ChrisWeigant.com

Congress Considers Working Through August

[ Posted Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 – 16:08 UTC ]

To me, at least, that's a shocking headline. Because for the life of me, I can't remember this stunning proposal ever before being seriously considered on Capitol Hill. Some Republicans in Congress are now saying that they should all forgo their monthlong August vacation period and actually work instead. Stunning!

The news comes from The Hill, which reports:

Alarmed by the stalemate on healthcare reform, lack of progress on tax reform and appropriations bills that are far behind schedule, Republican lawmakers across Congress are increasingly willing to consider canceling the month-long August recess.

Senate Republican negotiators reported that they are not close to a deal on healthcare reform and that scheduling a vote by July 4, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has pushed, is likely unrealistic.

That impasse has held up work on a budget resolution, which is necessary to move tax reform and the annual appropriations bills.

. . .

Lawmakers calculate there are only 45 legislative days until the end of the fiscal year, on Sept. 30.

. . .

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) has pushed Senate Republican leaders for the past two weeks to cancel the August recess.

"I think absolutely we should truncate or cancel recess. We have a huge agenda. I think we can get a lot of it done, but what we don't have is time," said Sullivan. "We can make more time."

The idea is gaining steam with colleagues elected to the Senate more recently.

"Congress has no business taking a recess when the people's business remains unfinished," said Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.).

A Senate GOP aide expressed doubt, however, that [Georgia GOP Senator David] Perdue, Sullivan and Daines will get very far in convincing McConnell to cancel the recess.

"Are they going to get all 52 Senate Republicans to do this?" the aide asked. "Perdue and Sullivan talking is fine, but every time members say they need to stay and work over a recess there's usually a [congressional delegation] trip somewhere" that their colleagues have planned.

For those unversed in Washingtonese, "a [congressional delegation] trip somewhere" equals "vacation in the sun, usually paid for by lobbyists." It also goes on to state that at least 15 GOP senators are against the idea, so it's not a done deal or anything. But even so, it still represents the only serious push I can ever recall against Congress scarpering off for an entire month each summer to play in the sun. So even if it fails, it's worth applauding the effort.

I can really only think of two careers that guarantee large amounts of time off in the summer: teachers and congressmen. Every student graduating school and entering the workforce has a life-changing moment when they realize that "summers off" is decidedly not the rule of thumb in corporate America. I still remember the dawning realization that I would be expected to work -- all summer long -- each and every year. Growing up is no fun, at times.

Now, the yearly congressional August recess (even the name is reminiscent of the school playground) has a long history that can be easily summed up as: "air conditioning did not exist until the 20th century." Washington D.C. was famously built on a swamp. Summers there are hellish (at least, from a Californian viewpoint). The temperature in D.C. in August routinely hovers above 90 degrees (sometimes 100-plus), and the humidity also hovers between "hot and muggy" and "outdoor sauna." So it's understandable that back in the old days Congress decided to flee the city during the worst of the heatwave.

Today, legislators simply have no such excuse. Their offices are air-conditioned. In addition, they take so many other weeks off during the year that it's not like they don't already have adequate time to spend "in their districts" touching base with their constituents. A few simple charts point out how much time they take off in the other eleven months of the year.

Republicans have a very full slate to accomplish this year. There are must-pass bills such as raising the debt ceiling and finishing the budget for next year. There are major agenda items the party leadership wants to see passed, such as massively slashing taxes on rich folks and denying poor folks the health insurance they got under Obamacare. That's a lot to get done, in a very short time. It's so much work that some Republicans are now actually calling for Congress to deny itself the usual month-in-the-sun during August.

The legislative efforts planned are going to start bumping up against each other if they don't work through August. Mitch McConnell is attempting to jam through the Senate's version of the "throw tens of millions off health insurance" bill, but even if he is successful in passing it before the July 4th break (where, once again, Congress takes a week off where most workers only get a single day), it will still have to be reconciled with the House version before Trump can sign it into law. That's going to take time.

The debt ceiling is going to become a crisis if Congress doesn't act before they leave in August, so that's on July's schedule, too. Then September will be consumed with passing some sort of budget bill (or bills) before the deadline (the first of October). This doesn't leave much time for the whole slash-rich-folks'-taxes effort before the end of the year. And there are plenty of other things Congress will also need to accomplish during that time as well.

Still, I have to say it is shocking to even hear the whisper of a suggestion that Congress should continue working in August. As I mentioned, I don't believe I've ever noticed such a thing before. I'm sure there have been emergency or special sessions of Congress held during August, but I'd have to look it up to find out when such a thing occurred. Under President Truman, maybe?

The article in The Hill only really concentrated on Republican attitudes in Congress on the subject of forgoing the August break. The unanswered question is whether any Democrats would be willing to do so. You could make a partisan argument in either direction, really. If Congress spent August working on the GOP healthcare plan, it would draw a lot of media attention to the shortcomings of their bills. Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan have set new records for jamming major bills through without the public being allowed any input whatsoever, so having more time to make the political case against such plans might benefit the Democrats. As we've already seen with the House bill, the more the public learns about it, the more people hate it. If Congress were in session debating it, it would certainly focus the media attention on it.

But a case could be made for Democrats refusing to force the cancellation of the August break. This case could be stated as: "The less time the Republican House and the Republican Senate have to mess things up, the better." If the Republican agenda slows or gets derailed because of a lack of time, then why should Democrats help out by adding more days to the schedule? In the end, refusing to do so might mean fewer Republican agenda items manage to get passed by either house. Which, from a Democrat's point of view, would be a good thing.

So far, this is just one article quoting a handful of Republicans in Congress. It remains to be seen whether this is just a ploy from a few freshmen and Tea Partiers, or whether it will grow into a real push to eliminate (or at least shorten) the August break. If 15 Republican senators are already against it, then some Democrats are also going to be necessary. Since the Republican leadership isn't on board, it would take an overwhelming amount of public pressure to cause them to change the congressional calendar.

This is all not very likely to happen, of course. It may even just be some Republicans creating some fodder to use during political campaigns: "I called on my own leadership to work through August, which shows my political independence!"

Even though the chances are heavily against it, though, I have to admit being stunned the effort is even being made. I have long railed against excessive congressional time off (I think their work calendar is a joke, personally, and a bad one at that), so I would heartily applaud Congress working at least a portion of all twelve months out of the year. To me, the issue is above politics -- I would support such a move even if it meant more disastrous Republican bills passed, just on the principle of the thing.

