It's really THAT simple....

  127. [127] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    I think you better forget about and edit function and consider instead instituting some form of fact-checker at CW.com

  128. [128] 
    michale wrote:

    That's recusal. That's what recusal means, for all intents and purposes.

    It's not a recusal and you know it..

    It's a lame attempt to deflect that you were wrong...

    . I keep forgetting about the right wing fetishism about Magic Words, and how certain Magic Words (like 'radical islamic') make everything better.

    Again, nice deflection..

    Lynch did not recuse herself..

    THIS IS FACT...

    You were wrong..

    THIS IS ALSO FACT...

    Obama is in DC...

    THIS IS ALSO FACT....

    You were wrong again....

    THIS IS ALSO FACT

    I don't know what yer spewin' but it ain't facts...

  129. [129] 
    michale wrote:

    Liz,

    I think you better forget about and edit function and consider instead instituting some form of fact-checker at CW.com

    AMEN to frakin' THAT!!!

    For the record...

    "I have decided now to recuse myself from any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for president of the United States."
    -AG Sessions

    THAT is a recusal...

    You were wrong, Balthy... I was right...

    Have the integrity to admit it..

  130. [130] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Why are you ignoring your use of fake news?

  131. [131] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Speaking of fake news, I've been trying to track down the odd allegations that Michale made about Obama in post #119. Seems it stems from right wing attempts to deflect attention from Sessions:

    http://www.ebony.com/news-now/valerie-jarrett-jeff-sessions

    How Michale managed to conflate Valerie Jarrett (a long time aide and confidant to President Obama) and Karl Rove (Obama hater) is beyond me, but I'm not surprised at all about it.

    No, no anti-Trump war room is being planned. Just wing-nut hysteria and fake news as usual.

  132. [132] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    This is becoming a very serious problem here.

  133. [133] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Liz (123)-
    She didn't say that ?
    Now I have to clarify that I condemn the comment that Michale said she made but not Whoopi if she didn't really make that comment.
    What is the word you Canadians use... sheeesh!
    That it.
    Sorry Michale, but I'm done with condemnations.

  134. [134] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    We have nothing here without our own credibility.

  135. [135] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    So, no one wants to condemn Senator McCaskill for lying about never meeting the Russian Ambassador???

    Of course not...

    McCaskill has a '-D' after her name.... So she can lie all she wants and no one here will call her on it...

    Once again, proof positive that ya'all don't care about lying..

    Ya'all just care when someone with an '-R' after their name allegedly does it...

    When are you going to show Sessions the same outrage and condemnation that you claim McCaskill deserves?

    When are you going to hold Trump responsible for the botched Yeman raid like you held Hillary responsible for Benghazi?

  136. [136] 
    michale wrote:

    Why are you ignoring your use of fake news?

    Which fake news would that be??

  137. [137] 
    michale wrote:

    Speaking of fake news, I've been trying to track down the odd allegations that Michale made about Obama in post #119.

    Still don't want to admit you were wrong, eh??

    I didn't think you could..

    Check comment #14....

    No, no anti-Trump war room is being planned. Just wing-nut hysteria and fake news as usual.

    Yea, and Trump was NEVER going to win the election and NOT-45 was going to win in a 50-state landslide..

    You don't have much credibility, you know that??

    Especially when you can't even admit you were wrong about Obama not being in DC and you were wrong about the Lynch non-recusal..

    So, like I said...

    ZERO credibility...

  138. [138] 
    michale wrote:

    I'll be happy to answer your question after you answer mine..

    If LYING is such a huge crime, such a big deal..

    Where is the condemnation of McCaskill and her lies???

    When are you going to hold Trump responsible for the botched Yeman raid like you held Hillary responsible for Benghazi?

    You mean the raid that was planned by Obama???

    That speaks for itself...

  139. [139] 
    michale wrote:

    Don,

    That it.
    Sorry Michale, but I'm done with condemnations.

    That's fine..

    As long as you apply that equally, you won't hear a peep out of me regarding your lack of condemnations..

    I mean that sincerely.. If you don't want to condemn ANYONE for ANYTHING, that is your right and I respect that...

    My point is, and ALWAYS has been, the blatant hypocrisy around here...

    That Weigantians attack Sessions for lying, which he DIDN'T do, but ignore when McCaskill blatantly and PROVABLY lies...

    Weigantians attacked Bush for lying, which he DIDN'T do, but ignore Obama when Obama BLATANTLY and PROVABLY lied and continues to lie......