We the taxpayers handsomely pay members of Congress to do the people's business. We are getting a horrible return on our investment, because they only work something like half the available weekdays each year. That is pathetic, and should be the cause of widespread outrage. The worst hypocrisy from any member of Congress is when they say something like: "Well, we just don't have time to accomplish that this year," when there is actually plenty of time to do so. All that needs to change is for Congress to actually work, and not take a week or two off at the drop of a hat. They are not public school teachers, and there is no good reason why they cannot work through August like every other taxpayer in the country has to.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

77 Comments on “Congress Considers Working Through August”

  1. [1] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    With the exception of what the Democrats and Republicans in Congress do, Congress working more is a good thing.
    But if it includes the Democrats and Republicans it is the equivalent of expecting a happy outcome when making a wish on a monkey's paw.

  2. [2] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Don Harris -

    OK, that monkey paw thing was funny, I have to admit.

    Everyone -

    GA and SC results starting to come in, but so far are meaningless (less than 1% reporting)...

    stay tuned, could be a long night...

    -CW

  3. [3] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Ossoff takes the lead, but these are all (I think) early votes. Don't think today's votes have registered yet. Still "<1%"...

    SC, 14% in and very close...

    -CW

  4. [4] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Dem Archie Parnell takes a lead in SC, with 25% in.

    This one's been neck and neck, now separated by only 1000 votes...

    -CW

  5. [5] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    There are plenty of Republicans who are also saying that they do not like how the health care package is being rushed through the Senate, but they are not going to actually do anything to stop it from happening! It makes for a great sound bite and nothing else until I actually see a Republican standing up to their party,

  6. [6] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    SC 31% in (they seem to be able to count votes quicker than GA).

    Parnell up by 4%, 1600 votes.

    Maybe everyone's been watching the wrong race?

    Heh.

    -CW

  7. [7] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    ListenWhenYouHear -

    Yeah, I know what you mean. There is posturing, and then there is taking a solid position. So far, lots of the former, none of the latter.

    -CW

  8. [8] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    GA finally starting to report election day votes. Ossoff still up, but margin razor-thin...

    -CW

  9. [9] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Norman takes lead in SC, by 1000 votes. 63% in...

    Ossoff up 1%, 1200 votes, with 6% reporting in GA...

    -CW

  10. [10] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Looks like GOP's going to hang on to SC, but that thin margin should really worry them...

    -CW

  11. [11] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Handel just took the biggest lead of the night, up by 5K votes. 39% reporting.

    -CW

  12. [12] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    handel still up by 4 points with three quarters of the vote counted.

  13. [13] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Not looking good in GA... Dems probably will come close, but fall short once again. That's going to have an outsized impact in the coming months, if true...

    -CW

  14. [14] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    stick a fork in it. seems to me that people still want big, fiery changes, and not enough people believed ossoff would deliver. why did parnell perform so well, though? if there is a trend to these special elections, it may be that in the volatile environment of the trump presidency, small budget progressives vastly outperform the moneyed center-left.

    JL

  15. [15] 
    michale wrote:

    Well, Handel won by 4 points.

    That's close to the first option (5 points) that CW gave...

    It's time for the Democrat Party to face reality...

    They have the media on their side which makes their hysteria seem important, relevant and shared by all..

    But when the rubber hits the road, when it's time to decide at the ballot box, the American people are not buying what the Democrat Party is selling..

    It's really that simple...

  16. [16] 
    michale wrote:

    We the taxpayers handsomely pay members of Congress to do the people's business. We are getting a horrible return on our investment, because they only work something like half the available weekdays each year. That is pathetic, and should be the cause of widespread outrage. The worst hypocrisy from any member of Congress is when they say something like: "Well, we just don't have time to accomplish that this year," when there is actually plenty of time to do so. All that needs to change is for Congress to actually work, and not take a week or two off at the drop of a hat. They are not public school teachers, and there is no good reason why they cannot work through August like every other taxpayer in the country has to.

    Here, here!! Well said..

    I can't even find anything to nitpick and believe me, I looked! :D

  17. [17] 
    michale wrote:

    Allow me to give a bit of advice to the Democrat Party..

    It would help them if they actually took the advice, but I have absolutely NO worry that they will actually take my advice...

    HATING PRESIDENT TRUMP is not a platform...

    All the assassination porn, all the beheading "jokes" and all the grassy knoll gunman gunning down innocent unarmed Republicans, all the insults and name-calling directed at voters???

    Here's a free clue..

    It **DOESN'T** swing voters your way!!! It REALLY doesn't, I promise...

    It actually makes voters want to vote any way *BUT* Democrat...

    All the Democrat Party is selling is hate, intolerance and violence..

    And the Dems wonder, "Gee... Why can't we win elections!!???"

    A good long look in the mirror is LONG overdue for the Democrat Party...

    But, as I mentioned yesterday... If the Democrat Party being DEVASTATED by Donald Trump doesn't prompt a long look in the mirror, NOTHING will...

    But it's readily understandable why the Democrats won't look in the mirror...

    Because, like the American people....

    Democrats don't like what they see....

  18. [18] 
    michale wrote:

    just a kind of nice guy who doesn’t like Donald Trump
    https://www.vox.com/2017/6/20/15839452/georgia-special-election-results-ossoff-handel

    That's it...

    That was Ossif's SOLE qualification to be elected..

    He doesn't like Donald Trump...

    And Democrats wonder why they can't win any elections.. :^/

  19. [19] 
    michale wrote:

    House Democrats are continuing to block testimony from about a dozen witnesses who sought to appear before the intelligence oversight panel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.

    Congressional officials said one of the key witnesses, former informal adviser to the Trump campaign Carter Page, was scheduled to testify at a closed hearing of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

    But Democrats on the committee blocked the testimony, asserting they needed more time to prepare.
    http://freebeacon.com/national-security/democrats-block-witnesses-testifying-house-intel-probe/

    Democrats want to get to the FACTS, but are blocking witnesses that will give them the FACTS...

    The reasons are obvious... Dems have been pointing fingers at Page for a long time, but the Dems know that Page's testimony will prove the Russia Collusion accusation is a huge nothing-burger...

    And since the "crime" is a huge nothing-burger, then obstruction is, by default, a BIGGER nothing burger...

  20. [20] 
    michale wrote:

    And, since ya'all LOVE Special Prosecutors so much... :D

    Next up: a special counsel to probe Team Obama’s obstruction of justice

    The findings of the powerful panel, which has oversight of the Justice Department and FBI, could lead to a separate criminal investigation and the naming of another special counsel — exactly what Trump needs to distract attention from his growing legal woes.

    What Lynch did reeks of obstruction. According to Comey his ex-boss:

    ?Ordered him to mislead the public about the criminal investigation of Clinton by calling it a “matter” rather than an investigation. (He complied with her wish, even though it made him feel “queasy.”)
    ?Refused to recuse herself from the case after Comey confronted her about a secret June 2016 meeting she had with former President Bill Clinton — five days before his wife was scheduled to be interviewed by the FBI. (Hillary was cleared three days later.)
    There are also concerns, raised by a New York Times report, that Lynch privately assured the Clinton campaign she would keep FBI agents in check and wouldn’t let their investigation “go too far,” according to a message the FBI intercepted involving then-Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

    Worried his boss had a “conflict of interest” overseeing the Clinton investigation, Comey testified he “considered whether I should call for the appointment of a special counsel” to take over the case. That would’ve been the right move. Curiously, Comey instead shut down the probe and let Clinton off the hook — three weeks before her presidential nomination.
    http://nypost.com/2017/06/20/next-up-a-special-counsel-to-probe-team-obamas-obstruction-of-justice/

    I just KNOW ya'all will be all over this, right?? :D

  21. [21] 
    michale wrote:

    “It’s obscene. It’s outrageous, OK? It shows that the Democrats are nothing now but words and fantasy and hallucination and Hollywood. There’s no journalism left. What’s happened to The New York Times? What’s happened to the major networks? It’s an outrage.”

    “I’m a professor of media studies, in addition to a professor of humanities, OK? And I think it’s absolutely grotesque the way my party has destroyed journalism. Right now, it is going to take decades to recover from this atrocity that’s going on where the news media have turned themselves over to the most childish fraternity, kind of buffoonish behavior.”
    -Camille Paglia

    Yea... What she said...

  22. [22] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale [18],

    Democrats running for office next year and especially two years after that need to take a fundamental lesson or two from ... wait for it ... President ...er, make that CANDIDATE Trump.

    And, that is that they need to speak to the voters in the language voters understand. To be sure, this means that the language and manner of speaking used (not the message, of course, and without the vulgarity) will necessarily vary and should be specifically tailored to the audience and to the issues of most concern to them as well as to geographical area, etc.

    To reiterate, I most decidedly do not mean to say that Democrats need to tell people what they want to hear, depending on who they are and where they come from. On the contrary, the Democratic message - should they ever develop one, ahem - should be consistent and be persistently delivered. However, the one thing Donald Trump did successfully as a candidate was speak to the voters in general and to his base in particular in ways that resonated with great clarity and purpose.

    Now, the Democrats have a much better message - strike that ... the Dems SHOULD have a much better message and just as soon as they figure out what that message is then all they have to do is figure how to deliver it in a manner that resonates equally effectively with voters regardless of where they are, who they are, or what issues are of most concern to them.

    This isn't rocket science or in need of a Philadelphia lawyer to figure it all out. Which is why I can't for the life of me account for how Democrats approach their campaigns.

  23. [23] 
    michale wrote:

    To reiterate, I most decidedly do not mean to say that Democrats need to tell people what they want to hear, depending on who they are and where they come from. On the contrary, the Democratic message - should they ever develop one, ahem - should be consistent and be persistently delivered. However, the one thing Donald Trump did successfully as a candidate was speak to the voters in general and to his base in particular in ways that resonated with great clarity and purpose.

    Exactly...

    Donald Trump spoke TOO voters..

    Democrats spoke AT voters...

    A subtle, yet significant difference..

    This isn't rocket science or in need of a Philadelphia lawyer to figure it all out. Which is why I can't for the life of me account for how Democrats approach their campaigns.

    I can...

    For all intents and purposes, the Democrat Party gave up on the "deplorable" middle class voter... All their research told them that the minorities are outpacing white American middle class and the Dems just need to focus on identity politics and that will see them thru..

    The problem with that approach is two-fold..

    1. While it is true that minorities will soon outpace white middle-class Americans, they are not there yet.. Not by a long shot.. So, what MAY, emphasis on MAY (see #2) work in 20 or 40 years is not applicable in the here and now..

    2. And this is the big one.. Democrats seem to forget that a *LOT* of those minorities are ALSO middle-class Americans and prefer economic standing over racial games.. Dems tell black middle-class Americans, "We're going to take care of you because you have been a victim all your life!!!"... Black middle-class Americans are telling Democrats, in increasing numbers, "Frak that!! Just give me a job and I'll take care of myself!!"

    That's the problem the Democrat Party faces.. Until they can actually acknowledge the plight of the American middle-class and actually have a plan to help the American middle-class instead of insulting them and attacking them, they will continue to lose elections...

    In other words, the Democrat Party **NEEDS** Trump supporters...

    And, as long as the Democrat Party insists on insulting, attacking and demonizing Trump supporters, they will NEVER get their votes...

    And the Dems simply CANNOT WIN without their votes...

    It's that simple...

  24. [24] 
    michale wrote:

    Also...

    Is it just me or has Nancy Pelosi presided over a *LOT* of Democrat losses in her reign as Party leader???

  25. [25] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    So, on topic: President Obama spent a total of roughly $97 million on personal travel expenses during his whole two terms in office. After spending nearly every other weekend at Mar a Lago, at an estimated cost of $3 million+ per visit, Trump is on track to lap Obama in his first six months. Maybe it wouldn't hurt for Trump to get to know D.C. a bit.

    McConnell is undoubted itching to get to his estate down in the bluegrass country. Fun fact: the weather in central Kentucky in the summer isn't any better than it is in DC, but it comes with tall cool glasses of Sweet Tea, and without Democrats.

    Another fun fact: despite having never held a job outside of politics, McConnell is one of the richest men in the Senate, with an estimated worth nearing $50 million dollars. Sure, half of that was given to him by his father-in-law, but the other half was made while working congressional hours. (Think about that while considering career choices, kids, if you can tear yourself away from the game or Pokemon quest you're engaged in while reading this.)

    It's not like these guys don't have anything better to do with their time (See CW's column from May: Debt Ceiling Battle Looms). Nor do they seem particularly anxious to go out and face their constituents some more.

    Perhaps they should consider starting a congressional Football team, to compliment their baseball squads, for the summer months.

    The helmets would surely come in handy later at Town Halls after everyone finally gets to see what's in the latest GOP health care bill.

  26. [26] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    19

    Democrats want to get to the FACTS, but are blocking witnesses that will give them the FACTS...

    The reasons are obvious... Dems have been pointing fingers at Page for a long time, but the Dems know that Page's testimony will prove the Russia Collusion accusation is a huge nothing-burger...