    It's never about the condemnation....

    It's about the blatant hypocrisy....

  140. [140] 
    michale wrote:

    Liz,

    We have nothing here without our own credibility.

    And people who can't admit when they are wrong have NO CREDIBILITY...

    Wouldn't you agree???

  141. [141] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Indeed. Do you have something to say in that regard?

  142. [142] 
    michale wrote:

    Indeed. Do you have something to say in that regard?

    Nothing I haven't already said above.. :D

    Just wanted to make sure we are on the same page as we often are... :D

  143. [143] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    What about your fake news about Whoopi Goldberg. She didn't say what you think she said. She, in fact, said the opposite.

    I think you owe us an apology for citing something that has no basis in fact.

  144. [144] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'm not going to let this go, Michale ...

  145. [145] 
    michale wrote:

    I think you owe us an apology for citing something that has no basis in fact.

    Yer absolutely right...

    And I totally and with complete sincerity render that apology for posting something completely unfounded...

    *I* have credibility around here...

    Now let's see if others who posted complete and utter fake news in this commentary can show the same sort of integrity..

    My guess is.... NOPE...

  146. [146] 
    michale wrote:

    I'm not going to let this go, Michale ...

    As well you shouldn't...

    Just like I am not going to let go that Balthy posted that Lynch recused herself, which she did not do..

    That Balthy posted that Obama is windsurfing in Hawaii which he is NOT....

    That is as much BS as the fake Whoopi quote..

    But will HE fess up to it???

    Of course he won't...

  147. [147] 
    michale wrote:

    Just as I won't let go that Democrat Senator McCaskill lied thru her ass about never meeting a Russian ambassador and NO ONE here condemns those lies....

    But everyone jumps on the fake news that AG Sessions lied...

    You see how it works???

  148. [148] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Michale - the point is, Lynch pulled herself out of the investigation. If you don't think the magic word recusal applies to that, you're entitled. The point is moot now, anyway: Sessions pulled out.

    But Obama setting up anti-Trump central at his house in DC? Bwahahahahahaha! C'mon...

    As for McCaskill, last I checked nobody cares. She isn't in charge of anything.

  149. [149] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    altohone (117)-
    It would lead to the elimination or make it irrelevant because it would no longer be exclusive.
    And the financing plan will make it available to all. (I saved this part so the first part could be properly absorbed before hearing the really crazy part.)
    I thought about nypoet's lottery plan, but I think we should save that for a last resort. Instead let's try a sort of variation on his plan that doesn't carry the risk of having to win the lottery (even if the odds may be the same).
    100,000 ordinary citizens could each commit to putting ten dollars per year into a charitable investment. What this means is that the investment has a charitable purpose or will benefit society and in this case any profits realized in the first five years will be reinvested in the business.
    These citizens will not become rich from this charitable investment, though after 5 years it may provide some small income.
    This gives us a starting point of 1 million dollars per year and each of these investors will own the same percent of the one share of the 1000 shares in this company. Each share costs 1 million dollars per year for five years.
    It will not be a publicly traded company (or corporation if that what it is.)
    That is 1 billion dollars per year plus any profit in the first five years to build the business.
    The other shares would be sold to the activist celebrities that talk about climate change and pollution. We'll see if they put their money where their mouth is. If someone like Bill Maher is willing to CONTRIBUTE 1 million to Obama's Superpac he should be willing to INVEST in this to help the causes he claims to champion.
    It could be be started/tested in a few places like Detroit (if they are still in as bad a shape as they were) or other areas where abandoned and/or devalued houses/ buildings could be bought up and renovated with this technology and a goodly portion of the homes could be made available to lower income citizens. This will create construction jobs as well as longer term jobs in the oil production factories and delivery of oil in these distressed areas.
    And give the Celebrity investors another issue they advocate a helping hand.
    And hundreds of thousands or even millions of citizens that are not shouldering the heavy burden of 10 dollars per year can participate by signing a petition to encourage celebrity investors like Bill Maher to invest. Maybe Colin Kaepernick could even get people like the Mannings, Tom Brady or other sports stars to invest. There must be some that for a worthy cause would like to diversify from their fast food chains and car dealerships.
    "Not that there's anything wrong with that."
    -Seinfeld

    The Mother's March started with one woman and...
    well, you get the picture.