    That's your claims with no FACTS whatsoever to back them up. You're claiming to know what "Dems know" and claiming that Carter Page is being blocked from testifying. Carter Page was never scheduled to testify; he wants to testify as early as possible for obvious reasons. The more the committee finds out before they question him, the more he'll have to answer for and the less he'll be able to lie about... fairly routine Testimony 101. This ain't rocket science.

    And since the "crime" is a huge nothing-burger, then obstruction is, by default, a BIGGER nothing burger...

    Oh, I got bad news for you: There can actually be obstruction of justice without collusion, and anyone telling you otherwise is spoon-feeding you BS and hoping your brain is a huge nothing-burger. :)

    Flynn was being criminally investigated by the FBI for lying to the FBI, lying on his SF-86 forms, etc. Do you think there just might be a self-serving reason that Trump wanted the FBI's criminal investigation of Michael Flynn halted? This too is NOT rocket science.

  27. [27] 
    altohone wrote:

    nypoet
    14

    It does seem to be a recurring pattern.

    It would be nice if the Democratic establishment and their media collaborators would support and/or stop attacking the leftish Democratic candidates in the races in districts where the outperforming might actually result in victories.

    Delving into the alternate reality what-if scenarios, you also have to wonder if a small budget progressive could have achieved the same or better result and it could have allowed the millions spent in Georgia trying to sell a status quo Dem to be spent on more productive endeavors.

    It's unknowable, but perhaps worthy of consideration.

    A

  28. [28] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @liz,

    it's not about what the democrats say, or even how they say it, it's about what they do to try to follow through. you could have the best party platform ever, with the best wording ever, but then the legislative battles begin, and if you don't go to the mat for your core ideas, all they are is words. or worse, lies.

    JL

  29. [29] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Yes, Joshua,

    But, I thought that went without saying. Of course, I agree with all you said, wholeheartedly.

    It's just that, at this critical moment in time, they don't even have a message worth fighting for.

  30. [30] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    They have to start somewhere, in other words.

    And, I certainly don't mean to paint all Democrats with the same brush, either. There are exceptions to what seems to be a rule with them ... take the governor of California, Jerry Brown, for one example.

  31. [31] 
    michale wrote:

    Perhaps they should consider starting a congressional Football team, to compliment their baseball squads, for the summer months.

    Yea...More players for Democrat gunmen to shoot.. :^/

  32. [32] 
    michale wrote:

    Hi Kick!! :D

    That's your claims with no FACTS whatsoever to back them up.

    I have PLENTY of facts to back up my claims..

    First and foremost of which that Democrats have absolutely NO FACTUAL RELEVANT EVIDENCE to support the claim of collusion...

    Flynn was being criminally investigated by the FBI for lying to the FBI, lying on his SF-86 forms, etc.

    And NOT-45 was ALSO being "criminally" investigated for a whole host of crimes.

    But, at the time, ya'all claimed that THAT doesn't mean anything.. :D

  33. [33] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey CW
    delayed response to the four options in Georgia bit

    The notion that the Democratic party will undertake a post mortem due to the Georgia race when the loss to Trump and the other 1000 losses weren't enough to spur some introspection seems a little like denial to me.

    The record seems fairly clear that the Dem establishment considers losing to Republicans preferable to losing control of the party to extremist upstarts who want to abandon the Wall Street friendly policies voters hate and support policies people actually want.

    And I'm sure it's just a coincidence that they are doing what their billionaire donors demand instead.

    So, instead of wishful thinking, perhaps a different approach may be in order?

    Check out this interview with Thomas Frank, author of Listen, Liberal and What's the Matter with Kansas

    http://therealnews.com/t2/story:19362:Thomas-Frank-on-the-Demise-of-the-Democratic-Party

    He voted for Hillary, but isn't afraid to talk about the real reasons she lost (aka the post mortem that has already been done, but that the establishment remains in denial about).

    A

  34. [34] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Altohone (27)-
    Could it have turned out different with a small contribution candidate in the race?
    Interesting question.
    But it is unknown- not unknowable.
    We could try small contribution candidates in 2018 by participating in One Demand and find out. We might even see some initial positive results in 2018 and more in 2020.
    Even if continuing to vote for the Big Money Democrats that promise regulations, public financing or other solutions those solutions will not be implemented by 2020- much less 2018, though the promises more than likely will never be fulfilled.

  35. [35] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    First and foremost of which that Democrats have absolutely NO FACTUAL RELEVANT EVIDENCE to support the claim of collusion...

    that's not something you or i could conceivably know.

    a more accurate way of saying that would be that no direct evidence of cooperation between the trump campaign and the russian electioneering has been released to the public. if mueller is as competent as advertised, it may not be released until the investigation is concluded and indictments handed down.

    therefore, all we have to point to anyone's guilt or innocence at the moment is circumstantial evidence and speculation. claims that there were no underlying crimes are just as premature as claims that there were.

    just to bring this back on topic... perhaps if congress stayed in session longer then their russia investigations would provide us with answers a bit more quickly.

    JL

  36. [36] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Michale [23] - I'd be concerned indeed, if just one of those things were true. But nothing you wrote is even remotely true, except for the demographics: there were more minority babies born last year than white babies in America, and for the last decade, more women graduating from college than men. Times they are a'changin'.

    As for the middle class, they voted largely for Hillary. Trump's support came mostly from less educated, rural men over 50.

    And you keep forgetting that Hillary garnered 3 million+ more votes than Trump. Democrats don't face a 'middle class' problem, they face a 'rural backwater' problem. Short of proposing that we run most of the economy on corn and cheese, there's not much the Democrats can do about rural fear mongering.

    The real problem is that Democrats mostly refuse to lie to America, to tell them that immigrant workers are taking their jobs (and not automation), that most entitlement recipients are minorities (they aren't), that tax breaks for billionaires will reduce their taxes (it won't), or that throwing random threats and bombs around will make America safer (definitely won't), or that the problem with education is that it just doesn't make a profit (or include Bible study).

    Trump voters hear what they want to hear, and see what they want to see. In their minds, the chairman of the Fed is crazy to suggest that the economy is strong. That's not what Fox News says, and they always tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but. And Sandy Hook was a lie, promulgated to take all the guns away. Don't forget that.

    In truth, what the Democrats are fighting against is all illusion, created and financed by the very people who are picking the pockets of America every day. The very same folks who brought us 'Suicide Sqad' want us to help write the middle class's Suicide Note, beginning with: "Dear Mr. Mnuchin, I know that you're hurting for money - have some of mine."

  37. [37] 
    michale wrote:

    The notion that the Democratic party will undertake a post mortem due to the Georgia race when the loss to Trump and the other 1000 losses weren't enough to spur some introspection seems a little like denial to me.

    Hmmmmmmm I think I heard that somewhere before.. :D

  38. [38] 
    michale wrote:

    You could at least credit the original author.. :D

  39. [39] 
    michale wrote:

    "Russia Issue Is Becoming A Distraction That Is Hurting Democrats"
    -Democrat Senator Chris Murphy

  40. [40] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Balthasar (36)-
    The Democrats mostly refuse to lie to America?
    If you believe that I hope no one gives you a monkey's paw and tells you that you get three wishes that will fill your hearts desires.
    The Democrats tell different lies to different people. They are not as good as the Republicans at lying and are trying to fool people that are not as easily duped.

  41. [41] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    If you believe that I hope no one gives you a monkey's paw and tells you that you get three wishes that will fill your hearts desires.

    Well, there goes my lifelong dream of owning a monkey's paw.

  42. [42] 
    altohone wrote:

    Don
    34

    Sorry, but the result of taking a different path in the past is unknowable.

    And we know small donor candidates can compete financially. That has been proven. Their future success is unknown.

    A

  43. [43] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey CW

    Here's a toke on the Georgia election from a local journalist

    http://therealnews.com/t2/story:19371:Record-Spending-Fails-to-Get-Democrats-a-Win-in-Georgia

    He suggests Ossoff attempting to win over Republicans and his opposition to Single Payer and higher taxes on the rich, among other issues, failed to generate the enthusiasm necessary to turn out voters.

    A

  44. [44] 
    altohone wrote:

    Balthy
    36

    "As for the middle class, they voted largely for Hillary. Trump's support came mostly from less educated, rural men over 50."

    Your qualifiers hide an unpleasant truth for Democrats.

    "rural backwater"?

    The loss of support for Dems from the working class is real, and the insults are counterproductive.

    "there's not much the Democrats can do about rural fear mongering"

    Factually inaccurate. Returning to the policies that help the working class is most certainly doable.

    "that most entitlement recipients are minorities (they aren't)"

    True, but using the language of the corporatists seeking to cut those EARNED BENEFITS is counterproductive.

    "that tax breaks for billionaires will reduce their taxes (it won't)"

    Corporatist Dems, like Ossoff, oppose raising taxes on the rich. Just opposing more tax breaks is not sufficient.

    "that throwing random threats and bombs around will make America safer (definitely won't"

    Glad to see we are in agreement there, but Obama and Hillary both supported regime change wars, drones, coups, sanctions and threats. Most Dems in Congress support the same militarism.
    Lying about the reality... which is that there is little difference between the parties on foreign policy... is counterproductive.

    "that the problem with education is that it just doesn't make a profit"

    Corporatist Democrats like Obama and Hillary have been fully supportive of the charter school privatization agenda, cutting the number of teachers with austerity budgets, and attacks on teachers unions. Again, lying about it is counterproductive.
    Rahm is collaborating with Betsy DeVos right now.

    Large sections of your narrative are false.
    The ideas that corporatist Dems are trustworthy defenders of the middle class or are anti-war among them.

    A

  45. [45] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey Liz

    Here's an interview with a First Nations representative about the Transmountain pipeline expansion approved by Trudeau in BC.

    http://therealnews.com/t2/story:19372:Canadian-First-Nation-Battles-Pipeline-Expansion

    The injustices of the past remain a feature in the present.

    A

  46. [46] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The struggle continues, Al.

  47. [47] 
    michale wrote:
  48. [48] 
    michale wrote:

    Balthy,

    And you keep forgetting that Hillary garnered 3 million+ more votes than Trump.

    And YOU keep forgetting that those extra votes came from a single blue, VERY blue state...

    As such, they are even MORE meaningless than they would normally be...

  49. [49] 
    michale wrote:

    The real problem is that Democrats mostly refuse to lie to America,

    What a complete, utter and self-serving load of bullshit..

    "If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan.."

    "I welcome the debate on domestic surveillance"

    Those are just the two off the top of my head..

    I could list HUNDREDS of complete and utter lies from Democrats..

    So, the idea that Democrats mostly refuse to lie to the American people is a total and complete lie...

  50. [50] 
    michale wrote:

    Despite the fact that Democrats are in the worst position at the federal and state level than either major political party since 1919, it took John Ossoff’s loss in Georgia’s special election Tuesday night for them to fully realize how much the American people don’t like them.

    Representative Tim Ryan, a Democratic congressman from Ohio who has been an outspoken critic of his party’s messaging and platform, perfectly summed up Americans’ feelings towards Democrats.

    “Our brand is worse than Trump,” he told the New York Times.
    https://heatst.com/politics/democrats-slowly-realizing-nobody-likes-them/?utm_source=spotim&utm_medium=spotim_recirculation&spotim_referrer=recirculation

  51. [51] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Al [44] The loss of support for Dems from the working class is real, and the insults are counterproductive.

    Let's then qualify who the 'working class' is, shall we, using numbers posted by the Dept. of Labor (Table 2.1):

    Only 1.4% of the labor force is employed in agriculture.

    Only .6% are employed in the entire mining industry.

    Only 7.1% are employed in manufacturing.

    Those are the industries that Trump and the GOP talks the most about. They also talk about 'entrepreneurs' alot, but only 5.7% are self-employed in non-agricultural occupations.

    In total, a whopping 80% of American workers aren't on farms, making cars or digging coal, they're working in the Service Industries:

    Over 12% of the population work in Healthcare and social services, which the GOP has promised to 'fix' after two weeks of closed-door meetings and a hasty vote.

    On the other hand, 12.7% of all workers are employed by State and Local governments, whom the right derides, and another 12.7% are in financial services, for whom the left has antipathy. These most-insulted workers are a quarter of our economy.

    So when you say that Dems have 'lost support from the working class', you should qualify that. I know that Hillary beat Bernie in Nevada, for instance, largely because of support from the Service Workers' Unions (I forget the acronym). Many of those service workers are minorities and single moms, who also remain firmly in the Democratic camp.

    The real division, as I pointed out, is education and geography. Less educated, aging victims of a changing economy, living in areas long left behind by factors beyond anyone's control have bought into a false narrative promulgated by the right that blames their problems on Democratic policies. Some on the left *cough* have done the same.

    But it just isn't true. To the contrary, Democrats have been castigated by both left and right wingers for trying to focus policies on the actual workforce that needs childcare, education and healthcare first, before we even begin to discuss tearing up trade deals and reorganizing the government. The beleaguered service workers of America beg you to concentrate more on minimum wage reform, and to stop defining the 'working class' as only those parts of the work force that drove public policy in the 1930's.