  150. [150] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    We should be talking about all of the Other folks in the Trump campaign who were huddling with Russian intelligence during the campaign. All this other stuff is a distraction from that.

  151. [151] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Apology accepted.

    Here is a good rule to follow before posting something someone allegedly said: if there is no video or audio accompanying the quote, you can assume that it is fake news.

  152. [152] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Michale (139)-
    Fair enough.
    But let me clarify that I only said I wouldn't condemn, I didn't say I wouldn't complain at my own discretion.

  153. [153] 
    Kick wrote:

    michale [147]

    Just as I won't let go that Democrat Senator McCaskill lied thru her ass about never meeting a Russian ambassador and NO ONE here condemns those lies....

    But everyone jumps on the fake news that AG Sessions lied...

    I condemn both McCaskill and the fascist Cheeto for all the lies they've disseminated on Twitter where we all raise our right hands and swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help us God... oh, wait!

    The problem for Sessions is he did, in fact, lie under oath where he swore to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Now while we can certainly quibble over whether or not he "intentionally" lied or whether he "unintentionally" lied, the FACT is... he did lie under oath.

    Additionally, none of the other 20 senators on that committee had met with Kislyak last year... not a single one. So it's highly unlikely that Sessions simply forgot about these meetings. The spokesperson for Sessions is on record stating that Sessions just interpreted Franken's question to be about conversations with the Russians in his capacity as a "Trump adviser," which he claims he has never had.

    "There was absolutely nothing misleading about his answer," Sessions spokesperson Sarah Isgur Flores explained in her press statement. "He was asked during the hearing about communications between Russia and the Trump campaign — not about meetings he took as a senator and a member of the Armed Services Committee."

    Sessions's follow-up behavior makes this defense even more pathetic and weak because on January 17, Sessions submitted a response to a written questionnaire presented to him by Senator Patrick Leahy who asked Sessions a question about Russia, to which he submitted the simple response: "No."

    SENATOR LEAHY: Several of the President-elect's nominees or senior advisers have Russian ties. Have you been in contact with anyone connected to any part of the Russian government about the 2016 election, either before or after election day?

    SENATOR SESSIONS: No.

    Technically, Sessions didn't repeat his earlier false statement here, but he also didn't deny all contact with Russians, just contact regarding the 2016 election. A problem arises because the question from Leahy gave Sessions an opportunity to clarify his earlier misleading testimony by admitting that he had indeed met with Kislyak in his capacity as ambassador, and Sessions failed to do it. This written response is further evidence that his initial comment under oath was willfully misleading the committee.

    "The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" is the standard here, and Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, Esq. is a lawyer who knows exactly what that phrase means.

    Did Sessions commit perjury? Without additional proof, these facts alone would not meet that standard of proof.

    Did he lie under oath? ABSOLUTELY... and no amount of deflection to whether Claire McCaskill did or did not lie on Twitter is going to change that fact.

  154. [154] 
    altohone wrote:

    Don
    149

    Good luck with your new project.

    A

  155. [155] 
    michale wrote:

    Michale - the point is, Lynch pulled herself out of the investigation. If you don't think the magic word recusal applies to that, you're entitled. The point is moot now, anyway: Sessions pulled out.

    No, the point is that you claimed Lynch recused herself and you were wrong.. Just like you claimed Obama was windsurfing in Hawaii and he is in DC setting up the Take Down Trump command center...

    The point is you were wrong and you can't admit it..

    Yes, Sessions recused himself.. He had the integrity that Lynch did not...

    As for McCaskill, last I checked nobody cares. She isn't in charge of anything.

    No, nobody here cares because McCaskill has a '-D' after her name..

  156. [156] 
    michale wrote:

    The problem for Sessions is he did, in fact, lie under oath where he swore to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Now while we can certainly quibble over whether or not he "intentionally" lied or whether he "unintentionally" lied, the FACT is... he did lie under oath.

    No, he did not..

    Sessions was asked if he ever met with any Russian officials and discussed the election.

    He answered "NO"..

    If you have ANY facts to support your claim that this is a lie, let's see them..

    You don't...

    Now that the FACTS are aired, ANYONE who claims that Session lied is lying...

  157. [157] 
    michale wrote:

    Apology accepted.

    Here is a good rule to follow before posting something someone allegedly said: if there is no video or audio accompanying the quote, you can assume that it is fake news.