    Large sections of your narrative are false.
    The ideas that corporatist Dems are trustworthy defenders of the middle class or are anti-war among them.

    What can I say? Sensible Democrats in power are not ready to abdicate American interests abroad, the difference being that Dems have much more faith than Republicans in the use of 'soft power' to resolve international conflict, and are far less likely to piss off valuable allies.

    As for your use (or rather, mis-use) of the word 'corporatist': do you really think that calling Ossoff a corporatist helps to move the needle one tiny smidgeon closer to your political position?

    The far left is even further behind, politically, than the Democrats. They have only one avowed leftist in congress, and few to none in most state offices. At least the far right made some electoral gains before demanding concessions from their establishment allies; the far left seems to want the Democratic establishment to cater to their philosophies simply because they demand it. Until they stop sitting out elections, they won't get very far with that tactic.

  52. [52] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    And YOU keep forgetting that those extra votes came from a single blue, VERY blue state. As such, they are even MORE meaningless than they would normally be..

    Or, as Eric Trump puts it: "they aren't even people!"

    One wonders if the right would be mouthing that absurd syllogism if they had WON the popular vote. I'd bet not.

    This is where Trump and his allies have set themselves up for failure. Clinton appropriated republican ideas to the point that it infuriated them, e.g., welfare reform. Obama based the ACA on a policy idea from the Heritage Foundation and Mitt Romney's reforms in Massachusetts. Modern Republicans, by contrast, haven't even tried to gain support from Democrats for their programs, preferring a 'my way or the highway' approach to governing. Writing off most of the population of the largest state in the union may feel good today, but it won't help one bit when the Dems retake the House, and they will retake the House eventually. The California delegation is a big one, so yeah, go ahead and write them off, please.

  53. [53] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    So, the idea that Democrats mostly refuse to lie to the American people is a total and complete lie.

    Gimme a break. Comparing a few out-of-context quotes to the virtual tsunami of falsehoods and disinformation that spews from the Republican-Fox News bubble every day is like comparing a church mouse to a Tiger. One will annoy you, the other will have you for lunch.

    And, out of deference to the word 'alleged', I won't even get into the topic of the Russian disinformation campaign that Republicans used to their advantage last year.

  54. [54] 
    altohone wrote:

    Balthy
    51

    First of all, working class is a commonly used term that most people understand. Hint, it includes the vast majority in the service industry.
    Your attempt to redefine it is bizarre in addition to being a poorly crafted, incoherent straw man argument which you then try and fail miserably to argue against. Yes, your 1930's crap and defense of finance are a sad joke.

    "Less educated, aging victims of a changing economy, living in areas long left behind by factors beyond anyone's control"

    There it is.

    The absolving of Democrats for their Wall Street coddling policies. As if tax policy, corporate subsidies, attacks on unions, trade policies, etc. were not subject to votes or decisions that Dems were capable of making differently.
    Bullshit to the nth degree.
    That you dare call it a false narrative when the truth is noted is beyond comprehension. And the fact that Trump conned many in the working class doesn't change the reality about Dems.

    Who was it that just went 8 years without increasing the minimum wage (and you try to lecture me?), made tax cuts for the rich permanent, presided over a massive fraud that wiped out millions without prosecuting the guilty, and sat quietly doing nothing while inequality grew ever worse?
    That would be a corporatist Democrat.

    "Sensible Democrats in power are not ready to abdicate American interests abroad"

    First of all, there aren't any. Corporatist Dems lost all the power they had. Presidency, House, Senate.
    Second, that platitude is so empty it's meaningless. Imperial power in the service of the 1% is nowhere close to "American interests".

    When Republicans drop bombs with Democratic support it's "sensible"?
    When Democrats drop bombs it's sensible?
    So, you were referring to what exactly with your bit about throwing bombs and threats around not making us safer?
    You were claiming a difference, but Dems were involved in all of it. Name a war... any war.

    No, I'm not misusing the word corporatist.
    Your denial doesn't alter the definition in the dictionary.
    And it fits perfectly.

    "do you really think that calling Ossoff a corporatist helps to move the needle one tiny smidgeon closer to your political position?"

    Yes.
    Admitting it is the first step to recovery.

    "The far left is even further behind, politically, than the Democrats."

    OK, Captain Obvious.
    FDR would be so proud of your brilliant rationalization for failure after abandoning his policies based on empathy.
    It's pretty funny how you felt compelled to qualify that statement too. Someone may have thought you meant morally.

    But you are living in a real bubble world if you think Bernie is part of the "far left".

    A

  55. [55] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz
    46

    Indeed.

    Whose side are you on?

    A

  56. [56] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    As a non-native, Al, I am a strong advocate for the recognition of aboriginal and treaty rights (including an inherent right to self-government) and for building a new relationship between Canada's non-aboriginal federal government and First Nations, Metis and Inuit based upon equality and mutual respect.

    Here in Canada, we have quite a long way to go ...

  57. [57] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I might just add, for interests sake, that it has been my personal experience to understand that aboriginal peoples in Canada have been blessed, for the most part, with visionary political leaders who have fought persistently and continue the struggle for justice not only to have their inherent rights recognized (not granted!) but to take up their rightful place in Canada as a third order of government.

  58. [58] 
    michale wrote:

    Or, as Eric Trump puts it: "they aren't even people!"

    You said it, I didn't... :D

    The California delegation is a big one, so yeah, go ahead and write them off, please.

    I am not saying write them off..

    I am simply saying that they are completely irrelevant because A- the Vanity Vote is completely irrelevant and 2- the extra votes came from a single state..

    So yea.. If Dems are happy to win the Vanity Vote from a SINGLE STATE but still lose elections.....

    Then I am happy they are happy.. :D

    Doesn't change the fact that they are still lusers...

  59. [59] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Al [54] First of all, working class is a commonly used term that most people understand.

    Thank YOU captain obvious. My point was that the 'working class' didn't defeat Hillary, nor has it left the democratic fold. In the end, Hillary only got 0.1% fewer votes than Obama got in 2012, while Trump picked up 3.4% more votes than Romney got in 2012. So the margins are really small, far too small to suggest that the working class has 'abandoned' the Democratic Party in any meaningful manner, or conversely, that huge numbers switched parties to vote for Trump.

    The one place that the numbers did change significantly was third party voting, which jumped 249% from 2012 to 2016. While it's been pointed out that Stein's vote totals in several key states exceed the Trump's margin of victory in those states, it's also true that in Wisconsin, twice as many votes went to Gary "what is Aleppo?" Johnson. While I wasn't able to find an exact demographic breakdown of third party voters, most observers describe them as mostly white, male, and millennial - not exactly a cross-section of the modern working class.

    Who was it that just went 8 years without increasing the minimum wage...made tax cuts for the rich permanent, presided over a massive fraud that wiped out millions without prosecuting the guilty, and sat quietly doing nothing while inequality grew ever worse?

    Republicans. Meanwhile, Democrats tried like the dickens to fix as much of that as they could.

    You assume, like Trump, that Presidents can wave their hands and make things happen at will. Curing inequality? Sure, get right on it. Truth is, Democrats put up bills every year to raise the minimum wage, and every year they were stymied by Republicans, by filibuster, or hold, or other arcane rule-twisting. And for the record, it was GWB that 'presided' over the financial collapse; Obama inherited the still-smouldering mess left behind.

    You know what would have helped? If the left hadn't sat out the 2010 election. We wouldn't have lost the House, nor had to put up with the gross gerrymandering that followed. Thanks, Left. For that AND for the help in the 2016 election.

    Name a war... any war.

    Spanish-American!

    But you are living in a real bubble world if you think Bernie is part of the "far left".

    "Socialist" doesn't qualify anymore? What, Socialism is now too namby-pamby for the hardcore lefties?

  60. [60] 
    michale wrote:

    Gimme a break. Comparing a few out-of-context quotes to the virtual tsunami of falsehoods and disinformation that spews from the Republican-Fox News bubble every day is like comparing a church mouse to a Tiger. One will annoy you, the other will have you for lunch.

    If we were talking about a few out of context quotes, you would have a point.

    But we're talking about a few perfectly in context quotes and the guarantee that I could find hundreds and hundreds more if I thought for a second you would concede the point. :D

  61. [61] 
    michale wrote:

    And, out of deference to the word 'alleged', I won't even get into the topic of the Russian disinformation campaign that Republicans used to their advantage last year.

    Yer just pissy because Democrats didn't do it as well.. :D

    There are tons more RUSSIA/NOT-45 connections than there are RUSSIA/TRUMP connections...

    A little fact you continue to ignore...

  62. [62] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    I could find hundreds and hundreds more if I thought for a second you would concede the point.

    Yeah, you're right, I won't. Don't bother.

  63. [63] 
    michale wrote:

    Exactly...

    Common ground... :D

  64. [64] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    32

    Hi Kick!! :D

    Hi :)

    First and foremost of which that Democrats have absolutely NO FACTUAL RELEVANT EVIDENCE to support the claim of collusion...

    (1) Typing words in all caps does not magically make them a fact.
    (2) What JL said in his post at [35].
    (3) Reading your other posts, you really have drank the GOP Kool-Aid and regurged it here. Your stupid "all the votes came from one state" is utter right-wing BS propaganda. One could equally claim that Donald Trump only won the Electoral College because of the 36 electors of Texas; I mean take out Texas and Trump doesn't win. These theories are ludicrous because one can easily combine any number of states' votes/electors and exclude them from the aggregate, but doing so doesn't undo the basic mathematical principle that a vote difference in one state can't sway the election results to or from a candidate who doesn't also have significant support from multiple other states.

    And NOT-45 was ALSO being "criminally" investigated for a whole host of crimes.

    Your "but, but Hillary" defense is getting old and tired. Ask Misha Flynn how that utter nonsense worked out for him.

    The one thing you can count on above all others: Benedict Donald will lie to you; he will lie nearly every time he gets behind a microphone, and he's not concerned with how many Americans he throws under the bus to enrich himself. At what point do they FINALLY clue in?

  65. [65] 
    michale wrote:

    The one thing you can count on above all others: Benedict Donald will lie to you; he will lie nearly every time he gets behind a microphone, and he's not concerned with how many Americans he throws under the bus to enrich himself. At what point do they FINALLY clue in?

    Maybe when you finally clue in that your Dumbocrats aren't any better...

  66. [66] 
    altohone wrote:

    Balthy
    59

    "far too small to suggest that the working class has 'abandoned' the Democratic Party in any meaningful manner"

    Enough for Hillary to lose isn't "meaningful"?
    Keep banging your head against the wall.

    "Republicans. Meanwhile, Democrats tried like the dickens to fix as much of that as they could."

    Wow. That is some dishonest revisionism.
    Hillary supporters have a disturbing tendency for that.
    I assumed nothing... just looked at the record of votes, failure and broken promises by Dems.

    Your blaming of the left is another proud neoliberal tradition to mask Dem failures in winning votes and generating turnout.
    It's alw3ays the fault of somebody else.
    The vaunted denial of responsibility and blame shifting, with a side serving of unearned entitlement.

    "Name a war... any war."

    "Spanish-American!"

    Thanks for proving my point.
    You don't have a single example to support the claim that Dems are anti-war. Every "bomb throwing and threat" making us less safe that you tried to claim as a differentiation with Republicans was supported or initiated by your "sensible" Dems.
    You could admit you were lying, but no, that is beneath neoliberal corporatists... just like Repubs.

    ""Socialist" doesn't qualify anymore? What, Socialism is now too namby-pamby for the hardcore lefties?"

    The Socialists call Bernie a pseudo-left pied piper for the Democratic establishment who hoodwinked left leaning voters into supporting a right wing neoliberal corporatist.

    Ask Kick how truly different he is when it comes to taking money from defense contractors, or when he supports Trump lobbing missiles into Syria, when Obama armed al Qaida affiliated "rebels", bombed Yemen, launched regime change in Libya, the coup in Ukraine, and Israel's war in Gaza.
    Bernie's foreign policy is condemned by the far left and socialists specifically rather vociferously.

    Your ignorance about socialism relative to the policies Bernie sought to implement is rather telling.

    And when 8 out of 10 of Bernie's top campaign policies have more than majority support among all voters, not just Dems, and the other two polled at 47 and 48%, then by your "reasoning", the majority in America would be "far left"... and that just doesn't match reality.

    The truth is, a mixture of capitalism and socialism more along the lines of what FDR developed doesn't amount to "socialism", and that's what Bernie supports.

    Like many, I'd like Bernie to go further and abandon the establishment militarism and a few other things, but that would be feeding into your false, neoliberal, corporatist "purity test" narrative... and we can't have that, right?

    A

  67. [67] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz
    56. 57

    That was not only beautifully stated and heartfelt, but I fully agree.

    Except with the part where you failed to take a stand on Trudeau's approval of a pipeline that violates the rights of the First Nations and risks ecological catastrophe.

    I don't get that.

    A

  68. [68] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'm keeping my eye on things, Al.

  69. [69] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Al [66]: Enough for Hillary to lose isn't "meaningful"?