    Really?? :D

    OK, using that litmus, everyone here is posting 'fake news'... :D

    Because NO ONE ever posts ANY video or audio to accompany their claims.. :D

  158. [158] 
    michale wrote:

    Don,

    Fair enough.
    But let me clarify that I only said I wouldn't condemn, I didn't say I wouldn't complain at my own discretion.

    And again, if you do it fairly without regard to the '-X' after the person's name, you won't hear a peep from me..

    But if you point out that Mister '-R' is lying and that's bad, but you ignore when Miss '-D' also lies..

    Then I am going to point out the hypocrisy...

    It's what I do.. :D

  159. [159] 
    michale wrote:

    Michale - the point is, Lynch pulled herself out of the investigation.

    You are STILL lying..

    All Lynch said was that she would accept the FBI's determination.. She was STILL involved and STILL pulling the strings in the investigation..

    You were wrong.. Your lame attempt to cover you were wrong is ALSO wrong...

    Just admit it and we can move on...

    I showed you how it's done with honesty, sincerity and integrity..

    Now it's your turn to show some integrity...

  160. [160] 
    michale wrote:

    I'll give you a break on your Obama is windsurfing in Hawaii Fake News crap..

    That was likely due to blatant ignorance instead of an outright lie, like claiming FORMER AG Lynch recused herself.....

    You see, Liz?? I told you. I wasn't going to let it go...

  161. [161] 
    Kick wrote:

    michale [156]

    No, he did not..

    Sessions was asked if he ever met with any Russian officials and discussed the election.

    He answered "NO"..

    What part of full disclosure has you confused? The "whole truth"? Not only did Sessions lie in his confirmation hearing, he lied in his press conference when he volunteered:

    "I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign, and the idea that I was part of a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government is totally false. That's the question that Senator Franken asked me during the committee hearing."

    A total BS lie from the Attorney General of the United States. Obviously, everyone understands that politicians lie, but why lie about something at the beginning of your press conference that is easily provable to be a complete and total fabrication? So what did Al Franken actually ask Sessions in his confirmation hearing?

    FRANKEN: CNN just published a story alleging that the intelligence community provided documents to the president-elect last week that included information that quote, "Russian operatives claimed to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump." These documents also allegedly say quote, "There was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump's surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government."

    Now, again, I'm telling you this as it's coming out, so you know. But if it's true, it's obviously extremely serious and if there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do?

    SESSIONS: Senator Franken, I'm not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I didn't have — did not have communications with the Russians, and I'm unable to comment on it.

    Franken asked Sessions what he would do if the information CNN had reported were true. Sessions volunteered the false information, and he now admits to meeting with Russian officials... twice. So I ask you: What part of swearing to "tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" is confusing you? Sessions is also now saying that in retrospect he should have disclosed the meeting with the ambassador. It's no big secret that lawyers understand the concept of "full disclosure." LOL

    https://youtu.be/saByf9QAmCY?t=10m18s

    If you have ANY facts to support your claim that this is a lie, let's see them..

    If you have any facts to support your claim that he didn't speak about the election, let's see them. And since we're talking about the United States Attorney General and proof: Did anyone... ANYONE... have any proof whatsoever regarding what Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch discussed on the tarmac? Not a living soul, including you, but the Trump advocates insisted it was nefarious... funny how that cuts both ways. :)

    Now that the FACTS are aired, ANYONE who claims that Session lied is lying...

    Anyone who insists he isn't lying under oath both orally and written when asked to provide the "truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" is either delusional or has never gone through a government security clearance. You don't have to be perfect to pass the clearance, but you are expected to provide the truth and give full disclosure. You can't have committed multiple felonies by violating a federal law thousands of times and expect to pass scrutiny, but if you've got a few dings, you're fine as long as you follow full disclosure and tell them before they find out about it. The issue isn't whether you're perfect; the issue is whether or not you're trustworthy. It ain't rocket science. :)

  162. [162] 
    Paula wrote:

    Police say Davis allegedly chased after the men on his scooter, yelling slurs and threats like “You guys are a couple of fags,” “I bet you faggots voted for that bitch Hillary” and “You live in Trump country now,” according to the Miami Herald.

    Juan Thompson didn't add to his threats: "I'm a Democrat or I'm a Hillary supporter and that's why I'm threatening you". Trumpers take pride in their thuggery AND connect their threats directly to their thug of a leader.

    Further there will be no Dems/Progressives anywhere who will come out supporting Thompson's threats or behaviors. Trump, meanwhile, holds rallies praising his thugs.

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