    But with a margin that small, it could have been anything. Nate Silver blames Comey for poisoning the well. Black turnout wasn't as high for Hillary as it was for Obama. Some liberals stayed home, or voted for Stein. Wisconsin had a new voter ID law, etc., etc.

    The vaunted denial of responsibility and blame shifting, with a side serving of unearned entitlement.

    In other words, REASONS. That's what we're discussing here, right? I distinctly remember telling you BEFORE the election that a vote for Stein was a vote for Trump, and look what happened.
    For the left to blame Hillary for that is indeed blame-shifting.

    Like many, I'd like Bernie to go further and abandon the establishment militarism and a few other things, but that would be feeding into your false, neoliberal, corporatist "purity test" narrative... and we can't have that, right?

    Well it feeds into some sort of 'purity test' narrative, that's obvious.

    You don't have a single example to support the claim that Dems are anti-war.

    Look, I'm as anti-violence as a milquetoast piano player can be, but if a member of my family is attacked, I'll fight like hell itself.

    I'm not going to fall into the trap of trying to defend every US military action or even most, but if American lives or innocent lives are at stake, I'm not going to complain about the US playing the role of big brother. But quite often, that role is better served by diplomacy than bombs, and a deep belief that war should be a LAST option is one of the more obvious differences between Dems and Pubs these days. Be absolutist if you want, that's your right, but that's my opinion.

  70. [70] 
    altohone wrote:

    Balthy
    69

    It was close because many working class Obama voters went for Trump due to Hillary's coziness with the interests who have actively fought to screw over workers for profit... usually referred to as Wall Street.
    That is what the exit polls show as the main cause.

    The election should never have been close enough for any of the "reasons" you claim to be significant.
    And for the record, corporatist Dems anointing a widely disliked candidate who was under FBI investigation for having the stupid idea to put a server in her basement in order to avoid accountability are to blame, not Comey.
    Hillary Inc. lying and cheating to win the Democratic primary is to blame... not Wikileaks for exposing the lies and election rigging.
    Hillary running a horrible campaign and not campaigning in the crucial states is to blame, Hillary welcoming neocons is to blame, Hillary choosing a Hyde Amendment supporting corporatist running mate with the charisma of a turd was to blame, Hillary taking minority votes for granted was to blame..
    Hillary and her cronies unjustifiably attacking the left wing of the Dem base was to blame. Hillary having a horrible record was to blame.
    People on the left voting for Jill Stein didn't keep Obama from winning... that reason is utter bunk.

    "Well it feeds into some sort of 'purity test' narrative, that's obvious."

    No.
    It shows the exact opposite.

    "Look, I'm as anti-violence as a milquetoast piano player can be, but if a member of my family is attacked, I'll fight like hell itself"

    We weren't attacked by Iraq.
    We weren't attacked by Libya.
    We weren't attacked by Yemen.
    We weren't attacked by Syria.
    We weren't attacked by Ukraine.
    We weren't attacked by Honduras.
    We weren't attacked by Somalia.
    etc.
    etc.

    Your excuse is as pathetic as the falsehoods you peddle to support establishment Dems who actively pursue that which you claim to oppose.
    And you are not anti-violence if you support warmongering Dems despite knowing the truth.

    A

  71. [71] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz
    69

    I'd bet they'd love your support in helping stop Trudeau, but that's a better answer than I hoped.
    Thanks.

    A

  72. [72] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You have low expectations, Al. :)

    Did you know that some First Nations are in favour of the pipeline?

    I'm afraid it's a complicated issue, not unlike most issues that face the original inhabitants of North America.

  73. [73] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz
    72

    They've been lowered for some reason.
    ;)

    Yeah, I know some are in favor.
    I'm afraid it's a similar dynamic to the casino effect, and I also know that the decisions haven't been by consensus.
    Like the benefits, the negative effects and burdens haven't been experienced equally.

    If I'm up to date, I believe there is one pipeline expansion and two new ones being proposed, and they may affect a wide region. But the nature of the product should put morality and long term economic benefits from viable ecosystems above the short term economic gains. Environmentalists learned the concept of considering the effects from decisions on the next seven generations from some of the original inhabitants of our continent, and I hope that concept prevails.

    There were once over 950 native languages spoken in California alone, and most have been lost forever. The burdens we bear from the actions taken in the past are much greater than has been acknowledged.

    A

  74. [74] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'm afraid it's a similar dynamic to the casino effect, and I also know that the decisions haven't been by consensus.
    Like the benefits, the negative effects and burdens haven't been experienced equally.

    Are you talking about non-aboriginal governments in North America or aboriginal governments?

    I think you see my point.

    Aboriginal governments are more than capable of making their own decisions - on pipelines or anything else.

  75. [75] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The burdens we bear from the actions taken in the past are much greater than has been acknowledged.

    Well, there has been acknowledgement - in the form of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples and with respect to the residential school system. Though, I think the latter has been more about the abuse - sexual and otherwise - in the schools and less about the whole point of the schools. Which was to wipe out entire cultures, especially the languages.

    And, there are plenty of burdens to bear for the actions that are taken today and, more importantly, the actions yet to be taken in terms of treaty obligations, land settlements, and recognition of inherent aboriginal rights.

    I'm afraid it's a similar dynamic to the casino effect, and I also know that the decisions haven't been by consensus.
    Like the benefits, the negative effects and burdens haven't been experienced equally.

    Are you talking about non-aboriginal governments in North America or aboriginal governments?

    I think you see my point.

    Aboriginal governments are quite capable of making their own decisions based on what they believe is in the best interests of their nations and peoples. That's what self-government is all about.

  76. [76] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hi Liz

    "I think you see my point."

    I believe we mostly agree.

    "Though, I think the latter has been more about the abuse - sexual and otherwise - in the schools and less about the whole point of the schools. Which was to wipe out entire cultures, especially the languages."

    A pretty big "though" in my opinion.

    "Are you talking about non-aboriginal governments in North America or aboriginal governments?"

    Good one :)
    I was talking about corruption specifically to influence such decisions.
    I think there are 27 different First Nations affected, and 24 oppose these pipelines.
    Were the decisions of the 3 who support them made properly?

    "more importantly, the actions yet to be taken in terms of treaty obligations, land settlements, and recognition of inherent aboriginal rights."

    These pipeline decisions are being made in a manner that tramples those rights, which is at the heart of this matter.

    Anyway, I believe tar sands oil needs to stay in the ground.
    What do you personally think?

    A

  77. [77] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'm all for keeping tar sands in the ground.

    And, I'm all for First Nations exercising real self-government.

Comments for this article are closed.